Sunday, June 24, 2012

Venezuela: Defying rumours, Chavez launches campaign, program for socialism

By Federico Fuentes
Green Left Weekly
June 24, 2012 

A farming cooperative in Paramo that practices agroecology. Land reform, and the creation of thousands of cooperatives, are among the gains of the Bolivarian revolution led by the government of Hugo Chavez. Photo from Venezuela Analysis.

Despite much speculation in the international media regarding the health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a mass gathering of supporters accompanied him on June 11 as he registered his candidature for the October 7 presidential elections.

Chavez used the opportunity to address the issue of recent tests he had undergone after his cancer treatment. “Everything came out absolutely fine, I feel very well” said Chavez, Venezuela Analysis reported the next day.

Responding to claims by World Bank president Robert Zoellick just three days before that “Chavez’s days are numbered”, Venezuela Analysis reported Chavez said: “I think the one that has its days numbered is global capitalism, of which the World Bank is a part.”

The corporate media have focused on what investigative journalist Eva Golinger described as “necrophiliac storytelling about the Venezuelan President”. But Chavez said that in the election, “the life of the country is at stake, not any old thing is at stake here, it’s the future of the country”.

No Local

By Valerie Zink 
New Socialist Webzine
24 June 2012

Review of Greg Sharzer, No Local: Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won't Change the World (Zero Books, 2012).

Sprawling three and a half million square feet, the Packard plant on Detroit's East Grand Boulevard boasted the world's largest building when it was erected in 1903. The now-abandoned factory was issued a demolition order in May 2011, decades after it ceased churning out America's leading luxury car, joining over 10,000 buildings scheduled to be razed in a deindustrialized Detroit. Once the US's fourth biggest metropolis, the City of Champions -- as it was dubbed in the 1930s -- has waned to roughly a quarter the population of its finest hour and currently claims the highest foreclosure rates in the country.

Amidst entire neighbourhoods being overtaken by encroaching prairie is a growing circuitry of urban agriculture. D-Town Farms, which has staked claim to land in the heart of Detroit's largest city park, is one of over 900 community gardens that have established themselves in the city's vacant lots. Malik Yakini, chair of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, describes D-Town as a "community self-determination project" and a "model organic farm… showing how unused and underutilized land in the city of Detroit can be put to productive use both to create greater access to fresh produce, and also to mobilize people to work on their own behalf."

Visionaries, Crusaders, and Firebrands

The Idealistic Canadians Who Built the NDP

By Lynn Gidluck
$24.95 Paperback
Purchase HERE.

As an idealist and a visionary, Jack Layton connected with millions of Canadians who saw that he was a different kind of political leader. So did Tommy Douglas, chosen as the greatest Canadian ever by CBC's television audience.

The New Democratic Party and its predecessor, the CCF, have often chosen leaders who resonated with the Canadian public. In fact, the vision and the ideals of the leaders of the NDP and the CCF have been key to its strength and appeal. Their commitment to these values in their personal as well as their political lives has earned them admiration and support far beyond the votes they have attracted at election time. Even though these politicians have never succeeded in forming a government in Ottawa, they are seen to stand for values the whole country cherishes.

As a historian, Lynn Gidluck noted that the story of the CCF/NDP has often focused on events, policies, programs, and electoral campaigns. In this book, her emphasis is on the leaders who have defined the party, its vision, and its policies. This tradition of selecting distinguished leaders who share and refine a vision of a better Canada is as important as the policies they have promoted. By focusing on leaders, this book offers fresh insight into the NDP and its appeal to Canadians.

LYNN GIDLUCK lives in Regina with her husband and three children. She is currently working on a PhD in public policy and history through the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina. She is a former director of the Saskatchewan office of the Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What I Learned at Fraser Institute's 'Economics for Journalists'

Andrew Coyne argues left and right now converge on economy issues. Not in this classroom.

By Jonathan Sas

June 23, 2012

In front of a packed audience at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto in mid-May, National Post columnist and political commentator Andrew Coyne presented a compelling, if controversial, talk entitled "Post Economic Politics in Canada." He offered a bold assertion: the great ideological fights over economic issues that characterized Canada's public policy debates in the past have come to an end.

Yes, Coyne is referring to the country north of the 49th parallel, where a controversial budget bill has starkly divided Parliament and where one of the largest protest movements in the country's history continues to play out in the streets of Quebec over proposed tuition hikes. No, Coyne is not delusional. But with debates over austerity and the future of the welfare state raging across the Western world, one might wonder whether Coyne chose to stake his position at the wrong time.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Saskatchewan cities and towns proclaim Medicare Month

Saskatchewan Health Care Coalition

The cities of Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Saskatoon and Regina are proclaiming July as Medicare Month. 

The Health Minister also wrote Marlene Brown of the Saskatchewan Health Coalition this week to confirm the Province of Saskatchewan is doing the same.

And today, the town of Birch Hill has confirmed they are proclaiming July as Medicare Month.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Draft Erin Weir for Leader of the Saskatchewan NDP

Website HERE.

Saskatchewan Greens blast Canpotex for Potash sales to Burma

Green Party of Saskatchewan

The Green Party of Saskatchewan (GPS) is enraged after learning Canpotex has made a Potash sale to Burma (Myanmar).

GPS Leader Victor Lau can’tbelieve this is happening. “Why has Canpotex done this?” asks Lau. “Yes there have beensome democratic reforms in Burma in recent months, and Canada has dropped economicsanctions against the military regime. But it is far too soon to be doing business with agovernment whose rule is soaked in blood. We have no guarantees that the democratic reforms will continue in Burma – they could end tomorrow.”

Lau thinks Canpotex shouldhave at least waited until there was a democratic transfer of power in Burma, when themilitary regime is no longer in power.

A crisis continues in Iceland

Jason Netek reports on the situation in Iceland three years after its financial collapse.

Socialist Worker
June 18, 2012

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson 

On the eve of a presidential election in Iceland on June 30, many of the same economic problems that plagued the country for the past three years remain.

In January 2009, the government of Iceland became the first political casualty of the global economic crisis. For nearly 20 years, the conservative Independence Party had dominated the political scene and steadily reoriented the tiny nation's economy toward the increasingly deregulated financial sector. Before the crash of 2008, Iceland was one of the richest nations in the world thanks to its bloated banking sector, which held debts that amounted to as much as 10 times the country’s gross domestic product.

As the crisis unfolded in the fall of 2008, Iceland's national currency, the krona, collapsed and the three biggest banks went under. Runaway inflation and rising unemployment rapidly produced a politically untenable situation. Before the collapse, half a million British and Dutch citizens had deposits in Iceland's highly unregulated banks.

The governments of Britain and the Netherlands footed the bill for the lost savings, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forced Iceland to agree to pay it all back with interest in exchange for an emergency bailout loan.

Make sure your voice is heard!

The Saskatchewan Way

Link HERE.

Saskatchewan: Birthplace of medicare!

Highway billboard being placed by the Saskatchewan Health Care Coalition

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sam Gindin on the crisis in labor

LBO News from Doug Henwood
June 18, 2012

[This is a lightly edited transcript of my interview with Sam Gindin, first broadcast on June 14, 2012. The audio is here. Thanks a million to Andrew Loewen for doing the transcription.]

My next guest is the excellent Sam Gindin. Sam is an economist who spent more than 20 years in the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Union, first as a researcher and then as an adviser to the president. He retired from the CAW in 2000 and has since been teaching in the wonderful political science department at York University, Toronto. He frequently collaborates with another Behind the News favorite, Leo Panitch. 

The debacle in Wisconsin is deeply symptomatic of the crisis in American labor, and there’s no smarter commentator on that topic than Sam, even though he lives north of the 49th parallel.

Welcome Sam. The defeat of the Walker recall in Wisconsin has prompted some reflections on the state of the labor movement. What are your initial thoughts on that? I know you’re across the border in Canada, but it certainly has repercussions across North America.

Yeah, I’m interested for the same reasons everybody else is. It has repercussions here, and also my wife’s family is in Wisconsin, so we’ve been in touch with them. The main thing is—and it’s a point that you’ve made—that we have to take a look at what happened and ask ourselves some hard questions. I’m sympathetic to people who feel like “Walker won the election through the amount of money he put in; we have to try to defend the labor movement; we have to hope that people don’t get demoralized.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our Own Erin Weir Would Make a Great Sask NDP Leader!

By Jim Stanford 
Erin Weir
Progressive Economics Forum
June 19th, 2012


I’ve worked closely with Erin for years, being struck by his combination of talent & passion right from the time he entered the PEF’s student essay context (which he won for the first time exactly a decade ago, awarded at the CEA 2002 meetings in Calgary). Thirty-six other economists and I think he’d make a great contribution to economic policy discourse as NDP leader in his native province, and have released the letter below. Recent debates over the pace and nature of resource development in Canada make it all the more important that Erin’s voice is heard loudly. Good luck Erin!

Here’s the letter:

Dear Saskatchewan New Democrats,

We, the undersigned economists, write to encourage you to nominate Erin Weir for your provincial leadership. He is a committed social democrat with an extensive record of articulating public policies to ensure that all Saskatchewan people benefit from economic development. Having a prominent economist as leader would strengthen the NDP’s credibility on fiscal and economic issues.

We also note that Premier Brad Wall has emerged as a vocal critic of national social programs and of the federal NDP. The province and the country would be well served by a Saskatchewan NDP leader able to engage Wall and advance a progressive western perspective on national economic issues.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The trouble with celebrating the war of 1812

June 18, 2012

Warmonger politicians customarily indulge in high rhetoric, attempting to rally the citizenry round the flag and boost the bloodletting. Or when invoking the glories of past wars. The War of 1812 was no exception.

Those who witness war's gruesome reality often remember things differently, as do many historians.

"It would be a useful lesson to cold-blooded politicians, who calculate on a war costing so many lives and so many limbs as they would on a horse costing so many pounds," wrote embittered battlefield surgeon William 'Tiger' Dunlop, "to witness such a scene, if only for one hour."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Greek elections reflect a polarized society

By Panagiotis Sotiris

Greek Left Review
June 17, 2012

Greek elections reflect a polarized society. The Left takes more votes from youths, people in productive ages (18-44), employees, people living in poorer neighborhoods, people living in cities. The Right gets votes from older ages, more rural areas, affluent strata. On the one hand, this means that there is a dimension of civil war in current social contestation. On the other hand, it is evident that that the bases of a new ‘historical block’ are evident in the electoral result.

New democracy being the first party means that it is possible to have a pro-austerity government along the New Democracy – PASOK axis. However, it will not be a legitimized government. Even though it will start with the attempt to “renegotiate” the Memoranda , in the end it will be strong-armed into imposing austerity. This will lead to new social explosion. It is the responsibility of the of the movement to make sure that this government will face popular anger.

SYRIZA did not manage to take the first position. However, we still have an impressive result for the Left, the biggest total electoral presence in post-war elections. The reason SYRIZA lost is not because its political proposal was not realist enough. On the contrary the problem with SYRIZA was exactly that it ‘glided’ towards the ‘realism’ of renegotiating austerity. This meant that the tone and the stakes of the electoral debate was becoming more favorable to pro-austerity forces. SYRIZA did not manage to answer the ideological terrorism regarding a potential exit from the euro, exactly because it did not have a clear position against the euro.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Prometheus" - The return of smart sci-fi

By  Blake Deppe 
June 11 2012

While neither a sequel nor a prequel to director Ridley Scott's Alien film, "Prometheus" is set in the same fictional universe. It deals with the discovery of an alien race known as 'The Engineers' - who supposedly created mankind. Using a star map found on ancient stone carvings, a group of archaeologists decide to travel to a distant moon in the hope of making contact with them. Once there, however, they get more than they bargained for.

This film's first plus is that - like movies used to do - the story begins with a lot of setup and a lot of mystery. In 2089, archaeologists Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie embark on a mission to the distant moon LV-223, which the star map pointed to. The expedition aboard the ship (called Prometheus) is funded by elderly CEO Peter Weyland. Also on board are android David (Michael Fassbender), mission director Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), and various other crewmembers.

After spending a few years in cryogenic slumber, the crew awakens in 2093, and their ship reaches its destination. After finding an alien corpse in an artificial structure, they learn that something terrible happened to the Engineers on this moon. When crewmembers accidentally come into contact with a sinister dark liquid, things begin to go horribly wrong, and what was initially an exploratory mission becomes a desperate effort to make it back to Earth alive.

The shock doctrine doesn’t work and Greece clearly shows it

JUNE 14, 2012

By Constantinos Dimoulas*

The austerity measures imposed on Greece by the Troika are ravaging the economy, which is now in its fifth consecutive year of recession and has sufffered a reduction in gross domestic product exceeding 17%. Meanwhile, there is an unprecedented social catastrophe.

The unemployment rate exceeds 21%, which means that in a country with less than 11 million inhabitants and a workforce of less than 5 million, over 1.2m people cannot even find a part time job paying 400 euros a month, and among these only 30% are eligible, for a maximum period of 12 months, the miserable unemployment benefit of 300 euros.

In addition, for the same reasons, the country is witnessing the destruction of welfare (health, education, unemployment benefit, pension and health care) and the poor (pensioners, unemployed and underpaid) are being forced to pay for their drugs and medical care, in addition to electricity and water services, just as the Greek Petroleum Company has announced that it has increased its profits by 5% and the [country’s fourth largest lender] Piraeus Bank by 18%.

Federal Government divesting itself of Canada’s richest grassland habitat

By Trevor Herriot
Nature Canada
June 14. 2012

Vesper Sparrow Photo: Trevor Herriot

Hidden within the federal government’s omnibus assault on Canada’s environmental well being is a single item that will seem small compared to the layoffs at Environment Canada and the evisceration of the Fisheries Act. With climate change research and environmental regulation under attack, it was easy to miss the Harper government’s decision to divest itself of millions of acres of some of the rarest habitat on the continent. I am referring to lands that have always been known in the prairie provinces as "community pastures” or PFRA (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) pastures.

Most of this critical habitat is in Saskatchewan where 1.78 million acres or 720,340 hectares in sixty blocks of native grassland have been well managed by the federal government for both grazing and ecological health for 65 years. If you took the fences that surround these community pastures and stretched them out they would reach from Dawson Creek BC to Halifax. One of the pastures, Val Marie, in Sask., is 100,000 acres on its own.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Shield or the Sword? The Saskatchewan Labour Legislation Review

By Dan Cameron
Saskatchewan Office, CCPA
June 13, 2012


The Saskatchewan government's recent release of their Consultation Paper on the Renewal of Labour Legislation has raised many legal questions regarding the constitutionality of the government's proposed changes. Dan Cameron reviews the government's position and asks whether the consultations may actually serve as an opportunity for the provincial labour movement to expand the process of collective bargaining.
About the author:
Dan Cameron was the former Director of Employee Relations with the Sask. Public Service Commission and served as chief Government spokesperson in public service negotiations. He has served as a sessional lecturer in industrial relations in the Hill School of Business, University Of Regina.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Havana Cultura

By Tony Logan
Not My Tribe

June 10, 2012 

So what is Havana like today? There is a mega web site that has videos of all sorts available showing different aspects of current life there the US government has prohibited you from going to see yourself. Check it out for a view of what you might be missing… Havana cultura.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On activist parties

Accidental Deliberations
June 9, 2012

I haven't written much myself on the NDP's relationship to the growing casserole protest movement (which in recent weeks has expanded well beyond its Quebec origins). But I'll take some time to highlight a few key points.

First of all, the themes behind the protest represent almost a perfect match for the roots the NDP needs to cultivate in Quebec in Thomas Mulcair's familiar "roots and trees" message. The mere fact of greater citizen activism is generally a plus for a party whose success depends on popular engagement as a counterweight to elite-driven decision-making. And that goes doubly when a movement is based on such themes as a sense of exclusion (particularly among youth), a perception that public policy is being made with little regard for the people most affected, a concern for civil liberties, and a desire for a more supportive government than corporatist politicians are willing to deliver.

So the NDP has a significant stake in the casserole movement, based on both the principles it shares with the Canadian public and its own partisan interest. But that doesn't mean we should listen to the numerouspundits who have tried to create a story out of the party's election not to take centre stage.

After all, one of the surest ways to breed cynicism about an activist movement is to co-opt it for partisan purposes. And the NDP has nicely balanced its affinity for the casserole movement with the recognition that there's little to be gained by trying to take it over.

As a result, plenty of individual MPs have rightly participated and shown support in their capacity as individual citizens - placing the NDP's elected members on the same footing as everybody else who's taken the time to become involved in the movement. But none have tried to claim the protest as the party's own - which would give other activists reason to wonder whether they're serving as mere political props.

In sum, the NDP's ultimate message to protesters is that in getting elected to Parliament, its MPs have retained their ability to support and participate in popular movements - but also haven't bought into the view that everything (including public activism) has to be boiled down to partisan interests. And that combination should go a long way toward encouraging Quebeckers to stay involved - both in the streets and in the NDP

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Agonist’s “Prisoners” packs a socially conscious punch

June 7. 2012

The Agonist is a five-piece melodic death metal band from Canada. Three albums in, Prisoners marks a turning point in their career, because it finally centers on a signature sound that will come to define them. With their socially aware lyrical messages, the underground artists are a rare example of a metal outfit achieving crossover appeal outside of the metal scene.

The group - commonly lumped in with artistically vacant metalcore bands or accused of being "trendy" by the uninitiated - have actually taken bold steps to disprove that notion. The music speaks for itself - especially on the new album. Their lyrics offer reflections on animal rights, environmentalism, sociopolitical history, and modern societal dilemmas.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stop the tar sands and save the planet

JUNE 5, 2012

Over the past few weeks, politicians and the mass media have been ranting about "Dutch disease" and Canada as a petro-state. But far more important is the question of whether or not the tar sands should be developed at all. It seems that no one in any position of authority in Canada wishes this issue to be opened up to a general, democratic debate.

Can the tar sands be developed without having a major impact on the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? The science is quite clear on this matter. The burning of fossil fuels is increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is raising the earth's temperature and causing serious climate change.

Over the last 150 years, the level of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere has risen from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 393 ppm. In 1959, the first year that carbon dioxide was measured at the U.S. Weather Bureau station at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, it stood at 316 ppm. If the tar sands were developed as projected by the oil industry, this alone could raise the level of carbon in the atmosphere by 120 ppm.

Future Tense: Mourning the Political Ray Bradbury

By Richard Eskow
New York Times
June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury, whose death at the age of 91 was announced today, played an important role for an entire generation of kids like me. Important? You might even call it "lifesaving." When things around us seemed unbearable, or incomprehensible, or soul-killing, his books opened a doorway -- an escape hatch -- through which we could leave "real life" and enter other worlds.

Ray Bradbury created many worlds. Some were in the future. Others were in parallel universes. Others were in the present or the past, but with a twist that changed their meaning completely. Some of those worlds were better than this one, some worse.

But they were all different from this one, which offered young people like me some measure of relief. And the people in them were always the same kind of people we have in this world, which offered us something even more valuable: understanding.

What does that have to do with politics? A lot.

Die Linke’s Congress of Fire

JUNE 3, 2012
Choosing a new leadership, internal clashes, Lafontaine imposes his own man, Bernd Riexinger, who will flank 34-year old Katja Kipping from the East. Gysi: ‘If we hate each other so much, better to split.’
It was a high tension and passionate Congress for Die Linke, which yesterday had to choose a new pair of co-Presidents. The first round of elections, reserved for women candidates, was won by 34 year old Katja Kipping. The second, late at night, went to Lafontainite Bernd Riexinger. He beat the ‘realpolitic’  Dietmar Bartsch, who is very popular with delegates from the Eastern regions, as is Katharina Schwabedissen, who aimed to form an inclusive ‘tandem’ with Kipping and who has kept her distance from the party’s internal factionalism.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Courageous State: Rethinking economics, society and the role of government

By Richard Murphy, reviewed by Heather Blakey
June 2012

The Courageous State is an indictment of the behaviour and agendas of contemporary politicians. Richard Murphy argues that we have ‘a government ... run by cowards who believe that there is nothing they can do but acquiesce to the demands of the market’ (p6). He juxtaposes the cowardly state, whose politicians have swallowed the lie that market outcomes are always better than state-designed outcomes and run away from their responsibilities by leaving everything to the market, with the Courageous State, whose politicians have integrity, who know that the future is uncertain and that there is a great deal they do not know, but also know that they must take responsibility, must choose and must act. He asks how we can expect people to have faith in politics and politicians when our politicians themselves have no faith in themselves but only in ‘the market’.

This is a book bristling not only with indignation, but with disbelief at the thinness and absurdity of the claims of neoliberalism: for example, that markets know everything but people make mistakes, that people are always selfish, always rational, always motivated by financial gain, and that transactions or exchanges are irrelevant unless they are cash-measurable (Murphy recognises that there are more nuanced neoliberal arguments, but makes a case that politicians act on the meta-narrative). The book shines a strong light on the narrowness of the economic vision that informs UK policy from Thatcher onwards.

Medicare double book launch!

There is a double book launch being held in Moose Jaw at Java Express on Tuesday evening June 12th . These two books by “sons of Moose Jaw” reflect on dimensions of Medicare in this 50th anniversary year. . Should be an interesting, informative and entertaining event with authors Gary Engler and Ryan Meili in attendance.

Hope you can join us.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Budget Blackout

Remembering Andrew Suknaski, Wood Mountain Poems

By Dennis Gruending 
June 3, 2012

Andrew Suknaski, citizen of Wood Mountain 

I sat in an upper room in a rundown Ottawa pub one rainy evening this week reminiscing with a dozen others about recently-deceased Saskatchewan poet Andrew Suknaski and reading short excerpts from his work. Earlier there had been a similar gathering in Montreal, far from the small prairie city of Moose Jaw where Andy died at age 69 on May 3.

Andy was a gifted writer (and visual artist) and in the 1960s and 70s he had a seminal influence upon a generation of prairie and other authors. Tragically, he was also plagued by mental illness and in the 1980s felt he had to choose between his writing and his health. He produced little or no writing for the last several decades of his life but I am impressed by how widely within Canada his work is read and treated in academia.

Salama Kayla: Ideology is Awareness

By Sarah al-Qudah
Sunday, June 3, 2012

Last April Salama Kayla was detained and then deported by Syrian security forces. (photo: Al-Akhbar)

Last April Salama Kayla was detained and then deported by Syrian security forces. Al-Akhbar sat with the Palestinian Marxist and talked about the state of the Arab uprisings.

Sarah al-Qudah: Where is the intellectual in the Arab Spring? And how effective was the role of intellectuals in these movements?

Salama Kayla: In modern times, we have learnt to delve deep into issues. This is what Marxism gave us, because it was no longer satisfied with simple descriptions, it also searched for the essence of issues.
Marxism changed logical thinking into dialectical materialism, so that we understand the complexity of issues. The main point introduced by Marx, which I consider to be the basis for material understanding, is that one should start with the economy. The economy is what is specific in the final analysis. Therefore, if we do not begin with the economy, we remain on the surface.

What happened in our countries is that the Marxists remained on the surface. At home, they faced a struggle with a regime, and internationally there was one type of imperialism against another. They stuck to political arguments. None of them know any statistics about their own countries, about people’s living conditions. They live as an abstract elite in ivory towers, believing that they are fighting imperialism and that they will change the world.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Banks of Marble


Five reasons why Canada doesn’t need a defence industry

By Steven Staples
Published in Embassy 

May 30, 2012

The defence industry is feeling very self-confident these days. So confident that today, the association that represents those hundreds of firms that sell to the Department of National Defence has organized possibly the largest military and security trade show ever held in Canada.

The organizers of CANSEC will literally bus in hundreds of government workers from office towers across the city to a new convention centre near the airport to hear speeches, meet salespeople, see displays, and in some cases, actually sit in the driver’s seat of combat vehicles and tanks.

The defence industry doesn’t just want to sell rifles and airport scanners to the government, it wants to sell the idea that Canada’s security depends on the very financial success of the companies.

Why is Premier Wall Hedging on a Nuclear Waste Ban?

By Jim Harding
No Nukes
Posted on June 2, 2012

On May 14, 2012 the northern-based Committee for Future Generations (CFG) delivered a petition of 12,000 names calling for the province to legislate a ban on nuclear wastes. Meanwhile, the nuclear industry-run Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) continues to target three northern communities as prospective sites for millions of highly toxic, ever-lasting spent fuel bundles from Ontario’s 20 nuclear plants.

Last summer, members of the newly-formed Committee walked 800 km from one such targeted community, Pinehouse, to Regina to raise awareness of NWMO’s agenda. The previous April the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan presented a petition of 5,000 names calling for a nuclear waste ban, after which Premier Wall gave an ambiguous response. What was he going to say this time, in the face of more than twice the names?

Friday, June 1, 2012

The World Class Struggle: The Geography of Protest

By Emmanuel Wallerstein
June 1, 2012

When times are good, and the world-economy is expanding in terms of new surplus-value produced, the class struggle is muted. It never goes away, but as long as there is a low level of unemployment and the real incomes of the lower strata are going up, even if only in small amounts, social compromise is the order of the day.

But when the world-economy stagnates and real unemployment expands considerably, it means that the overall pie is shrinking. The question then becomes who shall bear the burden of the shrinkage – within countries and between countries. The class struggle becomes acute and sooner or later leads to open conflict in the streets. This is what has been happening in the world-system since the 1970s, and most dramatically since 2007. Thus far, the very upper strata (the 1%) have been holding on to their share, indeed increasing it. This means necessarily that the share of the 99% has been going down.

The struggle over allocations revolves primarily around two items in the global budget: taxes (how much, and who) and the safety net of the bulk of the population (expenditures on education, health, and lifetime income guarantees). There is no country in which this struggle has not been taking place. But it breaks out more violently in some countries than in others – because of their location in the world-economy, because of their internal demographics, because of their political history.

Chilean Trade Unionist Visits Regina

Luis Mundaca a Director of the Compañia de Cervecerias Unidas’ (CCU) Brewers Union, and Director and responsible for collective agreements for the CCU's National Brewers Union will be visiting Regina on June 4th. As you know Chile's social movement is beginning to develop a stronger opposition to the neoliberal socio- economic model imposed by Pinochet. Luis will talk about the trade union movement in Chile today.

Luis Mundaca, Director Sindicato Cervecero CCU, Quilicura, y Encargado Nacional de Negociaciones Colectivas de la Federación Nacional de Sindicatos CCU visitara Regina el lunes 4 de Junio. Luis hablara acerca del movimiento sindical chileno en la actualidad. 

Monday, June 4, 7 p.m. Room 438, Education Building. University of Regina.

Lunes, Junio 4, 7 p.m. Sala 438, Education Building. University of Regina.

Questions/preguntas: 550-7322