Sighting. 2017 Photo Review – May

For a Modern Canada that Defends the Rights of All – All Out to Build the New!

TML Daily, the online newspaper of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, is posting its acclaimed, annual, month-by-month photo review of the stands taken by the working people of Canada and Quebec and Indigenous peoples in 2017. The review includes hundreds of photos. Characterizing the month of May, 2017, it points out:

May is a month of particular importance to the working class worldwide as it opens with May Day – International Day of Working Class Unity and Struggle. In rallies and meetings in Canada to mark May Day, workers from all different sectors of the economy used the occasion to raise the banner of their rights and their struggles today. In so doing they affirmed that the workers have their own politics and demands on the society independent from those of the ruling class in Canada, Quebec and worldwide. The actions expressed the fraternal unity of the working people around the world with demands to oppose Canadian involvement in imperialist war and aggression against the working people of other lands.

In May active and retired workers, especially those in the public sector, took important initiatives to oppose the Trudeau Liberals’ attacks on defined benefit pension plans through Bill C-27, demanding secure pensions for all. Bill C-27 aims to destroy defined benefit pensions for nearly half a million workers and remove the legal requirement that employers fund, maintain and guarantee pension plan benefits.

In Quebec 175,000 construction workers embarked on a bold general strike to challenge unacceptable demands from construction employers to disrupt existing work schedules to the detriment of the workers’ personal and work lives. Instead of affirming the workers’ rights through legislation, or contributing to negotiations, the provincial Liberal government swiftly passed back-to-work legislation criminalizing the workers’ resistance while fraudulently claiming that they could still bargain in the form of mediation and arbitration, without the right to say No! with strike action. This action was met with broad opposition from Quebec workers and legal challenges from unions affected.

The Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec held an important conference on rights on the 180th anniversary of the 1837 rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada. The conference brought together forces from across Quebec, Canada and the United States to discuss the experience of the Patriots in their fight against the colonial institutions of the Canadian state of that period, from the standpoint of how to advance nation-building in the 21st century on the basis of a modern conception of rights.

In May, Canadians joined worldwide celebrations of the 72nd anniversary of the defeat of Nazi fascism in Europe. Events highlighted the outstanding role of the Soviet Red Army and paid tribute to the partisan resistance and all the anti-fascist fighters who gave their lives for this victory of all humanity. Actions also opposed the Canadian state’s imperialist warmongering today in Europe in particular Canada’s May signing of a Defence Agreement with Ukraine.

The annual CANSEC weapons fair in Ottawa was protested by anti-war demonstrators in Ottawa and Montreal, while the Trudeau Liberals took this opportunity to promote Canada’s new warmongering “defence policy” which steps up Canada’s integration into U.S.-led imperialist war alliances. One of the main sponsors of the annual private event is the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the Crown corporation which facilitated the Liberal government’s $11 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The event came at a time when NATO member states, including Canada, dramatically increased military spending at the demand of the U.S. in its striving for domination. Thus, CANSEC provided a venue for the biggest war profiteers to seek ever-greater payments from the public purse. It featured U.S., Canadian and other arms monopolies and representatives of warmongering governments including those of Canada, the U.S., UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as of other countries infamous for repression against the people including India, Egypt and Colombia.


May 1

Across the country workers from different regions and sectors of the economy participate in actions marking May Day, the International Day of Working Class
Unity and Struggle.












Prince George

Cumberland  (Photos: TML, P. Lahay, CUPE, HEU, D. Copeland, OSSTF District 9.) 

May 5

Federal public service workers protest the introduction of Bill C-27 which will undermine their defined benefit pensions and security in retirement.

May 6

On the 180th anniversary of the rebellions in Lower and Upper Canada a conference is held in Montreal on the Patriots’ conception of rights and that in the Canadian constitutions of 1840 and 1867.

May 9

The 72nd anniversary of the victory over fascism in Europe in 1945 is commemorated with marches and ceremonies in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver to honour those who fought and sacrificed their lives to contain fascism, and to reiterate humanity’s call Never Again!





Dewdney, BC

May 11

Rally and street party takes place during Canadian Labour Congress Convention in Toronto, to demand an end to precarious non-standard employment and to oppose racist attacks against the people, singling out Islamophobia at this time.

May 13

Marches in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, among other places, commemorate the 69th anniversary of al-Nakba, the forcible expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland by the Zionists in order to annex their land into the state of Israel.




Montreal picket opposes foreign intervention in Venezuela and attacks on Venezuela’s diplomatic staff in Canada.

May 17
Monthly picket at U.S. Embassy in Ottawa demands end to U.S. blockade of Cuba.

May 21-23

On Quebec Patriots’ Day marches, historic exhibits, conferences and performances take place to mark the 1837-1838 uprising and to honour the memory of the Patriots who gave their lives or were forced into exile in the struggle to end British colonial rule by establishing a Republic of Quebec.



May 24

In Quebec, 175,000 construction workers launch a general strike against unacceptable concessionary demands from organizations representing construction employers. Within days the Quebec government criminalizes the workers’ struggle for their rights, passing legislation ordering them back to work.


Quebec City



May 25-31

Injured workers’ Rights for All! bike ride from Ottawa to Toronto stops in cities and towns along the route to mobilize support for workers’ demands for just compensation when injured or made ill at work. The bike ride arrives in Toronto to join in the Injured Workers’ Day rally on June 1.


Cornwall; Brockville; Kingston


Port Darlington, Toronto City Hall

May 29

Construction workers rally in Quebec City as National Assembly debates and on May 30 passes legislation criminalizing their just fight for their rights and ordering them back to work.

May 31

Hospital workers from across BC rally at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver to support the demands of more than 4,000 housekeeping and food service workers employed by the multinationals Compass-Marquise, Sodexo, Aramark and Acciona.

Picket opposes the annual CANSEC weapons fair in Ottawa sponsored by the Trudeau war government and the biggest U.S. arms monopolies.

Pickets continue in Toronto to oppose U.S. threats against Korea as activists prepare to mark the 17th anniversary of the historic June 15, 2000 North-South Joint Declaration between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea that paved the way for almost a decade of relationship-building, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

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Filed under Canada, Sighting, Working Class

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