The BC Liberal government released its budget on March 2nd, a budget that leaves much to be desired from the working people of British Columbia. Finance Minister Colin Hansen’s remark that “This budget is about families” must have been referring to their disenfranchisement at the hands of the most destructive Provincial government in the lifetime of young people today. Young families, students, and young workers all face a heightened financial threat because of the backwards fiscal planning of Gordon Campbell and his cronies.
For families already pushed well below the poverty line there are spending cuts across the board from low-income housing to medical services. BC Hydro rates will go up 9.11 percent this year and are scheduled to increase by similar amounts over the next three years regardless of the fact that the BC Liberal government sells energy the United States of America for a reduced rate. With the incoming HST working families cannot escape massive cost increases, cost increase which will sink the people of BC into further debt. The privatization of power must be reversed and Oil and Gas must be nationalized for the benefit of all British Columbians!
Young workers continue to see no movement on the minimum wage. BC now has the lowest minimum wage of any province or territory in Canada. Increased user fees in transit and other government programs further push the cost of the capitalist economic crisis and the Olympic party for the rich onto working people. The YCL calls for reduction of user fees and increased transit services!
Students saw a 28% hit to StudentAid BC after BC Liberal election promises not to do just that. This year the government revenue from tuition fees will exceed corporate income tax by 200 million dollars. BC was already ranked the lowest for non-refundable student financial assistance in the country. Drop fees, education shouldn’t be a debt sentence!
The Young Communist League calls for the immediate reversal of the imposition of the Harmonized Sales Tax and the BC Hydro rate hikes. Minimum wage must be set to $16 and marked to inflation to ensure a living wage for all British Columbians. The so-called training wage must be abolished. Tuition fees must be reduced and a provincial system of grants must replace the backwards student loan system costing Canadians over 13 billion dollars in debt.
These policies are not just pipe dreams if workers, youth, and students are willing to stand up and fight to make them reality. The massive resistance to the anti-people measures of the social democratic PASOK government in Greece, which have included cuts aimed at workers wages, holidays, bonuses, and other benefits, demonstrate the way forward for all those who wish to protect and improve the quality of life of working people. The global offensive aimed at making us pay for the global capitalist economic crisis can only be stopped by mass, united, militant struggle in which youth and students must be a key component.
1. Anti-Racist Demo March 21st. 2. Left Film Night - Capitalism: A Love Story 3. Discussion meeting for 25th Central Convention documents 4. Cultural Night Fundraiser 5. Educational: Historical Materialism
1. Anti-Racist Demo March 21st
For the first time in almost a decade neo-nazi racists will attempt to hold a march in the lower mainland. The YCL adds its voice to all those who are calling for participation in a counter-demonstration against this despicable affront to the rights and interests of our multi-national, ethnically diverse people. The YCL will be participating in the demonstration against the nazis and will be issuing a statement on the issue. For more information please read on. The first message below is from local anti-racist activists while the second one is the call to the neo-nazi march from Tavis Annan of "Advocates for White Civil Rights."
For the first time in about ten years, a white racist neo-Nazi group is planning to hold a public march in the Vancouver area. This "White Pride March" will take place on Sunday, March 21, which is also the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The United Nations declared this date in 1966, to mark the sixth anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre of anti-apartheid demonstrators by South African police and troops. White racist groups in North America have tried in recent years to claim this date for their own purposes. In Calgary, the "Aryan Guard" group has held rallies on this date for the past 3-4 years, usually with a couple of dozen participants. Opposing groups have been much larger, but the Aryan Guard has been protected by the Calgary police at these rallies. The Aryan Guard is linked to serious crimes, such as an attempted firebombing of the home of two leading Anti-Racist Action members in Calgary, physical attacks against members of racialized communites, etc. The Aryan Guard has recently divided; one leading member (Kyle McKee) is charged with attempted murder after throwing a pipe bomb into the home of two other members.
Here in the Vancouver area, there have been several recent cases of men wearing Nazi and racist items who have attacked people on the street. It is possible that these incidents are linked to the sudden emergence of this "white pride" group.
The first message below is from a neo-Nazi Facebook group which is being used to organize the racist march. Anti-racists are seeking more detailed information about the exact times and places. But it appears that the "White Pride" event will begin at 11 am, March 21, from the Braid Skytrain station in New Westminster. The message at the bottom is from a local Anti-Racist Action Facebook group, giving details of a "fun, safe and positive" counter-demonstration at the same time and place.
*********** White Pride Day March Through 3 Cities Take part in the biggest White Pride March BC has ever seen Date: Sunday, 21 March 2010 Time: 12:00 - 22:00 Location: Coquitlam-Burnaby-Vancouver BC Canada Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
We will march through Coquitlam, Burnaby and Vancouver on MArch/ 21st/ 2010. This has never been done before, so we will make it an event to remember. Everybody who believes in White Civil Rights are welcome to join in on the beginning of the revolution. There are far too many details for me to list on the group page, some I dont wish to divulge on the internet, so e-mail me and I will make certain that you receive all the information you require. After the March we will feast and celebrate The one holiday devoted to the Beautiful, Wonderful, Masterful White Race.
For more info, Check out our website http://webstarts.com/WalkforWhitePride
Thank you Ahead of time. Our Race Needs you. Travis Annan
Sunday, March 21, 7 pm Centre for Socialist Education, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver (Note: Pasta Dinner at 5 pm, see below for details)
"CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY"
In Michael Moore’s latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story, political, corporate, and financial elites combine forces to channel obscene wealth to the rich at the expense of the working class. Moore focuses on the bailout of the U.S. financial sector by taxpayers, and scandals such as “dead peasant” life insurance policies taken out by corporations on their own workers. The pillaging by the U.S. ruling class is revealed in bleak, stunning, even hilarious detail. Those who missed the film during its short run in the theatres last fall have another chance to catch it at Left Film Night.
No admission charge, but contributions towards our costs are welcome. Coffee and refreshments available.
Our annual Left Film Night Pasta Dinner will take place before the Left Film Night on Sunday, March 21 (not the last Sunday of the month, for a change). Doors open at 5, dinner (vegetarian option available) will be served at 5:30, tickets $12, proceeds to the People's Voice Fund Drive. The film will be screened at 7 pm following the dinner.
Left Film Nights are presented by the Centre for Socialist Education, Young Communist League, and the Latino and Vancouver East Clubs of the Communist Party of Canada. Call 604-255-2041 or email for further information.
On March 21st, 1960, South African police opened fire on a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid pass law. Sixty nine protesters were killed. In 1966, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was established by the United Nations General Assembly and has been observed around the world ever since on March 21st.
This year, a white supremacist neo-nazi group calling itself “Advocates for White Civil Rights” will attempt to hijack this day for the purposes of purveying their racist ideology. For the first time in almost a decade, fascists will be marching in the lower mainland. The YCL BC calls attention to the dangerous precedent that may be set if this despicable display is not stopped resolutely. For example, in Calgary, another racist organization call the “Aryan Guard” has been responsible for hate demonstrations and even violence against anti-racist activists, Communist Party members, and its own former members. We call on youth and students to join in the counter-demonstration being organized against this affront to the rights and interests of the people of Canada, a multi-national, ethnically diverse country.
The YCL opposes all manifestations of racism, national chauvinism, and xenophobia. We recognize that these manifestations are part and parcel of the capitalist system which perpetuates and utilizes these and other divisions within the working class to maximize profits and maintain their class rule. We fight for a socialist Canada where these social ills can finally be eliminated once and for all. We also call for the following immediate reforms:
• A ban on racist, chauvinist, and xenophobic propaganda
• The enactment of legislation to outlaw neo-nazi, white supremacist and fascist organizations
• Ensure the enforcement of affirmative action programs in employment and education
• Provide employment for all, regardless of nationality or ethnicity
• Eliminate racist immigration and temporary foreign worker policies
• All government agencies and businesses which turn a blind eye to, or promote, discriminatory practices must be severely punished
This March 21st, the YCL BC remembers the many young Canadians who courageously fought against racism, national chauvinism, and fascism both here at home, and overseas in conflicts such as the Spanish Civil War and World War Two. We note the efforts of youth and students across Canada who campaigned for an end to the apartheid system in South Africa, and who fight today against Israeli apartheid and for freedom for the Palestinian people. It is clear that the struggle against racism and fascism has not yet been won and must go on. All out to stop racism and fascism! For unity of the working class, youth, and students, across all national and ethnic lines!
In a heroic attempt to defend their territory, on February 22, 2010 the Okanagan Indian Band established a blockade of the Brown Creek watershed. The Brown Creek watershed is the OIBs fresh water supply which has been affected negatively from clear cutting. Tolko Industries Ltd is the logging company responsible for the blockade as it has been in legal battles for the past seven years to secure logging rights to the previously protected watershed.
The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs has supported the OIB, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip saying, “The Courts failed to deal with the proprietary nature of Aboriginal Title to the lands and resources within the territory. With this decision, third party interests are protected at the expense of the community’s drinking water, archaeological history and their constitutionally protected rights. Consequently, the UBCIC will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Okanagan Indian Band to ensure their community’s water, history and rights are defended.”
Much of the OIBs territory has already been sold off to corporate interests, leading to fish bearing streams running dry in the summer. OIB Chief Fabian Alexis has said that this was not an action the band took lightly, but had no choice to defend itself against the advancement of devastating logging practices.
The situation is made all the more tense by Tolko’s continued lying in the media. Tolko has said that its mill will be forced to shut down due to a lack of available logs from the Brown Creek area. This tactic, meant to pit worker against band member, is pure dishonesty. The fact is that Tolko released a statement on January 19th saying the mill might have to shut down periodically due to market fluctuations surrounding wood prices. Also, OIB members have photographed stockpiles of wood at the Tolko mill, adequate to keep production up during the blockade. Tolko has sought court injunctions to have OIB members jailed so that the company can move along without the hassle of respecting human rights.
The OIB blockade is an example to us all of the need for militant struggle in defense of our rights and interests. Clean drinking water is a fundamental right which is being increasingly intruded upon by corporate interests internationally. The OIB is right to stand up against such an injustice.
This struggle highlights the genocidal colonial history of capitalism in BC and of Canada towards First Nations people. The actions of the BC government and the courts make clear the continuing racist nature of the capitalist system and its willingness to sacrifice the interests of the people for the interests of corporate profit. The Young Communist League of Canada calls for youth and students to stand in solidarity with Okanagan Indian Band! Stop Tolko! Protect Aboriginal Rights!
The YCL BC expresses its firm opposition to the 10% price increase for FareSaver tickets and monthly passes on Translink services scheduled to become effective April 1st.
The cost of transit fares in the lower mainland has skyrocketed out of control, particularly in the last few years. Far from a luxury, the public transit system is a necessity for thousands of working people and for the majority of youth and students. Increased fares continue to make the transit system less accessible for young workers and students. Already a trip to work and back for a young worker costs between $5 and $10 while minimum wages sits at $8 for over eight years. Monthly passes will now cost from $81 to as much as $151. Many students are not covered under the various pass programs which offer lower rates.
We can’t continue to pay the endlessly increasing costs of Translink operations. The YCL demands: - A publicly owned and operated transit system - Meaningful public input in transit expansion decisions - Democratically elected governance and the right to recall - Expansion of transit services to meet the needs of those who use it; working people, youth, students, and the poor - Funding through progressive taxation, not through high fares. This means taxing the rich and the corporate elite, not regressive taxes like the HST - A system of reduced fares for ALL students - Reduction and eventual elimination of fares to make transit accessible for all
In the long term, our struggle is for a socialist Canada where the working class, including youth and students, democratically own and control the wealth of society which they alone produce. When society’s wealth is put to work improving the lives of the people rather than enriching a small group of elites, all manner of public services including public transit can be funded at never before seen levels to serve the needs of society as a whole.