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Sunday, November 3, 2019
Chilean and Global Uprisings, Bolivian Election Fallout, Violence in Colombia & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos October 27 - November 3
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 27 - November 3.
From Che Guevara to Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro to Salvador Allende, Latin America has a long legacy of resistance against capitalism and imperialism.
Today that legacy lives on in the people taking to the streets in Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and across the continent.
1) Hundreds shot and beaten as Chile takes to the streets
Jonathan Franklin, The Guardian
“The soldier was about 40m away. He looked at me and fired,” said Christopher Madrid, pointing to the patch above his right eye. “I swung away and the bullet grazed [my forehead] and came out, left a scar of four or five centimetres.”
2) Dozens Blinded by Chile Police in Violent Crackdown on Protests
Laura Millan Lombrana and Sebastian Boyd, Bloomberg
Dozens of Chileans have been partially blinded by rubber projectiles and gas canisters that police and soldiers fired into crowds of protesters -- maimings that threaten to destroy what little common ground is left in a nation racked by the worst civil unrest in a generation.
3) Chilean Protestor: 'I Was Raped by Police'
Joshua Maureira has become the face of victims of human rights violations after he reported he was beaten unconscious by police officers, sexually assaulted with a baton, despite the death threats he was facing if he spoke out.
4) Chile: Public Prosecutor Looking at 840 Human Rights Violations
Chile’s Public Ministry on Wednesday reported 840 criminal charges for alleged human rights violations are being officially investigated.
Chile's Mapuche people destroy colonial symbols
5) A Fight Against Neoliberalism: Over A Million Chileans Protest Amid Violent Crackdown
More than one million Chileans flooded the streets Friday in massive peaceful demonstrations over inequality, high cost of living and privatization in the largest protest since the fall of the dictatorship. We continue our conversation with Chilean activist Alondra Carrillo Vidal and Macarena Gómez-Barris, founder and director of the Global South Center and Chairperson of Social Science and Cultural Studies at the Pratt Institute.
6) Chilean president cancels Apec and climate summits amid wave of unrest
Tom Phillips, Jonathan Watts and Jonathan Franklin, The Guardian
Chile’s embattled president has been forced to cancel two major international summits after government concessions failed to defuse weeks of violent protests that have seen thousands of arrests, left at least 20 dead and sent shock waves across Latin America.
7) BHP faces strikes in Chile as workers join countrywide protests
Nick Toscano, The Age
The wave of anti-government protest sweeping Chile has spread to Australian mining giant BHP's copper mining operations in the country's north, where striking workers have walked off the job.
8) Chile: The longest week in recent history
Pablo Leighton, Green Left Weekly
One week on, the Chilean uprising has gone further than any revolt since 1990, and seems more uncontrollable and widespread than the biggest upsurge against former dictator General Augusto Pinochet.
A Chilean orchestra gave an open-air performance of "El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!" ("The people united will never be defeated") in Santiago.
The song was written in June 1973, only months before the violent coup by dictator Augusto Pinochet, who assumed power in September. The song was initially composed as an anthem for the socialist government of Salvador Allende, reflecting the spirit behind the mass mobilization of working-class people who in 1970 had elected Allende for the socialist transformation of Chile.
During Allende's campaign "El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido" was a frequent slogan. After the U.S.-backed coup, the song became the anthem of the Chilean resistance against the Pinochet regime.
Over the last week in Chile, the lyrics have been heard loudly again throughout the country.
9) Chile: Protestors March in Concepcion and Towards the Capital
More than 10,000 people took to the streets on Thursday in the city of Concepcion, while others marched towards the capital in order to read a public letter with specific demands in front of the presidential palace.
10) Chile: Workers to Keep Pace With Mobilizations Over The Weekend
Chileans have installed some 200 “Self-Convened and Open Town Councils” to maintain the independence and strength of their collective action.
11) The Revolution Isn’t Being Televised
Alan Macleod, FAIR
It’s all kicking off everywhere in 2019. Haitians are revolting against a corrupt political system and their President Jovenel Moïse, who many see as a kleptocratic US puppet. In Ecuador, huge public manifestations managed to force President Lenín Moreno to backtrack on his IMF-backed neoliberal package that would have sharply cut government spending and increased transport prices.
(Related: Canadian hypocrisy and double standards in South and Central America on full display)
12) Over 100,000 Algerians Protest on Independence War's Anniversary
More than 100,000 Algerians, double the number attending recent weekly protests, marched on Friday to demand a purge of the ruling hierarchy and an end to military involvement in politics, marking the 37th anniversary of the independence from the French colonial rule.
13) Haiti: President Moise Asks US for Aid as Protests Intensify
Haiti's President Jovenel Moise on Monday admitted that he has requested "humanitarian aid" from the U.S. government as protesters demanding his resignation took to the streets in the seventh week of consecutive demonstrations.
(Related: Stop backing a corrupt, repressive and illegitimate Haitian president -- Open Letter)
14) Lebanon's Hariri resigns after nearly two weeks of nationwide protests
Tamara Qiblawi, Ben Wedeman and Ghazi Balkiz, CNN
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced Tuesday he was resigning, succumbing to the demands of protesters who have staged nationwide demonstrations for nearly two weeks.
15) Defying Crackdown, Thousands of Iraqis Keep Protesting
Thousands of Iraqi demonstrators stood firm Sunday in Baghdad's centrally-located Tahrir Square, defying the heavy repression and night raids from the police forces that killed dozens of people over the weekend.
16) ‘They are worse than Saddam’: Iraqis take to streets to topple regime
Simona Foltyn, The Guardian
In Baghdad, demonstrations are fast becoming the new normal. Last week, before protests on Friday that turned out to be the bloodiest in three weeks of unrest, people began stockpiling food and water. Concrete barriers appeared overnight to protect areas adjacent to the Green Zone. Vendors sold Iraqi flags as small groups of protesters arrived in minibuses, tuk-tuks and on motorcycles.
17) Photos, Videos: NYers Jump Turnstiles En Masse To Protest Police Brutality On The Subway
Jake Offenhartz, The Gothamist
Close to 1,000 people marched through Downtown Brooklyn on Friday night to protest police brutality and a recent crackdown on fare evasion inside the subway system.
18) Uruguay's General Elections Exit-Polls Confirm Runoff Vote
The first results from validated exit polls indicate that there will be a second electoral round between the leftist Broad Front candidate Daniel Martinez and right-wing representative of the National Party Luis Lacalle Pou after Sunday's elections.
19) Stop treating people on welfare like criminals. Report calls for Ontario to take new approach
Laurie Monsebraaten, Hamilton Spectator
Ontario should stop treating people on welfare like criminals and forcing them to complete useless tasks that don't lead to meaningful, long-term jobs, says a new report.
20) A Reminder Following Baghdadi's Death: 'The Terrorists We're Killing Today Are the Terrorists We Created Yesterday'
John Queally, Common Dreams
Following news that the infamous leader of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, killing himself along with three of his children, over the weekend during a clandestine raid by U.S. Special Forces (also infamous) in northwest Syria, critics of the U.S. global war on terrorism are highlighting how Baghdadi's death exemplifies the endless and cyclical nature of a global conflict that perpetuates the very terrorism it claims as its mission to destroy.
21) The Trump Administration Has Accepted Zero Refugees This Month
Gaby Del Valle, Vice News
No refugees have been resettled in the U.S. in October, and the government has canceled around 500 flights for refugees who were supposed to arrive this month, according to CNN.
22) Doug Ford doesn’t care about temp workers
Deena Ladd, Maclean's
On Oct. 16, we were occupying Ford’s constituency office in Etobicoke when I was arrested along with seven other community and labour leaders. Our crime? Urging the premier to put existing legislation into effect; legislation that could have prevented the deaths of two temporary agency workers who were killed on the job during Doug Ford’s tenure.
23) Howie Hawkins wins Socialist Party USA nomination for 2020 presidential race
A familiar face in Central New York, Howie Hawkins has received the Socialist Party USA nomination for the 2020 presidential race.
24) Ordinary life has vanished in fire-ravaged California
Rebecca Solnit, The Guardian
There was a moment earlier this month, before the fires began, when I wondered why I felt so disoriented in the region I’ve lived in nearly all my life, and then I realized the air was so scorchingly dry it felt like desert air, like Nevada, not like coastal California. Everything has changed; everything must change to respond to it, with global action to limit the extent of climate chaos that is already so destructive, with local action to reinvent how we power our homes and communities and to shift whose interests are served from shareholders to citizens, and from corporations to the web of life. Right now in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, we are paying the price for relying on old systems in a new climate.
25) California Is Becoming Unlivable
Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic
Right now, wildfires are scorching tens of thousands of acres in California, choking the air with smoke, spurring widespread prophylactic blackouts, and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people. Right now, roughly 130,000 Californians are homeless, and millions more are shelling out far more in rent than they can afford, commuting into expensive cities from faraway suburbs and towns, or doubling up in houses and apartments.
26) India strips Kashmir of special status and divides it in two
Hannah Ellis-Petersen, The Guardian
Delhi has formally revoked the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir’s constitutional autonomy and split it into two federal territories in an attempt to integrate it fully into India.
27) India air pollution at 'unbearable levels', Delhi minister says
Air pollution in the north of India has "reached unbearable levels," the capital Delhi's Chief Minister Arvid Kejriwal says.
28) Ugly Reality: Unions under Alberta’s NDP
Far from instituting a worker’s state, labour under Alberta’s NDP saw the government pursue wage containment and strike avoidance, often in the process undermining their own union supporters. Why is it that a supposed left-wing government prided itself on delivering zero-percent increases to public sector unions? How did the NDP’s failure to take on the fossil fuel industry make them look weak and hypocritical?
29) VOTERS DENY BIG BUSINESS PARTIES A MAJORITY – WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
Elizabeth Rowley, People's Voice
Now that the votes are all counted, it’s clear that once again a majority of electors voted defensively, using their ballots to stave off a Big Business majority government. Given the hard drive to the right by the Tories and the Peoples Party, a milquetoast performance by the NDP, a Green campaign that declared itself “neither left nor right”, and a blackout of the Communist Party and its People’s Agenda, this was likely the best possible outcome for working people.
30) More election fallout for NDP in Parkdale-High Park
Deidre Olsen, Now Magazine
The complaint alleges that "party officials did not provide... any explanation as to why excluded Canadians were prohibited from voting."
31) Rudy Turtle of Grassy Narrows lost the election, but he’s still on a quest for justice
Willow Fiddler, APTN News
Rudy Turtle was getting nowhere with the federal government that was supposed to help build a treatment centre for the people of Grassy Narrows First Nation.
32) Ontario elementary public teachers vote overwhelmingly in favour of strike action
Members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) have voted overwhelmingly in support of a possible strike.
33) Stephen Lewis and the NDP’s liberal imperialism
If the New Democratic Party wants to be part of the solution and not a barrier to creating a better foreign policy it needs to start telling the truth.
34) Chicago Teachers’ Strike, Longest in Decades, Ends
Mitch Smith and Monica Davey, New York Times
More than 300,000 public school students prepared to return to school as Chicago leaders on Thursday announced an end to an acrimonious teachers’ strike that lasted 11 days, the longest here in decades, and turned life upside down for families across the nation’s third-largest school district.
35) Illegal loggers kill Amazon Indigenous warrior who guarded forest
Illegal loggers in the Amazon ambushed an Indigenous group that was formed to protect the forest and shot dead a young warrior and wounded another, leaders of the Guajajara tribe in northern Brazil said Saturday.
36) Lula Turns 74 in Prison over Unjust Convictions
The former president and leader of the Workers' Party (PT) of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva turned 74 on Sunday, October 27, as he serves multiple prison sentences over corruption charges that were based on shaky evidence in an unfair trial.
37) Bolsonaro Threatens to Cancel Brazil's Largest TV Network
Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro threatened on Wednesday to cancel the license of Brazil’s largest TV network, Globo, accusing it of “villainous journalism” after a report connecting him with a former police officer accused of killing a Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman last year.
38) Venezuelan Leftist Parties and Unions Stage Protest, Demand Gov’t Answers
Ricardo Vaz, Venezuela Analysis
Several Chavista political parties and trade unions staged a demonstration on Thursday to demand answers from the Maduro government.
39) Defending Venezuela as Part of World Revolution: A Conversation with Jorge Martin
Cira Pascual Marquina – Venezuela Analysis
Jorge Martin is the national secretary of Hands Off Venezuela in the UK and part of the editorial board of In Defense of Marxism. In a recent visit to Caracas, we asked Martin about his analysis of the current state of affairs in Venezuela and about how to best combine critique and defense of the Bolivarian Revolution.
40) 1st International Indigenous Congress Kicks Off in Venezuela
The 1st International Congress of Native Peoples has begun Tuesday in Venezuela and will last until Thursday, as part of the strategic actions that were outlined during the 25th Forum of Sao Paolo last month.
41) Venezuela Applauds Regional Leftist Victories
Paul Dobson, Venezuela Analysis
Venezuelan Chavistas celebrated a series of electoral victories for Latin American leftist forces this Sunday.
42) World Leaders Congratulate Alberto Fernandez on Argentina Election Victory
Presidents in Latin America and other parts of the world sent messages of congratulations to the Argentinian president-elect Alberto Fernandez, who will take office in December and expected to turn around the country on a left-wing course in an effort to end the country's economic crisis and reverse austerity measures introduced by his predecessor Mauricio Macri.
43) Argentina: Fernandez Thanks Maduro For Congratulating Him
Argentina’s President-elect Alberto Fernandez thanked Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro for congratulating him on his electoral victory and called for Latin America to work together to overcome poverty and inequality.
44) Evo Morales wins; the OAS and U.S. lose
Elson Concepción, Granma
Despite Evo’s clear victory with 46.64% of the vote in recent elections, the U.S. continues its campaign to discredit Bolivia’s electoral process and promote destabilization during a special OAS meeting in Washington.
45) Bolivian Ruling Party Secures Majority in Chambers of Congress
The Movement to Socialism (MAS) secured a majority presence in the Senate and Deputy Chamber of Bolivia, Vice President of the country Álvaro García Linera said Monday.
46) Bolivia: Social Organizations Demand Respect for Popular Vote
After walking 21 kilometers from El Alto city, hundreds of miners, peasants, artisans and students, summoned by the Bolivian Workers Central (COB), arrived at La Paz on Wednesday to express their support for President Evo Morales and demand respect for the results of the October 20 elections.
47) Bolivian Gov't Says OAS Audit of Elections Begins Oct. 31
The Organization of American States (OAS) audit of the electoral process in Bolivia is scheduled to begin this Thursday and its result will be binding, the Bolivian government announced Wednesday.
48) Colombia's Capital, Bogotá, Elects First Woman and Lesbian Mayor
Trudy Ring, The Advocate
Claudia López, a lesbian, was elected Sunday to a position considered second in importance only to the presidency in the South American nation, the BBC reports. She received about 35 percent of the vote, while her closest rival, Carlos Galán, had about 32 percent. The incumbent, Enrique Peñalosa, was not up for reelection.
49) In Colombia, Five Indigenous Leaders Massacred While 2,500 Troops Deployed
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
The massacre of five Indigenous leaders in Colombia has shocked the country. The killings took place in the southwestern region of Cauca. Among the victims was Cristina Bautista, the leader of the semi-autonomous Indigenous reservation of Nasa Tacueyó. Four of the community’s unarmed guards were also killed, while six others were wounded. A group of UN experts have denounced the massacre and demanded the Colombian government to take urgent measures in cooperation with Indigenous authorities to investigate the murders. Police have made no arrests and no suspects have been named in the massacre. Since the signing of the Peace Accords in 2016, at least 700 social leaders, mostly Afro-Colombian and Indigenous activists, have been murdered in Colombia, according to the Institute for Development and Peace Studies. We speak with Mario Murillo, Vice-Dean of the School of Communications at Hofstra University and award-winning journalist who has extensively reported on Colombia and the region of Cauca.
50) Colombia: 6th Indigenous Person Killed in Cauca in a Week
The Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) denounced Saturday the murder of another member of the community in the municipality of Toribío, the sixth murder that occurs in a week in the department of southwest Colombia which has been plagued with violence.
51) A Left Labour Gov't Would Weaken Imperialism, Work for Peace
Carlos Martinez, Telesur
A left Labour government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and John McDonnell, would constitute an unprecedented opportunity for the anti-war and anti-imperialist movements. It would put our ideas at the heart of government, and in so doing could start to turn Britain into a force for peace and justice in the world.
52) Havana Syndrome: ‘Emotional trauma and fear’ most likely cause of illness among US diplomats in Cuba, not mysterious sonic weapons
Harry Cockburn, The Independent
New research suggests Cuba had no hand in the alleged incidents, and that no such purposeful targetting of the diplomats may have happened at all.
53) Havana, the capital of anti-imperialism and solidarity
November 1-3, Havana serves once again as a beacon for the struggles of the peoples of Latin America, when voices are raised in the Convention Center during an Anti-Imperialist Solidarity Conference, for Democracy and against Neoliberalism.
54) Israel Arrests ex-Palestinian Lawmaker, Only Eight Months After Her Release From Prison
Yaniv Kubovich and Jack Khoury, Haaretz
The Shin Bet security service arrested former Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar early Thursday morning at her home in El Bireh, on the outskirts of Ramallah. Sahar Francis, her lawyer from the Addameer prisoners' rights group, said Jarrar was taken to an unknown location.
55) Call to Action Nov. 8-11: Free Khalida Jarrar, Heba al-Labadi, Samer Arbeed and all Palestinian prisoners!
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters of justice in Palestine to hold events, actions, info tables, demonstrations, postering campaigns and mobilizations on 8 through 11 November to demand freedom for Palestinian political prisoners struggling for freedom – and their very lives – in Israeli occupation prisons.
Oslo has banned Israeli settlement products.