Sunday, July 15, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh, Doug Ford's Moves, Trump Protests & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List July 8 - 15

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 July 8 - 15. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) Doug Ford's Drug Plan Cut Will Hit Ontario Middle Class Hardest

Steve Morgan, Huffington Post

The Ford government's decision to privatize much of OHIP+, the universal public drug plan for children and youth, will not save Ontarians money or provide better coverage. Here are four reasons why.

Read the full article.

2) Marriott, world’s biggest hotel chain, underpays workers

David Bacon, People's World 

On June 27 thousands of union and non-union Marriott workers organized demonstrations in San Francisco, Oakland, Honolulu, Boston, San Diego, Seattle, Philadelphia and San Jose. Workers carried signs saying, “One Job Should Be Enough!” About 20,000 Marriott workers are represented by Unite Here. As contract negotiations get underway, some 12,000 of those employees have contracts expiring later this year.

Read the full article.

3) The Beginning of the End of the World

Eliza Griswold, The Intercept 

DRIVING WEST ALONG the Pennsylvania Turnpike from Harrisburg to rural Washington County, sign after sign pitted energy companies against environmentalists. An evil-looking clown leered down at passing drivers above the words: “I still believe in global warming. Do you?” Then there was another: “Wind dies. Sun sets. You need reliable, affordable, clean coal electricity.” Yet another featured a picture of Yoko Ono and the message “Would you take energy advice from the woman who broke up The Beatles?”

Read the full article.

4) International Human Rights Group: Lula Is a Political Prisoner


The news comes a day after two judges ordered the suspension of the release of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after an appeal judge ordered it.

Read the full article.

5) Ex-Jason Kenney Staffer Leading Efforts to Nominate 52 Anti-Abortion Candidates for Alberta’s UCP

Press Progress

One of Alberta UCP leader Jason Kenney’s former staffers is leading a new initiative to help 52 anti-abortion candidates win local nominations and stand as candidates for Kenney’s party during Alberta’s 2019 provincial election.

Read the full article.

6) Greyhound cancels most of its routes in Western Canada

Oliver Moore, The Globe and Mail

Greyhound will stop running buses in almost all of Western Canada this fall, leaving routes in Ontario and Quebec as the last vestiges of a national bus line that has connected small communities across Canada since 1929.

Read the full article.

(Related: Greyhound Canada shows the imperative to build intercity public transit networks )


 Christianna Silva, Vice News

Just days after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his impending retirement from the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh had already made President Donald Trump’s short list to replace him.

Read the full article.

8) Brett Kavanaugh Will Mean Challenging Times For Environmental Laws

Dan Vergano and Zahra Hirji, BuzzFeed News

In naming Brett Kavanaugh as his pick for the Supreme Court’s open seat, President Donald Trump is advancing a judge widely seen as unfriendly to environmental regulation.

Read the full article.

9) How Brett Kavanaugh Will Gut Roe v. Wade

Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has shown us precisely how he’ll do it.

Read the full article.

10) Quebec NDP MP Hélène Laverdière won’t run in 2019

Alex Ballingall, The Toronto Star

Hélène Laverdière, a prominent New Democrat from Quebec whose support helped Jagmeet Singh win the party leadership last year, will not seek re-election in 2019 after eight years in the House of Commons.

Read the full article.

11) 'Trump Not Welcome': Thousands Rally in Brussels Ahead of NATO Summit


Ahead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, summit, thousands of protesters took to streets in Brussels over the weekend to protest the upcoming event and President Donald Trump's presence and his policies at the meeting.

Read the full article.

12) New Jersey woman dies after utility cuts power to her home

Matthew Haag, The Toronto Star

New Jersey officials said Monday they were investigating why a utility company shut off power last week at the Newark home of a woman in hospice care, who then died after her electric-powered oxygen tank stopped operating.

Read the full article.

13) Huge picket line against Marriott in Boston

Annie Lee and Husayn Karimi, Liberation

On June 27, hundreds of hotel workers in Boston held pickets, demanding a fair contract at seven hotels managed by Marriott International, including the Sheraton, the W Boston, Westin Boston Waterfront, Aloft, Element, Renaissance, and Ritz Carlton. By 5 PM, in a show of unity, hotel workers at these locations descended on the Sheraton Hotel on Dalton St. to form what was the largest hotel worker picket in over a decade, with hundreds of union workers from housekeepers and bellhops to dishwashers and cooks. With UNITE HERE Local 26, the union representing hospitality workers in Boston, workers protested a contract negotiation battle with no clear sign of resolution. The seven Marriott hotels in Boston were 10 days past their contract expiration date on the day of the picket.

Read the full article.

14) Ontario Election 2018: Right-Wing Populism Prevails Over Moderate Social Democracy

Matt Fodor, Socialist Project Bullet 

In the June 7 provincial election, Ontario politics took a sharp turn to the right as the Progressive Conservatives (PCs), under the leadership of the populist businessman and former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, steamrolled to a majority government. The PCs took 40.5 per cent of the popular vote and 76 out of 124 seats in the Ontario legislature, putting an end to the 15-year reign of the Ontario Liberals. The Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP), under the leadership of Andrea Horwath, catapulted from their third-place position to Official Opposition, and received 33.6 per cent of the popular vote and 40 seats. Meanwhile, Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals suffered a catastrophic defeat, receiving just 19.6 per cent of the popular vote and 7 seats – one seat below the threshold for official party status in the legislature.

Read the full article.

15) Bulldozing Palestine, one village at a time

Mariam Barghouti, Al Jazeera

Israel wants the village of Khan al-Ahmar razed to the ground to cut off Jerusalem from the West Bank.

Read the full article.

16) Ethiopia, Eritrea Sign Agreement to End Decades-Long War


According to the minister, Eritrea's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the two countries will reopen embassies and ports and allow flight operations to strengthen diplomatic ties between them.

Read the full article.

17) The staggering rise of India’s super-rich

James Crabtree, The Guardian

India’s new billionaires have accumulated more money, more quickly, than plutocrats in almost any country in history.

Read the full article.

18) Colombia's Duque Reaffirms Intention to Withdraw From Unasur


Joining the recent efforts by right-wing governments in the region to destroy integration and regional sovereignty, Colombia's president-elect Ivan Duque reaffirmed his intentions to withdraw from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

Read the full article.

19) Trump request for long-term detention of migrant children denied

Al Jazeera

A US federal judge has rejected the government's request to allow long-term detention of migrant and refugee children, a setback for President Donald Trump's executive order that ends his practice of separating parents and children at the US-Mexico border.

Read the full article.

20) Mexico's New FM: Regional Policy on Venezuela Obeys US Agenda


Marcelo Ebrard, appointed by Lopez Obrador as his foreign minister, pledged Mexico will stick to its non-interventionist tradition.

Read the full article.

21) Over 10,000 Indigenous Colombians Rights Violated: Study


Colombia's National Indigenous Organization informed that in Colombia "66% of Indigenous peoples are facing extinction."

Read the full article.

22) Mexico’s Center-Left Wins in a Landslide, but Revolutionary Socialists Also Had a Successful Militant Campaign

Wladek Flakin, Left Voice

Sulem Estrada and Miriam Hernández, two socialist workers running for the Mexican congress, won almost 2863 votes in District 32 of Mexico City. Their result of 1.7% is modest, but it is important in the context of the landslide for the center-left in the presidential election.

Read the full article.

23) AMLO to Implement San Andres Agreements Signed With Zapatistas


The future administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will promote a constitutional reform to recognize and implement Indigenous rights and finally respect the San Andres Agreements signed by the government and the National Zapatista Liberation Army (EZLN) in 1996.

Read the full article.

24) Ontario Proud Smeared a ‘Families Belong Together’ March. Now Demonstrators are Getting Violent Messages.

Press Progress

Followers of ‘Ontario Proud’ are harassing a young Muslim woman in Halifax after the right-wing Facebook page published a “factually incorrect” video that has now been viewed over one and a half million times on social media.

Read the full article.

25) On Draymond Green’s ‘Friends of the IDF’ Trip to Israel

Dave Zirin, The Nation

Draymond Green refused to visit Donald Trump. But he visited the Israeli President and posed as a sniper for the cameras—that’s a problem.

Read the full article.

26) Hundreds pay tribute to the International Brigade on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Ebro

Marcus Barnett, The Morning Star

HUNDREDS of people gathered at the weekend to pay tribute to the International Brigades on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Ebro.

Read the full article. 

27) Hundreds join ‘All Against the Wall’ border protest

Joshua Castillo, Liberation

Some 400 activists, organizers and community members gathered near the New Mexico Port of Entry in Santa Teresa, N.M., on June 2. They were there to stand in solidarity with immigrants to oppose Trump’s racist wall and to demand an end to the militarization of the southern border. The event, named All Against the Wall, focused on reclaiming the borderland and honoring the migrants who have been killed trying to cross the border and those who have died at the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Custom and Border Protection. The event began with a moment of silence to honor Claudia Patricia Gómez González, a young indigenous woman from Guatemala who was murdered by a Border Patrol agent, and Roxsana Hernández, a transgender woman from Honduras who died in ICE custody.

Read the full article.

28) Kim’s Convenience actor deserves a giant round of applause

Emma Teitel, The Toronto Star

Everyone has the capacity to be extremely confused driving through a downtown Toronto crosswalk on the day of a Blue Jays game — be they an urbanite who lives in a condo overlooking Rogers Centre or a tourist visiting from far-off lands like Tasmania and Thornhill.

Read the full article.

29) Netanyahu to Make It Official: Fascism Is What We Are

Bradley Burston, Haaretz

Benjamin Netanyahu has a message for you. 'Jewish' is not what this state is. Our message, our mission has become something else. And it starts with an F.

Read the full article.

30) Corbyn backs Nordic Model to tackle sexual exploitation

Rachel Adams, CARE

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn declared his full support for Britain to look at changing our prostitution laws by criminalising the purchase of sex, also referred to as the ‘Nordic model’. 

Read the full article.

31) Italy: Fiat Chrysler Workers Strike Over Cristiano Ronaldo Sale


"The owners should invest in car models that guarantee the future of thousands of people rather than enriching only one," the union said.

Read the full article.

32) Why London will march to 'Stop Trump' on July 13

Nick Dearden, Al Jazeera 

This week, US President Donald Trump makes his long-anticipated visit to the UK. He will be met by hundreds of thousands of protesters taking action all over the UK in a "carnival of resistance" against his inhumane policies and his divisive, racist rhetoric.

Read the full article.

33) YCL Statement: Together Against Trump

Young Communist League

The Young Communist League completely opposes US President Donald Trump’s visit to Britain this week. This is a position supported by workers and the youth across Britain. We call for socialists, trade unionists and young people to mobilise opposition in their communities and makes this message clear to Trump and the Tory government.

Read the full statement. 

34) Ireland set to be first country to end investment in fossil fuels

BBC News

Ireland is set to become the first country to stop public investments in fossil fuels.

Read the full article.

35) Today's Hero: This Woman Who Shouted 'You Idiot' at Piers Morgan on Live TV

Holly Rhue, Elle

Meet Ash Sarkar, a political activist and journalist, and today's hero who so astutely pointed out that Piers Morgan is, um, an "idiot."

Read the full article.

36) Radical Far-right Religious Groups Cheer Ford’s Decision to Cancel Sex-ed Curriculum

North 99

Doug Ford’s decision to cancel Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum was cheered by anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ groups and radical religious groups across the country.

Read the full article.

37) I was pulled from sex ed class, did not learn about my body and was abused

Sidrah Ahmad, The Toronto Star

I’m sitting in my elementary school library alone. I have to sit here for about an hour, until sex ed class is over. Then I can re-join my classmates.

Read the full article.

38) Far-right extremists are loving Trump’s comments about Europe losing its “culture”

Tim Hume and Ben Ferguson, Vice News

Donald Trump pushed the talking points of the far-right in an explosive interview Thursday with British tabloid newspaper The Sun, claiming immigration is changing the “fabric of Europe” and the continent is losing its "culture.”

Read the full article.

39) Czech Communists back in government for first time since 1989

People's World

Czech Communists signed a power-sharing agreement on Wednesday which sees them exercise influence in government for the first time since the fall of the Soviet bloc.

Read the full article.

40) Indigenous women overrepresented in Vancouver police checks: rights advocates

The Globe and Mail

Indigenous and civil rights activists seeking an investigation of the Vancouver Police Department’s use of random street checks want to amend their complaint based on new data showing Aboriginal women are checked more often than other groups.

Read the full article.

41) Labour opens up biggest lead over Tories since general election

Toby Helm, The Guardian

Labour has opened up its biggest poll lead over the Conservatives since shortly after last June’s general election, as the government’s chaotic handling of Brexit appears to have triggered a dramatic fall in support for Theresa May and the Tories – and a sudden revival of Ukip.

Read the full article.

42) Pregnant Women Say They Miscarried In Immigration Detention And Didn't Get The Care They Needed

Ema O'Connor and Nidhi Prakash, BuzzFeed News

Two weeks after arriving in the US seeking asylum, E, 23, found herself in a detention cell in San Luis, Arizona, bleeding profusely and begging for help from staff at the facility. She was four months pregnant and felt like she was losing her baby. She had come to the US from El Salvador after finding out she was pregnant, in the hopes of raising her son in a safer home.

Read the full article.

43) Cuba Welcomes Latin American, Caribbean Leftist Social Movements Attending Sao Paulo Forum


Members of parties and political movements of the left and progressives of Latin America and the Caribbean begin Sunday Havana the Annual Meeting of the Forum of Sao Paulo, which will last through Tuesday.

Read the full article.

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

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