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Sep 21, 2017
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Social Justice News

September 21, 2017


NOTE: you can view the complete list of ongoing news, events and articles on our Community page. Make a donation to the CSJ.


I support the wealthy paying their fair share
I’m sure you’ve heard about the Liberals tax reforms: modest proposals to close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthiest Canadians — high income professionals making between $150,000 to millions a year. Closing these loopholes could save us over $1 billion a year, and be used to fund public services like health, education and child care.

Right on cue, Conservatives and the business lobby started spinning a web of misinformation, picking fights with economists, and claiming the reforms will “kill the family farm” and destroy local businesses.

Except the data is clear: it’s a small group of high-income earners — mainly the super-rich — benefitting from these loopholes, and they’ll be the group most affected by closing them. Using farmers, grocers, and local convenience store owners as victims is just cheap political cover for what’s really an attempt by the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

Support fair taxation to build a better Canada. Add your name to open letter.


Sep 21, 2017 - Pow Wow at Queens Park
When: Thursday, September 21st, 12noon
Where: Queen's Park, Toronto

Indigenous leaders and activists will hold a Pow Wow on the lawn of Queen's Park on Thursday, September 21 from 12 noon to 5 p.m.

That's the day MPP Michael Mantha is set to table a private member's bill to make National Indigenous Day, June 21, a statutory holiday. The OPSEU Indigenous Circle brought leaders and activists together on August 17 to plan the Pow Wow.

“It is time we do this,” said OPSEU Indigenous Circle member Linda Broer, chair of the June 21 campaign and lead organizer of the event. “Rather than a typical labour rally, we chose a Pow Wow as the best way to introduce the bill and to celebrate Indigenous cultures and traditions which are the heart of this legislation.” The Pow Wow is a follow up to the Lobby Day organized by the campaign on May 9, 2017.

Facebook event

Sep 21, 2017 - OCAP Speakers Series: Winning Decent Incomes
When: Thursday, September 21st, 6pm
Where: CRC, 40 Oak Street (near Parliament and Gerrard)
Free event with a meal, childcare, wheelchair access and tokens

Social Assistance and the Fight for $15

Why are social assistance rates so low? What lessons can we learn from the fight to raise minimum wage? How do we win decent incomes for everyone?

The September Speakers Series tackles these questions, so come join the discussion.

Speakers: Pam Frache and Yogi Acharya

Pam is the Ontario Coordinator for the Fight for $15 and Fairness and an organizer with the Workers' Action Centre. Previously, Pam has worked for the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Federation of Students. She is a long-time Toronto-based social justice and labour activist.

Yogi is an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and the Raise the Rates campaign.


Sep 21, 2017 - Winning Decent Incomes
When: Thursday September 21st, 6pm
Where: 40 Oak Street (Parliament and Gerrard)
Free Event with a meal, childcare, wheelchair access and tokens.

Why is social assistance so low? What lessons can we learn from the fight to raise minimum wage? How do we win decent incomes for everyone? Join us at the September Speakers Series to find out.


* Pam Frache is the Ontario Coordinator for the Fight for $15 and Fairness and an organizer with the Workers’ Action Centre. Previously, Pam has worked for the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Federation of Students. She is a long-time Toronto-based social justice and labour activist.

* Yogi Acharya is an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and the Raise the Rates campaign.

The Speakers Series is a monthly event where we discuss issues critical to the success of poor people’s resistance.


Sep 21, 2017 - Conflict in Korea
When: Thursday, September 21st, 7:30pm
Where: 290 Danforth Ave, Toronto

The PV Forum presents a look at the escalating conflict on the Korean Peninsula between American imperialism and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the historical context that produced the current situation.

Mr. Black was Chair of the International Legal Committee for the Defence of President Milosevic and was one of his legal advisers until his death. In 2014, Mr. Black won the acquittal of General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Chief of Staff, Rwanda Gendarmerie, at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal on 60 fabricated charges of genocide. He is an adviser on International Law to the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations and on the counsel list at the International Criminal Court. Mr. Black has visited and toured the DPRK.

Mr. Figueroa is President (pro tem) of the Canadian Peace Congress and a Central Committee member of the Communist Party of Canada. Mr. Figueroa has visited and toured the DPRK.

Facebook event

Sep 22, 2017 - Collaborative Arts Social
When: Friday, September 22nd, 3pm
Where: OISE, 252 Bloor St W, Toronto

Come learn how to make stencils, cards, murals, and DJ with Opirg Toronto, Arts and Science Students' Union, Sba Centre, UofT Divest, University of Toronto, Graduate Students' Union - UTGSU, Leap Chapter UofT, and Fight for $15 & Fairness - UofT.

We will be hosting an open session where folks can come and learn, experiment and play with various arts techniques! Hosted in rooms 5230 and 5240, we will also be hosting a community fair with community and student service groups where attendees can connect and find out about what's happening in and around campus!

All events FREE and open to both students and the general public.

Facebook event

Sep 22, 2017 - A Hurricane Irma fundraiser for Cuba
When: Friday September 22nd, 7pm
Where: AUUC Cultural Centre, 1604 Bloor Street West (west of Dundas West subway)
Light refreshments – Auction of Buena Vista Social Club framed poster
Admission $20

With Hilario Durán Trio - Cuban pianist, composer, and arranger.

100% of the proceeds will go to the Canadian Network on Cuba Hurricane Irma Relief & Reconstruction directly to Cuba

Help reconstruct Cuba; bring your goodwill and your chequebooks

Sponsored by Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto, Association United Ukrainian Canadians, Association of Cubans in Toronto Juan Gualberto Gómez, Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network LACSN, Casa Salvador Allende, Victor Jara Cultural Group, Canada Cuba Literary Alliance | PDF poster

Sep 22, 2017 - Free Speech and the Movement against the Far-Right
When: Friday September 22nd, 7pm
Where: A Different Booklist, 777-779 Bathurst Street

New Socialists present a radical perspective on free speech, democratic rights, and the struggle against racism, white supremacy and the far-right.

Speakers include Alan Sears.

Facebook event

Sep 23, 2017 - The 7th Annual Toronto Disability Pride March
When: Saturday, September 23rd, 1pm
Where: Queen's Park to 99 Gerard St East

From the organizers: "Why we’re Marching: To bring recognition of the struggles and value of people with disabilities as we fight against ableism and other forms of oppression; To be visible and show that we have a voice in our community and a right to be heard by taking to the streets; To celebrate and take pride in ourselves as a community of people with disabilities."

Help spread the word and come out on Saturday for the 7th annual march.

Facebook event

Sep 24, 2017 - Support GoodLife Personal Trainers!
When: Sunday September 24th, 11am
Where: Meet in front of Union Station in Toronto (right across the street from the Royal York Hotel)

Personal Trainers at GoodLife, members of Workers United Canada Council, are taking to the streets – with a fun run for paid sick days. It's not fair that Personal Trainers still have to choose between working while sick or injured or paying their rent and supporting their families.

GoodLife continues to play games in bargaining. Trainers have organized for paid sick days for months, and GoodLife has finally responded with a concept of "Get Well" days that they can't fully explain, which they won't include in the body of our Collective Agreement, and which force trainers to work for months to earn a single day. That’s not how injuries work.

"Get Well" days are well and good, and they wouldn't be here if not for our efforts, but they are no substitute for genuine paid sick days.

Please send a note to Adrie Naylor (anaylor@workersunitedunion.ca) to let us know if you’re coming, who you’re bringing from your club, and if you’re bringing friends and family. That way we’ll know how many t-shirts to bring.

Facebokk event

Sep 24, 2017 - Water is Life (But Many Can't Drink It)
When: Sun September 24th, 5pm
Where: Convocation Hall, 31 King's College Circle

Please join us for a very special evening featuring:
The World Premiere of 'Boozhoo Manoomin' - A suite inspired by manoomin harvest composed and performed by Beverley McKiver featuring Melody McKiver.

A special talk by Winona LaDuke entitled: “Cultivating Resistance and Lighting the Eighth Fire: Challenging the Fossil Fuel Industry and Restoring Anishinaabe Economics.”

Winona LaDuke will be joined by Erin-Marie Konsmo, Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch --members of the Onaman Collective -- for an intimate discussion following the talk.

With Emcees Karyn Recollet & Syrus Marcus Ware.


Sep 25, 2017 - How Do We Stop the Far Right?
When: Monday September 25th, 7pm
Where: Steelworkers' Hall, 25 Cecil Street

The events in Charlottesville have raised awareness of the growth of the far right in the US and around the world. In Toronto, various racists, islamophobes and Nazis have been organizing events to try and spread their hate.

But the opposition is also growing from Boston to Vancouver. Join us for this public forum to discuss how we put an end to the growth of the far right.

* Petros Constantinou - Coordinator - Keerfa Coalition Against Fascism - Greece
* Sid Lacombe - International Socialists


Sep 26, 2017 - Lessons of the Fight for $15 in the Trump Era
When: Tuesday, September 25th, 1pm
Where: Ross Building S802, York University

Labour organizer Jonathan Rosenblum will discuss the inside story of the first successful fight for $15. Just outside Seattle, an unlikely alliance of Sea-Tac airport workers, union and community activists, and clergy staged face-to-face confrontations with corporate leaders to unite a diverse, largely immigrant workforce in a struggle over power between airport workers and business and political elites. This talk will consider lessons from this campaign that may contribute to building a powerful, inclusive labour movement and enable workers to reclaim their power in the contemporary economy.


Sep 26, 2017 - The Fight for 15 - What Next?
When: Tuesday September 26th, 7pm
Where: Steelworkers' Hall, 25 Cecil Street

Jonathan Rosenblum, union activist from Seattle and author of recently published Beyond $15, will be talking about the lessons to be learned from the struggle for $15 in the USA. Rosenblum's experience will be of particular interest to activists in the $15 and Fairness movement in Ontario.

Deena Ladd from the Workers' Action Centre will be talking about the Ontario movement - its successes and what lies ahead. We've won $15 or have we? Where to next?

Sponsored by: The Toronto Labour Committee, Workers’ Action Centre, Global Labour Research Centre (York Univ.), Toronto Airport Workers Council | PDF poster | Facebook event

Sep 27, 2017 - $15 & Fairness Town Hall in York South–Weston
When: Wednesday, September 27th, 6pm
Where: 1541 Jane St, North York

Our movement has pressured the government to respond to our demands for decent work, and legislation has been proposed to make many important changes that will benefit all workers! Two of the three political parties are now confidently calling for higher wages and better laws.

Unfortunately, the big business lobby is trying to undermine our demands by making far-fetched claims that decent work and wages will harm our economy. Join us for this important meeting to talk about what gains are included in Bill 148, the Fair Workplace, Better Jobs Act and why decent work will build our community, not undermine it.

Facebook event

Sep 27, 2017 - Before the Flood
When: Wednesday, September 27th, 6:30pm
Where: Scarborough Village Recreation Centre, 3600 Kingston Rd

The 2017 Toronto Climate film festival starts off with a screening of Before the Flood, an engaging look at the climate crisis. Discussion in support of TransformTO, Toronto’s climate action plan will follow the film.


Sep 27, 2017 - This Changes Everything
When: Wednesday, September 27th, 6:45pm
Where: Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave

On Wednesday, September 27, 2017, join the ETT Environment Committee at the Revue Cinema for a free screening of This Changes Everything, a documentary of seven communities across the globe on the front lines of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller, This Changes Everything explores the greatest challenge of our time and asks how we can use the crisis of climate change to transform our economic system into something sustainable.



Fighting for Climate Justice
By Phil Hearse

Lies, damn lies and statistics, right? Well not always -- sometimes statistics dramatise social reality in a graphic way. A year before the devastating floods in India, Bangladesh and Texas, a little-noticed UN report revealed extraordinary figures about the effects of climate change worldwide. Climate-related catastrophe is now not just an additional hazard for the world’s poor, but a central factor in their oppression and poverty. And this will eventually lead to a cascade of millions of climate change refugees, a process already starting.

Source: The Bullet No. 1480

Casualization as a Social Model in France? Definitely No!
By Confédération générale du travail (CGT - France)

On August 31st, the French government finally published decrees which alter labour law, for the second time in little over a year. Less rights for workers, more power for employers: that is, in a nutshell, the contents of this new law. This further social retrenchment goes much further than the previous reform (so-called "El-Khomri Law"), although the El-Khomri Law was explicitly condemned by the United Nations as contrary to France’s international Commitments and against which a complaint has been lodged with the International Labour Organization.

Source: The Bullet No. 1481

The MST and the Fight to Change the Brazilian Power Structure
Gilmar Mauro interviewed by Brian Mier

During the 1960s, legend has it that governor José Sarney sat down at a table with a group of cattle-ranching cronies and aerial photographs of Maranhão state, in Northeastern Brazil. They marked boundaries on the photos with pencil and divided up the land. In the decades that followed, these ranchers committed what Brazilians call grilhagem, altering documentation to illegally appropriate land. Sarney and his henchmen fenced off millions of hectares of land, then either kicked out the peasants who were living there, forcing them into mud hut settlements between the road and the fences, or keeping them on as labourers, often paying them with vouchers for use at their own stores and patrolling the grounds with armed guards so that no one can escape. Under Sarney’s control, Maranhão state was deforested, and roughly half of its majority Afro-Brazilian and indigenous population migrated to big cities in the Southeast, some of which, like São Paulo, saw their populations increase fivefold over a period of a few decades.

Source: The Bullet No. 1482

Workers’ Comp is a Right!
By Aidan Macdonald and Heidi MacFarland

For years now, injured workers and frontline advocates have been sounding the alarm that Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) has been "getting its financial house in order" through austerity and cost-cutting measures. Whether it be from slashing compensation for lost wages, denying healthcare treatment and medication, or refusing to recognize mental health injuries, the cuts have come squarely on the backs of injured workers.

Source: The Bullet No. 1483



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