Right to Resist, Right to Exist! Conference, November 8 to 10, 2012, Toronto.

28 Sep
The “Right to Exist, Right to Resist!” conference will respond to the criminalization of resistance and the attacks on the people. It is an action-oriented conference which aims to increase awareness, develop solidarity and unify networks for collective action amongst those of us targeted by the Canadian state, its intelligence, its police forces, and its military, and exploited by its socio-economic system, capitalism.

The conference will be broken down into four tracks: (1) War on Resistance, (2) War on Working People, (3) War on Communities, and (4) War on Land Defenders and the Environment.  Through our plenary sessions, we hope to unify these tracks into the points for the beginning of a common united front against Canadian imperialism.

Through the conference’s four tracks, we seek to bring together activists, organizers and concerned people from various sectors of Canadian society to clarify our points of unity and struggle against Canadian imperialism, capitalism, and colonialism.

Registration information @ www.ilps-canada.ca, registration form here.

See below for more information! (context, objectives of conference, and conference overview/tentative schedule)

 


CONTEXT

Today the world capitalist system is embroiled in an economic crisis that is spiralling deeper and deeper, and it’s the people who are paying the price.  Just years after the massive bailouts to the banks throughout the imperialist countries, the people are being forced to pay – but the people are resisting!

In reaction, imperialist governments and their comprador partners are targeting with increasing ferocity all those who rebel, resist, disrupt the smooth functioning of the machinery of oppression and exploitation, or pose an alternative.  Liberation and resistance movements in the Third World, Indigenous people’s struggles for land and self-determination, workers exercising their right to strike, (im)migrant workers and refugees, and the impoverished communities in the big cities have all faced ideological attacks from the Canadian political establishment and the capitalist media.  Existence for growing numbers of people is becoming harder and harder, and when we resist, we are criminalized.

The ideological attacks on our existence and resistance take the form of tagging movements for national liberation and Indigenous peoples struggles for land and self-determination as “terrorism”, immigrants and refugees as “security risks” and “queue jumpers”, environmental groups as “foreign agents”, workers as “entitled”, the poor and unemployed as “lazy” and “a drain on the system” and students opposed to tuition fee hikes as “spoiled brats”.  All these labels are attempts to divide and distract us from the structural roots of capitalism’s crisis and shift blame onto the people.

From ‘anti-terrorism’ legislation passed in 2001 to the recently passed ‘Omnibus Crime Bill’, from the numerous bills targeting immigrants and refugees to the routine application of back-to-work legislation against workers strikes in key sectors and Quebec’s repressive Bill 78 attacking the right of students to strike to oppose tuition fee hikes  – all this amounts to the legislative component of this broad attack on the people.

It is this exploitation and oppression of the broad masses of people across the world that produces rebellions and movements for liberation.  The biggest terrorists, criminals, and security threats are not the people fighting back, but the imperialists and their agents in their struggle to keep global capitalism going.

All peoples and nations have the right to exist free of exploitation and oppression; and when that’s made impossible for them, the right to resist and the right to rebel. For this reason, we call on all people’s organizations and communities under attack to unite for the ‘Right to Exist, Right to Resist’ conference in Toronto, Canada from November 8-10, 2012.

With Canada’s increasing support for and direct participation in wars of conquest and occupation in the past decade – Afghanistan, Haiti, Libya, support for Israeli expansionism and apartheid – there is a growing understanding that Canada is an imperialist power.  But too often ‘Canadian imperialism’ is defined narrowly only in terms of its imperialist wars abroad, rather than Canadian society in all its dimensions.  Other contradictions in Canadian society must be accounted for in defining Canadian imperialism: its super-exploitation of migrant workers and its ‘austerity’ attacks on labour broadly, the dispossession of indigenous peoples and the plundering of their lands, the criminalization of resistance and liberation movements at home and abroad.  None of these aspects of Canadian imperialism are recent emergent.   This conference seeks to fill the gap in the definition of ‘Canadian imperialism’ by elaborating how (im)migrants, workers, and Indigenous peoples are exploited and oppressed – albeit in different ways – by a common enemy, Canadian imperialism.

To successfully confront Canadian imperialism and its big capitalists, we need a broad, mass-based movement with a unified strategic orientation.  Our conference, initiated by the member organizations of ILPS-Canada, strives to contribute to the building of this movement by reaching out to all affected communities, targeted peoples and nations, activists and community organizers, and working-class people in general, to share assessments of our struggles and strategize for unity moving forward.

Let’s unite to build the united front against Canadian imperialism, capitalism, and colonialism!


OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE

This action-oriented conference aims to increase awareness, develop solidarity and unify networks for collective action amongst those of us targeted by the Canadian state, its intelligence, its police forces, and its military, and exploited by its socio-economic system, capitalism.  Through the conference’s four tracks, we seek to bring together activists, organizers and concerned people from various sectors of Canadian society to clarify our points of unity and struggle against Canadian imperialism, capitalism, and colonialism.

The conference will be broken down into four tracks: (1) War on Resistance, (2) War on Working People, (3) War on Communities, and (4) War on Land Defenders and the Environment.  Through our plenary sessions, we hope to unify these tracks into the points for the beginning of a common united front against Canadian imperialism.

The War on Resistance: It’s Right to Rebel! Defending the right to organize, dissent, and rebel in the face of the ‘War on Terror’ Topics to be explored: Terrorism or liberation? Opposing Canada’s “terrorist” designation of liberation movements; Political Prisoners; Surveillance and repression of indigenous leaders and activists throughout Canada; Repression of domestic dissent and organizing: From G20 to the Quebec Student Strike.

The War on Working People: Rebuilding the movement of militant labour in the face of ‘austerity.’ Responding to union busting, retrenchment and super-exploitation of migrant workers
Topics to be explored: Beyond business unionism: Banning the right to strike, and where to go from here, From Neoliberalism to the Austerity Offensive: A War on Working People, Super-exploitation of migrant workers

The War on Communities: Block the mass incarceration agenda and the containment of the people. Organizing against prison expansion, police brutality, raids and deportations
Topics to be explored: The Omnibus Crime Bill, The Mass Incarceration Agenda: An overview, Bill C-31: Criminalizing Refugees, Police brutality and terror in our communities

The War on Land Defenders and the Environment: Building an anti-imperialist environmentalist movement and uniting with indigenous people’s land and self-determination struggles
Topics to be explored: Presentations on resistance struggles to Canadian mining operations abroad, Land and self-determination struggles of indigenous people against Canadian colonialism, Developing an anti-imperialist environmentalist movement.

Resolutions will be drafted in advance by Preparatory Committees formed prior to the conference with representatives from various organizations engaged in struggles against Canadian imperialism, colonialism, and capitalism. Each Preparatory Committee will organize a separate track for the conference and propose resolutions and campaign ideas to be debated in the afternoon’s strategizing sessions and prepared for a final presentation at the conference’s concluding plenary.

If you are from a democratic mass organization engaged in struggle around one of the identified issues, please contact us at ilps.canada@gmail.com or the most relevant Preparatory Committee to get involved:

Contact the Track 1 Preparatory Committee @ ilpsc.resistance@gmail.com
Contact the Track 2 Preparatory Committee @ ilpsc.workers@gmail.com
Contact the Track 3 Preparatory Committee @ ilpsc.communities@gmail.com
Contact the Track 4 Preparatory Committee @ ilpsc.environment@gmail.com


CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

The Conference will be held at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 252 Bloor Street West.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012: Keynote Event, Childcare all day

5:00pm to 6:00pm: Registration for the Keynote Event (please arrive early for registration!)

6:00pm to 10:00pm:  Keynote Event:  Keynote speakers to be announced

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2012: Second General Assembly of ILPS-Canada, and Conference Opening Panel, Childcare all day

8:30am to 9:00am:  Registration for the Second General Assembly of ILPS-Canada

9:00am to 4:00pm:  Second General Assembly of ILPS-Canada (registration begins at 8:30, please arrive early for registration!)

*This event is not covered by conference costs. It is a distinct event from the ‘Right to Exist, Right to Resist’ Conference and full participation in it is reserved for official delegates from ILPS-Canada member organizations.  However, we welcome non-delegates with or without organizational affiliations to participate as observers. Registration for the Assembly available here.

6:00pm to 7:00pm:  Registration for the Conference Opening Panel ((there is no need to come early for registration if you have already registered in person on November 8)

7:00pm to 10:00pm:  ‘Right to Exist, Right to Resist’ Conference Opening Panel. Panelists to be announced

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2012: ‘Right to Exist, Right to Resist’Conference, Childcare all day

8:30am to 9:30am:  Conference Registration (there is no need to come early for registration if you have already registered in person on November 8 or the 9)

9:30am to 9:55am:   Morning Plenary

10:00am-12:00pm:  Track Panels

12:00pm-1:30pm: Lunch

1:30pm to 3:00pm: Concurrent Strategizing Sessions, discussion on draft resolutions and campaign outline in each separate track 3:00pm to 3:30pm: Refreshment Break

3:30 pm – 5:30 pm:  Closing Plenary  (30 min for Presentation, Discussion, and Approval of Resolutions for Each Track)

5:30 pm- 6:00 pm: Moving Forward with the United Front Against  Canadian Imperialism, Capitalism, and Colonialism

8:00pm to late:  Concert organized by the People’s Artists Network & the International Conference of Progressive Culture Artists to be announced

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: