July 7, 2018 - No. 26

 National Trade Corridors Fund

Federal Pay-the-Rich Money Used to
Further Integrate Canada with
Global Private Interests 


Federal Funds to Import European Cars Directly into British Columbia
Port of Nanaimo to Be Marshalling Area for Imported Vehicles
Pay-the-Rich Corridors Projects in Vancouver

Fifth Anniversary of Lac-Mégantic Tragedy
Hold Rail Monopolies and Governments Accountable!
- Pierre Chénier -

July 1 Election in Mexico
Overwhelming Expression of People's Desire for Change
- Claude Brunelle -
Mexican People's Movement for Empowerment
- TML Weekly Correspondent -

Resistance Continues to Build in United States
June 30 Demonstrations in Every State Uphold the Rights of Immigrants, Refugees, Families and Children
Contending Authorities Contribute to Civil War Danger

Second Anniversary of Brexit Referendum
Hysteria and Division Surround Brexit Votes and Negotiations
British Government Cannot Reconcile Its Anti-Social and Pro-War Direction with the Needs of the People
- Workers' Weekly -

National Trade Corridors Fund 

Federal Pay-the-Rich Money Used to Further
Integrate Canada with Global Private Interests 

Port of Vancouver, rail lines in foreground.

Two private railways, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific, are recipients of more than $200 million in federal funds from Transport Canada's National Trade Corridors Fund. The state money will be used to finance upgrades for the railways' infrastructure serving the Port of Vancouver. Fixed value will be added to the infrastructure owned and controlled by the private railways CN and CP, both owned and controlled internationally, mostly from the United States. The state pay-the-rich money lowers the private investment of the private railways for their fixed means of production used in operations. This effectively raises the rate of profit for the owners of those companies.

The state-funded infrastructure also serves importers and exporters involved in global trade. The federal Trade Corridors funding of means of transportation out of and into the country consolidates and strengthens the export/import direction of the Canadian economy. This direction puts working people at the mercy of the oligarchs in the global economy who buy the commodities Canadians produce, in particular the country's raw material and also certain goods such as vehicles. The heavy dependence on international trade puts Canadians at risk, as can be seen with the sudden downturn in the international oil sector in recent years[1] and the U.S. tariffs on softwood lumber, steel and aluminum and threats against vehicles assembled in Canada. Control over the collective economic well-being and security of Canadians is not in their own hands but dependent on the will of the global oligarchs and their political representatives, such as the President of the United States.

An economy dependent on exports and imports cannot guarantee the rights and well-being of Canadians and their control over those affairs that affect their lives as the economy on which all depend is in the hands of global oligarchs and what serves their private interests. To achieve economic security of the people's rights and well-being requires the development of a self-reliant diverse economy that has as its base the circulation of commodities within the country, especially those goods and services that raise the standard of living, education and health of Canadians. Exports and imports must serve the self-reliant economy as something that adds strength to it through mutual benefit and development of international trade with other peoples and their states.

Transport Canada's National Trade Corridors Fund of billions of dollars of pay-the-rich money is designed not to build a self-reliant diverse economy but to serve the integration of Canada's economy into the global imperialist system of states and increase the control of the global oligarchs over Canada and Canadians. Canada's resources and the work-time of Canadians are being used in the violent competition of the international cartels vying for domination of their sectors and beyond. The competition of the oligarchs for control necessarily means constant wars, destruction and insecurity.

The pay-the-rich schemes further concentrate social wealth, power and privilege in the hands of the few at the expense of the many. Only the organized and empowered working class determined to defend the rights of all and build a modern self-reliant nation can bring into being a new stable direction for the economy. The time is now to get on with the task!

Stop Paying the Rich!
Increase Investments in Social Programs!
Empower Ourselves Now to Take Control of Our Lives and the Direction of the Economy!


1. In concert with overt war and conspiracies for regime change, the U.S. imperialists, following the 2008 economic crisis, decided to unleash a destructive economic war against any state holding aspirations to use their oil resource as a means to build a diverse and independent economy. The U.S.-led imperialist front has set out to destroy or at least seriously disrupt the economies of Russia, Venezuela, Brazil, Nigeria and Ecuador, and also to intensify the pressure on Iran, Angola, Mexico, Canada, Indonesia, Argentina, Norway and others. Canada's oil production, particularly in the Alberta oil sands, has been severely affected.

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Federal Funds to Import European Cars
Directly into British Columbia

Port of Nanaimo

On June 20, the federal government announced a grant of $6.3 million from Transport Canada's National Trade Corridors Fund to build a vehicle import processing centre for the Port of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The import processing facility for imported cars from Europe is a joint venture with the private companies Western Stevedoring and the automotive division of SSA Marine. FRS Capital Corp., a global cartel headquartered in Seattle, owns and controls both companies involved in the project.

According to the government announcement, the federal money will redevelop "the assembly wharf into a multipurpose terminal that will house a 5,574 square metre import vehicle processing centre, where cars coming to Canada from Europe will have work done to meet Canadian standards -- 10,000 to 12,000 vehicles are anticipated to be processed on an annual basis." No information was provided as to who would run the facility once built but FRS Capital Corp. through its subsidiaries runs port facilities throughout the world including the Vancouver Port.

Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau made the announcement providing state money from the National Trade Corridors Fund. In a press release, the government said the project will improve Canada's supply chain for vehicles imported into the country by addressing transportation bottlenecks. This comes at a time of real concern over the security of vehicle production in Canada.

Garneau says, "Individual projects are assessed on their merit and we found that this project had a high degree of merit and we think that it will be good not only locally here, but it will make our transportation system, with respect to imported vehicles, more efficient."

How using state money to pay a foreign company to build and presumably operate a facility to import foreign made vehicles helps the Canadian economy is not explained. This comes at a particularly sensitive time of high anxiety when Canadian vehicle parts and assembly plants, softwood lumber and aluminum production and steelmaking are under threat from the United States.

Canadians need to discuss an alternative direction for the economy that begins from building a self-reliant diverse Canadian economy under their control. An economy should not and cannot depend on international trade for its basic stability, security and extended reproduction.

The federal government claims to be protecting the national interest and manufacturing by imposing retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, yet uses public funds to expand vehicle imports from Europe. This and other actions expose the liberals as double-dealers opposed to building a stable, secure national economy. Only with stability and diversity in the home economy -- especially in the basic sectors of manufacturing, extraction and processing of raw material primarily for domestic use, public services and social programs -- can Canada then engage successfully in international trade with countries, if they so wish, based on mutual benefit and development.

Contrary to finding a new direction for the economy, the federal government has turned over international trading relations to global cartels that are clashing with each other in often violent competition for markets, raw material, cheap workers to exploit and regions to control through predatory war. The global cartels see the vast land of Canada as something to exploit for its raw materials and a market to consume goods their subsidiaries manufacture throughout the world. They oppose any move towards the independent, diverse and stable development of a self-reliant Canadian economy under the control of Canadians.

Global cartels completely control Canadian vehicle, steel and aluminum production, and most raw material extraction. This leaves Canadian workers in those sectors and the entire economy particularly vulnerable to ongoing intense competition among the global oligopolies and their striving for hegemony.

The Trudeau and provincial governments see BC mostly as a source of raw material extraction for export and the lower mainland as a haven for oligarchs to park, many say launder, their excess social wealth. The Trudeau government is providing state money to increase the exportation of raw material such as the Trans Mountain pipeline for raw bitumen and the importation of manufactured goods including European vehicles. Now is the time for a new direction for the economy.

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Port of Nanaimo to Be Marshalling Area
for Imported Vehicles

Michelle Corfield, Nanaimo Port Authority Chairwoman, makes the dubious claim that the federally funded project, built and presumably operated by a Seattle-based global cartel as a marshalling yard for imported European vehicles is "locally driven." How is this locally driven other than the work-time of local workers? Everything associated with the project except the work-time of local workers is not local at all and not something that gives stability and security to the regional or Canadian economy. Aside from the wages and benefits to local workers, almost all the new value will be drained out of the BC economy along with the money used to buy the vehicles. From the outset, the federal government investment funds are to be handed over to private interests from outside the region with the aim to import cars manufactured in Europe. The only local aspect will be the work-time of the Nanaimo working class.

Councillor Ian Thorpe, who is the acting Nanaimo Mayor, jumped on the "jobs, jobs, jobs," bandwagon saying, "It's a wonderful boost to our local economy, local jobs and it's exactly what we need. It's more good news for Nanaimo."

It should be noted that the BC economy has virtually no steelmaking and no vehicle manufacturing. The BC economy has little manufacturing at all aside from the construction sector and software development. The BC economy is heavily weighted towards raw material extraction for export. The forestry sector on Vancouver Island has been under terrible stress in recent years with pulp and lumber mill closures.

For Your Information

The following are excerpts from an April item in the Nanaimo Bulletin, "New European import vehicle-processing facility planned for Nanaimo assembly wharf -- Cars destined for BC dealerships to be imported, processed and delivered through Nanaimo," with TML comments in double parentheses.

"Widening the Panama Canal has broadened industry and job opportunities for Nanaimo with a new automobile import and processing facility that will start operations at the Nanaimo Port Authority's Assembly Wharf in January.

"Nanaimo Port Authority, Western Stevedoring and its affiliate organization, the automotive division of U.S.-based SSA Marine, announced a joint venture [April 17] that will redevelop the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf into a multipurpose terminal that will be home to an import vehicle processing facility where cars brought to Canada from Europe will have work done to meet Canadian standards....

"Ewan Moir, Nanaimo Port Authority president and CEO said, 'That [large warehouse] is the facility where the vehicles go in and they are taken from being the standard-manufactured European vehicle and -- I wouldn't say they're converted -- they're morphed to become a Canadian vehicle. The French-English stickers go on, the [GPS] software is updated with all the maps particular to North America, any of the activities that are required in an automobile to make them Canadian happen within the vehicle processing centre.'"

((According to Moir, putting on French-English stickers and adding North American maps make the vehicles Canadian!))

"Having a centre in Nanaimo relieves distribution problems European manufacturers are experiencing by only being able to land vehicles destined for markets across Canada at Halifax, N.S., which means vehicles have to be transported by truck or train to Canadian destinations. The multiple loading and unloading stages can create time-consuming and expensive logistical bottlenecks in the delivery process. Also, vehicle dealers had complained about the cost of land on the Lower Mainland to store inventory."

((This suggests the federally aided processing facility in Nanaimo will subtract employment in Halifax and elsewhere within the Canadian economy, all to assist the importation of foreign made vehicles into BC and the Prairies.))

"Marine shipping cars destined for the Island, Lower Mainland and Western Canadian dealerships directly from Europe to Nanaimo became possible when the Panama Canal was widened, allowing large vehicle transport ships to pass through it on their routes to West Coast ports.

"Moir said the first phase of the project will use about seven hectares of assembly wharf land and start out processing about 10,000 to 12,000 vehicles annually. The second phase of the project will double the size of the facility, which could grow to process up to about 40,000 vehicles annually as early as 2024.

"'The cars will be processed here in Nanaimo, then the dealerships will have the cars that they're looking for for their customers delivered back from Nanaimo to the Lower Mainland,' Moir said."

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Pay-the-Rich Corridors Projects in Vancouver

The Trudeau government's 2017 budget provided the National Trade Corridors Fund with $2 billion in available federal money along with $5 billion from the Canada Infrastructure Bank, as pay-the-rich schemes building infrastructure to facilitate trade for the global oligarchs and military integration with the United States.

The Port of Vancouver trade corridors projects include: 

- improving the existing Thornton Rail Tunnel ventilation system so that trains can pass through the tunnel more frequently;
- improving the rail corridor by building 5.5 kilometres of track adjacent to the existing double-tracked corridor;
- designing and raising Douglas Road so it crosses over the existing Canadian National railway corridor, allowing trains to pass more often and quickly;
- building 9.4 kilometres of new siding track and reconfiguring train switching operations within the Canadian Pacific railway corridor along the south shore of Burrard Inlet in the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby;
- along with additional investment from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority -- a federal agency -- designing and building a 4.2-kilometre long secondary track for Canadian National parallel to the existing Burrard Inlet line in the City of Vancouver; and
- to facilitate the railway operations, building the Centennial Road overpass, a 600-metre long, two-lane elevated viaduct structure, extending the existing two-lane Waterfront Road by 600 metres and realigning 350 metres of Commissioner Street.

(With files from Government of Canada and ReNew Canada.)

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Fifth Anniversary of Lac-Mégantic Tragedy

Hold Rail Monopolies
and Governments Accountable!

July 6, 2018 marks the fifth anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, one of the worst train disasters in Canadian history. On the evening of March 5, the Mégantic community participated in a silent march that ended at the cemetery where many of the victims of the tragedy are buried. On the morning of June 6, a memorial mass was held, followed by the inauguration of the "Espace de mémoire," a site for people to gather and discuss what they have experienced since that fateful night, as well as their future. The people of Mégantic have been fighting without letup since the tragedy of July 6, 2013 to rebuild their lives, which cannot be done without improved rail safety. Early in May, the federal and Quebec governments finally confirmed that a bypass track -- one of the demands of the people of Lac Mégantic which the governments initially ignored -- would be built so that dangerous goods will no longer be transported through the town's downtown core. Rail communities affected by train derailments, which continue to occur regularly across Quebec, Canada and the United States, are greatly inspired by the steadfastness of the Lac-Mégantic community backed by the people of all of Quebec.

Five years ago, on July 5, a freight train comprised of five locomotives and 72 tanker cars unsuited for the type of crude oil they carried, was left unattended for the night in Nantes, in Quebec's Eastern Townships. At around 1:00 am on July 6, the train started to roll down the slope towards the town of Lac-Mégantic. Shortly after, 63 of the tanker cars derailed in downtown Lac-Mégantic, spilling their contents and causing a series of fires and explosions of catastrophic proportions. Forty-seven people were killed and many others were injured. Downtown Lac-Mégantic was destroyed. The Chaudière River and the lake itself were heavily contaminated by the crude oil spill. Many of the town's residents continue to suffer from post-traumatic stress related to the tragedy.

A large number of trains carrying crude oil have derailed since the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, including in Casselton, North Dakota in December 2013; near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick in January 2014; and in Gogama, Northern Ontario in March 2015. They were all potential Lac-Mégantic disasters, with loss of life avoided only because the derailments took place a few kilometres away from a densely populated area.

In a recent report on 2017 rail accidents in Canada, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) informed that in 2017, 1,091 rail accidents were reported to the TSB, a 21 per cent increase over the 2016 total of 900, and unchanged from the previous 10-year (2007-2016) average of 1,092. In 2017, 115 accidents involved dangerous goods, up from 101 in 2016 and below the 10-year average of 138. Four accidents resulted in a dangerous goods release in 2017, up from one in 2016, and consistent with the 10-year average. Rail fatalities totalled 77 in 2017, up from 66 reported in the prior year and comparable to the 10-year average of 76. The number of main-track accidents totalled 206 in 2017, up 18 per cent from 175 in 2016 and 9 per cent above the 10-year average of 190. The main-track accident rate in 2017 was 2.6 accidents per million main-track train-miles, up 12 per cent from 2.3 in 2016 and 7 per cent above the 10-year average of 2.4. Very disturbing also is the fact that occurrences of run-away trains has increased by 10 per cent in the last five years, most of them taking place in rail yards, with some also occurring outside of the yards, including one near Toronto in 2016, where a dangerously flammable liquid was part of the convoy.

The fact is that five years after the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, the dangers to human life, property and the environment are even more acute, due to the criminal negligence of the railway monopolies. They claim their overriding responsibility and most urgent task is to remain competitive with other carriers nationally and internationally at any cost, with the government irresponsibly refusing to hold them to account. They also claim more and more that the human factor is the cause of accidents and tragedies and that unless the process is 100 per cent mechanized, with no workers involved, rail safety will continue to deteriorate and be subjected to "human error."

This propaganda which blames workers for accidents, criminalizes their behaviour and is used to promote justifications which eliminate vast numbers of workers from their workforces. These attacks actually reveal the anti-worker, anti-human outlook of the rail monopolies and governments who provide them with all the power to do as they please. The new technology cannot make the railways safer so long as the motive is private profit through the activation of the anti-human factor/anti-consciousness. For example, the increase in runaway trains coincides with the process of using inexperienced people equipped with remote control belt packs walking alongside trains to assemble and disassemble trains in yards. Instead, this work should be done by experienced locomotive engineers directing the operation from the locomotive itself.

Rail monopolies such as CP are now putting extreme pressure on their office employees to become locomotive engineers. It takes years of experience for workers to actually become responsible locomotive engineers. Office workers are now being called upon to participate in a training program with state-of-the-art simulators reflecting the different situations workers may find themselves in. Why not train the engineers in these state-of-the-art technologies? A prejudice is pushed against the older workers by claiming that the youth are better suited to these technologies but none of this explains why the development of new technologies are used to pit one section of workers against another, engage in union busting and lower the standard of living of all the workers and endanger the safety of the workers and the public. These mostly office workers are being trained and bullied into performing without the critical human factor of the organized support of their fellow workers and their unions. They report that they are very concerned that they are being forced to drive long and heavy trains at fast speeds, sometimes with dangerous goods on board, without proper human support. Workers report several near misses that could have been deadly, for themselves and the public, had an accident actually occurred.

Another example of the pressures on the workers is the fact that in the name of "safety" some of the rail monopolies in the U.S. are now using drones to spy on railway workers while they are working, which is most unsafe as workers are deprived of peace of mind and cannot focus on their work.

Meanwhile, as these things are happening, the governments at the federal and provincial levels refuse to take the necessary measures to restrict the ability of the rail monopolies to act in this reckless way and attack the human factor. The more the monopolies and the governments talk about the "sorrow" they feel over the rail tragedies and claim they are taking "measures," the more such talk is directly contradicted by the dictate they are actually implementing. They place the private interests of the rail monopolies above society where they cannot be held to account except by a determined people organized for that purpose, as in Lac-Mégantic.

Lac-Mégantic was a tragic and profound eye-opener as to how the neo-liberal outlook and practice of placing all of society's assets at the disposal of the global monopolies directly led to the self-regulation of the railways and to criminal negligence causing death and chaos, as well as joint attempts by the private owners and the government to blame the workers. The people of Lac-Mégantic did not accept that and persisted in pursuing immediate measures, which has culminated with the decision to have tracks that by-pass the town. It is through such practical politics that the highest standards of safety must be enforced in terms of working conditions, required personnel, maintenance and all other relevant aspects.

Banner demands that rail tracks bypass town as residents mark the third anniversary of the tragedy, July 10, 2016.

The private rail monopolies and governments in their service are endangering the lives of the workers, the rail communities and the public. It must not pass!

On this fifth anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy, a warm salute to the Lac-Mégantic community and all those in Quebec who lost family and friends in that tragedy.

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July 1 Election in Mexico

Overwhelming Expression of People's
Desire for Change

Victory celebration in Mexico City's main square, El Zócalo, on election night, July 1, 2018.

In what has been referred to as an electoral tsunami, on July 1 the Mexican people expressed their desire for change in an overwhelming show of strength by electing Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and his  Together We Will Make History (Juntos Haremon Historia) coalition to the Presidency of the Republic. Not only did Mexican citizens favour AMLO for President, they also formed an absolute majority in the two chambers of the Mexican Congress by electing deputies and senators who were candidates of AMLO's coalition made up of his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) Party, the Labour Party (Partido del Trabajo -- PT) and Social Encounter Party (Partido Encuentro Social -- PES). In addition, the coalition won five of the nine governorships up for election.

The same phenomenon took hold across the country with the election of mayors and councillors. More than 50 per cent of the 17,000 seats to be filled at this level of government went to people associated with the Together We Will Make History coalition.

In this way, more than 63 per cent of the close to 89 million citizens who were registered to vote -- 45 per cent of them between 18 and 35 years of age, and many of them were new voters -- ended 78 years of domination by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), including 36 years of neo-liberal policies imposed on the Mexican people by the PRI and the National Action Party (PAN).

The extent to which the old parties have destroyed the social fabric, rubbing elbows with organized crime and imposing a policy of fear, permitting kidnappings and assassinations of social and community leaders, investigative journalists and local government candidates to carry on with impunity, led the Mexican people to clearly proclaim, Enough! The people's action to realize their desire for change was such that in the aftermath of the July 1 elections the PRI, PAN and their allies -- for instance, the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), New Alliance (NA) and the Ecological Green Party (PVEM) -- found themselves completely decimated throughout the Republic.

In rejecting these parties, the people have rejected the anti-people and anti-national policies that have been their lot for decades. Over the past 36 years, Mexican citizens have seen their natural resources handed over to and pillaged by mining companies -- most of them Canadian and to whom more than 25 per cent of the national territory has been ceded as concessions made in violation of the requirement for the free, prior and informed consent, and of the ancestral rights of the Indigenous peoples who live on these lands. The country's agriculture has been destroyed to the extent that Mexico, which created different types of corn, now has to import seeds from the United States. Energy resources have all been privatized and handed over to big foreign multinationals. The last resource to be privatized was oil, always a source of pride for Mexicans, which brought in revenues that assisted in guaranteeing a modern education and health system for the people. From being a producer country, Mexico has become an importer of refined petroleum to the extent that, of the close to 850,000 barrels a day required for domestic consumption, it must now import more than 650,000 from the United States. What is more, Mexicans have had to deal with a restructuring of state arrangements that has impacted labour legislation, health, education, pensions, security and the justice system, all in favour of the big multinationals and to the detriment of the interests of the people.

The rejection of the old system is also, and above all, the rejection of a system of utter corruption and impunity of unimaginable proportions, spread throughout all spheres of government and public institutions at the federal as well as the state and local levels. More than half the population is left in extreme poverty, where human dignity is trampled in the mud and human life is worth less than a handful of pesos.

It is therefore with eyes wide open that the Mexican people decided to show that they wanted change and opted for the national project of AMLO, who has stated that he will put an end to corruption, create jobs by developing an economy based on national production, and, as soon as he takes office in December, ensure a universal monthly pension for the elderly, and provide education and work scholarships to the youth. These are some of the measures he has announced, along with a foreign policy based on non-intervention in the affairs of sovereign countries, peaceful resolution of conflicts, and friendly relations with all peoples and governments. Without a doubt, in their efforts to bring about change, the people will most certainly follow developments with a watchful eye.

Heartfelt congratulations to the fraternal people of Mexico! They have indeed expressed their desire for change in a decisive and overwhelming way. It is their continued involvement in activating the human factor/social consciousness which will continue to bring that change about.

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Mexican People's Movement for Empowerment

Celebration of election results in the streets of Mexico City on election night, July 1, 2018.

While, in general, it was felt throughout the campaign that Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was heading for a victory in the presidency of the Republic, attracting thousands of people every time he visited any of the country's major cities, what was not expected was the depth of the people's expressed desire for change throughout all levels of government, federal, state and municipal.

At the level of the presidency, AMLO won 31 of the 32 states of the Republic, with just over 24 million votes or 53 per cent of the votes cast. The closest contender of the other three candidates achieved just over 22 per cent. In the most conservative states, such as Baja California and the northern states such as Sinaloa, and even in the northeast with Nuevo León, Mexicans overwhelmingly rejected decades of domination by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the National Action Party (PAN), with more than 60 per cent opting for the Together We Will Make History (Juntos Haremos Historia) coalition led by AMLO's party, MORENA. Together We Will Make History is made up of MORENA, the Labour Party (PT) and the Social Encounter Party (PES). Even in the PRI strongholds, such as the States of Mexico and Coahuila, citizens rejected the old parties, casting hundreds of thousands of votes in favour of AMLO's coalition.

The overwhelming vote in favour of Together We Will Make History completely changed the situation in the two chambers that make up the Mexican Congress. Before the July 1 election, the distribution of seats in the Senate was as follows: PRI 55, PAN 34, PT 19, PRD 7, Independents 7, PVEM 6.[1] With the July 1 election, the new Senate will be comprised as follows: MORENA 55, PAN 24, PRI 13, PRD 8, MC 7, PES 7, PVEM 7, PT 6, PANAL 1. This gives the majority to the Together We Will Make History coalition, with 68 senators out of a total of 128. The same scenario is repeated in the House of Representatives, in which, before the election, the representation was: PRI 204, PAN 107, PRD 53, MORENA 47, PVEM 38, MC 21, NA 12, PES 12, SP 5, Independent 1. The new representation will be: MORENA 191, PAN 82, PT 61, PES 55, PRI 45, MC 27, PRD 21, PVEM 16, PANAL 2, This gives the Together We Will Make History coalition an absolute majority, with 307 deputies out of a total of 500.

The desire for change was also evident in the election of governors of the eight states and the head of government in the case of Mexico City which was recently elevated to the rank of Member State of the Republic, whose governing bodies were up for renewal in this election. Five of the nine posts were won by AMLO's coalition -- Tabasco, Mexico City, Chiapas, Morelos and Veracruz. It is probable that the state of Puebla will also tip to the side of the coalition because of the exposure of a massive fraud. It should be noted that winning Veracruz, the state considered the granary of Mexico with its extensive production of citrus, coffee and sugar cane, as well as oil, puts an end to its domination for more than 78 years by the anti-people politics of the PRI.

The determination of the people to reject decades of threats, assassinations, corruption and fear campaigns also extended to the majority of governments at the local level, both in the north and south of the country, giving control over legislative power to MORENA and its coalition in the states of Mexico, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Sinaloa, Michoacán, Guerrero, Durango, Baja California Sur, and in more than half of the country's municipal councils. In other words, the northern states with their high concentration of mining, industrial and beef production, as well as the southern and southeastern states with extensive oil, coffee and food production have said, No! to the continued contempt for the people of the PRI and the PAN, and expressed their desire for change. Eloquent examples testify to this determination to break with the past, such as in the Mezquital community in the extreme south of the state of Durango, where Indigenous peoples of the region walked their donkeys for kilometres through the mountains with the electoral material, not hesitating even to swim across rivers to ensure that the population could exercise their right to vote freely. Or the thousands of calls that families made from one state to another to remind everyone of the importance of voting to end 78 years of the PRI's domination over the country.

The state capitals and large cities of the country were not spared by this wind of the will of the people for change. In fact, 11 capital cities from north to south opted for the Together We Will Make History coalition, including La Paz, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Toluca, Morelia, Cuernavaca, Oaxaca, Culiacán, Hermosillo, Villahermosa and Zacatecas, as well as the major cities of Acapulco and Ciudad Juárez, on the border with the United States, and infamous for the kidnappings, rapes and mass murder of women in the region.

This tidal wave of change also manifested itself in the capital of the Republic with the election of the MORENA-led coalition candidate, Claudia Sheinbaum, as head of government, and 11 of the 16 borough councils that are part of Mexico City.

The fact that more than 63 per cent of the approximately 89 million citizens with the right to vote did vote, despite the high level of violence characterized by more than 100 assassinations of candidates and social leaders in recent months, or the hundreds of letters from large companies sent to thousands of workers to intimidate them by threatening an economic catastrophe and job losses if they did not vote the right way -- to mention only a few challenges -- demonstrates the daring of the Mexican people and how much they were willing to risk to declare through their vote: Enough is enough, a change is needed.

In this respect, participation was not limited to the electorate going out to vote. It was also manifested through people taking action to ensure that attempts at electoral fraud were defeated and their vote was respected. More than 3 million citizens, including hundreds of thousands of young people, responded to the call of the political parties to act as their representatives in the polling stations. Add to that the 350,000 citizens of all ages who agreed to be official clerks of the National Electoral Institute for the election. This was a real citizens' movement from one end of the country to the other that arose in the spirit of a great sense of responsibility and concern to affect the future of the country as much as possible. It is this preoccupation, characterized by a deep love for the country, that could be felt throughout the Republic.


1. The political parties are:

MC, Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizens' Movement)
MORENA, Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (National Regeneration Movement)
NA, Nueva Alianza (New Alliance)
PAN, Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party)
PANAL, faction of the Partido Nueva Alianza (New Alliance Party)
PES, Partido Encuentro Social (Social Encounter Party)
PRD, Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Democratic Revolution Party)
PRI, Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party)
PT, Partido del Trabajo (Labour Party)
PVEM, Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico (Ecological Green Party of Mexico)
SP, Sin partido (no party affiliation)

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Resistance Continues to Build in United States

June 30 Demonstrations in Every State
Uphold the Rights of Immigrants, Refugees,
Families and Children

Washington, DC

Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life joined demonstrations all across the United States on June 30, affirming the human rights of children, refugees and immigrants and rejecting the government's brutal and wholesale attacks on them. Everywhere the stand was clear: Separation of Families is a Crime Against Humanity; Separation is Child Abuse; Children Are Not Criminals; No Human Being is Illegal; Asylum Is a Right; Reunite Families NOW! Stop Government Terrorizing of Families; Detain Trump, Not Children; Caging Children Is a Crime; No Concentration Camps; End Detention.

Many families participated with their young children, who often made the signs. From Juneau, Alaska to Orlando, Florida, people in large united actions in cities and towns, large and small, took their stand. More than 35,000 marched in Washington, DC, 30,000 in New York City, 60,000 in Chicago and 70,000 in Los Angeles, with more than 750 actions in all. More than 180 organizations participated in mobilization.

The many immigrant and refugee families directly impacted played a main role in organizing and participating in the actions, standing unafraid and demanding justice. Women and young girls played an important role. So too did large numbers of  workers, including steelworkers, healthcare workers, teamsters, and many others. As one organizer put it, he'd never seen so many people from diverse backgrounds come forward to defend immigrant and refugee rights. The disinformation spread with the Trump election that "white workers" are backward, racist supporters of Trump and government brutality, was exposed. The united stand of all -- from the many nationalities making up the single U.S. working class -- was clear: These attacks are unacceptable and we will not be silent!

Not Our President, Not Our America, Not Our Democracy

Another feature of the many actions was the stand that basically two Americas are contending: one represented by the rulers and their representative Trump, and the other of the people, represented by their many organized actions of all kinds -- demonstrations, meetings, petitions, and more. Many of the signs in different places reflected this battle: This is Not Who We Are or Should Be; Chaining Babies Not My America; We Are What We Do, Which Are We (with two pictures, one jailing children and one welcoming refugees). Since the Trump election, which was and has been broadly opposed by the large majority, the view that the country is headed in the wrong direction and one that is harmful to the people here and abroad, has grown. As many put it: Not Our President, Not Our America, Not Our Democracy.

This is a serious problem for the rulers to maintain their rule. The U.S. state demands a passive and pliant population at home so as to better wage war abroad while increasing repression and impunity at home. Immigration is one of the fronts where the rulers are striving to have people identify with them and what they put forward as the national interest. All are to support the notion that the border must be militarized, families and communities terrorized, and children criminalized, in the name of protecting the national interest or national security.

The Supreme Court recently acted as an arm of the executive in pushing this same view by ruling 5-4 that the executive imposed ban on Muslims is part of exercising the president's authority to protect the national interest. The rulers need people to identify with the national interest as determined by them. They most certainly do not want the people to instead identify with their own interests -- the individual, collective and the general interests of society -- such as defending the human rights of all at home and abroad. They do not want people to envision a society in the image of the working class, with its identity that is pro-social, pro-equality, and pro-empowerment. So every effort is being made to divide, divert, and block the people from advancing the struggle for the rights of all. The June 30 demonstrations, like those of the students before them, are all indicating that the people will not accept the backward direction of the rulers and are striving to themselves be the decision-makers -- to have a country that serves their interests and those of all humanity.

The existing democracy clearly does not provide for this and indeed no longer functions. Conditions are making clear that a new democracy of our own making is required. The fact that hundreds of thousands have expressed their determination to take the country in a different direction twice in the last three months is an indication that such a democracy can and must be achieved.

June 30 Actions Across U.S.

Washington, DC

Portland, Maine

Boston, Massachusetts

Stamford, Connecticut

Greenwich, Connecticut

Newark, New Jersey

New York City

Dayton, Ohio

Chicago, Illinois

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Indianapolis, Indiana

Jackson, Tennessee

Atlanta, Georgia

Tupelo, Mississippi

Kansas City, Missouri; Dodge City, Kansas

Houston, Texas

Austin, Texas; Brownsville, Texas

Nogales, Arizona

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

Oakland, California

Santa Maria, California

San Jose, California

Portland, Oregon

Edmonds, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Juneau, Alaska

Actions in Canada

Quebec Border Caravan in Roxham, QC

Huntingdon, QC; Sutton, QC; Dunham, QC

Ottawa, ON

Toronto, ON

Hamilton, ON

Kitchener-Waterloo, ON

Guelph, ON

London, ON

Winnipeg, MB

Edmonton, AB

Lethbridge, AB

Victoria, BC

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Contending Authorities Contribute to
Civil War Danger

Seventeen states, including California, Illinois, New York and Washington, as well as Washington, DC filed a lawsuit against the federal government on June 25. It seeks to force the Trump administration to reunite more than 2,000 children with their parents. The lawsuit is the first one by states over the "zero tolerance" policy to criminalize all entering the country and separate children from their parents. The suit says the federal government is acting in violation of the constitutional rights of immigrants and refugees, particularly due process rights, and is illegally inflicting trauma on children. Attorney Generals for California, Washington, and Massachusetts are leading the group. New York was to file its own lawsuit but instead joined this one. The rest of the states are: Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Iowa, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, North Carolina and Delaware.

The following day, addressing a class action lawsuit filed earlier by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a federal court ruled that Trump is required to reunite all the separated families within thirty days and within 14 days for children under five. Nonetheless, the lawsuit by the states is being pursued. This is an indication of the intensifying conflicts within the ruling circles as they strive for power -- and the control of the many policing agencies that power requires.

Part of what is at stake is whether the federal government can dictate to the states, especially the large ones, on matters of policing. The suit is taking place at a time many of these same states are refusing to send National Guards to the southern border as demanded by Trump, and where some, like New York and California have sanctuary laws, blocking local law enforcement from cooperating with federal agents, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), on certain matters. In this case, care and detention of children and refugees is also at issue. Many of the detention centres run by the federal government, for example, are in violation of state laws concerning licensing, safety and medical requirements for housing children.

The states are contending with the federal government as to who will have authority in a situation where rule of law has effectively been eliminated -- as the actions surrounding immigration show. The federal government is acting with impunity, completely against human rights law the U.S. is duty bound to uphold. The states seem to think relying on the constitution will resolve the conflict and hold the executive in check, but there is no basis for that to be so. Indeed, it is the very arrangements of the constitution that have enabled the executive to increasingly usurp power and concentrate it in the office of the president. As the oath of office of the president states, he is to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States." Short of impeachment, the president can utilize the police powers of the executive as he sees fit. It has reached the point now where these police powers are all that remain of the public authority, with any semblance of government providing for the public good and upholding rule of law eliminated. This is evident not only on matters of immigration but more broadly on issues of the rights of workers, women, students, issues of government racism and inequality, etc.

However, such a situation undermines the legitimacy of the federal government in the eyes of the people, including its ability to have a monopoly on the use of force. It creates conditions of contending authorities, in this case those of the federal government and the states. In a situation where many of these states, like New York and California, could be countries in their own right, such contention means the conditions of civil war always brewing under the surface could break out into open violence. In the current conflict, whether Trump adheres to the federal court ruling, whether the states persist and achieve a ruling of their own, whether National Guards will adhere to the will of the governors or Trump, are all indications of the seriousness the conditions of civil war are posing.

The vying factions among the ruling elite would like to see people line up behind one or the other faction so as to block the large majority, working people, from themselves gaining political power. But the many actions are already indicating that the people do not accept such a role. They are striving for a new direction. The alternative is for a government that upholds the rights of all -- for an anti-war government and peace economy. Such a direction can resolve the wars abroad and conflicts at home in the interests of the people.

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Second Anniversary of Brexit Referendum

Hysteria and Division Surround Brexit
Votes and Negotiations

June 23 marked the second anniversary of the referendum called by then Prime Minister David Cameron on the issue of whether to Remain in or Leave the European Union. June 8 was also the first anniversary of the snap election called by current Prime Minister Theresa May that was supposed to provide strong and stable government after Cameron resigned following the Leave result in the referendum.

The referendum was not designed to resolve the question of whether to remain in or leave the European Union. Nor was this the issue facing the working people of Britain. The problems facing society were not to be laid solely at the feet of either leaving or remaining in the European Union.

Neither are the problems facing society going to be resolved through a "no deal" Brexit, a "bad deal" Brexit, or a "soft Brexit." There is anarchy in the realm of production and in the global economy at large. A "sovereign economy" of Britain, which "takes back control" from the European Union, is a phantasm. The global imperialists dominate the economy.

When questions come up such as "Who owns Britain?" analysts estimate that no less than half of companies in Britain are part of international cartels, monopolies or conglomerates.[1] This underscores whose interests are served by neo-liberal global trade in today's world. The big powers in control of the European Union are in sharp contradiction with one another and whether or not Britain is in or out, what it wants is to "have its cake and eat it too." What the peoples of all of Europe desire, Britain included, is their own control over the direction of their economies.

The Prime Minister of Britain, Theresa May, and her coterie have become completely bogged down in the issue of leaving the European Union with talk of a "rules-based international order." The hard fact is that this is pie-in-the-sky. Even within the Conservative Party, competing private interests are such that they cannot reach consensus "through dialogue." The financial oligarchy of the City of London is amongst the most powerful in the world as are the British armament manufacturers which aim to make Britain the centre of a trade in war.

The working people of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are very much involved in the kind of arrangements they think will benefit the people. Keeping them in check is also one of the major preoccupations of the ruling elites in both Britain and the European Union, which is itself undergoing a profound crisis as a result of the contradictions within its ranks over who is to benefit from trade-relations and decision-making processes.

Based on an editorial in Workers' Weekly, on-line newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), June 23, 2018.


1. See article "Who owns Britain?" in openDemocracy.

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British Government Cannot Reconcile Its Anti-Social and Pro-War Direction with the Needs of the People

This week saw another chain of events that show how Theresa May's government cannot reconcile its anti-social and pro-war direction with the well-being and needs of the people. On June 17, Theresa May announced that the National Health Service (NHS) in England is to get an extra £20 billion a year by 2023 as a "70th birthday present." By June 19, after criticism from her military chiefs, she was boasting to visiting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that "we are the biggest defence budget in Europe," and "we will continue to contribute in a whole variety of ways across conventional, cyber and nuclear capabilities."

This statement on June 15, by the Prime Minister on the NHS had no further detail and came at a time that the government said it would launch a Green Paper detailing future spending on health and social care. Of course, there was no mention of the further investment desperately needed in the NHS in Scotland, Wales and the north of Ireland for which the Westminster government has overall funding responsibility. Neither was there any recognition of the depth of the crisis in the NHS caused by the neo-liberal direction driven by the big health corporations and state institutions under their control, or the 3 per cent "efficiency savings" -- cuts that are imposed on all NHS Trusts every year. Commenting on the interview, the BBC report said that the £114 billion NHS budget in England "will rise by an average of 3.4 per cent annually -- but that is still less than the 3.7 per cent average rise the NHS has had since 1948. The prime minister said in the interview that this would be funded partly by a 'Brexit dividend,' but also hinted at tax rises." This brought comments in Parliament on June 18, especially from Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn, who at PMQs [the weekly Prime Minister's Questions Session -- TML Ed. Note] questioned the "Brexit dividend" and asked, "Which taxes are going up and for whom?"

It also was reported in the Financial Times and other papers that Theresa May had told "stunned military chiefs" and defence secretary Gavin Williamson that "the MoD [Ministry of Defence] would need to make cuts and end having a full spectrum of military capabilities." The reports said this sent "shockwaves through the Ministry of Defence" that the Treasury will not find any extra money for the armed forces when a review of British capabilities concludes in the autumn.

Then on June 17, Jens Stoltenberg, who was visiting Britain ahead of next month's NATO summit in Brussels with government leaders, called on Britain to maintain its role as one of the world's biggest military spenders. He also met with Theresa May and held a joint press conference with her where May said that "the reports that you have read are not correct." She said that Britain will continue to be that leading contributor to the alliance but also a leading "defence nation" and will continue to spend 2 per cent of GDP on the military.

The NHS is a vital part of the well-being to the people in a socialized economy. This fact has to be recognized and not diminished to one of being a "cost" to the economy to be played off against the ambitions of the ruling elite to interfere in other countries and go to war. Health workers create value in the socialized economy. The huge value they produce needs to be claimed by the government in large part from the monopolies and oligopolies that consume and profit from this value in having a healthy workforce. The crisis of NHS funding shows that the NHS cannot be reconciled with such an archaic tax system that does not claim this value. It also cannot be reconciled with the pro-war ambitions of the imperialist ruling elite, and their striving to retain British military interference and carry out wars of aggression with the empire-building aim of making Britain a "leading power" in the world to serve their interests and the interests of the imperialist system of states.

(June 23, 2018. Edited slightly by TML for publication.)

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