Sunday, August 11, 2019

El Paso Aftermath, Venezuela Embargo, Kashmir, ICE Raids & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos August 4 - 11

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 August 4 - 11.

1) ICE Raids Targeted Company Whose Workers Won Discrimination Lawsuit

Democracy Now

The arrests targeted chicken processing plants operated by Koch Foods, one of the largest poultry producers in the U.S. Last year, Koch Foods paid out $3.75 million to settle an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission class-action suit charging the company with sexual harassment, national origin and race discrimination, and retaliation against Latino workers at one of its Mississippi plants. Labor activists say it’s the latest raid to target factories where immigrant workers have organized unions, fought back against discrimination or challenged unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

THIS IS AWFUL. Yesterday in Mississippi, ICE arrested 600 undocumented immigrants during the work day while their kids were at school. It was the largest mass raid of ICE in American history. These were all men and women working in chicken and poultry plants. When it came time to pick the kids up, nobody came. Their parents had been detained. Strangers provided them with food and scores of kids just slept in the school gym last night. This is what our nation has come to. - Shaun King

2) U.S. Deported a Detroit Man to Iraq, Where He’d Never Been and Didn’t Speak the Language. He Died on the Streets.

Elliott Hannon, Slate

In June, the U.S. government deported 41-year-old Jimmy Aldaoud to Iraq. Aldaoud, who was born in Greece, said he had lived in the U.S. since he was 6 months old and had never even been to Iraq, the country where he was technically a national. Aldaoud was residing in a small Detroit metro area community of Chaldean Catholics, a branch of the Roman Catholic Church whose roots are in present-day Iraq, when immigration officials showed up, detained him, and ultimately put him on a plane to Baghdad. Aldaoud did not speak Arabic. He did not have a home or any contacts there. Aldaoud was also a diabetic, and on Tuesday, he died in a country that was not his own from what appeared to be a lack of access to insulin, according to family friends and the American Civil Liberties Union.


Chris Gelardi, The Intercept 

BEFORE HE WAS deported, Jimmy Aldaoud had never stepped foot in Iraq. Born in Greece to Iraqi refugee parents, he immigrated to the United States with his family via a refugee resettlement program 40 years ago, when he was just 15 months old. He considered himself American and knew hardly anything of Iraqi society. Still, on the afternoon of June 4, he found himself wandering the arrivals terminal of Al Najaf International Airport, about 100 miles south of Baghdad, with around $50, some insulin for his diabetes, and the clothes on his back.

4) ‘You don’t have any rights’: CBP agents interrogate US citizen and seize his phone after Venezuela solidarity trip

Max Blumenthal, The Grayzone 

A US citizen has told The Grayzone that the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service detained him on his way home from Venezuela and violated his privacy.

5) Venezuela: US imposes full-fledged embargo

Lucas Koerner & Ricardo Vaz, Green Left Weekly 

United States President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed a sweeping economic embargo against Venezuela in its efforts to oust the Nicolas Maduro government.

6) Arreaza: US Total Blockade Will Make People Suffer But Won't Break Venezuela


Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza deplored Tuesday the total economic blockade imposed by the U.S. government of Donald Trump a day earlier in an executive order.

7) Food Shipment Destined For Venezuela Seized Due to US Blockade


Venezuela’s Vicepresident Delcy Rodriguez denounced Wednesday that a ship containing 25 thousand tons of soy-made products has been seized in the Panama Canal due to the U.S. blockade while calling on the United Nations to take action against the "serious aggression" that impede Venezuela "right to food".

8) March in Caracas Against US Blockade


The authorities of the National Government accompanied Venezuelans dmeonstrating their commitment and loyalty to the legacy of Commander Hugo Chavez and freedom from the blockade caused by U.S. President Donald Trump during mobilizations in Caracas Wednesday.

9) In Venezuela, Social, Popular and Communal Unity Is Not an Illusion

Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora – Peoples Dispatch

The Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora interviewed Ángel Prado, the spokesperson of the Socialist Commune El Maizal, a campesino organization dedicated to building socialism at the grassroots level in Venezuela.

10) NPR Shreds Ethics Handbook to Normalize Regime Change in Venezuela

Lucas Koerner, Orinoco Tribune 

The Reagan administration in 1982 coerced National Public Radio (NPR) to cover more favorably the US terrorist war then being waged against Nicaragua.

11) From El Paso to Christchurch, a Racist Lie Is Fueling Terrorist Attacks

Kelly Weill, The Daily Beast 

In El Paso this week and across the globe this year, white supremacists have left manifestos referencing a racist conspiracy theory to justify slaughtering religious and ethnic minorities.

12) 'White power ideology': why El Paso is part of a growing global threat

Lois Beckett and Jason Wilson, The Guardian 

More than 175 people have been killed in at least 16 high-profile attacks linked to white nationalism around the world since 2011.

13) It’s not a crisis of masculinity that’s responsible for mass shootings. It’s male power

Suzanne Moore, The Guardian 

US massacres such as those in El Paso and Dayton have become shockingly ordinary. How many people have to die before we confront what’s really happening?

14) Trump referred to immigrant 'invasion' in 2,000 Facebook ads, analysis reveals

Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian 

Donald Trump blamed the internet and social media for the “racist hate” displayed by the suspect in the El Paso massacre, but his own re-election campaign has characterized immigration as an “invasion” in more than 2,000 Facebook ads this year.

15) Walmart Bans Violent Imagery, But Not Gun Sales

Susie Neilson, NPR

After a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that left 22 people dead, the company said it would remove from its stores all signs, displays or videos that depict violence in an internal memo.

16) Kashmir: 'The Pakistan left and Indian left are united in condemning this bill.'

Susan Price & Farooq Tariq, Green Left Weekly

Farooq Tariq, spokeperson for the Awami Workers’ Party, Pakistan spoke to Green Left Weekly on August 6 about the situation in Kashmir.

17) India's annexation of Kashmir sets a path for war

Sweta Choudhury, Counterfire 

Kashmir is back on a knife edge with the Indian government’s outrageous unilateral decision to scrap article 370 that has given Indian-administered Kashmir its special status since May 14 1954.

18) Left leaders hit the streets in rain to protest Kashmir bifurcation

Pheroze L. Vincent, The Telegraph 

Top leaders of Left parties joined cadres in a protest in the rain on Monday as the debate in the Rajya Sabha raged over the Narendra Modi government’s decision to scrap the special status that Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed under Article 370.

19) Hundreds rally in Delhi to protest against India's Kashmir move

Bilal Kuchay, Al Jazeera 

Hundreds of people have rallied in the Indian capital to protest against the scrapping of a constitutional provision that granted special status to Indian-administered Kashmir.

20) Police Killed Her Boyfriend, Then Charged Her With His Murder

Melissa Grant, The New Republic 

Masonique Saunders has been locked behind bars in Ohio since December, when, at age 16, she was arrested in the death of her boyfriend, Julius Tate. She celebrated her birthday in juvenile detention. Last week, she was sentenced to three years in a Department of Youth Services prison.

21) Going Red-Red-Green


The European elections marked a historic setback for the German left. Die Linke cochair Katja Kipping tells Jacobin how she plans to revive it.

22) Christian Communism: Meet the hosts of ‘The Magnificast’ podcast

Eric Gordon, People's World 

People’s World (PW) was recently introduced to a remarkable phenomenon out there in Cyberland that we’d like to share with our readers. The Magnificast is a weekly podcast about Christianity and leftist politics. Each episode focuses on the under-explored territory of Christianity and the left that they didn’t teach you in Sunday School.

23) Uruguay Warns of US Interference in Elections in Support of Right-wing Opposition


Uruguay’s foreign minister warned Wednesday that the U.S. is attempting to damage Uruguay’s economy as a means of interfering in the country’s upcoming presidential elections in support of the right-wing opposition.

24) US: Boston Police Destroy Wheelchairs Belonging to Homeless


Police in the United States city of Boston Tuesday night destroyed three wheelchairs in a garbage truck compactor as part of a crackdown targeting the city's homeless population.

25) Is Amazon taking revenge on the Seattle socialist who took on the retail giant?

Jared Goyette, The Guardian 

When Sean Butterfield started door knocking for the re-election campaign of Seattle’s only socialist city council representative, Kshama Sawant, earlier this year, he knew his task was not easy. Last year Sawant took on one of the world’s biggest corporations, Amazon, with a tax intended to fund public housing, and nearly won.

26) Kshama Sawant to Face Off Against Amazon’s Candidate

Ty Moore, Socialist Alternative

The initial results for Seattle’s city council primary elections will greatly sharpen the class divisions in Seattle. Led by Amazon, big business in Seattle is waging a ferocious campaign to defeat every candidate who isn’t firmly aligned with them. Through a record-breaking infusion of corporate PAC money, business-backed candidates made it through the primary in all seven of the council districts, set to face off against more progressive candidates in the November general election.

27) “Mom, They Shot Me”: 12-Year-Old Was Sitting on His Bed When Chicago Cop Shot Him

Kelly Vinett, Vice News 

Twelve-year-old Amir Worship was fast asleep when a SWAT team allegedly raided his bedroom at 5 a.m. on May 26, conducting a search warrant in his south Chicago home.

28) Nicaragua To Open Embassy in Palestine


The Sandinista government of Nicaragua have sent their first ambassador to Palestine, handing over diplomatic credentials to Riyad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Wednesday.

29) House members are again pushing a bill that would censor Palestine advocacy on college campuses

Michael Arria, Mondoweiss 

On July 25, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that he was reintroducing The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. While supporters claim that the legislation will allow the Department of Education to more effectively investigate charges of anti-Semitism on college campuses, critics point out that the bill adopts a broad definition of anti-Semitism that will inevitably lead to the censoring of pro-Palestinian students. Similar versions of the bill were introduced in 2016 and 2018, but failed.

30) ‘Our foreign policy has typically been a white supremacist foreign policy’: Meet the BDS proponent hoping to unseat a longtime Democratic congressman in Oregon

Michael Arria, Mondoweiss 

Earl Blumenauer has represented Oregon’s 3rd congressional district since 1996, but he’ll face two primary challengers in 2020. Charles Rand Barnett, who ran against Blumenauer in 2018, and Albert Lee. Lee is the dean of Portland Community College’s Business and Computing division and running on a progressive platform that includes support for the Green New Deal and Medicare For All. Unlike many Democrats, he also advocates for a progressive foreign policy that aims to challenge the Washington consensus on U.S. hegemony. Lee spoke with Mondoweiss on BDS, the occupation of Palestine, and whether his campaign is pushing Blumenauer to the left on these issues.

31) Workers March in Brazil Against Government Pensions Reform 


Workers marched Tuesday through the streets of Sao Paulo against the pension reform proposed by the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.


People's Voice

Hundreds of members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505, who are in negotiations with Winnipeg Transit, gathered in front of the Winnipeg General Strike centenary monument to deliver a message to Winnipeg City Hall and Mayor Brian Bowman. They were joined by many supporters, including members of the Manitoba Teachers Society and Fight for $15 and Fairness. Turnout was especially noteworthy considering the total membership of the union is around 1,400.


People's Voice

The Pallister government has spent the last 3 years slashing social programs and public services under cover of reducing deficits. But the cuts to hospitals and healthcare – including the decision to nix the regional hospital in Portage La Prairie – show that the Tories’ real goal was privatization – not deficit reduction. And now the people of Manitoba are suffering the consequences of reduced access to hospitals and healthcare that will cost lives.

34) Thousands protest at Turkish gold mine owned by Canadian company

CBC News

Thousands of Turks including opposition lawmakers staged a peaceful and unusually large protest on the outskirts of a small western town on Monday against what they say will be pollution from a foreign-owned gold mine project.

35) “Against looting, socialism!” Say the Çanakkale people (Turkey) against Canadian Mining Corporation Alamos

Adrien Welsh. Rebel Youth

It was with this rallying cry that activists from the Çanakkale branch of the Turkish Communist Party joined the thousands of demonstrators who stormed the site of the Kirazli gold mine project operated by the Canadian mining company Alamos. Despite a few altercations with security personnel, a human tide of thousands of protesters were determined to voice their opposition to the company caused deforestation and defeated the company's security agents. Once on the site, the event went off without a hitch, the protesters came among others to make an eminently symbolic gesture: planting trees.

36) Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Names Powerful Men in Alleged Sex Ring

Kate Briquelet, Katie Baker, Justin Miller, Pilar Melendez & Tracy Connor, The Daily Beast

A young woman who says financier Jeffrey Epstein and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell kept her as a sex slave also accused a host of high-powered men of being involved in Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring, according to court records unsealed Friday.

37) Ocasio-Cortez After Jeffrey Epstein Found Dead: 'We Need Answers. Lots of Them.'

Jon Queally, Common Dreams

In the immediate wake of news from New York City officials Saturday morning that disgraced billionaire and high-profile political donor Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in his Manhattan jail cell overnight, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez indicated it will be up to lawmakers and others to demand a full accounting of what happened to the man accused of operating a sophisticated sex trafficking ring that catered to the nation's rich and powerful.

See also: American Mass Shootings, Brazil, Venezuela, the Climate Emergency & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos July 28 - August 4

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