Sunday, July 8, 2018

AMLO, the First Days of Ford, BDS, Australian Immigration Policy & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List July 1 - 8

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 edition has sections related to the election of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the first days of the Ford regime in Ontario.

This list covers the week of  July 1 - 8. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

There is one article from before the period that has been integrated into the post.

1) AMLO Wins Mexico's Presidential Elections with 53%


The country's election board said the center-left candidate has won the elections with a wide lead.

Read the full article.

2) The Numbers Projected: AMLO's Coalition Could Gain Majority


Mexicans also elected over 3,400 state representatives and local officials, 128 senators, 500 overall deputies and 8 State governors.

Read the full article.

3) Claudia Sheinbaum Is 1st Elected Woman Mayor of Mexico City


A woman had previously served as mayor of the capital on an interim basis but Sheinbaum, who holds a doctorate in physics, is the first woman elected to the post.

Read the full article.

4) Mexico: Latin American, World Leaders React to AMLO's Victory


Several ex-Latin American leaders and other left-leaning politicians from around the world showed support for AMLO ahead of his victory at the polls.

Read the full article.

5) Meet AMLO, Mexico’s new leftist president ready to take on Trump

Christianna Silva, Vice News

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sailed to victory this weekend in Mexico, pulling more than 40 percent of the vote and promising a new era in Mexican politics.

Read the full article.

6) Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders Congratulate Mexico's President-Elect AMLO


U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and the leader of the British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn were some of the high-profile progressives who congratulated Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after his overwhelming victory on Mexico's presidential elections on Sunday.

Read the full article.

7) No, AMLO Is Not Mexico’s Trump

Richard Seymour, Jacobin

Equating Andrés Manuel López Obrador with Donald Trump may be absurd, but that hasn't stopped mainstream media from running with it.

Read the full article.

8) Military Off Streets Among AMLO's Governmental Plan


Among the most important changes planned by AMLO, is to reform the approach taken on security matters which includes the removal of military forces from the streets.

Read the full article.

9) Mexico: AMLO to Seek Negotiated Peace in Drug War


"We will propose decriminalization, create truth commissions, we will attack the causes of poverty," Sanchez, AMLO's proposed interior minister said.

Read the full article.

10) What do so many mass shooters have in common? A hatred of women

Maureen Callahan, New York Post

The suspect in Thursday’s Gazette shootings began stalking a former high school classmate back in 2009. The last time he would have seen her was a decade before.

Read the full article.

11) A man raped me, another tried to. They were not animals. They were men

Amy Remeikis, The Guardian

What happened to me had nothing to do with where I walked or what I wore, and everything to do with the actions of two men.

Read the full article.

12) How colonialism shapes immigration policy in the US and Australia

 Ann Deslandes, Al Jazeera

When it comes to immigration, Trump's America and Turnbull's Australia are two sides of the same coin.

Read the full article.

13) EU opens new legal case against Poland over Supreme Court changes

Philip Heijmans, Al Jazeera

The European Commission formally launched infringement proceedings against Poland one day ahead of the implementation of a controversial reform that would force out about 40 percent of sitting judges at its highest court.

Read the full article.

14) Trump Administration Reverses Obama on Affirmative Action

Erica L. Green, Matt Apuzzo and Katie Benner, The New York Times

The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses, officials said.

Read the full article.

15) Female Sports Reporters Are Blowing the Whistle on Sexist Behavior at the World Cup

Siobhan Morrin, Time Magazine

From late goals to major upsets, the World Cup in Russia this year has had more than its usual share of excitement. While more women have had high-profile sports commentary roles this year than ever before, a series of sexist incidents have provoked outcry.

Read the full article.

16) Justin Trudeau Addressed Those Sexual Misconduct Allegations—but We’re Not Buying His Response

Jessie Borsellino, Flare

Self-proclaimed feminist Justin Trudeau has been very vocal about his zero-tolerance policy against sexual assault and has been an activist for women’s rights since beginning his political career, suspending two MPs from the Liberal caucus in 2014 after allegations surfaced about sexual misconduct and publicly stating that his firm stance against sexual violence applies to everyone—even himself. But while he was visiting Regina on Canada Day, the Canadian Prime Minister found himself in the hot seat when a reporter asked him  about a claim that he groped a young female reporter at a music festival in British Columbia back in 2000.

Read the full article.

17) I Was Fired For Criticizing Trump

Rob Rogers, The Nib

I was basically my own editor for 25 years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And then the publisher decided he didn’t like what he saw.

Read the full article.


Abram Lutes, People's Voice

ARENA, the leading right-wing party in El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly, is attempting to push through a new “Water Law” which would privatize the country’s water distribution company, ANDA. But hundreds of students, academics, workers, and social movement activists have taken to the streets to protest the proposal and demand the Legislative Assembly cease its tabling of the bill.

Read the full article.

19) Ford’s “value-for-money” audit a political trick with predictable outcome

Stuart Trew, Behind the Numbers

One of Doug Ford’s first acts as new Premier of Ontario was to put a freeze on most government hiring (police and firefighters excepted) until his government can take a “true look” at the books. In the election campaign, the Progressive Conservatives promised to find $6 billion in efficiencies—an arbitrary target that will be impossible for the government to meet while also following through on spending promises made during the campaign. One estimate suggests that ultimately Ford will need to find $25 billion in cuts over three years to pay for his platform—the equivalent of 1% of Ontario’s GDP, or a loss of at least 75,000 jobs.

Read the full article.

20) PCs dismiss Ontario’s chief scientist amid broad effort to undo Liberals’ legacy

Justin Giovannetti, The Globe and Mail

Newly-elected Progressive-Conservative Premier Doug Ford has begun chipping away at the previous Liberal government’s legacy after only a few days in office, freezing new measures on police oversight, ticket scalping and vaping, as well as firing Ontario’s new chief scientist.

Read the full article.

21) Ford government is ending co-operation with Ottawa on resettlement of asylum-seekers

Robert Benzie, The Toronto Star

Blaming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for creating “a mess,” Premier Doug Ford’s new Progressive Conservative government has withdrawn Ontario’s co-operation with Ottawa over asylum-seekers.

Read the full article.


Geoff Sharpe, The Cable

Debunking anti-immigrant myths with immigration law expert Sharry Aiken.

Read the full article.

23) This Housing Expert Debunks Ford’s Dog-Whistle Attack on Refugees Fleeing Trump

North 99

In what can only be the start of Doug Ford’s dog-whistling to far-right supporters, Ford blamed families fleeing Trump for the housing crisis facing Toronto.

Read the full article.

24) Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week

Jason Samenow, The Washington Post

From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week.

Read the full article.


Kimball Cariou, People's Voice

The systemic racism directed at Indigenous peoples in Canada has been widely recognized for decades, but in many key respects, little progress is being made. In fact, some recent reports indicate that the situation may be getting worse, not better.

Read the full article.

26) 100 percent racist

Gavin Stanbrook, Red Flag

Only Australia could rival the entrenched racism and barbarity of countries such as the US, Israel and apartheid-era South Africa, notorious for locking up Blacks, immigrants and children.

Read the full article.

27) President Trump 'Asked Aides If He Could Invade Venezuela'

The Daily Beast

It must take a lot for people around President Trump to be shocked by what comes out of his mouth, but that bar was reportedly vaulted over when he asked if he could lead an invasion of Venezuela.

Read the full article.

28) Victor Jara murder: ex-military officers sentenced in Chile for 1973 death


Eight retired Chilean military officers have been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of popular folk singer Victor Jara during the 1973 coup that installed late dictator Augusto Pinochet in power.

Read the full article.

29) 'Ethnic Cleansing': Israel Begins Demolition of Palestinian Bedouin Village Khan al-Ahmar


Khan al-Ahmar is east of Jerusalem, in the occupied West Bank, and surrounded by illegal Jewish settlements Ma'ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim.

Read the full article.

30) NDP makes false equivalence between Israel and Palestinian parliamentary groups

Yves Engler, Rabble

The NDP is refusing to heed a call from 200 well-known musicians, academics, trade unionists, and party members to withdraw from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group (CIIG). To justify its decision, the party says it is also represented on the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group (CPPFG).

Read the full article.

(Related: A call for the NDP to withdraw from the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group )

31) Socialist International of 140 Global Political Parties Adopts BDS, Calls for Military Embargo on Israel

Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC)

Association of 140 global political parties, including 35 parties in government, adopts BDS and calls for a military embargo on Israel until it ends its violations of Palestinian rights. This is the most significant call for sanctions against Israel to date.

Read the full article.

(Related: Socialist International backs BDS. When will Canada's NDP? )

32) Sweden calls for Israel to lift the siege of Gaza

Middle East Monitor 

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström called on Friday for the Israeli government to lift its 12-year-old siege of the Gaza Strip and to allow medical aid into the coastal enclave, Egypt’s Al-Shaab newspaper has reported.

Read the full article.

33) An Irish bill on Israeli settlement goods could make history

Yara Hawari, Al Jazeera 

On July 11, the upper house of the Irish parliament, the Seanad, will vote on a landmark bill that, if passed, would ban the purchase of goods and services from illegal Israeli settlements. The "Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018" was put forward by  Irish independent Senator Frances Black and co-signed by Senators Alice-Mary Higgins, Lynn Ruane, Colette Kelleher, John G Dolan, Grace O'Sullivan and David Norrison on January 24 this year.

Read the full article.

34) Trump’s Oil Tweet Was a Show of Farce

Liam Denning, Bloomberg

President Donald Trump indulged in a little “energy dominance” this weekend. In the process, he showed who really has the whip hand.

Read the full article.

35) The real reason Merkel’s coalition is in crisis is the rise of the far-right AfD

Tim Hume, Vice News

The recent migration row that threatened to sink Germany’s government looked, on the face of it, a gloves-off in-house policy battle between Chancellor Angela Merkel and a rebellious coalition ally, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

Read the full article.

36) A Year Later, the Fascists of Charlottesville Are Back for More — This Time Outside the White House

Natasha Lennard, The Intercept 

THE “UNITE THE RIGHT” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year ripped away the last shred of plausible deniability about the white supremacist fascism of the so-called alt-right. A neo-Nazi plowed his Dodge Charger into a crowd of anti-fascist counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring others. A young black man was beaten bloody by racists with metal poles in a parking lot near a police station. White supremacists marched Klan-like, with burning torches and Nazi salutes, around a Confederate statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee while chanting, “Jews will not replace us!” It was a gruesome pastiche of 19th-century American and 20th-century European race hate, newly emboldened under Donald Trump. The president later declared that there were some “very fine people on both sides” — a remark that winked at the side with swastikas and “Sieg Heils.”

Read the full article.

37) Brazil: Hunger Strike Planned for Lula's Freedom, Presidency


Eleven social activists convened in front of Brazil's Federal Supreme Court are preparing a hunger strike for the freedom of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his right to run as a presidential candidate in October's elections.

Read the full article.

38) Guatemala: Indigenous Kaqchikel Protest Against Cement Plant Attacked by Paramilitaries


A group of armed people wearing balaclavas attacked and threatened the indigenous Kaqchikel community in Santa Fe Ocaña in San Juan Sacatepequez, 15 kilometers away from Guatemala City Tuesday. The attack is believed to be related to the construction of a cement plant in their territory, which the community opposes.

Read the full article.

39) Striking workers at Goderich salt mine ramp up fight in week 10

CBC News

Striking workers at Goderich's Compass Minerals' salt mine are trying to increase pressure on the company to get back to the negotiating table.

Read the full article.

40) Catalonia's Roma: Fighting stereotypes 600 years after migration

Brietta Hague, Al Jazeera

Spain's Roma are famous for flamenco, but Catalonia has its own community and it's determined to save cultural heritage.

Read the full article.

41) Trump’s New EPA Chief Is A Former Coal Lobbyist And A "Very Environmental Person"

Zahra Hirji, BuzzFeed

Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, is the new acting chief of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read the full article.

42) Whataboutism is just a trolling tactic — and it deserves to be shut down

Shree Paradkar, The Toronto Star

This much is for sure: there’s no dearth of injustices around the world. But just when you tackle the proverbial elephant, up pops this logical fallacy: “What about that other bit here, what about that bit there?”

Read the full article.

43) Report: Colombian Authorities Complicit in 'Systematic' Violence Against Social Leaders


Several social organizations presented Thursday a report titled 'To Defend Life,' which reveals the systematic nature of the murders of social and community leaders in Colombia. The report was presented to the country’s truth commission on the same day the United Nations "vehemently rejected and condemned the murders of human rights defenders, leaders and social leaders" in the South American country.

Read the full article.

44) Never Again? Addressing Sexual Violence Must Include Pornography

Melinda Tankard Reist, ABC

If we truly care about confronting the enablers of violence against women and girls, we must tackle porn's role as, in Meagher's words, "a deeply regressive sexual re-enforcement of the cultural misogyny." If we don't, I fear that all the talk about addressing enablers and creating a safe culture for women is mere rhetoric and cant, devoid of meaning.

Read the full article.

45) US drops charges against all J20 anti-Trump defendants

Al Jazeera

Charges against last 39 people arrested over their alleged involvement in a Trump Inauguration Day rally were dismissed.

Read the full article.

46) Right-wing, Fascist-supporting Tilt among Canada’s NDP

Yves Engler, Dissident Voice

In response to Ukrainian Canadian Congress campaigning, two NDP MLAs recently convinced the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission to withdraw a brand of Russian vodka from its stores. Alberta MLAs Deron Bilous and Jessica Littlewood argued that a hammer and sickle logo on a bottle of vodka was “offensive“. Articulating a growing rightist effort to equate communism with Nazism in Eastern Europe, Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta chapter president, Olesia Luciw-Andryjowycz, told the Edmonton Journal that the hammer and sickle was akin to “having a swastika on a bottle of cognac.”

Read the full article.

(Related: News of the absurd: NDP MLAs get "Hammer and Sickle" vodka pulled from Alberta stores )

47) North Korea calls U.S. attitude toward talks ‘regrettable,’ rejecting Pompeo’s claim meetings were ‘productive’

John Hudson, The Washington Post

Just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departed North Korea after two days of nuclear negotiations, North Korea sharply criticized the U.S. team's attitude as “regrettable,” and accused the U.S. of making unilateral demands of denuclearization.

Read the full article.

48) Former WestJet flight attendant draws attention to sexual harassment in airline industry

Cherise Seucharan, The Star Vancouver

On Friday, Mandalena Lewis returned to her former workplace at Vancouver International Airport, with the goal of raising awareness of sexual harassment toward flight attendants and other women working in the airline industry.

Read the full article.

See also: US Supreme Court Decisions, Justice Kennedy, Ocasio-Cortez & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 24 - July 1

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