wmtc: a brief history of privatization

Privatization 101. Another take, also correct. Chomsky courtesy of Sugaring Off, a post about Harper privatizing Canadian health care. I disagree with the blogger’s assessment of Harper’s intentions, but I certainly agree with her/his conclusion.

wmtc: rtod

Revolutionary thought of the day: Scargill’s got the megaphone and he launces intae one ay his trademark rousin speeches that tingles the back ay ma neck. He talks about the rights ay working people, won through years of struggle, and how if we’re denied the right to strike and organise, then we’re really nae better ...

wmtc: what i’m reading: this changes everything by naomi klein, one of the most important books you’ll ever read

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, by Naomi Klein, is incredibly difficult to write about. I’ve been putting sticky notes beside important paragraphs as I read, and my copy now looks like an art project, bristling with coloured paper squares. I can say without exaggeration that this is one of the most important books ...

wmtc: rotd: this changes everything

Revolutionary thought of the day: …if there is a reason for social movements to exist, it is not to accept dominant values as fixed and unchangeable but to offer other ways to live – to wage, and win, a battle of cultural worldviews. That means laying out a vision of the world that competes directly ...

wmtc: are we seeing the beginning of global people’s revolution?

“There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear…” This week, I attended a talk put on by the International Socialists, featuring an organizer with OUR Walmart, by Skype from Texas, and a Toronto-based union activist. Both speakers were terrific and so inspiring, but although I took copious notes, I’m not posting a summary ...

wmtc: workers doing it for themselves: fighting the austerity agenda in north america

I’m re-running this, which I wrote for Socialist Worker Canada (now at a temporary site while a new website is being completed). If you are part of this struggle – or if you want to be part of it – and live in the GTA, please join us tomorrow night for Fighting Austerity in North ...

wmtc: from greece to chicago to toronto, workers fighting back against austerity

Working my way backwards, this the second of four talks I attended that I’ll be reporting on. * * * * In November, I heard Nikos Loudos of the Socialist Workers Party in Greece (by Skype) and Canadian activist and organizer Carolyn Egan speak about the recent general strike in Europe, and the fight against ...

wmtc: european general strike: "end this downward spiral"

Four European workers explain why their union is participating in the general strike: “Why we are striking against austerity in Europe” in The Guardian. In many sectors, union “leadership”, content to settle for crumbs, were dragged along by the organized rank and file. Even among unionized employees, there is no substitute for self-organization, no shortcuts ...

wmtc: this is what privatization looks like

The Harper Government has schooled us in austerity basics. Call it Privatization 101. Ottawa Citizen: DND to pay $100 million to private firm to replace laid-off workers Just months after issuing notices to public servants that their jobs were being eliminated to save money the Defence Department is looking at paying a private firm $100 ...

wmtc: stop schedule 28: the mass privatization of ontario’s public services

As usual, the mainstream media foams at the mouth about a possible snap election in Ontario, but barely reports on what’s in the budget itself. If it weren’t for the Council of Canadians and the Ontario Health Coalition, I wouldn’t have known that Dalton McGuinty’s budget contains a stealth attempt to privatization Ontario’s public services ...

wmtc: marxism 2012 program notes: the quebec student strike, or, why every canadian needs to bang on a pan

I want to begin my posts from Marxism 2012 with the Quebec Student Strike, because it’s currently the most important progressive development unfolding in Canada. By now it should be obvious that the Quebec student strike is not only a student strike and is not only about Quebec. It should be obvious, if the corporate media ...

wmtc: linkathon part 4: the talking pineapple is a window into for-profit education

You’ve probably heard about the pineapple. Eighth-graders in New York State recently took a standardized test (Canadian translation: students in grade eight wrote an exam) where they were asked about a talking pineapple. The Daily News broke the story. Students across the state are still scratching their heads over an absurd state test question about ...

wmtc: ontarians, what are you doing this saturday? come to queen’s park to demand a fair budget

When Dalton McGuinty appointed a banker to assess the province’s budget priorities, he got exactly what he expected: a recommendation to cut jobs and shred public services, while leaving corporate tax cuts intact. The proposed budget cuts will affect every aspect of our lives: health care, child care, education, pensions. The Ontario budget promises to ...

wmtc: digital jigsaw puzzles, this quiet blog, and the current state of my brain

The writing part of my brain appears to be on vacation. It didn’t request time off; it doesn’t have to. It’s the boss. I have a pile of topics I’d like to write about, but Writing Brain is off in the woods somewhere, recovering from academia. So what is the rest of me doing, besides ...

wmtc: predictable ontario budget: formulated by the 1% for the 1%

Ontarians, already living so close to the bone, are being told we must sacrifice even more – because corporate tax hikes cannot even be discussed. Ask the 1% for a solution and you’ll get a solution that satisfies the 1%. Ten months ago, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed former TD Bank Economist Don Drummond to ...

wmtc: how you can support striking tpl workers

An open letter from my friend and comrade Jonathon Hodge. See below for picket schedule. Dear friend/neighbor/colleague, Many of you are library users, or know someone who is, and so many of you are affected by the current work stoppage at the Toronto Public Library. Those of us who work in the library system do ...

wmtc: why unions? would you rather have input into your working conditions, or not?

I’ve never understood why so many working people have it in for unions. I understand why employers don’t want unions: unions give workers input into their own working conditions. A union workplace shifts the balance from the employer having 100% of the power to the employer having some amount less than 100%. So companies will ...

wmtc: support your local library – support tpl library workers!

As you know, the staff of the Toronto Public Library is on strike. Rob Ford is using the financial crisis as an excuse to “privatize everything that isn’t nailed down” (his words), including the library. Branch closures are still an issue. Service cuts loom. In times of austerity, working people need the library more than ...

wmtc: love a librarian: keep toronto public library public

Tell Mayor Ford you want a free, public Toronto Public Library. Go here.

wmtc: rob ford’s latest strategy in the war on toronto public library: slash, downsize, then try to privatize

From Maureen O’Reilly, library workers’ union, Toronto Public Library (emphasis mine): + + + + + It hasn’t taken Ford and company long before launching a new attack on our public library. Frustrated that we stopped him last month from wreaking massive reductions to open hours and slashing programs and services, such as the children’s ...

wmtc: action alert: don’t privatize canada’s national parks, even a little

I meant to include this in my earlier post with various action alerts. It’s a bit old, but very important. Since this organizing started, Parks Canada has agreed to delay their decision to study it further. We should keep up the pressure so they know what the Canadian people want. Privatization is a slippery slope. ...

wmtc: fightback works: peel parents win, for now

Community meetings, rallies, emergency mobilizations, and a five-hour Council meeting ended with the Peel Regional Council voting not to close 12 publicly-funded daycare centres – yet. The Council voted unanimously to stop the rush to closure and instead set up a task force to explore the options. According to this story in the Star, the ...

wmtc: save peel region public day care

Tomorrow, Peel Region Councillors will vote on whether to end publicly financed, union-staffed daycare services in Mississauga and Brampton. A report from an audit by KPMG – released only days ago – recommended closing five daycare centres in Brampton and seven in Mississauga. In less than a week, Councillors are putting this to a vote. ...

wmtc: rally for toronto! today in nathan phillips square

Rob Ford might be losing weight, but Toronto is losing vital public services and good jobs – if the mayor and his friends on City Council have their way. If you live, work, or go to school in Toronto, come out to defend your city. WHEN: Tuesday, January 17, 5:30 pm WHERE: Toronto City Hall, ...

wmtc: the iron lady was an enemy of the people and should not be celebrated as a hero

This week, the movie “The Iron Lady” opens, a big-budget biopic starring Meryl Streep as former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. No technical or directorial skills, nor the inevitable genius of Streep’s performance, could justify my seeing this movie. Its very existence as a myth-making celebration of a dangerous, war-mongering, ideologue is anathema to me. ...