CSJ Newsletter

May 2, 2024



Toronto needs new subway trains and service

Without new trains, subway service in Toronto will become more crowded and less reliable.

Call on your MP now to invest in more reliable, frequent transit service by speeding up the Permanent Public Transit Fund to 2024 and allowing the TTC to use the funding for more bus, streetcar, and subway service.

Riders need safe and reliable public transit. Send a message to your federal Member of Parliament to invest in Toronto’s transit needs as soon as possible!



No Arms in the Arts Festival

When: April 25 to May 5

Join the “No Arms in the Arts Festival”, a 10-day counter-program to Hot Docs including actions, film screenings, and talks. We are calling on Scotiabank to fully divest from Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems and for all cultural institutions receiving funding from the bank, including Hot Docs, CONTACT, and the Giller Prize, to end their complicity in the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

From April 25 to May 5, join us in the call: No Arms in the Arts! Scotiabank, Divest from Elbit!

All events will be PWYC to decolonize our cultural sector and empower artists and arts workers from Turtle Island to Palestine!


Mayworks Festival 2024

When: All of May

This year, twenty artists are featured, each of whom, with compassion, engages in the spirit of collective power.

From responses to inaccessible health care in Ontario to a fight for dignity among migrant workers in Quebec; from capturing the alienation of injured workers in Toronto to classist land grabbing in Pakistan; from an analysis of radical protests against resource exploitation in the Caribbean to clarifying the long-lasting impacts of French colonialism, and also to witnessing the endurance of Palestinian political prisoners; the artworks narrate our joint struggles.


Canada’s Banks and Net Zero

When: May 2nd, 12pm

Nearly half of Canadians suspect businesses of greenwashing!

Join us for our upcoming webinar where we delve into InfluenceMap’s latest report, “Canada’s Big Five Banks: Heading to Net Zero?” This report assesses the climate impact of Canada’s Big Five Banks.


People’s Circle for Palestine

When: May 2nd, 7pm
Where: 1 King College Circle

We received a letter from UofT administration stating we are not allowed to protest after 10 PM, creating a pretext for potentially shutting down the encampment. We fully reject the administration’s attempt to deny us our constitutional right to peaceful assembly. UofT would rather threaten involving law enforcement than address our calls for divestment from companies funding an active genocide—a stance that reveals the colonial core of its character. Administration says we are protesting on private property, a claim we reject entirely. We are protesting on stolen land.

We expect a potential escalation this evening, so we are calling upon all community members to show up at 7 PM and help us defend our encampment. We will not be leaving until we achieve divestment, disclosure, and an academic boycott of complicit Israeli universities. The people united will never be defeated.

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Film screening: Big Fight in Little Chinatown

When: Friday May 3rd, 6:30pm
Where: OPSEU, 100 Lesmill Rd

With film director Karen Cho.

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Healthcare As A Workers Right

When; May 3rd, 7pm
Where: USW, 25 Cecil St

Join us for live performance and dialogue capturing responses to the alienating and increasingly inaccessible healthcare system in Ontario. Together, we will reflect on organizing tactics and celebrate community led supports. Dinner provided.


Play reading: Eight Men Speak

When; May 3rd, 7:30pm
Where: Franco Boni Theatre, 1115 Queen St. W
Tickets: PWYC

‘Eight Men Speak’ was written and performed in 1933 by a group of artists/labour organizers as a direct response to the incarceration of Communist Party Leaders under Section 98 of the criminal code. It is the only play in Canadian history to be banned by Toronto Police and Canada Post for political reasons. Heavily policed/censored during its first production, this piece of Toronto theatre history remains a potent reflection of our socio-political landscape. This reading is a chance to collectively review the relevance of this text in 2024.


Film and Q+A: Union

When: April 28th, 10am; and May 4th, 5:30pm
Where: Scotiabank Theatre, 259 Richmond St W

When some workers make history by becoming the first unionized Amazon workplace in the United States, their victory stands as extraordinary for any union, let alone the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), which succeeded with no prior organizing experience, institutional backing or substantial budget. These leaders, including the charismatic Chris Smalls, embraced their group’s unique persona and highly unconventional strategies, like wearing Money Heist costumes at press conferences or distributing free marijuana to workers, and did not back down in the face of near-impossible hurdles, including a dire lack of resources, interpersonal tensions, and the ruthless tactics of a corporate giant.


Toronto Climate Action Summit

When: May 4th and 5th
Where: Centre for Social Innovation, 192 Spadina Ave
Tickets: Free or PWYC/$20 suggested donation

The Toronto Climate Action Summit is an opportunity for activists across the city to reconnect in person, develop skills with one another, and strategize together to achieve the transformative changes we need for Toronto and for the climate.


Street Art /w Rocky Dobey

When; May 4th, 11am
Where: OCAD, 199 Richmond St. W

Led by exhibition power artist, Rocky Dobey, participants embark on a guided walk to discover and learn about many of Dobey’s public artworks on the streets of Toronto. His works bring crucial focus to societal and civic concerns, including justice reform, globalization, neighborhood gentrification, Indigenous sovereignty, drug rehabilitation, and homelessness.


Solidarity with Palestinian Workers

When: May 4th, 12pm
Where: US Consulate, 360 University Ave

Join the Solidarity with Palestinian Workers contingent on May 4 at 12PM for International Workers Day! Our contingent will meet at the US Consulate at 12PM and march together to join the main May Day rally!


International Workers Day 2024

When: May 4th, 1pm
Where: Nathan Phillips Sq.

Join the annual May Day rally and march! The Labour May Day Committee organize this gathering as an alliance of unions and leftist organizations of working-class and oppressed people.

Facebook event

Can War Ever Be Justified?

When: May 4th, 6pm

Arguing that war can never be justified will be David Swanson, an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is executive director of World BEYOND War and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He hosts Talk World Radio. He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and U.S. Peace Prize recipient.

Arguing that war can be justified will be Jared Ball, a Professor of Communication and Africana Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, and author of The Myth and Propaganda of Black Buying Power. Ball is also host of the podcast “iMiXWHATiLiKE!”, co-founder of Black Power Media, which can be found at BlackPowerMedia.org, and his decades of journalism, media, writing, and political work.


TPFF: Gaza Lives

When: Saturday, May 4th, 7pm
Where: Music Gallery, 918 Bathurst Ave
Tickets: Pay what you can

Join TPFF for an evening of “Gaza Lives: Honouring Palestinian Artists & Writers” – a night of readings, screenings and art. This special edition will feature a selection of short films produced through TPFF’s Film Residency. List of presenters will be announced shortly.


Gaza Square

When: Every Sunday, 11am to 1pm
Where: 371 Wallace Ave

We’ll be at Gaza square once again this Sunday morning with hot chocolate and coffee, buttons and posters, lawn signs and colourful chalk! Come say hi and meet your fellow neighbours/organizers as we make our presence known and continue to build safety in our community!

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Weekly Phone-zap for Palestine

When: Mondays at 12pm

Week after week, we’re keeping the momentum going with our Monday lunchtime zaps.

Our collective action is making waves, but we need to ensure our elected officials continue to feel the pressure until real change happens.

Instagram poster | Register at zoom

Canadian Foreign Policy Hour with Yves Engler

When: Mondays at 6pm

Join author Yves Engler on Mondays for a weekly news roundup and interactive discussion about Canada’s role abroad. This weekly session will delve into the latest developments on subjects ranging from military affairs and Canada’s role in Ukraine to its contribution to Palestinian dispossession, and the exploitation of African resources. Join Yves for a critical take on Canada’s foreign policy. Questions, comments, and criticisms are all welcome.


Book launch: Law At Work

When: May 8th, 7pm
Where: Workers’ Action Centre, 720 Spadina Ave

Please join us for a Toronto launch of Law at Work: The Coercion and Co-option of the Working Class by Harry Glasbeek. This thought-provoking book uncovers how the legal system, through its structures and mechanisms, legitimizes and reinforces the exploitation of workers.


Food, Empire and Colonialism

When: May 9th, 1pm

In this discussion, panelists will examine the relationship between food, empire and colonialism, drawing connections between the current genocide in Gaza with colonial projects across Africa and Turtle Island. Panelists will discuss how imperial and colonial regimes have and continue to use deliberate starvation and the weaponization of food and food-growing lands as a means of genocidal violence.

Panelists: Justin Podur, Yafa El Masri, Max Ajl.



Medical Care in Ontario’s Private Clinics

By Ontario Health Coalition

A new report “Illegal, Unlawful and Unethical: Case Studies of Patients Charged for Medical Care in Ontario’s Private Clinics,” featured evidence from more than a hundred patients about user fees being charged in Ontario’s private clinics. The Health Coalition held press conferences to release the report with patients who have been charged hundreds or even thousands of dollars for access to care in for-profit clinics. Most of the patients are seniors on fixed incomes who were charged up to $8,000 or more for eye surgeries and tests, reported the Health Coalition. The fees impose significant financial strain, forcing one patient to go back to work at the age of 71 to pay the bill, and others to fall into debt, use up all their savings, borrow money or go without other needs.

Source: The Bullet No. 2978

From World War II to Gaza: U.S. Labour Opposition to War and Fascism

By Kurt Stand

At a labor press conference/rally on December 14 in front of the White House, Brandon Mancilla – child of Guatemalan immigrants and director of United Auto Workers (UAW) District 9 – announced the union’s call for a cease-fire in Gaza noting: “We opposed fascism in World War II, we opposed the Vietnam War, we opposed apartheid South Africa and we mobilized union resources in that fight.” This was amplified in a subsequent UAW statement that added opposing the Contra War to the precedents behind the union’s demand for a ceasefire.

Source: The Bullet No. 2979

The Budget and the Canadian Housing Market

By Judy Haiven

Chrystia Freeland put on her best smile to introduce two new bonbons she hopes will sweeten the lives of Canada’s first-time home buyers. On 11 April, Canada’s deputy prime minister and minister of finance, announced that first time buyers could withdraw up to $60,000 (up from $35,000) from their RRSP savings accounts to put toward a down payment for a house. This can be combined with savings up to $40,000 in a home buyer’s Tax Free First Home Savings Account. Of course the real question is how many younger people have any substantial savings for a down payment which is typically 20% of the price of a home?

Source: The Bullet No. 2980

AI Chatbots: Hype Meets Reality

By Marty Hart-Landsberg

Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems to be everywhere. Companies use powerful AI chatbots on their webpages or phone systems to handle customer questions. Newsrooms and magazines use them to write stories. Film studios use them to produce films. Tech companies use them to program. Students use them to write papers. It seems like magic. And with everything supposedly happening “in the cloud,” it is easy to believe that AI-powered systems are good for the environment. Unfortunately, things are not as they appear to be.

Source: The Bullet No. 2981

Toronto Labour Council Demands: End Arms Exports to Israel

By Toronto and York Region Labour Council

WHEREAS solidarity with workers everywhere is a crucial part of trade unionism, and the workers’ struggle has no borders; and

WHEREAS every day the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, its affiliates and our members are seeing the horrifying bombing and mass killing of working people in Gaza with equipment made in Canada, supplied and facilitated by means of export permits issued by the Canadian government – the same Canadian government that carries out strike breaking against workers here in Canada; and

WHEREAS more than 32,000 Palestinians – including more than 22,000 women and children – have been killed, with the death continuing to grow day by day;…

Source: The Bullet No. 2982

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