YCL Ontario statements
YCL Ontario statements

YCL Ontario statements (2)

Friday, 28 May 2010 13:13

Mr. Netanyahu: War Criminals Not Welcome!

Written by
The Young Communist League of Ontario condemns the presence of the leading war criminal of Apartheid Israel in our province.  Netanyahu is in Toronto to white-wash the Israeli state’s crimes and in Ottawa to shake hands with the Prime Minister of Canada, who is guilty of his own war crimes in Afghanistan.  We wholeheartedly support all progressive youth’s participation in mass actions to send a clear message: “War Criminals Not Welcome Here”!

This May, we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people on the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba.  “Nakba” means “catastrophe” in Arabic, but Zionist military forces at the time referred to it as “cleansing”.  This horrific crime against humanity uprooted 750,000 Palestinians and turned the vast majority of Palestinian residents of what is now Israel into refugees who are still denied their right of return to their land.  Netanyahu has continued and expanded the Nakba with his support for the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem and the West Bank through the creation of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

The vast majority of the world, through the UN, has opposed Israeli expansionism for over 40 years as one of the principle road blocks to peace in the region.  This is the view most commonly held by Canadian youth, but it is not being reflected in Harper’s unconditional support for the most extreme pro-Zionist and genocidal measures taken by the Israeli state.

Netanyahu is also currently responsible for continuing war crimes in the Gaza Strip.  Israel’s crimes during last year’s 3 week massacre of 1,400 Palestinians (including over 300 children) have been detailed in Judge Richard Goldstone’s report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.  Goldstone, a Jewish South African Judge, found that Israel had used disproportionate force, targeted Palestinian civilians, used them as human shields, destroyed civilian infrastructure and had used weapons made illegal under international law.

Your browser may not support display of this image. Netanyahu is now increasing the casualties in Gaza as a result of the ruthless siege.  Human Rights groups from around the world have referred to Gaza as the “world’s largest open air prison” and have repeatedly called on Israel to lift the siege in order to allow international aid to reach a society in tremendous need of reconstruction.  Israel’s actions today in regards to the siege have been correctly described as “collective punishment”, which is a war crime under the Geneva Convention. 

The Young Communist League of Ontario also condemns Netanyahu’s Israel of maintaining and strengthening its Apartheid policies in the occupied territories and inside Israel itself.  We stand with South African anti-Apartheid veterans, such as Desmond Tutu, Ronnie Kasrils, COSATU, the ANC, the South African Communist Party and the Young Communist League of South Africa, in refusing to be intimidated and referring to Israel’s racist policies by their name as defined in international law - “Apartheid”. 

Tory Minister Jason Kenney and his gang of federal and provincial reactionaries are trying to suppress a growing people’s movement by attacking Canadian democratic rights and labelling any criticism of Israel as “hate-speech”.  We stand in solidarity with “Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” who are struggling against the corporate censorship taking place within Toronto Pride and with students who are fighting university administrations and Conservative student groups’ attempts at censorship on campuses.  The truth is that growing numbers of Jewish Canadians and young peoples of all backgrounds are speaking out against Israel’s policies and joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Netanyahu’s Apartheid Israel.

The Young Communist League of Ontario understands that Israel’s policies cannot be analyzed in isolation.  The likes of war criminals such as Netanyahu and Harper can only be understood when looking at their role as agents of American Imperialism, whose military expenditure is as much than all other countries on earth combined.  Israel is American Capital’s guard dog in the Middle East, while Canada is its side kick and accomplice in the dirty war in Afghanistan.  It is capitalism and corporate interests that create war, racism and economic injustice around the world. Ultimately the way forward to win global, just and lasting peace is through the overthrow of the economic system which leads to global conflict.

War Criminals Not Welcome Here!  Youth unite for Peace and Socialism!

Statement of the YCL - Ontario Provincial Executive Committee

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Sunday, 14 March 2010 23:41

Intense struggles ahead for Ontario youth

Written by YCL-LJC

By Drew Garvie,

March 15 2010

Members of the newly expanded provincial committee, comrades,

The outgoing provincial executive wishes to welcome you to the committee at a time when there is an urgent need for a strong and dedicated leadership in the province of Ontario.  We are confident that the incoming members of the committee will provide this.  We would also like to thank Jeff T. and Shone B. for their work on this committee.  Jeff who has been on the committee since 2008 and Shone who has been on the committee since 2004.  We will continue to build on these comrades’ past hard work.

This meeting is being convened at a time when our class and the youth are being attacked and our rights and past gains rolled back, not least here in Ontario.  While the recent economic crisis has led many young people to understand that capitalism is not a humane, sustainable or realistic long-term economic system, the ruling class has attempted to use the crisis to their advantage.  In the initial stages of the economic crisis they denied its existence. Now they say we’re on the road to recovery, but contradicting themselves they also say it is time for the state to tighten its belt and reduce essential and already inadequate social spending.  The hypocrisy of the "jobless recovery” combined with their insistence that the working-class must bear the burden is what young workers and students in Ontario must immediately fight, in our workplaces, on our campuses and in our communities.

We are coming into a very intense year of struggle for the youth in Ontario, which is why we decided to expand the committee.  The federal Conservative government's hold on power is unstable, and its budget will be a direct assault on the vast majority of Canadians.  The Harper government continues to support imperialist occupations and wars in Palestine, Haiti and Afghanistan.  Now Afghan families are being displaced and vaporised during a major offensive at the same time as the so-called “Olympic truce.”   The sooner the Tories are out of office the better.

Provincially the McGuinty government is floating dangerous ideas like "Dalton Days" and continues to erode our socialized medical care system through the backdoor through P3’s and a manufactured crisis of underfunding.  Ontario tuition is now the highest in Canada and will increase again this year.  The pitiful increase in the minimum wage still leaves many young workers under the poverty line, even if they are lucky enough to get fulltime hours.  This year in June, Toronto, like Vancouver over the past month, will be turned into a police and military occupied city while the capitalists descend for the G20. The provincial legislature officially condemned Israeli Apartheid Week, which is an attempt to brand anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist views as “hate speech” and anti-semitism. The municipal elections coming up in the fall are another arena where this committee can, working with the Ontario Committee of the Communist Party of Canada, present real alternatives to young workers and students, who do not see their interests reflected in any of the big parties or elected officials.

We need to help bring the youth and student movement onto the front lines of the labour movement with several important strikes courageously being fought in Ontario such as the strike of Inco workers in Sudbury and Port Colbourne.  Federally, Employment Insurance is inaccessible to the vast majority of workers our age.  The YCL-O has started to become more active in workers’ struggles; doing strike support during the drive-test strike, at supporting the Inco workers in Port Colbourne, hosting the Hamilton “young workers’ conference” and the beginnings of an unemployed workers union.  We will continue to build our efforts in this area of struggle.

On campuses we have seen an increasingly active right-wing, which receives support from its puppeteers in the Conservative Party.  These tiny-Tories have led an attack on progressive movements on campus such as looking to infiltrate and defund Public Interest Research Groups, forming alliances with Zionists to stamp out free speech around Palestinian rights and most recently the dangerous move to defederate from the Canadian Federation of Students, which is the only mass progressive student organization which unites student unions from across English-speaking Canada.  The young worker and struggles are part of the same parcel and are all tied into the people's struggle in Ontario.  All members of the YCL, be they young workers or students, should be concerned with all struggles that concern our class.

The YCL also has other important things on its agenda that will help to expand, strengthen and unify the league.  This May delegates from across Canada will come together for the YCL’s convention where we will have a vigorous debate on our analysis of the international and cross-Canada situation, set the plan of action for the next few years and elect our leadership.  The Convention is the highest decision making body in the league, and it is this committee’s responsibility to ensure that the necessary fundraising is carried out by the clubs, that the discussion documents are thoroughly circulated and reviewed by clubs and allies, that submissions are solicited from Ontario and that Toronto is a successful host for the convention.  We also need to grapple with the discussion documents ourselves as a committee, and there will be a proposal coming from the outgoing executive on how to best do this.

Also on the not so distant horizon is the World Festival of Youth and Students coming up in December 2010 in South Africa.  Tens of thousands of progressive and anti-imperialist  youth from around the world will be in a country which saw one of the most brutal, racist, fascist regimes and one of the most courageous and dynamic resistance movements of the 20th century.  We need to work with our friends and allies, like the Canadian Federation of Students, the Student Christian Movement, youth from the Canadian Postal Workers, Six Nations and other Aboriginal youth, as well as anti-war activists, and other student and young worker militants in Haiti and Palestine solidarity, culture and activist music, progressive artists to make a delegation from Ontario that is part of a cross-Canada delegation, and truly reflective of the youth and student movement in this province.  While fundraising for this seems like a daunting task, we will not be alone. Building for the youth festival is a unique opportunity that will help to build the League across Ontario.  We will forge new ties with local allies, renew the YCL’s commitment to internationalism, popularize WFDY and strengthen connections with sister organizations within WFDY.

The YCL is a small organization with big ideas that strike a chord with the victims of capitalist savagery and have a disproportionate positive impact on the  youth and student's struggles.  As the Ontario YCL provincial leadership it is our job to coordinate this involvement, unite the clubs, formulate a province-wide fightback and help to grow the League, so that the League as a whole can provide leadership to youth and student struggles.

United with the Communist Party of Ontario, we have demands that we bring to the youth movement.  Demands like the $16 minimum wage; the reduction then elimination of tuition fees; public, quality, accessible childcare; nationalization of energy; and a Canadian foreign policy based on peace and disarmament. People are not going to hear very many of these ideas outside of the YCL.  It is up to us to put forward these demands so that the youth can use them as a weapon against the capitalists and their government, similarly we support the Communist Party in bringing these ideas to the working class of Ontario.

We look forward to the incoming committee’s work with these goals in mind and hope to have a discussion on this report in order to kick off the meeting.

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