May 27, 2016

The Toronto Raptors and the Right to Sport

 Peter Miller

Raptors regular season tickets and playoff tickets are out of reach for the majority of people in Toronto, with the average resell cost for a single ticket at $258. At the same time, costs for cable, internet, and going out to a bar to watch the game pile up, making access to watching the playoff run in the comfort of one’s own home inaccessible to many.

Everyone deserves the right to democratic culture, sport, and leisure, and this includes the right to watch some of the best basketball players in the world. Under capitalism, short-term partial victories for these rights can be won, but these gains are constantly under attack.

May 26, 2016

White Canada Forever? The racist history of Canadian immigration policy

Brendan Campisi

In today’s debates over the admission of Syrian refugees to Canada, many defenders of admission, including the Trudeau Liberals, have drawn on the image of Canada as a friendly, welcoming country with a history of accepting refugees and immigrants. While this flattering cliché is believed by many Canadians, a look at the history of this country’s immigration policy shows it is far from the truth.

Early Canadian immigration law was loose to the point of being almost non-existent, befitting a settler-colonial society founded on European migration. This began to change when the first major group of non-European immigrants arrived in the 1870s and 80s. This group was made up of Chinese immigrants who mostly settled in British Columbia, many after working in deadly conditions building the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Calls began to limit this influx and by the early 1880s the ‘head tax’ had been introduced to discourage Chinese immigration. It would be raised significantly several times, eventually becoming so high that it effectively ended Chinese migration entirely. Chinese people were also stripped of the right to vote at the same time. In the discussion of that law, John A MacDonald said that it was necessary to disenfranchise the Chinese and stop them from immigrating in order to preserve “the Aryan character of the future of British North America.”

May 25, 2016

Cheer for the Raptors but not for “Canada’s Team”

Peter Miller

It’s absurd that the Canadian anthem and American anthem is played before every Toronto Raptors game. It’s much like the start of every school day in Canada, with the national anthem being played to invoke patriotism for youth in a country that is playing an increasingly aggressive imperialist role on the world stage and continuing its genocide against indigenous people.

That’s why it didn’t bother me when NBA legend, Dwayne Wade continued to warm up during the Canadian anthem during a recent play-off game in Toronto. Hearing the anthem before every game is a waste of time, and players should warm up during it if they still need to get their body ready for some intense play. Predictably, however, Raptors fans booed Wade for the rest of the NBA playoff series for his action. Some Canadian politicians even chimed in to voice their disappointment with Dwayne Wade’s actions.

May 19, 2016

Islamophobia: Ideology of imperialism and its role in Canada


Edward Lovo

I. What role does Islamophobia play in Canadian politics? Until Harper, the distorted image of Islam from our southern neighbour barely entered mainstream politics. To a significant degree, Jean Chrétien before him endorsed a vein of Islamophobia through his foreign policy actions. With Harper, however, his unprecedented militarism went in tandem with his Islamophobic rhetoric. For a number of reasons, Canadians wanted Harper out at all costs, so Trudeaumania hit the country like an epidemic. Though Trudeau avoids Harper’s virulent strain of Islamophobia, as fellow Liberal Chrétien did before him, Trudeau endorses the mild Islamophobia which allows Canadian foreign policy to fly under the auspices of the American eagle’s wing.

May 17, 2016

Fort McMurray and Climate Change: A Tough Conversation

Cody Hartsburg

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of talk to not politicize the Fort McMurray fire. And the people saying this are 100% correct. There have been people on both sides of the political spectrum who have made some pretty off-hand comments, and any snarky attitudes of this sort should absolutely be condemned. But silencing talk about climate change right now is not helping anybody. With the short winter and little snowfall, higher than average temperatures, dry conditions, a fire season that is lengthening, and the increasing frequency of forest fires, it’s hard to ignore the role that climate change plays here. Yes, it would be ridiculous to claim that the Fort Mac fire was undoubtedly, 100%, only caused by global warming. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t play a role, a significant one at that. Climate change is linked with the increase of severity and frequency of extreme weather events around the globe. These types of disasters are only going to happen more often, and on a larger scale. The reason I feel the need to talk about this is that it’s not an isolated event, this is a symptom of disgusting disease. If we continue on with business-as-usual, disasters like the Fort Mac fire will slowly become the norm.

May 16, 2016

Black Lives Matter TO's Tent City: “Those in power that don’t serve the people - you are on notice!”

Shay Lafontaine

The colonialist-imperialist Canadian state has murdered, impoverished, and sentenced to abject misery countless people worldwide in the name of corporate greed, most often targeting non-white nations, namely in Africa. The Canadian government also offers support to the racist apartheid state of Israel and plays a role in the colonial occupation of Palestine, and has been involved in illegal coups worldwide, such as in Honduras and Haiti. This oppression is not solely exported - the same brutal occupation tactics that Canada supports and uses around the world are exercised over the racialized population within Canadian borders.

April 28, 2016

May Day 2016: Events across Canada

Special to RY

Rebel Youth sends revolutionary greetings to all those participating in May Day events across the country this year!

In recent years there has been a renewal of the May Day tradition which this year is 130 years old. In the context of capitalism's economic and environmental crises International Workers' Day is as relevant as ever. Long live May Day!

Events throughout the country:

April 15, 2016

De Beers' Colonial Plunder in Attawapiskat

Jay Watts

In 1995, a report issued as part of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples called suicide “one of the most urgent problems facing aboriginal communities." 22 years later, Canada’s ongoing colonial project is still taking a staggering and gruesome toll on the health and lives of First Nations. In Attawapiskat, a community of close to 2,000, there were 11 suicide attempts last Saturday, on top of 100 suicide attempts since last September.

In response to such events there has been mobilization. In Toronto, Idle No More and Black Lives Matter have responded with an occupation of an Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada office; in Ottawa people are marching from Parliament Hill to INAC in Gatineau; while other INAC offices are being occupied in Winnipeg, Regina and James Bay.

April 12, 2016

April 15th Cross-Canada Day of Action to Fight for $15 [list of actions]

Special to RY

A cross-Canada Day of Action has been called for this Friday, April 15th to demand a raise to minimum wages across the country. Despite some small increases in the minimum wage, there is not one province or territory in Canada that has increased the minimum wage to above the poverty line, even if workers are able to find full-time work. This continues to allow many large corporations to pay poverty wages and impoverish our communities.

Well over 20 cities are participating in the Day of Action to raise the minimum wage and rallying around the “Fight for $15” campaign. This campaign began in the United States a few years ago and has won some real victories in several American cities.

March 31, 2016

Letter from a young Cuban to the US President Obama

Julio Alejandro Gomez Pereda

Reposted from cubanos.org.uk with some change in translation

March 22nd, 2016, Havana, Cuba.

Mr. President,

Some hours ago, I had the opportunity to listen to all of your speech through our national television channels, and I should recognize, that precisely your words motivated this letter that now, right after I have reflected on what you have said, I decided to write you.

I speak to you from the respect that a young Cuban feels for a man who has been able to change the history of his country, regarding its foreign policy toward Cuba, which will be an indelible merit during all his life, and the best is that it will be a multilaterally attained merit.

March 28, 2016

Black Lives Matter TO’s Tent City: a look back at the first week

Special to Rebel Youth

As Black Lives Matter–Toronto’s Tent City outside Police Headquarters in downtown Toronto enters its 2nd week, participation and solidarity have continued to grow.

Here Rebel Youth is republishing statements, videos and media releases from the past week, which talk about why this action is taking place, the demands of Toronto’s Black communities, and provide an overview of the brief but important history of this ongoing struggle.

Saturday, March 19th

(The day before the “BlackOUT for Justice” rally and the beginning of BLM TO’s Tent City)

BLM TO statement on Facebook:
"This week, Toronto’s Black community was inundated with anti-Black violence from the state at every turn. From the erasure of another Black community festival in Toronto, to the slaying of two Black community members to the SIU decision not to charge the police officers responsible for murdering Andrew Loku. The Black communities of Toronto have waited over six months for a decision that confirms what we have always known: the system is set up to protect an anti-Black police system that continues to target, brutalize and destroy Black communities, Black dignity and Black life.

Obama’s Cuba Visit Illustrates US Arrogance

Garry Leech

Reposted from counterpunch.org

In his speech to the Cuban people in Havana, President Barack Obama declared, “I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas. … I’ve urged the people of the Americas to leave behind the ideological battles of the past.” But Obama made clear that his desire to end the decades-long US economic blockade of the island is not based on the fact that it constitutes the bullying of a small country by the world’s most powerful capitalist nation, nor is it a response to the sheer inhumanity of the blockade, it is simply an acknowledgement that the policy has failed to bring down Cuba’s socialist system and return the country to capitalism. Obama then proceeded to spend much of his speech telling Cubans that they should live under a US-style democracy and a capitalist economy. In other words, he has no intention of leaving behind “the ideological battles of the past.” He is simply shifting strategy.

March 9, 2016

Young Communists around the world mobilize for IWD 2016

Special to Rebel Youth

Rebel Youth looks at the actions of young Communists around the world to commemorate International Women's Day and struggle for the rights of women globally. Here's a snapshot of some of the activities that took place in honor of March 8th, 2016.

Britain










March 4, 2016

The Revolutionary Life of Clara Zetkin – Founder of International Women’s Day


In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2016, Rebel Youth republishes this biography of the founder of IWD, Clara Zetkin, from the YCL Britain.

CLARA ZETKIN (1857-1933) was a German communist, anti fascist and founder of International Women’s Day. Here Communist Party of Britain General Secretary Robert Griffiths outlines her remarkable and exemplary life.

Clara Zetkin, who first proposed International Women’s Day 100 years ago, was an outstanding figure in the socialist, Communist and women’s movements. Her own commitment, vision and courage have left a legacy which deserves to be celebrated on March 8 every year.

March 3, 2016

Meet the Communists on McMaster campus


Ajit Singh & Mike Van Arragon

While tabling on campus, and being active in the student movement, the YCL Hamilton noticed that some students have unfounded anti-communist prejudices.

At the same time, when engaging with students the comrades in Hamilton found that many students are concerned with many of the same political struggles as the young Communists; against climate change, war, inequality and exploitation, racism, sexism, transphobia and homophobia, for example.

This opinion piece was prepared for the student press in order to fight anti-communism on campus and give the YCL Hamilton a space to describe themselves in their own words.

The following article is republished from McMaster’s student newspaper the Silhouette.

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