Why we need the Peoples’ Social Forum

By Derek O’Keefe
Canadian Dimension

Building toward the Peoples’ Social Forum
There are many important ongoing political struggles that demand our attention and action in Canada. In some cases, the resistance is even dynamic and inspiring — like the Indigenous-led wall of opposition to expanding the tar sands and building new export pipeline mega-projects.

But we need to be honest: there is a void in this country, the political silences are deafening. Beyond some very marginal formations and small publications, the left is missing. It’s just not there, organizationally. It’s barely there in the discussion at all, outside of a few major centres.

I know that this absence is part of a long-term trend, but I think we’re in a new phase now with the NDP acting more than ever as a “government-in-waiting.” With their parliamentary caucus more muzzled — or self-censoring — than ever, there is no political expression for many of the basic demands of the Left.