Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Triumph of the Bolsheviki, John Reed, March, 1918

Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

Leaflet: Red Russia -- The Triumph of the Bolsheviki, John Reed, March, 1918

Published in 1918 in the very first issue of the American socialist magazine The Liberator, this incredible firsthand account of the triumph of the Bolsheviks in 1917 written by John Reed reads like a thriller.

It has twists and turns, threats and counter threats, confused pivots when at any moment everything could go wrong, and, ultimately the initial seizing of  power.

Lenin and Trostsky are the principal revolutionary characters in the drama that unfolds and Reed interviews Trotsky. It is all the more compelling when one realizes that this was published mere weeks after the Bolsheviks took control of Petrograd and when it was by no means clear that they would hold it.

As we now know a terrible civil war lay ahead.

Reed, of course, went on to write perhaps the most famous book about the revolution itself, Ten Days That Shook the World. He died in October 1920 in Moscow at the young age of 32.

The article ends with words that still inspire today:
"Comrades! Greeting from the first proletarian republic of the world. We call you to arms for the international social revolution."

(Click on scans to enlarge)

Knowledge For Everyone!, Poster USSR, 1972 -- Daily LIFT #163

Knowledge For Everyone!, Poster USSR, 1972 -- Daily LIFT #163

Monday, March 30, 2020

Soviet Stamp in Honour of Manolis Glezos -- Daily LIFT #162

Soviet Stamp in Honour of Manolis Glezos -- Daily LIFT #162

Manolis Glezos was a legendary Greek resistance fighter. On 30 May, 1941 Glezos and Apostolos Santas climbed on to the Acropolis in Athens and ripped down the Nazi flag that was flying there after the occupation. He was arrested by the Nazis and tortured, though they did not realize they had the man who had done this, and despite the torture, tuberculosis and a subsequent imprisonment by the Italians he survived the war.

After the war he was arrested, imprisoned and even sentenced to death for his  leftist activism during the Greek Civil War, the Cold War and the fascist military junta. In total he spent over 11 years in prison and over 4 years in exile.

Glezos died today at age 97.

Whole Grain Oobleck and Eggs

By Natalie

This fun vegetarian dish combines a cabbage salad with "Oobleck" and poached eggs.

Cabbage Salad Ingredients:

1/2 Napa cabbage chopped into bite sized pieces
handful of chopped parsley
1 green onion sliced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Rinse the Napa cabbage pieces in cold water and shake dry. Combine all the other ingredients to make a sauce. Slice and toss the cabbage with the sauce.

Oobleck Ingredients: 

1C water
1/2 cup of Red River Cereal
1/4 cup of large flake oats
pinch of salt

I made this during a  Covid-19 pantry raid. Serving some Red River  Cereal traditionally to my youngest. Amazingly, he liked it and started asking for more Ooblek, so thank  Robert for that name. Ooblek is also the name of a Dr Seuss book and cornstarch and water slimy concoction.

Cook the Red River Cereal in a medium sized pot with a pinch of salt for around 25 minutes. Then add the large flake oats and cook for about 15 minutes more, until much of the water has been absorbed and to desired doneness.

To assemble the dish place a large spoonful of the Oobleck in a bowl, top with some of the salad on one side and with one or two poached eggs on the other.

Make sure to not overcook the eggs as it is wonderful to have the yolk break and ooze into the Oobleck.

If you have it the dish is nice topped with sesame seeds and spoonful or two of hot sauce.


90th anniversary of the formation of the Communist Party of El Salvador

Translated from the Spanish statement of the PCS.

It was Sunday, March 30, 1930, on the shore of Lake Ilopango, 15 km from the city ​​of San Salvador that a group of 25 to 30 workers, shoemakers, tailors, carpenters with two teachers among them (according to Miguel Mármol, who was one of the founders), made the historic decision to found the Communist Party of El Salvador, inspired by the triumph of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917 and the aspirations of the working class for a better world.

That young party began a revolutionary struggle under the administration of the President Pío Romero Bosque, who had a liberal but also repressive vision. This was in the midst of the great world economic recession at that time, which had started in 1929 and hit the working class and the peasantry hard. This situation caused a serious famine among the impoverished people and especially the peasant masses. In addition to all of this there was the coup d'état of December 2, 1931 by General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, overthrowing President Arturo Araujo.

In this economic and political context, the PCS worked intensively to organize the working class of the city and the countryside. In 1931 it organized for rebellion and participated in the mayoral elections in December of that year and January 1932. Those elections were a grotesque mockery of the working people and the mayors of the parties supporting the dictatorship were appointed.

The PCS was involved in preparing the rebellion that began on January 22, 1932. 30,000 workers, peasants and indigenous people were killed in this rebellion that also saw the shootings of Farabundo Martí and the students Alfonso Luna and Mario Zapata on February 1, 1932.

The Communist Party was decimated and forced to work underground. It resurfaced in 1944 with the fall of General Hernández Martínez and continued its heroic struggle until 1995, when it was dissolved by the Ninth Party congress. In view of  changing circumstances and the historical necessity of its existence, the PCS was re-founded on March 27, 2005.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mass Rally in Kiev, March 1944 -- Daily LIFT #161

Mass Rally in Kiev, March 1944, in celebration of the liberation of the region from the fascist invaders -- Daily LIFT #161

While Kiev itself was liberated by the Red Army November 6, 1943, fighting in the region around it continued into 1944.

Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis, Sanctions and Workers' Rights -- The Week in News and Opinion March 22 - 29

Cuban medical team arrives in Italy, March 22
This week's list of articles, news items, visuals and opinion pieces 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  March 22 - 29.

Unsurprisingly this week's edition begins again with a very large roundup of news and left opinion about the capitalist coronavirus crisis and its impact on working people globally as well as issues like the continuing criminal American imperialist sanctions against many nations in spite of it. The Featured Article link at the start is a powerful denunciation of them. We have tried to arrange this coronavirus news thematically and to touch on many different areas of concern.

Featured Article:

A Pandemic Is No Time for US Economic Sanctions

"US economic sanctions have caused millions of people to suffer, and soon they could kill tens of thousands, if not far more. Exacerbating civilians’ suffering to try to change their government’s conduct is ethically wrong and prohibited by international law. Pursuing this strategy during the worst health crisis the world has faced in modern times demonstrates reckless disregard for human life and contempt for the norms of civilized behavior."

Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis

Not on the Backs of Workers! -- The Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis News on The Left Chapter

The centre did not hold

Canadians need to demand an immediate end to criminal imperialist sanctions

Russia Calls to Lift 'Genocidal' Sanctions Against Venezuela

Solidarity or Disaster

Exile -- Hellworld #7 (Podcast)


The right are worrying themselves into helping the left cause

For panicking capitalists, resuming profit flow trumps everything

Our Leaders are Terrified. Not of the Virus – of Us

57 Communist and Workers' parties demand "Immediate measures to protect the health and rights of the peoples"

For a People’s Recovery, NOT A Corporate Plunder!

Watch out for this symptom of Corona virus: lazy ecofascism


COVID-19: Fears of Domestic Violence Rise as Millions Confined

Second group of Cuban doctors arrived in Belize to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic March 27:

Lula: The Cuban people show the world an example of solidarity

Cuba: FM Denounces US Defamation of Cuban Medical Collaboration

Cuba to Send Doctors to Four Caribbean Countries and Argentina


- Expert: Cuban Health System's Strength Against COVID-19

The moment a delegation of 37 Cuban doctors and 15 nurses arrived in Italy to help battle the coronavirus outbreak and provide expertise and relief to the country's overburdened healthcare system:

Coronavirus Drives Calls for a General Strike and #NotDying4WallStreet

It's morally repulsive how corporations are exploiting this crisis. Workers will suffer

Trump and Wall Street Want to Send Us Back to Work. They Don’t Care If We Die of Coronavirus.

The coronavirus outbreak is exposing the devastating gaps between the rich and poor at a moment when America is primed for class warfare

Fauci warns U.S. could see some 100,000 deaths

Medical Expert Who Corrects Trump Is Now a Target of the Far Right

Trump Dismissed Intel, Warned in January of COVID-19 Threat

-  Trump's narcissism has taken a new twist. And now he has American blood on his hands

Trump Rejects New York’s Plea For Ventilators: ‘I Don’t Believe You Need’ That Many

States Quietly Pass Laws Criminalizing Fossil Fuel Protests Amid Coronavirus Chaos

The Fed’s Response to COVID-19 Is Impressive — and Alarming

Harvard, Boasting $40 Billion Endowment, Lays Off Dining Hall Workers Due to Coronavirus

'Some may even die, I don't know': Former Wells Fargo CEO wants people to go back to work and 'see what happens'

Coronavirus: Hobby Lobby billionaire keeps stores open after ‘God spoke to him’ – but won’t pay sick leave

Murdoch family took serious precautions against coronavirus as Fox News downplayed risk to public

'Looting of America by Big Corporations': Progressives Appalled as Senate Unanimously Passes Largest Bailout Bill in US History

Coronavirus: Teenage boy whose death was linked to COVID-19 turned away from urgent care for not having insurance

Millions of Americans are about to lose their health insurance in a pandemic

US Gov't Grants Firm Exclusive Status on Promising COVID-19 Drug

Grocery Stores Are the Coronavirus Tipping Point

Putting Profits Before Workers’ Safety: Inside Amazon During the COVID-19 Crisis

Delivery drivers face pandemic without sick pay, insurance, sanitizer

Nurse dies in New York hospital where workers are reduced to using trash bags as protective medical gear

Two Georgia Medical Workers Die of COVID-19 Amid Critical Shortage of Protective Gear

A flight attendant dies, and colleagues are 'very much on edge'

- ‘We’re Fucked’: Aircraft Carrier Outbreak Sends Troops Scrambling

Memphis Teamsters Wildcat Strike at Kroger’s Crucial Southern Warehouse

US Urged to Release Detainees at ICE Centers as Virus Spreads


Because 'Anne Frank Did Not Die in a Gas Chamber,' Jewish Activists Cite Disease in Nazi Death Camps in Call to Free Detained Immigrants

'I won't survive': Iranian scientist in US detention says Ice will let Covid-19 kill many


Federal Judge Bans Bolsonaro's 'Brazil Cannot Stop' Campaign

Bolsonaro's anti-science response to coronavirus appalls Brazil's governors

Jair Bolsonaro claims Brazilians 'never catch anything' as Covid-19 cases rise

Democracy in Brazil Would Not Be Normal, Bolsonaro Threatens

Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked: Chinese-Americans Fear for Their Safety

Pompeo pressed G-7 leaders to refer to 'Wuhan virus' in statement: report

People’s War against coronavirus: Why Washington fears China’s example

China Gradually Back to Normal After the COVID-19 Pandemic

China donates medical supplies to Canada amid coronavirus pandemic, Embassy says

What the West Can Learn From Vietnam’s Response to Covid-19

Philippines: Duterte responds to COVID-19 with authoritarianism, corruption and neglect

Portugal to treat migrants as residents during coronavirus crisis

Italy Calls General Strike: “Our Lives Are Worth More Than Your Profits”

France to Withdraw Forces From Iraq Due to COVID-19

Spanish Communist Party praises Chinese solidarity while condemning cruel American sanctions

Lack of testing raises fears of coronavirus surge in eastern Europe

Ecuadorian-Colombian Indigenous Alone Against COVID-19

Chile: Govt Allows Employers Not to Pay Wages During Quarantine

Chile: Piñera's Gov't Asks Homeless People to 'Stay Home'

Colombian death squads exploiting coronavirus lockdown to kill activists

Venezuela’s Coronavirus Response Might Surprise You

Venezuela Suspends Rent Payments, Protects Wages as Coronavirus Cases Rise to 77

Venezuela: US Blocks Flights to Repatriate Citizens Amid COVID-19

Venezuela Dismisses US Justice Department ‘Narco-terrorism’ Accusations

President Maduro: Thousands of Test Kits will Arrive from China for a Massive Campaign of Coronavirus Screening this Weekend

Venezuela: Already Arrived – 130 Cuban Doctors to Fight Coronavirus – Medical Supplies From Russia on Their Way

EU Supports Iran, Venezuela Bids for IMF COVID-19 Funds

Venezuelan Army Categorically Rejects US Attacks on President Maduro and Other Venezuelan Officials

Rogue General Admits Plot Against Venezuela From Colombia

RN says Co-op Refinery scab camp “a disaster waiting to happen”

Pipeline workers putting locals at risk of COVID-19 infection: Unist’ot’en

UBCIC, Fort St. John city councillors call for shutdown of Site C project during COVID-19

BC’s Work Camps Stay Open Despite Pandemic Risks

B.C. mine workers fear Teck not taking adequate precautions against coronavirus

Delivering during COVID-19: Canada Post’s shocking working conditions

Video game sales are up while testers work in dangerous conditions

Tim Hortons’ Parent Company Dismisses Calls From Shareholders For Stronger Health and Safety Policies

We face a public health emergency, and criminalizing the marginalized can worsen the crisis

Canada’s big banks set to profit off of COVID-19 mortgage deferrals


Two million Canadians could soon be out of work — and women and low-wage workers will be hit the hardest


Report: Nearly half of Canadian working renters a month or less away from not being able to pay bills -- Urgent relief for workers needed

Cancel Rent! Housing for people, not for profit

Federal pandemic funds for First Nations woefully inadequate

Manitoba chiefs organization wants Cuban doctor aid on COVID-19


Barrel of Monkeys now worth more than a barrel of Alberta oil

Canada Should Nationalize Oil Companies, Not Bail Them Out


In Ontario, construction is an essential service, but some workers fear COVID-19 puts them at risk

Unions oppose Ontario’s decision to keep construction sites operating as essential services

“We are dropping like flies,” says Ontario home care nurse

Ontario Used Emergency Powers to Contract Out Unionized Hospital Jobs. Experts Say It Will Compromise Care.

People all over Toronto say they're not going to pay rent on April 1

After Years of Hoarding Housing Supply, Toronto Airbnb Hosts Are Panicking

44% of Canadian households report lost work amid COVID-19 pandemic: poll

Montreal declares local state of emergency over fears of COVID-19 outbreak among city's homeless

- 'Not one dollar, not one bar of soap, not one pair of hands': Advocates for homeless grow desperate

‘I’m Really Scared’ Scenes from the Downtown Eastside in a time of pandemic.

Palestine Demands Israel Release Prisoners Amid Virus Outbreak

Israeli Forces Demolish Emergency Coronavirus Clinic for Palestinians

During the Coronavirus crisis, Israel confiscates tents designated for clinic in the Northern West Bank


Peter MacKay Had Not One, But Two Train Wreck Interviews on Live Television Last Night

Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear Toronto’s appeal of cuts to city council

Unifor shocked by Co-op rejection of independent mediator’s recommendations

Siding with First Nation, N.S. judge overturns Alton Gas approval

Alberta health minister accused of berating Calgary physician, 'intimidating' citizens

Israel / Palestine:

Benny Gantz elected Israeli speaker, signalling deal with Netanyahu

Israel Controls 95 Percent of Occupied Jordan Valley: Official

United States:


A sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden has ignited a firestorm of controversy

Joe Biden Accused of Sexual Assault, But the Media is Silent

'Huge Victory' for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as Federal Court Rules DAPL Permits Violated Law

Colorado Abolishes Death Penalty and Commutes Sentences of Death Row Inmates

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Anti-Imperialist Poster, People's Republic of China, 1963 -- Daily LIFT #160

Anti-Imperialist Poster, People's Republic of China, 1963 -- Daily LIFT #160

Canadians need to demand an immediate end to criminal imperialist sanctions

Cuban medical team arrives in Belize to help fight the coronavirus outbreak
As the capitalist coronavirus crisis increasingly highlights the inability of the "advanced" capitalist countries to even take care of their own citizens adequately let alone engage in international solidarity actions, socialist Cuba has risen to the occasion.

Cuba has a long tradition of humanitarian internationalism and has sent doctors around the world for decades to help in times of crisis or to build public health infrastructure (see: "The miracle we are performing...could not be performed in a capitalist society" -- Cuban socialism's remarkable accomplishments despite the criminal, imperialist blockade). As the Cuba Solidarity Campaign noted in an open letter against the continuing criminal American blockade of the island:
The island’s altruistic response to the global emergency continues a long history of Cuban humanitarianism. In the last 56 years 400,000 Cuban health workers have responded to natural disasters and helped build health services in 164 nations. This includes sending medical brigades to Pakistan in the aftermath of the Kashmiri earthquake (2005), to Haiti to assist with the devastating cholera outbreak following the earthquake (2010), and to West Africa in the region’s fight against Ebola (2015). Cuba has also trained 35,613 health professionals from 138 countries at its Latin American Medical School since 1998.
Despite American attempts to slander these efforts, Cuba is pursuing them now and providing desperately needed medical aid in spite of the blockade. The letter noted some of these:
In recent days the island has sent highly skilled medical brigades to many countries including Italy, Grenada, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Venezuela to support foreign health services overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis.
On 18 March the Cuban government offered safe haven to passengers of the stricken British cruise ship MS Braemar allowing it to dock in Havana when many other countries had refused. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab publicly thanked Cuba for this assistance in a statement to the UK parliament.
It has also made its anti-viral drug Interferon Alpha B available to nations around the world to help in the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19.
In fact, over 45 countries have asked Cuba for Interferon to treat Covid-19. In addition to the above, Cuba is sending doctors to Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and Argentina. Countries like Brazil, whose government expelled Cuban doctors from communities when fascist Bolsonaro took power, are asking for Cuban doctors to return.

Meanwhile, in contrast to this kind of humanitarian work the United States continues to impose cruel and sweeping economic sanctions not only against Cuba but also countries like Venezuela and Iran.

In the case of Venezuela the Americans are actually increasing the pressure with absurd criminal charges against some of the country's leaders including placing a $15 million bounty on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro himself like out of some pathetic old John Wayne movie.

The World Peace Council outlined the barbarity of the situation in a statement on March 27:
This decision of the US-administration constitutes not only a further escalation in the provocations, coercive measures and interference against a sovereign country, it proves also the cynical and arrogant approach of the USA, which is using the critical times of the pandemic of COVID 19 worldwide, to impose new additional sanctions on the country and its people. The people of Venezuela are already suffering from the sanctions and restrictions imposed by the US imperialists and its allies from EU and the “Lima Group”, which do not allow the country to purchase medicine and other vital products since more than one year. It is the same forces who recognize a self-proclaimed puppet as their “chosen leader” against any legitimacy, logic and international law and it is the same forces which do not allow during the COVID 19 crisis the country to buy and provide technical equipment and health products for the National Health System in the international markets.
The Lima Group, of course, is essentially led by Canada.

The International Monetary Fund also refused a plea by the Venezuelan government for $5 billion in emergency relief

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova quite rightly stated that American sanctions against Venezuela under these circumstances could result in an avoidable humanitarian catastrophe that would amount to a genocide.

There are mounting global calls to end or ease the sanctions to avoid the possible deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has spoken out. Talking about continued American efforts against Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and other countries she noted:
The majority of these states have frail or weak health systems...obstacles to the import of vital medical supplies, including over-compliance with sanctions by banks, will create long-lasting harm to vulnerable communities. The populations in these countries are in no way responsible for the policies being targeted by sanctions, and to varying degrees have already been living in a precarious situation for prolonged periods.
Even in the empire itself some politicians are demanding a change of course.  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as well as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have called for sanctions to be at least partially waived. Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy penned a letter co-signed by 10 other Democrats in Congress also calling for this that read in part:
It hurts our nation’s security and our moral standing in the world when our sanctions policy results in innocent people dying. I am particularly concerned about the impact of sanctions on the COVID-19 response in Iran and Venezuela.
It is essential that pressure is put on the American administration to end the criminal sanctions before it is too late.

Canada has played a disgraceful role in trying to sanction and overthrow the democratically elected, legitimate government of Venezuela.

Despite this, and despite Canada's alleged opposition to the blockade of Cuba and many of the sanctions against Iran, there has not been a peep from the Trudeau government in recent days demanding even just a temporary suspension.

Nor has Canada's "social democratic" party, the NDP -- whose position on Venezuela is perhaps best described as incoherent support for American sock puppet stooge Guaido -- had anything officially to say.

The time is long overdue for all progressive Canadians to demand an end to the sanctions immediately. Continuing to impose them on countries during a global pandemic cannot be seen as anything other than a crime against humanity.

Canadians have to decide if they want their government to be complicit in it.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Together with Viet Nam, Cuban Solidarity Poster, 1971 -- Daily LIFT #159

Together with Viet Nam, Cuban Solidarity Poster, 1971 -- Daily LIFT #159

Not on the Backs of Workers! -- The Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis News on The Left Chapter

This post is being regularly updated.

As workers, unions and workers' movements and parties confront the capitalist coronavirus crisis and attempts by the ruling class and their stooge politicians to fight it on the backs of the people, The Left Chapter has been covering international news and updates from a left perspective.

For regular updates and articles from various publications and websites around the world be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

On the The Left Chapter website itself the following articles have been our coverage to date, chronologically from the most recent. This post will be updated regularly.

If you have a news or opinion piece to contribute to The Left Chapter on this or any other topic please see our Submissions page.

Each link is accompanied by the opening paragraph of the post.

Proletarian comrades: It is necessary to organize and fight -- May Day statements from around the world

On International Workers' Day, May 1st, we look at excerpts from statements of Communist and Workers' parties from around the world.

Seriously...fuck capitalism -- A May Day message from The Left Chapter

With International Workers' Day at hand after weeks of the capitalist coronavirus crisis the truly awful, harsh and likely to get much worse, corporate driven dystopian reality we find ourselves in can only be summarized by saying...fuck capitalism.

Bailouts for billionaires mean big gains for Wall St and Bay St. on the eve of May Day

If you were in any doubt who the bailouts are really for Wall St. stocks saw record gains in April even as millions of people lost their jobs, were tossed scraps by our governments and face bankruptcy. Meanwhile billionaires like Elon Musk remind us that they need labour to make all their vast wealth and call for workers to head back to dangerous jobs even if they might face illness or death while Trudeau backs away from making sure offshore companies can't get handouts...still think "we are all in this together"?

Wage subsidies for strikebreakers and no premium pay at the LCBO -- Dispatches from the bailouts

In yet more evidence that the coronavirus bailouts in Canada are being constructed to heavily favour the interests of big business and the corporations, Unifor is calling out the federal government for a loophole in the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) that allows it to be used to subsidize scab labour.

Blockade No, Solidarity Yes! US imperialist sanctions need to end

In this audio dispatch, Michael Laxer looks at how -- in contrast to Cuban internationalism and humanitarianism -- the US government has intensified their economic blockades during the capitalist coronavirus crisis despite the humanitarian toll this will take. He also looks at how we need to call out and oppose Canada's hypocritical complicity in this.

Coronavirus, Nova Scotia Shootings, Tara Reade, Lenin 150 & more -- The Week in News and Opinion April 19 - 26

This week's edition begins again with a very large roundup of news and left opinion about the capitalist coronavirus crisis and its impact on working people globally. There are also a number of links related to the terrible mass shooting in Nova Scotia, Tara Reade's allegations against Joe Biden and the 150th anniversary of Lenin's birth.

Workers’ health over profit! -- WFTU May Day poster and statement

The World Federation of Trade Unions, on the occasion of May Day 2020, salutes the workers in all continents; all those whose work continues to move the gears of life even in difficult conditions such as the Coronavirus Pandemic and keeps producing all the necessary goods so that life may continue and the needs of workers and popular strata can be met.

- Social distancing is important...which is why our politicians need to stop being hypocrites about it

In this dispatch, Michael Laxer looks at the dark and dangerous cloud of hypocrisy that surrounds the calls by our politicians for social distancing.

Right Wing Brain Worms - Hellworld #9

In this episode, Nathaniel Laxer takes a look at the demented protests against the coronavirus protection measures and the broader decline of American Empire.

- Doug Ford does not deserve any praise...and neither do other neo-liberal politicians

The Left Chapter is on You Tube! Be sure to subscribe on You Tube and watch for future dispatches.

In the first of what are meant to be regular The Left Chapter audio dispatches Michael Laxer looks at how we rally around "leaders" like Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau in times of crisis...and why we shouldn't.

Cuban Solidarity, Bernie Sanders, the Leaked Labour Report & more -- The Week in News and Opinion April 12 - 19

This week's list of articles, news items, visuals and opinion pieces that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

No time left. This social order must change! -- Statements from Turkey, Greece and Sweden

Three excerpts from recent statements by the Communist parties of Turkey, Greece and Sweden about the coronavirus, capitalism and the need for socialism.

Quebec reopens mines despite the concerns of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador

As it continues to demand exceptionally strict social distancing actions by people in cities, neighbourhoods and parks -- backed by draconian fines and aggressive law enforcement -- the province of Quebec is allowing mining to resume over the objections of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL).

Solidarity Yes -- Blockade No! We Demand the Immediate Lifting of the Criminal US Blockade of Cuba

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread over the whole planet causing enormous human pain and loses, it tragically confirms the existence of two different approaches: one insisting to put profits and imposition of global control above public health and the well-being of their own people, and a different one putting people, their health and well-being, above all other interests.

The hypocrisy of our leaders around social distancing is reckless

In the past couple of weeks reports have started to come in of freshly empowered cops and by-law officers seemingly going overboard enforcing often vague new rules around social distancing. In Police and bylaw harassment is not a coronavirus cure we noted that without proper oversight and control police will seize on even necessary restrictions to behave in draconian and arbitrary ways and that this is certain to have a greater impact on racialized and marginalized communities as well as on those living in poverty.

Coronavirus and Racism, Worker Resistance, Sanctions & more -- The Week in News and Opinion April 5 - 12

This week's list of articles, news items, visuals and opinion pieces that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

Police and bylaw harassment is not a coronavirus cure

We have all heard the mystifying stories of folks choosing to gather in public or private spaces in ways that are dangerous and that could spread Covid-19 in our communities. There have also been cases of people with the virus or who may have been exposed to it ignoring quarantine directives in ways that are obviously anti-social.

#BloqueoNoSolidaridadSi campaign seeks to end cruel American sanctions

The Foro de São Paulo -- a coalition of leftist parties and groups from Latin American and the Caribbean -- has launched the #BloqueoNoSolidaridadSi twitter and petition campaign with the aim of pressuring the US to end its cruel sanctions against countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

There is no vaccine to humanize capitalism

Excerpt from the statement "We demand free and public health for all" by World Federation of Trade Unions General Secretary George Mavrikos to mark World Health Day on April 7.

The United States was always the Evil Empire

The Independent had an article from Hannah Selinger April 6 that dissected, with a degree of despair, the appalling actions of the United States and the Trump administration as the coronavirus crisis unfolds.

Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis, US Aggression Against Venezuela, India & more -- The Week in News and Opinion March 29 - April 5

This week's list of articles, news items, visuals and opinion pieces that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

"It is becoming more and more evident that Socialism is the alternative" - Statements from India

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation, Revolutionary Socialist Party and the All India Forward Bloc released a joint statement today calling for the government of India to "Attend to People’s Concerns on a War-Footing".

"Today capitalism itself is bankrupt"

Excerpt from the statement "The end of myths and illusions" by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoumbas, March 31, 2020.

Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis, Sanctions and Workers' Rights -- The Week in News and Opinion March 22 - 29

This week's list of articles, news items, visuals and opinion pieces 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  March 22 - 29.

Canadians need to demand an immediate end to criminal imperialist sanctions

As the capitalist coronavirus crisis increasingly highlights the inability of the "advanced" capitalist countries even take care of their own citizens adequately let alone engage in international solidarity actions, socialist Cuba has risen to the occasion.

 57 Communist and Workers' parties demand "Immediate measures to protect the health and rights of the peoples"

In a joint statement released today 57 Communist and Workers' parties released a set of joint demands that need to be realized to protect workers and people internationally during the capitalist coronavirus crisis. These include calls for strengthening public health systems, ending criminal imperialist sanctions and redirecting public funds from military interventions and exercises to fighting the crisis.

The centre did not hold

When the epic horror story that is the capitalist coronavirus crisis is finally over the truth will be that the centre did not hold. Things had already fallen apart, but somehow many needed a catastrophe to truly show it.

Exile -- Hellworld #7

Nathaniel Laxer returns with Episode 7 of his new podcast Hellworld.

In this episode he delves into the differences in how Cuba and China have responded to the coronavirus crisis vs the United States, and how it illustrates a broader conflict between socialism and capitalism.

Report: Nearly half of Canadian working renters a month or less away from not being able to pay bills -- Urgent relief for workers needed

In an analysis and press release today the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has found that close to "half of working renters in Canada don't have enough savings to pay their bills for more than a month if they lose their jobs".

Spanish Communist Party praises Chinese solidarity while condemning cruel American sanctions

On Thursday, March 19, Jose Luis Centella, President of the Communist Party of Spain issued a statement in which he praised the efforts of China in fighting the coronavirus pandemic as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping's call for a global Community of Common Destiny.

Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis and the Worker Fightback -- The Week in News and Opinion March 15 - 22

This week's list of articles, news items, visuals and opinion pieces that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

Ontario Bill 186 "falls far short" Dias says as Unifor continues to call for 14 point plan for workers

Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union, is calling out the Doug Ford government for its woefully inadequate response to the capitalist cornonavirus crisis. On Thursday, March 19, the government of Ontario passed Bill 186. With considerable fanfare the bill allows workers 14 days of sick leave if they have to go into quarantine, but this sick leave is unpaid. So while their job may be protected, their income is not.

"Socialism is imperative for our health!" -- International workers' parties call for socialist solutions to the capitalist coronavirus crisis

As the capitalist coronavirus crisis unfolds it is clear that, after a generation of brutal neo-liberalism, our governments are not up to the task of making sure that people are placed first. For decades they have destroyed the social safety net, eliminated hospital beds and gutted civil society to give tax cuts to the wealthy and wipe out regulations and workers' rights on behalf of the corporations.

"It is only through our resistance and struggle that we can defend our rights." - WFTU coronavirus statement

Statement of World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) General Secretary George Mavrikos on the Coronavirus Pandemic

Chickens coming home to roost in austerity Ontario

"Since 1990, the number of hospital beds in Ontario has
decreased by 36%. In that same period, the population has
increased by 39%. Ontario now has a lower per capita acute

bed count than all countries tracked by the OECD."

Covid-19 hastens the deepening structural crisis of the capitalist system

Excerpts from a public statement by the Communist Party of Ireland (CPI), 15 March 2020

Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis -- The Week in News and Opinion March 8 - 15

This week's list of articles, news items, visuals and opinion pieces that I see as a must if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

Panic buying and hoarding are a function of capitalism

As the capitalist coronavirus crisis unfolds and people across North America (and around the world) face quarantine for two weeks or more coupled with the prospect of lost income, we have seen scenes of what has been described as "panic buying" as well as instances of hoarding. People are stalking up on food -- especially non-perishables like canned goods and pasta -- as well as, most famously, on items like toilet paper.

European leftist parties demand support for workers during the capitalist coronavirus crisis

Yesterday we looked at what our governments should be doing to protect workers in the face of the exploding capitalist coronavirus crisis. With several million Canadians and tens of millions of Americans just a couple of paychecks away from being on the verge of bankruptcy and homelessness, or of having to make very hard choices, steps need to be taken immediately so that, unlike in 2008, it is not the people who pay the price of the pandemic while big business gets big bailouts.

We need disciplined, socialist solutions to the coming capitalist coronavirus crisis

It is a terrible and deadly irony that the mainstream media and idiot pundits in the United States went on and on about how the coronavirus was allegedly exposing the flaws of the Chinese system. There were countless, gloating headlines calling it "China's Chernobyl" and asking if it would bring the downfall of the Communist Party. The fact that the Chinese then rapidly took tremendous, Herculean and ultimately successful steps to contain the outbreak was either belittled or ignored.

Plague Watch USA -- Hellworld #5

Nathaniel Laxer returns with Episode 5 of his new podcast Hellworld.

In this episode, he looks at the ongoing debacle with the mismanagement of the Coronavirus in the US, the repercussions of this potentially plunging capitalism into deep crisis and how it shows the need for fundamental change.