The Peoples’ Agenda represents the culmination of the efforts of various revolutionary groups who responded to the call of the PCR-RCP to generate a list of concrete demands of the working-class this election season. Each demand was synthesized from hours of leafletting, discussions with workers, and the efforts of organizers to create a platform to highlight what the working-class of Vancouver truly needs. While these demands clearly appeal to the state, it is evident that under the capitalist system none of these points can ever be met. Capitalism is a system which is fundamentally incapable of meeting the needs of workers. This is because capitalism relies on the exploitation of the worker. It is a system designed to specifically not meet the needs of our class. The Peoples’ Agenda is therefore aimed at exposing the corrupt character of these so called “democratic elections”. While many workers already understand that these elections are useless, if we are to achieve any steps towards a better future, we must mold this passive boycott into an active one! The Peoples’ Agenda is therefore the first step in this process. It is a call to action for all workers and oppressed peoples. Our demands, our needs will never be met by the NDP, Conservatives, Liberals, or any other electoral Party. Only through revolution can the Peoples’ Agenda ever be fulfilled. As the election approaches we remember that all of history is one of class struggle. Our struggle is therefore one of necessity and demands concrete action. This election season let us show the bourgeoisie that the working-class is a formidable force! Let us rally on Oct. 21st to boycott the elections and fight for the Peoples’ Agenda!
Working-Class Victory Comes Through Revolution and Popular War, Not the Ballot Box!
Boycott the Elections!
– PCR-RCP Vancouver
United Front Peoples’ Agenda
- We demand guaranteed adequate and decent housing for all working-class and Indigenous people.
- We believe that rent is theft. It is simply another means by which capitalists extract profit from workers and continue to aid in their exploitation. We believe that each and every worker deserves to live in decent conditions with the proper necessities. For this reason, we demand that housing be removed from the market, and that homes and apartments be distributed amongst the people based off of need.
- We demand the right to work and full employment in jobs with a living wage.
- As capitalism continues to move into crisis, more and more of our jobs and employment are being cut by the capitalists. Today countless working-class people are being pushed into the ranks of the unemployed especially those of marginalised backgrounds such as Indigenous, migrant, and disabled workers. We therefore demand that every worker be given a job which can meet their needs, as well as the needs of their family. We demand that these jobs will come with a livable wage so we don’t have to continue to live paycheck to paycheck.
- We demand an end to an economy centered around fossil fuels and environmental destruction.
- Under our current system we are headed towards the complete ecological collapse of our environment. This ecological crisis is a direct result of capitalism and its promotion of profit above all else. If we are to hope to have future generations continue to live on this planet we need to immediately restructure our economy, moving away from fossil fuels and into more renewable sources of energy. Profit cannot come at the expense of our future as a species on this planet!
- We demand the complete disarmament of the police.
- The police serve a very specific purpose in our society. They primarily exist to ensure the right to private property, and by extension ensure that the capitalists have a right to exploit workers. They are the foot-soldiers of the capitalists, and as such are responsible for the deaths of many innocent people every year. Predominantly those killed by police come from working-class, racialized, disabled, and Indigenous backgrounds. Short of revolution, we demand that the police be disarmed so they cannot continue to kill innocent people in the name of capitalism and colonialism.
- We demand self-determination for all Indigenous Peoples.
- We understand that Canada is a state that is built off of the genocide of the numerous Indigenous nations which have existed on this continent long before Europeans ever have. Canada as state is rooted in colonialism and the systemic oppression of Inuit, First-Nations, and Metis people. There can be no reconciliation with a system that is still actively trying to engage in genocide. For this reason, we demand unconditionally, that the Indigenous people of this country are given the right to self-determination up to and including secession. What does this mean in simple terms? That we demand that Indigenous people have the right to govern themselves and choose their future, and that we respect the outcomes of these decisions.
- We demand an end to all violence against women, LBGT+ people, and migrant communities.
- Women, migrants and LBGT+ people represent some of the most exploited sections of the working class. Women are often subject to sexual assault, unfair treatment in the workplace, and have to face a society which sees them as lesser. We wish to specifically highlight the plight of Indigenous women, who are routinely going missing and are turning up murdered while the Canadian state sits back and does nothing. We demand an end to all violence against women, but specifically we also demand that the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women be addressed immediately.
- Similarly, as with women, LGBT people also find themselves as a prominent target for violence by the reactionary elements of our society. Continually LBGT people are targeted and attacked simply for existing. We demand that these attacks end, and that the state take immediate action to address the growing number of homophobic and transphobic attacks against the LGBT community.
- Finally, migrants also find themselves having to come face to face with racist elements in our society. Migrant communities, while being over-policed, also face an increased number of hate crimes directed at them, and have carried a legacy of being subject to racist violence for decades. For this reason, we demand that violence against immigrants must be stopped by any means necessary. In our local context we also wish to highlight an issue that is hugely important within the Indian community right now: Mewa Singh. Singh was an early immigrant and activist of the Ghadar Party, fighting for the rights of all Indian immigrants in Canada. In an act of self-defence and martyrdom, Singh killed a Canadian immigration officer. Singh was tried, sentenced as a murderer and hanged. We demand the exoneration of those who stood up for themselves in the face of brutal racist repression. We demand that Mewa Singh be posthumously cleared of all charges and remembered as the hero he was!
- We demand guaranteed higher education free of tuition and debt for all working-class and Indigenous people.
- Today many young people struggle to find jobs, and in an increasingly competitive workplace, many young people turn to higher education as a means to find employment. Yet instead of aiding young students in achieving specialization via higher education, the system is designed so that only they wealthy can go to university and learn the skills needed to be employed in specialized fields. In this way, universities ensure that the capitalist class can be reproduced for the next generation, and that the few working class students who do manage to make it through university are forced to live with crushing debt for the rest of their lives. We demand that education be entirely free, and that all student debt be cleared. Education should be an inalienable right for the working-class, not just a privilege for a select few!
- We demand the immediate allocation of sufficient resources to end the opioid crisis, beginning with decriminalization.
- The opioid crisis is continually reaching new epic proportions, and its effects are devastating entire working-class communities. In 2019 alone, it is estimated that there will be over 1000 drug overdoses, with many of these overdoses leading to death. More and more workers are succumbing to drug addiction and are dying from drugs tainted by dealers who are looking to make fast cash at the expense of human lives, and the Canadian government does nothing to stop this. Drugs are ruining whole communities and we demand that this be put to a stop. We demand that sufficient funds be dedicated to dealing with this crisis. We do not mean more funds for the police, who continue to criminalize addicts and fail to catch the dealers. We mean funds for mental healthcare, for treatment centers, for proper medical care, for overdose prevention kits. Our people are dying and we demand that something be done!