Sunday, June 18, 2017

Grenfell Tower, Theresa May, Philando Castile & more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List June 11 - 18

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  June 11 - June 18. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) Theresa May's election victory will prove pyrrhic indeed

Larry Elliott, The Guardian

All Labour needs to do is sit back and watch as the Tory party tries to clean up its own mess for a change.

Read the full article.

2) Two more weeks and Labour would have been in power, says McDonnell

Toby Helm, The Guardian

Labour intends to push for the adoption of its popular manifesto policies in parliament, says the shadow chancellor.

Read the full article.

3) New Labour is dead. Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet must stay as it is

Owen Jones, The Guardian

The idea that people won’t vote for socialist policies has been comprehensively debunked. Why change tack when Labour is in the ascendancy?

Read the full article. 

4) 'Déjà vu' for First Nations women, as Ottawa seeks more time to rid Indian Act of sexism

 Marc-André Cossette, CBC News

​As the federal government seeks more time to remove gender-based discrimination from the Indian Act, some First Nations women say they've waited long enough.

Read the full article.

5) Hunting the Manosphere

Peter C. Baker, New York Times Magazine

In the final days of May, after police in Portland, Ore., reported that Jeremy Joseph Christian stabbed three men on a train, killing two of them, an unusual theory as to why the attack occurred emerged in certain parts of the internet. Mainstream commentators had already pointed to Christian’s alt-right flavored racism, which seemed obvious enough; the victims, after all, had been defending two Muslim women from his Islamophobic abuse, according to the police. Others raised the possibility that Christian was mentally unstable. But according to this new theory, the primary blame lay not with Christian at all and instead with an ideology internalized by the victims.

Read the full article.

6) Grenfell Tower was covered in material to make it look better. That’s being blamed for multiple deaths

Andrew Griffin, The Independent

The cladding that might have led to the horrifying blaze at Grenfell Tower was added partly to improve its appearance.

Read the full article.

7) Sex assault victim jailed after Crown, police refused to pick up hotel bill

CBC News

A homeless sex assault victim jailed while testifying against her attacker could have stayed in a hotel, but no one was willing to pick up the tab, CBC News has learned.

Read the full article.

8) City of Vancouver officially becomes living wage employer

 Liam Britten, CBC News

Mayor Gregor Robertson says Vancouver is now the largest living wage employer in Canada.

Read the full article.

9) 7 Things To Know About How Armed Cops Came To Be In Toronto High Schools

Desmond Cole, BuzzFeed

A program that hosts armed police in local high schools will be debated Thursday at the Toronto Police Services Board meeting. Police and schools first collaborated on the controversial School Resource Officer (SRO) program in 2008. Toronto’s version of the program suffers from several challenges, especially regarding community consent, useful program data, and risks to racialized and undocumented students. Here are seven things you need to know about police in Toronto’s schools.

Read the full article. 

10) Towards universal child care in Canada: A tale of two policies

Morna Ballantyne, Behind the Numbers

When the Ontario government rolled out its five-year child care action plan for children under 4 years earlier this month, the child care movement applauded—perhaps for the first time, and more or less enthusiastically, since the Paul Martin Liberals introduced their Canada-wide “QUAD” plan in 2004, which advanced quality, universal inclusivity and accessibility with a developmental focus.

Read the full article.

11) Grenfell Tower Fire: Jeremy Corbyn Calls For ‘Luxury’ Properties To Be Taken Over To House Residents

Paul Waugh, The Huffington Post

Jeremy Corbyn has called for empty “luxury” homes owned by foreign investors to be used to help those left homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Read the full article.

12) Gerry Adams tells Theresa May she is 'breaking Good Friday Agreement'

Tom Peck, The Independent

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams has said he told Theresa May that she is in breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

Read the full article.

13) With Grenfell Tower, we’ve seen what ‘ripping up red tape’ really looks like

George Monbiot, The Guardian

For years successive governments have built what they call a bonfire of regulations. They have argued that “red tape” impedes our freedom and damages productivity. Britain, they have assured us, would be a better place with fewer forms to fill in, fewer inspections and less enforcement.

But what they call red tape often consists of essential public protections that defend our lives, our futures and the rest of the living world. The freedom they celebrate is highly selective: in many cases it means the freedom of the rich to exploit the poor, of corporations to exploit their workers, landlords to exploit their tenants and industry of all kinds to use the planet as its dustbin. As RH Tawney remarked, “Freedom for the pike is death for the minnows.”

Read the full article.

14) A Very Political Tragedy

Dawn Foster, Jacobin

Today’s horrific fire in London's Grenfell Tower is a symbol of a deeply unequal United Kingdom.

Read the full article.

15) Grenfell Tower: Using fire-resistant cladding on Kensington block 'would have cost £5,000 extra'

Jon Sharman, The Independent

Installing fire-resistant cladding at Grenfell Tower would have cost just £5,000 extra, it has been claimed, after the spotlight fell on the building's facade as a factor in Wednesday's devastating fire.

Read the full article.

16) Theresa May was too scared to meet the Grenfell survivors. She’s finished

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

That tomb in the sky will be forever Theresa May’s monument. Grenfell marks the spot and her visit marks the moment the last vestiges of her career were finally rubbed out. She made it her own yesterday by that fateful “visit” to a handful of senior fire officers, guarding her from any contaminating contact with the bereaved and newly homeless. Dead to emotion or empathy, she sealed her fate.

17) Rigged

Brett Murphy, USA Today

Talavera was a modern-day indentured servant. And there are hundreds, likely thousands more, still on the road, hauling containers for trucking companies that move goods for America’s most beloved retailers, from Costco to Target to Home Depot.

Kristy Kirkup, The Toronto Star

The NDP leadership candidate says Canada needs to commit to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, adding this means saying no to both Kinder Morgan and Energy East.

Andrew Kurjata, Medium

The Vancouver Sun published an op-ed by Martin Collacott titled “Opinion: Canada replacing its population a case of wilful ignorance, greed, excess political correctness.” It is, explicitly, racist.

Rossalyn Warren, The Guardian

Last summer, Lance Hart shot dead his wife, daughter and himself, four days after the family had left him. His sons talk frankly about life before and after.

Ryan Miller, USA Today

After a jury found the Minnesota police officer who killed Philando Castile not guilty on Friday, Castile's mother Valerie pushed back against the decision.
"People have died for us to have these rights and now we're devolving. We're going back down to 1969. Damn. What is it going to take? I'm mad as hell right now, yes I am," she said.

While this last article was published last year it is worth revisiting in light of the terrible verdict in this case:

Melissa Chan, Time

Colleagues and parents on Thursday remembered Philando Castile as an ambitious man who served as a role model for hundreds of children before he was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota.

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