Sunday, March 10, 2019

Ilhan Omar, IWD, Venezuela & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos March 3 - 10

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 March 3 - 10.

In addition to a general overview of news and opinion this week's installment begins with a section of articles and videos devoted to the attacks on Ilhan Omar in the United States, to International Women's Day around the world and to Venezuela.

1) Demonizing Ilhan Omar: Why the entire political establishment wants to crush one woman

Paul Rosenberg, Salon 

I wish I could say I were surprised at the demonization of Ilhan Omar by an establishment that remains eager to whitewash Elliott Abrams' record of war crimes. But I’m not. In fact, it’s exactly what I’ve come to expect. The super-strict (yet simultaneously sloppy) language policing to which Omar has been subjected is ludicrously asymmetric.

2) Keep It Up, Ilhan Omar

Gideon Levy, Haaretz 

Maybe Mogadishu will turn out to be the source of hope. This war-torn city was the birthplace of the most promising U.S. congresswoman today.

3) Ilhan Omar and the weaponisation of antisemitism

Joshua Leifer, The Guardian 

It should not be difficult to recognize the meaningful distinction between Ilhan Omar’s recent comments and the kind of antisemitism surging on the right.

4) Democrats Put Off Anti-Semitism Resolution After Outpouring of Support for Ilhan Omar


Ilhan Omar has been under attack for criticizing Israel’s overt influence on United States politics, suggesting that members of the U.S. Congress support Israel because of money they receive from pro-Israel lobbying groups.

5) Sanders defends Omar: Can't equate anti-Semitism with 'legitimate criticism' of Israel

Tal Axelrod, The Hill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) defended Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Wednesday amid an avalanche of criticism she’s received over comments about Israel that some have slammed as anti-Semitic.

6) Ilhan Omar’s Denunciation of Israel Lobby is Not Anti-Semitism

Phyllis Bennis, The Real News Network

Democrats’ resolution denouncing anti-Semitism is aimed at stopping criticism of Israel and at silencing a Black Muslim refugee woman who is not anti-Semitic.

7) Ilhan Omar in Her Own Words: I Know What Hate Feels Like

Democracy Now

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Thursday condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, white supremacy and other forms of hate. The vote was 407 to 23, with nearly two dozen Republicans voting against it. The vote capped a week of intense debate among congressional Democrats that began after some lawmakers accused Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of invoking anti-Semitic tropes while questioning U.S. foreign policy on Israel at an event last week. Omar said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” While the media has largely focused on this single sentence in her remarks, few have heard her broader comments. We hear from Ilhan Omar in her own words, speaking last week at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C.

8) Rep. Ilhan Omar Defies Dem Leaders By Refusing to Recognize Venezuela’s Guaido: ‘Absolutely Not’

Julio Rosas, Mediaite 

In a new interview with The Intercept, Rep. Ilhan Omar said she does not recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president, defying leaders in her party. Guaido has been recognized by the United States and other countries as president in opposition to Nicolas Maduro‘s regime.

9) Ilhan Omar: Obama’s Policies as Bad as Trump’s, Just More Polished


Once again Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) is under the political spotlight after Politico Magazine published Friday an interview in which she criticized President Obama’s policies on immigration and drone strikes, comparing them to those of the current Trump administration.

10) Outrage Over Anti-Muslim Poster That Ties Ilhan Omar With 9/11


An anti-Muslim poster seen outside of the chamber of the West Virginia house of delegates showed a picture of 9/11 and Ilhan Omar together with the words, "Never forget - you said. I am the proof - you have forgotten."

11) Hundreds of thousands of women strike in Spain

The Morning Star 

"IF we stop, the world stops,” blasted women’s organisations and trade unions across Spain today as hundreds of thousands went on strike to mark International Women’s Day.

12) Women Marchers Slam Bolsonaro, Pay Homage to Marielle Franco


The protesters also warn that femicides are prevalent in the country that, in 2018, registered one of the highest rates in the world; with an astounding 70% of the victims being black.

13) A history of International Women's Day

 Lindsey German, Counterfire 

In this article, originally published in 1998, Lindsey German traces the history of International Women's Day - initially a celebration of the struggle of working women fighting back over suffrage and conditions at work.

14) International Women’s Day: Make Child Care Affordable Now


This International Women’s Day, workers and women are calling on all federal political parties to commit to a plan for affordable, high-quality child care ahead of the federal election.

15) Women 'work for free for first two months of the year' due to gender pay gap

The Independent 

Women effectively work for free for more than two months of the year because of the gender pay gap, new research suggests.

16) Women work more than men: study

The International News 

Women work more than men and it’s a worldwide trend. A study carried out by Statista has proved that the women in all seven regions of the world work more than men. However, most of work done by women is unpaid in all the regions.

17) The South Korean feminists rejecting the limp ‘brand’ of liberal feminism

Jo Bartosch, The Morning Star 

In South Korea a new feminist movement dubbed “Ditch the Corset” is tearing down the restrictions and expectations placed on women and girls.

18) Istanbul police use tear gas to disperse Women's Day marchers

Al Jazeera 

Turkish police have fired tear gas at thousands of people who gathered in central Istanbul for a march to celebrate International Women's Day in defiance of a protest ban.

19) Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Youths Violently Disrupt Feminist Prayer Service at Western Wall

Judy Maltz and Jonathan Lis, Haaretz 

Clashes broke out at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday morning as thousands of ultra-Orthodox youths descended on the holy site in an orchestrated attempt to disrupt a special service organized by Women of the Wall.


Marc Bain, Quartzy 

The first National Woman’s Day, a precursor to International Women’s Day, took place in the United States in 1909. It honored a garment workers’ strike the year before, in which women protested the poor working conditions, low wages, and sexual harassment they faced—and it predated by two years the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which killed 146 garment workers, mostly young immigrant women, in Manhattan.

21) Feminism without socialism will never cure our unequal society

Ellie Mae O’Hagan, The Guardian 

Gender inequality is a necessary condition of capitalism, so this International Women’s Day join a trade union.

(Related: Solidarity on International Women's Day)

22) CP of Greece, We denounce the imperialist intervention in Venezuela. Solidarity with the Venezuelan People!


We, Communist and Workers Party of the world, decisively denounce the imperialist plans, the undermining tactics and the menaces unleashed by the USA, the EU and their allied governments in Latin America, aiming at overthrowing the legally elected President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro; at subjugating the people of the country into their imperialist interests; and at looting the country’s wealth-producing resources.

23) On the 88th Anniversary of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV)

Fight Back News 

This March 5, 2019, when our Venezuelan nation faces the most criminal U.S.-European imperialism stalking humanity, the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) will be completing 88 years of combat for the emancipation of the working class from capitalism, the system of the exploiter; guided by the scientific methods of Marxism-Leninism and the integral thinking of the Liberator Simón Bolívar.

24) Hugo Chavez's Memory Lives on in the Hearts of Latin Americans


Six years since his passing and the memory of Hugo Chavez still remains not only in the hearts of Venezuelans but of Latin Americans around the globe.

25) Self-Proclaimed ‘Presidency’ Trend Catches On in Latin America


Something they all have in common is that none were democratically elected by the people, yet, this did not stop them from self-proclaiming as ‘presidents’ of their homelands. But with Juan Guiado’s example, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador join Venezuela with brand new self-proclaimed heads of State. 

26) Worker's Reject the Calls for a Strike by the Venezuelan Opposition


Labor unions in Venezuela have condemned the words of opposition lawmaker @jguaido, who called for workers to strike following his failed attempts at bringing foreign intervention in the country.

27) Venezuelan VP: Marco Rubio Behind Nation-Wide Blackout Sabotage


Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez announced late Thursday that President Nicolas Maduro ordered schools and offices be shut on Friday in order to speed up the repairs of the Venezuelan electric system, which was attacked by far-right groups Thursday afternoon.

28) Venezuelans March Against Attack on Electric Grid System in Anti-imperialist Day


Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets Saturday to march against interventionism in the country, as part of the celebrations of the national Bolivarian Anti-imperialist Day.

29) Footage Contradicts U.S. Claim That Maduro Burned Aid Convoy

Nicholas Casey, Christoph Koettl and Deborah Acosta, The New York Times

The narrative seemed to fit Venezuela’s authoritarian rule: Security forces, on the order of President Nicolás Maduro, had torched a convoy of humanitarian aid as millions in his country were suffering from illness and hunger.

30) MSNBC Yet Again Broadcasts Blatant Lies, This Time About Bernie Sanders’s Opening Speech, and Refuses to Correct Them

Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept 

MSNBC IS A dishonest political operation, not a news outlet. It systematically and deliberately refuses to adopt a defining attribute of a news outlet: a willingness to acknowledge factual errors, correct them, and apologize. That they not only allow their lies to stand uncorrected but reward their employees who do it most frequently — especially when those lies are directed at adversaries of the Democratic Party — proves that they are, first and foremost, a political arm of the Democratic establishment.

31) ‘The nazis are coming,’ Ukraine's communists warn after WWII monument torn down

Ben Chacko, The Morning Star 

"THE nazis are coming,” Ukraine’s Communist Party (KPU) leader Petro Symonenko has warned after the demolition of the Soviet war memorial in Lviv and a petition for the destruction of its counterpart in Riga, the Latvian capital.

32) Headscarf-wearing communist candidate set to shake up Istanbul elections

Ragip Soylu, Middle East Eye

Fatma Akin, a textile worker, has been struggling to make ends meet for the last eight years in horrible workplace conditions - sewing for 11 hours in damp and dark basements.

33) New Data Shows Wages Stagnated and Inequality Grew Even as the Canadian Economy Boomed in 2017

Press Progress

Even though Canada’s economy appeared to have a strong performance in 2017, a closer at the data is showing that inequality increased and wages stagnated for working families.

34) Workers from 20 states march in Delhi for better working conditions

The New Indian Express

The Mazdoor Adhikar Sangharsh Abhiyan (MASA), an umbrella organisation of workers’ unions, took out a rally in the national capital on Sunday demanding better working conditions and social security for the unorganised sector.

35) Heatwaves sweeping oceans ‘like wildfires’, scientists reveal

Damian Carrington, The Guardian 

The number of heatwaves affecting the planet’s oceans has increased sharply, scientists have revealed, killing swathes of sea-life like “wildfires that take out huge areas of forest”.

36) Carbon monoxide is killing public housing residents, but HUD doesn't require detectors

Suzy Khimm and Laura Strickler, NBC

KinTerra Johnson and her three young children had to flee their apartment at 3 a.m. on a cold January night, or else risk losing their lives.

37) Schools getting more police but at the expense of counselors, nurses: Report

Cheyenne Haslett, ABC 

About 14 million students attend schools across the U.S. where they walk the halls alongside police officers but don't have access to counselors, nurses, psychologists or social workers, according to an ACLU report released Monday.


Akela Lacy, The Intercept 

OUTGOING CHICAGO MAYOR Rahm Emanuel, the very embodiment of triangulating, neoliberal politics going back multiple generations, is leaving office with the political movement he rode to power in tatters. Last week, Chicago voters dealt both him and his political ideology a searing rebuke, as progressive women of color swept key local elections, unseated a city council member with close ties to the mayor, and sent two progressive black women into the runoff to replace Emanuel.

39) White Supremacist Propaganda At 'Record-Setting' Levels, ADL Report Finds

Matthew Schwartz, NPR

The increase in flyers and other propaganda reflects a relatively new strategy for hate groups, the ADL says. Under intense scrutiny, white supremacists are reluctant to show their face in public, so they're relying more on leaflets and posters to spread hate without putting themselves at personal risk, it adds.

40) I Was Fired for Criticizing Israel. Jody Wilson-Raybould Just Hinted Why.

Kevin Metcalf, The Scaffold 

While much of the nation’s focus is wrapped up in the minutiae of the burgeoning political crisis around SNC Lavalin and alleged political interference in criminal justice, few people seem to be discussing revelations from this case about the state of press freedom in Canada. This issue was made public in shocking comments attributed to Katie Telford, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff. The alleged comments were revealed in Jody Wilson-Raybould’s wide-ranging 3 hour testimony before a House of Commons Justice committee. What we learned from that attributed statement was the cavalier attitude Canadian politicians seem to hold toward the freedom and independence of corporate media in Canada.

41) Indigenous group sues Ecuador for earmarking its land for oil drilling

Kimberley Brown, Mongabay 

An indigenous community in Ecuador has filed a lawsuit against the government for failing to consult with it before putting its territory up for sale to the oil industry.

42) How Driving is Encouraged and Subsidized — By Law

Angie Schmitt, StreetsBlog USA

Driving is so hard-wired into American culture, life and institutions, that it’s hard to account for all the ways it is subsidized, preferenced or otherwise favored. But Greg Shill, a law professor at University of Iowa, attempted it anyway.

43) Canada being sued for child welfare system that ‘incentivizes’ the apprehension of children

Kathleen Martin, APTN News

A First Nation child advocate thinks it’s “sad” the government is being sued for
“underfunding” on-reserve child welfare services in a $3-billion lawsuit.

44) Microplastic pollution revealed ‘absolutely everywhere’ by new research

Damian Carrington, The Guardian 

Microplastic pollution spans the world, according to new studies showing contamination in the UK’s lake and rivers, in groundwater in the US and along the Yangtze river in China and the coast of Spain.

45) Bangladesh unions call to reinstate over 12,000 retrenched garment workers


In a letter to the Minister of labour and employment on 5 March, the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) demanded immediate intervention of the government to withdraw false cases, free the imprisoned and reinstate all dismissed workers in the backdrop of mass protests for wage hike across readymade garment manufacturing units.

46) Women farm workers achieve justice on the job in Morocco

Tula Connell, Equal Times

Wrapped in a warm pink headscarf and thick layers of sweaters and shirts, Nezha Chafik, a farm worker in Morocco, bends as she walks between the rows of peach trees, cutting clusters of weeds with her machete in the late April chill.

47) Medieval Diseases Are Infecting California’s Homeless

Anna Gorman, The Atlantic 

Jennifer Millar keeps trash bags and hand sanitizer near her tent, and she regularly pours water mixed with hydrogen peroxide on the sidewalk nearby. Keeping herself and the patch of concrete she calls home clean is a top priority.

During a speech on “climate” by Justin Trudeau, Aamjiwnaang First Nation community organizer Vanessa Gray was assaulted by a member of the audience, while the Canadian Prime Minister looked on and did nothing. Vanessa Gray tells us what happened in her own words. 

48) Women of colour stand up against the sex trade

Anna Fisher, The Morning Star

IN Dr Vednita Carter’s black Minnesota neighbourhood, white middle-class men cruise the streets in luxury cars, looking for black girls and young women to pay to use and abuse sexually.

49) 'We cannot swim, we cannot eat': Solomon Islands struggle with nation's worst oil spill

Eddie Osifelo and Lisa Martin, The Guardian 

Locals face polluted seas and dying fish after Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier runs aground close to Unesco-protected atoll

Democratic congressman Joe Cunningham interrupted a house committee hearing with a 120-decibel airhorn after a Trump administration official insisted air-gun testing to locate oil underwater would have no impact on whales, who rely on echolocation to hunt and communicate.

50) The terrifying case of a six-week embryo suing an abortion clinic

Jill Filipovic, The Guardian 

An Alabama case brings into sharp clarity what is at stake with the legal battle over a woman’s right to choose.

51) Boss Ford strikes again

Stephen Maher, Maclean's 

On Monday, after a month in which Justin Trudeau’s government has been tearing itself apart over allegations of interference with the corruption prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, Ontario Premier Doug Ford fired the deputy commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.

52) Ford blames ‘police-hating’ NDP for Taverner quitting as next OPP commissioner

Marieke Walsh, iPolitics

Premier Doug Ford and his government are admitting no mistake in appointing Ford-friend Ron Taverner to the OPP and are instead blaming the “police-hating” NDP for forcing Taverner to quit.

53) The Doug Ford-Ron Taverner affair isn’t over

Marcus Gee, The Globe and Mail

Ron Taverner fell on his sword. The Toronto cop said this week he would no longer seek to lead the Ontario Provincial Police. Good. The well-justified uproar over his appointment by the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford, who happens to be his friend, made it impossible for him to carry on.

54) U.N. Finds Israel Intentionally Shot Children, Journalists & the Disabled During Gaza Protests

Democracy Now

A United Nations inquiry has found Israeli forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by targeting unarmed children, journalists and the disabled in Gaza. The report, released by the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday, looked at Israel’s bloody response to weekly Great March of Return demonstrations, launched by Palestinians in Gaza nearly a year ago, targeting Israel’s heavily militarized separation barrier. The report found Israeli forces have killed 183 Palestinians—almost all of them with live ammunition. The dead included 35 children. Twenty-three thousand people were injured, including over 6,000 shot by live ammunition. We speak with Sara Hossain, a member of the U.N. independent commission that led the Gaza investigation.

55) Canadian apologist for Israeli war crimes nominated for Peace Prize

Yves Engler

Hypocrisy, lying, disdain for the victims of ‘our’ policies and other forms of rot run deep in Canadian political culture.

56) Palestinian Toddlers Burn to Death After Israeli Troops Block Fire Brigade


Two Palestinian children, four-year-old Wael Rajabi and his 18-month-old sister Malik, died in a fire after Israeli authorities blocked the fire brigade from reaching their home in time.

57) Israeli Arab Slate, Far-left Candidate Banned From Election Hours After Kahanist Leader Allowed to Run

Jonathan Lis and Jack Khoury, Haaretz 

Arab political sources say the move is evidence of racism and the delegitimization of Arab society in Israel, accusing Netanyahu’s Likud party of anti-Arab incitement.

See also: Venezuela and Haiti, SNC-Lavalin, Climate Change & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos February 24 - March 3

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