Sunday, October 30, 2016

Adam Capay, the ONDP, the US Greens & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List: October 23-30

This week's list of articles 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 list covers the week of October 23-October 30. It is in order of date of the article's  release. 

Globe & Mail Editorial Board

Learn the name of Adam Capay. He is the living symbol of everything that is wrong with Canada’s prisons, its justice system and its treatment of indigenous people.

Evan Johnston,

The Ontario New Democratic Party (ONDP) has nominated former Hamilton Police Association president, Mike Thomas, to be their candidate for the Nov 17 by-election in Niagara West-Glanbrook.
Thomas, a retired police officer of 30 years and former President and CEO of the Hamilton Police Association (2010-2014), will be representing the ONDP in the the riding recently vacated by former Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak.

Danny Haiphong, Black Agenda Report

I consider myself a Marxist. However, the term "Marxist" is merely a label. Those who ascribe to the tenets of Marxist thought must place their political affiliations within the context of the current historical moment. Anti-communism and imperialist hegemony have set back the struggle for a classless society to the point where much of the US left is mired in confusion as to what political direction should be taken to confront the challenges before us. One of these challenges is the 2016 elections. The radical left should plan on voting Green this November and building a mass movement around the demands put forward by the Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka campaign.

Jonathan Kay, The Walrus

In 2014, Tasha Kheiriddin, a self-professed “life-long small-c conservative,” announced in a National Post column that she wouldn’t be voting for Tim Hudak’s Tories in the then-upcoming Ontario election. Her reason? The Tory platform would limit state-funded educational options for Zara, her four-year-old daughter, who’d been diagnosed with Asperger’s. The next day, Post editorial-board member Jesse Kline accused Kheiriddin of hypocrisy. “Too many people purport to espouse fiscal conservative values, but make an exception for the issues that affect them personally,” he wrote.

Scott Gilmore, Maclean's 

There is a young First Nations man in Thunder Bay who the province of Ontario has kept in a hole for 52 months. His name is Adam Capay. When he was 19 he was arrested on minor charges and sent to jail. There he got into a fight and another man died. We don’t know if Capay is guilty—he has been waiting an incredible four years for his trial.

Edward Keenan, Toronto Star

On Monday evening, Cedarbrae library near Markham and Lawrence in Scarborough was humming — or whatever the muted librarian-approved equivalent of humming is. It was packed, in any event: the Youth Hub was full of teenagers at the Homework Help table and crowded around the televisions playing video games. The Learning Centre’s rows of desks were filled with people working away on laptops. The study rooms were fully occupied, the work stations lined with people, the computer terminals virtually all in use, the kids book nook area being well put to use. Between the shelves towards the back of the upper floor, where the library houses book collections in 12 languages including Hindi, Tamil and Pashto, a group of high school-aged kids were lounging on the floor, reading, doing homework, chatting.

Ben Spurr, Toronto Star

Advocates for Toronto’s poor are criticizing the city for its lack of action on creating a discounted transit pass for low-income riders, saying that repeated delays to the project are undermining the anti-poverty plan championed by Mayor John Tory.

Rae Story, Morning Star

HOW DO we explain the phenomenon of prostitution? If we believe it to be a form of exploitation, is it better described as gendered or classed?

The feminist position on the sex industry, if not always well understood, is certainly well known to be critical, especially in its most traditional manifestations. But what about a socialist feminist perspective?

After all, the make-up of the sex industry can be most effectively described as the renting of working-class, migrant and poor women, by middle-class or otherwise materially comfortable men.

Nicola Davis, The Guardian

Scientists have managed to reconstruct the route by which HIV/Aids arrived in the US – exonerating once and for all the man long blamed for the ensuing pandemic in the west.

Shaun King, New York Daily News

I’m a huge NBA fan. Wednesday, if you didn’t know it, was the first game of the year for many teams and we are now in that short sports sweet spot with NFL and college football, playoff baseball, and the opening week of NBA action all happening at the same time.

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers asked a special guest, R&B singer Sevyn Streeter, to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner,” before the game. Not only was she ready, glammed up and well-rehearsed, she even spent time promoting the opening game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on social media. Then, just minutes before she was scheduled to go out onto the court to sing the national anthem, they yanked her because she had a stylish shirt on that simply said “We Matter.”

Arun Gupta, Raw Story

When the Raw Story visited the Bundy bunch inside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge they were calling for a revolution against the federal government. Rifle-toting supporters said, “ I’m here to fight for freedom and get our Constitution back,” and “I would support this to the death, literally.”

Now eight months after their occupation came to an end the government case has ended in a jury acquitting the two Bundy brothers and five other supporters on all charges but one, including the main one of conspiracy. The government failed to prove the Bundy Bunch “had engaged in an illegal conspiracy that kept federal workers — employees of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management — from doing their jobs.”

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