Idle No More? Speak for Yourself…

Idle No More? Speak for Yourself…

Analysis of Idle No More Mobilization

Make a Stand graphic[From Warrior Publications]

by Zig Zag

On Dec. 10, 2012, several thousand Native peoples rallied across Canada as part of a national day of action dubbed “Idle No More” (INM). The protests targeted Bill C-45 and the policies of the ruling Conservative Party. In Edmonton, as many as 1,500 turned out, one of the largest. A reported 400 people attended in Calgary and Winnipeg, with anywhere from 100 to 300 participating in Toronto, Regina, Saskatoon, North Battleford, and Vancouver.

What is Bill C-45?

Bill C-45 is an omnibus bill meant to put into law parts of the Conservative Party budget introduced in early 2012.  It is also known as the Jobs and Growth Act.  Its full bureaucratic title is Bill C-45: A Second Act to Implement Certain Provisions of the Budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and Other Measures.

As an omnibus bill it includes changes and revisions to a wide number of federal laws and regulations. These include the Fisheries Act, the Canada Grain Act, changes to MP’s pensions, the handling of hazardous materials, and a new bridge to Windsor, Ont., from Detroit, Michigan.   One of the more controversial provisions are proposed changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, which remove thousands of lakes and streams from federal protection under that law.

Some of the changes proposed under Bill C-45 have been criticized by environmentalists and Indigenous peoples resisting mining, oil & gas projects, as well as proposed pipelines:

“Together, the changes proposed in the omnibus bill would further weaken Canada’s environmental laws, remove critical federal safeguards, and reduce opportunities for the public to have their say about projects that could threaten the air, water, soil and ecosystems on which all Canadians, and our economy, depend.”

(“Open Letter to MPs regarding Bill C-45,” West Coast Environmental Law, November 21, 2012)

Members of Unis'tot'en camp, November 2012.

Members of Unis’tot’en camp opposing Pacific Trails Pipeline, November 2012.

For Indigenous peoples in particular, along with the threats to land and water, are proposed changes to the Indian Act including an amendment to change the rules around what kind of meetings or referenda are required to lease reserve lands. The aboriginal affairs minister would also be given authority to call a band meeting or referendum for the purpose of considering an absolute surrender of the band’s territory. Continue reading “Idle No More? Speak for Yourself…”

KOE: The Influence of the Chinese Revolution on the Communist Movement of Greece (2006)

KOE: The Influence of the Chinese Revolution on the Communist Movement of Greece (2006)

[From the Communist Organization of Greece]

Our contribution can reach the point of formulating an opinion (open for debate) and sharing the experience of a small section of the world’s proletariat, that of the Greek communist movement.

The Greek communists and the Chinese Revolution

“Our countries have two things in common: our ancient civilization, and two fatal numbers: 6 and 7. You are on the 36th parallel and we are on the 37th. You have the 6th Fleet of the US Navy, we have the 7th”.

(From a speech of Chairman Mao on a meeting with the representatives of the Greek-Chinese League of Friendship in 1965.)

It is of interest to state the opinion given by a great Greek communist who pioneered in the antirevisionist struggle in Greece. It is that of Comrade Yiannis Hontzeas, who, in the note that follows, gives us a testimony of what the perception of Greek communists about the CPC was, and what their expectations were, before the open conflict with the Russian revisionists began:

When I. V. Stalin died, many communists in our country, the majority of the veteran EAM members [EAM – National Liberation Front] who remained faithful to the CPG’s [Communist Party of Greece, CPG or KKE] and the EAM’s traditions during difficult times, expected that Chairman Mao will be invited in Moscow in order to advise, to lead, to arrange the things. Regardless of what anyone may say today, Mao was then, after the death of Stalin, regarded as the leader of the world proletariat, the guide of the world communist movement. If that was a simplistic faith, this is an issue of different nature. Mao visited Moscow on two separate occasions: The first time in 1950 in order to sign the treaty with Stalin, and the second time in 1957 in order to attend the Conference of Communist Parties. After the events of that period, Mao’s name was transformed from legend to curse – to become a legend again in the ’60s and ’70s, wining the minds of both the youth and the working people, gaining even more glory after years of slander. But how did Mao and the Chinese Revolution become known in Greece? Continue reading “KOE: The Influence of the Chinese Revolution on the Communist Movement of Greece (2006)”

KOE: Ideological and political issues arising with the development of the movements on an international level (2006)

KOE: Ideological and political issues arising with the development of the movements on an international level (2006)

[From the Communist Organization of Greece]

The two “camps”

During the past five years a series of ideological and political issues arose, relating to choices, orientations, experiences, dilemmas and hardships faced by the multiform resistance and action of millions of people against neo-liberalism, war and imperialism. It could not have been otherwise, since different opinions, lines and ideological currents always co-existed and fought each other within the mass movements. Consequently, the revival of movements at the dawn of the 21st century brought about or refueled a series of political and ideological issues:

Is the concept of imperialism valid in modern times, or does it belong to the 20th century?

The war; with which line shall we fight against it?

Is Europe a pole opposing the US arrogance? What is “Europe” today?

Are we for or against violence? What is our stance towards terrorism and “war against terrorism”?

Shall we struggle to conquer the political power, or it is possible to change the world without conquering it?

Which can be the better and possible “another world”?

Let what follows be considered as a comment on these issues.

Facts are stubborn

Mass movements and resistances, uprisings, revolutionary processes are the products of the need and of the huge oppression experienced everyday on a worldwide scale by those “underneath”. They never are the result of planning on paper, nor are they ordered by ideological currents. The latter rather preexist (even in the form of small circles), meeting with movements on their course (especially when movements develop).

If we were to make a basic distinction within the mass movements on a worldwide scale, we would have to distinguish two great “camps”. On the one, stand those who do not believe that great, radical and serious changes can take place, those who believe that things will basically remain as they are. On the other, stand those who consider necessary the transcendence of the actual system of social relations and its replacement by another one, even if they do not know clearly what that system is and what its basic characteristics are.

These two big camps are present in almost all movements and their procedures. If we wish to study a little more this level (of “camps”), we shall remark that the first, the conservative one, is more composed, more organized, disposes of more staff and has better footholds. The radical “camp” is more diffused, less organized, and has very little support. Nevertheless, the second one appeared to be stronger during these five years. For two reasons: First, because it could express, and really did so, the rage, the despair and the discontent of popular masses, because it was not concerned by electoralist or other calculations, and because the all-sided development of resistance, movements, uprisings etc. is in its nature and constitutes an essential element of its line. Secondly, because during these five years a “necessary” and inevitable acceleration of the aggressiveness of the system’s basic forces took place. These forces, facing an immense economic crisis, had no other choice but the intensification of the attack against working people through the generalization of the neo-liberal holocaust and the recourse to “infinite” war. Therefore, by aggravating the brutality and the oppression, they left no ground to the ideas and the program of the conservative “camp”. In life the “weak” radical camp won.

Continue reading “KOE: Ideological and political issues arising with the development of the movements on an international level (2006)”

Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan: As Negotiating Tables Legitimize Canada’s Colonialism

Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan: As Negotiating Tables Legitimize Canada’s Colonialism

[From Intercontinental Cry]

A vision of the future? If there is no organized protest and resistance to the Harper government’s termination plan, than yes.

By • Nov 9, 2012

The following editorial was originally featured in the First Nations Strategic Bulletin (FNSB), June-October 2012. You can view/download this latest edition of the FNSB by clicking the following link: FNSB June-October 2012

On September 4th the Harper government clearly signaled its intention to:

1) Focus all its efforts to assimilate First Nations into the existing federal and provincial orders of government of Canada;

2) Terminate the constitutionally protected and internationally recognized Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights of First Nations.

Termination in this context means the ending of First Nations pre-existing sovereign status through federal coercion of First Nations into Land Claims and Self-Government Final Agreements that convert First Nations into municipalities, their reserves into fee simple lands and extinguishment of their Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.

To do this the Harper government announced three new policy measures:

  • A “results based” approach to negotiating Modern Treaties and Self-Government Agreements. This is an assessment process of 93 negotiation tables across Canada to determine who will and who won’t agree to terminate Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights under the terms of Canada’s Comprehensive Claims and Self-Government policies. For those tables who won’t agree, negotiations will end as the federal government withdraws from the table and takes funding with them.
  • First Nation regional and national political organizations will have their core funding cut and capped. For regional First Nation political organizations the core funding will be capped at $500,000 annually. For some regional organizations this will result in a funding cut of $1 million or more annually. This will restrict the ability of Chiefs and Executives of Provincial Territorial  organization’s to organize and/or advocate for First Nations rights and interests.
  • First Nation Band and Tribal Council funding for advisory services will be eliminated over the next two years further crippling the ability of Chiefs and Councils and Tribal Council executives to analyze and assess the impacts of federal and provincial policies and legislation on Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights.

Continue reading “Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan: As Negotiating Tables Legitimize Canada’s Colonialism”

Venezuela’s Chavez to Ministers: Now is the Time for Self-Criticism

Venezuela’s Chavez to Ministers: Now is the Time for Self-Criticism

[From Venezuelanalysis.com. See also the response from Atenea Jiménez Lemon of The National Network of Communards here.]

By RACHAEL BOOTHROYD

Chavez held the cabinet meeting on Saturday (agencies).

Caracas, October 23rd 2012 – In a cabinet meeting with his top ministers on Saturday, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez strongly criticised his political team for failing to show commitment to the participatory democratic model currently being proposed by his government and urged them to undertake serious “self-criticism”.

The meeting was the first cabinet meeting to have taken place since the Venezuelan national elections were held on 7 October, in which Chavez won a third presidential term with over 54% of the vote.

During the televised meeting, Chavez made many criticisms of his party, especially with regards to the construction of the country’s communes, which group together communal councils in a given region.

“Where are the communes?” he asked newly appointed Vice-president Nicolas Maduro.

“In (socialist city) Belen, we keep giving houses to people, but you can’t see a commune anywhere. Not even the spirit of the commune, which right now is more important than the commune itself; a communal culture… this is a matter for all of us, this (the communes) are part of the soul of this project,” he said.

Although the Law of the Communes was passed in 2010 and a Ministry of the Communes established, many of the local self-government bodies have not made it past the initial stages of registration. Continue reading “Venezuela’s Chavez to Ministers: Now is the Time for Self-Criticism”

Turkey faces the unintended consequences of its regional meddling

Turkey faces the unintended consequences of its regional meddling

[From A World To Win News Service.]

24 September 2012. A World to Win News Service. Turkey is playing a central role in the U.S.-led campaign to bring down Bashar al-Assad. Now it is being confronted with the possibility that instead of strengthening Turkey’s influence in the region, the weakening of the Syrian regime may create the most serious challenge the Turkish government headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has faced so far.

 Until only recently the two regimes were close allies. One of the points of unity between Assad’s Baathist Party and Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) was their opposition to the Kurdish movement in both countries. Not only do Kurds in the two countries have strong historical ties, a significant number of Kurds in Syria are from families that fled repression in Turkey, and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), though based in Turkey, includes many Kurds born in Syria. Now  Assad is “playing the Kurdish card”,  trying to use the Kurds to threaten Turkey.

 Following are excerpts from a lengthy article in issue 60 of Haghighat, the publication of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) entitled “The development of Syria’s civil war and the possibility of its spread to neighbouring countries, and the perspective of the formation of a state of Kurdistan”.

Women fighters from a Kurdish militia at a roadblock in North-East Syria.

The civil war between the two reactionary sides in Syria has gone through another turning point. The Bashar al-Assad regime has pulled back its troops from five Kurdish cities in northern Syria and largely left control of this region to Kurdish forces, especially the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish organization linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) based in Turkey. 

 Turkey has threatened to attack Syria militarily in response to PKK attacks launched from Kurdish areas in Syria. In mid-August U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Turkey to review possible scenarios for regime change in Syria. U.S. officials reaffirmed Turkey’s importance as a “strategic partner in the region”. One of the most important agreements is to leave the key institutions and military apparatus of the Syrian state intact. Continue reading “Turkey faces the unintended consequences of its regional meddling”