At the beginning of the election, with Rob Ford embroiled in scandal, it appeared as though the bourgeoisie had picked Olivia Chow as their mayoral candidate. An article in The Globe and Mail on May 23, entitled “The NDPer in Pinstripes?”, described the concentrated efforts to appeal to Bay Street and Yorkville elite. Big capitalists such Margaret McCain, the heiress to the McCain foods fortune and Richard Peddie, former CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, were brought on board as co-chairs to the campaign in what a Chow spokesperson described as “sort of our nod to the business community and to Toronto’s establishment that they don’t have to worry.”
Meanwhile, this past summer, tens of thousands of Palestinian immigrants and their allies piled into the streets of Toronto demanding an end to the genocide in Gaza, often physically being assaulted by right wing thugs. Where was Olivia Chow in all of this? Securing her solidarity with the imperialist camp by marching in support of Israel. Is it right of us to expect or ask those immigrant communities most affected by Canadian imperialism—such as the Palestinian, Afghan or Pakistani communities in Toronto—to throw their support behind pro-imperialists such as Chow?
One particular anti-people meme spread by Toronto liberals is about the election of Rob Ford and its relationship to amalgamation. The unenlightened, lower income suburbs, so the story goes, lack the altruistic liberal sensitivities of their downtown counterparts and are somehow to blame for the downfall of “Toronto the Good.” However, most people in the suburbs are not voting for any mayoral candidate, particularly those from low income and immigrant communities.
While chauvinist speech in all forms—such as the public speeches and claims of the Ford brothers—should be challenged and opposed, the masses realize that their day-to-day realities are filled with the oppression of racism, sexism and homophobia on a daily basis. Should we be so shocked when those in power make this fact explicit? We must remember that it was not under Ford, but under David Miller, that the TAVIS police force, which has been terrorizing poor and racialized communities was enacted. This increase in policing is necessary for the forces of gentrification to function in order to secure more profit for Chow’s developer and real estate friends, displacing people to the suburbs and further segregating our city.
Just like the “Stop Ford” politics have failed to move forward in not only building a revolutionary movement that can defeat capitalism and imperialism, it has failed to even stop the attacks against those most in need. These issues affecting those least off in our city—such as gentrification, police brutality, and endemic poverty—will not be addressed through the kinder gentler imperialist ruling class represented by Chow. Likewise, the Stop Harper agenda, which is already being pushed by the bureaucratic labour unions and other old stalwart organs of social democracy, will fail to move progressive and revolutionary forces forward.
This is why PRAC Toronto calls for a boycott of the Toronto Mayoral Election farce, and to secure our commitment to reject all forms of fake democracy offered to us by the ruling class.
Capitalism is in Crisis. Governments around the world are ruthlessly imposing austerity measures on us, the everyday people. This is an attack on our already deteriorating quality of life, our incomes and our social security! Conditions of poverty are worsening for the everyday people, while those in government and the rich continue to enjoy their increasing wealth. Oppressed people all over are coming together to defend themselves and to fight back against these attacks on their livelihood.
This state of affairs is undoubtedly connected to the workings of the global capitalist economy. We must understand the present economic crisis in order to develop a strategy for opposing this attack on our well-being. Communism has a rich history of people’s struggle against injustice, yet continues to be viewed – by the state and defenders of injustice – as a virus rather than a solution. By looking at some of the challenges, defeats, and victories in the history of Communist struggles, we can draw important lessons for building a Communism for the 21st Century.
We invite those with a fighting spirit to join us in connecting the degradation of everyday peoples’ lives and toward the building of a Communist resistance.
When: November 8, 2-4 pm
Where: Bloor/Gladstone Library. 1101 Bloor Street West
A sleek and punchy treatise about the problems of social movementism and the need for a “new return” to a revolutionary communist tradition, J. Moufawad-Paul’s The Communist Necessity is a philosophical intervention that forces the reader to think through the problems presented by contemporary capitalism that are not answered by mainstream left-wing theories of organization and strategy inherited from the anti-globalization movement.
According to Robert Biel, author of The Entropy of Capitalism, Moufawad-Paul’s book is “important and timely” and “profoundly reconnects with the histories and tradition of communism and places today’s struggles within that context.”
Join the Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee and J. Moufawad-Paul at Duffy’s Tavern (1238 Bloor Street West) on September 25, 6:30 pm as they launch The Communist Necessity. Following a presentation and discussion of the book, the author will remain to socialize and answer questions.
For more details on The Communist Necessity, visit the publisher’s store at: http://www.leftwingbooks.net/book/content/communist-necessity
Ireland is one of the world’s longest military occupations rivalling that of Palestine and Kashmir. The British military and police, and their loyalist allies, to date continue to play a vital role in the division of the island and its people. Furthermore, the Irish republican movement has been completely led astray by the signing of the 1999 “Good Friday Agreement” and has participated in the ceding of Irish sovereignty to British rule.
Join the Anti-Colonial Working Group and the Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee (Toronto) to learn about the situation today in Ireland and the struggle for complete Irish sovereignty in the 32 counties. Speakers will include members of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement who have been at the forefront for the struggle for Irish sovereignty and for the just treatment of political prisoners.
July 25th, 7pm
OISE (252 Bloor St. West), room 5240
PRAC-Toronto is involved in the boycott campaign, along with other organizations in other cities, that seeks to encourage a break from bourgeois legality. As many supporters and detractors are aware, the Toronto PRAC emerged through the PCR-RCP initiated boycott campaign. At that time, in the context of a Toronto left that still thought it was heretical and “ultra-leftist” to openly organize around a campaign that rejected the bourgeois electoral farce, the PRAC began by drawing clear lines of demarcation that marked itself off as something different.
Now, following a previous Ontario election where only 48% of people voted––thus producing a constitutional crisis where the majority of people have demonstrated that they do not care about Canadian “democracy”––an electoral boycott might not look as fringe and ultra-left as it did in the past. Many of those who castigated our supposed “ultra-leftism” are now very aware that the NDP is no longer even a social democratic party. Those who still try to defend the NDP are either members of that parliamentary party, and thus not part of the revolutionary camp, or opportunists who have to come up with all manner of non-sensical justifications for their decision to support this failing organization. Whatever the case, and aside from those already insignificant communist organizations who have wasted their time as electoral parties for decades, there is now an understanding that the electoral space is useless for any sort of revolutionary activity.
With this in mind, the PRAC-Toronto, along with the Revolutionary Student Movement and the Proletarian Feminist Front, invites its supporters and members to attend an open meeting on the boycott movement––why it is different from simple abstentionism, what its organizational objectives are––on Saturday June 7th at 2pm in OISE Room 5250.
For more information, please visit the central website for Boycott Elections.
On February 22, 2014 the International Coalition Against the War on the People of India [ICAWPI] will be holding an open meeting at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education [OISE], room 7192 from 12pm to 2pm. This meeting will concern organizing for an upcoming showing of Sanjay Kak’s documentary Red Ant Dream on March 22-23. Anyone interested in participating in this mass organization is welcome to attend.