Sunday, February 4, 2018

Police Violence and Misconduct, Colten Boushie, the Presumption of Innocence & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 28-February 4

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  January 28 - February 4. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

This installment has three entries from before the period. They have been integrated into the post.

1) This Student Newspaper Let A Nazi Sympathizer Write For Them

Ishmael N. Daro, BuzzFeed

A student newspaper in New Brunswick published a largely uncritical interview with a Nazi sympathizer in which he praised Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf, downplayed the horrors of residential schools, and claimed white supremacy was a myth invented by Jews. The paper also published a separate opinion piece by him in which he spread a slew of anti-Indigenous and anti-Semitic tropes.

Read the full article.

2) Feminism in the Coalfields: What Appalachians of the 1970s Can Teach Today’s Feminists

Jessica Wilkerson, Rewire

Appalachian feminism, which is to say feminism of working-class white and Black women who lived in a place long dominated by corporate officials, has volumes to teach us about meaningful efforts to reach gender equality, but more importantly, justice.

Read the full article.

3) Ontario PC Party president Rick Dykstra resigns after sexual assault accusation

Stephen Maher, Maclean's 

The Conservative Party was made aware of the allegation against the then federal MP, but it decided to let him run in the 2015 election.

Read the full article.

4) Poisoned toothpaste and exploding phones: Israel linked to 2,700 assassination operations in 70 years

Ethan Bronner, The National Post 

A new book also strongly suggests that Israel used radiation poisoning to kill Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader, an act its officials have consistently denied.

Read the full article.

5) Mistreated: The legacy of segregated hospitals haunts Indigenous survivors.

Lauren Pelley, CBC News

CBC spoke to numerous hospital survivors and researchers about this segregated health-care system, as well as activists hoping to broaden the conversation about reconciliation and expose how decades of isolation and mistreatment have harmed First Nations and Inuit communities to this day.

Read the full article.

6) Judge slams Toronto police for ‘oppressive misconduct’ in man’s arrest

Jacques Gallant, The Toronto Star

In a dissenting opinion, Court of Appeal Justice Peter Lauwers found Toronto police violated a man’s charter rights during a backyard “fishing expedition” that resulted in gun and drug charges. The judge also questioned whether the same thing would have happened in a wealthier, whiter neighbourhood.

Read the full article.

7) Cleveland Indians Will Abandon Chief Wahoo Logo Next Year

David Waldstein, The New York Times

The Cleveland Indians will stop using the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms beginning in 2019, according to Major League Baseball, which said the popular symbol was no longer appropriate for use on the field.

Read the full article.

8) Squatters turn oligarch's empty London property into homeless shelter

Diane Taylor, The Guardian

A veteran group of squatters has occupied an empty £15m central London property purchased by a Russian oligarch in 2014 and opened it as a homeless shelter.

Read the full article.

9) Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns to Plant Just in Case They Shot an Unarmed Person 

Michael Harriot, The Root

In April 2016, a 13-year-old boy was shot by officers of the Baltimore Police Department. The boy ran when faced with the police, so they gave chase. During the chase, the police spotted the boy holding a gun, and when he turned, they shot the teenager. The youngster wasn’t critically injured, and it seemed like an open-and-shut case of a justifiable use of force.

Read the full article.

10) The presumption of innocence is for courtrooms, not politics

Michael Spratt, CBC News

The political reckoning was quick. In the span of less than a week, allegations of sexual harassment and sexual impropriety destroyed the political futures of four separate men in politics.

Read the full article.

11) #MeToo Journalism: The New Rules

Paul Adams, iPolitics

The allegations of sexual impropriety against Patrick Brown and his quick but reluctant resignation left some conservative columnists aghast. One of their targets was the journalism that has contributed so much to what we are now calling the #MeToo moment.

Read the full article.

12) Cornwallis statue to be removed from Halifax park after council vote

Anjuli Patil, CBC News

A controversial statue of Edward Cornwallis, the military officer who founded Halifax in 1749, will soon be temporarily removed from a park in the city's downtown.

Read the full article.

13) Halifax councillor under fire for retweeting pro-white group

 Emma Davie, CBC News

Halifax councillor Matt Whitman says he had no idea that a letter to city council that he retweeted on Thursday afternoon came from a white nationalist group.

Read the full article.

14) Vietnam remembers victory and losses 50 years after Tet Offensive

Manh Tung, Tuyet Nguyen & Tran Duy, VN Express International

Heroic memories are accompanied by pain and guilt, say veterans who lost hundreds of comrades.

Read the full article.


Ukraine Solidarity Campaign 

In a new dangerous turn 600 members of a new self-proclaimed National Guard (Національні Дружини ) marched through the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on 28 January.  Comprised of ex-members of the far right AZOV battalion the new National Guard declared its aim is to keep order on the streets and preserve a ‘Ukrainian Order’.

Read the full article.

16) Women in Iran remove hijabs in public to protest country’s Islamic dress code

Thomas Erdbrink, The Toronto Star

The protests, still small in number, are significant as a rare public sign that dissatisfaction with certain Islamic laws governing personal conduct may have reached a boiling point.

Read the full article.

17) As Australian Muslim women we don't have to be told what we can wear

Lydia Shelly, The Guardian

Australian Muslim women have done very well without being told what they can wear, “from day dot”, as Caroline Overington puts it in her opinion piece. And indeed, it is because Australian Muslim womanhood is “robust, hands-on, shoulder to the wheel”. We are resilient and savvy in negotiating political waters. Fashion has always been avant garde. When does fashion represent a far more inclusive and collaborative face of Australia than its social and political institutions? In 2018, apparently.

Read the full article.

18) 'The Rodney King of western Canada': killing of indigenous man heads to trial

Ashifa Kassam, The Guardian

The case of Colten Boushie, 22, killed after seeking help at a farm, has divided Canadians over race and policing.

Read the full article.

19) 'Deck is stacked against us,' says family of Colten Boushie after jury chosen for Gerald Stanley trial

Guy Quenneville and Jason Warick, CBC News

A relative of Colten Boushie says "the deck is stacked against us" following the selection of jurors in the trial of Gerald Stanley, the farmer accused of killing the 22-year-old Indigenous man.

Read the full article.

20) If the Grammys want to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, they have to address objectification

Meghan Murphy, Feminist Current

It’s not just representation that we need. It’s not just the naming and shaming of abusive men. It’s not just powerful performances. So long as arenas like the music industry continue to represent women as sexualized objects, our culture will never succeed in confronting issues like sexual harassment and rape. So long as we glorify strip clubs — places that men go so they don’t have to treat women as full human beings, places where they are told, “Yes, these women are here for you” — we will continue to replicate the same dynamics that led women to experience their many #MeToo moments. This imagery doesn’t just sell music, it sells misogyny. Real accountability therefore demands we move beyond individual men, and towards a cultural shift.

Read the full article.

21) In a Major Free Speech Victory, a Federal Court Strikes Down a Law that Punishes Supporters of Israel Boycott

Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

A FEDERAL JUDGE on Tuesday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S. This judicial decision definitively declares those efforts — when they manifest in the U.S. — to be a direct infringement of basic First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Read the full article.

22) What does Hollywood's reverence for child rapist Roman Polanski tell us?

Hadley Freeman, The Guardian

Polanski will turn 85 this year, and he has lived almost half his life under the shadow of what Weinstein described as “his so-called crime”. Polanski’s own attitude has remained bullish; in October last year he gave an interview in which he focused his ire on the judges who let him down. “I know what I am, what I have and haven’t done, how things really were and are,” he writes at the end of his autobiography. Thanks to the candour of Polanski, the rest of us have always known, too – including everyone in the film industry who has worked with him since.

Read the full article.

23) Trump Didn’t Bother to Say What Happened to the Biological Mother in His Cop Adoption Anecdote

Christina Cauterucci, Slate

Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address was stuffed with inspiring anecdotes, mostly about little boys, flags, military personnel, MS-13—standard State of the Union stuff. And then there was the very bizarre story that, if you happened to be only half-listening, kind of sounded like it glorified a police officer for stealing somebody’s baby.

Read the full article.

24) Alberta premier threatens economic retaliation against B.C. over bitumen restrictions

CBC News

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has threatened to retaliate economically against what she called an "unconstitutional" move by the B.C. government to delay construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Read the full article.

25) No carbon cuts or ocean protection without pipeline, Trudeau says

CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to bridge the divide between Alberta and British Columbia on Friday with a vow that climate change and spill protection programs won't go ahead unless the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion is built.

Read the full article.

26) Police and the privileged: Toronto force needs to redraw the line

Alok Mukherjee, The Globe and Mail

The handling by the Toronto police of the deaths of Toronto billionaire Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, raises issues that should concern police forces across the country. The big question is this: Do Canada's police forces treat all murders equally, no matter what the victim's socio-economic, racial, ethnic or Indigenous background, or sexual orientation happens to be?

Read the full article.

27) Senate passes bill to make O Canada lyrics gender neutral

John Paul Tasker, CBC News

The Senate passed a bill that renders the national anthem gender neutral Wednesday despite the entrenched opposition of some Conservative senators.

Read the full article.

28) Assembly Of Manitoba Chiefs Calls Out Globe And Mail For 'Victim-Blaming Headline'

Emma Paling, The Huffington Post

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs called out The Globe and Mail on Wednesday for what it called a "sensationalistic headline" about slain teenager Tina Fontaine.

Read the full article.

29) After being beaten and marched naked through RCMP detachment, Siksika man sues Mounties

Meghan Grant, CBC News

A man from a southern Alberta First Nation who says he was badly beaten by RCMP officers and marched naked through the local detachment is suing the police force for nearly $2 million.

Read the full article.

30) French leftist Melenchon calls for SYRIZA's dismissal from Party of European Left


French leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon has called for SYRIZA to be thrown out of the Party of the European Left, accusing the Greek party of enforcing neoliberal policies and maintaining submitting to the orders of the European Commission.

Read the full article.

31) The 100-year-old protest posters that show women's outrage

BBC News

Recently rediscovered 100-year-old posters showing the struggle for votes for women are going on show for the first time. They pull no punches in their depiction of the strength of feeling among the women who fought for equal rights.

Read the full article.

32) The shocking reality of "abortion reversal" procedures in the US

Kat Lister, The Pool

It’s been labelled as “scary” and "bogus” – so why is the Trump administration endorsing anti-abortion treatments that put vulnerable women at risk?

Read the full article.

33) Sex dolls won’t stop rape and assault – that’s not how sex and abuse works

Rachel Hewitt, The Pool

If it feels like common sense to think of male sexual desire as an unstoppable tide, that’s largely because the English language encourages it. It is very hard to describe emotion, energy or desire without employing words like “erupting” or “outbursts”, passion needs to be "channelled" and not "bottled up". But there is no medical or psychiatric evidence to support claims that sexual desire works according to the laws of hydraulics, that men’s repression of harmful sexual desires is dangerous or that the deflection of those desires to an alternative outlet works like a safety valve. Instead, sociological research points to the opposite: that the consumption of media in which women are objectified and the display of misogynistic behaviour with sex dolls and prostitutes reinforces men’s misogynistic behaviour elsewhere, increasing men’s propensity to rape. When we discount the deeply entrenched idea that men’s libido works hydraulically, sex dolls and robots no longer seem like safety valves for harmful and misogynistic sexual practices but, instead, more chillingly, as opportunities for rehearsal.

Read the full article.

34) NDP Retains Former Fraser Institute Director as Top Civil Servant

 Andrew MacLeod, The Tyee

One of the top civil servants in the NDP government worked for the right-wing Fraser Institute and the Vancouver Sun, shooting down mainstream ideas like the need for environmental assessments, the right to organize unions and the requirement that employers pay a minimum wage.

Read the full article.

35) Tillerson Invokes Possibility of Pinochet-Style Coup in Venezuela


U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday raised the prospect of a military coup against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and seemingly praised past military dictatorships as "agents of change."

Read the full article.

36) Israeli lawmaker tells BBC he’d put Ahed Tamimi ‘in the hospital’ by kicking her face

 Jonathan Ofir, Mondoweiss

Israeli lawmaker Oren Hazan of the Likud Party was interviewed by the BBC on Wednesday, in a news report about Ahed Tamimi  titled “Is a slap an act of terror?”. Hazan opined that “a slap is terrorism” and described his response:

Read the full article.

37) Toronto’s female elected officials face sexual harassment, threats on job

Samantha Beattie, The Toronto Star

The Star sent a survey to female councillors and school board trustees asking if they’d experienced sexual harassment on the job. Fifteen shared their stories of harassment, discrimination.

Read the full article.

38) Cheap White Whine: Racism, Affirmative Action, and the Myth of White Victimhood

Tim Wise, Medium

But what about us? It’s a question of which white folks never seem to tire when discussing subjects like affirmative action, or other diversity initiatives intended to expand opportunity and access for people of color in higher education and the job market.

Read the full article.

39) First NDP premier of B.C., Dave Barrett, dead at 87

Tiffany Crawford, The Vancouver Sun

Dave Barrett, a wisecracking and flamboyant left-wing populist from east Vancouver who became B.C.’s first NDP premier, died this morning after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Read the full article.

See also: Patrick Brown, Holocaust Revisionism, the Arctic and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 21 - 28

See also: Martin Luther King Jr., Unifor, #MeToo and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 14-21

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