My dearly departed friend and comrade Ron Rosenthal was arrested only once during our relationship. He was pounced upon by the police while writing, “STUFF THE WEDDING!” on a concrete wall belonging to the Toronto General Hospital, which paid his wages as an unionized orderly. I asked him what he did when he saw the cops running towards him. His response was typical Ron: “I knew I couldn’t get away so I continued to write as fast as I could to finish”.
This event took place in 1981; the occasion being the wedding of Charles Windsor and Diana whoever. Now, 20 odd years later, royalty is once again in the news in Canada. So, I am devoting this article to Ron, my friend, my comrade, who has since joined Karl Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky in human exile.
Elizabeth Windsor arrived in Canada on October 4, 2002. Paid for by Canadian workers. Who knows the real cost of her entourage? Her royal Golden Jubilee tour commences in Iqaluit, one of the poorest and most remote communities in North America, never mind Canada. It was just over a year ago that Canada redrew its map for the first time in half a century to carve out a new territory: Nunavut, of which Iquit is the capital. The territory is three times the size of Texas, and has an estimated population of 30,000 people.
The involvement of both Canadian and U.S. military in the far north of Canada began during World War II and continued with the building of a U.S. DEW (nuclear missile warning) line across the far north of Canada. Inuit people were relocated to this harsh environment by the Canadian government to “stake a claim” against the aggressive U.S. building there.
Elizabeth should fit right in with the Canadian ruling class that wants to bring the Artic under their control–fuck the people who have lived there for 4,000 years. As the Inuit are being murdered–called suicide in the prisons of the imperialists–Elizabeth can rest assured that her imperialist history will protect her from viewing the realities of life of the 6,800 Inuit who live in Iquluit. Squalor, alcholism, drug addiction, and drug inducecd escapsim.
There is oil in Iquluit. There is copper, silver, gold and diamonds in Iquluit. It’s a perfect place for a queen to go to who is thinking about her future and the future of the monarchy and imperialism. She’s a businesswoman after all. She’s okayed a big P.R. promotional tour starting with the weakest link. If she can win over the bureaucrats in the remote north, keep the ‘natives’ from rebelling’, forcefeed their “leaders” and extract promises from the traitors of Inuit people to maintain their ‘docile population’, then capitalism has taken one small step towards maintaining the status quo, hence, commitment and loyalty of the Canadian population to the real powerbrokers in Canada–the ruling class. There’s oil in them thar hills, after all. Rape the earth and the hell with the people and their communities who have been raped.
But we, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-monarchists–working class people in Canada, especially the native students who have seen their earnings slashed by 50% know that Elizabeth is not of our class, has not our interests in mind, has no common denominator with us, Therefore we in Canada; Inuit, European, Asian, Latin Americans -whoever–global people; white, brown, black, yellow, Catholics, Jews, Palestinians, Anglicans, Atheists, Ethiopians, Slavs, Mennonites, and workers all–say “stuff the monarchy!” Smash Capitalism.
GLORIA BERGEN can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org