Monday, October 14, 2019

Ecuador Rises, Turkey Attacks Kurds in Syria, Racist Police Violence & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos Holiday Edition

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 October 6 - 14.

For those interested in news and developments in the Canadian election this will be covered in a separate weekly roundup the fifth of which this past Friday wasNDP Spikes, Bloc Surges, May and Scheer Stall -- The Left Chapter Canadian Election Round-up Week Five

1) Ecuador rises against the IMF

Lee Brown, The Morning Star

ANYONE observing events in Ecuador in recent days could be forgiven for thinking they had been transported back to the Latin America of the 1990s.

2) Ecuador: ‘Drones’ revolt against Moreno’s neoliberal policies

Denis Rogatyuk, Green Left Weekly

“Ecuadorian people have memory. The adjustment policies applied in the country in the 1980s and 1990s provoked massive unemployment, impoverishing of the population, and about 12% of the population emigrated.”

3) Ecuador: Riot Police Fire Tear Gas, Live Ammo at Protesters


An hour after Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, invited the Indigenous groups and other civil society groups to “dialogue” for the first time since massive protests began nine days ago in the Andean country, the National Police bombarded these peaceful protesters with live ammunition and tear gas who had gathered in front of the National Assembly in Quito from armed vehicles.

4) Censorship: teleSUR Taken Off Air in Ecuador


The move comes just as the national government under right-wing president, Lenin Moreno, declared a curfew and militarized the entire city of Quito, the nation's capital, starting at 3:00 p.m. local time.

5) Ecuador: Nation on Military Lockdown


The Ecuadorean government under President Lenin Moreno has handed over all security controls across the country to the military and National Police until 3:00 p.m. Sunday. At that time, the state security forces or the president can decide for how long the national state of exception will last.

6) Ecuador's Leftist Leader Arrested in Police Raid on Her House


The prefect of the Ecuadorean province of Pichincha Paola Pabon was arrested in the early morning hours of Monday at her home by an order from the country's prosecutor after what she said was an illegal search and without a warrant, to carry out "investigations"

7) Ecuador: Gov't To Drop IMF-Decree, Deal Reached Strike Over


United Nations-backed dialogue table installed between Lenin Moreno's governement and leaders of Indigenous organizations reached a historic deal Sunday to revoke pro-IMF Decree 883, end strikes across the country, and to set up a commission that will write the new document that will replace it.

8) Portugal election: Socialists retain power with increased share of the vote

Jon Henley, The Guardian

António Costa bucks the trend of declining fortunes for Europe’s left, but remains short of an outright majority.

9) Portugal’s right wing suffers defeat in Oct. 6 elections

John Wojcik, People's World

For the second national election in a row, the right-wing parties have been kept out of the government by Portugal’s voters. In the elections Sunday, the Socialist Party, led by Prime Minister Antonio Costa, came in first with 36.7% of the vote, which translates into 106 seats in the parliament, 10 short of a majority.

(Related: "We have been enslaved in a modernized form" -- Nigerian workers allege widespread abuses by Shell in new video)

10) Nationalization Added 670,000 Jobs to Bolivia’s Economy: CELAG


A new report published by the think tank CELAG says the nationalization of strategic industries in Bolivia has generated 670, 000 jobs since 2006. The figure is part of a wider study into how widespread nationalizations under leftist President Evo Morales have affected the economy.

11) Bolivia and Nicaragua Launch Large Reforestation Plans


Bolivia has begun its plans to reforest areas burned by recent fires in the Chiquitania, which have now been extinguished. The Sandinista government in Nicaragua has also announced plans to reforest large areas that have been cleared for pine logging.

12) Conservationists attack NDP government over old-growth logging

Global News

Conservationists are accusing the provincial government of ignoring its own rules and regulations covering the logging of old-growth trees. Linda Aylesworth reports.

13) Nobody Should Be Friends With George W. Bush

Sarah Jones, The Intelligencer 

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres loves to tell everyone to be kind. It’s a loose word, kindness; on her show, DeGeneres customarily uses it to mean a generic sort of niceness. Don’t bully. Befriend people! It’s a charming thought, though it has its limits as a moral ethic. There are people in the world, after all, whom it is better not to befriend. Consider, for example, the person of George W. Bush. Tens of thousands of people are dead because his administration lied to the American public about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and then, based on that lie, launched a war that’s now in its 16th year. After Hurricane Katrina struck and hundreds of people drowned in New Orleans, Bush twiddled his thumbs for days. Rather than fire the officials responsible for the government’s life-threateningly lackluster response to the crisis, he praised them, before flying over the scene in Air Force One. He opposed basic human rights for LGBT people, and reproductive rights for women, and did more to empower the American Christian right than any president since Reagan.

14) Justice for Kaysera: Native Teen’s Mysterious Death Highlights Epidemic of Murdered Indigenous Women

Democracy Now

The family of Native American teenager Kaysera Stops Pretty Places is demanding justice after she was found dead in Hardin, Montana, in late August, just two weeks after her 18th birthday. Kaysera was a member of the Crow and Northern Cheyenne tribal communities in Montana. She lived with her grandmother. According to her family, Kaysera was reported missing after she never came home on the night of August 24. On August 29, the body of a young woman was found in the town of Hardin. It wasn’t until two weeks later that local law enforcement confirmed it was Kaysera. The circumstances surrounding her death and disappearance remain a mystery. Her family believes she was murdered, but says local law enforcement is not treating her sudden disappearance and death as foul play. Kaysera is among at least 27 indigenous girls and women reported missing or murdered in Big Horn County in the past decade. Since 2010, there have also been at least 134 cases of missing or murdered indigenous girls and women in the state of Montana. We speak with Grace Bulltail, Kaysera’s aunt and an assistant professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We also speak with the family’s lawyer, Mary Kathryn Nagle, a citizen of Cherokee Nation and a partner at Pipestem Law, P.C., a law firm dedicated to the restoration of tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction.


Nick Driedger, Organizing Work

With Bernie Sanders again having a believable shot at sitting in the White House and Jeremy Corbyn presiding over a more active and mobilized Labour Party than has been seen in decades, actually existing reformism is something everyone in the English-speaking world is, and should be, talking about. It’s also worth talking about the high and low points of reformism in as honest and clear-eyed a manner as possible from the perspective of revolutionary unionism. Not for cheap points-scoring, but because we shouldn’t attach ourselves to a movement simply because it seems to have a lot of momentum. We need to actually discuss what we can expect and how we should react to these situations, and for that we should look to relevant history.

16) Italian communists protest against EU moves to rewrite history

Steve Sweeney, The Morning Star

ITALIAN communists said “fuck you” to the European Union on Saturday as thousands from across Italy rallied in Rome against the dangerous anti-communist motion passed by the EU Parliament last month.

17) Rewriting the history of World War II has a sinister purpose

The Morning Star

THE anger expressed this weekend by relatives of the International Brigaders and by crowds in Rome over the European Parliament’s bid to rewrite the history of the second world war is more than justified.

18) Never Forget What the Fascists Did

Jana Tsoneva, Jacobin

In Bulgaria, campaigns that equate Communism with Nazism aren’t about defending democracy against “Russian meddling,” they’re about rehabilitating Bulgarian fascism and its complicity in the Holocaust.

19) Lawyer for slain woman's family says Fort Worth police should not be investigating themselves

Ralph Ellis, Nicole Chavez and Hollie Silverman, CNN

A lawyer for the family of a black woman who was fatally shot inside her Fort Worth, Texas, home by a white police officer says an outside agency should be brought in to investigate the killing.

20) Visible minorities say we told you so, after report finds systemic bias by Montreal police

Jaela Bernstien · CBC News

For the Montrealers who live in fear of the police, an independent report's findings of systemic discrimination is welcome, though frustratingly redundant, evidence of what they've been complaining about for years.

21) Security video reveals full extent of alleged 'assault' by Edmonton police on accused truck thief

Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell · CBC News

Security videos obtained exclusively by CBC News show what experts are calling an "assault" of an alleged truck thief by Edmonton police during a violent arrest was far worse than previously revealed.

22) 'My family is still without answers': Advocates want accountability after 6 deaths in Winnipeg police custody

Ahmar Khan · CBC News 

Within a six month period, six men have died while in custody of the Winnipeg police and the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba is investigating the circumstances.

23) MI6 accused of thwarting effort to solve 1961 death of UN chief

Jamie Doward, The Guardian 

MI6, the secret intelligence service, is under pressure to share its files on the mysterious death of a UN secretary general who was killed in an air crash almost 60 years ago.

24) Haiti: Regime crumbling in the face of popular fury

Kim Ives, Green Left Weekly

Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince looks post-apocalyptic, reflecting the fierce class war which has raged here since last year, if not since 1986.

25) Massive protests sweep Iraq; Communist Party calls for emergency government

People's World

Massive protests have swept Iraq since Oct. 1 in response to widespread anger over high unemployment, especially among youth, enormous corruption, and the inability of the government to deliver essential services like health care, water, and electricity.

26) Alberto Fernandez Vows Argentina To Leave 'Lima Group' If He Wins


Progressive candidate for Argentina's presidntial election Alberto Fernandez announced Monday that he would withdraw the country from the so called ‘Lima group’ if he wins the presidency at the Oct. 27 general elections. The ‘Lima group’ has been a mechanism used by right wing governments in the region to isolate and encourage attacks on Venezuela.

27) The cloud vs humanity: Adobe terminates every software license in Venezuela, keeps Venezuelans' money

Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

If you live in Venezuela and rely on Adobe products to do your job -- whether that's publishing a newspaper, running an NGO, or doing design work, Adobe has a very special message for you: GO FUCK YOURSELF.

28) The Latest on the Diplomatic War against Venezuela

Leonardo Flores - Common Dreams

According to conventional wisdom, the Trump administration, as well as its regional allies in the Lima Group and the Venezuelan opposition, were set to intensify the diplomatic war on the Venezuelan government at the U.N. General Assembly. However, they only managed to demonstrate how far removed their coalition against President Maduro is from convincing the international community that deadly sanctions and a coup are the way forward for Venezuela.

29) En Route to Standing Rock, Greta Thunberg Holds Up 'Struggles of All Indigenous Peoples in Protecting Their Land, Water, and Traditions'

Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg expressed solidarity Monday with "the struggles of all Indigenous peoples in protecting their land, water, and traditions" as she continued her climate-focused trip to the Americas with stops in the Dakotas.

30) Turkey Begins Operation Against Kurdish Forces in Syria


Turkish forces began ground operations in northeastern Syria, entering the country east of the Euphrates River, Turkey's defense ministry informed, adding that Turkish troops were joined by allied Syrian opposition forces.

31) 'Humanitarian Catastrophe': Civilians Flee as Turkey Launches Trump-Sanctioned Military Assault on Kurds in Syria

Jake Johnson, Common Dreams 

Rights groups and anti-war activists warned of a looming "humanitarian catastrophe" Wednesday as Turkish forces invaded northeastern Syria and launched airstrikes against Kurdish targets, forcing civilians to flee in panic.

32) Trump defends abandoning the Kurds by saying they didn't help the US in WWII

John Haltiwanger, Business Insider

President Donald Trump on Wednesday continued to defend his decision to withdraw US troops from northeastern Syria, abandoning Kurdish forces in the region, by saying the Kurds did not help the US during World War II.

33) CPUSA denounces Erdogan’s aggression in Syria


Civilian deaths, as well as those of military personnel, are now mounting as the blitzkrieg unleashed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the right-wing “Justice and Development” Party (AKP) penetrates deeper into northern Syria, with the stated intention of destroying Kurdish forces there and then settling Syrian refugees, currently  stranded in Turkey, in the area.

34) Turkey-Syria offensive: Kurds reach deal with Damascus to stave off assault

Bethan McKernan, The Guardian

Kurdish-led forces in control of north-east Syria have reached a deal with the Assad regime to stave off a bloody five-day-old Turkish assault, as more than 700 people with links to Islamic State have escaped from a detention camp in the area.

35) Syrian troops enter Kurdish fight against Turkish forces

Michael Sufi and Bethan McKernan, The Guardian

Syrian troops have begun sweeping into Kurdish-held territory on a collision course with Turkish forces and their allies, a day after the beleaguered Kurds agreed to hand over key cities to Damascus in exchange for protection.

36) Facebook takes down page of Palestine news site 

Middle East Monitor

Facebook on Wednesday deleted the page of the Palestinian Information Centre (PIC) in a move, the news site says, which is part of its war on Palestinian content on social media networks.

37) Israel to hold Bedouin citizens in internment camps

The Palestine Project, Medium 

Israel is taking the first steps towards establishing desert refugee or displacement camps designed to hold tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens whom it plans to “urgently” displace from their homes in unrecognized villages across the Naqab (Negev) desert — without offering them any permanent and just housing solutions, the Haifa-based Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

38) The Far Right's Murderous Bible

Tomer Persico, Haaretz

A rereading of ‘The Turner Diaries,’ the most popular anti-Semitic text since ‘Mein Kampf,’ reveals the depth of the anxiety over the imaginary takeover of the West by migrants. A modern incarnation of this conspiracy has infected the Jews.

39) When the right wing is still 'too socialist': Poland's far-right unites

Dominique Soguel and Monika Rębała, The Christian Science Monitor

When Poland goes to the polls this weekend in parliamentary elections, it is the ruling Law and Justice party that challengers will be gunning for. Over the past four years, Law and Justice (PiS) has moved the country rightward by pushing a populist, anti-immigrant, pro-Catholic agenda.

40) Poland's populist Law and Justice party voted back in

Christian Davies, The Guardian 

Poland’s ruling rightwing Law and Justice party has scored a convincing victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, with almost complete results indicating a parliamentary majority and another four-year term in office.

41) Doug Ford's government has made 'next to no progress' on plan to cut carbon emissions: report

Mike Crawley · CBC News

Premier Doug Ford's government has done almost nothing on the bulk of the promises in the greenhouse-gas reduction plan Ontario introduced last November, according to a new report by an environmental watchdog group.

42) Ford government's overhaul of crime victim compensation hurts most vulnerable, advocates say

 Lisa Xing, CBC News

Rebecca still struggles with what happened to her when her boyfriend forced her into the sex trade at 16, trapping her in that life for almost six months.

43) Hundreds of child-care spaces at risk due to provincial cuts, report says

Natalie Johnson, CTV News Toronto

In a cut deemed “devastating” by child care advocates, the provincial downloading of some daycare costs to municipalities could mean the loss of hundreds of subsidies for low-income families in Toronto.

44) Catalan separatist leaders given lengthy prison sentences

Sam Jones and Stephen Burgen, The Guardian 

Spain’s supreme court has jailed nine prominent Catalan separatist leaders for sedition over their roles in the failed push for independence two years ago, triggering angry protests in Catalonia and renewed calls for a political solution to the long-running territorial dispute.

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