March 12, 2010
Over the last two days the Moroccan authorities have entered the villages of Dahkla, Bojador and El Aaiun, and beat up a countless number of civilians living in these sites. This aggression must be framed in the context of the disappearing of more than 500 Saharawi people, most of them activists, since the year of 2005, by the occasion of the “Peaceful Intifada for Independence” - movement for a fair and immediate referendum for the independence of Sahara.WFDY will never forget or let anyone forget the crimes done against the Saharawi people, since the 31st October, 1975, when the massacre of that people started. The Moroccan forces never hesitated to make use of the most painful and torturing methods of bombing and torture.
WFDY calls upon all its member and friendly organizations to denounce the crimes committed against the Saharawi people keeping and reinforcing the struggle for a free and independent Republic of Sahara.
The World Federation of Democratic Youth has been closely following the intense campaign of blackmailing and defamation, particularly in Spain and Miami, against the Cuban Revolution, following the regrettable death of a person with a long history of criminal record now presented as political dissident. The evidences show clearly that it was just mercenary in the pay roll of the Cuban-american mafia, that finances its mercenaries to build an internal opposition.The Cuban Revolution, under the guidance of the commander Fidel Castro, is today, more than ever, a great example to all the youngsters of the world, for its example of dignity and its firm determination to build a free and fair society. It has been victim of a long list of attacks that have brought death to thousands of civilian Cubans and has made a big damage onto the Cuban economy, particularly because of the blockade imposed by the USA. It’s disgusting how the international monopolies of information, specially in Spain and Miami, have manipulated this information, put Cuba in the bench of accused, not knowing the reality, and not recognizing the years of attempts to disrupt the Cuban society.
We are sure that no dirty political manoeuver as the one going on today will bend the struggling spirit of the heroic people of Cuba, specially its youngsters that guided by the example of the Cuban Five Heroes unfairly imprisoned in the USA are now preparing their 9th Congress, out of which we are sure they will come out stronger. USA and Spain have no morale to say anything against Cuba in terms of human rights.
WFDY, on behalf of all its member and friend organizations and all the progressive youth of the world, vehemently condemns the unfair aggression and manipulation of the truth against Cuba. We reject any kind of measure of condemnation that may be taken against Cuba, particularly the European Union Parliament. We demand respect from all those that today manipulate the truth towards the heroic people of Cuba, its history, principles and a clean face in terms of human rights of all the Cuban people. We call upon all youngsters of the world to show in all possible places our solidarity towards the Cuban people, not letting anyone be deceived by the manipulating lies against Cuba.
March 7, 2010
Young Communist League BC Committee, March 2010
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 movement against the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver would be hard to label a success or a failure.
A view from Hamilton, Ontario
The movement against the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver would be hard to label a success or a failure.
The movement was successful in the sense that they were not silenced – despite facing a most childish opposition. There were many reasons to oppose the 2010 Olympics: British Columbia is 100% unsurrendered Native land; public funds desperately needed for infrastructure and services were spent on Olympic venues and advertising; the security and police in Vancouver were witnessed behaving in disturbingly fascistic ways; environmental destruction; the corporate advertising frenzy that some might say degrades the quality of the sports, etc.
In response, colonialist-nationalists and narrow-minded sports enthusiasts alike whipped out the same old tired, meat-headed, and/or racist responses.
First was to attack the Native peoples resisting the Olympics. They were slandered as unpatriotic (in the sense that a Puerto Rican must be patriotic to the US), rabble-rousing (like the anti-slavery activists of the 1800s or the civil rights activists of the last century were dubbed), or taking action too late (despite decades of persistent court battles over land issues that the Canadian government saw as no high priority).
For some reason, the tax arrangements that the Canadian government made with the various Native nations seemed relevant vis á vis the Olympics to many of the colonialists. This in ignorance of the fact that many Natives live on either underdeveloped reserves or in poverty-stricken urban areas, making taxes simply a hassle they need not face but nothing that keeps them from struggling in their daily lives. Not to mention the tax arrangements were made hundreds of years ago, but that of course is of no consequence to the colonialist argument.
What seems to be at the root of the anti-Native sentiment is the irredentist, conquistador, assimilation mentality that permeates Canadian society regarding the original inhabitants of this land. It’s not as if they are all overtly racist, although a healthy heaping of them certainly are. Instead, the idea is simply that if Natives want to “succeed” (i.e. become good workers for the capitalists), they must give up their culture, land and identity and simply become Canadian like the rest of us. Some might notice how this ideology is also applied to Quebec and French-speaking Canadians in general.
The saddest part of this is that many holders of this viewpoint don’t realize the harm caused by their mentality – indeed, I believe many see themselves as peace-loving, equality-minded individuals. But they see “Canada” as a monolithic ideal, and the Canadian identity as something that must be held by all residents of this land. French-speaking or Native-descended citizens who resist having their cultural identity imperialistically replaced are seen as nothing more than shit-disturbers.
It’s a sad scar on the face of Canada that we love to hide. We broadcast and, in the case of these Olympics, advertise our identity to the world, telling them that we have no racism here, no violence, no social upheaval. We tell the world that Canada is the land of peace, and never is that more enthusiastically embraced than in the context of the “we are not America” aspect of our identity.
Against the ostensibly united Canada seen in our English-speaking settler-towns and countryside, the Quebec independence referendums and the Native-police confrontations of the past thirty or so years testify to the reality of our history and its consequences. Far from being simply “une épopée des plus brillants exploits”, our history is first conquest, then division, then assimilationism. Anybody who cares to read deeper into Canadian history than what’s offered by grade ten courses on the subject would be all too aware of that.
But this is not the Canada that we have been trying to build. Since the ascent of Pierre Elliot Trudeau to the prime ministry in the 1960s, our national project has been to make what it means to be “Canadian” multidimensional, unlike the melting-pot ideals that pervade south of the border. We are hyphenated in our unity - one can be an “Irish-Canadian”, “Serbian-Canadian”, “Chinese-Canadian” or “French-Canadian” at home but simply a “Canadian” when travelling abroad, proud to hold a Canadian passport.
Have we failed, then, to understand what this means regarding French and Native Canada? Have we, English Canada, monopolized what it means to be a Canadian?
This is the trouble with these Olympics, for as an English-speaking Canadian I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride at what was accomplished in Vancouver. Not only in the athletes whose prowess at their sports brought pride to the hearts of Canadians, but also in the working Canadians whose hands built these Olympics. They are a testament to what we are capable of as a nation.
As a socialist, and therefore as a person who trembles at injustice, I cannot in good conscience call these games a success. The poor of Vancouver, the working people who still struggle to stay afloat, the Natives who came looking for a better life and were met with poverty wages, these people were cheated out of a place in Canada’s Olympic sun. The behaviour of the RCMP and Vancouver Police in doing what they could to prevent criticism of the games from being too public runs counter to the Canadian-claimed spirit of freedom of expression.
Contrary to what many may believe, socialists are not anti-sport. Rather, every socialist country in modern history has put great emphasis on sports and physical activity as a way of bringing the people together in unity.
So why, then, are so many socialists opposed to our Olympics?
Because sports are for people, not for profit. Corporate profiteers engage in a virtual bidding orgy every time the Olympics come around, hoping to snap the best advertising timeslots and prices. It is disgusting that Canada’s 2010 Olympics were, behind the pride in our athletes, nothing but a cash-grab by the already over-fed rich men of our nation.
If in the future we have a socialist revolution, and it comes time for the People’s Republic of Canada to host the Olympic Games, it will be a grand celebration of our country and the nations that live within it. It will be a spectacular show of the skills of Canadian athletes and the might of the Canadian working class who, as mentioned, are the ones who build every venue, every highway, every podium and every apartment building that make the Olympics happen. Absurd commercials that sickening amounts of money paid for will not be featured in our People’s Olympics.
And in the meantime, it would be helpful for the Canadian government to sign at least one treaty regarding our governance of British Columbia. Do most Canadians know that unlike every other province, BC is in its entirety unsurrendered Native land? Settlement on unsurrendered lands was illegal back then even under our own laws. It’s high time something was done about that.
Remember, colonialists: every reaction is caused by an equal and opposite action. If the Natives are reacting to something, stop and ask yourself what action caused them to react instead of making mindless, racist conclusions. It’s time for Canada to step out of the 18th Century, we are not colonists anymore.
* FOR DEFINITION'S SAKE:
Colonialist - one who advocates a colonial system or the colonization of a country or people; an ideologue.
Colonist - one who participates in a colonial project as a pawn, and not a power-broker, of the colonial system
one who lives on conquered land but does not necessarily support or even know the workings of the colonial system.
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