Sunday, May 13, 2018

Corbyn and the Media, Doug Ford, Teacher Revolt & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List May 6 - 13

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  May 6-13. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

There are 2 pieces from prior to the period that have been included here.

1) White privilege is an academic observation, not an accusation

Shree Paradkar, The Toronto Star

Years ago, when I was coming to Canada for the first time, an uncle of mine said something that stung: “I would rather be a first-class citizen in a second-class country than a second-class citizen in a first-class country.”

Read the full article.

2) Blog Seemingly Run by Ford Candidate Andrew Lawton Called Polytechnique Shooting Commemoration a “Fake Holiday” Promoted by “Feminazis”

North 99

In an exclusive story, North99 has discovered a blog called Right Wing Canada that appears to have been maintained by Doug Ford’s handpicked candidate Andrew Lawton.

Read the full article.

3) Police officer tells massage therapist 'happy endings' are 'part of the business'

Melinda Dalton, Jay Turnbull · CBC News

A West Island certified massage therapist is urging Montreal police to examine how they handle complaints of unwanted sexual behaviour after an officer seemed to try to dissuade her from filing a report and repeatedly told her to not be "emotional."

Read the full article.

4) I Was Raped. Then, My Rapist Tweeted About It

Joelle Kabisoso, Flare

We need to make Black women part of the conversation, and actively fight against the narratives and stereotypes that have kept women like me from getting the justice we deserve. Once we stop policing Black bodies, stop hypersexualizing Black women and specifically address the issues, ideologies and differences that impact a woman’s willingness to disclose sexual assault, I believe that Black women who felt discouraged from speaking out by fear, shame and guilt will instead feel motivated to share their experiences.

Read the full article.

5) Poland's Holocaust law triggers tide of abuse against Auschwitz museum

Christian Davies, The Guardian

Officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial and museum have described how they were subjected to a wave of “hate, fake news and manipulations” as a result of the controversy surrounding a contentious Holocaust speech law passed by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party earlier this year.

Read the full article.

6) Resistance through beautification: El Paso activists resist destruction of barrio Duranguito

 J. Mikhail, Liberation

For over two years now the neighborhood of Duranguito in El Paso, Texas has been the center of a controversial battle to preserve the area and resist gentrification. Duranguito is the oldest neighborhood in the entire city and is a place of historical importance for the people of and around the area.

Read the full article.

7) A million more UK children in poverty than in 2010 – study

Press Association

The number of children growing up in poverty in working households will be a million higher than in 2010, a new study has found.

Read the full article.

8) Maduro promises more revolution and to clampdown on ‘financial mafias’ destabilising Venezuela

Steve Sweeney, Morning Star 

VENEZUELAN President Nicolas Maduro promised more revolution and less corruption as tests were carried out at polling stations across the country prior to elections due later this month.

Read the full article.

9) The media treads a thin line between truth and lies

Paul Donovan, Morning Star

MEDIA coverage of local election results shows anti-Corbyn obsession has reached epic proportions.

Read the full article.

10) Doug Ford's billion-dollar claim is not only untrue, it's complete nonsense

Edward Keenan, The Toronto Star

There was a point in the first provincial leaders’ debate on Monday night when NDP Leader Andrea Horwath asked PC Leader Doug Ford what he would cut to make his stated budget goals.

Read the full article.

11) Half of all renters in Toronto spend more on housing than they can afford

Vanmala Subramaniam, Vice News

Almost half of all renters in Toronto spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, according to new numbers from the 2018 Canadian Rental Housing Index, a database compiled by the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association, a housing advocacy agency.

Read the full article.

12) Earth’s carbon dioxide levels reach highest point in 800,000 years

Doyle Rice, The Toronto Star

Carbon dioxide — the gas scientists say is most responsible for global warming — reached its highest level in recorded history last month, at 410 parts per million.

Read the full article.

13) There is no moment in which racialized people are safe from racial terror

Vicky Mochama, The Toronto Star

The disturbing video recorded in a Lethbridge, Alta., Denny’s Restaurant last month is what everyday racial terror looks like. It provokes and insults, at times denying itself, writes Vicky Mochama.

Read the full article.

14) Mandatory prison sentencing is displacing remote residents in Northern B.C., experts say

Jeremy Nuttall, The Star Vancouver

Released from prison, women from remote towns in Northern B.C. are ending up stranded, missing their bus or ferries home. Lawyers say many should not be sentenced to serve time hundreds of kilometres away.

Read the full article.

15) Teachers Are Leading the Revolt Against Austerity

Jane McAlevey, The Nation

In less than three months, rank-and-file teachers and educational support staff in five states—West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona—have turned the entire country into their classroom. They haven’t just pushed for—and won—better pay and working conditions for themselves. They’ve also mounted a direct challenge to decades of bipartisan tax cuts for corporations, helping us all understand what austerity means. And by championing a raft of policy proposals to redistribute wealth away from the 1 percent and back to the working and middle-class, they’ve shown us how austerity can be defeated. As Emily Comer, a middle-school Spanish teacher who was a leader in the strikes in West Virginia, put it, “The phase we are in now—to win a real, progressive solution to the health-insurance crisis—forces us to dream bigger. This isn’t just about our healthcare plan. It’s about rebalancing the power of workers and corporations in our state.”

Read the full article.

16) Donald Trump ending the Iran nuclear deal is an outbreak of organised stupidity

Michael Axworthy, The New Statesman

So, he did it. Trump announced on 8 May that he would reimpose sanctions against Iran. This is a breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed by President Obama with Iran, the UK, Germany, France, Russia, the EU and China in 2015. The other signatories may now scramble to do what they can to salvage the deal, but it is likely that Iran will simply turn its back on it.

Read the full article.

17) The Family-Party-State Nexus in Nicaragua

Trevor Evans, The Socialist Project Bullet 

In 1979 a popular uprising led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) overthrew the U.S.-backed Somoza-family dictatorship which had ruled Nicaragua since the 1930s, and in 1984 the Sandinistas and their presidential candidate, Daniel Ortega, decisively won the country’s first free elections in decades. The Sandinistas introduced a major programme of land redistribution and a significant expansion of public health care and education services. However, initial gains were undermined under the impact of an armed opposition (‘the contra’) organized and promoted by the U.S., a collapse of international raw material prices in the early 1980s, and Sandinista policy errors, including an over-ambitious programme of large-scale investments.

Read the full article. 

18) Honduras: US, Britain must stop propping up illegitimate regime

Colin Burgon, Green Left News

United States President Donald Trump regularly professes deep concern for democracy and human rights in Latin America, but the US’s attitude to Honduras highlights the hypocrisy of US policy in practice.

Read the full article.

19) Spain: Student general strike against sexist capitalist ‘justice’ system a great success

Socialist World

Empty classrooms and over 100,000 on the streets in general student strike called by the Sindicato de Estudiantes (SE) and Libres y Combativas, the socialist feminist platform of SE and Izquierda Revolucionaria (CWI in Spanish state).

Read the full article.

20) The perfect gift for Mother's Day: Universal child care

Dorothy MacLeod, Rabble

It takes a village to raise a child, yet in 2018 very few of us live in villages in Ontario. As a result, child care is an essential service for families with young children. There is no question that Ontario needs a universal, affordable, and high-quality child-care system. As a soon-to-be working mom, child care is central to my ability to participate fully in the workforce, build my career and achieve my personal goals -- pretty lofty stuff.

Read the full article.

21) Teenager who killed husband after he raped her is sentenced to death in Sudan

Peter Beaumont, The Guardian

A 19-year-old Sudanese woman has been condemned to death by a court in Omdurman for stabbing to death the husband to whom she was forcibly married, who she says raped her with assistance of his family.

Read the full article.

22) 'Justice was not served:' Sixties Scoop survivors unhappy after approval of $875M settlement

Jason Warick · CBC News 

"This is just furthering the injustice; why are we even here?" White Bear First Nation member Anna Parent told CBC News on Thursday evening, after the first day of hearings.

"Everyone is offended. It's a sham."

Read the full article.

23) The biggest winners from Doug Ford’s “middle class tax cut” would actually be high earners

Press Progress

People who make $85,900 a year and up - including millionaires - would gain the most from Ford's recently announced tax cut.

Read the full article.

24) Black activist jailed for his Facebook posts speaks out about secret FBI surveillance

Sam Levin, The Guardian

Rakem Balogun spoke out against police brutality. Now he is believed to be the first prosecuted under a secretive US effort to track so-called ‘black identity extremists’.

Read the full article.

25) Free and Accessible Transit Now: Toward A Red-Green Vision for Toronto

Free Transit Toronto, Canadian Dimension

Free transit opens the door to a broader transformation of urban life and the current social system. Our ‘Red-Green’ vision is socialist, based on the working class, environmentally just, internationalist, and transformative.

Read the full article.

26) This temp agency worker shows up at the same office every day. But his agency says he’s not a real employee

Sara Mojtehedzadeh, The Toronto Star

George Fawcett, 31, shows up to the same downtown bank office every day on a schedule set by supervisors who trained him and direct his daily activities. But according to the temporary employment agency that placed him there, he is not actually an employee — either of the agency or the bank.

Read the full article.

27) Three Percenters are Canada's 'most dangerous' extremist group, say some experts

Kristy Hutter, CBC News

When hundreds of white supremacists staged a march in Charlottesville, Va., last August, most of the attention was on the counter-protester killed when a vehicle, believed to have been driven by one of the marchers, plowed into a crowd of pedestrians, and on the controversial statements made about the event by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Read the full article.

28) Sunday Telegraph pays damages to mosque chief over Corbyn article

Jim Waterson, The Guardian

The Sunday Telegraph has paid “substantial damages” to the general secretary of Finsbury Park mosque after it falsely portrayed him as a supporter of violent lslamist extremism as part of a botched attempt to criticise the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Read the full article.

29) Communist Party of Ukraine's Kiev offices ransacked by security services

Morning Star

UKRAINIAN communists issued an urgent call for international support and solidarity today after its offices in Kiev were attacked by security services.

Read the full article.

30) Congressional Republicans Are Trying to Take a 'Blue Lives Matter' Bill National Again 

Ashley Reese, Jezebel

Taking a tip from states across the country that have introduced so-called Blue Lives Matter bills, congressional Republicans and at least one Senate Democrat have introduced legislation to feed the false narrative about a war on cops.

Read the full article.

31) Why Everyone Is Wrong about the Censorship Fight at Universities

Paul Barrett, The Walrus

Suzette mayr’s new novel, Dr. Edith Vane and the Hares of Crawley Hall, features an English professor who realizes early in her semester that something is amiss at her institution. It isn’t just the indifferent students, her Kafkaesque administration, or the general sense of being stuck on the hamster wheel of publishing and grant applications. Rather, the very buildings of the university are possessed by a malevolent spirit that stalks and devours the instructors one by one.

Read the full article.

32) Preparing for Power: how will the next Labour government restore our rights at work?

Sam Tobin, Morning Star

SAM TOBIN speaks to Institute of Employment Rights director Carolyn Jones and John Hendy QC about shifting the balance of power between employer and employee.

Read the full article.

33) United as a movement we can radically reshape our society

Morning Star

Britain’s economic system is broken, but the forward march of the left since 2015 demonstrates that we can change it. We mustn’t let the opportunity pass us by.

Read the full article.

34) Thousands join TUC march over wages and workers' rights

BBC News

Thousands of people have joined a trade union march calling for a "new deal" for workers and public services.

Read the full article.

35) Never-ending nightmare: why feminist dystopias must stop torturing women

Sarah Ditum, The Guardian

The Handmaid’s Tale has inspired a new generation of writers whose dystopian worlds are ever more bleak, dark and sadistic. But where is the hope?

Read the full article.

36) The May ’68 Events and Revolution in the West

Lucio Magri, The Socialist Project Bullet 

Of the many assessments that emerged in the wake of May 1968, one of the most important interventions came from Lucio Magri, a militant and journalist in the Italian communist movement, translated into English for the Socialist Register. Magri reflects on the shifting class composition represented by revolt and the need to rethink the nature of the socialist party and the relationship between the movements and the party and the strategy of revolutionary forces. These are hardly issues that have receded in importance as we continue to attempt to build socialist ‘parties of a new kind’.

Read the full article.

See also: Karl Marx, May Day, Doug Ford & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List April 29 - May 6

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