Ontario: Govt overthrown?

hariette spierings hariette at easynet.co.uk
Sat Jun 15 10:09:52 MDT 1996

>This is just too good not to pass along...
>There is an ongoing inquiry into why riot cops beat up strikers outside
>the legislature (seat of the Ontario government, called Queens Park).
>Something interesting developed last week during testimony.
>There are two ways this news item is potent:
>    1) It shows how ludicrous the Tory government is, fearing it is
>       going to fall all the time (it charged 4 students with
>       "intimidating the legislature" last Feb); and
>    2) it simply introduces the notion of "overthrowing the government"
>       to these workers... and the general public. Which made for a
>       very electric day into the court house. ;-)
>I had a good laugh when reading it. Sorry I couldn't upload it earlier,
>but work has been hell these last two weeks.
>    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>                 OPP commander feared collapse of government
>    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>                                      by
>                                  JACK LAKEY
>                                STAFF REPORTER
>                           June 8 Toronto Star p A7
>    The head of the police riot squad that beat up striking workers at
>    Queen's Park says physical force was needed because the provincial
>    government could have been "overthrown," an inquiry has heard.
>    If the Progressive Conservative goveminent couldn't get all of its
>    members into the Legislature March 18, it could have lost a vote
>    and been subjected to a non-confidence motion, OPP Inspector Jay
>    Hope said yesterday.
>    With the spring session starting at 1:30 p.m., Hope said he thought
>    it imperative to get all members in before then.
>    Lawyer Peter Howard, counsel to the commission of inquiry probing
>    the violence, asked Hope: "What was so vital about having all the
>    MPPs in by that time?"
>    Hope replied: "It was my understanding that by not having all the
>    MPPs in that perhaps the business of the House would not be
>    conducted.
>    "And more importantly -- potentially -- the overthrow, if you will,
>    of the government was at risk.
>    With 82 of the 130 seats in the Legislature and no legislation on
>    which to vote, the Tory government was in no danger of a
>    non-confidence even if all of its members couldn't get in.
>    "You knew that wasn't in the cards -- that there were sufficient
>    MPPs in so that the overthrow of the govern ment wasn't a real
>    possibility -- or did you?" Howard asked Hope.
>                               RALLY TURNED UGLY
>    Hope said he "wasn't doing anything in terms of pressuring people
>    to have it happen" by 1:30 p.m.
>    Howard then asked if the government had told him it was in danger
>    of losing a vote and needed more members in right away.
>    "I didn't have any discussions with members of the Conservative
>    caucus or any persons in government," Hope replied.
>    The five-week strike by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union
>    peaked March 18 with a rally of about 5,000 people at Queen's Park
>    The event turned ugly after some politicians couldn't get in.
>    The OPP riot squad twice beat a path through picket lines to get
>    Tory MPPs in...
>    Five people were injured in the battles between pickets and police,
>    who were dressed in heavy body armor and armed with shields, pepper
>    spray and billy clubs. [...]
>    An argument then broken among the many lawyers at the inquiry over
>    who first used the word "overthrown."
>    -30-
>     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---

Hi there Zodiac:

Funnily enough the idea that "lobbying parliament" - that is what the
strikers were doing, is not criminalised and the police is now taking it
upon itself to prevent the fall of the "government" of the day!  It seems to
me that a part of the armed forces of the Canadian state (the police) is
prepared to overthrow the state in order to preserve the anti-working class
government.  Mass action to be declared illegal, while the capitalist class
is given free rein to implement a fascist dictatorship dealing with
organised protest by means of generalised repression and mass arrests seems
to be the logical development of this policy if allowed to prosper.  I will
say that to raise the slogan of, down with the fascist conspiracy! is quite
apropriate in Canada too.

Could you find out what is the political position of the people of
Socialisme Maintenat regarding this episode?  They publish a Maoist
newspaper in Canada and seem to be quite clear on these kind of issues of
internal politics in Canada.  Their position vis a vis the People's War and
the "peace agreement" fraud is pretty sound too.  Problem for us is that
they write mostly in French, and while one can make up their line pretty
accurately, and feel and sense that there is there a true proletarian
current with real links with the class struggle in their own country, it is
hard to correspond with them more often.  I understand that they have just
published the CALL for the WORLD MOBILISATION COMMISSION in their paper,
"Socialism Maintenant", proving too to be a legitimate communist
organisation, unlike the Avakian clones in Australian that are nothing but a
"communist programme" at two US dollars a shot and a bunch of loonies
standing in corners selling sectarian papers!  The very epitome of what the
working class, all over the world, most despises.


     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---

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