Sunday, June 17, 2018

Border Separations, North Korea Summit, NAFTA & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 10 - 17

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  June 10 - 17. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

There are four articles from prior to the period that have been included. They have been integrated into the post.

1) Regime Change from Below: Toppling the Doug Ford Government

Steve D'Arcy, New Socialist 

In the coming weeks, Doug Ford will assume the office of Ontario premier, as predicted by the polls, at the helm of a Conservative majority government. Comprised of hardened reactionaries, inspired by Trump’s formula of repackaging conventional neoliberal austerity with racist ‘wedge’ politics and fake-populist rhetoric, the Ford regime will move quickly to signal its determination to empower big business, weaken labour and social movements, and embolden its most militant core of support on the grassroots Far Right. We can expect the regime to launch a series of rapidfire attacks on the living standards of workers, the Treaty and inherent rights of Indigenous people, and the social and civil rights of women, racialized people, and others.

Read the full article.

2) Denmark swings right on immigration – and Muslims feel besieged

Richard Orange, The Guardian

“It’s a lovely place,” says Jens Kramer, as he gazes across the harbour from his seat outside the wooden shed that serves as Holbæk’s boat club. “But I think people here are becoming more and more hostile to foreigners and I’m not proud of it. It’s not the Holbæk I love.”

Read the full article.

3) Football Against Imperialism: What Celtic FC's Solidarity With Palestine Could Teach the World

Michael Blosser, Telesur

As the 2018 World Cup frenzy starts to take over the news cycle, it is essential that we highlight examples of how the sport has brought people together, such as is the case of Celtic FC and Palestine. Celtic Football Club, a football club based in Glasgow, Scotland, has consistently shown solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

Read the full article.

4) Thousands of Guatemalans Protest President Morales, Demand His Resignation Over Fuego Volcano Crisis


Protesters say President Jimmy Morales had lied about emergency funds while the disaster agency failed to evacuate despite warnings.

Read the full article.

5) This is real resistance: Teachers strike back against neoliberal assault on public education

Henry Giroux, Slate

Since Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, there have been few occasions to feel hopeful about politics. But now we are witnessing a proliferation of causes for hope: As the school year ended, thousands of courageous teachers throughout the United States led mass movements of demonstrations, walkouts and strikes. In the age of illiberal democracy and the growing fascism of the Trump administration, the unimaginable has once again become imaginable as teachers, inspired and energized by a dynamic willingness to fight for their rights and the rights of their students, are exercising bold expressions of political power.

Read the full article.

6) Southern mayors defy Italian coalition to offer safe port to migrants

Patrick Wintou, Lorenzo Tondo and Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian

Mayors across the south of Italy have pledged to defy a move by the new Italian government – an alliance of the far right and populists – to prevent a rescue boat with 629 people on board from docking in the Sicilian capital.

Read the full article.

7) Colombia Elections: Gustavo Petro Just 5.5 Points Behind Ivan Duque as Campaigns End


A new opinion poll shows that the center-left candidate Gustavo Petro is climbing in polls for the Colombian presidential elections little by little, now sitting just 5.5 points behind the right-wing candidate Ivan Duque.

Read the full article.

8) Trump’s Travel Ban Has Torn Apart Hundreds of Families

 Kavitha Chekuru, The Nation

Yemeni Americans and other US citizens separated from their relatives await a Supreme Court decision that will determine their families’ futures.

Read the full article.

9) If Trump wants to blow up the world order, who will stop him?

Yanis Varoufakis, The Guardian

As horrified as we may be at Trump’s uncouth antics, it is important to understand the tectonic shifts underpinning them.

Read the full article.

10) The State of Manitoba’s Activist Left

Matthew Brett, Canadian Dimension

The Manitoba Progressive Conservatives under premier Brian Pallister have been implementing harsh austerity since their 2016 landslide victory, imposing emergency room and clinic closures, wage freezes, significant budget cuts, job cuts, harsh anti-labour legislation and more.

Read the full article.

11) Why is the Manitoba Left Struggling?

Matthew Brett, Canadian Dimension

The activist left in Manitoba is weak and on the defensive while the Progressive Conservative government continues to implement its regressive policy agenda pushing austerity in the province.

Read the full article.


Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani, The Intercept 

THE RESTAURANT LOBBY IS making a masked pitch to kill Initiative 77, a ballot measure designed to gradually raise the minimum wage in Washington, D.C., for bartenders, waitstaff, and other “tipped” employees, to $15 an hour by 2025.

Read the full article.

13) Supreme Court, in 5–4 Decision, Allows States to Purge Voters for Their Failure to Vote

Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

In a 5–4 decision handed down Monday morning, the Supreme Court ruled that states may purge voters from the rolls due to their failure to cast a ballot. The ruling will disproportionately disenfranchise minorities and veterans as well as low-income and disabled people. Because of this decision, it is now likely that thousands of Americans will show up to the polls in 2018 hoping to cast a ballot—only to be told that they have been purged from the rolls because they skipped the past few elections. It is a nightmare scenario for voting-rights advocates that may affect the outcome of many future elections as well as the 2018 midterm elections in Ohio.

Read the full article.

14) Renationalising railways supported by almost two thirds of Britons, exclusive poll reveals

Lizzy Buchan, The Independent 

An overwhelming majority of the public would support renationalising the railways amid cancellations, delays and complaints of poor service from private rail operators, a new poll reveals.

Read the full article.

15) Colombia's Petro Has New Campaign Logo: Superhero Worker Bee


Petro's supporters create a new logo for their candidate after former president Alvaro Uribe accuses him of staging a bee attack on a Duque rally.

Read the full article.

16) It’s Time for Americans to Reckon With the True History of Racial Oppression in This Country

Collier Meyerson, The Nation

In “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America,” Jeffery Robinson aims to help us do just that.

Read the full article.

17) Do Democrats Want a War With North Korea?

Branko Marcetic, Jacobin

Just a year ago, liberals were terrified of Trump starting a war with North Korea. Now they seem scared he might defuse the standoff with Pyongyang.

Read the full article.

18) The North Korea Summit Through the Looking Glass

Branko Marcetic, Jacobin

As much of the world celebrates a modest step towards peace in Korea, Western pundits seem to be panicking.

Read the full article.

19) Liberals Are Criticizing the Korea Summit From the Right. Here’s Why They Have it All Wrong.

Sarah Lazare, In These Times

With an end to the 68-year Korean War finally in sight, some U.S. “progressives” are pushing Trump to be more hardline–despite the fact that Koreans overwhelmingly want peace.

Read the full article.

20) Donald Trump was right. The rest of the G7 were wrong

George Monbiot, The Guardian 

He gets almost everything wrong. But last weekend Donald Trump got something right. To the horror of the other leaders of the rich world, he defended democracy against its detractors. Perhaps predictably, he has been universally condemned for it.

Read the full article.


People's Voice

Elsewhere on these pages, Communist Party of Canada leader Liz Rowley argues that “the US government has held Canada hostage to its unilateral and one-sided trade policies for long enough.” Those words were written before Donald Trump signed the G7 Summit declaration, and then tore up the same agreement minutes after departing for his Singapore meeting with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.

Read the full article.

22) Homeless man applied for social housing but died before he completed the process, inquest hears

Mary Ormsby, The Toronto Star

Grant Faulkner took formal steps to end his homelessness by applying for social housing — which has a waiting list of 80,000 to 90,000 households looking for affordable places to live in Toronto — three months before his fiery death in a Scarborough field.

Read the full article.

23) Ukraine: Paramilitaries broadcast live pogrom against Roma on Facebook, the fourth in the last six weeks


Radio Free Europe reports that axes and hammers were used on 7 June by neo-Nazis from the Azov National Militia to perpetrate yet another assault on Romani people in Ukraine. Their entire 7 June pogrom in Holosiyivskiy Park in Kyiv was broadcast live by them on Facebook without police ever intervening.

Read the full article.

24) Beyond the restitution of Lula’s rights as a former President


The most recent ruling by Judge André Nabarrete indicated that former Brazilian heads of state are awarded “rights and prerogatives in consonance with the assumption of the Republic’s highest office, and have no legal limitations”

Read the full article.

25) Colten Boushie’s mother says racism is on full display in Saskatchewan

The Canadian Press

The mother of Colten Boushie who was shot and killed on a Saskatchewan farm says racism is on full display in the province every day.

Read the full article.

26) Sadr welcomes return of Iraqi Jews

Saad Salloum, Al-Monitor 

In a bold move, Iraq’s Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr spoke in favor of the return of the Jews who were evicted from the country half a century ago. Sadr responded to a question posed by one of his followers June 2 on whether Iraqi Jews have a right to return after having been forcibly displaced due to previous Iraqi policies, noting that they used to own properties and were part of the Iraqi community. He said, "If their loyalty was to Iraq, they are welcome." His answer was taken as tantamount to a religious edict, or fatwa.

Read the full article.


Socialist Alternative

Today, on short notice, the corporate politicians on the Seattle City Council voted to repeal the Amazon Tax on big business that would fund affordable housing. Below are speeches by Councilmember Kshama Sawant, a member of Socialist Alternative, as well as a brief video of the vote itself being protested.

Read the full article.

28) Peter Stringfellow’s version of ‘choice’ feminism is a gross perversion of feminist theory

Jo Bartosch, The Morning Star

As a feminist who has campaigned against the sex industry for some years, I find the facile championing of choice a gross bastardisation of feminist theory.

Read the full article.

29) Thawing permafrost a ticking time bomb 

Caitlin Keogh, Red Flag

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott last year told an audience at the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank for climate change sceptics, that the “so-called settled science of climate change [is] absolute crap”.

Read the full article.

30) Canadian citizen held for months after border agents dismiss papers as fake

Leyland Cecco, The Guardian 

A Canadian man is suing the country’s government after he was arrested by border agents and detained for eight months – despite producing evidence of his citizenship.

Read the full article.

31) Argentina congress takes historic step towards legalising abortion

Uki Goni, The Guardian

The lower house of Argentina’s congress has narrowly approved a bill that would legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, in a historic victory for the country’s growing women’s movement.

Read the full article.

32) The Wounds of the Drone Warrior

Eyal Press, The New York Times

In the spring of 2006, Christopher Aaron started working 12-hour shifts in a windowless room at the Counterterrorism Airborne Analysis Center in Langley, Va. He sat before a wall of flat-screen monitors that beamed live, classified video feeds from drones hovering in distant war zones. On some days, Aaron discovered, little of interest appeared on the screens, either because a blanket of clouds obscured visibility or because what was visible — goats grazing on an Afghan hillside, for instance — was mundane, even serene. Other times, what unspooled before Aaron’s eyes was jarringly intimate: coffins being carried through the streets after drone strikes; a man squatting in a field to defecate after a meal (the excrement generated a heat signature that glowed on infrared); an imam speaking to a group of 15 young boys in the courtyard of his madrasa. If a Hellfire missile killed the target, it occurred to Aaron as he stared at the screen, everything the imam might have told his pupils about America’s war with their faith would be confirmed.

Read the full article.

33) Hundreds of Israelis Demonstrate Against Home Sale to Arab Family

Noa Shpigel, Haaretz

About 150 residents of the northern city of Afula demonstrated on Wednesday afternoon against the sale of a house to an Arab family. Protesters waved Israeli flags and carried signs condemning the sale and the homeowners who sold their house to Arabs, one of which read: "Traitors against the Jews will get no rest."

Read the full article.

34) Special Report: In the Streets with the New Poor People’s Campaign Against Racism and Poverty

Democracy Now

Demonstrators descended on Washington Monday in the latest protest staged by the new Poor People’s Campaign, which organizers say is the most expansive wave of nonviolent direct action in the U.S. this century. Campaign organizers Reverends William Barber and Liz Theoharis and around 100 others were arrested for protesting a Supreme Court ruling that dealt a major setback to voting rights by upholding Ohio’s controversial voter purge law. At least 300 people were arrested nationwide. Nearly 2,000 people have been arrested around the country since the campaign launched, 50 years after Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. launched the first Poor People’s Campaign. Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Carla Wills were in the streets of Washington, D.C., covering the action.

Read the full article.

35) Public-Private Partnerships Inflated Costs to Taxpayers, Says Report

 Andrew MacLeod, The Tyee

The British Columbia government should consider dissolving the agency responsible for public-private partnerships, concludes the author of a new report.

Read the full article.

36) Israel is about to destroy this Palestinian village. Will Britain step in?

David Zonsheine, The Guardian

Israel is intent on destroying the homes of the 173 Palestinians who live in the small shepherding community of Khan al-Ahmar, along with the school that serves 150 children from the area. Last month, Israel’s high court of justice removed the last obstacle to this barbaric act of demolishing an entire community in order to forcibly transfer its residents and take over their land. Israel has announced that the land from which these Palestinians will be evicted will serve to expand the nearby settlement of Kfar Adumim.

Read the full article.

37) Trinity Western loses fight for Christian law school as court rules limits on religious freedom 'reasonable'

Kathleen Harris · CBC News

A B.C.-based evangelical Christian university has lost its legal battle over accreditation for a planned new law school, with a Supreme Court of Canada ruling today saying it's "proportionate and reasonable" to limit religious rights in order to ensure open access for LGBT students.

Read the full article.

38) It’s All Too Much, and We Still Have to Care

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate

What’s going on at the border is horrifying, but we can’t go numb and turn away.

Read the full article.

39) Rob Rogers, cartoonist who clashed with Post-Gazette editors, says he's been fired

CBS News

A longtime newspaper cartoonist who says his work has been banished from the editorial page lately because of "political differences" with his editors says he's been fired. Rob Rogers tweeted Thursday he's been fired after 25 years as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's editorial cartoonist.

Read the full article.

40) Pro-Trump Conservative MP: Mexican Criminals Will Invade Canada If Marijuana is Legalized

Press Progress

Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu worries that legalizing marijuana will somehow cause Mexican criminals to flood across the Canadian border.

Read the full article.

41) Nearly 2,000 Children Have Been Taken From Adults At The US Border Since April, The DHS Says

Adolfo Flores, BuzzFeed News

Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families following the Trump administration's decision to prosecute every adult caught crossing into the US illegally.

Read the full article.

42) Young comedian's killing shocks Australia

BBC News

Comedians and the public have inundated social media with tributes to Ms Dixon, in a case that has reignited local debate about violence against women.

Read the full article.

See also: Doug Ford Wins, Anthem Protests, Donald Trump & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 3 - 10

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