Red Flag Express №9

The Real Undesirable Ones

On August 20th and 21st, the small resort town of Montebello, in the Ottawa Valley, will be transformed into a maximum security fortress during the two-day summit that has been staged to “welcome” one of the most despised men on the planet, George W. Bush. Accompanied by his counterparts from Canada and Mexico, Stephen Harper and Felipe Calderón, Bush will be the driving force behind the meeting to conclude the North American Security & Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

So let’s talk about security. Along with closing down Montebello to any “undesirables”, according to Sergeant Brunet, spokesperson of the Sûreté du Québec (S.Q.), the Ontario Provincial Police (O.P.P.) and the S.Q. will be manning a gigantic perimeter fence that will extend for several kilometers around the town.

This massive security arsenal, composed of thousands of police officers and riot squads, electric tasers, batons, dogs and tear gas, gives us the perfect example of what kind of “Security and Prosperity” this summit is all about.

• On the one side, the Protected:

Representatives of the bourgeois states: Bush, Calderón and Harper, the three big leaders of the northern hemisphere, whose objective is to develop a broad agreement on economic and security regulations for North America; the SPP.

With them, the bourgeoisie: Operating completely outside Parliament—despite the fact that Parliament is essentially their own backyard—the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) was set up in Cancún in a previous summit in 2006, to prepare recommendations that will be put forward and adopted by the “three amigos,” as the media have nicknamed them. The NACC is composed of 10 major business leaders from the three countries. The representatives from Canada include Dominic d’Alessandro of Manulife Financial, Paul Desmarais Jr. of Power Corporation, and David Ganong of Ganong Bros., one of the largest chocolate-making companies in the world, based in New Brunswick. All these great capitalists and leaders, getting along like accomplices despite a few irritating elements and who scratch each other’s back on our tab, indeed only serve themselves.

• On the other side, the “undesirables,” according to police:

Thousands of protesters expected from all across North America; “activists” as they are called, but in fact mainly workers, unemployed, immigrants, undocumented migrants, men, women, youth, all of whom come from backgrounds representing the immense majority of the peoples of Canada, Mexico, and the United States. And all of them, with the billions of oppressed around the world, will be saying: No to George Bush and his imperialist crusade of destruction and chaos!

And, of course: No to Harper’s and the Canadian state’s sheep-like attitude and war on Afghanistan! No to the development of this Canadian police state that oppresses the poor, Natives, immigrants, and that sends back basic democratic rights of people around the world!

The proof of this oppression is in the very mobilization of the state’s security forces to Montebello, to defend those fat capitalists from these protesting masses who own nothing, from all ages, origins and walks of life. The implementation of intimidation and forceful measures to prevent the will of the population from being expressed speaks volumes to the failure of the “freedom and democracy” our leaders throw up at us to justify wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It also reveals to those who still doubt it that the current Canadian state (including its police, its army, and its justice system) is devoted solely to the defense of the Canadian ruling class and not that “neutral referee” our electoralist friends still dream of reforming.

Under the facade of fighting terrorism, the three heads of state gathering in Montebello wish to establish security measures aimed, first and foremost, to protect the economic interests of the big capitalists and the imperialist states. In the first report issued by the study group created to precede the SPP, it was stated that “…new modes of collaboration between the three partners, based on the principle that security and prosperity are interdependent and complete each other.” Because of the setbacks and resistance that it met in its conquest of the Middle East, U.S. imperialism has set its sights on the home front, and is working to increase its stability within its borders.

The U.S. wants Canada and Mexico to “harmonize” their security regulations with its own, such as exchanging fingerprints of refugees or encoding passports to link to a U.S. information database. Nothing funny here. Economic harmonization has already begun: within the past few months the Royal Bank of Canada has processed requests from the U.S. government to check the Canadian bank accounts of people of Middle Eastern origin! In the transportation sector, Canadian workers born abroad may face penalization, or be arbitrarily fired for “security reasons.”

This U.S. need for stability economically translates into an agreement with Canada to remain the main source of crucial crude oil and natural gas. Health-wise, the SPP has, naturally, limited discussion to bio-terrorism and pandemics and has refused to devote time to discussing public healthcare, particularly in the wake of the recent popular documentary on the issue. The remainder of the planned discussion revolves around recommendations by big business leaders to remove Canadian restrictions concerning the use of certain pesticides, changing regulations on food safety, and loosing rules on pharmaceutical approval, so that U.S. companies can more freely use some 4,000 harmful and currently illegal chemical toxins so they can do business here.

It is useless to argue the fact that U.S. imperialism, and its domination, are leading the way for it to influence the internal policies of its North American lieutenants, Canada and Mexico. As in old banana republics, the Canadian bourgeoisie, including the Canadian state, are more than willing to sacrifice small amounts of the country’s sovereignty (which doesn’t belong to them in the first place) in exchange for gigantic bribes which are the right to do big business in the “States”.

Defending these thieves, who trade and sell their stolen products (those products being us, the proletariat, our workforce and the territory where we live) with one another, will be police, anti-riot squads, and dogs. And we will be there, standing up to them. Join the thousands of “undesirables” who will head to Montebello, to say to Bush, Harper and Calderón: Reject the imperialists and their wars of conquest! Only without them can the world truly be better for all!

(Translated from Le Drapeau Rouge, No. 66, August 2007)

e p D T F s