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Stop the Cons!

March 1, 2012

The Robocall electoral fraud is just the tip of the iceberg of the Harper Conservative government scandals. As the economic and ecologic crises deepen, the Cons are joining other governments in transferring billions to the 1%, their racist wars and the oil economy that fuels them.

Scrambling to contain the Arab spring that has shaken US imperialism, Western governments are threatening to hijack the Syrian revolution and undermine resistance movement in Iran through military intervention. The same governments who arm repressive regimes in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain, are threatening to unleash the same “humanitarian intervention” that has killed countless across Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

These wars are justified with Islamophobia, which is used to divide populations at home and make us accept billions of dollars being wasted on fighter jets and military spending. Meanwhile governments at all levels are trying to impose austerity budgets, from Rob Ford in Toronto, to Dalton McGuinty and his Drummond Commission in Ontario, to Harper’s federal budget at the end of March.

We’re told that workers must accept job and wage cuts, students must accept tuition hikes, the elderly must accept pension cuts, and that indigenous groups and other environmental “radicals” should stop protesting tar sands.

But people are resisting.

The growing support for Rio Tinto workers in Alma, Quebec, shows the potential for broad solidarity required to push the bosses back. Students across Canada united for a day of action on February 1, and now students in Quebec are organizing a growing mass strike against tuition fees. After Harper’s attack on Old Age Security, seniors and workers occupied Tory offices across the country. The Harper regime is also feeling pushback on their privacy bill, their increasingly desperate defense of tar sands, and an explosive scandal around electoral fraud.

This opposition needs to connect with the anti-war movement to stop looming war crimes, build solidarity for genuine liberation movements, and highlight that the money exists for jobs, pensions, health care, education and a green economy.

To get there, we need to occupy the picket lines, and support workers resisting austerity. The lessons of resisting Rob Ford’s austerity regime in Toronto is that mass campaigns can dent austerity budgets, but that governments use attacks on workers to push through their agenda of cutbacks and privatization; when that happens, solidarity is key in building workers confidence to fight back.

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