The first in a series of webinars on Canada’s “trucker” convoy, this panel explores the broad political character of the so-called “Freedom Convoy”.
About this Event
The ‘Freedom Convoy’ and the Trudeau government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act have at once raised fundamental questions about Canada as a polity. What are the social character and goals of the ‘Freedom Convoy’? How exactly is it connected to the Covid crisis? What explains the response of Canada’s various governments? What does all this bode for Canada’s future? How should the left respond? With the left’s decades’ long recession having deepened during the Covid crisis, there is also much political confusion. Is the freedom convoy working class? Is it merely a protest movement? What was the invocation of the Emergencies Act wrong? Why did Canadian authorities take so long to act? How have US elements intervened? We present a series of panels on this critically important subject which is important for Canada and is relevant more widely.
Panel 1 will provide an overview, focusing on the movement, its historical origins and social character from a critical left, Indigenous and Quebec perspective.
This panel was organized by the International Manifesto Group and the Society for Socialist Studies. The official media sponsor is the Canada Files. The event is co-sponsored by Canadian Dimension and Fire This Time Social Movement.
Bryan Palmer is a historian, and the author of James P. Cannon and the Emergence of Trotskyism in the United States, 1928-1938 (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2021), Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strikes of 1934 (Chicago: Haymarket, 2014), co-author of Toronto’s Poor: A Rebellious History (Between The Lines, 2016), and a past editor of the journal, Labour/Le Travail. He is Professor Emeritus, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario.
Radhika Desai is a Professor at the Department of Political Studies, and Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. She is the author of Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire (2013), Slouching Towards Ayodhya: From Congress to Hindutva in Indian Politics (2nd rev ed, 2004) and Intellectuals and Socialism: ‘Social Democrats’ and the Labour Party (1994), a New Statesman and Society Book of the Month, and editor or co-editor of Russia, Ukraine and Contemporary Imperialism, a special issue of International Critical Thought (2016), Theoretical Engagements in Geopolitical Economy (2015), Analytical Gains from Geopolitical Economy (2015), Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today’s Capitalism (2010) and Developmental and Cultural Nationalisms (2009).
Niigaanweweidam Sinclair is an activist, a writer, and an Associate Professor and Acting Department Head of the Faculty of Indigenous Studies at the Univeristy of Manitoba. He is a columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press, and a regular commentator on CBC, CTV and APTN regarding current Indigenous issues.
Q. Anthony Omene is an award-nominated writer, whose columns appear in Maclean’s and The Globe and Mail, and host of the Unredacted podcast with Glenn Greenwald. In addition, he is a board member of the Canadian Association of Black Journalists. He is on Twitter @qaomene.
Arnold August is a Montreal-based journalist and author of three books on Cuba: The “ground-breaking” Democracy in Cuba and the 1997-98 Elections, Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion, and Cuba-US Relations: Obama and Beyond. Also a journalist, published in English, Spanish and French in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and India. He was also an activist in Montreal in 1970, where he was targeted by the War Measures Act.
Moderator – Brendan Devlin is a Master’s student in Political Studies at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on capitalist class rule, the class character of sovereignty and imperialism in Canadian politics and Canada-China relations. He is a research assistant with the Geopolitical Economy Research Group. His writing has appeared in Canadian Dimension and Monthly Review Online.
This article was updated March 14, 2022 to include videos of the webinar.