Sunday, May 6, 2018

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

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  April 29 - May 6. 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) “It’s Not Up to Women to End the Violence We Experience”

Julie Lalonde, Flare

There is a photo that haunts me. Taken by photojournalist Allen McInnis on December 6, 1989, it shows a man taking down Christmas decorations. Out of focus in the foreground is a woman slumped over in a chair. The woman is dead; shot by a misogynist earlier that night in a targeted attack that took 14 women’s lives at Montreal’s École Polytechnique. The contrast of a plainclothes police officer taking down holiday decor with a woman’s dead body beside him is the most haunting metaphor for the mundane reality of misogyny.

Read the full article.

2) ‘One woman or girl every other day’: 57 women killed in Canada this year

Molly Hayes, The Globe and Mail

Fifty-seven women have been killed in Canada so far this year − a death toll that spiked by more than 15 per cent in a single day last week after eight women (and two men) died in a van attack in Toronto.

Read the full article.

3) Prostitution is not a job. The inside of a woman’s body is not a workplace

Julie Bindel, The Guardian

One of the most persuasive myths about prostitution is that it is “the oldest profession”. Feminist abolitionists, who wish to see an end to the sex trade, call it “the oldest oppression” and resist the notion that prostitution is merely “a job like any other”.

Read the full article.

4) IDF claims most Gazan casualties were ‘accidental’

Yossi Gurvitz, Mondoweiss 

A “senior officer” told Haaretz reporter ‘Amos Harel that most Gazans killed by the IDF since March 30th were killed accidentally, claiming that IDF snipers were aiming to wound them but that the protesters either bent down just as the sniper was pulling the trigger or were killed by shrapnel from the ground.

Read the full article.

5) Doug Ford Appointed a Far-Right Former Rebel Media Host to Run as an Ontario PC Candidate

Press Progress

Ontario PC candidate railed against climate change, Muslims and the ‘pussification of the West’ on his Rebel Media podcast.

Read the full article.

6) Fascistic Ukraine government attacks communists, squashes May Day preps

John Wojcok, People's World

In an attempt to thwart pro-worker demonstrations planned for May Day in Ukraine, government “security services” broke into Communist Party buildings in that country yesterday, according to press releases sent out of the country by the party. The party statement said the government security forces acted on information provided by Svoboda (Freedom).

Read the full article.

7) Pyrrhic Party: The Democratic Establishment’s War on Progressives

Richard Eskow, Common Dreams

By supporting corporate-friendly candidates and policies, Congressional Democratic leaders are be moving closer and closer toward open warfare with their party’s base.

Read the full article.

8) McDonald's torched, 200 arrested in May Day protests in Paris

Alain Jocard, AFP

Nearly 200 anarchist protesters were arrested Tuesday after May Day riots in central Paris, where hooded youths torched a McDonald's restaurant and several vehicles during a march against President Emmanuel Macron's public sector reforms.

Read the full article.

9) Philippine workers march in protest at short-term contracts


Thousands of Philippine workers and activists marched in a May Day rally in Manila on Tuesday in protest against what they said was President Rodrigo Duterte's failure to keep a campaign promise to get rid of short-term employment contracts.

Read the full article.

10) Labour groups march for rights of underprivileged in Lahore

Aadil Aamir, Pakistan Today

Several trade unions, including the Red Workers Front (RWF) and Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), held rallies in the provincial capital to mark the Labour Day and urged the government to ensure labour rights.

Read the full article.

11) International Workers' Day: why do so many Danes celebrate on May 1st?

Michael Barrett, The Local DK

International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, is technically not a Danish public holiday but many employers, especially in the public sector, give employees the day off.

Read the full article.

12) Italy: Requiem for the Second Republic

Steve Hellman, Socialist Project Bullet 

The writing had been on the wall for some time, but the outcome of the Italian election of March 4 shocked almost everyone by the extent to which the status quo was upended. The governing center-left Partito Democratico (PD, Democratic Party) was humiliated: its share of the vote fell nearly 7% compared to the previous general election in 2013 to just under 19%; its secretary, Matteo Renzi, would soon resign his post. The other big loser was Silvio Berlusconi, the dominant figure on the center-right for a generation. His party, Forza Italia (FI, Go Italy!) plunged from 21.6% to 14% and was displaced within the coalition by the increasingly xenophobic, often racist Lega (The League, formerly the Lega Nord or Northern League), which more than quadrupled its share of the vote since 2013, from 4.1% to 17.4%. Over the same period the Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S, Five Star Movement) had drawn 25.6% of the vote in its maiden appearance in 2013. But back then, the electoral law in force gave the center-left an artificial majority, barely averting parliamentary paralysis. In 2018, despite a new law designed to marginalize it, the M5S and its telegenic new 31-year-old standard-bearer, Luigi Di Maio, raked in 32.7% of the vote, making it Italy’s largest party by far.

Read the full article.

13) Chiefs from 133 First Nations join fight against Kinder Morgan pipeline and oilsands expansion

Carl Meyer, National Observer

The organization representing First Nations in Ontario has joined a nationwide treaty alliance calling for a ban on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and other fossil fuel projects.

Read the full article.

14) Conservative Lobbyist Pushes Jason Kenney’s UCP to Adopt Anti-Union Policy at Convention

Press Progress

Well-connected insiders are pushing Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party to adopt controversial anti-union legislation at the party’s upcoming annual general meeting this weekend in Red Deer.

Read the full article.

15) Indian Communists call for probe into government killing of 39 ‘Maoists’ in Maharashtra

Steve Sweeney, Morning Star 

INDIAN Communists demanded a high-level judicial probe into the killing of at least 39 people in government clashes last week.

Read the full article.

16) MP Erin Weir expelled from NDP caucus after harassment investigation

Catharine Tunney · CBC News

Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir, who was under investigation following harassment complaints, has been expelled from the NDP caucus by party leader Jagmeet Singh.

Read the full article.

17) #Cuéntalo: Latin American women rally around sexual violence hashtag

Tom Phillips, The Guardian

It began as a call to arms to women in Spain after last week’s incendiary acquittal of five men on rape charges in Pamplona.

Read the full article.

18) Vancouver’s left-wing COPE party launches platform

Melanie Green, The Toronto Star

The platform calls for a four-year rent freeze, building 2,138 temporary modular homes to end homelessness, free transit, universal child care, free city-wide Wi-Fi, protection of arts spaces and a “mansion tax.”

Read the full article.

19) Ross Douthat revealed the hypocrisy in liberal feminist ideology, and they’re pissed

Meghan Murphy, Feminist Current

The sex industry literally commodifies sex and women. This is what a commodity is: a service or product that can be exchanged, bought, or sold on the market. Even if you choose to believe sex is a “service” just like physiotherapy or a manicure, if you are paying, it is a commodity. If you are going to argue that sex is not a commodity and to present it as such is Not A Good Thing, you are going to have to admit that radical feminists have been right all along, and that turning women and sex into things to be bought and sold is indeed a dangerous thing.

Read the full article.

20) Tanya Granic Allen will no longer be a candidate for PC Party, Doug Ford says

Vjosa Isai and Robert Benzie, The Toronto Star

Doug Ford has fired Tanya Granic Allen as the Progressive Conservative candidate in Mississauga Centre in the June 7 election after the Liberals revealed a video of her making homophobic remarks.

Read the full article.

21) Where Are the Riots of Yesteryear? Remembering May 1968

 Richard Greeman, Socialist Project Bullet

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the wave of radical revolts and revolutionary uprisings that startled the world in 1968 and which – although ultimately crushed by the forces of reaction that dominate the world to this day – left in its wake rights so fundamental that we tend to take them for granted today – for example sexual freedom, civil rights for African-Americans, and women’s equality. Yet a half-century later these hard-won rights are under attack, and people are once again rising to defend them.

Read the full article.

22) The world is ready for Marxism as capitalism reaches the tipping point

Youssef El-Gingihy, The Independent 

Two hundred years ago on 5 May 1818, Karl Marx was born in the German town of Trier on the banks of the river Moselle. Serendipitously, at the start of this bicentennial year, I found myself invited to a wedding in what used to be called Karl-Marx-Stadt, since renamed Chemnitz, in the former East Germany. Communism may have formally collapsed with the downfall of the Soviet Union, yet it has not been extinguished.

Read the full article.

23) Mayakovsky on Marx

Morning Star

Extracted from Lenin by Vladimir Mayakovsky, translated by Rosy Carrick, available from Smokestack Books,

Read the poem.

24) Marx, London and the First International

Mary Davis, Morning Star

Marx’s life demonstrated his engagement with practice and theory, but more importantly it exhibited the unity of the two. A rare achievement.

Read the full article.

25) Thousands protest against Macron under heavy security in Paris

Agence France-Presse

Police were out in force in central Paris on Saturday as thousands of people protested against Emmanuel Macron’s sweeping reforms a year after he assumed the presidency.

Read the full article.

See also: Toronto Misogynist Terror Attack -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List April 22 - 29

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