This is the amended vision statement adopted by a majority at the Jan. 16, 2010

gathering of a new organization of the Left. The Assembly emerged from an earlier

gathering in October 2009. Members of Toronto New Socialists are among those

who have been actively involved in building this fledgling organization. – NS


Capitalism is a barrier to human development. It has defined our successes
as obstacles to progress and has deepened the grossest inequalities here and
across the globe in the name of ‘competitiveness’. Its drive for profits at
any cost has threatened the survival of the planet and narrowed the meaning
of democracy as well as individual and collective possibilities. Never
satisfied, it demands that working people and the poor pay for the crisis
that the system itself created by further cuts to our quality of life and
living standards.

As the financial system teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, and we more
clearly came to see the bankruptcy of capitalism itself, something else was
revealed: our own inadequacy in challenging this staggered but still
powerful social and economic system. Many of us have been involved in
various impressive movements and political projects but whatever successes
we might have had, we were pushed to acknowledge that our capacities to
resist have not matched what we are up against. The Assembly is an attempt
to address that failure.

The Assembly calls on activists to join together in a democratic process to
create a new politics. It is both a space for dialogue and learning within
the popular left movement and an organ of common action. Seeking to move
beyond coalition and network politics the Assembly is an organization that
individuals belong to without giving up their membership and allegiances to
community organizations, unions and left groups. We are committed to
developing our understanding of what we’re up against, who our potential
allies are, and to organize and act in new ways that will take us from a
politics of resistance to emancipatory alternatives.

We are united by an anti-capitalist, anti-racist, feminist, queer-positive,
and anti-oppression politics. We are against imperialism, including Canadian
imperialism, and rooted in a variety of struggles, ranging from the
movements against Israeli apartheid to the imperialist wars in Afghanistan,
Iraq, Latin America and the Caribbean, to solidarity work with Indigenous
peoples, to the struggle for environmental sustainability, to fights to
rebuild a democratic and militant labour movement. We want to build unity
and solidarity amongst the working class defined in the broadest terms,
throughout Canada and internationally: among unionized and non-unionized
workers; those who have lost their jobs or are unemployed; those who live
and work in Canada but have been denied full status; those who do paid or
unpaid housework and childcare; all those who face discrimination because of
gender identity, including queer and trans people; those with disabilities;
and others who are living in abject poverty at the edges of society. We
stand in solidarity with communities against racial profiling,
anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of discrimination.

While capitalism itself has created ongoing suffering and oppression in its
“normal” phases, the crisis has made things worse. But crises do not just
come and go; they bring both great dangers and significant opportunities.
Historically, they have represented new openings for either the
consolidation of, or shifts in, social power. The question is whether we can
take advantage of the new openings and threats to build a new kind of
politics. The Assembly represents one answer to that challenge.

[The notes from minutes below are relevant to the statement – NS]

Vision Statement:
-a working document, will be revisited
-both the language and the meaning we attach to them through our
collective practices
-we needed a statement describing the current political situation
and to frame our intentions within it

The Assembly can be contacted at workingclassfightback [at]