Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Women's Marches, the Inauguration, Saskatchewan Austerity & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List January 15-22

San Francisco March via Maris Lawson, Twitter
This week's list of articles, news items and opinion pieces that I see as must reads if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

There are many related to the incredible and historic display of women's resistance in the wake of the inauguration of the racist, homophobic and bigoted Donald Trump as American President.

This list covers the week of January 15 - 22. It is in order of date of the article's release.

Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian 

Ninety per cent of people living in rural and regional Australia believe they are already experiencing the impacts of climate change and 46% believe coal-fired power stations should be phased out, according to a new study.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

A proposed agreement to compensate women who endured sexual harassment as employees of the RCMP has passed a key hurdle, with a Federal Court judge agreeing two lawsuits against the police force can proceed as a class action.

Alison Durkee, Mic

Jan. 16 marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day honoring the legacy and achievements of one of the foremost leaders from the civil rights movement. 

But while male leaders like King and Malcolm X are renowned for their contributions to the influential movement, the role women played in the civil rights struggle goes largely unnoticed. Americans may know the names of Rosa Parks or Coretta Scott King, but the numerous other women who played key roles in the fight for equal rights are too often wiped from the history books.

Salim Muwakkil, In These Times

Eight years ago, many African Americans—including me—entered a state of near-delirium when a first-term U.S. senator from Illinois was elected the first black president of the United States. I watched that election unfold just blocks from the new president’s house, in Chicago’s upscale Kenwood neighborhood, in a home full of politically hardened black baby boomers. Tears were visible in most eyes. Few of us had believed we’d live long enough to see a black POTUS. Barack Hussein Obama’s victory seemed to vindicate the heroic struggles of so many unnamed ancestors. 

Warren Thomas, OPSEU

Nobody wants a strike. But when your employer asks you to accept a deal that would turn your good, middle-class job into a bad job, then you have no choice. You’re going on strike.

Gideon Levy, Haaretz

They gathered in the narrow street, on a cold and dark night. They were tense. The howl of a distant jackal broke the silence. For some, this was their first operational mission. They’d always dreamed of it, and they’d been in training for a long time. The adrenaline was flowing, just the way they liked it. That’s what they enlisted for.

Simon Enoch, Saskatoon Star Phoenix

It is now abundantly clear that the Saskatchewan government’s “transformational change” agenda is in reality a not-so-subtle euphemism for fiscal austerity in response to the current economic downturn. Recently announced spending cuts in health ($63.9 million), education ($8.7 million) and social services ($9.2 million), coupled with comments from the premier suggesting significant public sector layoffs and wage cuts make it clear that the government’s plan for the economy is to “cut its way to growth.”

Joe Soss, Jacobin

The New York Times’ front-page attack on food stamps over the weekend peddled harmful myths and outright lies.

Toronto March via Don Breithaupt, Facebook

Larry Elliott, The Guardian

The world’s eight richest billionaires control the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe’s population, according to a charity warning of an ever-increasing and dangerous concentration of wealth.

Murray Mandryk, Regina Leader-Post

The government made it official Friday — at least, to those who control public sector salaries. Saskatchewan is freezing the wages of all civil servants.

Michael Chessum, The Guardian

I don’t even like cupcakes that much – and I despise the practice, which is sadly becoming more widespread, of playing out the left’s internal squabbles on the pages of newspapers. But the picture painted by leaked emails from Momentum’s steering committee last week, in which I urged my colleagues to “eat cupcakes and think about butterflies” in a frustrated plea to them to step back from the brink of a split, is worthy of elaboration. The coup currently under way in Momentum tells us something bigger about the need for the left to rethink its strategy.

Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report

Mocking, protesting and ridiculing Big Cheeto before and after inauguration will be big fun. But storms of ridicule did not drive Ronald Reagan or Dubya from office. Mockery that only undermines the legitimacy of evil persons rather than the capitalist system makes us nothing more than the warm up for Corey Booker or whoever Democrats nominate next. Left messages, memes and hashtags need to eviscerate Trump but also to educate people.

Chris Floyd, Counterpunch

Saturday Night Live had a really funny ha-ha joke the other night. Making fun of Trump’s whiny tweet asking “Are we living in Nazi Germany?” the funny ha-ha SNL news guy said brightly: “Of course not! At least Nazi Germany had the guts to take on Russia!”

Eternity Martis, Daily Xtra

Pride Toronto’s members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of keeping police out of this year’s and future parades, and to endorse all of Black Lives Matter Toronto’s demands.

Nicholas Boyle, The New European

There is a great lie peddled about the referendum: that it expressed the will of the British people. The pattern of voting showed up a colossal divergence between England, with its Welsh appendage, on the one hand, and Scotland and Northern Ireland on the other.

Don Snyder, Forward

Jews in Europe are voicing increasing consternation about Israel’s budding engagement with surging far-right European parties that have anti-Semitic histories.

Rachel Revesz, The Independent

Denver March via Vox
A woman has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, accusing him of sexual assault.

The woman’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, told the press her client filed a lawsuit on Tuesday.

At least a dozen women previously accused the President-elect of sexual assault and he strongly denied all the claims. Only one person filed a lawsuit against him but dropped the case shortly after she failed to reveal her identity at a press conference.

J. Hoberman, Tablet

Sterne [Stars], an East German-Bulgarian co-production that won a major prize at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival and thereafter fell into obscurity, is itself the story of a memory on the brink of oblivion—a movie in which, for a few hours, time stands still before swallowing its protagonists.

Kehinde Andrews, Leah Green and Bruno Rinvolucri - The Guardian

Dead white men are revered by many as responsible for the advancement of civilisation, says sociology professor Kehinde Andrews. But, he argues, this so-called progress came at the expense of millions of people of colour. Global inequality is not an accident, he argues – it is designed to keep the hierarchy of race intact.

Harriet Agerholm, The Independent

Incoming US President Donald Trump has said he will wage war on Isis, vowing to "bomb the s*** out of 'em".

And as the world gears up for a seemingly more violent four years, it is worth reflecting on President Obama's tenure

Justin Gillis, The New York Times

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.

Desmond Cole, The Toronto Star

For Mayor John Tory money was no object for an ill conceived subway expansion and repairing the Gardiner expressway, even if we had to borrow it. But on housing the mayor is crying poor.

Derick Flack, Blog TO

A proposal for a new park system connecting various green spaces along a hydro corridor on the west side of Toronto has taken a major step forward at the outset of 2017. The idea for the Green Line, which takes inspiration from New York's High Line, dates back to 2012, but now there's finally a budget and design team in place to realize the vision.

Micah White, The Guardian

Shortly after Donald Trump’s shock election victory, I received an urgent call from one of the co-creators of the Women’s March on Washington. She was concerned at a moment you might expect her to be ecstatic. Hundreds of thousands of women in 17 countries had already signed on in solidarity, and the numbers kept growing. Yet despite the tremendous momentum, she confessed a nagging skepticism about the effectiveness of the protest.

Jody Paterson, The Globe and Mail

Arthur Manuel was born into indigenous activism. Working with the seeds his father, George, first sowed in the 1970s in the early days of Canada’s indigenous rights movement, the tireless B.C. aboriginal leader was on the front lines of the international fight for aboriginal title and self-determination right up until he drew his last breath.


Reid Wilson, The Hill

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) turned out en masse at ordinarily sleepy party caucuses earlier this month, electing a slate of delegates who could be poised to take over the largest Democratic Party organization outside of Washington, D.C.

Mike Crawley, CBC News

Labour groups are optimistic Premier Kathleen Wynne and her provincial Liberals will follow Alberta's lead and commit to raising Ontario's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

CBC News

The internet can be a pretty intolerant place, and it may be getting worse.

An analysis of Canada's online behaviour commissioned by CBC's Marketplace suggests a 600 per cent jump in the past year in how often Canadians use language online that's racist, Islamophobic, sexist or otherwise intolerant. 

David Harding, Yahoo News UK

Police officers in Bristol tasered their own force’s black Race Relations Advisor in the face – after mistaking him for a wanted man.

Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian

Gérard Singer, a retired clerk in the French social security system, was queuing up for a Socialist party rally on the edge of Paris in the freezing cold, and the mood was grim. “The Socialist party is in the shit,” he sighed.

Benjamin Shingler, CBC News

Françoise David, a longtime activist and one of the founders of Québec Solidaire, is leaving political life. 

Jeff Sparrow, The Guardian

In a recent article, the novelist and academic China Miéville warns progressives against adopting the cynical savviness so characteristic of mainstream punditry.

“Becoming a radical critic of capitalism,” Miéville writes, “involves a process of disenchantment, the dying of surprise at the system’s depredations; but being one, a long-term witness to those depredations, is to repeatedly discover that we can be shocked by what no longer surprises us.”

Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, The Washington Post

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions has postponed the vote on Trump’s education pick Betsy DeVos, hours after receiving the completed ethics review for the Michigan billionaire.

Dan Froomkin, The Intercept

For those of us who believe in core progressive American values – multiculturalism, civil liberty and civil rights, free speech, a free press, truth in government, economic fairness, environmental protection, inclusiveness, equal justice, a humane society, the list goes on – today marks the first day of a disaster on a scale that until a few months ago was beyond our imagination.

Shaun King, The New York Daily News

We are here. It is real. It is sad. It is ugly. I hoped we could somehow avoid it, but the moment is upon us. Today is one of the dumbest days in American history.

The Guardian Editorial Board

In its outward details, the orderly transfer of American presidential power accomplished in the inauguration-day scene on Capitol Hill today felt time-honoured. The ceremonial essentials of the occasion – the stars and stripes banners, the dignitaries and the prescribed rituals of the swearings-in – were familiar and traditional. Political rivals took their places on the podium as they do every four years, shook hands and applauded one another, offering gracious compliments and providing a show of national dignity.

Yet all this was in fact a sham. Donald Trump’s inaugural address was a declaration of war on everything represented by these choreographed civilities. President Trump – it’s time to begin to get used to those jarringly ill-fitting words – did not conjure a deathless phrase for the day. His words will not lodge in the brain in any of the various uplifting ways that the likes of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy or Reagan once achieved. But the new president’s message could not have been clearer. He came to shatter the veneer of unity and continuity represented by the peaceful handover. And he may have succeeded. In 1933, Roosevelt challenged the world to overcome fear. In 2017, Mr Trump told the world to be very afraid.

Darrell Etherington, Tech Crunch

Trump’s administration is acting quickly to dangerously reimagine reality. It has deleted all specific mentions of “climate change” and “global warming,” as well as removed an entire page dedicated to the subject at the URL, which is no longer an active link.

Sacramento March via Shirin Rajaee Twitter

Sarah Buhr, Tech Crunch

And so the transition of power begins. First up is the site where several pages are now changing or altogether disappearing — including a page on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

John Wright, NCRM

Turnout for Saturday's anti-Trump Women's March on Washington has already exceeded attendance at the inauguration on Friday, according to multiple reports. 

Jason Easley, Politics USA

Millions of Americans have taken to the streets from New York to Los Angeles and everywhere in between as the Women's Marches on Washington is estimated to be the biggest one-day protest in US history.

Jade Hernandez and Amy Powell, ABC News

The streets were flooded with crowds of people attending the Women's March in downtown Los Angeles Saturday.

Max Greenwood, The Hill

The marching portion of the Women’s March on Chicago was cancelled on Saturday after the crowd ballooned to 150,000, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Initial estimates placed the event’s expected attendance at about 22,000. That number was eventually raised to 50,000. But that estimate ultimately fell short too, prompting organizers to cancel the actual march because the planned route had become too congested.

"Our march route is flooded. There is no safe way to march. We are just going to sing and dance and make our voices heard here," organizer Ann Scholhamer told a portion of the crowd.

While the march itself was cancelled, the rally portion of the event is scheduled to go on, according to the Tribune report.

“We called and you came. We have flooded the march route. We have flooded Chicago," organizer Liz Radford told the crowd.

Hillary Johnstone, CBC News

Thousands of people marched through downtown Ottawa on Saturday in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington — to raise awareness for women's rights and human rights — as U.S. President Donald Trump marks his first full day in office.

Timothy B. Lee, Vox

Women from across the country have converged on Washington, DC, on Saturday for a massive rally to protest Donald Trump’s election and promote women’s rights. At the same time, there have been rallies organized in major — and not so major — cities across the country.

Daniel Politi, Slate

Protests around the world via Nick Bilton, Twitter
Organizers and city officials were expecting around 200,000 protesters in Washington on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington. But the turnout surpassed all expectations as the demonstration grew into a more than a half-million–strong force that could turn out to be larger than the crowds that gathered for Donald Trump’s inauguration. The result of this much larger-than-expected crowd was evident to anyone who tried to join using any form of public transportation as trains and subways overflowed with people trying to make it into downtown Washington.

Adam Lusher, The Independent

Donald Trump is so unpopular that there are even women marching against him in Antarctica.
The day after the inauguration of a president who bragged about grabbing women by their genitals, thousands will be marching in Washington and in more than 60 countries around the world, to “stand up for human rights, women’s rights and against hate.”

Mother Jones

Dramatically larger than expected crowds showed up Saturday at women's marches in Washington, DC, and more than 600 cities around the world. Mother Jones reporters have been on the scene all day, interviewing protesters and gathering photos and video. In this roundup we've collected some of what they saw, as well as highlights from across social media. 

No comments:

Post a Comment