Dear friends and comrades,
There are many reasons to be in the streets this month. Whether its the 2010 Olympic Games, Harper's despotic move to shut down Parliament, the HST, or any of a long list of other nasty issues facing BC, youth and students are increasingly pissed off - and rightly so.
The YCL sees mass, united, militant struggle as the only way forward to defeating these and other aspects of the corporate offensive. This means getting organized. The work being led by the BC Federation of Labour to form a network of low wage workers is one exciting development. The YCL supports these efforts completely and encourages low wage workers to join this new network and work to make it a resounding success.
There's no better time than now to get involved. Together we can fight and win!
Here Comes the Five Ring Circus|
Well, the 2010 Olympic Games are about to descend upon Vancouver and Whistler. For many local residents, the best part about this is the fact that the sooner the games start... the sooner they will be over forever.
The Olympic legacy is already clear to all who want to open their eyes to see it: environmental disaster, homelessness and poverty, violation of First Nations rights, the formation of a police state to "secure" the games, violations of the peoples rights to assembly and free speech, massive public debt, and much more.
The YCL continues to oppose the Olympic games and stands in solidarity with those who have been and will be resisting this corporate party. Check out http://no2010.com/ for more information about the Olympics and resistance to them.
read more about the olympics
Oppose Harpers Prorogue!|
Youth and students in BC and around Canada watched in outrage last month as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government prorogued Parliament for the second time in just over a year.
The Harper government has again shown dangerous anti-democratic tendencies. The Conservatives habit of simply shutting down Parliament when things don't go their way brought about a wave of protest across the country late in January, a public outrage continues to build.
Harper's first prorogue, in December 2008, was aimed at avoiding a non-confidence vote. The government narrowly avoided losing power to a Liberal-NDP coalition with support from the Bloc. Now Harper has shut down Parliament yet again, this time attempting to use the Olympic Games as the excuse. In reality Harper hopes to avoid debate around the upcoming budget and suppress criticism against his governments complicity in the torture of Afghan prisoners.
Youth and students must not stand for the kind anti-democratic moves being carried out by this government. The YCL opposes the prorogue and calls for youth and students to keep up the fight against it and, ultimately, to fight to oust Harper once and for all.
read communist party statement on prorogue
Low Wage Workers Unite!|
The news that the BC Federation of Labour would support the formation of a low wage workers network hit many activists involved in the struggles of young and other low wage workers like a lighting bolt. The idea, which has captured the imagination of many in the young workers movement, could have immense potential to bring together some of those most hurt by the corporate policies of the Campbell Liberal government and carry out effective struggles for progressive changes from the level of the workplace to Provincially.
While little information is available at this time about what the new organization will look like, the YCL encourages its members and all young workers to watch for more information as the new organization takes shape, and to work to build it and make it a success.
visit the bc federation of labour website
Education is a right! Take the fight to the street!|
As the danger of privatization and cost continue to threaten public post-secondary education there are new threats from both within and without of the student movement.
Right wing Conservative and Liberal governments continue to increase tuition and ancillary fees. The majority of post-secondary students come from working class families and refusing even a moderate increases in minimum wage or any other relief has pushed student debt well above 13 billion dollars.
Students must stand up against these attacks and fight for a better education system, including:
- The reduction and elimination of tuition fees.
- Accessible post-secondary education funded by a progressive tax system.
- The opening of public apprenticeship programs with a guarantee of work.
- Increasing the minimum wage.
- A living stipend for students.
- The cancellation of student debt.
- Research directed by the people, not by corporate investment interests.
Rebel Culture: One Day as a Lion|
One Day as a Lion is a new group formed by former Rage Against the Machine vocalist Zach de la Rocha and former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore. The bands name is taken from an infamous 1970 black and white photograph by George Rodriguez which reads "It's better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb."
The duo fuses rock and rap in a way that neither attempts to mimic the irreplaceable sound of Rage Against the Machine, nor falls into the trap of the played out and lyrically empty rap-metal trend epitomized by bands like Limp Bizkit.
In other words, it's the kind of energy, power, and political message identifiable with Rage Against the Machine as transmitted through a drum kit, a keyboard, and Zach de la Rocha's uncompromising vocal style.
one day as a lion website
International Solidarity: Earthquake Hits Haiti|
Last month, Haiti was devastated by a massive earthquake which further worsened the situation of the poorest country in the western hemisphere, which was already living under occupation with the countries true legitimate President in exile in South Africa. The following is from Canada Haiti Action Network:
At 4:53 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 12, 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck 10 miles southwest of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, causing catastrophic damage by collapsing office buildings, roads, schools, hospitals, hotels, and thousands of flimsy houses precariously built on steep mountainsides. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit the region in over 250 years.
The first quake was followed by about 25 aftershocks, including two of 5.5 and another of 5.9 magnitude. Earthquake magnitude grows exponentially. A magnitude 7 earthquake is 10 times more powerful than a magnitude 6 and 100 times more powerful than a magnitude 5. ...
Early reports suggest that many hundreds of houses collapsed, likely causing thousands of casualties. Giant traffic jams filled impassible roads. A U.S. official told the AP that the air over the capital was “just grey with dust” following the quake, likely caused by collapsing structures. Hundreds of panicked and crying people ran through the debris-filled streets looking for loved ones or seeking to transport wounded family or friends to hospitals.
canada haiti action network website
Rebel History: The Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion|
On February 16th, 1936, the Popular Front won the elections in Spain. This historic victory saw the Second Spanish Republic replace the rule of King Alfonso XIII and opened up what appeared to be a bright future with many new possibilities for the Spanish people.
But monarchist, fascist and other right-wing forces were plotting against the new peoples power. In July of the same year, the fascist General Francisco Franco led an army against the new republican government, starting a three year civil war.
While fascist Italy and nazi Germany supported Franco, the USSR and Mexico sided with the republicans and provided material aid. Across the planet, the Communist movement mobilize international brigades to go to Spain and fight fascism.
The non-fascist imperialist powers like Britain, the United States, and Canada remained "neutral," refusing to formally take a side but in effect simply watching while fascism destroyed democracy in Spain. But from these countries, and others, volunteers joined the International Brigades and traveled to Spain.
In Canada, the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion was formed. Canada sent the second largest proportion of its population to fight in Spain, after France. All of this was despite the active efforts of the Liberal government of the day and the RCMP to stop the volunteers from going to Spain. Over 1,500 Canadians fought or otherwise aided the republican cause in Spain including the now famous Doctor, public health care advocate, and Communist, Norman Bethune. Over 700 lost their lives.
To this day the contribution of the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion has not been recognized by the Canadian government. But they should be remembered by all progressive and democratic Canadians as among the first to recognize the threat of fascism and the need to fight it, a lesson which is all too important still today.
international brigades memorial trust website
YCL in Action: Opposing the Olympics|
As the massive Olympic party for the rich at the expense of the poor is about to commence, the YCL's opposition is no secret. YCL members have attended anti-Olympics events and the Centre for Socialist Education has been a venue for anti-Olympics meetings and events.
In Nelson, the Trail YCL members joined with others to oppose the passage of the Olympic torch through the area. YCLers in Vancouver are preparing to participate in Olympic protests in early-mid February.