Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Quebec Bill 62 is not about secularism and must be opposed by the left

Especially now in the era of Trump the reality of where anti-Islamic rhetoric and actions can lead has come into clear focus. Islamophobic laws that would accept the violation of fundamental and basic freedoms under the guise of promoting women's rights, secularism or social order are particularly dangerous at this junction in history.

Yet at the recent NDP Leadership debate in Montreal this past weekend three of the four contenders failed to stand up fully against the Quebec government's shameful proposed Bill 62 which claims to be about "religious neutrality" while in its very wording it clearly targets women of the Islamic faith who wear the niqab.

This wording of Bill 62 is such that it has led to concerns -- from no less than the Mayor of Montreal -- that it might even be used to prevent women wearing the niqab from accessing public transit.

Jagmeet Singh was the only one of the candidates at the debate who was willing to state specifically that he opposed it regardless of the alleged rational behind it.

The rest of the candidates, while saying they opposed any legislation that would regulate what women (or people generally) should wear, did so while saying it was necessary to respect Quebec and its culture of "secularism" as if that is what Bill 62 is at all about.

(To watch a stream of the debate click here)

They have also not all been willing to say they would challenge the law in court if it is passed and they are in government.

These are MPs from a party that justly attacked the Harper Conservatives for their dog-whistle Islamophobia in the 2015 federal campaign.

This notion that Bill 62 is about "secularism" is an affront to the very principles of secularism which have been cynically hijacked by politicians again trying to pass this type of bill under a giant crucifix in their provincial National Assembly.

In the end it is not "secularism" you are trumpeting if you are threatening to pass actual laws to deny government jobs and public services to women -- and it is all about women...and only women wearing Niqabs...thereby seeking to "liberate" women by ghettoizing and ostracizing them from the very means to function in a society at all -- from a specific and racialized group for what they wear that is "too religious",  yet you are going to keep up with pretensions that a crucifix in your parliament itself is somehow not a violation of the principle of "religious neutrality".

Seriously. How much more obvious could the hypocrisy and real motives be?

Never mind the vital fact that this law would target the supposed 'victims' of the niqab themselves. Bill 62 in Quebec does this rather obviously as it has provisions that are directed specifically at people wearing religious facial coverings.

Such laws are almost always unconstitutional. And so they must be. If the government can regulate one form of religious dress or belief to allow access to jobs and public services, then why not others?

As for the absurd and racist notion that if those of the Islamic faith wanted to come here they should be like "us" or that they should adopt "our" values -- whatever that means in a nation of immigrants built on stolen indigenous lands -- that argument has been used in our history against Italians, Jews, Sikhs, Catholics, Asians and just about every identifiable group you can name. It was wrong in each of these cases and is now.

Whether it is Sikhs in the RCMP, Jews in the legion, various forms of religious daggers or dress, there are always calls from those afraid of the other for people to set aside deeply held beliefs and conform.

As for the rights of women, in the name of that crucifix in the National Assembly countless crimes have been committed against women and continue to be every single day.

Acknowledging Quebec's nationhood, society and history does not mean we no longer have a responsibility to speak up about proposed laws that could lead to such ugly and dangerous outcomes as Bill 62 could.

Guy Caron stated prior to the Montreal debate“I am making it clear that, above all, an NDP leader must respect Quebec’s national character.” If we take that position then, as Chantal Hebert put it:

...would the same reasoning apply if the National Assembly — in a bid to protect Quebec’s demographic weight in the federation — moved to restrict abortion rights to pursue a natalist policy?
And if Quebec’s collective take on the place of religion is a valid rationale to limit religious rights, are not countries whose governments identify closely with a given religion also within their rights to limit other freedoms in the name of the beliefs of the majority?
Finally, at what point, if any, does Caron think the right to exercise fundamental freedoms should constrain the National Assembly’s latitude to consolidate the province’s secular character?
Here is what is clear: the government of Quebec has put forward a bill that may seek to deny government services to women by law should they refuse to compromise on what is a part of their religious belief system.
Here is what is clear: the government of Quebec has put forward a bill that may seek to deny government services to women by law should they refuse to compromise on what is a part of their religious belief system.

A bill that could do this has no place in a constitutional democracy that claims to respect religious freedom and to support equality of access for all before the law and government, which is a key aspect of secular governance.

Bill 62 must be opposed publicly and explicitly when it is brought up and politicians on the left must make it clear they will use all options, including the courts, to stop it should it become law. This is essential to our broader fight against Islamophobia and bigotry.

This piece uses some wording and passages from a piece that appeared on "Michael Laxer's Blog" in December, 2011.

See also: Fake 'secularism' is not an excuse for Islamophobic bigotry

Fascism Must Be Defeated! -- Clara Zetkin's Speech at the Reichstag August 30, 1932

Clara Zetkin (1857-1933) was a Marxist and crusader for women's rights who served as a Communist deputy in the German Reichstag from 1920-1933.

On August 30, 1932 she gave this famous speech opening the new session of the Reichstag and warning of the rise of fascism in Germany where the Nazis had just won the most seats in the recent elections.

Her courage in making this speech despite such a hostile and dangerous audience as she did (she had to be brought in by stretcher and escorted through violent Nazi crowds outside to take the stage in front of the many Nazi Reichstag members) at the age of 75 and while very unwell, should stand as an inspiration to us all.

(Click on scans to enlarge)

Source: 1999 People's Voice Calendar

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Snapshot of the Manitoba Provincial NDP Leadership Race: Toxicity or Healing?

by Ammario Reza

As most New Democrat eyes are fixated on the federal NDP leadership race taking place, Manitoba's provincial NDP is also currently in the process of choosing their next leader.

The federal race is a very adult and civil exercise in debate and discourse -- at least compared to the tone that the race in Manitoba has taken on.

Here is a little snapshot:

On the one hand, the front-runner (according to the early-vote delegate count) is former CBC broadcaster Wab Kinew, an Indigenous community leader who - should he succeed - would accomplish the remarkable and groundbreaking feat of being a First Nations person leading the party.

But he has also - as recently as two years ago during the last federal election- expressed opinions that have done more than just raise a few eyebrows. He told Maclean's Magazine that the only thing that had kept him from potentially supporting the Harper federal Conservative platform was the party’s general hostility toward the First Nations community. The direct quote (after being asked how he planned on voting in that federal election) was: "I’m not really strongly partisan, but it’s definitely not going to be Conservative. I don’t think, on First Nations issues alone, anyone could vote Conservative, which is too bad, because, on fiscal issues, I would be 100 per cent open to a Conservative platform."

Do you remember the 2015 platform that the Harper Conservatives ran on? Yes, that platform.

It could be argued that there would at least be a focus on Indigenous issues if Kinew were to become leader and then actually go on to win a general election. But can Indigenous issues really be properly and effectively addressed without economic (and fiscal) justice? Depending on how one answers that, then one can properly assess how they feel a Kinew-led NDP government would fare on this file.

Of course, people’s political views change and evolve all the time, so it would be most interesting and helpful to hear how Kinew feels about the 2015 federal Tory platform now. It is quite possible he has changed his mind since then. Unfortunately, we don’t know, as the campaign has, so far, not directly addressed this. There is absolutely no shame in admitting that one was wrong about something, and has changed their views in accordance with new information and facts. It is, in fact, quite admirable. One can hope that the campaign makes the decision to address this, as 'learning from past mistakes and addressing them and being an ally and force for good' is actually one of the themes of Kinew’s campaign and personal brand when it comes to other issues.

Then on the other hand, the candidate running against him, Steve Ashton -- an MLA up until his defeat in the last provincial election, and a veteran candidate who has held numerous ministerial portfolios under different NDP premiers -- has brought up a stayed charge of domestic violence against his opponent after being prompted to do so by an anti-domestic assault advocate. He is doing so, however, without having sought the consent of the survivor.

I have thought long and hard about this. I wasn't sure how to feel about it at first. As a survivor of domestic violence myself (yes, it went to court and my abuser was convicted), I would be absolutely furious and feel completely violated, exploited and patronized if I were to suddenly find myself at the centre of a very public political leadership campaign and controversy without even being asked or consulted. I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the narrative of 'this is being done for the benefit of survivors of domestic violence, to let them know that we choose to believe them' until I learned that the survivor was never even contacted.

Is it beneficial to have brought the subjects of misogyny, domestic violence, mental health and moneyed-male-privilege into the discourse? Absolutely. How it happened doesn't change that they have become topics of discussion, which is a good thing. Ashton should be commended for this.

However, this could have been accomplished simply by including a platform plank addressing the issue. The way this was done is already showing signs of alienating people who were expressing frustrations with what they have been describing as a "toxic" race, leading us to where many are also expressing and showing signs of fatigue.

Of note, Ashton does say that he was not directly involved in the leak, and in fact only found out about it the same way the media did. The timeline, according to Ashton’s campaign, is one where the decision to go public was made after domestic assault advocate and survivor Zita Somakoko contacted the campaign and urged Ashton to bring the issue up. Somakoko herself issued a statement demanding that Kinew “should acknowledge what he did”.

Even if one were to take that at face-value if, as we are being told here, the main objective was to send a message about "believing survivors" it just seems rather bizarre that the survivor's perspective in this case didn't seem to matter or factor into the campaign's decision to use the information, regardless of how it was obtained or whether the candidate had any prior knowledge or direct involvement in the process.

It is certainly admirable that Ashton at least has shown that he is willing to take action when prompted to do so by an activist. Yet, again, it is difficult to see why that one extra step would not be taken to ensure the survivor’s preferences were also taken into consideration.

It is quite likely and even probable that the survivor involved in this incident is aware of the fact that she is now - whether she likes it or not - part of the campaign. It is also quite likely that people who know about the incident (friends at the time..etc) are also aware of her identity. One can only imagine what kind of impact this knowledge would potentially have on an individual who could be at any stage in the post-trauma recovery phase.

To muddy things up even further, the Manitoba NDP government that was just defeated last year was largely seen as having been punished by voters for a decision to raise the provincial sales tax (PST) by a percentage point to fund infrastructure initiatives . They did this without consulting Manitobans via a referendum, after having promised not to raise taxes.

Both candidates have an interesting track record with that saga. When you keep in mind that sales taxes are considered by many to be regressive due to their “flat tax” nature that unfairly burdens those with lower incomes, things get complicated:

Kinew is on record (via Twitter) while he was still a candidate running for his seat, as having opposed the PST hike, because “it hurts Manitoban families”.  At first glance, this is a stance that would be difficult to criticize if one is of the perspective that sales taxes are regressive. However, given Kinew’s problematic quote expressing admiration for Conservative fiscal platforms, it is impossible not to immediately wonder whether his opposition stems more from the generally anti-tax (any taxes) sentiment that usually accompanies those who would be open to fiscally-conservative economics than with concerns about the tax hike’s regressive nature.  Clarification from the campaign about the comments he made regarding the 2015 federal Conservative platform would do him wonders in allaying the fears of those who found those comments problematic.

This leaves us with Steve Ashton. It is easy to argue that - especially given his opponent’s apparent comfort with fiscal conservatism - Ashton is further to the left on the spectrum. That may well be the case in general. However, he also has an interesting background with the contentious PST hike issue. After having occupied the position of Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation from 2009-2014, he is on record as having come out quite strongly in support of the PST hike during his last run at the Manitoba NDP leadership (when then Manitoba NDP leader and Premier Greg Selinger faced a caucus revolt and leadership challenge that was not unrelated to the handling of the PST issue).

Ashton argued in favour of the hike from the understandable position that the extra revenue would be beneficial to funding badly-needed projects.

As understandable as that position is, it raises the question: is funding infrastructure (certainly a progressive and worthy cause) enough to outweigh the harm that a regressive consumption tax-hike would cause low-income earners? If one’s view of the PST hike is that it is regressive, then are regressive measures justifiable when they are used for things like funding infrastructure initiatives? And, given each candidate’s history and position on this issue, how does that factor in, if at all, as a barometer for how one views them generally on the political spectrum?

It all makes for some complicated dynamics that could be made less so if both campaigns simply toned down the unusually-high level of personal one-upmanship that appears to define this race.

As it stands right now, the odds seem to be favouring Wab Kinew. Of course, given the surprising nature of politics in this day and age, his victory is by no means a foregone conclusion.

Once this race is over, one thing will be painfully clear regardless of who emerges as the victor -- the party will need to find a way to somehow come to some sort of truce between these two warring factions. The new leader should be under no illusion that the current schism will simply disappear after the convention.

Remember when the Manitoba provincial NDP had to worry about caucus-revolts and leadership challenges while being in government? Well, those are now officially the “good old days”.

Ammario Reza is the co-founder of NDP Grassroots-Ralliement populaire NPD, with a background in Political Science. He is a writer, commentator and activist primarily based in Ottawa. He works varying contract positions for various NDP and other progressive campaigns, in addition to being a liaison for author Linda McQuaig's speaking engagements.

The Left Chapter is interested in getting different perspectives on the NDP leadership race either federally or in Manitoba, including from those both inside and outside of the party, from partisans of various candidates (perhaps explaining why), from critics of the race or those who think supporting any of them is perhaps a mistake, analysis of the candidates from an objective left perspective, etc.

If you have perspectives about the NDP leadership race specifically that you would like to share in blog/article/editorial form please contact us via

Do you have a left point-of-view or opinion, event or petition, a recipe or a story you want to share?

Send them to The Left Chapter via!

Greetings from Hoover Dam - A 1950s Vintage Trip

Before on the blog we have looked at a style of vintage little keepsake postcard packet (one of the Vegas Strip and one of New York's Thousand Islands) that unfolds to drop down a long row of connected full colour illustrations. These were quite popular in the mid-20th Century. The idea was that you were supposed to mail the whole packet to yourself or someone you wanted to share memories of your trip with -- you know, long before instant shares via cell phones and even before personal ownership of cameras (remember those) was widespread.

Today we are looking at a postcard folder for tourists visiting the Hoover Dam and its reservoir Lake Mead in Nevada and Arizona. Originally the Boulder Dam, it was the world's highest dam for a time.

The government built a settlement on the edge of what became Lake Mead to house all the workers and their families. Boulder City is now a tourist and retirement destination. While Lake Mead used to be the largest reservoir in the United States, it is no longer due to excessive regional demand for its water as well as climate change.

The images in this packet are great as they combine the remarkable technical achievements of the dam with its beautiful surroundings. The photos are also notably interesting in their colours and hues (likely unintentionally) and some are quite atmospheric as a result.

 (Click on images to enlarge)

Love this image can barely make it out and yet it is lovely.

See our Vintage Photography page for similar posts!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tell Ottawa 'Never' -- Ban the Bomb!

Tell Ottawa 'Never' -- Ban the Bomb!

Graphic from a Labor-Progressive Party (Communist Party) of Canada poster
October, 1950

67 years later and the dream of a nuclear weapon free world seems as far away now as it ever has since the dawn of the nuclear era.

But the dream has far from died.  There is a "Ban the Bomb" website (it belongs to the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), there was a Women’s March to Ban the Bomb in New York in June, and, of course in July (as Alice Slater put it in The Nation) we watched as "Democracy Breaks Out at the UN as 122 Nations Vote to Ban the Bomb".

You know what was one of the countries that did not support the treaty? In addition to all nine countries known or believed to have nuclear weapons, Canada also boycotted the entire treaty process. 


Even now, in 2017, it is still time to Tell Ottawa 'Never' -- Ban the Bomb!

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war

I dreamed I saw a mighty room
Filled with women and men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again

And when the paper was all signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads
And grateful prayers were prayed

And the people in the streets below
Were dancing 'round and 'round
While swords and guns and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd never dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed

To put an end to war - Ed McCurdy, 1950

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Colin Kaepernick, Susur Lee, Trump and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List August 20 - 27

This week's list of articles, news items and opinion pieces that I see as must reads if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of  August 20 - 27. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) My friend Kim Wall's disappearance in Denmark shows: female journalists face danger everywhere

Sruthi Gottipati, The Guardian

Kim Wall has reported on stories around the world. But she was to disappear in a country known for gender parity: Denmark.

Read the full article.

2) Group of Cleveland Browns players kneel during anthem

Associated Press

Kneeling and bowing their heads, the Cleveland Browns bonded over something bigger than football.

Read the full article.

3) The Confederate General Who Was Erased

Jane Dailey, The Huffington Post

There’s a reason you won’t find many monuments in the South to one of Robert E. Lee’s most able deputies.

Read the full article.

4) Susur Lee restaurants under scrutiny after staff backlash

Lauren O'Neil, Blog TO

World-renowned chef and occasional reality TV star Susur Lee is under fire this week for allegedly forcing staff at three of his restaurants to pay for common serving mistakes, like spilling drinks and order errors, with their tip money.

Read the full article.

5) IOU system at Susur Lee restaurants required staff to use tips to pay for mistakes

 Ali Chiasson, CBC News

Spilling a drink, sending the wrong drink to a table or punching in an incorrect order with the kitchen were all examples of mistakes that cost employees tip money, according to staff at chef Susur Lee's restaurants — a practice that is forbidden under Ontario's Employment Standards Act.

Read the full article. 

6) Lee Restaurants: Stop the IOU system and refund confiscated worker tips


The problem is this; Lee Restaurants using the IOU system in their restaurants. The system was put into place to make sure FOH and BOH staff paid for any mistakes, accidents, walkouts, kitchen errors or sendbacks out of their own tips. This is 100% illegal under Ontario Law. When questioned, a representative commented that the money confiscated by the company was used to fund staff parties and pay for aprons.

Read and sign the petition

7) Charlottesville shows how police ‘serve and protect’ racism

Azeezha Kanji, The Toronto Star

Unlike Indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock, the Unite the Right rampagers were not blasted with freezing water canons, or shot in the head with rubber bullets.

Read the full article.

8) McDonald's workers to coordinate strike with allies around world

Abi Wilkinson, The Guardian

Workers at two McDonald’s restaurants in the UK will go on strike on 4 September, the US Labor Day holiday, in an attempt to coordinate action against the fast food giant with allies around the world.

Read the full article.

9) Why Trump Can't Quit the Alt-Right

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine

Well, it's over now – right? He may have three and a half years left in office, but Donald Trump is finished. The Charlottesville tragedy was the final stake through the Grinch-heart of his presidency. If he didn't deserve it so enormously much, it would be sad.

Read the full article.

10) Why are we so desperate to blame white supremacy on women?

Sarah Ditum, The Independent

Some people can't look at a neo-Nazi without condemning the woman who washes his socks for him.

Read the full article.

11) Missouri halts execution of Marcellus Williams

Yarno Ritzen, Al Jazeera 

The US state of Missouri has halted the execution of a man who was scheduled to be put to death on Tuesday for the 1998 murder of a woman after new DNA evidence surfaced supporting his claim to innocence.

Read the full article.

12) Quebec village refuses to remove swastika-emblazoned anchor from park

Kate McKenna, Verity Stevenson, CBC News

The municipality of Pointe-des-Cascades, Que., says it won't remove an anchor adorned with a swastika in a neighbourhood park because the piece has historical significance.

Read the full article.

13) Threats force Barbara Kentner’s family from Thunder Bay as death probe continues

Willow Fiddler, APTN

The sister of Barbara Kentner — the Anishinaabe woman who died after she was attacked with a trailer hitch — has moved away from Thunder Bay following threats targeting her children.

Read the full article.

14) Legalise prostitution? We are being asked to accept industrialised sexual exploitation

Kat Banyard, The Guardian

Right now, a global push is under way for governments to not only tolerate but actively enable the sex trade. The call is clear: decriminalise brothel keepers, pimps and other “third parties”, allowing them to profiteer freely – and certainly don’t dampen demand for the trade. This is no mundane policy prescription. The stakes are immense.

Read the full article.

15) Lessons on how to confront fascists

Michael Coren, The Toronto Star

I’ve been away in Britain for two weeks and have observed the reaction to white supremacists and their Antifa opponents through the banal absurdities of the U.S. president, the Canadian media, and the European body politic.

Read the full article.

16) Hank Aaron speaks out on Colin Kaepernick controversy: 'He's getting a raw deal'

Gabrielle McMillen, The Sporting News

Hank Aaron has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick, saying the quarterback is "getting a raw deal" from NFL owners.

Read the full article.

17) He's considered Canada's founding father, but many Ontario teachers want his name stripped from public schools

Shanifa Nasser, CBC News

As U.S. legislators mull the removal of statues seen by many as painful reminders of the darker moments in American history, a similar debate is playing out in Ontario over whether public schools should bear the names of Canadian figures associated with this country's legacy around the treatment of Indigenous communities.

Read the full article.

18) Sexual harassment and the sharing economy: the dark side of working for strangers

Sam Levin, The Guardian

Women working for companies like Uber and DoorDash say they have been groped, threatened and harassed by customers. Their stories highlight how technology connects strangers – and opens the door for abuse.

Read the full article.

19) Stop defending Joss Whedon – you do lose your feminist cred when you treat women badly

Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine

Wow, guys who call themselves feminists sure don’t have to meet too many expectations.

Read the full article.

20) Domestic violence activist calls for NDP leadership candidate Kinew to 'acknowledge what he did'

Sean Kavanagh, CBC News

Manitoba NDP leadership hopeful Wab Kinew's recent disclosures about two charges of domestic assault in 2003 do not go far enough for Zita Somakoko.

Read the full article.

21) Bring violence-against-women services back to North York


Did you know that women and children fleeing domestic violence in Ontario can’t always get the help they need? And yet in North York, the only shelter serving women and children closed its doors on May 19, laying off 32 shelter workers.

Read and sign the petition.

22) West Bank wine controversy continues as Canadian challenges 'Made in Israel' label

Derek Stoffel, CBC News

The grape harvest happening now in vineyards throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank has begun to yield the fruit that will eventually become wine labelled "Product of Israel."

On a recent early-morning outing, Israeli boys with clippers cut bunches of green grapes that the Shiloh Winery will use to produce a chardonnay that will be sold around the globe.

But half a world away in Winnipeg, a child of Holocaust survivors is fighting to change the labels on bottles of wine produced in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Read the full article.

23) NFL’s stance on Colin Kaepernick may cost them more in the end

Sally Jenkins, The Toronto Star

The larger wrong in Colin Kaepernick situation is beginning to overtake any original insult or disrespect the quarterback may have committed.

Read the full article.

24) Yup, the Toronto Sun is Boosting the Fraser Institute's Bogus Tax Calculations On Its Front Page

Press Progress

Ugh, not again...

Read the full article.

25) Religious rights may dominate remaining weeks of NDP leadership campaign

Chantel Hebert, The Toronto Star

Can the federal NDP maintain a hard-won presence in Quebec and at the same time become more competitive in the rest of Canada? Or is its repository of Quebec votes little more than a poisoned chalice?

Read the full article.

26) Jagmeet Singh calls out NDP opponents on niqab issue in Quebec

Alex Ballingall, The Toronto Star

On the eve of the only French debate of the NDP leadership race, contender Jagmeet Singh criticized two of his opponents for their statements on a contentious Quebec law that would ban face coverings, such as the niqab worn by Muslim women, for people who are giving or receiving public services.

Read the full article.

27) Colin Kaepernick's Supporters Make Their Voices Heard Outside NFL’s Headquarters

Tim Rohan, Sports Illustrated

Around 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, at the corner of 51st Street and Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan, Reverend Stephen Green stood at a podium on a raised stage, in front of a microphone, with about a dozen other social activists behind him. In front of him stood several hundred rally attendees, standing seven or eight deep, all the way down the city block.

Read the full article.

See also: Charlottesville Aftermath, the Rebel, Trump & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List August 13-20

See also: Charlottesville, Mary Beard, North Korea & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List August 6 - 13

Friday, August 25, 2017

On the 20th Founding Anniversary of the PDPA - Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan 1984

Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

See the end of this post for details on the project.

Leaflet: On the 20th Founding Anniversary of the PDPA - Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan 1984

A statement from the Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan celebrating and reviewing the history of its first 20 years. At this point, in late 1984, the Saur Revolution and its progressive and modernizing achievements were under a sustained terrorist and counter-revolutionary assault by religious extremist and obscurantist groups financed by the United States -- groups from which forces like the Taliban emerged in one of the greatest examples of reactionary blowback in imperialist history.

We looked at a leaflet related to the PDPA and the Saur Revolution previously with Onward March of Afghan Revolution - World Peace Council 1979.

(Click on scans to enlarge) 

When The Left Chapter began part of what I wanted to do on the blog was to show and highlight vintage public leftist election/political leaflets and booklets. While many of these have been offered with commentary to date, a very large collection of hundreds of them from several different sources remains and to preserve these often quite rare documents we will be posting them on a regular (almost daily) basis now often without or with minimal commentary so that people may have access to them as quickly as possible as an historical resource. 

While these will all be leaflets from a variety of different leftist viewpoints and countries, they are being posted as an historical/study resource and the views or opinions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or blogger.

All of these posts (as well as posts made to date) will be listed on the page: Vintage Communist/Socialist Leaflets (which is still being updated with past posts).

If you have any public, vintage leaflets or booklets you would like to contribute to this project please contact us via

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Great Feat of the Soviet People - A. Grechko USSR 1970

Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

See the end of this post for details on the project.

Leaflet: Great Feat of the Soviet People - A. Grechko USSR 1970

The text of a speech given by the then Soviet Minister of Defence, A.A. Grechko on the 25th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis and their allies.

Also provides a Soviet perspective on the Cold War at the time.

(Click on scans to enlarge)

When The Left Chapter began part of what I wanted to do on the blog was to show and highlight vintage public leftist election/political leaflets and booklets. While many of these have been offered with commentary to date, a very large collection of hundreds of them from several different sources remains and to preserve these often quite rare documents we will be posting them on a regular (almost daily) basis now often without or with minimal commentary so that people may have access to them as quickly as possible as an historical resource.

While these will all be leaflets from a variety of different leftist viewpoints and countries, they are being posted as an historical/study resource and the views or opinions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or blogger.

All of these posts (as well as posts made to date) will be listed on the page: Vintage Communist/Socialist Leaflets (which is still being updated with past posts).

If you have any public, vintage leaflets or booklets you would like to contribute to this project please contact us via