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.
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
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.
Statement issued jointly by the YCL-LJC CEC and BC Provincial Committee
The YCL-LJC re-affirms its opposition to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games being held in Vancouver and Whistler starting this February, and expresses solidarity with the cross-Canada youth resistance to the Games. The Games are a massive party for the wealthy on the backs of the poor. They should be opposed by all progressive youth and students.
The 2010 Olympics are not just a bad decision by a bad government. They are part of the continued corporate offensive, led by the BC Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government on behalf of the capitalist class, against the working class, the youth, and the students. The Harper Conservatives use of the Olympics as an excuse to prorogue federal parliament further exposes this corporate circus.
These governments have no mandate to host a sports event claiming to be about peace and friendship. The Harper Conservatives are at war in Afghanistan. The preparations for the Games have left thousands of BC resident’s homeless and many criminalized by various bylaws and Olympic "security." The goal is to untruthful present Canada as a society without poverty. To the contrary, working class families, including unionized workers, are under attack.
Bill 21 forced striking Paramedics back to work without a negotiated collective agreement, attempting to legislate "labour peace" before the Olympics. Many Olympic projects are P3 privatization scandals. Workers must now pay billions of dollars for money wasted on the Games while public services suffer further cuts. The Games are too expensive for most workers to even attend.
The tokenism in Olympic advertising (such as the Inuit inuksuk mascot) fails to obscure the anti-First Nations nature of the Games. The Games will be held on unsurrendered Aboriginal land, where no Treaties have been signed. Olympic security costs are reportedly over $1 billion, while one in two off-reserve Aboriginal children live in poverty. Aboriginal nations, including First Nations and the Métis people, face a racist colonial legacy, including the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in British Columbia, not addressed by the Games.
While global warming is causing international alarm, the Olympics have destroyed forests, fish and wildlife habitats. The Eagle Ridge Bluffs was ruined for an unnecessary highway. We salute those who opposed this injustice, particularly sister Harriet Nahannee who died from pneumonia caught while unjustly jailed for protesting.
Any opposition to the Olympics is being met with harassment, intimidation, threats of violence and arrests. The Vancouver/Whistler area has been transformed into a militarized police zone, including 4,000 US and Canadian troops, to suspend the people’s democratic rights to protest, freedom of speech, expression, and association.
The Olympic Games have transferred billions of dollars from the working people of BC to corporate coffers. The immense public debt generated by the Olympics represents money that should have been spent on people’s needs, like job creation, more accessible education, housing, health care, libraries, child care, and affordable transit.
The YCL-LJC calls for participation in demonstrations being planned in the lead up to, and during the Olympic Games. Provincial infrastructure development must honour aboriginal nation’s right to sovereignty and self-determination. We demand that recreation, leisure time and a democratic culture including sports is a right – not a privilege. Women’s participation in sports should be encouraged, not excluded. Sports should cherish human qualities of fair-play and cooperation and promote peace, internationalism, solidarity – not militarism, elitism and consumerism. We fight for this better future and call for all like-minded youth to join the struggle!
On January 27th 2010 the Communist Youth Union (KSM) of the Czech Republic was tried again at the Municipality Court of Prague regarding the issue of illegalization of KSM. The Municipality Court of Prague, based on KSM’s extraordinary appeal and decision of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic, cancelled the judgment at law from 2008, which rejected the administrative protest delivered by the KSM against the decision of the Ministry of Interior of Czech Republic on the dissolution of the KSM. This is very important decision for KSM, because it legalises KSM again. KSM now can again work openly as legal organisation.The official reason of the illegalization of the KSM by Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic in 2007 was declared a programmatic goal of the KSM is to replace private ownership of means of production with a collective ownership of means of production. Also the reason for the dissolution of KSM was the convincement of the young people about the necessity to struggle for another society not based on the capitalist principles.
This step of the Ministry of Interior caused a fundamental disagreement of the majority of the Czech people. The petition supporting the KSM has been signed by thousands of the citizens of the Czech Republic so far. Against the decision of the Ministry of Interior protested, for example, also the organisations of the former fighters against fascism and guerrilla resistance movement members. The petition of the civic associations has come out from an initiative of the student activists that denounce the steps of the Ministry of Interior against KSM. The support for KSM has been expressed also by a number of the Czech political parties. Thanks to initiative of the MPs of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) proceedings of the Ministry of Interior were discussed in a Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
The initiative of the Ministry of Interior was reflected with a big consideration also abroad. Hundreds of the youth, student and trade organisations have expressed their protests. Thousands of the people addressed their indignation to the Ministry of Interior and embassies of the Czech Republic abroad, among others a number of members of national parliaments, European parliament, university professors, and former fighters against fascism. A number of protest activities took place in front of the embassies of the Czech Republic in a number of countries.
The judgment of the Municipality Court of Prague on KSM’s means legalisation of the KSM. It is very important victory in the struggle against anticommunism and anti-democratic development in the Czech Republic.
The World Federation of Democratic Youth has geared itself to roll out the programme of action for the year 2010. As a start, the General Council Meeting is scheduled to take place in the city of Beirut, Lebanon from 5-8 February 2010.
The International Consultative Meeting will also convene simultaneously to come up with the final decision of the host for the much awaited 17th World Festival of Youth and Students.
It is important to reassure all anti-imperialist forces to unite in support of the momentum and there are also events taking place within your regions as way of reigniting the flames of the festival movement. This seeks to further strengthen our struggle through creating new possibilities and opportunities of the youth to vigorously fight and denounce imperialism, neocolonialism, illegal occupations and all forms of threats imposed to the world by the so called militarily powerful nations.
We will be rolling up our sleeves and we will get back to the basics and united we will defeat imperialism.
The World Federation of Democratic Youth strongly condemns the abduction of Noriel Rodriguez in Cagayan by the suspected extra-orbiter elements of the deceitful Arroyo regime. We think it is severe attack against the freedom of progressive individual that he gets for his decent opinion for justice, equity and people’s welfare.
The whereabouts of Mr. Norial is not yet confirmed since a week. According to the ANAKBAYAN confirmation a gang of four armed men in civilian clothes abducted him on 7th of September, 2009 are the suspected of Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army stationed at San Jose, Gonzalo. We demand the government in our strongest term the immediate release of Mr. Noriel and to bear the accountability to punish the culprits behind this atrocity.
We strongly denounce such extra judicial act of the regime that flagrantly violates the human rights and it own law. We appeal to all youth and student organizations around the globe to support the cause raised by our member organization ANAKBAYAN, Philippines by extending the solidarity campaign for immediate release of Mr. Noriel.
Democratic rights for Bahraini students and youth!
Last week witnessed a sad moment for the Bahraini youth and students as the University of Bahrain took an aggressive decision against a student activist Noor Hussain, member of Shabeeba Society of Bahrain, our member organization of WFDY.Comrade Noor Hussain was leading the Student List inside the university and working for the rights of the students for public free education. Continuous Harassments from the administration lead to escalating confrontation that resulted in the expulsion of comrade Noor from her course of study and considering her failing in her classes.
Once again we witness an aggression against the basic rights of public action and student activism in a country that has declared previously that it guarantees the rights of expression of its entire people since the reconciliation in the mid nineties. This aggressive decision is a critical drawback in the countries record and is one more form of oppression and exploitation of the Bahraini people. We call the University of Bahrain to immediately restore the rights of comrade Noor and letting her back successfully to her classes.
We also call the authorities in Bahrain to take their responsibilities in guaranteeing the basic democratic rights of their youth and students.
WFDY asks all its member organizations to express their solidarity with the democratic rights in Bahrain and around the world
Solidarity towards the Jordanian communists!
In the month of Ramadan, celebrated now by Muslims around the world, the clerics of several mosques in Jordan oriented their speeches against communism and against the struggles of our comrades in Jordan. A campaign of hatred and illusion was launched by the clerics against the secular and democratic forces in Jordan, particularly the communists there in an organized aggression.
The role of the authorities remains suspicious especially that it prevents the clerics from saying any political comment when it comes to criticizing the government policies and loyal parties, while it remains silent despite strong statements and calls of division, sectarian intolerance and hatred against the progressive forces.
WFDY expresses its solidarity with the democratic movement in Jordan and with the Jordanian communists who face now an aggression to destroy their image as a progressive and democratic secular party struggling for the interests of all the Jordanian people.
WFDY calls the Jordanian government to take action and prevent the clerics from interfering in politics, particularly stopping the waves of aggression and hatred against the democratic movement.
WFDY asks its members to show support and condemn the sectarian practices against the democratic movement in Jordan and the Arab world, and also condemn the suspicious silence of the Jordanian government towards those attacks.
On the occasion of Labour Day the Young Communist League of Canada greets the young workers with solidarity and militancy. Canada is one of the few countries in the world that does not celebrate the workers holiday on May 1, but every holiday we have fought for and deserve.
On Labour Day 2009 we view the situation of the young workers as very dire. Across our country minimum wages are poverty wages, youth unemployment is the highest since figures began to be recorded, tuition is on the rise, and social services and union contracts are under attack. This is taking place in the context of the sellout of our jobs and our countries sovereignty through de-industrialization, free trade pacts, and deep integration with the United States.
All of this is part of the offensive of capital aimed at making the working people, including young workers, pay for the deepening global economic crisis that they created. This economic crash, which is the worst of its kind since the Great Depression of the 1930’s, is merely a symptom of a system in crisis.
Today the ruling class and its governments and political parties in Canada and around the world are scrambling to find new ways to patch up their crisis ridden system. This Labour Day, while we celebrate the struggles and the victories of Canada’s working class movement, we should do so with a consciousness of the need to continue that movement in a united and militant way today.
Together, the working class, youth, and students, could defeat the anti-worker Harper Tories. Together, we could put an end to this capitalist system and to the exploitation, poverty and misery that is breeds.
We won’t pay for their crisis! Let’s unite a fight back!