Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

MMIWThis February 14th, as in past years, marches will be held across Canada to commemorate the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The February 14th marches demanding justice have been being held for almost three decades, but the current need for action is as great as ever before.

The Communist Party of Canada continues to stand in solidarity with the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and all those fighting for an end to the ongoing violence.  We demand the government act now to deliver on long delayed promises to address the violence against Indigenous women and girls and to reset the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls.

Indigenous women and girls have no other choice but to struggle against racist violence caused by capitalism, patriarchy, the ongoing dispossession of Indigenous peoples and the denial of their national rights to self-determination. The lives of Indigenous women are shattered and cut short by this capitalist social crisis and the negative actions and inaction of the Federal government and police forces across the country.

Part of the fight to honour murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls is the ongoing fight for a national inquiry. One of the Trudeau government’s many promises to Indigenous peoples during the 2015 election was an immediate national inquiry. From the outset Indigenous women have been fighting for an inquiry capable of substantive action to stop the violence.

Included in this is the fight for the inquiry to include a review of individual files of murdered or missing women and of police conduct, after this was deliberately excluded from the initial terms of reference for the National Inquiry. Police actions and inaction are both a cause of violence towards Indigenous women, as in Val d’Or where police officers were the perpetrators of wide-spread sexual and physical assault, or in many cases of murdered women where police failed to take investigations seriously due to deeply ingrained racist views within law enforcement. After public demands from families and allies fought to have the scope of the inquiry widened there is now a commitment to include police behaviour and individual files in the terms of reference.

Indigenous leaders and women’s organizations have expressed serious concerns over communication with the families of victims, the transparency of the process, staff resignations, funding and timelines. In December of last year, a gathering of chiefs hosted by the Assembly of First Nations passed a resolution calling on the Trudeau government to reset the inquiry by demanding that chief commissioner Marion Buller be replaced.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada, who have been campaigning for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls for four decades, issued a call to action in 2017 to demand a comprehensive inquiry: “We are not asking anyone, especially families, to be patient with this Inquiry as it progresses. We are asking that you remain strong and face adversity with the same determination that has made this Inquiry possible. In solidarity, we will not back down until this Inquiry is what we were promised.”

As calls for an inquiry reset mount and the report and recommendations lose credibility, we demand that the Federal government allow a new leadership for the inquiry to be named through a process of full engagement with Indigenous survivors and families.

The February 14th Day of Action to honour murdered and missing Indigenous women has been instrumental in breaking the silence. The Communist Party of Canada stands in full solidarity with these actions across the country. The fight for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women is bound together with the fight  for an equal and voluntary partnership of nations within Canada, for Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination and for an end to racism and discrimination.

Special resolution of the Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada, Feb 11th, 2018

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Women’s March On Canada Returns for 2018

WomensMarch(Original People’s Voice article can be found here)

One year after the historic Women’s March on Washington signalled the emergence of mass people’s resistance against the far-right, patriarchal agenda of Donald Trump and his fascist supporters, dozens of rallies and actions across the country will be held as part of a 2018 “Women’s March on Canada.” Details of local times and places can be found below.

Since then, women’s equality issues have remained in the headlines, such as the #MeToo movement, making it clear that men in positions of power will be challenged for their harassing, abusive and violent acts.

The Vision Statement and Guiding Principles of the 2018 Women’s March on Canada raise issues and demands which are just as vital today as they were twelve months ago.

“VISION STATEMENT

Making the equality of women in Canada the new norm. The work that we do, our vision and values can be explained in a unifying framework called H.E.R.S., which spells out the women’s rights priorities of: Health, Economic Security, Representation, and Safety:

HEALTH — Healthcare is the foundation of women’s well-being and economic stability. Women’s March Canada advocates for access to affordable and inclusive women’s healthcare regardless of nationality, age, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

ECONOMIC SECURITY — Women are powerful drivers of economic growth, and their economic empowerment benefits all nations. Women’s March Canada supports the dismantling of economic barriers that obstruct women’s full and equal access to local, national, and global economic systems.

REPRESENTATION — Women are under-represented globally, adversely affecting our collective health, safety, and economic security. Women’s March Canada seeks fair and just representation of women locally, nationally, and internationally.

SAFETY — Every woman has the need and right to feel physically secure, and security for women should be assured through sound legal practices. Women’s March Canada stands behind the principle that women are not to be held accountable for actions that are outside their control — particularly regarding all forms of assault — and that fair legal action must be applied to prevent these crimes.”

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability. We practice empathy with the intent to learn about the intersecting identities of each other. We will suspend our first judgement and do our best to lead without ego. We follow the principles of Kingian nonviolence…”

Activists and women’s organizations have come together across the country to organize rallies. Here’s a list of many of the actions taking place:

Edmonton
March On – 1pm – 3pm – Alberta Legislature Building
https://www.facebook.com/events/1539292142774425/

Calgary
Women’s March – 12pm – 2pm – Bankers Hall
https://www.facebook.com/events/492625471131036/

Victoria
Women’s March – 11am – 1pm – City Hall – 1 Centennial Square
https://www.facebook.com/events/166741244078597/

Vancouver
March On Vancouver – 10am-1pm – Jack Poole Plaza – 1085 Canada Place
https://www.facebook.com/events/935631489925413/

Fraser Valley
Women’s March – 11am – 1pm – 9046 Young Rd, Chilliwack
https://www.facebook.com/events/316030018885024/

Nanaimo
Women March On – 10am – Diana Krall Plaza
https://www.facebook.com/events/254139191787726/

Kamloops
Women’s March Kamloops – 10:30am – 300 Lorne Street
https://www.facebook.com/events/140394269982463/

Kelowna
March On Canada – 11am – 2pm – City of Kelowna – 1435 Water Street
https://www.facebook.com/events/156062128352981/

Whitehorse
Women’s March – 10am – 11 am – Government of Yukon Administration Building – 2nd Ave Whitehorse
https://www.facebook.com/events/1561970140554782/

Saskatoon
Women’s March – 10am-12pm – Amphitheatre at River Landing – 414 Spadina Crescent E
https://www.facebook.com/events/159973047973401/

Regina
Women’s March – 10am – 1pm – YWCA Regina – 1940 McIntyre St
https://www.facebook.com/events/168497433757365/

Winnipeg
Women’s March – 11am – 1pm – Winnipeg City Hall – 510 Main St
https://www.facebook.com/events/581381988878080/

London
Women’s March – 10am-1pm – Victoria Park (NW Corner) – 5180 Clarence St
https://www.facebook.com/events/1837571212952222/

Kitchener
Women’s March – 10am-1pm – Kitchener City Hall – 200 King St W
https://www.facebook.com/events/139239573361865/

Thunder Bay
Women’s March – 12pm – 3pm – 1700 Dease St
https://www.facebook.com/events/153128738793152/

Windsor
Women’s March -11am – 12pm – 350 City Hall Sq W
https://www.facebook.com/events/137870033570627/

Sudbury
Women’s March – 11am – 12:30pm – Bell Park, Paris Street & York Street
https://www.facebook.com/events/160992251188673/

Hamilton
Women’s March Forward Summit – 9am-1pm – Hamilton City Hall
https://www.facebook.com/events/382722398850315/

Toronto
Women March On Toronto – 12pm – 2pm – Nathan Phillips Square
https://www.facebook.com/events/167970267122615/

Ottawa
Women’s March on Ottawa – 12pm–3pm – Parliament Hill
https://www.facebook.com/events/134598360558263/

Montreal
Manif des Femmes Montreal – 11am-1pm – Esplanade de la Place des Arts
https://www.facebook.com/events/1950914541825432/

Fredericton
Women’s March – 2pm – 4pm – City Hall
https://www.facebook.com/events/1600734520012180/

Saint John
Women’s March – 12pm – Queen Square – South End
https://www.facebook.com/events/1524803570950071/

Halifax
Women’s March Halifax – 12pm – City Hall – 1841 Argyle Street
https://www.facebook.com/events/1528377957210556/

More info on the “Women’s March On Canada website: http://www.womensmarchcanada.com/
& the “March On Canada” website: https://marchoncanada.ca/

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“Vancouver Group Summit”: Escalating imperialist threats of sanctions & war

ROKPeaceThe so-called “Vancouver Group” Summit on January 16 will bring together the 14 countries which waged war against Korea in 1950, plus South Korea and Japan – invited by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, allegedly to seek “a diplomatic solution to the Korean crisis.” The Communist Party of Canada condemns this reunion of warmakers as a further step towards new imperialist military aggression against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The North American media has portrayed the Vancouver Group Summit as a “reasonable alternative” to Donald Trump’s threat to annihilate the entire population of the DPRK. Such a US attack would be the most shocking war crime in history, violating every international law which bans military aggression against other countries. It would mean the deaths of millions of people across the region, and could easily spark a nuclear exchange threatening the entire planet. Trump’s latest boasts about his “bigger nuclear button” are a warning that the possibility of such a devastating catastrophe is quite real.

But the Tillerson-Freeland “good cop-bad cop” scenario is not a path away from war. Rather, it is a cover for the ongoing imperialist strategy to bring the people of the DPRK to their knees, by escalating economic and diplomatic sanctions with the aim of forcing their government to end to its nuclear programme. Both approaches are based on the premise that the US has the right to “punish” any country which refuses to accept the dictates of imperialism. Both Trump’s threats of mass murder, and the Tillerson-Freeland strategy, include the continued presence of tens of thousands of US troops at bases and vessels in and around the Korean peninsula, and regular war exercises to remind the DPRK that a new imperialist aggression could be launched at any moment.

The US is the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons in war, and possesses the largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world. The US continues to develop and promote nuclear weapons technology and is poised to spend an additional $1 trillion on its nuclear arsenal, through its current Nuclear Posture Review. The DPRK, on the other hand, was almost totally destroyed and impoverished by the “Korean War” waged by the US and its allies, a war which artificially divided the peninsula along the 1953 ceasefire demarcation line – for the crime of defending itself against threats of foreign invasion and coup d’état. While the US and NATO maintain a policy of “first use” for nuclear weapons, the DPRK committed to no first use in 2016.

We demand: the US must end its provocations, withdraw its massive military forces in South Korea and east Asia, sign a peace agreement, and allow reunification to proceed on the Korean Peninsula according to the right of the Korean people to self-determination and sovereignty free of external threats and provocations. This remains the only road to long-term peace and security.

As the Vancouver Group Summit nears, we call on the labour and democratic movements, and the peace movement in the first place, to say NO to sanctions and war against the DPRK – and YES to peace, peaceful coexistence, mutual security and to global nuclear disarmament, beginning with the arsenals of the United States and NATO.

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada

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100th anniversary of Great October Revolution

Throughout November, celebrations around the world will mark the centenary of the outstanding political event of the 20th century: the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917. By overthrowing the Russian capitalists, landowners and aristocrats, the workers, peasants and soldiers of the Tsarist empire opened the door to a new society in which humanity’s dreams of peace, equality and democracy began to become reality. The storming of the Winter Palace, signaled by the guns of the Aurora cruiser, began the historical epoch of the transition towards a socialist society, based on cooperation and social justice, not the  exploitation and oppression inherent in the profit-driven capitalist system.

The October Revolution was far more than a change in government. It was a fundamental social upheaval, a sharp break with thousands of years of class-divided societies. For the first time, the working class took lasting political power, shattering the myth that only the owners of wealth can rule.

Under the slogan “Peace, Land, Bread” and with the support of the overwhelming majority of the working class and poor peasants, the Bolsheviks (the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, which the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was then called) began the long and complex effort to build a new “system of civilized cooperators,” as the great revolutionary Vladimir Lenin described the essence of socialism.

The new Soviet government immediately issued its famous “decree on peace”, taking Russia out of the imperialist slaughter by the leading capitalist countries for the re-division of wealth and colonial possession they had plundered from the world’s peoples. Land was transferred to millions of impoverished peasants, and industrial, financial and other capitalist companies were nationalized. Workers were guaranteed employment. Education and health care became universal and free. Nations oppressed under the Tsarist heel were guaranteed equality and self-determination, including the right to secession. Patriarchal laws were replaced by the full legal and social emancipation of women.

The imperialist countries, including Canada, sent armies to crush the young Soviet state while the “baby was still in its cradle”, as Winston Churchill said. Surrounded by counter-revolutionary forces and invading imperialist armies, the Soviet government and the Red Army triumphed, with the support of workers around the world acting under the slogan “Hands off Russia!” The heroic example of Soviet Russia inspired working class struggles and insurrections throughout the world, including the Winnipeg General Strike and the formation of the Communist Party of Canada in this country.

The Soviet revolution shook imperialism as never before. Yet it stood on the shoulders of more than one hundred years of working class and national liberation struggles. Millions of workers had supported the First and Second Internationals, whose goal was world peace and socialism, in sharp contrast to the imperialist strivings of the leading capitalist countries.

The Internationals were inspired by the slogan “Workers of all lands, unite!” and by revolutionaries such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels who declared that the working class was the agent of socialist revolution. The working class movement was steeled by persecutions, and educated by the bloody vengeance of the French and Prussian capitalists in 1871 against the Paris Commune – the world’s first working class state. When opportunist leaders of the Second International backed their own imperialist governments during the First World War, the revolutionary sections of the working class movement, including Lenin and the Bolsheviks, courageously struggled against imperialist war. Nearly fifty years after the Commune, the October Revolution gave a new impetus, content, and energy to the world revolutionary movement.

Great October holds a unique and honoured place in history, as the first socialist revolution to achieve and retain political power, withstanding both internal counter-revolution and foreign intervention. It dramatically changed world politics, breaking the hegemony of imperialism, and establishing a new and fundamentally different approach to relations between peoples, nations and states.

The October Revolution proved that socialism could become more than a utopian ideal. The working class and its allies could move beyond sporadic resistance to challenge the capitalist system as a whole, and achieve social emancipation. The exploited and oppressed, through conscious and united struggle, could shape their own destiny. It was this truth about the Russian Revolution that filled the privileged classes with a fear and hatred of socialism, from the earliest days of the Soviet state.

Despite unremitting imperialist hostility and subversion, the Soviet Union endured for over seven decades, scoring many great achievements, overcoming unemployment, illiteracy, and social deprivation. Socialism in the Soviet Union transformed an economically and culturally “backward” country into one of the world’s leading powers, and made great advances in culture and science.

It was the Soviet Union which led the heroic military struggle to defeat Hitler fascism on the battlefield, creating the conditions for the emergence of other socialist states in Europe. The Soviet Union championed the cause of anti-racism and decolonization, gave crucial material and political support to liberation movements, and provided vital assistance to the former colonies as they won their independence. The changing international balance of forces was a key factor in helping the peoples of China, Korea, Vietnam and Cuba to carry out their own socialist transformations. The USSR’s peace policy also restricted – though it could not entirely suppress – imperialism’s tendency to military aggression.

The gains achieved by workers under socialism inspired the working class in the advanced capitalist countries, compelling the ruling class to concede reforms around labour rights, the 40-hour work week, unemployment insurance, health care, public education, and pensions. The progress toward economic and social equality by women in the USSR was a powerful stimulus to the struggles of women in the capitalist countries for pay and employment equity, and for child care and other social programs which would weaken the patriarchal double burden of capitalist exploitation and unpaid domestic labour.

Ultimately, however, the first workers’ state was overturned and capitalism restored, due to a combination of interrelated internal and external circumstances and contradictions which culminated in the temporary victory of counter-revolution.

The defeat of socialism in the USSR became a powerful ideological weapon in the hands of monopoly capitalism. We categorically reject the bourgeois contention that the causes of the crisis and defeat of the Soviet Union were rooted in the intrinsic nature of socialism. Rather, that historic setback resulted from the extremely difficult conditions under which socialism was built, especially the destructive impact of decades of imperialist pressures and subversion, and from distortions and departures from Marxist-Leninist theory and practice.

Whatever the failures and mistakes which occurred during that first great experiment in building a new, higher form of society, these do not detract from the enduring significance of Great October. Socialism’s historical balance-sheet was overwhelmingly positive, not only for the people of the Soviet Union but indeed for all humanity. The misery and impoverishment which have befallen millions of people in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe since the early 1990s (especially women whose equality gains were rolled back), and the massive profiteering by those who took advantage of the restoration of capitalism, is painful evidence of what happens when counter-revolution succeeds.

Despite its so-called victory, capitalism itself remains in profound systemic crisis. The widening gap between rich and poor, the endless wars and conflicts spawned by imperialism, and the environmental crisis which threatens human civilization, all show that the private profit system, driven by personal and corporate greed, cannot meet the fundamental needs and interests of the people and the global environment.

As capitalism generates war, austerity, and catastrophic climate change, people everywhere are yearning for freedom. Struggles against imperialist globalization have grown sharper, and in many countries, the working class is mounting fierce resistance against the corporate drive for higher profits. The powerful example of Cuba’s socialist revolution continues to inspire workers, youth and oppressed peoples around the world.

Imperialism is responding with growing reaction, militarism and war. In the US, Canada, Europe, India and other regions, far-right, racist and neo-Nazi forces aim to divide and weaken the working class movement, and to roll back the equality gains achieved by trade unions, women, LGBTQ people, and immigrants. But the forces of imperialism and reaction cannot hold back the irresistible power and attraction of socialist ideas, the growth of the international working class, and the striving of the vast majority of humanity for social progress, a sustainable environment, and peace.

Not least, the Great October Socialist Revolution proved the importance of creating the “revolutionary party of a new type” – solidly grounded in the working class, and based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism and the principles of democratic centralism. At a time when working people increasingly reject both the old-line capitalist parties and social democratic opportunism, it is more critical than ever to strengthen the revolutionary political parties which can win the working class for a genuine socialist alternative.

Nothing can erase the accomplishments of Great October. The Communist Party of Canada will celebrate Great October for its great achievements, for its historic lessons and for the unequaled inspiration it has created for the future of humanity – a socialist future!

Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada

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Solidarity with striking college faculty in Ontario #standwithfaculty

The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) extends its full support to the 12,000 college faculty, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), who are on strike at Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAATs) across the province.

The strike began on October 16, after the College Employer Council (CEC) rejected a streamlined final offer from the union and walked away from the table. The offer, described by the union as “bare minimum we need to ensure quality education for students and treat contract faculty fairly,” included non-monetary proposals such as stronger recognition of academic freedom, improved seniority provisions, and longer notice periods for teaching contracts and work assignments.

The key demand in the union’s offer is for a 50:50 ratio of full-time to non-full-time faculty. This is a response to the colleges’ increasing reliance on part-time and contract teaching positions. Between 2004 and 2016 part-time college faculty increased by a huge 45%, while full-time faculty only increased by 15%. Currently, part-time and precariously employed faculty now outnumber full-time faculty by almost three times.

Focused on the demand for a 50:50 ratio, the strike is also about the faculty’s desire to enhance the quality of education they provide to students. The union members are keenly aware that the growth of precarious employment directly erodes the ability of faculty to properly prepare and present courses.

The backdrop to this strike is the growth of corporate and privatized labour practices at CAATs. This is a trend that we see is many other public services and institutions including public schools, health care and hospitals, public housing, and public transit. The college faculty and their union correctly understand these practices to be a threat to public education at the post-secondary level.

One of the underlying issues to this dispute is the provincial government’s underfunding of CAATs. Over the past decade public colleges have significantly expanded their mandates, and are now offering bachelor degrees and some post-graduate programs. Over the same period, however, provincial funding to CAATs has dropped by nearly 20%, and continues to fall. Ontario ranks tenth out of ten provinces when it comes to college funding on a per-student basis: across Canada, average provincial funding was $10,000 per student in 2014, but Ontario’s funding in that year was less than $6000 per student. At a time when the average provincial inflation rate is around 1.5%, the government has only committed to increase college funding by 0.2 per cent for the 2017-18 year, and has provided no increase for 2018/19.

The pressure from underfunding has led colleges to make up the difference through increased student fees (both tuition and ancillary) and increasingly precarious employment conditions for faculty. However, instead of standing up for public education at the college level and demanding adequate funding, the CEC has used government underfunding as an excuse to increase precarious employment for faculty, pursue different forms of privatization, and diminish education for 300,000 college students in Ontario.

The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) salutes the unity and solidarity of Ontario’s college faculty, who turned out in high numbers to deliver a strong strike mandate. We also applaud the labour and community organizations around Ontario who have rapid mobilized in support of the faculty. The CPC(O) will continue our active solidarity with Ontario’s college faculty, until this struggle is won.

The Communist Party demands:

  • The College Employer Council immediately return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair contract offer based on the comprehensive proposals from Ontario’s college faculty, members of OPSEU;
  • The Provincial government immediately increase the provincial grant to Ontario Colleges so that the faculty can provide the quality education the students deserve;
  • An immediate halt to the provincial government’s privatization strategy, that targets public institutions and assets including post secondary education and public schools;
  • Progressive tax reform and the reversal of two decades of corporate tax cuts that currently total $18 billion in lost revenue each year in Ontario, revenue that is needed to adequately fund public services and institutions.

Provincial Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) ~ October 19, 2017

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We Are All Venezuela: No to U.S. sanctions and invasion! No to Canadian complicity!

We Are All Venezuela: No to U.S. sanctions and invasion! No to Canadian complicity!

The Communist Party of Canada sends our greeting to the “We Are All Venezuela” solidarity meeting in Caracas taking place the weekend of September 16th, and takes this opportunity to reiterate the demand for an immediate end to efforts at ‘regime change’ in Venezuela.

In August, the United States government, headed by the administration of Donald Trump, strengthened sanctions against the Venezuelan people and threatened the country with direct military invasion. U.S. imperialism has exploited and oppressed the region, including Venezuela, for more than a century. These efforts at destabilization and the overthrow of another elected government are part of a long history of bloody intervention, including dozens of invasions, occupations, coups, assassinations and dirty wars.

Canada’s government, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, has issued ten official statements since March condemning the “regime”, Venezuela’s “decent into dictatorship”, and supporting the “opposition”, which has been promoting violence and murder in the street. There has been no criticism of Trump’s war mongering in Venezuela. In fact, Ottawa’s statements and actions have been in lock-step with the United States’ efforts at destabilization and overthrow.

It should be remembered that the Canadian government has planned and supported coups in the region in recent memory, notably Haiti in 2004 and Honduras in 2009. Aggression against Venezuela should also be seen in the context of Canadian troops being deployed in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Iraq and soon in Africa, combined with the proposed 70% increase in Canadian military spending. Ottawa is intent on following Trump into war. Defending the sovereignty of Venezuela is part of our own struggle for sovereignty and the fight to win an independent foreign policy of peace and disarmament, outside of NATO.

Venezuela has been labeled a threat to U.S. national security and called a dictatorship. The only threat that Venezuela poses is the threat of a good example. The Bolivarian revolution has provided massive gains in living standards and democratic rights for the majority of Venezuelans. Since 2009, there have been more than 1.7 million social housing units built for poor families. Since 1999, extreme poverty has plummeted from 20% to 5.4%. The power of the racist and sexist capitalist oligarchy has been reduced and different forms of popular democracy have grown.

The elections for the Constituent Assembly on July 30th showed massive participation in a process dedicated to further advancement. The Constituent Assembly has exposed the isolation of the country’s rightwing, but the U.S. is now trying to directly intervene with sanctions and threats of invasion. The struggle of the Venezuelan people to chart a path towards full sovereignty, peace and independence, is at the heart of the struggle of the people of Latin America and those around the world fighting imperialism.

We urge the labour movement and all anti-war and democratic-minded peoples in Canada to speak out against attacks on Venezuela. The Communist Party of Canada fully and actively supports the efforts of the forces coming together across Canada in September and October under the banner “We Are All Venezuela” to condemn imperialist intervention and build solidarity with Venezuela.

Central Executive Committee, CPC

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Tell Trump No to War! Hands Off Syria!

April 7, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth Rowley, Leader 416-469-2446 (office), 647-994-4976 (cell)

US President Donald Trump’s illegal bombing of Syria yesterday is a war crime.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement this morning, supporting the US airstrikes, makes Canada complicit in these war crimes.
We call on the Liberal government to oppose the US airstrikes, to take a firm position supporting a return to the peace process and a negotiated settlement, and to demand a full investigation into the release of sarin gas which led to the deaths of 80 civilians.
There is no proof – nor any investigation – to determine who is responsible. What is known is that the Pentagon has trained the terrorists in the use of sarin gas, and that the terrorists had stock-piled sarin gas in secret storage facilities that were bombed by government air strikes last week.

Trump’s rush to war suggests the truth is incidental – or inconvenient for the US administration, which has fought to overthrow the Assad government for years, using mercenaries and terrorists recruited and trained to do their dirty work from the most reactionary countries in the Middle East.
Now that the Syrian government is defeating the terrorists, including ISIS, Al’Nusra, and others, the US has no more proxy forces inside the country able to overthrow the government from within.
In fact the peace process was proceeding well at the international level, with peace talks including the Assad government well underway, and the war against the terrorists nearly won. For the democratically elected Assad government, the prospects of a peaceful and negotiated political solution were at hand. They clearly had no interest in derailing the peace process.

Honest people must ask themselves, who benefits from the sarin gas deaths and the US airstrikes on Syria?

The answer, clearly, is the reactionary states in the region which have called for a no-fly zone and US military intervention to overthrow the Assad government, and a US President and Republican administration in deep trouble at home, unable to move legislation forward in the Congress, with very low public approval ratings and mass opposition growing, including inside the Republican caucuses. Not least, Trump is in trouble because of a budget which shifts $54 billion out of social spending into spending for war.

The terrorist stock-piling of sarin gas and the terrible deaths resulting from its release after the facilities were hit by bombs, has created the incident that the US government has been seeking to directly intervene in Syria. Their aim is to overthrow the Assad government by force, and to distract US public opinion from Trump’s catastrophic foreign and domestic policies including on immigration, healthcare, the EPA, and civil and democratic rights.

Trump claims that US national security interests in the region are threatened and that this gives the US the right to launch a war on Syria, is not credible. This was the justification given by the Bush and Obama administrations in launching their wars on Iraq and on Libya, leaving thousands of civilians dead and those countries in ruins.

The US airstrikes have also escalated the frightening scenario of a direct military confrontation between the US and Russia on the territory of Syria. The world is now facing the horrific possibility of a confrontation between the two countries with the largest nuclear arsenals in the world.

The Canadian government must be the voice of reason, and the voice of peace and a political solution, not the weak-kneed echo of Donald Trump and his crimes against the Syrian people.

We call on the labour and democratic movements and all those peace-loving peoples across Canada to speak up and mobilize against the US airstrikes yesterday, and against any Canadian support for or involvement in this new US war on Syria.

Canadians must make it clear in every possible way – in protests on the streets, in the media, in Parliament and on the Hill, that war is not an option. The only solution is a negotiated political solution, based in international law.

HANDS OFF SYRIA! END CANADIAN COMPLICITY IN THIS DIRTY US WAR! BRING THE TROOPS HOME!

Central Executive Committee
Communist Party of Canada

April 7, 2017

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