BC Communists call for solidarity with health, education and hospitality workers

Statement by the CPBC Provincial Executive, Sept. 27, 2021

In recent weeks, workers in various sectors of the BC economy have faced a growing trend of verbal attacks, harassment and threats at workplaces, organized by far-right groups which have used the complex public debate around government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic to justify their tactics.  The BC Committee of the Communist Party of Canada condemns these attacks. We stand in full solidarity with these workers, who provide vital services to the people of this province, and support their families and communities with their hard-earned incomes.

During the federal election campaign, and as the launch date for BC’s vaccine passport program drew near, these forces (including many supporters of the reactionary “People’s Party”) increasingly targetted employees at hospitals and other health care institutions, public schools, and restaurants.

It is no coincidence that that many of these workers are unionized public sector employees, and a large number are women and people from minority communities. While the so-called “anti-vax” movement argues that public health measures are “divisive”, the truth is that their attacks have ramped up hatred against women, racialized people, trade unionists, and public sector employees. The rhetoric and actions of these movements has increasingly shifted towards tactics such as breaking into schools and hospitals, and confronting hospitality sector workers. The People’s Party leader has even used tweets to urge his supporters to attack reporters, yet another indication that the danger posed by these forces is very real.

This is a classic tactic of fascist, racist and other ultra-right movements which seek to divide the working class against our real common enemy – big capital, which pushes for austerity policies to undermine the living standards and rights of working people. As seen by the placards and banners at demonstrations called by these groups, their claims to speak for “freedom” are actually a cover for white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, union-bashing and virulent anti-communism.

We urge all progressive forces in British Columbia to reject the far-right forces which use fear, intimidation and unscientific conspiracy theories to spread their dangerous ideology. Instead of division, we call for unity of the working class, Indigenous peoples, students, seniors, environmentalists and other democratic forces, to protect public health and democratic rights, and to oppose the new austerity drive which the ruling class seeks to impose in the coming months. At this difficult time, the traditional slogans of the working class movement are as important as ever: United we stand, divided we fall, and an injury to one is an injury to all.

For more information, contact Communist Party of BC leader Kimball Cariou, 604-255-2041, or the Vancouver Island organizer for the Communist Party, Tyson Strandlund, 250-883-7321.