Build Workers’ Opposition to Austerity, Racism & Islamophobia!
It is almost certain that the Parti Québécois minority government will
infringe its own law on fixed election dates and call for a general election to
be held sometime in April more probably on April 7). This will be the highly
predictable culmination of the racist, xenophobic and islamophobic campaign that
the PQ launched last summer, of which the so-called “Charter of Québec values”
is the centerpiece. The PQ wishes to win a majority so as to revive its
nationalist project of building a “strong state” for supporting Québec
capitalists and completing their successful integration into the dominant camp
within the world imperialist system.
The austerity measures already put forward by the Marois government since the
last election 18 months ago show the true nature of this project. We only have
to think of the various fee increases (university tuition, childcare,
electricity), which affect mainly low-income people, and recognize that, at the
same time, the PQ maintained the massive tax cuts to businesses made by the
previous Liberal government. Or we can also remember the systematic cuts to
welfare, health and the education system they made or announced in their last
budget. Contrary to the promises they made during the last electoral campaign,
the PQ also enthusiastically upholds the all-for-profit development of mining
and oil exploration, while rejecting the territorial rights of indigenous
nations and the protection of the environment.
Meanwhile, the PQ has completed its turn from the so-called “civic and open
nationalism” it previously upheld to an openly conservative and even ethnic
nationalism, for which they clearly drew inspiration from the experience of the
now defunct “Action Démocratique du Québec” and from the success of some
far-right parties in Europe, particularly the National Front in France.
Since the the PQ issued a charter that specifically targets Quebecers—and
especially women—of Muslim background, a wave of racism and Islamophobia swept
across the province. The number of incidents in which Muslims are victims of
assault is on the rise and various forms of harassment are becoming a daily
The PQ and the big shots who support it—like Québecor/Sun Media’s Pierre-Karl
Péladeau—are only too happy to see traditional Québec-born proletarians
attacking their fellow workers of diverse origins rather than fighting those who
truly hold power in Québec and are responsible for the problems we face.
As far as we know, there are not many Muslims among the bourgeois politicians
who decided to cut welfare, ransack Employment Insurance, and increase by nearly
6% the rates of Hydro-Québec. Nor are there many Muslims in the Board of
Directors of the Québec Employers Council or the Board of Trade of Metropolitan
Montréal, both of which complained that the shabby “rise” of 20 cents of the
minimum wage announced by the PQ was too generous. But for Richard
Martineau-style big mouths in the corporate media, who live comfortably in the
current system, “Political Islam” is apparently the main problem facing Québec
For us proletarians, such propaganda is a dangerous trap. If the PQ succeeds
in getting reelected, enforcing its charter and reviving its nationalist
project, our whole class will be weakened and will then pay the price. Thus,
during the 33-day electoral campaign, we must give no respite to the racist
Parti Québécois and its candidates! We must wage the political battle where it
counts—that is to say, in the streets—to make them swallow their charter and
their austerity measures aimed at making workers pay for the recovery of
Readers of this e-newsletter are invited to participate en masse in any
street demos, as well as target bourgeois politicians who support the charter
and the austerity agenda. We should support the various initiatives undertaken
by groups such as the “Collectif Québécois Contre l’Islamophobie” and the
“Ensemble Contre la Charte Xénophobe” network. Or we can join committees for an
election boycott that will fight against the bourgeois system, for socialism and
Against hate speech of the racist and Islamophobic big mouths, let’s make
loud and clear our point of view—that of the multinational working-class
united against the capitalists and their state!
* * *
Demonstration and March: Against colonialism, racism and the proposed Quebec
Charter of Values (Bill 60)
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 Gathering at 6pm at Metro Mt-Royal (Mt-Royal
Avenue, between Berri and Rivard) Montréal
Organized by Ensemble contre la Charte xenophobe.
=> Facebook event.