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The First Issue of the Red Review
Issue: September 2023 #1
Welcome to the first edition of the new monthly e-publication The Red Review. This magazine is the voice of Socialist Action, a revolutionary socialist workers’ party across the Canadian state, Indigenous territories on the northern half of Turtle Island, and in Quebec.
Our goal is to build a revolutionary leadership schooled in the rich tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, and Luxemburg, and thoroughly rooted in the struggles of workers, captive nations, and other oppressed social layers in imperialist Canada today.
Our strategy is to build mass movements, independent of the ruling class and based on the increasingly conscious power of the masses. Through their growing ability to fight for gains, and against repression, they will learn to overthrow the predator ruling capitalist class.
To transform class society into a cooperative commonwealth it is necessary to replace capitalism’s purpose-built repressive state, including its military, police forces, courts, and prisons. The exploited and the oppressed can then establish a new, profoundly democratic state based on the all-productive power of the working class, and do so in harmony with nature.
Our magazine will bring you news and analysis not available in the capitalist media, nor in the utterances of the reformist NDP and labour leadership. The Red Review tells the truth about Canada’s billionaire rulers and their many crimes, about their ongoing effort to exploit and oppress, to increase private profit at the expense of human needs, and to maintain their lock on power over all of us. This publication exists to develop a deep understanding of capitalism and to show the road forward to workers’ power and socialism in the Canadian state, and around the world. We invite you to join us.
Mid-Summer Woes: Climate, War and Houselessness
by Barry Weisleder
On this day, July 26, 2023 millions celebrated Rebellion Day in Cuba. Seventy years ago, Fidel Castro led the Granma expedition that launched the Cuban Revolution. Socialist Action is a member of the Canadian Network on Cuba. It defends the gains of the first socialist revolution in the Americas – still a beacon of hope for humanity.
The news on the environmental front is not so good. Tamara Lorincz wrote recently, “As we have out-of-control wildfires across the country and catastrophic flooding in Quebec and Nova Scotia, Defence Minister Anand announced that Canada will be locking us further into carbon-intensive militarism. The Trudeau government is investing $3.6 billion in a new fleet of 9 fossil fuel-powered aerial tankers to supply fuel for the new $19 billion fossil fuel-powered F-35 fighter jets. This funding of $3.6 billion for massive aerial refuellers for our belligerent NATO operations is more than any funding announcement that Canada has made this year for climate finance or foreign aid.”
“Something So Enraging…”
by Gary Porter
“There’s something so enraging, devastating and surreal about being here again, and talking about the disposal of an Indigenous woman in another garbage fill,” said Nahanni Fontaine, the Manitoba NDP Official Opposition spokesperson on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
In December 2022, Winnipeg was shaken by allegations that Marcedes Myran, Morgan Harris, Rebecca Contois and a fourth woman – later given the name Mashkode Bizhiki’ikwe, or Buffalo Woman – had been murdered by an alleged serial killer. Winnipeg police charged Jeremy Skibicki in connection with their deaths.
How Anjali Appadurai Challenged BC NDP Brass, and They Cancelled Democracy
By Gary Porter
Anjali Appadurai, a 33 year old Tamil woman, was born in India and has lived in BC since she was 6. She describes herself as a climate and social Justice activist. And she is a New Democrat. In the last federal election, she came within a few votes of winning a Vancouver riding. The party brass had written off the riding and offered her no financial or other support. She almost won it anyway by mobilizing a small army of campaigners.
When John Horgan, BC NDP leader and Premier of BC, announced his resignation in 2022, the party went into back room bargaining mode among the senior caucus members and the top party bureaucrats. David Eby, Attorney General, emerged as the annointed candidate and nobody else threw their hat in the ring. When Horgan became leader there was also no contest, and in Ontario, following Andrea Horwath’s poor showing in the Ontario election, the brass was also able to suppress any challenge.
Lessons of the West Coast Longshore Strike
by Stephen Crozier
As I began to write this, 7400 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) were voting on a tentative collective agreement recommended by the ILWU executive, negotiated with the BC Maritime Employers’ Association (BCMEA), under the looming threat of the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). I wondered whether the rank and file would accept this latest deal. After all, they rejected the last one on July 28, just one week previously; however, it was announced that 75 per cent of ILWU members voted in favour of this collective agreement.
The matter is no longer in doubt. The contract has been accepted by the membership although details have not been released. What is yet to be resolved is how working people will respond to what this particular process revealed about the present state of labour and collective bargaining in Canada. For decades, union members have pretty much, with some brave exceptions, followed the union leadership. However, in this case, it appeared workers were sending a message to their leadership and to their employers that they would freely exercise their constitutional right to make their own decision regarding a collective agreement.