Communists welcome arrival of volunteer firefighters from Mexico

Statement by the Provincial Executive, Communist Party of BC, July 26, 2021

The arrival of one hundred highly-skilled firefighters from Mexico to help combat hundreds of wildfires across the province is a true expression of international solidarity. The Communist Party of BC welcomes this assistance, at this difficult moment when thousands of residents have lost their homes or been forced to evacuate. Forecasts indicate that hot, dry weather and lightning strikes could make this year’s wildfire season along the west coast and the interior the worst in memory.

The catastrophic destruction of Lytton and much of the surrounding area, after days of recordbreaking temperatures which killed hundreds of people, was a dire warning that the global climate crisis brings serious dangers for this area of Turtle Island, and for the entire planet. This crisis calls for unprecedented international cooperation and initiatives to reduce the scale of carbon emissions which are the main factor in the anthropocene – the era of human-caused climate change which began with the expansion of profit-based capitalism into the global imperialist system. By using taxpayer dollars to support the fossil-fuel extraction and export strategies of big resource corporations, the Horgan NDP government has completely failed to understand the nature of the deepening global crisis, or to take serious action to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, the noble action of the Mexican firefighting volunteers is similar to initiatives such as Cuba’s medical brigades, based on the concept of extending human solidarity across geographic borders and political barriers. They are now at the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire, which is currently burning out of control across 6,800 hectares near Osoyoos, but their volunteer period of 30 days will be an important part of the province-wide struggle to protect people, wildlife and the environment from destruction. The Communist Party of BC stresses that this action is also a powerful rebuff to the white supremacist ideologies which fuel widespread racism in Canada, such as the concept that the “foreign” workers who pick crops and provide domestic care services should not be allowed to make their home in this country.

The Communist Party of BC also extends our deepest thanks to volunteers from other parts of Canada who have arrived here to fight fires this summer, including crews from Quebec New Brunswick, Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nova Scotia.

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.