In the MFL Palestinians and foreigners are not people
I don't know sometimes why we bother. The Palestine resolution hit the floor with concurrence and BDS included. Only one person spoke against with the false premise that "Israel is the only middle eastern country with free trade unionism"...after a few interventions in support of the committee recommendation someone moved to refer back to committee because "this was controversial" and the "press will attack us". And so there it sits. No approval. This referral was passed. Apparently debate is not encouraged in Manitoba and declared "controversial" resolutions are not to be discussed. This has shades of the "choice" and "disarmament" debates where 25 years ago postal workers were apparently booed for bringing them up. And if there were back room shenanigans from an unelected CLC hack then this reveals again the true undemocratic nature of labour politics in Canada where policy comes from above, not below. Further, and on another note, there were actually whoops and hollers of celebration on another resolution negatively affecting foreign students that went down revealing a kind of nationalist fervour, made even more revolting in that most of us are settlers or descendants of settlers.
When I spoke with some delegates in the foyer afterwards I heard the most bizarre things like "why don't they all move to Egypt " and "it is not fair to name one country" and "what will the media say"....this was a fix, another example of a long line of labour movement tactics to obstruct and obscure real debate and maintain hegemony and control. Democracy? What bullshit. Everything is fine so long as we remain sheep and spew the official line. This resolution was important to us and we are up for a fair debate. But obfuscation, delay and and other tactics reveal something else entirely.
The trade unions reveal themselves not as progressive outfits but part and parcel of the capitalist state where "pragmatism" and co-option are the order of the day. More and more, and not only in this case, unions have become a reliable force to protect capitalism, colonialism, attack foreigners and re-inforce the status quo with a little window dressing.
Overall, I don't see much hope in organized labour in Canada; more like flocks of sheep and "co-operation" as we get picked off one by one. Benign resolutions to "urge" this and "request" that as if simple appeals to capitalists and governments are all we need. What does this "urging" mean exactly? A discussion over coffee, a petition, begging?
It helps to have poster children like Harper so we can all remain righteous, on the right side of things, lined up against a bully, when in fact questions about an undemocratic system itself remain off limits so we can further continue this theatre. Harper will go but the system and hidden power won't. And in this province the NDP have had 15 years to introduce anti-scab legislation. Further, how can we talk of democracy when we have majority governments with some 30 plus percent of the vote (and that's just of those that voted) while even 50 percent plus one does not equal a "majority" when certifying unions. For workers a union "majority" must meet 65%. Imagine if that rule applied to parliament.
Hopefully the capitalists will become their own gravediggers - probably sooner rather than later - and that demise will not be caused by the labour movement. Maybe workers will develop workplace assemblies and coordinate with each other over time to make their "leaders' irrelevant, who in my view, for the most part other than a few exceptions rooted in class consciousness and oppression, should be.
Sorry for the negativity, but there is no struggle to be found here and makes me question why bother with this shit, unions are writing themselves into irrelevance. They are not on my side....I don't know about yours.
And back to Palestine. Yes we should be angry. It seems Palestinians are not people, that they can be treated pretty much anyway the Israeli and U.S. governments want and the rest of us will fall in line or turn away. And we will again sit on our hands because we are worried about Sun Media or the Winnipeg Free Press making "controversy". Let them, it helps us when they do. It puts the injustice on the radar that makes the reality more clear.
So now the resolution goes back to the sheep committee to consider in September. My prediction is the backroom boys will now involve themselves, declare to the sheep how they should vote and the thing will melt away. Baaaa.
Palestinians are not people in Manitoba where the media/NDP and CLC hacks dictate policy. Not much of a future in that. I hopefully will write and publish on this fiasco further if no one else does. Shameful, the whole fucking thing.
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