Editorial – S. da Silva (BASICS Issue #19 – May/June 2010)
Many Canadians may believe that anti-terrorist legislation, billions of dollars in public funds, and an army of CSIS and RCMP police agents are all necessary measures to guard against fanatical extremists and the threat of terrorism. But a cursory glance at Canada’s foreign relations in the world over the last few years alone reveals that Canada has no against qualms working with and propping up some of the most fanatical regimes in the world today.
Let’s take stock of the last year alone: Canada is free-trading with a regime whose military digs mass graves to fill its opponents with (Colombia, February 2010); and props up a government that legalized rape within marriage, not to mention supplies heroine junkies everywhere (Afghanistan). Canada has sent millions of dollars in “aid” to a government that was in the process of conducting a genocide (Sri Lanka, 2009); and has become one of the staunchest defenders of the world’s greatest pariah state (Israel). Some may recall Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s comments back in the summer of 2006 that Israel’s merciless aerial bombing of thousands of civilians and the infrastructure of Lebanon was a “measured response” to Hizbullah’s capture of two Israeli Defense Forces soldiers.
These examples should suffice to demonstrate that the Canadian state has become one of the world’s staunchest defenders and promoters of state terror, propping up with criminal complicity the most brutal regimes of the 21st century.
So we shouldn’t be surprised then that Canada – in aid its reactionary allies everywhere – is playing its part in waging war against the people by banning and criminalizing genuine liberation organizations striving for social and national liberation. Canada’s war against people’s liberation struggles around the world is the Canadian ruling class’s war for its own economic interests, in league with its other imperialist friends in the G8 and NATO.
Included on Canada’s list of banned “terrorist” organizations are liberation movements whose members run in the tens of thousands and whose supporters run into the millions.
The two Colombian organizations Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) enjoy support in large swathes of territory in the Colombian countryside among the peasantry, where for decades they have fought against the repressive policies of the Colombian goverment and won concrete gains for rural peoples. Organizations like the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka have sine the 1980s been the legitimate vehicles of political struggle for the oppressed Kurdish and Tamil minorities in Turkey and Sri Lanka, respectively, as the racist states they lived under terrorized them to the point where there they were left with no option but to seek self-determination. In Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) held a massive rally in Gaza on December 12, 2009 to commemorate its founding 42 years earlier. Over 70,000 people were in attendance. Yet, despite these mass bases, the PLFP and all the other mentioned organizations are considered terrorist organizations by the Canadian government.
Should this surprise us in an Orwellian world where “War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength”? No , it shouldn’t. But that we should come to expect as much from the Canadian state should not lead us to accept it.
People do not choose to have their homes demolished, their ancestral lands stolen and plundered, or their countries invaded. The only choice is whether or not to resist, and what means to take up to achieve successful liberation.
We working class Canadians have a choice too. Whether to stand by and watch while people all around the world get slaughtered by the same state that’s waging an economic war on us. Or, in the spirit of internationalism, we can stand alongside the truly democratic, freedom-loving people in their struggle for emancipation.