Sunday, November 26, 2017

Transit, Housing, Climate Change & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 19-26

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 list covers the week of  November 19 - 26. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) Vancouver's homeless face cruel dilemma — do you risk lighting a fire to survive the cold?

Michelle Ghoussoub, CBC News

By late autumn in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, it's often rained so heavily that, if you're living on the street, you're soaked to the skin. Your socks, shoes and sleeping bag are drenched, and it's virtually impossible to get dry.

On a brutally cold, windy night in January 2008, a man named Darrell Mickasko and his girlfriend found themselves in that situation and made a fateful choice: they lit a candle.

Their tarp caught fire and Darrell burned to death.

Read the full article.

2) I have never been sexually assaulted

Deidre Pearson, Feminist Current

So when you ask why women don’t speak out, why they don’t report, why they remain silent for years and decades, I don’t believe you. You know why.

Read the full article.

3) Sexual harassment doesn't just happen to actors or journalists. Talk to a waitress, or a cleaner

Alissa Quart and Barbara Ehrenreich, The Guardian

The number of women in the entertainment industry coming forward with charges of sexual harassment is starting to feel endless. They include stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie but also heads of tech startups and journalists, gallerists and producers.

But it is women working in far less glamorous occupations who really bear the brunt of male lechery and assault: the housekeepers, waitresses and farmworkers. A paper in the journal Gender, Work & Organization, based on interviews with female workers at five-star hotels, found almost all experiencing some kind of inappropriate sexual advance from a guest. In another study, 80% of waitresses reported sexual harassment. A mind-boggling 88% of female construction workers did, too.

Read the full article.

4) For Flight Attendants, Sexual Assault Isn't Just Common, It's Almost A Given

Jamie Feldman, The HuffPost

Flight attendant Caroline Bright was kicking off her last shift of the day when she realized one of the pilots on board reminded her of someone.

Read the full article.

5) TDSB votes to scrap School Resource Officer program

Joshua Freeman and Kayla Goodfield, 

Trustees at the Toronto District School Board have voted to end the School Resource Officer program – a program that has placed police officers in some high schools for nearly a decade.

Read the full article.

6) Hamilton Police Are Now Investigating Patrick Brown’s Ontario PCs Following Allegations of Voter Fraud

Press Progress

Hamilton police have officially authorized a criminal probe investigating allegations of vote rigging and ballot-stuffing at a contested Progressive Conservative nomination meeting last spring.

Read the full article.

7) After the liberation of Mosul, an orgy of killing

 Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, The Guardian

In the dying days of the battle of Mosul, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad followed Iraqi soldiers during the last push against Isis. But following their victory, a new wave of savagery was unleashed.

Read the full article.

8) 'You'll never work again': women tell how sexual harassment broke their careers

Molly Redden, The Guardian

As women come forward with accusations of sexual harassment in politics, media, entertainment and other fields, following the flood of allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, it is striking how many of their stories share the same ending.

Read the full article.

9) Ice Apocalypse

 Eric Holthaus, Grist

Rapid collapse of Antarctic glaciers could flood coastal cities by the end of this century.

Read the full article.

10) The Enduring Relevance of the Russian Revolution

John Clarke, The New Socialist

Those who carried out the Russian Revolution in 1917 saw it as a prelude to world-wide socialist revolution. Attempts to follow their example were, of course, unsuccessful and the Soviet Union itself succumbed to external forces and international contradictions. Still, they were not wrong. When global capitalism falls, the historical contributions of the Russian Revolution will be a potent force on the side of those who bring it down.

Read the full article.

11) Bell insider reveals high-pressure sales tactics required on every single call

Erica Johnson, CBC News

A longtime Bell Canada employee describes working in the company's Scarborough, Ont., call centre as "a non-stop nightmare," where she says she is forced to sell customers products they don't need, don't want, and may not understand, to hit sales targets and keep her job.

Read the full article.

12) The Climate Crisis? It’s Capitalism, Stupid

Benjamin Y. Fong, The New York Times

Even casual readers of the news know that the earth is probably going to look very different in 2100, and not in a good way.

Read the full article.

13) Activists say Ottawa should deliver housing funds over two years, instead of 11

Julien Gignac, The Toronto Star

Protests sprung up in Toronto on Wednesday ahead of the Canadian Government’s much anticipated National Housing Strategy announcement.

Read the full article.

14) West End condo would not only have "poor door," but poor playground

Jen St Denis, Metro

A proposed condo building in Vancouver’s West End will have not only a separate door and lobby, but also a separate playground for the social housing portion of the building.

Read the full article.

15) The $3bn subway station – and other urban white elephants

Colin Horgan, The Guardian

How much should one subway station cost? The city of Toronto has an answer. The plan to extend transit in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough winds back at least a decade: at one time the plan was a seven-stop light-rail line; later a three-stop subway. Today, Scarborough is preparing to replace its six-stop automated train with just one single, solitary subway station, for a mere C$3bn (£1.8bn).

Read the full article.

16) Anti-Trump protesters risk 60 years in jail. Is dissent a crime?

Yael Bromberg and Eirik Cheverud, The Guardian

More than 200 people who were arrested on Trump’s inauguration day risk up to 60 years of jail. Meanwhile, the white supremacists in Charlottesville walk free.

Read the full article.

17) When Sexual Assault Victims Are Charged With Lying

Ken Armstrong & T. Christian Miller, The New York Times

The women accusing the Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct have faced doubt and derision. Other women, who have alleged sexual assault or harassment by powerful men in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and elsewhere, have become targets for online abuse or had their careers threatened. Harvey Weinstein went so far as to hire ex-Mossad operatives to investigate the personal history of the actress Rose McGowan, to discourage her from publicly accusing him of rape.

There are many reasons for women to think twice about reporting sexual assault. But one potential consequence looms especially large: They may also be prosecuted.

Read the full article.

18) Raped, tracked, humiliated: Clergy wives speak out about domestic violence

Julia Baird and Hayley Gleeson, ABC News

Women who were married to abusive priests are for the first time revealing their experiences of sexual assault, control and fear. They say the church has known for decades that some clergy abuse their wives but has done very little to fix the ongoing problem.

Read the full article.

19) Canadian firm to face historic legal case over alleged labour abuses in Eritrea

Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian

A Canadian mining company has lost its bid to block a lawsuit accusing it of human rights abuses against miners in Eritrea after a ruling by an appeals court in British Columbia.

Read the full article.

20) Uber to U.K. Supreme Court: Drivers don’t deserve workers’ rights

Fast Company

Uber might have lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers need to be classified as workers with minimum-wage rights in the U.K., but it’s not backing down. After failing to persuade the Employment Appeal Tribunal earlier this month, Uber is now taking its fight all the way to the Supreme Court–The U.K.’s highest appellate court–according to Reuters. An Uber spokesperson confirmed to Reuters, “We have this afternoon requested permission to appeal directly to the Supreme Court in order that this case can be resolved sooner rather than later.”

Read the full article.

21) On the Road

Documentary, The Guardian

Hundreds of women operate as sex workers along the Strada Bonifica, the ironically named ‘road of love’ on the Adriatic coast of Italy. There has been a huge increase in the number of Nigerian women working along the 10-mile stretch of road – some of whom have been trafficked into the country and forced into prostitution. The film moves between the women’s stories, the Italians who live and work there and the local NGO, named On the Road, attempting to support the women.

Watch the full documentary.

22) Colin Kaepernick infuriates Trump fans by attending UnThanksgiving protest with Native Americans

Andrew Buncombe, The Independent

Colin Kaepernick, the American football star whose “kneeling protest” sparked a national debate, has travelled to Alcatraz Island to join Native Americans protesting the “genocide” they say is represented by Thanksgiving Day.

Read the full article. 

23) On the Rails: A Case for Renewed Leftist Infatuation with Transport

James Wilt, Canadian Dimension

A few weeks ago, at 3:30 in the morning, the Manitoba government froze public transit funding to Winnipeg, equivalent to a $10 million cut.

Read the full article.

24) Al Franken Issues New Apology After More Groping Accusations Surface

Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone Magazine

Al Franken issued a new apology Friday after two more women accused the Minnesota senator of inappropriate touching.

Read the full article.

25) Marchers say Basil Borutski guilty verdict was too little, too late

Trevor Pritchard, CBC News

The guilty verdict — according to the bright pink sign — was too little, too late.

Read the full article.

Although these two articles are from before the period covered, we are including them as they are worth reading:

26) The Cause and Consequences of the Retail Apocalypse

David Dayen, The New Republic

The Macy’s near my house is closing early next year. The mall where it’s located has seen less and less foot traffic over the years, and losing its anchor store could set off a chain reaction. Cities across the country are facing this uncertainty, with over 6,700 scheduled store closings; it’s become known as the retail apocalypse.

Read the full article.

27) The Floodgates Aren't Open Until Working-Class Women Tell Their Stories

Nell Bernstein, BuzzFeed

The string of powerful men taken down by long-suppressed charges of sexual assault and harassment has been nothing short of stunning. For the women who work in the entertainment and media industries where these men loomed largest, it is bringing up powerful emotions — trauma and rage, but also a new sense of power and hope. But what about the women making their lunch?

Read the full article.

See also: Polish Nationalist Marches, the Tar Sands, Libya and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 12-19

See also: Paradise Papers, Texas Massacre, Catalonia and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List November 5 - 12

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