As part of its fight to mobilize the working class—French-and-English speaking and immigrant—against the big business assault on jobs, wages and public services, the Socialist Equality Party (Canada) is holding a public meeting in Montreal on Thursday, March 20 to oppose the Parti Quebecois government’s anti-democratic and chauvinist Charter of Quebec Values. Opposition to the PQ’s Charter is a pivotal component of the struggle to unite the working class and arm it with a socialist-internationalist program. (For the time and venue of the meeting, please scroll to the bottom.)
The PQ’s Charter (Bill 60) incarnates the vile technique of “divide and rule,” that is being used by the capitalist ruling elites in Europe, the United States, and around the world to make immigrants and minorities the scapegoats for the social misery being produced by the global capitalist crisis.
Bill 60—which threatens any public sector worker who wears a hijab or other “conspicuous” religious symbol with dismissal—is a flagrant attack on religious freedom and targets the right to employment of Muslim women and other religious minorities.
The PQ’s invocation of “secularism” to justify this anti-democratic measure is pure hypocrisy, as underscored by the government’s refusal to remove the crucifix that sits in the National Assembly and its vow to otherwise uphold Quebec’s “Catholic heritage.”
The SEP’s March 20th meeting will demonstrate how the PQ’s turn toward xenophobic identity politics is the logical outcome of its reactionary program for the creation of an independent capitalist Quebec. It will also expose the hypocrisy of the entire federalist political establishment, from the Harper Conservative government to the ostensibly left-wing NDP. They posture as democratic opponents of the PQ’s Charter while directly carrying out or acquiescing to massive attacks on democratic rights, including the effective abolition of the right to strike and systematic state spying on Canadians’ electronic communications.
The central objective of the SEP meeting will be to elaborate a socialist response to the attempt to incite ethnic strife and the broader ruling-class assault on democratic rights. Above all, this requires the struggle to unite the working class in Quebec, across Canada, and around the world in the struggle for workers’ governments that will radically reorganize socio-economic life so as to make meeting social needs, not enriching a tiny big business elite, its animating principle.
Questions and discussion will follow reports by SEP leaders. All are welcome.
Thursday, March 20, at 7:30 PM
Centre St.-Pierre, Room 105
(near the Beaudry Metro Station—on the green line)