Communist Party of Canada – BC Executive Condemns Racist Rally in Vancouver
The Communist Party of Canada condemns the escalation of activities by racist and neo-fascist movements across the country, such as the anti-Muslim rally called by the “Worldwide Coalition Against Islam” at Vancouver City Hall on August 19. These groups play upon the fears of working people who face the impact of capitalist economic crisis, unemployment, and austerity social cuts, to promote their true agenda of white supremacy.
The current wave of racist and fascist threats in Canada has been fanned by recent events in the US, including the murderous gathering of neo-Nazi and white supremacist forces in Charlottesville, Virginia. But it is also true that the Canadian capitalist state itself was founded on the basis of colonial genocide against indigenous peoples, brutal exploitation of immigrant workers, and the racist goal of creating a “white man’s country.”
Seen in this historical context, Islamophobic rallies are not “exercises in free speech” – they are part of the pattern of violence against racialized communities, as seen by the murder of six Muslim men by a white supremacist in Quebec, and the growing numbers of arsons, bomb threats, physical assaults against women wearing the hijab, xenophobic graffiti and acts of vandalism, the attempt to break up this year’s rally in Vancouver marking the International Day Against Racial Discrimination, etc. Far-right violence also targets other immigrant groups, Indigenous peoples and land defenders, the LGBTQ+ community (especially trans people at this time), the organized labour movement, advocates for women’s equality and reproductive rights, the Jewish community, and the political left – not least the Communist Party and the Young Communist League, which have been the most consistent anti-fascist and anti-racist political voices in this country since the 1920s.
Communists stand in solidarity with all those who are under attack at this critical moment. We extend our full support to the counter-protests against racist, fascist and Islamophobic actions, and we condemn all attempts by far-right elements to use provocations to divide and weaken the anti-racist forces. We will continue to work with others to make this resistance movement a broad-based powerful force, including trade unions and all other democratic and people’s organizations. We also call for greater efforts to expose and counter racist and neo-fascist ideologies, through letters to the editor, participation in social media debates, public meetings, etc.
The Communist Party demands immediate steps to counter the growing menace of organized racist violence, including measures to strengthen and enforce existing anti-hate legislation. The recent example of most Conservative leadership candidates pandering to ultra-right forces is an ominous signal that this party intends to be the vehicle for imposing a Trump-style racist political agenda in Canada.
But such an outcome is not inevitable. It can, and must, be prevented by building broad anti-racist unity in the streets, in our workplaces and campuses, and in all our communities during the critical weeks and months ahead!
BC Provincial Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada, Aug. 16, 2017