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  • Volume Eight, Number Eight: December 2003

    "Voluntary Agreements"

    Dark Shadows Cast


    Marco Procaccini


    Solidarity may be forever, but it’s not always consistent, if the recent BC Federation of Labour convention in Vancouver is any indication.

    The escalating confrontation between the IWA Canada and the rest of the labour movement over one of the union’s locals, 1-3567, signing highly concessionary contracts with the executives of four multinational corporations seeking to take advantage of the BC Liberal government’s sell-off efforts of public health facilities, cast a dark shadow over the convention’s resolve to lead a united opposition to the regime.

    Despite being ruled in violation of the constitution of the Canadian Labour Congress, which said last month the so-called “voluntary agreements” signed with no mandate from the local’s membership and prior to the firms’ hiring of any employees, the IWA’s national executive appeared to commit to supporting the local’s actions.

    -- continued


    James takes top NDP job                                                   

    Ian King

    British Columbia’s New Democrats chose a new leader November 23rd to replace the outgoing Joy MacPhail. Carole James, a former Victoria school trustee now working in child services with the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council, won on the second ballot over former MLA Leonard Krog and Oak Bay councilor Nils Jensen.

    James entered the convention with more committed delegates, but not enough to guarantee her a win. She brought strong backing from many of the province’s public-sector unions, MLA Jenny Kwan, and both of B.C.’s NDP MPs. James styled herself the safe choice for leader, unburdened with the previous NDP governments’ baggage, but still committed to the party and its principles.

    Krog was considered the front-runner in the early part of the race. During the convention, though, Krog’s uninspired performance failed to impress undecided delegates. Contrasting with Krog’s fizzle was Victoria bookseller Mehdi Najari’s passion. Considered a fringe candidate, Najari gave a fiery speech calling on the party to radicalize. For his effort, Najari was rewarded with three standing ovations and 32 votes, leaving him eliminated on the first ballot.

    -- continued

    Vancouver  Amnesty Film Festival Forced to Drop Film
    "Some degree of threat  to their physical safety"

    Jim Lipkovits

    Protests against ChavezAccording to reports by Duncan Campbell of the Guardian(London), an award-winnning documentary about  Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez and the coup last year that briefly ousted him has become the center of an international dispute. The film was pulled from the Vancouver Amnesty International (AI)
    film festival because Amnesty staff in Caracas said they feared for their safety if it were shown.
     The film, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, was made by two Irish film  makers, Kim Bartley and Donnacha O'Briain as they were preparing a documentary about Mr Chavez, with his cooperation, before the coup.   In April of 2002 when the coup began, they found themselves trapped inside the presidential palace as events unfolded. They kept their cameras running to document this unique historical event.

    -- continued


    • cartoon by Steve Graham-Smith

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