Sunday, January 13, 2019

Wet'suwet'en, 200 Million Strike in India, Angela Davis, Nicolas Maduro & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos January 6 - 13

This week's list of articles, news items, opinion pieces and videos that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of January 6 - 13.

It begins with a selection of articles related to the RCMP attacks on Wet'suwet'en territory in British Columbia, Canada.

1) Hereditary chiefs in B.C. stand opposed to Coastal GasLink pipeline despite injunction

Chantelle Bellrichard · CBC News

'They can go anywhere they want, except for on Wet'suwet'en territory,' chief says at checkpoint gates.

2) 14 arrested as RCMP break gate at Gidimt'en camp checkpoint set up to stop pipeline company access

Chantelle Bellrichard, Michelle Ghoussoub · CBC News · 

The RCMP have arrested 14 people and entered a fortified checkpoint on a forest service road in northern B.C. where people at the Gidimt'en camp were barring a pipeline company from access.

Canada is evicting Indigenous people to make way for a mega-pipeline.

3) RCMP set up ‘exclusion zones’ for public and media as raid on B.C. camps start


The RCMP are setting up exclusion zones and closed roads to the public and media as officers get set to dismantle two camps on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory.


Annette Schroeter, Press Release

The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is expressing concern, along with a growing number of leaders and citizens, regarding the increasingly volatile situation developing in northern BC between the RCMP and First Nations protesting the TransCanada Coastal GasLink project. First Nations citizens, as all Canadian citizens, have a right to protest in a peaceful and safe manner. First Nations and the RCMP have a long history of mistrust as the RCMP have been tasked with enforcing Crown jurisdiction on First Nations lands. With the current situation, and that of the Kinder Morgan TransMountain Project, we will see 2019 as a potentially volatile year of protests as questions of jurisdiction and reconciliation between Aboriginal title and Crown title progresses.

5) ACTION ALERT – International Call to Action for Gidimt’en Access Checkpoint


The 22,000 sq km of Wet’suwet’en Territory is divided into five clans and 13 house groups. Each clan/house group manages the use of their own territory. Unist’ot’en homestead sits on Gilsteyu Dark House Territory and manager of this territory is  house group better known as Unist’ot’en. From the Widzin Kwa bridge at 66 km passing the bridge going down to 44 KM it becomes Gidimt’en Territory. The Unist’ot’en clan cannot decide or make decisions regarding Gidimt’en Territory. That would be against Wet’suwet’en Law.

6) PHOTOS: Prince George rallies around arrested pipeline protesters

 Hanna Petersen, Prince George Matters

Around 50 people gathered in front of the Prince George courthouse today (Jan. 8) to rally in support of pipeline protesters arrested in northwestern B.C.

(Related: Hundreds March and Rally in Toronto in Solidarity with Wet'suwet'en: Photos from the Day

7) First let’s talk about basic Indigenous rights, then we’ll get to reconciliation

Tanya Talaga, Toronto Star

Reconciliation is now officially over.

(Related: For Horgan "peaceful resolution" apparently flows from the barrel of a gun)

8) Thunder Bay rally participants have had 'enough' of racism toward Indigenous people

Matt Prokopchuk · CBC News

About 100 people gathered in front of Thunder Bay city hall Tuesday to publicly call for a safer community for, and more tolerant city toward, Indigenous people.

9) United Nations instructs Canada to suspend Site C dam construction over Indigenous rights violations

Sarah Cox, The Narwhal 

The world's foremost racial discrimination committee says Canada must work with Indigenous communities to find an alternative to the $10.7 billion hydro project in B.C.

10) 'You're a liar': Indigenous people voice anger at Trudeau town hall in B.C.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Indigenous people voiced their anger and frustration with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday at a chaotic town hall in Kamloops, B.C., loudly interrupting him to condemn the arrests of protesters at a pipeline blockade.

11) The Unist’ot’en Movement, Not the RCMP, Has the Law on Its Side

Judith Sayers, The Tyee

The facts about aboriginal rights and title support the Wet’suwet’en peoples in their pipeline protest.



The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have by absolutely no means agreed to let the Coastal GasLink pipeline tear through our traditional territories.

13) Video sparks outrage after Manitoba officials seize newborn from Indigenous mother in hospital

Steve Lambert, The Globe and Mail

Two social-media videos show a newborn baby girl being taken from the arms of her Indigenous mother by Manitoba social workers and police – an apprehension that First Nations leaders say is all too common in a child-welfare system biased against Indigenous people.

14) US cultural centre backtracks on honouring activist Angela Davis

Al Jazeera 

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in the US state of Alabama has revoked its award honouring global human rights activist Angela Davis.

15) Exclusive: Angela Davis Speaks Out on Palestine, BDS & More After Civil Rights Award Is Revoked

Democracy Now

In a Democracy Now! exclusive, legendary activist and scholar Angela Davis speaks out after the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute rescinded a human rights award for her, reportedly due to her activism for Palestinian rights. In September, the institute announced that it would award Davis the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award, named after the civil rights icon. But last Friday, the institute voted to withdraw the award and cancel this year’s gala event. The institute rescinded the award days after the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center sent a letter urging the board to reconsider honoring Davis due to her support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Others in the Birmingham area criticized Davis for her support for the Black Panthers and Communist Party. We speak with Angela Davis in her first television interview since the controversy began.

16) ‘An attack against the spirit of the indivisibility of justice’: Angela Y. Davis statement on the cancellation of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute award

Angela Davis, Mondoweiss 

On Saturday January 5, I was stunned to learn that the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Board of Directors had reversed their previous decision to award me the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award. Although the BCRI refused my requests to reveal the substantive reasons for this action, I later learned that my long-term support of justice for Palestine was at issue.  This seemed particularly unfortunate, given that my own freedom was secured – and indeed my life was saved – by a vast international movement. And I have devoted much of my own activism to international solidarity and, specifically, to linking struggles in other parts of the world to U.S. grassroots campaigns against police violence, the prison industrial complex, and racism more broadly.  The rescinding of this invitation was thus not primarily an attack against me but rather against the spirit of the indivisibility of justice.

17) Why Jewish Organizations Should Not Be Tearing Down Angela Davis

Rebecca Pierce, Forward 

For those of us wondering where the Jewish community fits into the broader struggle for justice, it can be right next to towering figures like Davis, if we choose to hear her call to reject white supremacy and collectively grasp our struggles at their roots.

18) The BDS movement salutes Angela Davis

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights, salutes Angela Davis for her lifelong struggle for justice and expresses its full solidarity with her.

19) Israel Opens Apartheid Road Cutting Palestinians From Jerusalem


After a delay of more than a decade, Israel opened Route 4370 in the Jerusalem area Thursday, dividing Palestinians and Jewish settlers. The “Apartheid Road” has a wall eight meters (approximately 26 feet) high and the road itself is 3.5 kilometers (approximately 2.1 miles) long.

20) US Senators Vote Down Anti-BDS Bill


The United States Senate has struck down a bill aimed at blocking any boycott of Israel spearheaded by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement Tuesday, a bill which lawmakers and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have heavily criticized.

21) Cyntoia Brown is granted clemency after serving 15 years in prison for killing man who bought her for sex

Mallory Gafas and Tina Burnside, CNN

Cyntoia Denise Brown, a woman serving a life sentence for killing a man who bought her for sex when she was 16 years old, has been granted clemency, the Tennessee governor's office said Monday.

The rise of the far-right in Brazil has been of huge benefit for US foreign policy aims in Latin America.

22) Black family owed $86K after Longueuil police barged into their home, Human Rights Commission says

Claire Loewen · CBC News

The City of Longueuil, and its police force, should pay a black family $86,000 in damages after officers aggressively arrested their sons and barged into the family home, Quebec's Human Rights Commission said in a recent decision.

23) Sweden Has a 70% Tax Rate and It’s Just Fine

Matt Bruenig, Jacobin 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's suggested 70 percent marginal tax rate has conservatives and centrists freaking out. But Sweden shows that soaking the rich is the smart thing to do.

24) Spain’s feminist groups mobilizing for battle against far-right Vox party

Pilar Alvarez & Eva Saiz, El Pais 

Spain’s main feminist groups are preparing public protests against the far-right party Vox, which is threatening to withhold support for a new government in Andalusia unless its new leaders pledge to repeal existing gender violence policies.

25) East Berliners: We live on Karl Marx Allee, not “Capitalist Avenue”

John Wojcik, People's World 

Banners hanging from apartment windows in what was formerly East Berlin proclaim “This is Karl Marx Allee, not Commerz Allee!” Tenants all over this city, but particularly these days in what used to be the capital of East Germany, are marching, rallying, and flying banners outside their windows to protest attempts by voracious real estate moguls to take their homes and sell them off to wealthy people.

26) 200 million on strike in India; Communist Party leaders detained

Steve Sweeney, People's World

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leaders from West Bengal, Sujan Chakraborty and Anadi Sahoo, were detained by police during India’s largest-ever national strike today.

27) The largest strike in history is happening in India right now

Ben Cowles, The Morning Star 

AROUND 150 million people began a two-day general strike in India today against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s anti-Labour and anti-trade union policies in India.

28) Here’s What a Real Strike Looks Like: 150 Million Say No to Despotism in India

Vijay Prashad, Common Dreams

Indian cities never go silent. Sound is a constant feature—the horns of cars, the chirping of birds, the cries of hawkers, the steady hum of a motorcycle engine. On Tuesday, India is on strike. It is likely that about 150 million workers will stay away from their workplaces. Trade unions of the Left have called for the strike, a general strike in a country exhausted by rising inequality and a mood of dissatisfaction.

29) 50,000 garment workers strike in Bangladesh, demand higher wages


Around 50,000 workers have walked out of their factories, which make clothes for retailers such as H&M, Walmart, Tesco and Aldi, demanding higher wages.

30) Spain's Socialist PM takes political risk with spending plan

The Associated Press

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says he will take his 2019 national budget proposal to a vote in parliament, even though his centre-left minority government doesn’t currently have enough support to get it approved.

31) Cuba closes 2018 with the lowest infant mortality rate in its history

 Lisandra Fariñas Acosta, Granma 

For the second consecutive year, Cuba ended 2018 with the lowest infant mortality rate in its history, and with four fewer deaths than the previous year, at 4.0 per thousand live births.

32) Stop using police to block OPSEU from organizing cannabis warehouse workers


OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is calling on the Ford government to stop using police to try to block workers at the privately operated cannabis warehouse from unionizing.

33) 14 MPs turn up to discuss UN report on 14 million people living in poverty

Jack Peat, The London Economic 

The UN’s report on poverty in Britain is at risk of being swept under the carpet after just 14 MPs turned up to debate the issue in parliament yesterday.

34) United Conservative Party Members Keep Getting Fed Up With Jason Kenney and Quitting His Party

Press Progress 

Jason Kenney is alienating party supporters across the province by failing to deliver on his “grassroots guarantee.”

35) It’s going to be a year of resistance – Musumali

Oliver Chisenga, The Mast

SOCIALIST Party (Zambia) General Secretary Dr Cosmas Musumali says 2019 will be a year of resistance, a year of the revolution.

36) The secret moves to increase private health care

Bob Hepburn, The Toronto Star

Premier Doug Ford loves to boast about how his Conservative government is moving swiftly to end “hallway medicine” and adequately fund health care in Ontario.

37) Police in Canada can now demand breath samples in bars, at home

Sean O'Shea, Global News 

It may sound unbelievable, but Canada’s revised laws on impaired driving could see police demand breath samples from people in bars, restaurants, or even at home. And if you say no, you could be arrested, face a criminal record, ordered to pay a fine, and subjected to a driving suspension.

38) 'Everybody has failed these young women:' New docuseries resurfaces R. Kelly sex abuse allegations

Jessica Wong · CBC News

U.S. authorities are seeking witnesses and evidence in connection to longstanding sexual abuse allegations against R. Kelly, which were revived this month in the blistering new documentary series Surviving R. Kelly.

39) Communist Party calls for immigrants to be legalised

The Portugal News

Portugal's communist parliamentary group has called for all immigrants without local documents, but who are working or have lived in Portugal permanently since July 2015, to be legalised.

40) Despite US Interventionism, Venezuela's Maduro Sworn In for 2nd Presidential Term


Venezuela President Maduro began his second term in office Thursday after he was sworn in at the country's supreme court as leaders and delegations from 94 nations from around the globe attended the event along with representatives from OPEC, the African Union. UNASUR, Caricom and CELAC attended the swearing-in ceremony.

41) The Case for the Legitimacy of Maduro's Second Term


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros will be sworn-in for his second mandate (2019-2025) on Thursday, Jan. 10, in front of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) in Caracas. Days before being inaugurated, Maduro has called for unity among Venezuelans and against clear interventionist attempts. "The Bolivarian Revolution is about more that one man: it's about a people that chose to be free,” he tweeted.

42) Venezuela is under siege — it needs our solidarity

The Morning Star 

DESPITE being elected with over two-thirds of the vote last May in an election given a clean bill of health by hundreds of international observers, President Nicolas Maduro’s swearing in today provoked the usual round of abuse and threats.

(Related: Which of these countries is not like the other? -- A Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland Imperialism Quiz!)

43) Evangelical group wants gays removed from anti-lynching bill

Brooke Sopelsa, NBC News 

The U.S. Senate last month unanimously passed a bill that would explicitly make lynching a federal crime. Not everyone, however, is pleased with passage of the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act.

44) At Least 4,592 Migrants Died or Disappeared During 2018


According to information published by the International Organization for Migration (OIM), at least 4,592 people died or went missing trying to cross some of the main migratory routes across the world during 2018.

45) 20,000 Argentines Protest President Macri's Economic Policies


Political parties and social organizations joined union calls Thursday for a massive protest in Buenos Aires against increases in public services rates that were announced by Argentine President Mauricio Macri.

46) Brazil: Massive Protest Against Transport Fare Hikes


Amid strong police deployment, Brazilians demonstrated Thursday against increases in public transportation fares in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city. The protest was organized by the Passe Livre Movement (MPL) - Free Pass Movement - which rejected a 7.5% hike in the prices of train, metro and bus tickets.

47) Bangladesh: Gov't Increases Wage of Protesting Garment Workers


Garment manufacturers in Bangladesh have agreed to raise workers' pay, the commerce minister said Sunday, urging people to return to work after a week of violent demonstrations.

See also: Cuban Revolution at 60, Kerala Women's Wall, Bolsonaro & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos December 30 - January 6

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