Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!, Soviet Postcard 1962 -- Daily LIFT #87

Happy New Year!, Soviet Postcard 1962 -- Daily LIFT #87

From All of Us at The Left Chapter to Our Readers, Contributors and Comrades:
Wishing You a Happy, Healthy and Red New Year!

Fare Evasion Frauds, NDP Debacles, Racism in Canada & more -- 2019 on The Left Chapter in review

2019 saw over 470 posts of various kinds on The Left Chapter. These ranged from analysis to opinion pieces to left history to art and recipe posts.

Consistently popular were our vintage postcard and photography posts such as On Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands - A Photographic Trip to the Soviet Far East, 1973 and Sofia, Bulgaria 1973 -- 19 Vintage Postcards and Images. We continued with our Republics of the Soviet Union series in posts like The Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic 1987: Photos, Culture, Economy, History & more.

Meanwhile the Vintage Leftist Leaflet project is ongoing with posts like The World Communist Movement: Yesterday and Today, 1983 and "An Act of Solidarity in Angola" - Speech by Fidel Castro, 1975. Readers can look forward to many more of these in 2020.

We debuted our new feature the Daily LIFT (Leftist Image for Today) with posts like Eugene V. Debs Portrait, 1919 -- Daily LIFT #7 while having extensive coverage of the attempted coup in Venezuela, the coup in Bolivia, international news and events with our weekly round-ups and issues such as the Parkdale NDP nomination debacle as well the Kafkaesque fiasco that unfolded with other NDP nominations in the lead up to the election.

The disgraceful capitulation of the Liberal government to imperialist narratives were looked at in the posts Which of these countries is not like the other? -- A Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland Imperialism Quiz! and Canadian hypocrisy and double standards in South and Central America on full display and others, some of which made this list.

I want to thank all of our readers and contributors very much for their feedback, support, criticisms and engagement.

The year had many posts that came very, very close to making this list. We also had contributions from writers that were widely read and shared, including three that made this top of the year list.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed this year and I look forward to seeing what interesting viewpoints and arguments we see next year.

(Remember that if you have a left point-of-view or opinion, a recipe or a story you want to share or if you want to share a petition/appeal or upcoming event you can send them to The Left Chapter via theleftchapter@outlook.com!)

Readers can look forward to new features in 2020. Remember also to watch for our list of the top food and recipe posts of 2019 early in the new year.

While normally we have the top ten posts, this year after we had already started our countdown a new post Canada has a racism problem and the fact so many Canadians think we don't is a part of it, did so well that it made this list at #4 so we have expanded the list to eleven so that nothing gets bumped off.

Here, without further ado, are the top eleven posts (in terms of hits) on The Left Chapter in 2019:

#1) The "fare evasion" narrative on the TTC is a total fraud. Here's why.

Every year the same line is trotted out by the TTC and various civic politicians in Toronto with the damage done monetarily always increasing from 20 to 40 to now allegedly over $60 million a year. Fare evasion, they say, is a serious problem and then they tsk-tsk about the "cheaters" and the need for more enforcement and get to shift the narrative of blame about the TTC's woes from themselves and decades of mismanagement, incompetence and underfunding to those mean and nasty freeloaders, i.e. TTC riders themselves.

(See also: The policing of fare evasion reveals the twisted agenda of our politicians)

#2) Of course Ford has not revealed plans for the TTC "Ontario Line". It will never be built.

Of course -- with many detours, delays and fake routes still to come -- in the end likely nothing gets built which will be blamed by Doug Ford and his stooges on the federal government, Toronto City Council, aliens or whatever.

It doesn't really matter who they say was at fault, nothing getting built was almost certainly the plan all along.

(See also: Higher TTC fares, more fake cops and a cancelled LRT -- Ontario's politicians ring in the holiday with a boot to the face for transit users)

#3) Green Party RA President steps down citing "racism", demands Green leadership apologize to Jagmeet Singh

By Ammario Reza

The president of the Saint John East provincial Green Party riding association has stepped down from his position late Sunday night. In a Facebook post Kevin (Kage) O’Donnell blasted the Greens for being what he described as “a party that allows people who promote...racism”

#4) Canada has a racism problem and the fact so many Canadians think we don't is a part of it

Perhaps after an election where Justin Trudeau was exposed for having worn blackface on several occasions and yet not only was not forced to resign as Liberal leader but was ultimately reelected as Prime Minster (albeit with a minority) it should not come as a surprise that "49 per cent of Canadians don't think racism is a serious problem in the country".

(See also: For Horgan "peaceful resolution" apparently flows from the barrel of a gun)

#5) Where Does the NDP Stand on Venezuela?

Entirely predictably it would appear the NDP is going over to the imperialist camp.

(See also: In Venezuela as in Chile, what is past is prologue)

#6) The election results in Toronto tell a story the NDP does not want to hear

The NDP's Toronto federal election results really put the lie to a number of the narratives their partisans and organizers are trying to spin.

(See also: No, the NDP losing over 600,000 votes and 20 seats is not a "victory")

#7) Canada extends Ukraine military mission against alarming backdrop of rising fascism and neo-Nazism

Greatly overshadowed by other news out of Ottawa the Trudeau government today announced its decision to extend the Canadian military mission to Ukraine until at least 2022. Chrystia Freeland -- who notoriously celebrated her Ukrainian grandfather's nationalist past despite the fact that he was a Nazi collaborator -- stated that the mission "allows us to meet Ukraine's needs and to offer new forms of support as Ukraine needs them."

(See also: Canada and Freeland's rhetoric about a "rules-based international order" is bullshit and the US just proved it again)

#8) The NDP's election disaster shows again the need for something new on the left

Apparently the masses didn't get the memo.

Despite all the assurances and social media posts of NDP partisans, and despite the surprising number of left activists who decided to jump onto a bandwagon to nowhere, Jagmeet Singh and the NDP not only did not surge they ended up with their worst result in 15 years wiping away all the gains of the Layton years that were supposed to deliver them to the Promised Land of power.

(See also: Fifty years later it is time to acknowledge the Waffle was wrong)

#9) “The End of History” and the Post-Soviet Tragedy

By Nathaniel Laxer 

When almost any discussion of the USSR occurs today it is clouded by the western framing of the Cold War. Generally it is only the flaws of the Soviet Union or the Stalin Era that are looked at. Due to this it is often taken for granted that the collapse should be seen as a great and positive defining moment of the modern world and a victory over tyranny.

(See also by Nathaniel Laxer: A Holiday Nightmare)

#10) Sid Ryan's nomination run in Oshawa yet another federal NDP debacle

It would appear that Sid Ryan is the latest casualty of a long standing, right wing NDP trend. 

(See also: The cat is out of the bag with the Sid Ryan and NDP vetting fiasco and Janet-Lynne Durnford's NDP nomination story a Kafkaesque travesty)

#11) What happened at the Parkdale NDP's nomination meeting?

by Myles Hoenig

Alabama of the 50s and 60s has migrated to Toronto.  The ghost of South Africa has a consulate here. Israel’s apartheid government must be jealous over how well Toronto’s NDP runs its elections. So what the hell happened?

(See also: Canada’s NDP Looks Like the US’s GOP: Voter Disenfranchisement in the Parkdale-High Park Riding and The optics of the Parkdale NDP's federal nomination meeting are not good)

Have a happy and safe New Year! See you all in 2020.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the World's First Socialist and Worker's State, formed December 30, 1922 -- Daily LIFT #86

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the World's First Socialist and Worker's State, formed December 30, 1922 -- Daily LIFT #86

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Fifty years later it is time to acknowledge the Waffle was wrong

As 2019 draws to close so too does the 50th anniversary of the birth of the socialist movement within in the NDP that became known as the Waffle.

The Movement for an Independent Socialist Canada. formed in late 1969, was an attempt led by leftists, economic nationalists and feminists like Mel Watkins, James Laxer, Krista Maeots and others to change the NDP from within from a reformist social democratic party into a more robust socialist party. The Waffle Manifesto and vision called for the NDP to advocate for nationalization, anti-American and anti-imperialist economic and foreign policy and for a radical vision of social transformation that in part flowed out of the student protest and New Left movements of the time.

The Waffle's high point came during the 1971 federal leadership convention when the then relatively unknown James Laxer stunned the party as the Waffle nominee by taking the leadership vote to a fourth ballot and getting nearly 37% against the establishment candidate David Lewis.

In what would set the tone for decades of anti-democratic, nepotist and anti-left behaviour by the NDP leadership to follow, in 1972 Stephen Lewis -- who went on to be a dilettante favourite of the Canadian establishment while pretending always to be a progressive -- would do his daddy's dirty business and engineer the expulsion of the Waffle from the party at a meeting of the Ontario Provincial Council.

I have written about this before on Rabble in the piece: On the 40th anniversary of the expulsion of the Waffle.

The stunning cowardice of this on the part of the Lewis clan and their sycophants was evident to pretty much anyone who was not a party hack at the time. Its consequences were deep and far reaching. There is little doubt that it not only drove a generation of social activists out of the party but that it also made the party template into the paranoid, centralized, leadership driven one it is to this day.

Fifty years later the direct legacy of the Waffle is a mixed one. Many of their ideas, such as gender parity in governing bodies, have become fairly mainstream in NDP and social democratic circles. Nationalization of industry and resources remains almost entirely anathema to the party. One can make a very good case that due to globalization the Waffle's brand of left Canadian nationalism is a fairly dated concept.

Yet the one aspect of the Waffle's legacy that has been shown time and time and time again is that its failure to take the reigns of the party and the establishment reaction against it were no anomaly. Rather it was the sign of things to come.

The Waffle not only failed -- nobly, yes, but still failed -- but every single attempt to imitate it has failed more. No left faction or movement within the NDP has posed anywhere near the threat to the leadership that the Waffle did. No other left leadership candidate came as close to winning the leadership as Laxer.

There have been a number of utterly futile attempts to turn the party left -- including some I have been personally involved in -- but chronicling them would be akin to adding another few hundred pages to the adventures of Don Quixote.

Amusing perhaps, but a waste of time. Tilting at windmills.

There are many aspects of the Waffle that are worth considering but, despite the delusional attempts of "entryists" and leftists within the party to claim otherwise, the idea of anti-capitalists or socialists taking over the party from within is not one of them.

The NDP and its provincial counterparts are far more right wing and wed to capitalism than they were in 1970. The NDP has capitulated to right wing narratives in ways that make David and Stephen Lewis look good.

Had the last fifty years since the Waffle been spent building a serious anti-capitalist alternative to the NDP, socialists in Canada would be far ahead of where they are now. The Green Party stands as evidence that persistence and diligence can pay off even within the limitations of our "democracy". Countless articles and "think pieces" have been written by alleged academics engaging in mental masturbation calling for a new party that end up going nowhere while any real attempts to build something are relentlessly attacked or ignored.

It is not too late however. Regularly I see people who know we need a new socialist or anti-capitalist party outside of the NDP. Many anti-capitalist stalwarts are already fighting for a new society outside of it including in formations like Québec solidaire or the Communist Party.

The best way we now can honour the Waffle is by acknowledging the primary lesson it taught us. Under no circumstances are the careerists and power brokers whose family compacts have controlled the NDP since the Waffle era going to allow any kind of activist, grassroots or left takeover.

If we want to see a triumph of the socialist politics and the ideals of the Waffle we need to act outside of and in opposition to the NDP's capitulation to bourgeois liberal politics and the sooner left activists in the NDP realize this the closer we will be to starting a new and truly interesting chapter in the anti-capitalist struggle in Canada.

Women's Strike for Peace and Equality, New York City, August, 1970 -- Daily LIFT# 85

Women's Strike for Peace and Equality, New York City, August, 1970 -- Daily LIFT# 85

Over 50,000 women marched in New York on August 26, 1970 in opposition to the imperialist war in Vietnam and for equality rights in the United States.

French Strikes, Climate Emergency, Venezuela, Cuba & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos December 22 - 29

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  December 22 - 29.

We have changed the format of the round-up so that the links, videos and photos are presented in sections related to topic/region listed alphabetically.


Argentina Defies the Americas' Crisis of Democracy

“Water is worth more than gold”: Mendoza, Argentina rejects advance of extractive industry

Argentina Suspends Amend to Mining Law Allowing Toxic Chemicals


“We’re Not Organizing the Poor, We’re the Poor Organizing”

- The Daily Show’s Rally to Restore Sanity Predicted a Decade of Liberal Futility

Kelly Fraser, Juno-nominated Inuk singer-songwriter, dead at 26

Hallmark movies are fascist propaganda


The sister of Omar Calles, who was gunned down by the Añez regime's security forces, has strong words for her brother's killers as we stood by the shrine to the 11 victims a month after the massacre in Sacaba.

Bolivian Free Territory of Chapare Ousted the Coup Regime, Braces for Bloody Re-invasion

‘I’ll be back’: Ousted leader Morales says his party will win elections, plans return to Bolivia


Accept Zaman's apology and fight the real anti-Semites

Rana Zaman addresses accusations of antisemitism at rally in downtown Halifax

'We're everywhere now': Meet the homeless in Canada's largest city

Calgarians gather to honour 123 people who died on city streets over past year

Canada has a racism problem and the fact so many Canadians think we don't is a part of it

Black man's arrest was unlawful and racially motivated, Quebec's police ethics committee rules


Chile: 6 Military Police Detained for Sexual Abuse in Protests

Fernandez Questions International Silence Over Chilean Protests

Chile Needs a Political Revolution

Climate Emergency:

Moscow resorts to fake snow in warmest December since 1886


Mozambique Is Racing To Adapt To Climate Change. The Weather Is Winning

Nearly 500 million animals killed in Australian bushfires, experts fear

Nearly four months of intense bush fires, Australian PM offers only an apology

Cattle have stopped breeding, koalas die of thirst: A vet's hellish diary of climate change

NSW poised to privatise state forests to raise $1bn for infrastructure projects


Violence in Colombia Continues As Social Leader Assassinated

Six social leaders assassinated in past week in Colombia

Colombia Holds National Strike, Concert & Marches in Medellin


United we have won! United we will win! -- Excerpts from Díaz-Canel's speech to the people of Cuba, December 21, 2019

Cuba's New Prime Minister: Manuel Marrero Cruz

Cuba to spend over half of its budget to social programs in 2020

Estimates indicate that the Cuban economy did not decline in 2019, another victory over the U.S. blockade


Agreement on US Bases Embroiling Greece in Regional Conflicts, Greek Communist Party Charges

KKE: The People Will Annul any Bill Attempting to Ban Demonstrations

Turkish Communists hold gatherings in Istanbul and Izmir

Child Labor Behind Chocolate Ferrero Rocher: UK Rights Group

French Strikes:

Thousands of Yellow Vest protesters take to the streets of Paris as they join the nation-wide strike against Macron's neoliberal pension reforms.

- French strikes enter 23rd day, beating 1995 record

Striking French rail workers clash with riot police in Paris


Sports Teams Should Be Owned by the Public

When W. E. B. Du Bois Went to the Masses


Recently, the far-right Indian government passed a controversial citizenship law, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Progressive sections in India have called this law as divisive and fascist. More than 20 people have been killed in past in police violence in past one week, as protests against CAA intensifies across India. Protests against CAA and police brutality were also held in many countries across the world. We take a look at these global protests in solidarity with the struggle in India against attempts by the government to "divide the country on the basis of religion".

India: Hundreds of Women Camp Against the Citizenship Law

Left parties announce 7-day nationwide protests from Jan 1 against CAA, NRC, NPR

Israel / Palestine:

Endorse the call for an international week of action to support the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege

Shin Bet Claimed She Was Behind Israeli Teen's Murder. Her Indictment Says Otherwise

Middle East:

Iraq’s parliament yields to protesters’ demand, approves new electoral law

South America:

McDonald's Franchise Violated Safety Laws: Peruvian Watchdog

Lula To Fight Neoliberalism to Restore Democracy in Brazil

United Kingdom:

Britain First says 5,000 of its members have joined Tories

The class war election

Propaganda and the Defeat of Jeremy Corbyn

Labour's future lies in more radicalism, not less

Trade unions 'snubbed' in Labour defeat review led by Ed Miliband

At Christmas the scale of injustice and inequality is in plain sight, but so is the generosity and solidarity of our communities.

United States:

Gov. Cuomo Calls New York Hanukkah Attack 'Act Of Domestic Terrorism'

NYPD Investigating 9th Anti-Semitic Attack Reported This Week


In Nearly Every U.S. Metro Area, New Data Show Opportunity Lags For Kids Of Color

‘We are sending more foster kids to prison than college’

Navy Seal pardoned of war crimes by Trump described by colleagues as 'freaking evil'

The Green Party Is Not the Democrats’ Problem

US Congress Committee to Investigate Death of Detained Migrants

The Impeachment's Moral Hypocrisy

A Man Died After Police Slammed His Head Into His Own Car Because They Thought He'd Stolen it

American Police State: This woman was strapped down and tased by police after being arrested for having her dog off a leash and smoking


In Commune: The Pancha Vásquez Commune

Venezuela: Social Program Meets Goal, Delivers 3 Million Homes

The Vanguard of Chavismo Has a Woman’s Face: A Chronicle of Their Resistance in 2019

Maduro: Armed Forces, Commitment and Loyalty

Pro-Coup Venezuelan Soldiers Who Fled to the US Now Locked Up in ICE Detention Center

Venezuelan Diplomat Demands EU Abandon Regime Change Policy

The US Approves Bill That May Legislate Hybrid Warfare on Venezuela

Women's Rights:

Mexico: Zapatista Meeting of Women Who Fight Starts in Chiapas

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Firmly Support US People Against US Imperialism Invading Vietnam, Poster, People's Republic of China, 1966 -- Daily LIFT #84

Firmly Support US People Against US Imperialism Invading Vietnam,  Poster, People's Republic of China, 1966 -- Daily LIFT #84 

United we have won! United we will win! -- Excerpts from Díaz-Canel's speech to the people of Cuba, December 21, 2019

Excerpts from Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba's tour-de-force speech about socialism, revolution, Bolivia and Venezuela, resistance to American imperialism and the coming defeat of neo-liberalism, delivered at Havana’s Convention Center, December 21, 2019.

People of Cuba:

On the eve of another anniversary of the undefeated and victorious Revolution, first of all I want to exclaim: Congratulations!

We have navigated a year full of challenges, tension and aggression. We faced these united, and united we are winning.

The 61st year of the Revolution has indeed been difficult and challenging, although never as hard as those that followed the January triumph when the harassment was accompanied by vicious attacks, including: an invasion, sabotage, arson, banditry and the isolation of Cuba throughout the hemisphere.

The challenges were defeated, overcome one by one, leaving us, the protagonists, with a history that makes us deeply proud and a very formidable revolutionary lesson: by the people, with the people and for the people: anything is possible!

Steeled by all those years of resistance, and supported by the strength of the human work erected against all odds over six decades, we have been able to navigate through 2019 overcoming obstacles that appeared insurmountable, and today can rightly celebrate, without complacency and conscious that every goal met is a new starting point.

Speaking of obstacles, let us begin with the worse and most pervasive of all: the United States economic, commercial and financial blockade.

When the history of these days is written, we will need to reserve a chapter for the year 2019 because of the brutal, one could say demented way in which aggression against Cuba was escalated this year, practically, at the rate of more than a sanction per week; that is, a "turn of the screw" every seven days to asphyxiate our economy.

Cruises, flights, remittances, medical services, financing, fuel transportation and insurance were cancelled, restricted or prohibited. There was no area exempt from witch-hunting, sieges, and persecution. Nor is there any revolutionary project or action exempt from defamation.

To justify its actions, Washington has once again resorted to blatant lies, and to the crude accusation that we are promoting instability and are a threat to the region, which we have vigorously denied...

...Neo-liberalism, driven by the powerful media and fundamentalists of all kinds, impoverishes nations that were once prosperous. We have just seen this in Argentina, which had been saved once already from neoliberal disaster and then again became "scorched earth" in only four years of disproportionate measures, as is being documented by its intellectuals and artists, outraged by the high social debt left by the outgoing government, the great promoter of neoliberal formulas.

Under similar schemes, the Chilean model, so exalted by international financial organizations, today shows its inability to solve social problems generated by an economy designed by the Chicago Boys. Their young people, beaten and abused by the hundreds, are leading, in continuous demonstrations, an epic battle against the system that excludes them.

They demand rights that have not been seriously addressed by their government, nor do they seem to be visible to the OAS, which shows such concern for stability and democracy in Venezuela, Nicaragua and even Cuba, which has no reason to thank the "Ministry of Colonies," to which we fortunately ceased to belong, more than 50 years ago.

We reaffirm that we will maintain solidarity and cooperation with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, its legitimate government under the Presidency of Nicolás Maduro Moros, and with the Sandinista government and people, led by President Daniel Ortega.

Let this be a reminder to those who put on anti-Cuban shows with the grotesque OAS Secretary General at center stage.

Another outrageous, unacceptable episode that 2019 brought was the coup against President Evo Morales Ayma in Bolivia, carried out by the local oligarchy under Yankee guidance, with the scandalous complicity of the OAS.

The deeply racist coup plotters repeat the formula tried in Venezuela of self-proclaimed authorities. It no longer matters that the OAS report (on the elections) was a lie, and that there were never any violations or fraud on the part of MAS. Its leaders are now refugees in other countries, persecuted by the real criminals: those who took power with the Bible in one hand and a gun in the other.

Since the very beginnings of the coup, Cuba has condemned it. We reaffirm here today our solidarity with compañero Evo Morales Ayma and the Bolivian people...

...What is also exceptional is that we have not resorted to easy neo-liberal formulas that are back in style, even though it is more than proven that they only serve to widen the gap between the few, very few, increasingly rich and rapidly impoverished majorities.

Let me recall that at the height of neoliberalism, in the 1990s, Fidel "went to the future and came back to tell it", as they say about his powerful foresight. In the context of an Ibero-American Summit, in 1993, our historic leader warned:

"Neoliberalism has no future and the time will come when all this will begin to be questioned, but time must pass and, in the meantime, we must be there fighting the most just causes, for the most correct ideas, raising consciousness. It is very important that the people become aware, and the people will become aware to the extent that they see that these formulas do not solve their problems.”

When Fidel expressed that criticism in advance, the system’s theorists were determined to convince us that capitalism was the end of history. Today we could say that we are witnessing the end of the history of capitalism. All we see is a repetition of formulas that have already proven to be ineffective and, what is worse, in spite of their high social cost.

No, thank you, we do not want that for our people. We want prosperity and we are going to fight for it with all our might; but never at the cost of leaving the majority out of any benefit.

We are not interested in a society, as we have seen so many out there, where the lights that advertise progress overshadow the stars in the sky, while hundreds of people sleep in parks and dozens of children throw themselves onto air-conditioned vehicles to clean the windows of their well-to-do passengers, men and women who think they can ease their consciences by throwing them a few coins for food...

...There is much to be said and done, but we also need to take the time to celebrate the year that is coming to an end, full of tension and challenges, but just as much, full of victories.

Let us live the next days and hours as if the Revolution were triumphing again. The Revolution triumphs every time we snatch a victory for our cause from the empire. And in 2019 we did it many times.

May our urban and rural squares be filled with music and joy.

There is every reason to celebrate. In the 61st year of the Revolution, they threw us to our death and we are alive. Alive, celebrating and determined to continue winning.

Homeland or Death!

Socialism or Death!


For the full speech see: http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2019-12-23/diaz-canel-to-the-people-of-cuba-united-we-have-won-united-we-will-win?fbclid=IwAR34XGu5EMuB08-E0bSzcAaa2BHE3Xd6Kt5-gjUXOtChwwYLbMkuDE3bgNg

Friday, December 27, 2019

All Out to Fight the Snow! -- Poster, USSR, 1987 -- Daily LIFT #83

All Out to Fight the Snow! -- Poster, USSR, 1987 -- Daily LIFT #83

Nadezhda Popova, Hero of the Soviet Union, Ace Pilot and and Night Bomber b. December 27, 1921

Hero of the Soviet Union, Nadezhda Popova, ace pilot and and night bomber was born December 27, 1921. (A few sources date her birth as December 17). 

Popova was the daughter of a railworker and became enamored with flying as a teenager, joining one of the Soviet Union's many flying clubs that were formed in the 1930s. She enrolled in a military flying academy at age 18 and graduated to become an instructor.

When the Nazis and their fascist allies invaded the USSR in 1941, famed Soviet aviator Marina Raskova gave a speech calling for the formation of women's air combat groups and in October Stalin and the military command agreed. In the end three all-women air regiments were created. 

Popova, whose brother was killed in action in the early days of the war, volunteered and was assigned to a night bombing regiment which would become known as the "Night Witches". Often piloting an open cockpit converted crop duster she flew over 800 combat missions, a staggering number. She was shot down several times yet always went back into action. The Night Witches dropped over 23,000 tons of bombs on the fascists. 

Popova was promoted to command of the 2nd Women's Regiment and survived the war to become a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet air force. In addition to being named a Hero of the Soviet Union she was honoured with the Gold Star, the Order of the Red Banner (3 times), the Order of the Patriotic War and the Order of Lenin. 

She died at age 91 in Moscow. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

On the Way! -- Postcard, USSR - Daily LIFT#81

From All Of Us At The Left Chapter to All Our Readers, Comrades and Friends, 
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

On the Way! -- Postcard, USSR - Daily LIFT#81

Monday, December 23, 2019

Lenin Gets Everyone Ready for the Holidays - Poster, People's Republic of China -- Daily LIFT #80

Lenin Gets Everyone Ready for the Holidays - Poster, People's Republic of China
-- Daily LIFT #80

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Support the Anti-Imperialist Struggle of the World's People - Poster, 1967, You Long Gu, People's Republic of China - Daily LIFT #79

Support the Anti-Imperialist Struggle of the World's People - Poster, 1967, You Long Gu, People's Republic of China - Daily LIFT #79

Canada has a racism problem and the fact so many Canadians think we don't is a part of it

Perhaps after an election where Justin Trudeau was exposed for having worn blackface on several occasions and yet not only was not forced to resign as Liberal leader but was ultimately reelected as Prime Minster (albeit with a minority) it should not come as a surprise that "49 per cent of Canadians don't think racism is a serious problem in the country".

This according to an Ipsos poll released December 21 that also found 44 per cent disagreed with the firing of Don Cherry and 40 per cent think "white Canadians are under threat from immigration".

The same week that nearly half of Canadians patted themselves on the back and, no doubt, embraced the illusion that they are more socially evolved than Americans, saw an Indigenous "Winnipeg couple told they 'look like' thieves, asked to leave Winnipeg craft store", a woman in Nova Scotia talked of being "subjected to racist remarks" in a Tim Hortons and of how "Being brown is definitely a burden in a small, mostly white rural town," and the RCMP was revealed to have talked of “sterilizing the site”  referring to the planned arrests of Indigenous protesters in Wet’suwet’en late last year as if they were vermin.

None of this is at all unusual.

A report in Ontario in 2017 found:
The constant and unwarranted scrutiny of store clerks, police and public servants leaves many racialized and Indigenous people in Ontario feeling mistrustful and unsafe, according to a new report from the Ontario Human Rights Commission...
...It concludes that "racial profiling is a daily reality that damages communities and undermines trust in public institutions."
Earlier in December an Indigenous man in Winnipeg said that "he was racially profiled after several shopping trips at a Winnipeg grocery store" which led a former Superstore security guard to come forward and reveal that "'9 times out of 10' the shoppers that employees ask security to monitor are Indigenous".

Also in December in Montreal "Indigenous women denounce(d) ‘devastating’ random street checks" by police after a report revealed that they "experienced street checks 11 times more than caucasian women."

This same report also found that:
...black and Indigenous people in Montreal were four times more likely to be subject to street checks by police than white people were. Arab people were two times more likely.
Indigenous Peoples also appear to be increasingly targeted: while they were two times more likely to be stopped in 2014, the report shows, they became six times more likely in 2017. 
Despite the overwhelming evidence that this study provided, just like Canadians generally the Montreal police were in total denial. Police spokesman Andre Durocher when asked "whether police engage in racial profiling" replied “No.”

In March of 2019 a report:
...on racial profiling by Halifax-area police found black people were street checked at a rate six times higher than white people in Halifax.
The independent report found that in Halifax, the odds of being stopped for a street check were highest for black men, followed by Arab males and black females.
In December, 2018 the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a report that showed:
Between 2013 and 2017, a Black person was nearly 20 times more likely than a White person to be involved in a fatal shooting by the Toronto Police.
Despite representing only 8.8% of Toronto’s population, Black people made up approximately 30% of police use-of-force cases that resulted in serious injury or death, 60% of deadly encounters with Toronto Police, and 70% of fatal police shootings.
It revealed “serious use of force in interactions where there was a lack of legal basis for police stops and/or detentions of Black civilians in the first place, and inappropriate or unjustified searches of Black civilians.” and that despite "repeated claims by Toronto police of changes and improvements in interactions with Black communities, the picture is not much different when information from this period is compared to 2000-2006."

All of this is just the tip of the iceberg with countless other studies and investigations having revealed the same issues with deep, abiding systemic racism and colonialism across the country.

This is not news, of course, to activists and community members. Lindell Smith, a Black City Councillor in Halifax noted of the report about his city:
"As a member of the African Nova Scotian community, I certainly do not need Dr. Wortley's report to tell me that for decades the community has felt that there is anti-black bias, and racial profiling when policing black communities."
Earlier in December, 2019 an Environics poll:
...found that Canadians were more likely to view racial discrimination as the attitudes and actions of individuals, not a systemic issue embedded in Canadian institutions.  Two-thirds of respondents said people from all races have the same opportunities to succeed in life.
Toronto activist and writer Desmond Cole responded by stating:
That is a fantasy...Unsurprisingly, a lot of Canadians are in denial that racism is a systemic thing.
That is why we are still where we are today. That’s why I have to write a book about this topic,” said Cole, who wrote the forthcoming “The Skin We’re In,” about racism in Canada. “It’s not just a few people’s nasty or racist, bigoted opinions. It’s not just Don Cherry spouting off on Coach’s Corner. It’s us not getting jobs. It’s us being kicked out of the education system. It’s us being disproportionately the victims of violence. Until that stops, do all the studies we want to. Those are the real issues.”
“Before you can tackle a problem, you need to recognize it exists” Alain Babineau "formerly with the RCMP and now with the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations" said of the refusal of Montreal police to admit that racial profiling by the force actually occurred.

This lack of recognition of the devastating and violent reality of systemic racism in Canada, unfortunately, extends far beyond just the police. And that is profoundly troubling and disturbing.

Indian Protests, RCMP & Wet'suwet'en, Sanders Smeared, Bolivia & more -- The Week in News, Opinion and Videos December 15 - 22

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  December 15 - 22.

We have changed the format of the round-up so that the links, videos and photos are presented in sections related to topic.


"The unity of the people will always be the defeat of the empire."

Watch this exclusive interview with ousted and exiled president Evo Morales speaking on the coup, the role of capitalism and imperialism in Latin America and the future of the struggle.

'Fascists, Racists Plotted the Lithium Coup in Bolivia' Morales

Morales Announced Party Candidates Until End of Month

Coup Leaders in Bolivia Issue Arrest Warrant for Evo Morales

Argentinian Govt: "We Will Not Hand Over" Evo Morales


Tens of thousands of feminists took to the streets of Santiago to protest for women's rights and against gender-based violence.

They marched on the Presidential Palace as well as the Chilean Museum of Memory and Human Rights where they performed the viral "Rapist In Your Way" flashmob.

'They Did it on Purpose': Protester Crushed Between Police Jeeps Latest Victim of Months-Long Chilean Crackdown on Dissent


Controversy in Chile over use of toxic substances by police officers

Chilean President's Disapproval Rating Jumps to 79 Percent


Colombian Gov't Responsible for Crimes Committed by ESMAD

Colombia: Protests Against Tax Reform and Police Repression

National protest in Colombia against Duque’s tax reform

South & Central America:


UN Accepts Credentials of Venezuela's Legitimate Government

Brazil: The Bolsonaro Clan Is Investigated for Money Laundering

Every McDonald's in Peru closes amid protests at death of two workers

Climate Emergency:

'Everything is Burning': Australian Inferno Continues, Choking Off Access to Cities Across Country and

Australia breaks its own heat record twice in one week as country burns

As heatwave bakes Australia on land, an unprecedented marine heatwave causes fish kills in the ocean

B.C.'s clear-cut forests are 'dead zones,' emitting more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels, report finds

As Alaska permafrost melts, roads sink, bridges tilt and greenhouse gases escape

RCMP & Wet'suwet'en:

Canada police prepared to shoot Indigenous activists, documents show

Gidimt'en spokesperson Sleydo', a.k.a. Molly Wickham, accuses RCMP of acting as mercenaries for industry


Higher TTC fares, more fake cops and a cancelled LRT -- Ontario's politicians ring in the holiday with a boot to the face for transit users

Ontario cancels Hamilton LRT in chaotic announcement; mayor calls it a 'betrayal'

The case for free public transit in Toronto

Caring in Crisis: Ontario’s Long-Term Care PSW Shortage

The Ford Fallout: “You’re seeing innocent people plead guilty to avoid navigating the courts”

The Ford Fallout: “I was scraping by on $1,406 a month. Now that’s been cut to $823”

The Ford Fallout: “I have to tell rape victims to come back in 11 months”

Parents burst into tears as Ford gov't delays new autism program by another year

Coalition of unions launch challenge to public sector wages cap

Canadian workers aren't entitled to bathroom breaks, lawyer says

'You're not welcome here': Winnipeg couple told they 'look like' thieves, asked to leave Winnipeg craft store

Bible Hill woman subjected to racist remarks wants businesses to do more

Most cases of extremist conduct in Canadian military don't end in discipline, says document

'This is a tough week': GM to end automotive production in Oshawa

Nationalize General Motors

Toronto mass shooting victims sue gun maker Smith & Wesson in $150m lawsuit

Canada has a secret program that grants visas to war criminals, terrorists, security threats

Trans Mountain oil pipeline faces latest legal challenge in Canada court

United States:

Sanders Calls Out 'Deficit Hawks' in Both Parties Who Support $738 Billion Pentagon Budget But Claim US Can't Afford Medicare for All

Sanders surges ahead of Iowa caucuses

Barack Obama is going after old men. His real target is Bernie Sanders

Alan Dershowitz Has Wasted His Life Doing Terrible Things

Impeachment is a Ruling-Class Spectacle

‘It is beyond cruel’: Ice refuses to reunite girl with the only family she has left

Outraged Response Forces US Border Patrol to Allow 19-Year-Old Mother to Stay With Sick Newborn

Vigil honors 275 homeless and poor people who died in SF this year

This Story on Cellphone Tracking 'Is the Most Important Article You Should Read Today. Period.'

Hundreds of ‘pink slime’ local news outlets are distributing algorithmic stories and conservative talking points

Report: WA Republican Rep. Matt Shea Participated in Domestic Terrorism

Ryan Matthews spent 5 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. He was exonerated and just graduated college

Black Drivers And Pedestrians Most Likely Traffic Stop Targets In Ohio's Biggest Cities

New Jersey Governor Signs Bills Restoring Voting Rights To More Than 80,000 People

Anthony Clark Is a Socialist Running for Congress with the Spirit of Fred Hampton at His Back

Warren Backs Down on Medicare for All, Now Says It’s a ‘Choice’

Mainstream media sees a puzzling obstacle to Pete Buttigieg's rise: The voters

Possible mass grave from 1921 massacre found: "It was hell on earth"

Extremist cops: how US law enforcement is failing to police itself

Supreme court won't revive homeless camping ban

Censoring of Palestinian Voices and of Those Opposed to Israeli Apartheid:

Trump Elevates an Anti-Semitic Slur Into Law

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission rescinds Rana Zaman's rights award

Confronting The Censorship Of The Palestinian Struggle

SAIA Demands That Herut Canada And The JDL Be Permanently Banned From York University

Accusing Bernie Sanders of antisemitism? That's a new low

Of Course They’re Accusing Bernie Sanders Of Anti-Semitism - Because He Supports Palestinians

Bernie supporters: talk about Palestine, or succumb to the smears

Israel / Palestine:

Gaza 2020: How easy it is for the world to delete Palestinian pain

'I Said, Get Up, Mother. Then I Realized She Was Dead': Survivors of Israel's Gaza Strike Speak Out

Israel set to be investigated for war crimes in Palestinian Territories, ICC announces

Canada again votes at UN to back Palestinian self-determination

UK Election Aftermath:

Letter to Jeremy Corbyn from Ken Loach, Brian Eno and others

Labour must remember that the ‘traditional working class’ includes minorities too

Why so surprised? The British electoral process has always been fixed

Communist Party blames Labour's 'Stop Brexit' stance for election defeat

Corbyn’s Defeat Has Slain the Left’s Last Illusion

Media smear cost Labour the election, McDonnell is right to point that out

2017 - 2019: what changed?

United Kingdom:

Racism 'prevalent' in the armed forces, ombudsman warns


French Executives Found Responsible for 35 Employees' Deaths by Suicide

Macron ‘ready to make concessions’ as pension strikes continue to paralyse France

France on strike: Power cuts, schools shut, no Eiffel Tower


The Cuban economy has advanced without neoliberal prescriptions

Cuba Denounces New OAS Attack Against Medical Collaboration

Diaz-Canel commends Cuba's economic results despite tensions

Indian Protests:

Indian student protesters against the Modi-government singing a Bengali version of the famous anti-fascist song Bella Ciao in the streets of Kolkata.

India: largest protests in decades signal Modi may have gone too far

Indian citizenship law: six killed in deadliest day of protests over new bill

Communist Party of India launches padayatra in Puducherry

Anti-CAA Protests : Left Parties’ Joint Nationwide Demonstration Today; Protesters Stop Train In Bihar

Mass Protests Spread in India After Citizenship Law Passes

'Night of horrors': Inside the Indian university stormed by police


Lebanese communists denounce technocratic stitch-up behind new PM


Algerians continue mass mobilizations, reject offers of talks

South African Communist Party looks at rebuilding alliance with ANC

Apple and Google named in US lawsuit over Congolese child cobalt mining deaths