Sunday, July 22, 2018

Israel's "Nation-State" Bill, Roe v. Wade, Ontario Hate Crimes & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List July 15 - 22

This week's list of articles, news items and opinion pieces that I see as must reads if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers. This week's edition opens with a selection of articles related to developments in Israel.

This list covers the week of July 15 - 22. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

There is one article from prior to the period that has been incorporated into the post.

1) Israel in turmoil over bill allowing Jews and Arabs to be segregated

Oliver Holmes, The Guardian

Israel is in the throes of political upheaval as the country’s ruling party seeks to pass legislation that could allow for Jewish-only communities, which critics have condemned as the end of a democratic state.

Read the full article.

2) Thousands of Protesters March in Tel Aviv against “Nation-State” Bill

Communist Party of Israel 

Seven thousand protesters marched through central Tel Aviv on Saturday night, July 14, to protest the controversial, government-sponsored “nation-state bill,” calling it racist and discriminatory. Under the banner “This is home for all of us,” public figures, MKs from Hadash and Meretz, and peace and social activists addressed the demonstration, in which participants marched from Rabin Square to Dizengoff Center. The bill is expected to be brought before the Knesset tonight (Monday) for a final vote.

Read the full statement.

3) Israel Approves Nationality 'Apartheid' Law


Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, approved the controversial nationality bill Thursday declaring Israel a nation-state for the Jewish people and downgrading the status of Arabic from official language to “special status.” Arabs make up 21 percent of Israel’s population.

Read the full article.

4) Birthrights Walk Off Tour In Israel, Join Peace Now Activists


Another group of Taglit-Birthright Israel participants left the tour opting instead to take part in solidarity visits with Peace Now activists who advocate for a two-state solution.

Read the full article.

5) The Real Reason People Are Upset About Birthright Walkouts

Batya Ungar-Sargon, Forward

The Jewish world is in an uproar over what are being called “Birthright walkouts”.

Read the full article.

6) Israel Strikes Targets Cultural Heritage: Gaza Museum Official


Israeli airstrikes Saturday have injured hundreds of civilians and killed two Palestinian teens who were at a public park next to an unfinished building.

Read the full article.

7) Palestinian paramedic Razan al-Najjar was ‘deliberately and fatally shot’ by Israeli sniper — B’Tselem

 Jonathan Ofir, Mondoweiss 

The Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem today released a report about the killing of Palestinian paramedic Razan al-Najjar (20), who was fatally shot in the chest while nursing the wounded in Gaza on the 1st of June during the Great March of Return.

Read the full article.

8) ICC Urges Palestinians To Testify About Israeli War Crimes


The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it would begin the pretrial phase of the war crimes case brought by the Palestinian Authority (PA) against Israel.

Read the full article.

9) US establishment rattled by socialist’s primary win

James Plested, Red Flag

The victory of socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic Party primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District on 26 June has put the US political establishment in a spin.

Read the full article.

10) First direct Ethiopia-Eritrea flight in 20 years takes off

Al Jazeera 

Ethiopian Airlines conducted the first direct passenger flights between Addis Ababa and Asmara, reconnecting Eritrea and Ethiopia after a 20-year military standoff.

Read the full article.

11) NYPD gives the feds an ultimatum on Eric Garner: Charge the officer who choked him to death, or we will

Tess Owen, Vice News

Exactly four years ago, Eric Garner, a black man, died in a police chokehold after they approached him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. His final words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry against police brutality and a slogan for the burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement.

Read the full article.

12) My grandfather wasn’t a Nazi-fighting war hero — he was a brutal collaborator

Silvia Foti, Salon

Eighteen years ago, my dying mother asked me to continue working on a book about her father, Jonas Noreika, a famous Lithuanian World War II hero who fought the Communists. Once an opera singer, my mother had passionately devoted herself to this mission and had even gotten a PhD in literature to improve her literary skills. As a journalist, I agreed. I had no idea I was embarking on a project that would lead to a personal crisis, Holocaust denial and an official cover-up by the Lithuanian government.

Read the full article.

13)  'Hate is alive here': Wife of beaten Mississauga man speaks out after attack

Shanifa Nasser · CBC News 

It was supposed to be a peaceful summer evening outdoors with friends, but things took a frightening turn when a Mississauga, Ont., father of two was severely beaten in what Peel Regional Police confirm they are investigating as a hate-motivated crime.

Read the full article.

14) ‘I want to leave. Stop assaulting me.’ Hate crime unit reviewing race-related incident at London grocery store

Bryann Aguilar, The Star

The police hate crime unit in London, Ont., is reviewing a race-related incident between two men inside a grocery store after video of a white man calling another man an “illegal alien” and preventing him from leaving the store went viral this week.

Read the full article.

15) A Quarter of Global Land Surface Belongs to Indigenous Peoples


A new study published by the journal Nature Sustainability shows that Indigenous people own or have tenure rights over at least a quarter of the global, inhabited land surface, reaffirming their important role in nature conservation and the fight against climate change.

Read the full article.

16) Peru Begins Operation At Its Biggest Wind Farm


The Peruvian government starts up its biggest wind turbine project on Wednesday near Nazca with the potential to create 132 megawatts of energy per day.  

Read the full article.

17) Tracy Latimer's killer does not deserve a pardon

Carmela Hutchison, Rabble

I would be deeply concerned for the protection of women and girls with disabilities if Tracy Latimer’s killer is pardoned. 

Read the full article.

18) Demand That Wendy’s Support Farmworkers’ Rights

Nation Action

This week’s Take Action Now is focused on a campaign to end human-rights abuses in the supply chain of fast-food giant Wendy’s, next steps in the fight to end family separation and detention, and events to save net neutrality.

Read the full article.

19) The Trump administration asked 70 babies who can’t talk to make their case in immigration court

Taylor Dolven, Vice News

The Trump administration has asked at least 70 babies under the age of 1 to come to court in 2018 and personally make their case to an immigration judge about why they should be able to stay in the U.S.

Read the full article.

20) Picket lines expected at Exhibition Place after board locks out workers ahead of CNE

David Rider, The Star

Picket lines are expected at city-owned Exhibition Place after its board locked out a union less than a month before the start of the Canadian National Exhibition.

Read the full article.

21) American Baby Trump Blimp Set To Breeze Onto Namesake's Home Turf

Amy Held, NPR

Like any tantruming toddler, the 20-foot-tall baby Trump blimp hovering above Friday's protests in London was difficult to ignore.

Read the full article.

22) Thousands of Canadian mothers were forced to give up their babies. Some were told to ‘get a puppy’ instead

Amanda Coletta, The Washington Post

Their stories would not seem out of place in an episode of “The Handmaid's Tale”: pregnant women shuttered away, violently restrained during childbirth, banned from looking at their babies — and, finally, coerced by social workers into signing adoption papers.

Read the full article.

23) Photojournalism is having a long overdue #MeToo moment

Daniella Zalcman, CNN

A special report published in the Columbia Journalism Review this week exposed the photojournalism industry's long-time problem with sexual harassment. Writer Kristen Chick interviewed more than 50 people over a period of five months, compiling testimony that details rampant sexual misconduct in all corners of the business.

Read the full article.


Carter Sherman, Vice News

Massachusetts lawmakers must answer a question on Wednesday: Do you support NASTY Women?

Read the full article.

25) The “NASTY Women” act just passed in Massachusetts to prepare for the death of Roe v. Wade

Carter Sherman, Vice News

President Donald Trump nominated conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court only a few weeks ago, but states have started preparing for the potential death of Roe v. Wade. And Massachusetts just became one of the first to act on those plans.

Read the full article.

26) Mothers outraged as boys arrested for sharing explicit photos are allowed to return to school


Six boys who were suspended from their private high school in Quebec City and arrested for allegedly sharing explicit photos of their female classmates will be allowed back into the school in the fall, a decision the girls' mothers are condemning.

Read the full article.

27) Something in the Air

Eyal Press, The Intercept

Jessica Robertson Got Sick Working as an Inspector at a Poultry Plant. Now She’s Speaking Out to Defend Workers Exposed to Chemicals.

Read the full article.

28) This Washington State Ballot Measure Fights for Both Jobs and Climate Justice

Sasha Abramsky, The Nation

Initiative 1631 would put a carbon fee on big polluters, using the revenue to invest in clean energy and protections for workers in fossil-fuel industries.

Read the full article.

29) Macron Faces 'Watergate' Level Crisis From Bodyguard Scandal


Emmanuel Macron's presidency faces its deepest crisis since he was sworn in due to the Benalla affair, which was described by left-wing 'France Unbowed' party leader as being "of the level of Watergate."

Read the full article.

See also: Brett Kavanaugh, Doug Ford's Moves, Trump Protests & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List July 8 - 15

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Lesya Ukrainka, revolutionary poet and writer -- "Yes, I am Alive! And I Shall Live Forever!"

Triumphant and solemn, the flash of predawn light
Has pierced through the gloom of the night
Still asleep are the rays of the sun --
Though the predawn light burns on,
A torch that the workers ignite

Arise, all the living who think of rebellion!
The hour has come and work to be done!
Fear not the predawn gloom of night --
But kindle the flame of predawn light
Long before the dawn sees the risen sun!
- Lesya Ukrainka, 1892

Lesya Ukrainka is a famous Ukrainian writer and poet who was also a revolutionary Marxist. She translated the Communist Manifesto into Ukrainian in 1902 and was arrested by the czarist police for a time in 1907. She died in 1913, four years before the revolution, at the young age of 42. During the Soviet period she was elevated from relative obscurity to being seen as a hero and role model.

This booklet was published in the USSR in 1973 to mark the erection of a monument in her honour by the people of Kiev.The monument was placed on a boulevard that was also named for her.

The booklet contains the text of several speeches about her and her influence given at a ceremony unveiling the monument. It also has an overview of her life and numerous photos of statues and assemblies related to her across the Soviet Union at various points.

(Click on scans to enlarge)

Lesya Ukrainka Square, Kiev

Ceremonial Meeting held by Kiev's working people
dedicated to the unveiling of the monument

Monument to Lesya Ukrainka in Kiev

Halina Kalchenko, author of numerous sculptures and
monuments to the immortal poetess

Sculpture and bust of Lesya Ukrainka
in the village of Kolodyazhne, Volyn Region

Near the Lesya Ukrainka House-Museum
in Novograd-Volynsky, Zhitomir Region

Memorial Stele in the town of Hadyach

Meeting at the Monument to Lesya Ukrainka in
Surami, Georgian SSR

Monument to Lesya Ukrainka in
Batumi, Georgian SSR

Meeting at the Baikove Cemetery in Kiev,
where Lesya Ukrainka lies buried

Ceremonial meeting dedicated to Lesya Ukrainka's birth centennial
held at Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, on March 1, 1871

Memorial Medallion issued to mark the centenary of her birth

Ceremonial meeting in Novograd-Volynsky
on the occasion of her centennial jubilee

At the Republican Art Exhibition dedicated to her birth centennial, Kiev

The State Lesya Ukrainka Literary Memorial Museum, Kiev 

The State Merited Dumka Capella of the Ukrainian SSR

Works about her and her life in the various languages of the USSR

Statue in the First of May Park, Kiev

Medal award for the winner of the
Lesya Ukrainka Literary Prize

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, the solution to the Greyhound crisis is obvious: Public Transit!

Last week we heard the news that with "the exception of a single bus route between Vancouver and Seattle, all Greyhound service in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will shut down as of Oct. 31". It is also cutting services in parts of Ontario. 

This will have a dramatic impact on many communities and will especially impact seniors, youth, the disabled, people living in poverty and people from marginalized and racialized communities.

Yesterday we read: 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions following Greyhound's withdrawal of bus service from western Canada.
Trudeau calls Greyhound's move "difficult" for people who live on the Prairies and for those who are already struggling economically.
The prime minister has directed Garneau to work with provinces, communities and Greyhound to see "what paths forward there are."
But the "path forward" should be no great mystery to our politicians.

They act like it is as the obvious solution to the problem undermines their neoliberal ideological worldview and their belief in the market and the private sector. Even the NDP has bought into this mythology of the market with the BC NDP Transportation Minister feeling that the "market can fill in Greyhound vacuum" which is absurd.

The only long-term solution to provide accessible and affordable intercity and intercommunity transit is to build and maintain public bus and train lines that are run for people as a service and not for profit.

I wrote of this before on The Left Chapter stating in part:
Greyhound Canada should be immediately nationalized to maintain and even expand these routes, though we all know this is not going to happen.
But one has to ask, what will it take before governments of all stripes in Canada abandon the neoliberal approach to transit and transportation and begin to view it, build the networks and run them as both an essential service for many millions of people and as a key tool in combating climate change?
Read the full call to action at: Greyhound Canada shows the imperative to build intercity public transit networks