Montreal meeting to discuss “The Socialist alternative to war and dictatorship”
23 September 2013
The Socialist Equality Party (Canada) is holding a meeting in Montreal on the afternoon of Sunday, October 6, to discuss the socialist alternative to imperialist war and the ever-widening big business assault on democratic and worker rights. (For details of the time and place of the meeting, please scroll to the bottom.)
The five years since the eruption of the greatest global economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s have laid bare the incompatibility between the capitalist profit system and the basic needs of working people.
In Canada, as around the world, workers and young people confront a ruling elite determined to make them pay for the crisis of capitalism. In the name of “austerity” and “balanced budgets,” big business and its political representatives are seeking to destroy what remains of the social conquests that were won by the working class in the convulsive social struggles of the last century. Public services, decent wages and pensions, unemployment insurance, and worker rights—all are on the chopping block.
And when workers and youth resist, the ruling class responds with state repression, as was the case with the 2012 Quebec student strike and this summer’s construction workers’ strike. Thanks to the whistle-blower Edward Snowden, we now know that the US state is systematically spying on Americans’ emails, texts, and phone calls. Similarly in Canada, the ruling class is erecting the scaffolding for a police state, including spying on Canadians’ electronic communications.
The assault on the working class and basic democratic rights goes hand-in-hand with imperialist wars of plunder. The US elite is on the brink of launching yet another war in the Middle East, this time directed against Syria, a close ally of Iran and Russia. And Canadian big business, Washington’s longtime close partner, is preparing to lend political and military support. No one should be taken in by Obama and Harper’s bluster about chemical weapons; these are lies meant to stampede the public and to cover up the real economic and strategic motivations that are driving the US elite and its Canadian partners to try to assert, through force of arms, domination of the world’s principal oil-exporting region.
The vast majority of people in North America and around the world are opposed to war and the reactionary social agenda of the capitalist elite. But that opposition finds no genuine expression in official politics. This is because the ostensibly “left” parties and organizations—such as the trade unions, the NDP, and Quebec Solidaire—all uphold and defend capitalism. They systematically isolated last year’s student strike from the working class and diverted the mass opposition to Charest behind the big business PQ. Today they are opposed to mobilizing the working class against the threat of war.
If workers’ social rights are to be defended and war and dictatorship stopped, the working class must be armed with an independent program and perspective, based on the fight for equality and socialism. The SEP and its sister parties internationally are organizing demonstrations, rallies, and teach-ins to give voice to the popular opposition to war and direct it toward the working class, not impotent appeals to the Conservative government and the other big business parties.
Come to our public meeting in Montreal Sunday, October 6, to fight back against war and the destruction of democratic and worker rights.
Hands Off Syria! No to war and dictatorship!
Sunday, October 6, 1:30 p.m.
Centre St. Pierre, Room 105
1212 Panet Montreal, H2L 2Y7 (near the Beaudry Metro Station)