March 1, 2011 - No. 29
Oppose Canada's Intervention in Libya
Under the Pretext of Humanitarian Aid!
to a "Humanitarian" Imperialist Occupation of Libya!
No to Foreign Interference in Libya! Hands Off Libya!
Canada's Intervention in Libya Under the Pretext of Humanitarian Aid!
No to a "Humanitarian" Imperialist Occupation of Libya! No to all
Outside Interference in Libya! Hands Off Libya!
• U.S. Preparations for Libyan Invasion
Toronto Public Sector Workers
• Legislation Banning Transit Strikes Aimed at
Privatizing Public Transit -- It Must Not Pass!
• Defiant Resistance Mounts in Wisconsin and
Across the Country
• Canadian Unions Join Protests
• Struggle for Working Class Rights and Dignity
Continues in Wisconsin - TML Correspondent in Madison
Oppose Canada's Intervention in Libya
Under the Pretext of Humanitarian Aid!
to a "Humanitarian" Imperialist Occupation of Libya!
No to Foreign Interference in Libya! Hands Off Libya!
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
vehemently opposes the intervention of Canada in Libya under the
pretext of providing humanitarian aid. CPC(M-L) calls on Canadian
workers and people to oppose the imperialist definition of what
constitutes humanitarianism. Unfortunately, this definition
is supported in Canada by not only the Harper Conservatives and their
government but by the Liberals and Social Democrats. They are trying to
infect Canada's anti-war movement with this unacceptable definition so
that it conciliates with imperialist aggression and the commission of
further crimes against the peace
and humanity. It is Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan all over again and
it must not pass!
"The Canadian military has sent a reconnaissance team
and medics to Malta in what could be a signal of deeper military
involvement in the crisis in Libya," the Canadian Press reported
overnight. "The 13-member reconnaissance team arrived on the
Mediterranean island Monday along with two of the air force's
new C-130J cargo planes and two giant C-17 transports. The aircraft
will be used for further evacuations of Canadian citizens and foreign
nationals from the chaotic North African country. The contingent is
accompanied by nine combat medics. The high-readiness reconnaissance
team, much like its previous deployment
in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, evaluates the situation and often lays the
groundwork for military forces that follow. Defence sources also say
that special forces teams are preparing to deploy -- something the
military won't confirm."
"The CF [Canadian Forces] has deployed the appropriate
assets to assist in the evacuation of entitled persons from Libya,"
said navy Lieutenant Len Hickey, a spokesperson for Canadian Forces'
overseas headquarters, Canadian Expeditionary Force Command. According
to CP, Hickey would not say what role
the Canadian military might be able to play.
CF contingency planning is always conducted in
compliance with Government of Canada direction, CP reports, and that
any decision with respect to military deployments will be announced at
the appropriate time. "Releasing information about these assets might
impede their efforts," Hickey said.
This is clearly part of the NATO plan to invade Libya.
CP quotes "NATO sources" saying "a full range of military options has
been under consideration by allies since last week. One of the most
extreme measures could be the use of ground troops to open avenues for
the distribution of humanitarian aid."
NATO says its intervention is dependent on UN Security
Council approval. "NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen has
said the military alliance wouldn't be taking any action without UN
Security Council approval, which may be difficult to get because both
China and Russia are on the record as saying
there shouldn't be any interference," CP reports.
However, this is a hoax. News reports indicate that the
imperialist "humanitarian" invasion has already begun with the landing
of U.S., British and French special forces in eastern Libya since
before the weekend. An unconfirmed report by the Pakistan Observer
says, "The United States, Britain and France have
sent several hundred 'defence advisors' to train and support the
anti-Gadhafi forces in oil-rich Eastern Libya where 'rebels armed
groups' have apparently taken over.
"According to an exclusive report
confirmed by a Libyan
diplomat in the region the three Western states have landed their
'special forces troops in Cyrinacia and are now setting up their bases
and training centres' to reinforce the rebel forces who are resisting
pro-Qaddafi forces in several adjoining areas," the Pakistan
Observer says. The item continues:
"A Libyan official who requested not to be identified
said that the U.S. and British military gurus were sent on February 23
and 24 night through American and French warships and small naval boats
off Libyan ports of Benghazi and Tobruk.
"The Western forces are reportedly preparing to set-up
training bases for local militias set-up by the rebel forces for an
effective control of the oil-rich region and counter any push by
pro-Qaddafi forces from Tripoli.
"Other reports claim that efforts to 'neutralize' the
Libyan Air Force were also underway to limit Qaddafi's rule in Tripoli
if not fully uprooted from the country.
"Meanwhile, three Indian Navy warships, are also being
dispatched to be deployed in the rebel-held areas of Libya.
"According to reports the Indian Navy has already sent
two warships plus one its largest amphibious vessel INS Jalashwa.
Jalashwa is the largest ship of
Indian Navy which was delivered by the U.S. four years ago. Jalashwa,
Trenton, has the capability to embark, transport and various
elements of an amphibious force and is equipped with mechanized landing
craft, Sea King helicopters and armed with radar, ship to air missiles
and rapid firing guns.
"Experts say that Indian ship Jalashwa has a
Landing Platform Dock with a capability 1,000 fully armed troops. The
warship is also used for maritime surveillance, special operations,
search and rescue and to undertake other tasks."
What is confirmed however is the statement of British
Prime Minister David Cameron who said on Monday, "We do not in any way
rule out the use of military assets." The "world community is looking
for ways to step up pressure on the Gadhafi regime beyond sanctions and
travel bans, which have the most
immediate impact," CP quotes him saying. "We must not tolerate this
regime using military force against its own people. In that context, I
have asked the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff
to work with our allies on plans for a military no-fly zone," Cameron
said. According to CP, "Cameron
also suggested Britain might even arm Libyan opposition forces if the
regime continues to use violence to crush street demonstrations."
Meanwhile, there is no unanimity to invade Libya in what
David Cameron calls "the world community." Prensa Latina reports:
"Differing points of view will dominate a high-level
gathering of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which began meeting
on Monday in Geneva.
"Although the 16th session of the Human Rights Council
will run until March, the high-level deliberations will conclude on
"For Latin America, participants include Venezuelan
Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, Argentina's Hector Timerman, Mexico's
Patricia Espinosa, Nicaragua's Samuel Santos, and Cuban Foreign
Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
"According to reports from Geneva, Uruguayan Foreign
Minister Luis Almagro, Costa Rica's Rene Castro, Brazil's Human Rights
Minister Maria do Rosario Nunes, Ecuador's Justice Minister Jose
Serrano, Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon, and several Latin
American deputy ministers will also participate
in the meeting.
"The United States and its allies in the European Union
are pushing for the expulsion of Libya, one of the council's 47 member
states, but there is no consensus, given the opposition of other
In a statement on Friday, the Cuban representative to
the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Rodolfo Reyes, spoke out on behalf
of his government for a peaceful and sovereign solution to the crisis
in Libya. Cuba rejected any manoeuvre leading to foreign military
intervention in Libya and reiterated a call to
Libyan authorities to keep calm.
"We cannot accept the risk that this tragic situation is
used to satisfy pro-intervention greed, strip the Libyan people of
their sovereignty and take over their resources," said Reyes.
He warned of plans for a humanitarian military
intervention which Cuba opposes because, instead of solving the
situation it would rather worsen it and might have other serious
In an official statement addressed to the head of the
UNHRC, Reyes said that Cuba has denounced from the start these plans to
occupy Libya and categorically rejects any manoeuvre to favour such
Certainly, the Libyan people oppose any foreign military
intervention, said the Cuban ambassador, who also cited Cuba's concern
about the internal situation of civil war surrounding Libya "in the
context of a world economic crisis of great dimensions that is plunging
the peoples of that region and the world into
hopelessness," as stated by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in
"We want the Libyan people to reach a prompt, peaceful,
sovereign solution to the situation created there, without any kind of
interference or foreign intervention, that secures the integrity of the
Libyan nation," said Reyes as he expressed the Cuban Government's stand.
The scenario unfolding recalls the NATO bombing of
Yugoslavia and the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. This
time NATO will go all out to play a central role because of the
inter-imperialist contradictions between U.S. and European interests
over control of Libyan oil where the Europeans will not
want to play second fiddle to U.S. decisions. The attempt to grab
control of the Libyan oil spigot of the European Union, a major
competitor of the U.S. monopolies in world markets, is itself a
seriously destabilizing factor in world politics that will increase the
danger of war as the big powers strive for control over
sources of raw materials and spheres of influence.
No to the So-Called Humanitarian
Imperialist Occupation of Libya!
No to the Incitement of Anarchy and
Violence to Destabilize Sovereign Nations!
No to the Use of Force to
Sort Out Conflicts Within and Between Nations!
U.S. Preparations for Libyan Invasion
News reports inform that
the nuclear-powered USS
Enterprise is heading for the Libyan coast along with other
warships. A U.S. Navy map cited by the British Daily Mail reveals that
there are a total of 23 warships and support vessels of the 2nd and 6th
fleets in and around the African continent. The aircraft carrier USS
Enterprise, which has been marauding off the coast of Somalia,
"has now steamed to the mouth of the Suez Canal in the Red Sea," the Daily
"The deadly strike force aboard the nuclear-powered
carrier is already within flying distance of Libya but the Enterprise
is said to be heading closer to country ...," the Daily Mail
In response to British Prime Minister David Cameron's
demand for a
"no-fly zone," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said the military
was "repositioning" forces to be ready to assist in case a no-fly zone
was enforced. He said that, more likely, "U.S. forces would be asked to
provide humanitarian relief once the tense
situation is resolved." He did not say by whom "the tense situation"
would be resolved and to whose advantage.
In this regard, the Daily Mail points out that
"the Enterprise -- with its
compliment of F-14 Tomcat fighters -- is not
the best candidate for a humanitarian aid mission." This underscores
the fact that the mission will be "humanitarian" in name only.
Other U.S. deployments include the USS Mount Whitney
command ship which is said to have changed its position in the
Mediterranean as well, and the amphibious assault ship USS
Kearsarge which is in the Red Sea behind the Enterprise.
According to the Daily
Mail, "A senior U.S. military
official told Fox News: 'We are exploring all options and moving assets
in case they are needed.' Another military official said U.S.
commanders were trying to second a battalion of Marines to attach to
the Marine Expeditionary Unit on board the Kearsarge."
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in
Geneva today "to press European allies to take action against Libya."
Toronto Public Sector Workers
Legislation Banning Transit Strikes Aimed at
Privatizing Public Transit -- It Must Not Pass!
TML condemns the
McGuinty government's tabling of a bill to make it illegal for workers
of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to strike. This attack is part
of the global assault by the monopolies and governments in their
service to criminalize workers' struggles for their rights and give
rein to nation-wrecking. As Bill 150, the Toronto Transit
Commission Labour Disputes Resolution Act, 2011 was tabled,
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, with the backing of the Ontario government,
announced he wants to move faster to privatize the TTC. It is totally
irresponsible to declare the TTC an essential
service so as to undermine the fighting capacity of the workers' union
and then proceed to privatize public transit.
In tabling Bill 150, the McGuinty government suggests
that it is merely responding to the City of Toronto's request to
designate its public transit system an essential service for the public
good. Interestingly enough, in its proposed bill the government does
not even define what is an essential service
under labour legislation. It refers instead to the "unique importance"
of the TTC for the city and people of Toronto.
The International Labour Organization, a body of the
United Nations, describes essential services as "those the
interruption of which would endanger the life, personal safety or
health of the whole or part of the population." The Public Service
Labour Relations Act of the federal government states that
"services should be identified as essential where there are reasonable
grounds for accepting the probability, or even the possibility, that
human life or public safety would suffer if a work stoppage interrupted
the duties of these employees." How do these definitions apply to the
TTC drivers and the service they provide?
They don't but it does not matter because the McGuinty government's
legislation is for purposes of legalizing anti-worker hysteria and
further pushing privatization and the wrecking of public services.
Labour Minister Charles Sousa, in his statement when
tabling the bill, kept saying that the bill is the city's initiative,
suggesting that the provincial government is merely responding to the
city's request and is not taking sides.
The Ontario government often receives requests from the
city to increase funding for the TTC or social welfare, but it has
never even bothered to respond. The hypocrisy of the McGuinty Liberals
does not cover up their government's failure to uphold its
responsibility to make sure that workers' rights
are defended on the grounds that as a matter of principle they require
the wages, benefits and working conditions commensurate with the
services they provide. Along with the obsessive reference to the bill
being in response to "the city's request" so as to avoid discussing how
transit can be declared an essential service,
Minister Sousa invokes the "unique importance" of public transit and
"unique circumstances" in Toronto.
According to the Minister, the "unique circumstances"
in which the City of Toronto would find itself as a result of a TTC
include an "unacceptable economic impact," "environmental shock waves"
and "health and safety concerns." By "environmental shock waves" he
refers to the additional number
of cars on the road which add to pollution. According to this logic,
why not declare all kinds of activities in Toronto illegal, including
baseball and hockey games and the CNE all of which add pollution as a
result of increased vehicle traffic. He does not even bother to provide
any data to prove that TTC strikes put
the lives of Torontonians in jeopardy. He is merely viciously repeating
propaganda trotted out during the last TTC strike and repeating phrases
to try and make his law conform to the definition of an essential
service. In all of this, never once is it discussed how to provide the
TTC drivers and maintenance personnel
with wages, benefits and working conditions commensurate with the
services they perform.
The economic impact of TTC strikes is known to all as
people are inconvenienced in their ability to go to work and travel in
the city. But layoffs and closures cause economic impacts as well, as
do poverty and attacks on social programs and public services,
including the slashing of TTC routes and
the constant fare increases. These are not declared illegal by the
McGuinty government, no matter how many "requests" they receive for
such legislation from the workers and the people of Ontario. Only the
workers' struggles are declared illegal. And Sousa has the gall to
declare that the bill is not going to "take
away or limit the right to bargain!" Why is it being tabled then?
The timing here is very important. The labour contract
for the TTC drivers expires at the end of March. Both the city and the
Ontario government are rushing to pass the bill before March 31 as if
it is emergency legislation. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, the
union which represents the TTC
drivers, pulled the rug out from under this "emergency" by declaring
that in this round of negotiations it is not going to go on strike and
will submit unresolved issues to binding arbitration. This proposal
would, among other things, give the union time to present briefs if the
government decides to go ahead with the
bill. The union reports that when it approached the city with its
proposal, the city responded with the demand that the union sign an
agreement that it will never go on strike again and that it will not
use any legal recourse against a bill banning TTC strikes. It is clear
that the city and the province want to criminalize
the TTC workers so that the TTC itself can be wrecked with impunity.
Workers will not forgive governments that act on behalf
of the monopolies while pretending to serve the public interest. Many
governments in Canada have, through abuse of power, extended the
definition of "essential service" to mean just about any part of the
public sector. The BC government even
declared teaching an essential service. In order to serve narrow
private interests, these governments in the service of the monopolies
themselves violate laws and standards and then abuse their positions of
power to declare their abuses legal! Such a self-serving arrangement
cannot seriously claim legitimacy and, sooner
or later, it will mercilessly be overthrown as an abuse of power.
Everyone must stand with the TTC workers in defence of
Defiant Resistance Mounts in Wisconsin
and Across the Country
More than 100,000 people
rallied in Madison on February 26, 2011 (left). Despite threats to
by force over the weekend, rallies at the capitol building
continued on February 28, 2011 (right).
The electric atmosphere produced by the struggle of
Wisconsin workers for their rights is spreading across the country.
Everywhere workers, teachers, youth and students are standing together
and demanding an end to attacks on their rights. The brutal
anti-social, anti-worker offensive of the monopolies and their
governments is being met with increasing resistance, with
demonstrations and sit-ins in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Iowa,
Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington State, Washington, DC and
elsewhere. Actions were held in all 50 states on Saturday, February 26
to defend workers' rights and raise high
the banner of the class, All for One
and One for All!
On February 26 for the second week in a row, Madison,
Wisconsin saw more than 100,000 people demonstrating against the
anti-worker, anti-social attacks of the state government. Workers,
and youth stood firm, continuing to mobilize broad political support
from workers representing all sectors of the economy
and people from all walks of life. Families again came, as did
immigrant rights organizations and many others. Despite a resolution by
legislative committee for protestors to be removed by 6:00 pm
Saturday, confronted with the tens of thousands inside and out, this
did not take place.
On Sunday, February 27 many thousands of people still
remained in action in Madison, demonstrating and filling the Capitol
building once again. Marching, chanting and drumming took place as
protesters surrounded the Capitol and thousands also rallied inside.
Once again, the people were presented
with an ultimatum to leave the building by 4:00 pm or be removed
by the police.
As the time drew near, everyone was told to leave and
that they could return at 8:00 am Monday morning, when the building is
open to the public. In defiance of the 4:00 pm deadline, several
hundred youth, teachers, and public sector workers, including
firefighters, Service Employees International
Union (SEIU), Wisconsin Healthcare, and American Federation of State,
County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) remained inside. At about 7:00
pm, an organizer announced to cheers from the crowd that police, who
have thus far been in solidarity with the action, agreed not to make
On Monday morning, the many arriving to again enter the
building found themselves locked out. For
hours, no one was allowed to enter. Numerous restrictions were placed
not only on protesters but the
general public. Such denial of access into a public building is illegal
under the Wisconsin state constitution.
lack of access means that food and supplies cannot be sent in to those
who remain. People inside can leave, but not return. People
organized to pass food and other supplies through the windows. Capitol
Police staff are now welding the windows shut.
is being mounted to provide for those inside and get the doors of the
Capitol building, a public institution, open.
In addition, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is
attempting to force the return of the 14 Democratic Senators by
targeting their staff members, who remain at work in the building. He
is planning to deny them their paychecks and perhaps fire them. It was
also reported that the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) had been brought into the building and was
ensconced on the upper floors.
Canadian Unions Join Protests
Representatives of three Canadian unions were in
this weekend, joining with thousands of workers and supporters to fight
Governor Scott Walker's union-busting "Budget Repair Bill."
"Walker's bill represents a direct attack on workers'
John Gordon, President of the 180,000-member Public Service Alliance of
Canada. "Public sector workers shouldn't have to pay for the financial
crisis they didn't create. We are here to say that Canadian workers are
watching - we won't stand
for this type of treatment at home or anywhere else in the world."
"This is really one of the most inspirational moments I
witnessed since I've been involved in the labour movement," says
Ménard, Secretary-Treasurer of the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada."To see 100,000 people gather to defend
public employees' rights to collectively
bargain against a government that is so intent on union busting is a
unique experience we will certainly cherish and treasure upon our
return to Canada."
Paul Moist, National President of the 605,000-member
of Public Employees, denounced Governor Walker's attack on Wisconsin's
public sector workers.
"Using the current recession and a Republican majority
in the State
Assembly and Senate to strip away fundamental rights from dedicated
public employees is plain wrong and totally unjustified," Moist wrote
in a recent letter to Walker.
CUPE, PSAC and CEP collectively represent over 900,000
across Canada, of which 750,000 are employed in the public sector.
Struggle for Working Class Rights and Dignity Continues
Madison, February 26-27,
Saturday witnessed the largest demonstration in Madison,
Wisconsin since the tumultuous days of the 1960s youth and students'
movement. This time the target of the massive demonstration of over
100,000 was not the U.S. war of aggression against Vietnam and absence
of civil rights but the fascist wave of
state-organized attacks on the rights and dignity of the working class.
Similar demonstrations were held throughout the United States.
Protests have erupted against the plan by Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker to strip public service workers of their legal
organize into collectives to defend the rights of all and to bargain
for wages, benefits, pensions and working conditions that are
acceptable to their peers. Public service workers
and their allies say that without the basic legal right to organize
into collectives and bargain, the working class is stripped of its
dignity, reduced to the insecurity of quasi-slavery and subjected to
the whims, dictate, impunity and narrow interests of employers. A
modern society cannot function without the working
class having full legal right to organize itself and defend its basic
interests and those of fellow workers and society. Without an agreement
and legal guarantees for the right of workers to organize to defend
themselves and bargain collectively, the system will degenerate into an
open fascist dictatorship of the most
powerful rich and their monopolies.
This tendency to open dictatorship can be seen in the
decree that the Capitol Building would be cleared by 4:00 pm Sunday or
police would move in with force accompanied possibly by the National
Guard. This dictate was immediately denounced by the Iraq Veterans
Against the War who called on members
of the police and National Guard to refuse any order to move against
the workers and youth occupying the Capitol Building. Demonstrators
reminded members of the National Guard that they in their vast majority
are members of the Wisconsin working class and should not participate
in attacking the rights of fellow
workers. The people of Wisconsin cannot in good conscience hail the
uprisings in North Africa and West Asia against open dictatorships and
criticize the military and police attacks on protestors in those
struggling nations, while at the same time countenance similar attacks
against demonstrators fighting for their
rights here at home in the United States.
Walker's fascist bill remains stalled in the Wisconsin
Senate as Democratic Senators refuse to attend the sham sitting where
the Republican majority would simply ram it through. The Democratic
Senators report that they will remain "at large" to deny a quorum for
as long as it takes to kill the bill.
State troopers sent to bring them forcibly to the State Capitol
Building are reported to have refused to detain the Senators as most
state troopers support the battle for workers' rights.
The intense fight in Wisconsin to defend the rights of
public service workers is leading many in the U.S. to question a system
of governance that allows big money and the monopoly media to put into
power such an extremist anti-worker anti-social element as Walker. Many
of the placards that protesters
carried Saturday throughout the U.S. denounced the relationship between
monopoly capital and those running in elections. Walker himself does
not hide the fact that the billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H.
Koch and other wealthy people bankrolled his campaign for governor, and
through millions of dollars
of attack ads created an atmosphere of hate and confusion over the
budget and the origin of the economic crisis.
A system of governance that allows wealth and privilege
to dictate who will govern has no place in modern society where the
people themselves, especially the working class and youth, are
demanding empowerment and a system of governance that guarantees their
right to participate in decision-making
and to control the direction of the economy and importantly how society
funds itself and how it spends those funds. "We will not tolerate Koch
heads in Wisconsin," read one of the signs at the Saturday protest.
This sentiment to restrict monopoly right and allow public right to
flourish is being developed into serious
questions and political discussion of how and why a modern progressive
pro-social polity such as exists in the United States usually ends up
with such anti-worker anti-social political leaders as Governor Walker.
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