September 2, 2017 - No. 26

Labour Day 2017

Take a Bold Step in Defence
of the Rights of All!
Stop Paying the Rich;
Increase Investments in Social Programs! Make Canada a Zone for Peace!


The Work to Organize the Working Class Is the Work
to Build Groups of Writers and Disseminators

- Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L) -
Confessions of a Lumber Baron
- K.C. Adams -

NAFTA Renegotiations
Dismantle All Imperialist Free Trade Agreements!
- Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) -
Farmers' Organizations in Canada, the U.S.
and Mexico Denounce NAFTA

Demonstrations Denounce NAFTA Renegotiations and
Demand a Change in the Direction of the Economies

United States
Diversion -- Twin Brother of U.S. Policy of Divide and Rule
- Pauline Easton -
Trump Unable to Unite Military Bureaucracy --
Growing Conflicts Among Rulers Increase Civil War Danger

- Voice of Revolution -
Thousands Rally in Vancouver Against
Anti-Immigrant and Anti-Islam Hysteria

- Brian Sproule -

For Your Information

NAFTA Renegotiations

Labour Day 2017

Take a Bold Step in Defence of the Rights of All!
Stop Paying the Rich;
Increase Investments in Social Programs!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace!

On the occasion of Labour Day 2017, the Workers' Centre of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends militant greetings to all workers fighting for their rights and for a Canada which defends the rights of all.

This is a day when organized workers and their supporters are participating in events to honour their work and contributions to our collective life, and to support the just struggles workers are waging to defend their rights. A militant salute goes out to those engaged in sharp battles, such as Toronto and Winnipeg airport workers; the forestry workers whose lives are regularly turned upside down by oligarchs who take the social wealth workers produce out of their communities; to the miners, oil workers, construction and manufacturing workers and all public sector workers in all the provinces and Quebec who are fighting to defend their rights. A special greeting goes out to the MANA Stelco steelworkers in Hamilton whom German imperialists have locked out from their work for over four years; to the steelworkers in Hamilton and Algoma and in Quebec who have refused to permit the ugly face of the theft of their pensions and jobs to be prettified. And to all others engaged in difficult struggles, including the injured workers fighting for fair compensation.

The particular situation for many workers is fraught with insecurity, while in general, the arrangements of civil society lie in ruin and the ruling imperialist elite threaten the entire world with "fire and fury," as police powers take over all fields of life and the airwaves are filled with news of assassinations, terror attacks, invasions and threats of nuclear warfare against those fighting for sovereignty and peace. The prerogative powers exercised by ministers, judges, administrators and executives at all levels are police powers, not subject to accountability of any kind. The powers exercised directly by police and spy agencies and hired guns are also exercised outside the rule of law and lie beyond its purview. Meanwhile, the theft of Indigenous lands continues under cover of a new ministry and the aim of committing genocide against the Indigenous peoples remains unchanged.

At the same time, NAFTA renegotiations are used to further integrate Canada, the U.S. and Mexico into a Fortress North America where trade, energy, communications and transportation corridors are further integrated to serve the U.S. imperialist "national interest."

A new direction forward is necessary to humanize the natural and social environments.

Let us unite in action to demand that governments Stop Paying the Rich and Increase Funding for Social Programs and Make Canada a Zone for Peace!

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The Work to Organize the Working Class
Is the Work to Build Groups of
Writers and Disseminators

The call to establish Groups of Writers and Disseminators (GWDs) comprised of workers in specific sectors of the economy was issued by CPC(M-L) on May 1, 1994. The problem CPC(M-L) took up for solution was to implement the task based on the analysis of CPC(M-L) that the workers must be organized on the basis of their own agenda, not one set by anybody else. The agenda of the workers is the one which they work out themselves and the call to establish GWDs was issued so as to assist the workers in setting their own agenda. The Party pointed out that by organizing the workers into GWDs and building the GWDs, this problem facing the working class can be solved.

Another aim of this work was to end the attempts of the ruling class and its agents and news media to marginalize CPC(M-L). The Party pointed out that unless GWDs are built, the working class will remain vulnerable in the face of the vicious anti-social offensive, and so long as CPC(M-L) is marginalized by the bourgeoisie and its political process, the workers and all the collectives of the people will also be marginalized.

CPC(M-L) pointed out that in order to end the marginalization of the workers and to win the struggle for the recognition of their rights, the tendency to let others set the agenda for the workers must be smashed. Their agenda gets set in the form of the views or programs of a political party or government and non-government organizations over which they exercise no control. They are called on to agree with these views or support them, instead of working out where their own interests lie.

We see this clearly with the NAFTA renegotiations, where none of the positions workers are called on to support favour their interests. So long as the workers are reduced to the role of spectators and called on to agree with the views which come to them from the outside, this will remain a block to the working class becoming an organized political force in its own interests.

The attempt to reduce the workers to a role where they are merely to agree or disagree with the views of the government of this or that political party or agency is precisely what depoliticizes the workers by keeping them out of the decision-making process. Everything is done to make sure the political movement for people's empowerment not only makes no headway, but is smashed, and this is what leaves the people vulnerable to the disasters that lie ahead so long as this problem is not tackled.

The starting point when establishing and building the GWDs is to recognize that the problem in the workers' movement is to organize the workers to defend the rights of all under all conditions and circumstances. It is not to "raise their awareness" of the problems which they live every day, nor to describe the problems for them since they can describe them better than everyone else. The only mark of raising the consciousness of the workers that CPC(M-L) recognizes is if they join the GWDs. That is what indicates the extent to which the workers are participating in politics and affirming their right to have a say in the affairs which concern them. The integration of the workers into the GWDs is the proof that they are setting their own agenda.

Through their Thursday Meetings workers and pensioners from Local 1005 USW are able to
discuss how to solve the problems they face and set their own agenda.

Instead of encouraging the workers to discuss the affairs which concern them and to set their own agenda, which is what it means to be political, a notion of politics is presented according to which politics have to be brought to the workers from outside, in the form of x number of positions which the workers are called upon to support. CPC(M-L) does not adhere to this conception. This method is consistent with those who have a hidden agenda. First the agenda is decided elsewhere and then it is brought to the workers who are called upon to agree with it. This is the method used in the workers' movement by those whose main aim is to get the workers to elect them to office -- either in a trade union or in government. Dealing with the concerns of the workers is incidental in the equation because they are not interested to involve the workers in discussing the program which favours the workers. Their only interest is to get the workers to agree with their program to get themselves into office. Once in office, their main aim is to stay there.

The problem which CPC(M-L) has taken up for solution is of an entirely different character. It is to make sure the working class is organized as a class of itself and for itself to constitute the nation and vest sovereignty in the people. This requires that the working class takes up its own aims itself. It is not a matter of supporting some party or political force that is going to do it for the working class.

Those involved in the work to build the GWDs must take up the work to build the profile of their GWD as their starting point. They must discuss the need for their GWD within the context of what takes place at their particular workplace and then they must make it possible for the workers to join them. CPC(M-L) points out that as long as building the profile of the GWDs is not taken up as the first step to organizing the working class as a class of itself and for itself, the task of organizing the working class will not be taken up.

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Confessions of a Lumber Baron

Meetings take place in forestry communities across Central and Northern BC in March 2017 to discuss solutions to the problems they face. Photo shows Prince George meeting.

Ted Seraphim, CEO of Vancouver-based forestry empire West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., confessed to the Financial Post that the U.S.-imposed punitive softwood lumber tariffs are a scam to force higher prices on the U.S. and Canadian construction sector. With 43 per cent of its total lumber production coming from the mills West Fraser controls in the U.S., the company is directly pocketing the large price increases for its lumber sold in the United States. The tariffs imposed on any needed lumber imported from its Canadian mills are simply added to the purchase price. Lumber prices have also increased dramatically in Canada.

Evidence shows that the softwood lumber tariff fraud and higher prices benefit the forestry empires that have operations in both the U.S. and Canada such as West Fraser and Canfor and also those like the giant Weyerhaeuser with most operations in the U.S.

West Fraser reports a record gross income for the second quarter of this year, coming after the imposition of the U.S. tariffs. Its quarterly income jumped to $174 million, a 49 per cent increase compared with its second quarter in 2016.

The Financial Post quotes CEO Seraphim saying, "We've had duties put on us and we just reported record earnings in the second quarter." After bragging about the record gross income, calling it "an encouraging sign for our company," Seraphim implied the big forestry companies are pleased with the U.S. softwood lumber duties, telling the Post, "We are under no pressure to settle [the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S.]."

Equity ownership in West Fraser as measured in its share price on the Toronto Stock Exchange has increased 34 per cent to over $5 billion since the beginning of the year and the imposition of the tariffs. The Post says the Ketcham family empire retains the majority of West Fraser shares, and former CEO Hank Ketcham is Chairman of the Board.

This past July, West Fraser announced an expansion of its empire within the U.S. with the $538 million purchase of the Gilman companies and its six sawmills in Florida and Georgia. The West Fraser Empire now buys and exploits the capacity to work of approximately 3,900 forestry workers in the U.S. and 5,100 in Canada.

Forestry workers and their allies throughout Canada are discussing the current situation in the sector. They raise the necessity for a new direction for the industry in opposition to the empire-building of West Fraser, Canfor and others. Empire-building and its concentration of social wealth in fewer hands stands in contradiction with nation-building. West Fraser's use of $538 million of added-value, either directly from what forestry workers have produced or from credit backed by forestry fixed social wealth, to expand its empire with the purchase of mills in the U.S., must stop. Forestry communities cannot develop as long as the added-value forestry workers produce is ripped out of their local communities and the working people have no say or control of what directly affects their lives.

Sustainable forestry rally in Victoria, March 20, 2017 demands an end to export of raw logs for
processing in mills in the U.S. and elsewhere. (K. Wu)

Empire-building also extends to the use of added-value workers produce to mechanize and eliminate employment without consideration of the consequences or taking social responsibility for what happens to unemployed forestry workers and their communities. On top of spending millions of added-value to buy U.S. mills in the last five years alone, West Fraser has spent around $2 billion mechanizing its mills in Alberta and BC. The dramatic decrease in the number of workers required to produce the same amount of lumber for all the forestry empires during the last twenty years has had a devastating effect on the forestry communities throughout Canada.

Workers realize that the only new value they produce that stays in their communities is mostly reproduced-value, the wages and benefits they claim on new value from the sale of their capacity to work to their employers. The reduction in the number of forestry workers means a corresponding reduction of new value, as reproduced-value, circulating in the local communities regardless if the same amount of lumber is produced, or the higher share prices of the empires or their gross incomes.

To suggest that the added-value invested in heavy machinery to harvest and mill local timber is a direct benefit to the forestry communities because it increases their competitiveness is a misconception. Competition is an element of the nature of empire-building, and besides, almost all that new machinery is produced and purchased from outside their communities and even outside Canada. The value to realize the purchase of machinery must leave Canada. Also, the new machinery then displaces workers and replaces their reproduced-value with transferred-value from the purchased machines, which is not circulated within their communities. The extensive introduction of heavy machinery into the forestry sector along with the purchase of mills in the U.S. have been done without any regard for what happens to displaced workers and their forestry communities, and without the say and control of the working people who live and work in those communities and produce the value in the first place.

Williams Lake meeting, March 16, 2017, part of series organized by the Stand Up for the North Committee and other organizations to discuss the situation facing their industry and communities.

Join the discussion about what to do about this situation by contacting the Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L) and setting up a discussion group. Workers cannot allow the empire builders to wreck their lives and communities with impunity. CEO Seraphim cannot be allowed to brag about his empire's social wealth without being exposed and made to render account to forestry workers and their communities for the existing problems. All is not right in the world even though he boasts of record profits and share prices. His indifference to the very real problems in the forestry communities and unconcern with the consequences of the current higher lumber prices in the broader economy is a serious matter because he and his representatives in government are in control.

The last crisis in the U.S. housing market was in 2008 and Canadian and U.S. forestry and construction workers suffered greatly. The construction industry in both Canada and the U.S. cannot sustain prices for lumber that are artificially inflated to fatten the pockets of the lumber barons. It can only mean another crisis is brewing and will soon erupt. That is a serious concern for the working class and a fundamental flaw in the current direction of the economy. Seraphim is gravely mistaken if he thinks the housing industry, which he calls his "customer," is going to absorb the spike in the price of lumber with no consequence. The CEO and others of his social class put their narrow private interests before the greater good yet they control the social economy and politics of the country. The working class must challenge this control with a nation-building project of its own making that vests sovereignty in the people and fashions a new pro-social direction for the economy.

The 2008 crisis and collapse of the housing market, in part from the subprime mortgage scam, are still fresh in people's minds. That scam and housing bubble were also accompanied with a softwood lumber tariff fraud to boost prices preceding the collapse. Some experts are already predicting another crash or "market correction." Then what, Mr. Seraphim? Shut down mills, slash jobs and incomes, engage in wrecking as the lumber barons always do in the face of a crisis?

Through organizing discussion groups under the auspices of Groups of Writers and Disseminators (GWDs) and expanding the work of the Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L), workers can find a way forward to gain the collective power and experience necessary to deprive the empire-builders of their power to deprive the working class of its right to take the economy in a new direction towards a stable economy that favours the broad interests of the working people, unleashes the full power of the modern productive forces without crises, and builds the new.

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NAFTA Renegotiations

Dismantle All Imperialist Free Trade Agreements!


As the ruling elites from Canada, Mexico and the United States engage in secret renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), once again the people are raising their voices that all imperialist free trade agreements must be abolished!

The Canadian economy and working people have suffered enormously under NAFTA. Proposed and pushed under the banner of globalization and prosperity, NAFTA is a scheme to strengthen the domination of the North American monopolies and destroy the three national economies involved.

From the beginning, NAFTA was organized to subordinate the three economies and peoples to international finance capital. It provides every amenity for the big corporations to control the people, economies and politics of North America and use that base to strengthen the U.S. military as a global force to dominate the world.

Canadian working people have consistently opposed all imperialist free trade agreements as being contrary to the interests of Canadians and the world's peoples. They spoke out against the first Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. in 1987, against NAFTA and against all subsequent ones including the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA).

To suggest that within this NAFTA scheme a better deal is possible begs the question: a better deal for whom? Certainly not for the Canadian, Mexican and U.S. working people. It can only mean a better deal for certain sections of the ruling imperialist elite. Unless this consideration is the starting point of deliberations on the issue, no warranted conclusion about NAFTA renegotiations can be reached.

But even with this consideration in mind, to find out what is being renegotiated amongst the ruling elites requires clearing away the reams of disinformation issued by the negotiators and mass media. To understand what is being prepared through the renegotiation of NAFTA, the people have to keep in mind the deep integration of the economies, militaries, regulations and decision-making of the three countries that has evolved out of the process since it was first begun in 1987 as a Canada/U.S. Free Trade Agreement and then NAFTA in 1992.

Withdraw from NAFTA!

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on working people from Canada, Quebec and throughout North America to demand and fight for the dismantling of NAFTA and all imperialist economic blocs and free trade agreements erected by the financial oligarchy and their political representatives. Canada must withdraw from NAFTA, not renegotiate it!

Trade union officials are said to be included in the consultations regarding NAFTA renegotiations, as if somehow the mechanisms that have been carefully designed to serve the most economically powerful can be turned into mechanisms to also serve the working class and people. This dangerous illusion and diversion disarms the working people from having their own perspective on what is really going on in terms of the current phase in the integration of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico into Fortress North America. The reality is integrated militaries, and trade, energy, security and communications corridors in the name of U.S. homeland security and its striving for global hegemony.

Just as the small farmers in the three countries are speaking out in defence of food sovereignty, the workers should be on guard and speak out on their own behalf. They can lead the way forward by inspiring the working people all over the world with their own independent voice. The demand to withdraw Canada from NAFTA and all imperialist economic trade blocs and agreements gives expression to what the working people want throughout the world.

The renegotiations present Canadians with an opportunity to discuss the concrete conditions starting with a rejection of the disinformation and illusion that NAFTA can somehow serve the interests of an independent Canadian economy with its own nation-building project. The U.S.-led global monopolies and financial oligarchy have destroyed any semblance of an independent Canada resulting in integration into what the U.S. imperialists define as their national interest.

What Happened in 1993?

In 1993, when the Chrétien Liberals won the federal election, defeating Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives who had brought in NAFTA, they vowed to reopen NAFTA and to replace the GST, neither of which they ever did. A TML Daily article at the time, "What Are the Liberals Going to Do?" pointed out:

"[W]hen the North American Free Trade Agreement is reviewed, this is also an opportunity to have discussion. All the nationalists are giving the view that we should do what is beneficial for Canada. But what is beneficial for Canada? For instance, there are some big monopolies in the resource section. Should Canadians stand behind these monopolies and say that they should be given favourable treatment in the North American Free Trade Agreement?

"Either there should be an agreement which favours the peoples of the three countries, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, or there should be no Free Trade Agreement. It is our policy -- and it is a matter of principle for the Marxist-Leninists -- that trade should be mutually beneficial. There is no need to even have an agreement unless trade is carried out for mutual benefit. Many groups are going to speak about protecting our jobs and so on, as a means of not clarifying what issues are involved. It is very important to awaken people that the same propaganda is carried in the U.S. and in Mexico. These are the kinds of things which go from trade wars to actual wars. We do not want this. We want to have the unity of the people of North America for their mutual benefit."[1]

In October 1994, TML Daily published an article, "Hardial Bains Accuses Liberals of Destroying the Canadian Nation State." Referring to the way NAFTA was being promoted under the slogan of the necessity for “competing in the international economy,” CPC(M-L) leader Hardial Bains said that the time of national sovereignty and national economies is a thing of the past in the new international economy based on the destruction of the nation states, in the sense of destroying their positive achievements.

Nation states are civilized to the extent that they assume responsibility for general health, hygiene, sanitation, education, public works and so on, Hardial Bains said. Instead of looking at these issues related to the state and its responsibility to society, he said, a debate is being promoted on the validity of two bankrupt theories: Keynesian economics and Reaganite or Thatcherite economics. The key point skirted around is that both these economic theories could not defend the nation state and its responsibilities. The social-welfare state policies did not deal with the question of moving society forward from the achievements already accomplished by the modern nation state. The Reaganite policies followed by Mulroney, and now by the Liberals, advocate privatization and the state's complete abdication of its responsibilities.[2]

Today, the main role of the government in destroying the nation state and its responsibilities is to integrate the economies of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico by establishing common trade, energy, security and communications corridors, for which regulations and standards must be "harmonized," meaning dictated by the U.S. imperialists.

Governments negotiate or rather conspire on behalf of the biggest financial interests and corporations, and the oligopolies whose private interests have been politicized to achieve what those private interests want outside the rule of law and norms that have been established. To achieve this, they engage in diversionary propaganda so that the people line up behind this or that faction of the imperialist bourgeoisie rather than have their own independent view and reach warranted conclusions about what is going on.

Governments and the media also promote state-organized racist attacks to divide and rule the people and divert their attention from the all-sided crisis with economic crisis at the base in which their countries are mired. The aim of these attacks and disinformation is to deprive the working class of its own outlook with which it can formulate its own demands to resolve the deep all-sided crisis in which the U.S. economy and state are mired along with Canada and Mexico and open a path forward.

The future is grim unless the working class leads the people to forge a new direction for the economy and politics that serves the people and society, guarantees the rights of all and opens a path to humanize both the social and natural environments leading to the emancipation of all human persons from the oppression of class privilege.

A good start is to speak out against these renegotiations of NAFTA by rejecting them and demanding instead that all imperialist free trade blocs be dismantled.

No to NAFTA!
No to the Integration of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico into U.S. Homeland Security and Fortress North America!
Change the Direction of the Economy!
Make Canada a Zone for Peace and Mutual Benefit and Development
for the Peoples of the World!


1. "What Are the Liberals Going to Do?," TML Daily, Vol. 23 No. 115-116, October 29, 1993.

2. "Hardial Bains Accuses Liberals of Destroying the Canadian Nation State," TML Daily, Vol. 24 No. 243, October 22, 1994.

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Farmers' Organizations in Canada,
the U.S. and Mexico Denounce NAFTA

When the formal talks to renegotiate NAFTA began in Washington, DC on August 15, family farm organizations from Canada, the United States and Mexico denounced the direction of the talks, the National Farmers Union reports. "Despite repeated demands by civil society organizations in all three countries, the governments have refused to open the talks to the public or to publish proposed negotiating texts. All signs point to negotiations designed to increase agribusiness exports and corporate control over the food system rather than to support fair and sustainable trade and farming systems," the NFU writes.[1]

According to the NFU, the Trump administration is using the same blueprint that shaped the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "to continue its trend of putting multinational corporations' narrow interests first." The NFU says, "A review of submissions on the talks includes proposals to dismantle Canada's successful dairy supply management program and eliminate restrictions on trade in GMOs and other agricultural biotechnology." 

The statement continues: "Under NAFTA and its forerunner, the Canada-US FTA, farm input costs have gone up and inflation-adjusted commodity prices have dropped, yet the farmer's share of the grocery dollar is smaller. We export more, but imports have increased faster, which means our share of our own domestic market is actually shrinking," said Jan Slomp, President of Canada's National Farmers Union. "NAFTA and the FTA have not helped farmers. Since 1988 we have seen one in every five of our farms disappear and we've lost over 70% of our young farmers, even though Canada's population has increased."

"The USA cannot solve its dairy crisis by taking over the Canadian dairy market and putting our farmers out of business," said Slomp. "We need Canada to stand firm against any temptation to negotiate away supply management. Our system ensures farmers are paid the cost of production, processing plants are able to run at full capacity and consumers have a reliable, wholesome and affordable supply of dairy, poultry and eggs -- all without any government subsidies."

Jim Goodman, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and member of the National Family Farm Coalition, agreed. "Federal and State Governments and Land Grant Universities, at the behest of the dairy industry, have done all they can to encourage U.S. dairy farmers to produce more milk, never questioning how much milk might be too much or how the subsequent cheap prices affect farmers. We cannot expect Canada, at the expense of their dairy farmers, to bail us out. Farmers -- whether U.S. or Canadian -- are nothing more than parts of the machine to the industry and NAFTA. That's the way free trade works.'

Ben Burkett, National Family Farm Coalition board president and Mississippi farmer, noted that simply increasing exports will not replace the need for fair prices. "U.S. family farmers and ranchers have demanded that the administration restores Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for meat, which would provide more accurate information to consumers while improving our access to markets."

Mexican family farmers have been devastated by NAFTA's existing provisions that flooded their markets with cheap grains. On agriculture, they insist, "Mexico must guarantee food sovereignty and security and exclude basic grains, especially corn. Transgenic crops should be excluded and the ability of national states to promote sustainable agriculture [left] intact. Likewise, Mexico must maintain its adhesion to the UPOV [International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants] Act of 1978 and to reject the commitment to accede to the UPOV Act 1991, as intended in the [failed Trans-Pacific Partnership]."

Victor Suarez, Executive Director of the Mexican National Association of Rural Producers (ANEC) added, "This whole process should begin with a thorough, independent evaluation of NAFTA's economic, social, environmental and governance impacts. The goal should be to restore national sovereignty over food and farm policy, and to support local farming communities."

"For many years, Rural Coalition has advocated for a 'people-to-peoples NAFTA,' linking rural communities in all three countries to collaborate to improve their local economies and food sovereignty. A renegotiation of NAFTA that further helps transnational corporations while diminishing community self-determination will only hasten rural economic collapse -- exactly the wrong way to go," said John Zippert, Rural Coalition Chairperson and longtime Federation of Southern Cooperatives staff member in Alabama.

"NAFTA has woven our economies together in ways that hurt family farmers, workers and our environments," said Karen Hansen-Kuhn, Director of International Strategies at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). "We need a new approach to trade that promotes local and regional food systems, including providing for mechanisms in all three countries to shelter food crops from volatile markets and dumping. Simplistic calls to expand exports won't get us to the fair and sustainable food and farm system we need."

As an ongoing tool for understanding NAFTA, IATP has released a primer paper, NAFTA Renegotiation: What's at stake for food, farmers and the land? as well as collecting 25 years' worth of research in a NAFTA portal, accessible here. For your information, TML Weekly is publishing the IATP primer in the supplement to this paper.


1. National Farmers Union, August 15, 2017.

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Demonstrations Denounce NAFTA Renegotiations and Demand a Change in the Direction of the Economies

Thousands of Mexican farmers joined thousands of labour, environmental and other activists in Mexico City on August 16 to denounce the NAFTA talks and demand a completely different approach, based on complementarity and cooperation.

(Photos: Central Campesina Cardenista, SME, STUNAM)

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United States

Diversion -- Twin Brother of U.S. Policy
of Divide and Rule

Washington, DC, August 13, 2017

A state-organized racist attack took place in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12 as elements calling themselves Nazis and KKK held a rally that ended with the brutal killing of a young woman and injuring of many more. More than 700 demonstrations subsequently took place across the U.S. in support of resistance in Charlottesville, as well as several in Canada. On all occasions, those calling themselves Nazis and KKK have been outnumbered, often 50 to 5,000, or a few hundred to many hundreds, or 50 to 40,000 as occurred in Boston on August 19.

Charlottesville, August 22, 2017

In Charlottesville, the few hundred people brought in from around the country were met by many hundreds of demonstrators opposing racism and the impunity of the state. The actions of the police made the involvement of the state more than clear. The more those calling themselves Nazis and KKK provoked fistfights and the more violent they became, the more the police withdrew. The police barricades and police lines that are commonly present at anti-war and anti-KKK rallies were nowhere to be seen in Charlottesville when the car roared into the anti-Nazi and anti-KKK demonstrators, killing the young woman and injuring many others.

In the wake of Charlottesville, a massive disinformation campaign has been launched to deprive the American and world's people of an outlook on the basis of which they can take up for solution the problems they and their societies face. State-organized racism does not merely seek to divide and rule. Divide and rule seeks to divert the people from dealing with the main problems they and their society face. To achieve this diversion requires smashing any political movement of the people that is based on their own independent politics. The political movement of the people is smashed when so-called identity politics are pushed. First, the blame for racism is put on individuals so as to hide the role of the state in organizing such racist attacks, and then people are to divide pro and con freedom of speech, and other diversions raised to justify increased use of police powers in the name of defending the Constitution. This is why every effort has been made to portray Trump as a rogue element who has Nazi sympathies while portraying the U.S. government itself as anti-racist, as if the roots and causes of racism in the U.S. were not embedded in the country's political and economic structure.

This vein of disinformation focuses on Trump's comments, as though he alone is the racist and the rest of the state machinery is not. While during the presidential election campaign former military officials intervened in favour of either Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump, this time military officials on active duty publicly came forward to proclaim their opposition to Trump despite the fact that he is their Commander-in-Chief. Numerous politicians also intervened as did both former Republican presidents, Bush senior and junior. Everything is done to hide that those who comprise the racist formations that call themselves Nazis and KKK are state-organized. It is known that in the U.S. both those calling themselves Nazis and KKK are organized by the FBI. A mystery is created about the roots and causes of state racism and terror for purposes of enacting more draconian laws, restricting human rights and justifying the takeover of civil society by police powers.

Boston, August 20, 2017

A second aspect of the disinformation campaign is diversion. All over the world terrorist provocations are part of the diversionary policy of "divide and rule." The main policy of the state, along with the policy of divide and rule, has always been diversion. Without the policy of diversion, which has the aim of depriving people of an outlook from which to view and intervene in a situation, the policy of divide and rule would amount to nothing.

Far from the assertion in the U.S. Constitution, people are not born equal. The natural abilities of one differ from the natural abilities of another. And there are divisions amongst them due to economic, religious, linguistic, ethnic, cultural and physical differences. This is why they need arrangements which permit one and all to thrive by virtue of being human and live peacefully. Instead, the state exploits the divisions amongst the people for their own ends. It is the policy of diversion which is the lynch pin; it is essential for the success of the policy of divide and rule. When political and economic difficulties come up in any country, as in the U.S. today, the state wants to divert attention from them instead of solving them. There is no dearth of ways in this world by which people can be divided. It is the policy of diversion that is obstructing the unity of the people and stopping them from dealing with their problems.

New York City, August 13, 2017

Governments highlight divisions among the people and then provoke them to act against one another by creating violent situations through the state agencies. Terrorism, anarchy, violence and assassinations have been developed as forms of diversionary politics all over the world since the time of the Paris Commune in 1871 and then during the Russian Revolution by the czarist secret police. These were the stock in trade of the covert agencies of imperialism during the Cold War and have become the overt official policy since George W. Bush launched the "War on Terror" following the attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001. For many years now, diversions of various types have been used to give governments the opportunity to suppress people's protests, agitations, and demands that governments address their problems. Instead of dealing with economic and other difficulties, these governments have criminalized politics. They tolerate only those activities which help them protect their so-called national interest. The state at both central and state levels is also prone to use murders and other criminal methods to sort out the conflicts in their own ranks. It is what the criminalization of politics is all about.

The criminalization of politics in the U.S., as is also the case in Canada and other countries, is the symptom of an economic and political system that has turned against the peaceful solution of problems. Whether within one country or on the world scale, no government of the big powers has solved a single problem in a peaceful manner during the present period. On the contrary, governments have handed over the administration of their duties to hired agents, powerful financial interests and oligopolies -- who they then have trouble controlling -- to do their bidding both at home and abroad.

Chicago, August 13, 2017

In the wake of Charlottesville, not only is the role of the state in organizing such racist attacks and provocations hidden, so is the fact that these racist attacks and provocations are organized as diversions, as a block to the political movement of the people that undertakes to solve the economic, social, cultural and other problems in which their society is mired. While the anarchy and violence which ensue as a result of the refusal to provide the problems with solution are independent of anyone's will, the fact that the state pursues the policy of divide and rule to divert the people from uniting in action to build the New is a matter of state policy. No matter the cost, the reactionary state must preserve itself by averting civil war within its own ranks and by keeping the people in check.

According to the U.S. government and the monopoly-owned media, it is not the state that is the instigator and promoter of white supremacy -- a concept initiated by the U.S. ruling class to justify slavery and divide the people. It claims racist individuals are responsible for racist violence because they have extremist values, while those who oppose them are also responsible for violence because they too have extremist values. Indeed the terminology, white supremacy, is designed to target individuals who are white, especially the so-called white working class, while keeping the role of the state hidden. So too the racist rallies organized under the slogan Freedom of Speech deliberately confound the role of speech in the development of human society. It is called a civil right to divert attention from the fact that freedom of speech is a human right, independent of whether or not civil rights are withdrawn. The criminalization of speech in the name of high ideals is far more than an indication that the rights recognized by the Constitution that created the civil society are finished. It is a re-enactment of the law of slavery whereby human beings are to be defamed and outlawed, declared outside the law.

San Francisco, August 12, 2017

Meanwhile, the attacks of the state against entire swaths of the U.S. population are increasing. The state is racist. Its attacks include segregated housing, job discrimination, unequal schools, mass incarceration, broad social inequality and police agencies to enforce this state racism. All this is to be ignored but, most importantly, what is to be ignored is the role of the state to deprive people of an outlook on the basis of which they can tackle the all-sided crisis with economic crisis at the base and the fact that the old forms of civil society rule no longer function, while new ones have yet to be brought into being.

The need to build the resistance movement of the working class and people of our countries must be predicated on the people's movement for empowerment. This includes drafting new constitutions and creating institutions which vest decision-making power in the people, not those who have usurped power by force.

Minneapolis, August 14, 2017

Philadelphia, August 13, 2017

(With files from Voice of Revolution. Photos: T. Dobson, M. Herman, Xinhua, J. Kourkounis)

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Trump Unable to Unite Military Bureaucracy --
Growing Conflicts Among Rulers
Increase Civil War Danger

One of the jobs of the presidency is to preserve the union, which requires uniting the military bureaucracy. This bureaucracy, which has grown to massive proportions, is part of the state machinery that exists from one president to the next. It is the state and its monopoly on use of force that ensures continuity and rule by the rich, while government changes from one election to the next. In current conditions, where the existing institutions for governance -- for example, Congress, political parties, elections -- are dysfunctional and no longer serve to resolve conflicts, this problem of preserving the union and uniting the bureaucracy becomes increasingly difficult.

This was evident during the 2016 presidential election, when various generals and military officials, mostly retired, campaigned for Trump or Clinton. This is contrary to military standards requiring military officials to remain neutral, so as to ensure their commitment to whoever becomes Commander-in-Chief. More recently, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- the top commanders of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force -- made public statements about racism, in response to those made by Trump about demonstrations and violence by Nazis and the KKK in Charlottesville. The statements by military commanders were seen as an open rebuke of Trump. News reports emphasized that the statements "indicated deep unease in the Pentagon" and a "dramatic break with precedent" of no public statements by the military that contradict the president.

"The Army doesn't tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks," General Mark Milley, chief of staff of the Army, tweeted August 16. "It's against our values and everything we've stood for since 1775." Marine Commandant General Robert B. Neller tweeted August 15 that there is "no place for racial hatred or extremism in the Marine Corps."

Admiral John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, on August 13 posted a statement on Twitter and Facebook that called the events in Charlottesville "shameful" and "unacceptable." He said, "The Navy will forever stand against intolerance and hatred." General David L. Goldfein, chief of staff of the Air Force, tweeted August 16 that he stood "together with my fellow service chiefs in saying that we're always stronger together."

Military Racist to the Core

The military is notorious for its brutal racism, within its ranks and towards the peoples of the world. Soldiers are routinely trained to view peoples subjected to U.S. aggression as less than human, with various racist names used as part of this. Whipping up intolerance and hatred so as to convince soldiers to slaughter "the enemy" is also a necessary part of military training. So the aim of the comments is hardly to stand against the racism that has imbued the U.S. state and its military "since 1775," and has been and remains integral to its genocide against Native peoples, enslaved Africans and now African Americans, and peoples targeted abroad, like those of Iraq and Afghanistan. Their comments against racism, like similar ones by Trump and numerous other politicians, are meant to hide this reality, to divert attention from the fact that the U.S. ruling class is imbued with racism and organizes racist attacks and funds and arms Nazis and the KKK so as to maintain their rule and preserve their union. The violence in Charlottesville was a state-organized provocation, to set the people fighting amongst themselves while letting the state off the hook.

At the same time, the statements by top-ranking military officials and politicians reveal the deep disunity and conflicts within the ruling circles, which are being openly displayed by the military. This also indicates the grave danger of civil war and potentially broader imperialist war.

Aggressive war is one means past presidents have used to unite the bureaucracy. The war against Iraq, for example, was launched in part for this purpose. But there is little evidence that open invasion of Syria, or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or Iran, will solve the current problems the rulers face.

For the U.S., the issue of uniting the military bureaucracy is particularly important, as there is not a single, unified military. Rather, there are contending branches that both collude and compete for resources and power. There are also the many armed agencies within the country, like those at the border, the FBI, DEA, and many others, as well as the highly militarized police forces. These all must be kept in check and united behind the presidency, something in which Trump is not succeeding.

Organize for a Democracy of Our Own Making

It is this issue of preserving the union and uniting the military that is behind the various statements now being made about removing Trump and possibilities of civil war. Various politicians are talking about impeachment. One of the president's former top advisors warned that the result of Trump's removal would be an "armed" and violent "insurrection." Roger Stone, a Republican operative and top advisor during last year's presidential campaign, when asked about impeachment said, "You will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you've never seen." He also warned that anyone who voted for impeachment "would be endangering their own life."

The rulers are contending with conditions where they cannot predict the outcome -- the outcome of removing Trump through some means, the outcome of invading another country, the outcome of the growing and broad resistance, demanding a different direction for the country. Every effort is being made by the rulers to preserve the union and its constitutional form, while imposing a government of police powers, concentrated in the presidency. The façade of democracy and civilian rule is to remain, but the governing institutions for that are being eliminated, making the ability to sustain the rule increasingly difficult and unpredictable.

For the people this poses the necessity to organize for the new, for a new direction for political affairs. The problem is not choosing sides among the rulers or defending an outdated Constitution that enshrines slavery and protects property rights, not human rights. It is organizing today for a democracy of our own making, where we decide! New institutions of government, a new constitution, can be developed in the course of struggle for political empowerment of the people.

(August 25, 2017)

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Thousands Rally in Vancouver Against
Anti-Immigrant and Anti-Islam Hysteria

On August 19, an estimated 4,000 people participated in a rally outside Vancouver City Hall to oppose fomenting of anti-immigrant and anti-Islam hysteria. The rally was called after a so-called Worldwide Coalition against Islam announced that they were holding a rally there the same day. People began arriving at City Hall some two hours before the scheduled start of the racist rally determined to prevent it from taking place. The plaza in front of City Hall was soon packed so the crowd spilled over onto a nearby street shutting down one of the main east-west corridors through the city.

Prominent amongst the banners and flags were those of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union and other unions. Community, church and student groups were also present. People of all ages and backgrounds participated and there was a large turnout from various national minority communities. Many people carried homemade signs stating their opposition to attempts to divide the people, affirming the unity of the people against bigotry and hate as well as denouncing racism and fascism, including "Love Not Hate" and "No Platform for Racists." There were signs reading "Never Again" referring to the judgement at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi leaders charged with war crimes and genocide which declared that fascism must never again be allowed to gain a foothold anywhere. The banners "For a Modern Canada that Defends the Rights of All -- All Out to Build the New" and "Our Security Lies in the Fight For the Rights of All" were warmly welcomed and many photos were taken of them. When a man tried to distribute anti-immigrant leaflets he was immediately surrounded by people chanting "No Hate. No Fear. Immigrants are Welcome Here." His leaflets were torn up and he was forced to leave.

About two hours into the rally a handful of bigots showed up on the opposite side of City Hall for their rally but were immediately confronted by hundreds of people shouting slogans such as "No Hate. No Fear. Nazis Are Not Welcome Here" and "Go Home!" Instead of holding their anti-social rally, the cowardly bigots ended up hiding behind a line of police.

The massive rally was a repudiation of the Trump administration in the United States which is trying to sow divisions amongst the people, fomenting violence and creating chaos. The people of Vancouver and Canada have learned the lessons of history and are warning the Canadian government that they will not tolerate any appeasement of racists and fascists under the guise of "free speech."

Calgary, August 16

Edmonton, August 26

Saskatoon, August 14

Toronto, August 31

Montreal, August 14

Halifax, August 15

(Photos: TML, T. Fergus, Alan Pike, S. Setyo, th 1an1, @rcaamarante.)

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