Sunday, May 28, 2017

UK Election, Manchester, Kerala and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List May 21 - 28

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.

This list covers the week of May 21 - May 28. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) A Lynching on the University of Maryland Campus

Dave Zirin, The Nation

Richard Collins III was about to graduate from Bowie State University on Tuesday. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army. He was airborne certified. He was a son, a friend, and active in his church.
To Sean Urbanski, a University of Maryland student, he was black. At around 3 am on  Saturday, May 20, Collins waited for an Uber ride along with two friends who were students at UMD at an on-campus bus stop. Urbanski walked up to them, and, according to witnesses, said, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you.” Collins simply replied, “No.” He stood his ground. Urbanski then stabbed him in the chest and fled the scene. Collins died at the hospital.

Read the full article.

2) Don’t Like Betsy DeVos? Blame the Democrats.

Diane Ravitch, The Nation

The Democratic Party paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools.

Read the full article.

3) Jeremy Corbyn has defied his critics to become Labour’s best hope of survival

Gary Younge, The Guardian

His anti-austerity manifesto has been therapeutic, renewing his party’s identity and sense of moral purpose.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon

“Mom, did you hear what happened in Manchester?” she asked me Monday night. Of course I had. Of course her older sister already had as well. But I’d wanted to keep the news from my younger daughter, aged 13, as long as I could. I’d wanted to wait till there was more information about the attack. And I also wanted to keep her a little more innocent a little bit longer. I was wrong, though, because what she needed that evening was exactly what she got — an outpouring of bewildered, reassuring messages among friends as the news trickled in.

 Christina Cauterucci, Slate

British authorities have identified a suspect in what appears to have been a suicide bombing and an act of terrorism outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on May 22. Details are still emerging, but as of late Monday night, authorities had confirmed 19 people dead and more than 50 injured.

 Emily Crockett, Rolling Stone

We don't know the exact motivation behind Monday's horrifying terrorist attack in Manchester, England, which killed 22 people, including an 8-year-old girl. And given that the bomber died in the attack, we're unlikely to ever find out precisely what was going through his head as he detonated that device. But one thing we do know is the demographic he targeted: young girls and women. As is so often the case with acts of violence, misogyny was deeply woven into this attack.

Janey Stephenson, The Independent

Mass male violence is everywhere right now. First it was Orlando. Then Nice. And Bavaria. Munich. Kabul. Fort Myers. Sagamihara.
As each massacre is reported, ministers and media leap to unpick each individual attacker’s motivations. Immediately, the snap judgments come out: if they were brown, they were a terrorist. If not, they were mentally ill.

John Doyle, The Globe and Mail

The third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is now streaming on Netflix. At this point, the series is a bit wobbly and repetitive, but it has its moments.
Created by Tina Fey and 30 Rock writer Robert Carlock, the comedy is dopey and daft but remains focused, mostly, on heroine Kimmy (Ellie Kemper). She spent years trapped in a doomsday cult and once freed is largely clueless about contemporary life. What the show amounts to is her education in existence as a modern young woman – the pleasures and pitfalls. This means plenty of satire aimed at everything in this digital age. While it can be arch, it is very much about this woman and the women around her.
The new season arrives just as the picture of the new fall TV season from the main networks is becoming clear. And what’s clear is that very few new productions are about women or feature women in leading roles. It’s a bizarre and troubling turn.

Jennifer Pagliaro, The Toronto Star

Half of Toronto Community Housing developments will be in “critical” condition in the next five years without additional funding for repairs, according to an internal database provided to the Star.

Rinaldo Walcott, NOW Magazine

Black community allies have adopted the language of class to define the struggles experienced by young Black people, as if race and class are not so intertwined as to be one thing.

PV Staff, People's Voice

One consequence of the change of leadership made at the 2014 Canadian Labour Congress convention was that the new CLC leadership felt confident enough to invite Angela Davis, a leading black liberation activist and former Vice-Presidential candidate for the Communist Party USA, to address the delegates and other social activists at the May 7 Human Rights forum on the eve of the 2017 Convention.

Vijay Prashad , AlterNet

The Left Democratic Front (LDF), the governing coalition in the Indian State of Kerala, will complete its first year on May 25. It came to power last year with a large majority, winning 91 seats in the 140 seat assembly of this Indian state, which is home to 34 million people (a million or so less than the total population of Canada).

Willow Fiddler  & Jorge Barrera, APTN National News

Thunder Bay’s police Chief Jean-Paul Levesque is facing charges of obstruction of justice and breach of trust in connection with allegedly disclosing confidential information about the city’s mayor Keith Hobbs, according to a court document.

Benjamin Shingler, Kalina Laframboise, CBC News

Major construction projects across Quebec are on hold indefinitely after unions representing 175,000 construction workers launched a general unlimited strike following months of failed labour negotiations.

CBC News

An Ontario Provincial Police constable who failed to respond to a dying woman's 911 call, cleared the call hours later despite never having gone to her home, and implied to a dispatcher that he had taken action when he had not, has been demoted for two years after pleading guilty to neglect of duty.

Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

When she was a scrawny 11-year-old, Sherry Johnson found out one day that she was about to be married to a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her.

Nina Lakhani, The Guardian

The US Drug Enforcement Administration lied about its role in a bungled anti-narcotics operation in Honduras that left four innocent villagers dead, then misled Congress, the justice department and the public as it tried to cover its tracks, a damning bipartisan investigation has found.

Mitch Landrieu, Bill Moyers & Company

The last of four major Confederate monuments in New Orleans came down on Friday, the final step of a campaign launched in 2015 by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
While construction workers were taking down the enormous statue of Robert E. Lee, Landrieu delivered a powerful speech about Confederate monuments, the reason they were erected — and why they must come down.

Lucy Pasha-Robinson, The Independent

Labour has slashed the Conservatives' lead in the polls to just five points, the latest YouGov/Times results show. 
The party has made consistent gains in recent weeks as leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed his message was finally getting through to voters. 

Martin Chulov, The Guardian

The Pentagon has admitted that airstrikes it carried out on a house in western Mosul killed at least 105 civilians in one of the deadliest attacks anywhere in Iraq since the 2003 invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.

Hilary Caton, Inside Toronto

Several eviction notices have been delivered to MetCap tenants in Parkdale this week. So what’s next for tenants?
The answer is simple: They keep on fighting, at least that’s what Bryan Daley intends to do.

Taina Bien-Aime, The Huffington Post

Nomonde Mihlali (“Mickey”) Meji is a program associate for Survivor Initiatives at Embrace Dignity in Cape Town, South Africa. Embrace Dignity is dedicated to ending all forms of sexual abuse of women and girls through legal advocacy, public education and exit services for trafficked and prostituted women. Mickey sat with me in New York during the UN Commission on the Status of Women in March 2017 to discuss her activism, from endorsing the full decriminalization of the sex trade to now advocating for a law that calls for its abolition.

There are also two articles missed from previous periods that are well worth sharing as well:

Louise Tickle, The Guardian

Natalie Hemming was killed by her partner after she tried to leave him – just one of many deaths in which a coercive and controlling partner is a significant factor. However, despite new laws, progress in raising awareness has been slow.

 Alice Marwick and Becca Lewis, New York Magazine

When you hear the word radicalization, what usually comes to mind is young people turning to Islamic fundamentalism. The internet has proven to be an effective platform for radicalization of this kind; ISIS has a host of YouTube channels, chat rooms, and Twitter accounts that are extremely effective at channeling the energy of disaffected and disenfranchised young people.
But the far right is doing virtually the same thing — and possibly even more effectively. In fact, a recent study shows that white-supremacist Twitter accounts have increased more than 600 percent since 2012, and outperform ISIS accounts by every possible metric. We’ve already seen the violence that can emerge from this trend: Dylann Roof and Elliot Rodger were both radicalized in online far-right communities before their respective shootings.

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