Magazine article Canadian Dimension

Marking the Contours of the Left

Magazine article Canadian Dimension

Marking the Contours of the Left

Article excerpt

I PUBLISHED MY FIRST piece in Canadian Dimension in 1982. I had attended a United Steel Workers of America convention and reported on the proceedings, which promised much and delivered little. Over the next 30 years, more than 25 articles, reviews and other kinds of writing have appeared in CD under my name. The peace movement of the 1980s, the Solidarity uprising in British Columbia in 1983, the 1990s fightback in Ontario against Bob Rae's so-called "Social Contract" and Mike Harris's so-called "Common Sense Revolution," and the legal assault on the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty in 2003 were all developments that I wrote about. Most such writing happened because I was involved in social movements and protests and thought there was a need to make the substance of particular struggles better known. CD was always welcoming and encouraging, open to what I wrote even when it posed sharp criticisms of certain "sacred cows," among them progressive elements in the labour bureaucracy whom I often, to Cy Gonick's amusement, dubbed "the trade union tops." I was also asked to write specific kinds of pieces, including broad treatments of the history of class struggle over the course of the magazine's lifetime and an overview of the legacies of 1968.

What is striking as I look back on this relationship with Canadian Dimension is how decisively it marks the contours--the shifts in trajectory as well as fundamental continuities in perspective and sensibility--of Canadian and international political developments. …

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