We aren’t even a quarter of the way through it, but already 2020 is looking like a year of incredible struggle.
Around the world, we see people in India are mobilizing by the millions to oppose a fascist BJP government, defying police violence and a ban on protests. Workers in France staged the longest continuous general strike in that country’s modern history to defend their pension system against neoliberal attack, maintaining over 60% public support as they fought. The people of Venezuela continue to resist regime change and interference from the United States and its supporters, including Canada, in the Lima Group. Protesters in Haiti continue their 20-month insurrection to bring down the regime and replace it with a progressive government.
In this country, First Nations and their allies in every region have launched a principled and militant defense of Wet’suwet’en land and the environment, against government and corporate plans for yet another fossil fuel pipeline. Teachers and education workers in Ontario are engaged in a historic fight for public education, with four unions simultaneously out on strike and massive public support. Locked out workers at the Co-op Refinery in Regina have become a magnet for active solidarity from the labour movement across Canada, as they stand strong against an employer that is trying to bust their union. Forestry workers in BC struck for eight months and successfully fought off all concessions that their employer had demanded, including gutting their pension plan and outsourcing their work.
Women are rising up to demand – and win – economic justice, gender equality, peace, and and an end to racism and transphobia. In Chile, women have taken the lead in building the anti-austerity marches, including through a mass song-dance protesting sexual violence that is now being performed across the globe. Cuban women are spearheading the modernization of the Families Code, which will reflect non-patriarchal relationships in law. Midwives in Ontario have won a historic pay equity victory against the provincial government, one that brings sharper focus to capitalism’s gender division of labour.
These are some of the many struggles that have been covered, analyzed and supported by People’s Voice over the past year. Without a doubt, the working class and the people are in motion against neoliberal austerity, climate crisis, resurgent fascism, and militarism and war.
Things have also been on the move at People’s Voice. The biggest change was the departure of founding editor Kimball Cariou, who retired last summer after 26 years. After moving our editorial office from Vancouver to Toronto, we introduced a bold new look to the paper and brought in some new platforms for the socialist media. There is now a People’s Voice digital edition, which subscribers can have delivered by email, and we have begun to produce audio and video features for our website and social media. These efforts are helping us to reach a new, younger readership.
With all these changes, one thing is consistent – People’s Voice continues to play a unique and critical role within the working class and progressive struggles in Canada. This past year, for example, we researched and published a feature on climate change, to expose market-friendly solutions like carbon trading and to identify what it will take to cut Canada’s 716 megatonnes of emissions in half by 2030. In the process, we clearly demonstrated the necessity of public ownership and democratic control, in order to achieve the degree of intervention that is necessary to confront the climate crisis.
People’s Voice also conducted some of the earliest research and reporting on former Global Affairs Minister (and now Deputy Prime Minister) Chrystia Freeland’s denial of her grandfather’s fascist past. We did so in a way that helped to expose and understand Canada’s active support for neo-Nazi forces involved with the coup government in Ukraine.
We have re-launched our redFEM column, providing incisive commentary and analysis of the struggles for gender equality. People’s Voice has continued our in-depth coverage of Indigenous struggles, linking them to the imperialist role and character of the Canadian state. We also continue to promote stronger positions for the labour movement, always promoting a class struggle orientation expressed through labour’s independent political work on behalf of the entire working class.
Our efforts are paying off each day. Paid circulation of People’s Voice has increased every year since 2016. Our social media presence alone has increased by over 30% over the past 10 months. We have new readers, new contributors, and new influence.
It goes without saying – although we can’t say it enough – that none of this would be possible without the incredible support that People’s Voice receives from our readers and followers. Each year, our fund drive raises $50,000 to maintain the working class media in Canada and to continue building the movement for socialism. A lot of this money is raised through fundraising events like the Davenport BBQ in Toronto, Moncada Day events held in Nanaimo and Wolfville, and the PV Walk-a-Thon in Surrey. Organizing events like these takes a lot of time and energy, and People’s Voice always looks forward to assisting in whatever way we can.
Most of our fund drive, though, is raised from donations from individuals in cities and towns all over the country. These are folks like yourself, who appreciate the insight and vision of People’s Voice, and who understand the importance of socialist ideas to the working class movement.
We value all our supporters. We are proud to work with you to further our aims for a genuine People’s Alternative to capitalism, and for a socialist future in which working people own and control the economy. We look forward to continuing our shared struggle for a world based on social justice, an end to exploitation, gender equality, liberation for oppressed peoples, environmental sustainability, and peace.
Thank you for your ongoing support to People’s Voice. We hope you can help us to once again raise $50,000 for our annual fund drive. We accept donations by cheque, e-transfer, PayPal and credit card.
For peace, solidarity and socialism,