New Socialist Webzine

Building a Movement: Reflections from the Québec Student Strike

Montreal activist and artist Stefan Christoff's zine Le fond de l'air est rouge [The essence of the air is red], a collection of articles about the Québec "Red Square" mass movement of 2012, has recently been published by Howl! Arts Collective. New Socialist Webzine interviewed Stefan about the movement, its effects and its lessons. We present the interview along with a series of political art works in the online exhibit by the École de la Montagne Rouge.

Q1: The 2012 student movement in Québec grew into a broader popular movement of a kind that hasn't happened in Canada or Québec for decades. What role did radical left students of different kinds play in building the movement among university and CEGEP students?

Certainly the Québec student strike occurred outside of the world of official politics, far from a stage-managed process, the radical energy on the streets carried forward a combative approach that stood in direct confrontation to the structures of economic and political power in Québec society.

Read more: Building a Movement: Reflections from the Québec Student Strike

Organizing Against the Flow: Learning from the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly

By Alan Sears

The global slump since 2008 has cast a sharp light on the glaring injustices that characterize global capitalism at every level. Yet there is a horrible gap between the perception that something is wrong and the sense we can do something about it. The greatest challenge anti-capitalists face today is to work towards closing that gap.

Read more: Organizing Against the Flow: Learning from the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly

Lac-Mégantic: A Social and Ecological Tragedy

A statement by Le réseau écosocialiste (the Ecosocialist Network)

"The disaster at Lac-Mégantic cannot not be resolved by a strict inquiry, individual accusations, some superficial regulatory modification and false promises of security. This episode is not just a technical problem, but is a springboard for social mobilisation, for political action aimed at both ecological transition and the liberation from the yoke of unscrupulous big business and their accomplices in the Canadian State."

Québec has just experienced the most brutal ecological catastrophe of its history. On July 6, 2013, a train loaded with 72 cars carrying crude oil derailed during the night. It exploded in downtown Lac-Mégantic, a small Eastern Townships municipality of 6000. A series of explosions and a fire completely destroyed more than 30 buildings including the municipal library, the town’s archives, heritage buildings, businesses and residences. Police have confirmed that 50 people were killed by the blast.

Read more: Lac-Mégantic: A Social and Ecological Tragedy

Beyond the Double Standard: Towards a Real Liberation Politics

By Cinzia Arruzza

A few months ago on the New York subway I saw the most incredible poster, a picture of a crying baby of colour with the words, "Got a good job? I cost thousands of dollars each year". While I was still recovering from the shock, I saw a similar poster of a little Black girl: "Honestly Mom… chances are he won't stay with you. What happens to me?"

Read more: Beyond the Double Standard: Towards a Real Liberation Politics

Environmental Activism After the 2013 BC Election

By Harold Lavender

This is the second part of a two-part article on ecological politics in BC. The first part, on the provincial election, is here.

The dust has settled on the May 14 provincial election in British Columbia, with Christy Clark's Liberals once again forming a clear majority government. However, the struggle to stop pipelines and the destructive impact of resource extraction megaprojects remains a very hot issue which is not about to go away. Under the Liberals, we can expect a big push for mega-resource development, with a big focus on exporting liquified natural gas (LNG) to Asia along with an austerity agenda with respect to social and environmental protection programs.

Read more: Environmental Activism After the 2013 BC Election

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