At the end of each year, TML Daily, the online newspaper of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), publishes an acclaimed photo review of the stands taken by the working people of Canada and Quebec and Indigenous peoples. The month-by-month review includes hundreds of photos.
TML Daily continues its 2018 month-by-month photo review of the stands taken by the working people of Canada and Quebec and Indigenous peoples in April.
April began with Land Day actions in support of the right of the Palestinian people the world over to return to their homeland, and in condemnation of the killings by Israeli soldiers of Palestinians — including artists, journalists and medical personnel — taking part in the ongoing Great March of Return near Gaza that would culminate in the commemoration of Al Nakba in May. The stand of peace- and justice-loving Canadians with the Palestinian people was a sharp contrast to the silence of the Trudeau government and ruling circles on the crimes committed by the Israeli Zionists.
With the G7 Summit in La Malbaie, Quebec just two months away, protests began against the summit and its aim of imposing a neo-liberal agenda on the peoples of the world. These actions rejected attempts to create fear and uncertainty using the measures put in place in the name of “security” but, in practice, meant to demobilize the people’s opposition to the summit and the anti-social, anti-national neo-liberal policies of the G7 countries that wreak destruction on the world through economic and military aggression.
In mid-April, Canadians went into action to oppose the missile strike on Damascus, Syria launched by the U.S., France and Britain on April 13 to punish the Syrian government for allegedly using chemical weapons on April 7. The strike was carried out despite a lack of evidence and the fact that the inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had not even been able to carry out their investigation into the matter. People rejected as fictitious the pretext for the missile strike and reiterated the key demand that Canada stay out of Syria. This was yet another example of the dangers facing the people, and that the conditions necessary for the rule of law and the associated mechanisms meant to resolve international disputes no longer exist because of the increasing lawlessness of the big powers, whose actions promise only more destruction on the basis of “Might Makes Right.”
Industrial workers continued to take action to defend their rights in the face of the refusal of their employers to negotiate acceptable agreements. Workers on strike at the Iron Ore Company of Canada plant in Labrador City mobilized the community in support of their just stand against two-tier working conditions. In Quebec, locked-out aluminum workers mobilized around their call that the Quebec government must defend the public interest of Quebeckers, not the private interests of company owners Alcoa/Rio Tinto, by renegotiating Hydro-Québec’s contract with ABI to force it to pay for its allotted block of electricity during any labour dispute.
In keeping with the month when Earth Day was marked, a standout feature of April was the actions in defence of the natural environment. As TML Weekly pointed out on the occasion of Earth Day, “Measures must be taken to overcome the destructive effects of climate change and end destructive practices of the monopolies such as clear cutting, abusive mining practices, contamination of lakes and oceans, the privatization of water and all the other abuses which are increasing as a result of neo-liberal, anti-social and anti-national agendas.” In this regard, April saw concrete actions that affirmed the indispensable role of the polity as decision-makers and the necessity for human beings to take conscious collective action on matters related to the natural environment and all of the important issues of the day. Through these actions, Canadians, alongside the Indigenous peoples, used their voices to elaborate stands on the natural environment based on defending their interests. They rejected actions by the Trudeau government, said to be taken in the “national interest” and allegedly with the consent of the Indigenous peoples, that in practice are to service the U.S. war machine and supranational interests to the hilt.
In Ontario, as the campaign for the June 7 provincial election began to take shape, working people stepped up the pace of their meetings and discussions to speak out about their concerns and give themselves an independent frame of reference that permitted them to assess the election and determine how to intervene in a manner that favoured them. By empowering themselves in this way, people avoided simply reacting to the agenda set by the ruling circles and having their consciousness shattered by the proclamation of so-called election issues by the monopoly media and their pundits. To have one’s own frame of reference was essential to not succumbing to the pressure from the cartel parties to become embroiled in their campaigns. The aim of these parties is to prevail over the others in the electoral contest, by hook or by crook. Once elected, they claim to have a mandate to do whatever they want so as to champion the neo-liberal agenda of the ruling elites in the name of high ideals, as life has revealed in Ontario after the election. All of it is to block the people from having a say.
The month closed on a solemn note, with workers across the country marking the annual April 28 Day of Mourning for workers killed, injured or made ill at work. This was another way in which workers broke the silence on their living and working conditions. To take a fighting stand for rights and better conditions in remembrance of fallen workers is more important than ever, as working people are forced to bear the brunt of the worsening neo-liberal, anti-social offensive.
March organized in Quebec City against G7 summit to be held in La Malbaie in June declares “The G7 Does Not Represent Us!”
March and rally outside Liberal Party fundraising event in Vancouver attended by Prime Minister Trudeau declares “No Consent, No Pipeline!”
Community rally in Labrador City stands with striking workers at the Iron Ore Company to demand the company return to negotiations and reach an agreement acceptable to the workers that puts an end to two-tier working conditions at the plant.
Striking academic workers at York University in Toronto hold mass rally at the Ontario Ministry of Labour and march in support of fair collective bargaining and quality public post-secondary education. Action coincides with the end of forced vote on the the university’s contract offer.
Quebec Steelworkers’ website publicizes the money lost to Hydro-Québec and the people of Quebec due to ABI’s lockout of its workers, with the aim of putting pressure on the government to end this arrangement that favours the company’s bottom line during a lockout, at the expense of workers and Quebeckers, and of forcing the company to return to the negotiation table.
Demonstration in Montreal demands an end to missile strikes on Syria and that the U.S. imperialists and their allies keep their “Hands Off Syria!”
Indigenous leaders together with representatives of the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby hold a news conference to reaffirm their opposition to the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. Fifty-nine Indigenous groups affected by the pipeline have made clear that adequate consultations have not taken place and they cannot give their informed consent.
Hotel and food service workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 40, rally outside the Ramada Hotel in Prince George to fight for increased wages and better working conditions.
The NorthEastern Ontario Rail Network summit in Sault Ste. Marie discusses the need to restore passenger rail service in Northern Ontario and the social, environmental and economic benefits that this would bring to the region. The Crown corporation that provided passenger rail infrastructure to northern Ontario communities discontinued much of its passenger service and sold its telecom assets under the McGuinty government’s neo-liberal austerity agenda.
Meetings in Hamilton continue where workers lead the discussion on the direction they want for Ontario in the context of the upcoming provincial election, and how they can intervene. Windsor teacher Laura Chesnik, after taking the matter to her peers, comes forward as an independent candidate in the riding of Windsor-Tecumseh.
Striking Iron Ore Company of Canada workers in Sept-Îles organized in USW Local 9344 take to the picket lines following their rejection of a tentative agreement between the company and the union.
Earth Day is marked across the country. In many places the activities are held in concert with Marches for Science, to underscore the need for modern science and scientists to be put in service of finding solutions to environmental and other issues the people face.
In Prince George, the Stand Up for the North Committee holds a second open mic event for people to express their views on the Kinder Morgan Pipeline.
Across Canada, workers mark the April 28 Day of Mourning for workers killed, injured or made ill at work with ceremonies, processions and meetings. In Toronto (shown below) injured workers and migrant workers meet to discuss how to defend their rights and the rights of all.
Elliot Lake, Ontario
Residents of Sudbury voice their concerns over plan to build ferrochrome refinery. Discussions such as this event organized by the Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury are an important step in ensuring that industrial development has the free, prior and informed consent of those who are affected by the development.