MONTREAL — “Working people in Canada and around the world should act to support the struggle of the people of Myanmar against the recent military coup,” Beverly Bernardo, Communist League candidate for mayor of Montreal, told over two dozen people at a Militant Labor Forum here Feb. 21. The meeting celebrated the launching of the CL’s campaign.
“The hundreds of thousands of people protesting in the streets, including striking coal miners, garment, dock, rail and government workers, are an inspiration and an example for working people here looking to advance our struggles,” she said.
Philippe Tessier, CL candidate for mayor of the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent, pointed to the example of the determined struggle by hundreds of thousands of farmers in India against the government’s drive to end the decadeslong state system of subsidizing the prices farmers get for their produce. “There are lessons in this struggle for small farmers in this country,” he said.
Tessier works as a conductor for Canadian National Railway. Bernardo works at Walmart.
Bernardo described how the Communist League campaign will build solidarity with these struggles and others, like the union-organizing drive by Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama and the fight of locked-out Shell refinery workers in Montreal. “Our campaign will take word of these struggles to thousands of working people — co-workers, workers on picket lines, and on their doorsteps in Montreal, across the country and in small towns and rural communities.
“We don’t need government handouts to deal with unemployment and the pandemic. We need a fighting course of action,” said Bernardo. “We will discuss and debate the CL action program, which points to the need to strengthen our unions and build a labor party to organize a movement of millions to replace capitalist political power with a workers and farmers government.”
“The example of the Cuban Revolution today shows workers who want to fight what can be done,” Tessier said. He contrasted the success of Cuba’s revolutionary government in mobilizing working people to dramatically limit the impact of the coronavirus, with the repressive “stay-at-home” decrees of Ottawa and Quebec City that have thrown millions out of work, isolating them from fellow workers.
The two candidates urged those present to build and participate in the upcoming Feb. 28 car caravan to demand the end of Washington’s embargo against Cuba and the return of the U.S.-occupied Guantánamo naval base. The action — the first of its kind in Montreal — kicks off at 2 p.m. from Parc Lafontaine in the Sherbrooke Street parking lot.vol