Sunday, October 20, 2019

Mass Protests in Chile, Honduras, Ecuador and Catalonia, Bolivia Votes & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos October 14 - 20

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 14 - 20.

For those interested in news and developments in the Canadian election this will be covered in a separate weekly roundup the last of which this past Saturday was: Coalitions, Rewriting Constitutional History, NDP Spike or Surge and more -- The Left Chapter Canadian Election Round-up Week Six

1) Chile: President Piñera Revokes Santiago Subway Fare Hike


Chilean President Sebastian Piñera has announced that the Santiago subway fare increase that went into effect last Monday, has been revoked after a week of tense protests by students and subway users against the price hike.

2) Soldiers Patrol Streets of Chile Amid State of Emergency


Armed soldiers are patrolling the streets of Santiago Saturday after President Sebastian Piñera decreed a state of emergency to contain citizen protests against increased subway fares.

Horrifying scenes from Chile 

3) Chilean President Announces State of Emergency


Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announces Friday night a state of emergency for the provinces of Santiago and Chacabuco.

4) Chile students’ mass fare-dodging expands into city-wide protest

John Bartlett, The Guardian 

Thousands of school and university students have joined a mass fare-dodging protest in Chile, flooding into metro stations in the country’s capital to vault turnstiles and vandalise equipment amid simmering unrest over the rising cost of living.

5) Ecuador: victory for the popular protest

Jonathan Maunders, Counterfire 

On Monday, in a huge victory for protesters and the Ecuadorian people, the country’s government agreed to reinstate fuel subsidies.

6) Pro-Democracy Movement in Haiti Swells Despite Lethal Police Violence

Frances Madeson, Truthout

It’s getting hard not to notice that U.S. corporate media is covering pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong far more than pro-democracy forces in the Caribbean. It can be challenging to catch up on significant events in a place that’s a mere two-hour flight from Miami; with a few exceptions, the media is largely failing Haiti right now.

7) Third night of violence in Barcelona after jailing of Catalan separatists

Stephen Burgen and Sam Jones, The Guardian 

Street violence escalated in Barcelona late on Wednesday, as protesters set cars on fire and threw acid at police officers in a third night of unrest following the imprisonment this week of nine pro-independence leaders for their roles in the failed 2017 push for regional independence.

8) Europe must condemn the repression of the Catalans

Iain Macwhirter, The Herald 

The democratically-elected Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, is in Belgium fighting attempts by the Madrid state to extradite him. Nine Catalan politicians and independence activists have been sentenced in Madrid to between nine and 13 years for the archaic crimes of sedition and disobedience. The government of Catalonia, elected in a free and fair election, has been suppressed.

9) Catalonia: Thousands Join Pro-Independence National Strike


Catalonia was completely paralyzed on Friday as a result of a general strike called on by the Intersindical-CSC and Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya (IAC) unions to protest against the prison sentence of nine pro-independence leaders.

10) Catalonia: Police Repress Protesters During Overnight Demos


After a nationwide strike full of marches, protests and barricades, Barcelona woke up on Saturday with a strong smell of charred objects after a night in which the riot police harshly repressed pro-independence activists and left over 180 people injured and 300 arrested.

11) Honduras: Protests Intensify Against President Hernandez


Hondurans on Friday took to the streets to demand the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH) after the New York Federal Court found his brother, Tony Hernandez, guilty on charges of drug trafficking, use of weapons and lying to authorities.

12) Wide-Scale Anti-Gov't Protests Continue Across Lebanon


The Lebanese people ignored Prime Minister Saad Hariri's 72-hour-long pledge Friday to take to the streets for the third straight day of protests against government corruption.

13) Snakes, rats, bedbugs, abuse. Complaints filed by Mexican migrant workers expose underside of Canada’s seasonal agriculture program

Sara Mojtehedzadeh, The Toronto Star

14) Texas officer who fatally shot woman in her home arrested on murder charges

Bill Hutchinson and Marcus Moore, ABC News

The police officer who fatally shot a Fort Worth, Texas, woman in her home while answering a call for a welfare check has been arrested on murder charges. The charge comes after the officer abruptly resigned on Monday just before he was about to be fired for allegedly violating multiple department policies, the police chief said.

15) Botham Jean, Then Atatiana Jefferson: Outrage in Texas as Police Kill Another Black Resident at Home

Democracy Now

A white police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, has been arrested and charged with murder, after he shot and killed an African-American woman who was inside her own home. Officer Aaron Dean was responding to a non-emergency call for a wellness check after a neighbor had called the Fort Worth police to report that 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson’s front door was open at around 2:30 in the morning on Saturday. Soon after the officers arrived, Dean, who never identified himself to be a police officer, shouted through Jefferson’s bedroom window to put her hands up, and then immediately opened fire, killing her. Minutes before the shooting, Jefferson had been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew, who witnessed the shooting but was not physically injured. Atatiana Jefferson is the seventh person since June who has been killed by one of the police department’s officers. From Dallas, we speak with Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing the family of Atatiana Jefferson.

16) Sudan communists call for mass protest to fulfil revolution’s goals

Middle East Monitor 

The Sudanese Communist Party on Sunday called for a million man protest on 21 October in an effort to fulfil the goals of the revolution, Anadolu reported.

17) Coca-Cola’s same-sex couple ads are ‘mentally, emotionally and morally damaging’, Hungarian authorities rule

Nick Duffy, Pink News

Coca-Cola has reportedly been issued a fine by regulators in Hungary over an ad campaign featuring same-sex couples.

18) Extinction Rebellion to fight ban on protesting in London in court

Matthew Taylor, Vikram Dodd, Jessica Murray and Damien Gayle, The Guardian 

Extinction Rebellion has said it will fight a ban on activists protesting in London in court, as the capital’s mayor, a key ally of the police, distanced himself from the crackdown.

19) Londoners defy the XR ban to defend the right to protest

Chris Nineham, Counterfire 

Londoners have responded very strongly to the outrageous Metropolitan police ban on XR protests. Less than 18 hours after it was announced, thousands of people flocked to a lunchtime protest in Trafalgar Square called by Extinction Rebellion against the ban. People from all over the South East joined the protests and they included health workers, bus drivers, students and a number of different campaigning groups including Stop the War, Grenfell campaigners, War on Want and the People's Assembly.

20) Five killed in Kashmir's deadliest day since losing special status

Rebecca Ratcliffe, The Guardian 

Five people were killed in Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday, thought to be the deadliest day in the region since it was stripped of its autonomy this summer.

21) Amazon Is Spending Big to Oust Seattle’s Socialist Council Member

 Hallie Golden, The Nation 

Last month Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant was the lone woman of color on stage alongside her rival City Council candidate Egan Orion and three middle-aged white male moderators from local news stations. It took Sawant just two sentences to steer the debate to the issue at the center of her reelection campaign: the evils of big corporations. Six weeks from election day, Orion, a self-described progressive liberal, had highlighted the importance of bringing people together. Sawant did not disagree, but replied, “The crucial question is, unity and collaboration and coalitions with whom?” “My opponent is the poster child for big business,” she went on. “He has more corporate money than any candidate in Seattle City Council history. And we know what corporations like Amazon and the Chamber of Commerce are trying to do. They’re trying to flip City Hall to the right and reverse our progressive victories.”

22) 'Go back to work': outcry over deaths on Amazon's warehouse floor

Michael Sainato, The Guardian

In September, Billy Foister, a 48-year-old Amazon warehouse worker, died after a heart attack at work. According to his brother, an Amazon human resources representative informed him at the hospital that Billy had lain on the floor for 20 minutes before receiving treatment from Amazon’s internal safety responders.


A.J. Withers for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

Last week, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) put up posters in the city’s downtown east neighbourhood calling Sue Ann Levy – Toronto Sun’s columnist – a “bigot.” The posters were a response to a series of articles in which Levy disparages homeless people at Dundas and Sherbourne and agitates against critical services they rely on. The posters depict a photo of Levy, made to look somewhat like a mug shot, with the word “bigot” underneath. The imagery follows the tradition of satirical protest posters that name the offences of public figures. The posters describe Levy’s bigotry and encourage readers to “Build Inclusive Communities” and “Say yes to services, no to bigots.”

24) Chicago teachers say they will go on strike. They are demanding affordable housing for students.

Kim Bellware, The Washington Post

Teachers in the third-largest U.S. school district are expected to go on strike Thursday for the first time in seven years after contract negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and city officials hit a stalemate Tuesday night. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday morning that classes at Chicago public schools will be canceled in anticipation of the strike, which was made official Wednesday evening.

25) Street checks permanently banned in N.S. after review calls them illegal

Carolyn Ray · CBC News 

Nova Scotia's justice minister says he will permanently ban street checks after a legal opinion co-authored by a former top judge found the Halifax police practice, which disproportionately targeted black males, is illegal.

26) Bolivia’s VP Talks Elections and Opposition Failures


Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera gave an interview to Nodal in which he talked about the upcoming Oct. 20 elections and the prospects for the country’s leftist President Evo Morales. Garcia Linera also addressed the failure of the right-wing opposition to articulate a credible alternative program.

27) 'We’ll Beat The Neoliberals': Evo Morales Closes Campaign


Evo Morales’ ‘Movement Towards Socialism’ party marked the official close of their election campaign on Wednesday afternoon. The event was held in the overwhelmingly Indigenous city of El Alto, at which Morales asked for five more years to continue Bolivia’s path to development and to ‘beat the neoliberals’. The presidential elections will be held on Sunday.

28) Live Updates: Bolivians Head to Polls in Key Election


Bolivians will vote in an election on Sunday to decide whether to extend the rule of President Evo Morales to nearly two decades amid a rise in right-wing governments in the region who have been facing major protests in neighboring Chile, Ecuador and Argentina over harsh austerity measures. 

29) Nunavut’s justice minister promises highest minimum wage in Canada

Elaine Anselmi, Nunatsiaq News

Nunavut residents can expect to a boost to the territory’s minimum wage to help match the territory’s high cost of living.

30) Another Journalist Killed in Colombia, Gov't Remains Silent


In Colombia, journalist and broadcaster Javier Cordoba Chaguendo was killed by a hitman while conducting a music program at a community radio station in Tumaco, Nariño, on the border with Ecuador.

31) Colombia: Three Indigenous Leaders Killed by Hitmen


Colombian human rights defender Alirio Uribe Muñoz on Thursday announced that three indigenous leaders were killed, which means that 234 social activists have been killed since President Ivan Duque took office on August 7, 2018.

32) Ontario’s financial watchdog says deficit ‘was never $15 billion’ as Doug Ford previously claimed 

Travis Dhanraj, Global News

Peter Weltman, Ontario’s financial accountability officer, says the province recorded an actual deficit in 2018-19 of $7.4 billion.

33) Media Alarmed by Imaginary US Pullout From Syria

Gary Shupak, FAIR

President Donald Trump’s modification of the US’s Syria policy has generated a torrent of confusion, so it’s worth reviewing the record.

34) Turkey Agrees with US To Pause Syria Attack, Kurds To Speak Soon


Turkey agreed on Thursday to pause its five-day offensive on Syria to let Kurdish forces withdraw from a "safe zone" that Ankara had sought to capture in a deal hailed by the Trump administration and Turkey as a complete victory.

35) UN says Turkey could be responsible for summary executions of Kurdish fighters, female politician

Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters 

Turkey could be deemed responsible for summary executions of an affiliated armed group of captured Kurdish fighters and a politician, acts that may amount to war crimes, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

36) Turkey offensive in Syria displaces 160,000 civilians as risk of 'unintended release' of Islamic State fighters grows

Japan News

The Turkish military offensive in Syria has displaced at least 160,000 civilians, the U.N. secretary general said Monday in a statement urging an “immediate de-escalation.”

37) Ships are illegally dumping plastic trash at sea, study suggests

Emily Chung · CBC News

Thousands of plastic drink bottles are washing up on a remote, uninhabited island in the South Atlantic, and researchers say they're evidence of illegal dumping from cargo ships.

38) Top investment banks provide billions to expand fossil fuel industry

Patrick Greenfield, The Guardian 

The world’s largest investment banks have provided more than $700bn of financing for the fossil fuel companies most aggressively expanding in new coal, oil and gas projects since the Paris climate change agreement, figures show.

39) How well has China’s ultra low-emissions policy worked?

Cathleen O'Grady, Ars Technica

A paper published in Nature Energy last week analyzed data from pollution monitoring systems and found dramatic changes. According to the monitoring data, China's emissions of some common air pollutants dropped by 65% to 72% in just three years.

40) Venezuela wins seat on U.N. rights council despite U.S. opposition

 Michelle Nichols, Reuters

Venezuela was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday with 105 votes and a round of applause, despite fierce lobbying by the United States and rights groups, and the late entry of Costa Rica as competition.

41) Venezuela Denies Guatemalan President-Elect Entrance, Congratulates Ecuadorian People on IMF Defeat

Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis

Venezuela’s authorities denied Guatemala’s president-elect entrance at Caracas’ Simon Bolivar International Airport on Saturday.

42) Brexit Delays Are Fueling a Dangerous Rage Among Britain's Far Right

Tim Hume, Vice News

When Britain’s Supreme Court ruled Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament illegal last month, many hailed it as a victory for democracy.

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