Norman Bethune Day

“Medicine, as we are practising it, is a luxury trade. We are selling bread at the price of jewels… Let us take the profit, the private economic profit, out of medicine, and purify our profession of rapacious individualism… Let us say to the people not ‘How much have you got?’ but ‘How best can we serve you?”

Norman Bethune

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Doctor Norman Bethune. Photo credit: Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

 

People’s Voice is sponsoring the celebrations honouring the Gravenhurst-born Doctor Norman Bethune, who was a pioneer and innovator in medical surgeries for tuberculosis. Father of the Canadian Medicare practised medicine for the benefit of the majority of the people following his profound humanist and internationalist spirit.

What: Norman Bethune Day Dinner!

$5 tickets, door prize includes trip for 2 to Cuba!

Dinner, drinks, music, poetry and more

When: Saturday February 25th 730pm

Where: 290 Danforth Ave TORONTO (Greektown). Subway Chester

More information at: https://www.facebook.com/events/201882110286341/

 

 

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Unite against Trump’s ultra-right racists!

The election of Donald Trump marks an extremely dangerous shift, that threatens peace, democracy and sovereignty abroad, and labour, civil, social, and equality rights in the U.S. As the de facto leader of a fascist movement, Trump has been compared to Silvio Berlusconi, the fascist leader of the Italian People of Freedom Party. The Republicans now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the executive branch, with power to make crucial appointments to the Supreme Court. We are witnessing the rise of a far right political movement similar to several European countries with all of the violent racism, sexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, homophobia, and transphobia that goes with it. Marine Le Pen of France’s far-right National Front was the first foreign party leader to congratulate Trump on election night.

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On January 19, the Communist Party of Canada and the Guelph Young Communist League have organized this event to analyse the origins and consequences of Trump’s presidency. Additional details of the event can be found on this Facebook page.

Most Republican electors cast a vote for Trump, despite earlier repudiations by many prominent party leaders. At the end of the campaign, most of them rallied for Trump and for the Republican candidates for Congress and Senate. Other factors included a relatively low turnout, racist voter suppression tactics, the electoral college system which helped Trump win despite a lower share of the popular vote, and the wide prevalence of misogynist and sexist views in the United States.

But Trump’s victory also resulted from the inability of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to hold together the broad coalition of forces that led to Barack Obama’s election in 2008 and re-election in 2012, including Black and Hispanic voters, women, labour, and youth. In this campaign, the turnout by Black Americans was significantly lower. A similar albeit narrower coalition had coalesced around Bernie Sanders, a self-styled “democratic socialist.” After Sanders’ candidacy for the Democratic nomination was defeated, many of his supporters opted to stay home even though the Democratic platform included some of his policies. Others voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, or other third party candidates, rather than support Clinton, who was widely recognized as a war-monger and a representative of the banks, finance capital, and the 1%. The Democratic Party establishment, which hand-picked Clinton for the nomination, turned their backs on the US working class which faces worsening social conditions, collapsing wages and living standards, and mass permanent unemployment.

In the process, the Clinton campaign helped Trump build up his image as an outsider, beholden to no-one, though he was in fact heavily financed and supported by the Breitbart group and alt.right movements, the Tea Party, the religious right, the KKK, the military, police, and secret service, and by reactionary corporate interests who undoubtedly helped to finance the campaign behind the scenes. Trump has never been the lone cowboy he claims to be, either financially or politically. He is the front man for the ultra-right corporate and fascist forces in the US today.

The ongoing capitalist crisis since 2008, combined with systematic de-industrialization, plant closures and job losses resulting from global capitalist trade deals such as NAFTA and the upcoming TPP, has created a tipping point. Unwilling to continue with the status quo, working people have become increasingly angry and bitter, demanding change.

The field was wide open for the demagogic ultra-right to offer their alternative: attacks on immigrants, racialized communities, Muslims, women, and unidentified elites, including trade unions and equality seeking groups and legislation blamed for the crisis in the country. “Make America Great Again” was Trump’s broad stroke promise to improve the lives of unemployed and unorganized sections of the white (male) working class and ruined small business people, and to wreak revenge on those held responsible for their situation.

Trump’s promises to create jobs and raise living standards are fantasies for the public. His agenda is to lower corporate taxes, eliminate regulation of corporations and banks, slash education and healthcare, privatize public assets and services, scrap civil, labour, equality and democratic rights, expel immigrants, repeal “Obamacare”, appoint judges who will attack reproductive rights, and rip up the Paris Accords and other efforts to tackle climate change. He will be in charge of the US nuclear weapons codes, and he proposes to double military spending. There will be no breathing space under Trump, who will continue the imperialist policies of previous presidents, including new wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, continued aggression in Africa, regime change in Latin America, and the NATO drive to encircle Russia and China.

Living next door to the tiger, Canada will not be immune. US investment and control runs right through the Canadian economy, our energy and resource extraction policies are very similar, our environmental policies are almost as bad, and Canadian foreign policy and support for NATO is in lock-step. Where there are differences, the US always prevails. This will include any amendments to NAFTA or the TPP, or the Keystone Excel Pipeline and other pipeline deals.

Facing this onslaught, working people in Canada and the US, and especially the trade unions, must organize to defend hard-won rights and standards, and to mobilize broad-based unity and mass independent political action in the streets to stop Trump and the ultra-right in their tracks. Unity of the Canadian labour and people’s movements with our counterparts in the US will strengthen this fight in both countries. The Communist Party of Canada stands in solidarity with those who voted against and fought to defeat Trump, and with the Black Lives Matters movement, the Standing Rock water protectors, and all other post-election struggles against the ultra-right, in the US, Canada and globally. To succeed, this fight must include a program and policies for the real, fundamental, and progressive change that working people are so desperately looking for. In the meantime, unity, unity and more unity is what we need in this struggle. The people united, will never be defeated!

Statement on the U.S. election, Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada, Nov. 10, 2016

Posted in Canada, International, Peace, Quality Jobs, Quality Public Services, Society, TPP, United States, Welfare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A day like today, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

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The original document of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Credit: mtholyoke.edu

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

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Article 25.2. All children shall enjoy the same social protection.Credit: Model UN

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

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Fidel was devoted to the cause of the people

Letter to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba

On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada, I write to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to you, and through you to the Cuban people, the government, the Communist Party, and to the family, at the sad news of the death of Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, the leader of the Cuban revolution for more than 50 years.

risueno

Comrade Fidel’s life was devoted to the cause of the working people of Cuba, of Latin America and the world. He gave his entire life to the fight for national liberation and independence, for socialism, peace, equality, democracy, and social advance for all working people. That is why the CIA and assorted gusanos made more than 600 attempts on his life, and why the US blockade continues after 50 years.

Under his leadership, Cuba became the first free territory in the Americas: a beacon of light for all those struggling against imperialism and fascist dictatorships in Latin America, and around the world. He fought for unity and solidarity of the working people everywhere, for the progressive forces and states struggling for peace, democracy, sovereignty, and socialism, against imperialism, war and aggression.

 

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Fidel created solidarity bonds with oppresed peoples of the Earth. In here, Fidel appears with Ta Thi Kieu. Vietcong, Sept 1973

He fought tenaciously for the creation of a new international economic order in which exploitation, oppression, and war were abolished and nations, states and peoples were free to develop on the basis of their sovereignty, self-determination and independence. Cuba’s internationalist assistance to the peoples of Angola, South Africa, Chile, Grenada, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and many other countries over more than 5 decades is the implementation of this vision.

Just prior to the overthrow of the Soviet Union and the socialist system of states, Fidel famously said that while Cuba did not seek out the responsibility to uphold the banner of socialism internationally, it would take on that responsibility if need be. It was a warning that became a reality within a very short time. While imperialism crowed that the end of history – meaning the victory of capitalism over socialism – had arrived, it was Cuba under the leadership of Fidel that upheld the banner of socialism, of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, on behalf of working people.

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Comrade Fidel Castro and the struggle of the Cuban people to build socialism just 90 miles from the most powerful imperialist power on earth, lives on in the hearts and minds of billions of people, because the objectives of a classless society, a society built on the foundations of peace, democracy, environmental security and socialism, continue to be the inspiration for millions of people struggling for fundamental social change in their own countries, struggling to build a better future for themselves and their children.

The passing of Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz is a milestone in the international Communist movement, a significant marker in the transition from capitalism to socialism globally. Canadian Communists will gain new energy in the work to build new and stronger ties between Canada and Cuba, and to defeat those reactionary forces opposed to peace and progress in the Americas, to socialism in the world, and to the sovereignty, equality and Independence of all nations and states.

Viva Fidel! Hasta la victoria siempre!

Comradely,

Elizabeth Rowley
Leader
Communist Party of Canada

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Fidel is a mighty hero

Siegfried Barazov

To the socialist nations and liberated peoples of the world, Fidel Castro was and is a mighty hero, whose spirit stands beside the Great Lenin and all the other champions of a revolutionary tradition extending back almost three thousand years to the time when aristocratic power was first broken with an iron rod as the power of the people was mobilized and gathered around a hero of their own making.

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Just as Cypselus of Corinth was remembered as a brutal tyrant by the parasitic aristocrats he cast down in 650 B.C., Fidel Castro will continue to be loathed by the capitalist class and their assorted reactionary lackeys around the world in our own time.  For the fascists who currently strut and dance in the streets of certain American cities, celebrating the death of a nightmarish red bogeyman who haunted their own twisted dreams of untrammeled power and ill-gotten gains, understand something that terrifies them just as it terrifies their political and economic masters.

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Cypselus of Corinth. Photo credit: Encyclopaedia Britannica

 

All exploiters, big and little monsters alike, know the terrible truth: that they are losing and will lose the battle of history.  For the revolutionary tradition, first set into motion in defiant response to the evil exploitation of man by man, is relentless and it will not stop until the final bastion of ruling class power is stormed.  No matter how many times they try to bury it, it will always rise anew and grow stronger.  They cannot escape.  Fidel Castro and revolutionary heroes like him demonstrate the earthshattering truth to the downtrodden working masses of humanity that the proletarian is god.  And that when the working class, the creator of civilization, realizes its own power, and its own destiny, it is unstoppable.  Even the most powerful exploiter and oppressor is ultimately but a tiny mosquito, so easily crushed under the mighty hand of the people.

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Hasta siempre, Comandante

At 10:29 of this Friday November 25 2016 the Commander-in-Chief, Fidel Castro passed away. Raúl Castro confirmed the news on a live speech after the end of National News, in here we reproduced it for our readers [Below the original text in Spanish]:

Dear people of Cuba:

With a profound pain I appear to inform our people and the friends of América and the world, that today November 25, at 10:29 hours of the night the Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Revolution has passed away. In fullfilment of the will expressed by El Compañero Fidel, his remains will be incinerated. During the first hours of tomorrow (by today) Saturday 26th, the organising committee of the funeral, will provide a detailed information to our people about the organisation of the posthumous tribute that will be given to the founder of the Cuban Revolución. ¡Hasta la Victoria, siempre!

fidel-lives

A las 10:29 de este viernes 25 de noviembre de 2016 murió el Comandante en Jefe, Fidel Castro. La noticia la confirmó Raúl en una alocución en la emisión de cierre del Noticiero Nacional de Televisión, que reproducimos para nuestros lectores:

Querido pueblo de Cuba:

Con profundo dolor comparezco para informarle a nuestro pueblo y a los amigos de América y del mundo, que hoy 25 de noviembre, a las 10:29 horas de la noche falleció el Comandante en Jefe de la Revolución Cubana Fidel Castro Ruz. En cumplimiento a la voluntad expresa del Compañero Fidel, sus restos serán cremados. En las primeras horas de mañana sábado 26, la comisión organizadora de los funerales, brindará a nuestro pueblo una información detallada sobre la organización del Homenaje póstumo que se le tributará al fundador de la Revolución Cubana. ¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

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Act now to silence the drums of war over Syria

Central Committee, Communist Party of Canada, October 14-15, 2016

The devastating conflict in Syria which began in 2011 has now reached a new, extremely dangerous stage with the real possibility of direct military confrontation between the two leading nuclear powers, the U.S. (and NATO allies, including Canada) and the Russian Federation. In such a critical situation, it is vital for all progressive and peace-loving forces across Canada and around the world to speak out immediately to counter the deafening drums of war, and to demand that all states and governments act to bring about a negotiated political settlement to this conflict.
The war in Syria has already exacted a staggering toll in death and destruction, with over 400,000 deaths – more than half of which include innocent civilians caught in the crossfire – and millions driven into internal migration or foreign exile as refugees. Industry and national infrastructure have been destroyed on a massive scale, especially in the high combat zones of the country; economic losses estimated in the hundreds of billions; and unemployment and poverty for vast sections of the population.

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Peace Dove conceived by Pablo Picasso for the 1949 1st World Peace Congress. Public domain. 

The conflict in Syria has never been a ‘civil war’ between supporters and opponents of the Assad government in Damascus. Rather, from the outset it has been a proxy war, sponsored and financed by U.S./NATO imperialism and its regional allies – Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Gulf States and Zionist Israel – with the aim of imposing regime change and the weakening and carving up of Syria, as imperialism had done earlier in Iraq and Libya.

Ruling circles in the U.S. and NATO countries have been completely duplicitous about their real intentions in Syria and the region as a whole. Their claims of combatting ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and wanting to protect the lives of innocent civilians, are belied by facts which have surfaced during the course of the conflict.

Ever since the besieged Syrian government asked for and received military assistance from the Russian Federation in September 2015, the balance of forces has shifted decidedly against the ISIS and Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist insurgency and their Western sponsors. Over the past year the Syrian Army, with the help of the Russians and other allies in the region, have done much more to combat the mercenary terrorist forces than the US-led ‘coalition’ offensive had done over the preceding 31/2 years, and now the ‘rebel forces’ are on the verge of defeat in the strategic city of Aleppo.

But instead of welcoming these setbacks to the terrorist forces, Washington and the NATO powers have launched a much more intense and vitriolic propaganda war against the Assad government and the Russian Federation, accusing them of ‘war crimes’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ and once again invoking the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine as a pretext for direct military aggression against the Syrian government and its allies. These latest developments re-confirm that imperialism’s real objective continues to be the overthrow the Assad government, rather than to ‘fight terrorism’.

The bellicose rhetoric and propaganda offensive launched in recent weeks by U.S. and NATO leaders, uncritically parroted by the Western corporate media, has now reached a disturbingly high pitch. Plans being drafted by US/NATO military circles for direct attacks on Syrian and Russian forces; calls for the imposition of a “No Fly Zone” (as was used in Libya in 2011 to overthrow the Kaddafi government); and preparations to launch a direct cyber-attack on the Russian Federation – all of these could lead to a direct confrontation between the US/NATO and the Russian Federation, one which could quickly escalate into a world war, including the use of weapons of mass destruction.

There should be absolutely no underestimation of the urgent nature of the threat of global confrontation and war which have now emerged over the conflict in Syria. It is vital therefore that all anti-imperialist and progressive forces, the broad peace movement and all those dedicated to the cause of peace across Canada break the silence and mobilize to demand that the Canadian government act to defuse tensions by removing its own troops from Syria and the region, and working for a peaceful, negotiated way out the crisis, one which respects the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada calls on all of its Clubs and Committees, and all of its members, friends and supporters to build a broad ‘peace offensive’ as our highest priority at this critical juncture. The Communist Party also calls for full support to initiatives by the Canadian Peace Congress and other peace forces to address and counter this rising danger of war. The CPC also urges all democratic and progressive organizations and movements across the country – the trade union movement, Aboriginal peoples, youth and students, women’s and equality-seeking movements and others – to speak out now for peace, and to still the drums of war.

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