Thursday, December 30, 2010

Free eBooks on Labour from AU Press

Athabasca University Press

"AU Press operates on the model of a knowledge-based economy, to which we contribute by providing peer-reviewed publications unfettered by the desire to commodify thought or to restrict access to ideas."

Click on book title for pdf of book.

by Max Swerdlow, edited by Gregory S. Kealey

Class, Community and the Labour Movement

Wales and Canada, 1850-1930
edited by Deian R. Hopkin and Gregory S. Kealey, with an introduction by David Montgomery

Essays in Canadian Historical Sociology
edited and introduced by Gregory S. Kealey



Cold Warrior

C.S. Jackson and the United Electrical Workers
by Doug Smith



A Communist Life

Jack Scott and the Canadian Workers Movement, 1927-1985
edited and introduced by Bryan D. Palmer



Confrontation, Struggle and Transformation

Organized Labour in the St. Catharines Area
by Carmela Patrias and Larry Savage


Fighting for Dignity

The Ginger Goodwin Story
by Roger Stonebanks



For A Working-Class Culture in Canada

A Selection of Colin McKay's Writings on Sociology and Political Economy, 1897-1939
edited by Ian McKay

Labouring the Canadian Millennium
Writings on Work and Workers, History and Historiography
edited by W.J.C. Cherwinski and Gregory S. Kealey

A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War
An Armenian-Canadian in the Lincoln Battalion
by D. P. (Pat) Stephens


My Past Is Now
Further Memoirs of a Labour Lawyer
by John Stanton, with a preface by Bryan D. Palmer


A Square Deal For All And No Railroading
Historical Essays on Labour in Brandon
by Errol Black and Tom Mitchell

The Struggle against Wage Controls
The Saint John Story, 1975-1976
by George Vair

A Very Red Life
The Story of Bill Walsh
edited by Margaret Hobbs and Joan Sangster


Workers' Control on the Railroad

A Practical Example "Right Under Your Nose"
by R.E. (Lefty) Morgan; edited by G.R. Pool and D.J. Young

Lynching: 1932 Pamphlet

Matador Farming Pool and the Co-operative Farm Movement

The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan

Veterans planting trees at the Matador Co-op Farm, May 1948.
Everett Baker (Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society)
Matador is the most successful of the co-operative farms established under the auspices of Saskatchewan’s CCF government following World War II. Set southwestern Saskatchewan, it is one of the original settlements of the province’s postwar co-operative community movement and its last survivor.

The co-operative tradition arose in western Canada at the end of the 19th century and became an integral part of the agrarian settlement of the west. This tradition of rural co-operation was overwhelmingly Rochdalian or liberal democratic, that is, a form of co-operative organization that accepted the existence of the capitalist market-place, respected the family ownership of farms as private property, and advocated the pooling of purchasing and marketing functions through farmer-owned co-operatives. A liberal democratic co-op tended to deal with a single aspect of a person’s life: that concerned with credit, farm production marketing, retail supplies, and so on. In contrast, the co-op farms were intentional co-operative communities, which created a co-operative lifestyle for their members and linked a variety of co-operative institutions under one organizational roof. Co-operative community lifestyles tended towards the communal, and land and assets were owned and worked co-operatively.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nichi Vendola, the Italian Obama

He’s one of the country’s most popular politicians, net and social-networking confident, adored by the young and might lead a leftish coalition in the next general election. And he tries to keep a belief in politics alive.

By Chase Madar
Le Monde Diplomatique

Silvio Berlusconi’s gift for the battuta – wisecrack – has been a great help to his political career. But there are limits. He tried to bounce back from the revelation that he intervened to secure the release from prison of a 17-year old Moroccan bellydancer, “Ruby Heartstealer”, who had been at his private parties, by saying “it’s better to go crazy over beautiful girls than be gay”. This did not go over well and in no way blocked public disgust with his “bunga-bunga” lifestyle. The crack was aimed at the Italian left’s new star, Nichi Vendola.

Nichi Vendola is the governor of Apulia, heel of the peninsular boot, one of Italy’s poorest and most socially conservative regions. That it should elect (and re-elect) a governor with a background in the Rifondazione Comunista (RC, Communist Refoundation party) which he helped found in 1991 (1), but is also openly gay, is counterintuitive, even if Vendola is a professed Catholic. He is now one of Italy’s most popular politicians and may lead a coalition of left and centre-left parties in the national elections of 2013. He is a charismatic scrapper, and has the Italian right worried.

Patrick Lenihan e-book

Patrick Lenihan: From Irish Rebel to Founder of Canadian Public Sector Unionism

Edited by Gilbert Levine with an Introduction by Lorne Brown
January 1998

About the Book
Patrick Lenihan displayed rare courage and unwavering commitment to social justice, from his childhood in revolutionary Ireland through his leading role in the Communist Party of Canada to the formation of the first national union of public employees. Patrick Lenihan: From Irish Rebel to Founder of Canadian Public Sector Unionism chronicles a lifetime of rebellion, protest, and organizing, aganist the backdrop of the major economic, social, and political struggles of this century.

Lenihan was constantly watched, repeatedly arrested, and often imprisoned, but he emerged time and again as a leader in the cause of the downtrodden, the working poor, and the unemployed. The On-to-Ottawa Trek, the work camps of the 1930's, the radicalism of the western mine towns, the Cold War -- Pat Lenihan was involved in it all, front and center.

Drawn from interviews conducted by Gilbert Levine and written in an unadorned, engaging style, Patrick Lenihan is far more than the story of Canada's most infuential and colorful figures. It makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of western radicalism, Canadian communism, state repression union organizing, and the daily struggles which have shaped 20th-century Canada.

Read this book online for free HERE.

Unsung Heroes in Saskatchewan's Struggle for Medicare

By Jim Harding
No Nukes
August 29, 2010
(listen to Jim’s interview on Vancouver Co-op Radio at:
Also see The Struggle for Medicare in Saskatchewan and Tea Party, Canada Style!
While mainstream discourse on the struggle for Medicare tends to credit the high-profile political leaders who fronted the movement, the struggle was in fact a collective one, won through popular grassroots support and the tireless work of countless community activists. These activists, whose combined voices were the real strength of the struggle, are however left out of the history books. They are systematically ignored in Saskatchewan’s Centennial Encyclopedia.

History is typically reconstructed by those currently in power, which serves to help stabilize the status quo. The idolization of Medicare’s political champions disregards the contributions of the popular grassroots movement to Medicare’s success across the country, which is disempowering and leaves us all more inclined to wait for the next Tommy Douglas to help us make history. In view of the imperative of tackling the climate crisis and moving towards sustainability we really can’t engage in such a waiting game. Remembering the grassroots history of Medicare is also a good first step toward reengaging to rejuvenate today’s deeply troubled healthcare system.

Saskatchewan as a Resource Hinterland Economy

By John W. Warnock
Resources, Empire and Labour: Globalization and Alternatives
Laurentian University

Saskatchewan has always been seen as a hinterland area and economy within the Canadian territorial state. Geographically, it is part of the interior plains of the North American continent. Prior to the European colonial invasion it was the home to indigenous peoples who had adapted to the local ecology and survived mainly as hunter gatherer communities. From the Missouri River on south, the indigenous populations had introduced a highly developed agricultural economy. But in the harsher northern areas of the plains, agriculture was very limited.

For most political economists and geographers, the National Policy of John A. Macdonald’s government really began with Confederation, the development of a nation state and a national economy. Vernon Fowke stressed that it was a capital accumulation project: the creation of a national market, the population of the west by white settlers from Europe, the development of the wheat economy for export, and the protection of industrial capitalism in central Canada. Behind a tariff wall, an economic surplus could be extracted from independent commodity producers via banking and finance and the monopoly power of the farm supply industry and the downstream processing and distribution industries. This system of political economy became the primary Canadian example of metropolitan domination of hinterland areas.

Read more HERE (PDF).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

For the Win: Free on-line book

Cory Doctorow
For the Win

In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual “gold,” jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.

Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla.” In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.

The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.

Imbued with the same lively, subversive spirit and thrilling storytelling that made Little Brother an international sensation, For the Win is a prophetic and inspiring call-to-arms for a new generation.

Download pdf book HERE.
Also read Fifty Fantasy & Science Fiction Works That Socialists Should Read

Hot air still blowing on wind power

Comprehensive studies show no significant health impacts from wind turbine noise with standard setbacks, writes columnist Paul Hanley.

By Paul Hanley
The Saskatoon StarPhoenix
December 28, 2010

Follow the money. Always good advice when trying to sort through debates over controversial issues.

Among the latest environmental controversies is a supposed exposé of wind energy, with media reports purporting that wind is not environmentally friendly after all, plus it makes people sick and despoils the countryside.

Paper Wheat

National Film Board of Canada

Paper Wheat was among the last of the films produced within the Challenge for Change program. It chronicles an agitprop theatre troupe's tour of the Prairies with a show examining the history of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool.

The play, based largely on interviews with members of farming communities across the province, reached out to local audiences and told them their own stories in a way that mainstream theatre at the time did not. Contributor Chris Meir argues "the film itself adapts the formal and political concerns of the play, while also documenting an important moment in Canada's and Saskatchewan's cultural history in its attempt to make a positive intervention in the life of the nation and the province."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Julian Assange, The Rosenberg Case and the Espionage Act of 1917

By Robert Meeropol
The Rosenberg Fund for Children
Thu, 12/23/2010

Rumors are swirling that the United States is preparing to indict Wikileaks leader Julian Assange for conspiring to violate the Espionage Act of 1917. The modern version of that act states among many, many other things that: “Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States” causes the disclosure or publication of this material, could be subject to massive criminal penalties. It also states that: “If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions … each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.” (18 U.S. Code, Chapter 37, Section 793.)

I view the Espionage Act of 1917 as a lifelong nemesis. My parents were charged, tried and ultimately executed after being indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Espionage under that act.

The 1917 Act has a notorious history. It originally served to squelch opposition to World War I. It criminalized criticism of the war effort, and sent hundreds of dissenters to jail just for voicing their opinions. It transformed dissent into treason.

The Coming "New Normal" for Prairie Farmerrs

By Hanneke Brooymans
December 26, 2010

Camrose, Alberta-area farmer Larry Selin in a parched canola field in
June 2009.Photograph by: John Lucas, file,
In April this year, farmers in large swaths of Alberta were staring morosely at dusty, parched fields. A few months later, some of the same farmers were coping with floods.

Welcome to the “new normal.” It’s a world where nature takes on a Jekyll and Hyde personality, twisting from one extreme to another in a mind-bogglingly short time.

“When people describe the new norm, it is almost as if what we haven’t seen in recent years is weather that seems to be normal,” says David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. “It seems to be that it’s out of sync. We’re seeing more extremes.”

Lothar Bisky on the Fall of the Berlin Wall

'I Feared that German Reunification Would Pose a Threat to Europe'

Der Spiegel Online

Lothar Bisky was an East German university professor who became involved in politics after the fall of the Berlin Wall and later became co-leader of the far-left Left Party. In a SPIEGEL interview, he explains why he opposed German reunification and his fear that a reunited Germany would swing to the far right.

Amid the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of German reunification in October 2010, many former citizens of East Germany were likely asking themselves exactly what they had gained in the two decades since the two countries became one. Today, the states of eastern Germany still lag behind former West Germany in just about any social or economic indicator you can name, and many former East Germans still wonder if the reunification process could have gone differently.

Cuban medics in Haiti put the world to shame

Castro's doctors and nurses are the backbone of the fight against cholera

By Nina Lakhani
The Independent
AFP/Getty Images

They are the real heroes of the Haitian earthquake disaster, the human catastrophe on America's doorstep which Barack Obama pledged a monumental US humanitarian mission to alleviate. Except these heroes are from America's arch-enemy Cuba, whose doctors and nurses have put US efforts to shame.

A medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans is operating all over earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti, as part of Fidel Castro's international medical mission which has won the socialist state many friends, but little international recognition.

Observers of the Haiti earthquake could be forgiven for thinking international aid agencies were alone in tackling the devastation that killed 250,000 people and left nearly 1.5 million homeless. In fact, Cuban healthcare workers have been in Haiti since 1998, so when the earthquake struck the 350-strong team jumped into action. And amid the fanfare and publicity surrounding the arrival of help from the US and the UK, hundreds more Cuban doctors, nurses and therapists arrived with barely a mention. Most countries were gone within two months, again leaving the Cubans and Médecins Sans Frontières as the principal healthcare providers for the impoverished Caribbean island.

Read more HERE.

Harper’s Christmas Special: The Myth of How Fortress North America will boost Canadian Exports to the U.S.

James Laxer's Blog

Over the past quarter century, it has been a commonplace for right-wing continentalists to insist that without binding agreements between Canada and the United States, Canadian exports will be shut out of the American market.

In the mid 1980s, members of the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney and business lobbyists, who supported free trade with the U.S., insisted that day by day, week by week, rising protectionism in the United States was shutting Canadian goods out of American markets. In truth, only about five per cent of Canadian exports were the subject of trade disputes. More than half of Canadian exports to the U.S. took the form of internal transfers within American owned firms.

Seeds of Canadian Radicalism

Ian McKay, Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists and the People’s Enlightenment in Canada 1890-1920 (Between the Lines, 2008)

Reviewed by G. Francis Hodge
International Socialism

Ian McKay begins Reasoning Otherwise with the frank acknowledgement that there exists little published scholarship relating to the development of the Canadian left prior to 1914. The book is a first attempt to make up this lack. McKay describes his method as a “reconnaissance” of this history, rather than an attempt to polemicise or judge. By this McKay means both a preliminary survey of the ground and an attempt to gain information about an enemy. He does not pretend to have written a definitive argument, but rather sees Reasoning Otherwise as “one step in a co-operative struggle to understand contested terrain”.

The Canadian left prior to the First World War was neither homogeneous nor united. McKay describes this “first formation” of the left as a milieu of many different small groups, discussion circles, cultural associations and craft unions. These groups often knew little of each other. Coal miners in Nova Scotia likely knew little of what loggers in British Columbia were doing. Groups were often further divided by language and ethnicity. What these groups had in common, however, was a package of ideas derived from the social sciences of the 19th century. Socialism was seen not as a mystical utopia but as a scientific possibility, even probability.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


european journal for alternative thinking and political dialogue
July, 2010

Περιοδικό transform!- τεύχος 7

Saturday, December 25, 2010

There But For Fortune

First Run Features

As America continues to embroil itself in foreign wars and pins its hopes on a new leader's promise for change, Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune is a timely and relevant tribute to an unlikely American hero.

Over the course of a meteoric music career that spanned two turbulent decades, Phil Ochs sought the bright lights of fame and social justice in equal measure - a contradiction that eventually tore him apart. From youthful idealism to rage to pessimism, the arch of Ochs' life paralleled that of the times, and the anger, satire and righteous indignation that drove his music also drove him to dark despair. In this brilliantly constructed film, interview and performance footage of Ochs is illuminated by the ruminations of Joan Baez, Tom Hayden, Pete Seeger, Sean Penn, Peter Yarrow, Christopher Hitchens, Ed Sanders, and others.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chilean lawyer seeks arrests in folk singer's death

The Associated Press
Tuesday, December 21

SANTIAGO, Chile -- A Chilean government lawyer is seeking to arrest four retired army officers for the killing of renowned folk singer Victor Jara during the 1973 coup.

The Interior Ministry's Human Rights Program submitted a formal request for their detention to Judge Juan Fuentes Belmar on Tuesday, according to an official familiar with the case. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to avoid influencing the magistrate's decision.

The Largest Prison Strike In American History Goes Ignored By US Media

Today marks the end of a seven-day strike where tens of thousands of inmates in Georgia refused to work or leave their cells until their demands had been met. The odd thing is, that until today, no one had ever heard about this strike.

By Joe Weber
Death & Taxes

Inmates in ten Georgia prisons, Baldwin, Hancock, Hays, Macon, Smith and Telfair State Prisons, to name a few, went on strike last Thursday to protest their treatment and demand their human rights.

According to an article by Facing South, Department of Corrections have been nervous about deteriorating conditions in Georgia’s prisons since early 2010. Wardens started triple bunking prisoners in response to budget cuts—squeezing three prisoners into cells intended for one. Prison officials have kept a watchful eye out for prisoners meaning to riot, for prisoners’ rights lawyers to litigate, or both.

The Progressive Workers’ Movement

Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line
The Progressive Workers’ Movement (PWM) was formed in 1964 as a split from the Communist Party of Canada by members who supported China’s position against the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

PWM was led by Jack Scott, a CP member since the 1930s and a BC/NWT labour organizer. Scott and other PWM members created the Canada-China Friendship Association–the first China friendship society in North America or Europe. Scott is the only Canadian anti-revisionist to have met Chairman Mao zedong.

Superman's town being 'torn apart' by labour dispute

The US town of Metropolis, Illinois, which claims to be the adopted home of Superman, is being "torn apart" by a labour dispute at its uranium refinery.

By Nick Allen
The Telegraph

The 15 foot statue of Superman on Superman Square
 in Metropolis Photo: ALAMY
The town of 6,500 people, which has been known as Metropolis since the 19th Century, branded itself the "Home Town of Superman" in 1972. 

In comic books the superhero is based in a fictional city of the same name.
The real Metropolis, which features Superman statues and a newspaper called "The Metropolis Planet," is also home to the Honeywell processing facility, America's only site for refining uranium for eventual use in nuclear power plants.

More than 200 union workers have been picketing the site since June when they were locked out and replacements brought in.

The strikers are warning of possible toxic releases and have planted dozens of small, white crosses to represent workers who have died of cancer.

Read more HERE.

WikiLeaks: Socialist tortillas offer a taste of Venezuelan revolution

By Tim Lister

A customer buys food as others line up at an Arepera Socialista restaurant in Caracas, Venezuela.The U.S. Embassy in Caracas appears to have put in long hours examining President Hugo Chavez's efforts to build a socialist economy in Venezuela. But out of all the dense analysis springs one cable -- about the role of the humble tortilla in building a brave new world.

The cable, obtained by WikiLeaks and published on its website, starts in appetizing fashion. "President Chavez made socialism taste better with the December 22 (2009) opening of a 'socialist arepera' serving Venezuelan-style tortillas at a fraction of their usual price."

Up in the air: The legacy of the New Communist Movement

The Platypus Affiliated Society

An Interview with Max Elbaum

On October 17, 2010, Spencer A. Leonard interviewed Max Elbaum, author of Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao, and Che, to discuss the New Communist Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. The interview was aired during two episodes of Radical Minds on WHPK–FM Chicago, on October 26 and November 9. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview.

Spencer Leonard: To start off in the broadest possible way, how and when did the New Communist Movement emerge? What sort of politics did it espouse?

Max Elbaum: During the late 1960s there was a broad radicalization across many sectors of society, responding mainly to racism and the Vietnam War.

It was a time when the Third World was alive with national liberation movements, most of which identified with some form of Marxism or Marxism-Leninism: the Cuban Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, Vietnam, Southern Africa, and a number of political movements in the Middle East. Revolution seemed like a possibility to many. People were looking around for some framework.

While Trotskyism and the established Communist Party [CP] had their adherents, the majority of those who turned to revolutionary politics looked toward Third World national liberation movements. They embraced various versions of Marxism-Leninism influenced by what they thought—what we thought—were the lessons of those Third World revolutions. Many decided that building some kind of new Leninist party would harness the emerging revolutionary sentiment.

Read more HERE.

Learning a Lesson: An Anarchist’s Defence of Marxism-based Socialism

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 taught us that politics is too important to be left to the politicians

Power in Coalition

Across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, 2010 exposed the limits of progressive politicians, and a growing cynicism about politics generally. Minority governments were elected in the UK and Australia. In the US the Democrats were routed in the mid-term elections and the Republicans were shaken up by the Tea Party.

It was only two years ago that Obama popularised a sense of “hope” and “belief” in politicians. Similarly in Australia in 2007, the “Kevin 07” election led media pundits to proclaim a new dawn for social democracy.

How times change.

Time to put the Waffle Manifesto back on the NDP's table

By Kevin Logan
December 21, 2010

When I was a toddler I recall my parents discussing something called the Waffle. It caught my interest not just because I was raised in a politically charged environment but because it was my favourite breakfast food.

Back then towering intellects of the left tired with the direction of the NDP took it upon themselves to write a manifesto. When I heard that the Waffle was a manifesto I quickly lost interest, but for those who cared it was an attempt to write out the aims of the NDP as a socialist party.

Folks of the day were just coming down from the rhetoric of a "commie on every corner working to sabotage our freedoms" that dominated the political discourse of North America and when the "pinkos" in Canada started writing another Manifesto the Karl Marx fear mongers when into overdrive.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wikileaks: Documents Confirm US Plans Against Venezuela

State Department documents published by Wikileaks evidence Washington's plans to "contain" Venezuela's influence in the region and increase efforts to provoke regime change

By Eva Golinger
Eva Golinger's ZSpace Page

A substantial portion of the more than 1600 State Department documents Wikileaks has published during the past two weeks refer to the ongoing efforts of US diplomacy to isolate and counter the Venezuelan government.

Since Hugo Chavez won the presidency for the first time in 1998, Washington has engaged in numerous efforts to overthrow him, including a failed coup d'etat in April 2002, an oil industry strike that same year, worldwide media campaigns and varios electoral interventions. The State Department has also used its funding agencies, USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), to channel millions of dollars annually to anti-Chavez NGOs, political parties, journalists and media organizations in Venezuela, who have been working to undermine the Chavez administration and force him from power. When these interventionist policies have been denounced by the Chavez government and others, Washington has repeatedly denied any efforts to isolate or act against the Venezuelan head of state.

Nonetheless, the State Department cables published by Wikileaks clearly evidence that not only has Washington been actively funding anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela, but it also has engaged in serious efforts during the past few years to convince governments worldwide to assume an adversarial position against President Hugo Chavez.

Read more HERE.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Capital is Powerful, Not Rational

Leo Panitch on the RealNews

Illustrated Manifesto Launched

Red Quill Books launches the Communist Manifesto ILLUSTRATED - A four part series

After almost two years of development, the Editorial Collective of Red Quill Books is pleased to release a comic-book style version of the Communist Manifesto in four languages (English, French, Spanish and German). The first part of the series, "Historical Materialism", is now available in English. Take an advanced look by clicking on the YouTube video below.

French, Spanish and German versions will be on sale very soon. See our catalogue and orders page for updates.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Book Review: Renewing Socialism by Leo Panitch

By Ed Walsh of Irish Socialist Network

The Left has often been accused of not understanding economics properly. So it’s been no small pleasure over the last year to see the guardians of neo-liberal orthodoxy thrashing around helplessly in a bid to explain the financial meltdown, while radical critics like David Harvey and Robert Brenner have provided by far the best guide to the origins of the global crisis.

Unfortunately, the fact that Thatcherite economics have been completely discredited by events won’t be enough to guarantee their eclipse: the neo-liberal project has never let inconvenient facts get in the way of the single-minded defence of class interests. It takes about five minutes to show that the analysis of Ireland’s economic crash being touted by right-wing economists like Jim Power and Moore McDowell is pure bull, but the chancers in question still have a stranglehold over debate in the Irish media. Breaking that stranglehold will require more than a sound analysis of neo-liberal capitalism: radical ideas only begin to command attention when they have the weight of political movements behind them.

December 18 - International Migrants Day

We cannot treat migration and development without human rights
Public Services International

According to the United Nations, there are around 215 million people today who live and work outside their countries of birth. About half of these international migrants are women, working to support their families and communities back home.

Despite the huge contribution that migrant workers bring to their host and home countries in terms of services, taxes, remittances (currently at $315 billion) and the rich culture they bring, many countries are still far from fulfilling their obligation to protect migrant workers’ rights. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Organizing for Climate Justice in Regina

Mother Earth Justice Advocates

A new group advocating for the rights of Mother Earth through climate justice activities is being organized in Regina.

Tentatively calling themselves Mother Earth Justice Advocates, the group evolved out of the Regina People’s Assembly on Climate Justice on December 7, 2010.

The group passed a motion at the People's Assembly in Regina stating:

 "We demand that the Regina, Saskatchewan, and Federal governments live up to all Treaties within Canada and internationally such as the Kyoto Accord, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Declaration of Human Rights.

Further we demand that local, Saskatchewan and Canadian Governments endorse, honour, and implement the Cochabamba Peoples Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth."

This group is open to anyone interested in honouring and protecting Mother Earth.

The next meeting with be at 7:00 p.m. on December 20, 2010 at the United Way, 1440 Scarth Street, Regina.

Visit their facebook page HERE.