The world needs more union involvement in foreign affairs

Unions are a force for good in the world. Too bad not all of them are a force for good everywhere in the world. Canadian unions are largely indifferent to international affairs. And when they engage it’s rarely to challenge Ottawa’s foreign policy. Over the Labour Day weekend the Ontario Federation of Labour and some... Continue Reading →

What is behind glorifying the military?

Are soldiers more valuable to society than teachers? Are they more essential than the people who drive buses or clean up our waste? Are their jobs that much more dangerous than firefighters, or psychiatric nurses or loggers? Is what they do more honourable than parenting, caring for elders, providing essential social services or reporting the... Continue Reading →

How can First Nations believe Canada is a force for good in the world?

The power of foreign policy nationalism is immense. Even the primary victims of the Canadian state have been drawn into this country’s mythology. Dispossessed of 99% of their land, Indigenous people have been made wards of the state, had their movement restricted and religious/cultural ceremonies banned. Notwithstanding their antagonistic relationship to the Canadian state, indigenous... Continue Reading →

Did you know Canada once invaded Russia?

The corporate media presents Russia as militaristic but ignores Canada’s invasion of that country. 100 years ago today a popular revolt ousted the Russian monarchy. Enraged at Nicholas II’s brutality and the horror of World War I, protests and strikes swept the capital of Petrograd (Saint Petersburg). Within a week the czar abdicated. Later in... Continue Reading →

A day to remember

Remember. Remember that today marks the culmination of a militarist, nationalist ritual organized by a reactionary state-backed group. Every year the Royal Canadian Legion sells about 20 million red poppies in the lead-up to Remembrance Day. Remember that red poppies were inspired by the 1915 poem "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian army officer John McCrae.... Continue Reading →

Glorifying a very bad war

In their bid to brand Canada a "warrior nation," Stephen Harper's Conservatives seek to glorify Canadian military history, regardless of its horrors. On Saturday Canada's Minister of Veteran Affairs released a statement to mark "113 years since the end of the South African war." Erin O'Toole said, "Canada commemorates all those who served in South Africa, contributing... Continue Reading →

Israel has turned a progressive community into warmongers

From a left-wing community once at the forefront of struggles against racism, unconditional support for Israel has turned a significant proportion of Toronto Jews into promoters of hatred against “Arabs” and into allies of right wing, bigoted, homophobic Christian Bible literalists. During 15 years of activism in Montréal, Ottawa and Vancouver I haven’t seen anything... Continue Reading →

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