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Inequality In Annual Earnings Worsens In 2021

Popular Resistance - Mon, 01/02/2023 - 13:25

Rising wage inequality and slow and uneven growth in real (inflation-adjusted) hourly wages for the vast majority of workers have been defining features of the U.S. labor market for most of the last 40 or so years. In only about 10 years since 1979 did most workers see any consistent positive wage growth: in the tight labor market of the late 1990s and in the five years leading up to the pre-pandemic labor market peak in 2019 (Gould 2020). Some low-wage workers have experienced disproportionate wage gains in the current business cycle—gains that even beat out high inflation (Gould and Kandra 2022).

However, the latest data on annual earnings from the Social Security Administration (SSA 2022a) show that the very top continues to pull away and amass a larger share of the earnings pie, while the bottom 90% continues to fall further behind.

The post Inequality In Annual Earnings Worsens In 2021 appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Thousands Of NYC Nurses Are Preparing To Strike

Popular Resistance - Mon, 01/02/2023 - 13:20

New York City, New York - Over 10,000 unionized private sector nurses in New York City could strike over the next two weeks. Nurses so far have overwhelmingly voted to strike (almost 99% as of December 22) with voting still open for some. NYSNA submitted an Official Strike Notice to eight hospitals, stating:

“Today, Friday, December 30, we delivered a 10-day strike notice to management. Our strike begins January 9 at 6:00 a.m., if management does not choose to use the next 10 days to make serious and reasonable proposals that achieve a settlement.”

Similar strike notices — which are required by law as part of the anti-labor legal framework of the U.S. — are likely to be served at other major NYC private sector hospitals in the coming days. Ominously, on December 31 the Presbyterian-Columbia bargaining unit announced that a tentative agreement (TA) had been reached, affecting approximately 3-4 thousand nurses.

The post Thousands Of NYC Nurses Are Preparing To Strike appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Google’s Quest To Digitize Valuable Military Tissue Samples

Popular Resistance - Mon, 01/02/2023 - 10:33

In early February 2016, the security gate at a U.S. military base near Washington, D.C., swung open to admit a Navy doctor accompanying a pair of surprising visitors: two artificial intelligence scientists from Google.

In a cavernous, temperature-controlled warehouse at the Joint Pathology Center, they stood amid stacks holding the crown jewels of the center’s collection: tens of millions of pathology slides containing slivers of skin, tumor biopsies and slices of organs from armed service members and veterans.

Standing with their Navy sponsor behind them, the Google scientists posed for a photograph, beaming.

Mostly unknown to the public, the trove and the staff who study it have long been regarded in pathology circles as vital national resources: Scientists used a dead soldier’s specimen that was archived here to perform the first genetic sequencing of the 1918 Flu.

The post Google’s Quest To Digitize Valuable Military Tissue Samples appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Some thoughts on New Year’s parties, especially conservative ones

Rabble - Mon, 01/02/2023 - 08:18

As befits New Year’s Eve, the topic of the last AlbertaPolitics.ca post of 2022 is New Year’s parties. 

Specifically, political parties that would like to gain official status in 2023. 

According to Elections Alberta, there are currently 16 parties for which someone has gone to the trouble of reserving their names in the hopes they can become real political parties in 2023. 

By the sound of it, most of them, possibly all of them, are conservative political parties, as the term “conservative” is defined nowadays in Alberta, to wit, far to the right. 

And as former Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason has accurately said on many occasions, you just can’t have too many right-wing political parties in Alberta.

Leastways, there is no Wildrose Communist Party among the 16, although one supposes that, arguably, given the zeitgeist, the Workers United Party could nowadays be either one thing or the other. If this were 1958, I’d say it was definitely a party of the left. In 2023, that would be less certain.

Elections Alberta says there are only three ways to make the registration cut: 

–       Hold three seats in the Legislative Assembly.
–       Endorse candidates in at least half of the electoral divisions in the province (there are 87 at the moment).
–       Complete a petition containing the names and signatures of at least 8,473 eligible electors.

This is a fairly high bar to jump. Nevertheless, there seems to be no shortage of folks who would like to try. 

Here is the list of party names that have been approved by Chief Electoral Officer Glen Resler and are now reserved while their founders work to meet Elections Alberta’s qualifications for registration:

–       Alberta 1st Party (A1P)
–       Alberta’s Best Choice (ABC)
–       Alberta Maverick Party (AMP)
–       Alberta National Party (ANP)
–       Alberta Peoples Statehood (APS)
–       Alberta Prosperity Party (APP)
–       Alberta Statehood Party (ABSP)
–       Conservative Democratic Union (CDU)
–       Independent Political Alliance of Alberta (IPAA)
–       Legalize Real Democracy Party (LRDP)
–       The Justice Party (JP)
–       Land and Labour Party of Alberta (LLPA)
–       True Alberta Party (TAP)
–       Wildrose Liberty Party (WLP)
–       Wildrose Loyalty Coalition (WLC)
–       Workers United Party (WUP)

Only two of the 16 political entities seem to have a presence on the Internet. 

According to the Alberta Statehood Party’s Facebook page, its founders aspire for Alberta to become part of the United States – a project that might turn out to be more complicated than its adherents innocently believe. Still, they have swag, including “Alberta, USA” hats, and they had a booth at the Red Deer Gun Show. 

Moving to the Legalize Democracy Party, it would appear from its website its founders think we should have referenda about everything, including all bills before the Legislature. One sees practical problems with this approach. If we’re all members of the Legislature, can anyone call quorum? And where will we all sit? Readers will get the idea. 

As for the rest, we can only guess. 

It is possible, one supposes, that the Alberta 1st Party is a spinoff of the now-defunct pro-separation Alberta First Party, and that the Alberta Maverick Party is a spinoff of the Maverick Party, the federal separatist party that seems to have given Canada Tamara Lich, which should be quite enough, thank you very much. 

As previously noted, whether the Workers United Party or the Land and Labour Party of Alberta are entities of the right or the left is not yet clear.

Likewise, what is the difference between the Alberta Statehood Party, referenced above, and the Alberta People’s Statehood Party? Is the Alberta Peoples Statehood Party the Democrat version of the, presumably Republican leaning, Alberta Statehood Party? 

And what’s with the True Alberta Party? Does this suggest that the hapless Alberta Party, which exists and is registered but has never really registered with Alberta voters, has an ideology with which the founders of the TAB disagree profoundly enough to form a new version of the same thing? Ditto all those Wildrose variants. 

Is the IPAA a beer?

And finally, why is there no Natural Law Party of Alberta, since there’s so clearly a desire by some to transcend the current politics of the place? 

Have a great New Year’s party, everyone! See y’all in 2023. 

The post Some thoughts on New Year’s parties, especially conservative ones appeared first on rabble.ca.

Categories: F. Left News

A New Book Of Migrant Stories Exposes Europe’s War On Refugees 

Popular Resistance - Sun, 01/01/2023 - 12:42

Over the past 20 years, the Mediterranean Sea has become a graveyard as the EU’s brutal “Fortress Europe” policies unleash brutal hostility against migrants and refugees. While mainstream media has often sensationalized the problem as a “migrant crisis” or “refugee crisis,” little scrutiny has been placed on the role of Europe and other countries of the Global North in producing this crisis of mass displacement through the War on Terror or the historic underdevelopment of the former colonial world. Authors Helen Benedict and Eyan Awwadawnan join The Chris Hedges Report to discuss their book, Map of Hope and Sorrow: Stories of Refugees in Greece.

Helen Benedict is a novelist and journalist. Her previous books include The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, and Wolf Season.

The post A New Book Of Migrant Stories Exposes Europe’s War On Refugees  appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Latin America And Caribbean Year 2022 In Review

Popular Resistance - Sun, 01/01/2023 - 12:35

2023 marks the 200th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine. This imperial fiat arrogates to the US the unilateral authority to intervene in the affairs of sovereign states in the Western Hemisphere and to exclude any other power from meddling in what is viewed as Washington’s backyard. Two centuries later, the doctrine faces a fragile future.

Going into the new year, the neoliberal model for regional development has been discredited in Latin America and the Caribbean The socialist model is under siege, and the social-democratic model is encountering unfavorable conditions.

Paradoxically, the very problems that the progressive movements protested against, which brought them into power, now have become theirs to solve, once in power and in a time of mounting economic distress.

The post Latin America And Caribbean Year 2022 In Review appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Ten things that won’t happen in Alberta politics in 2023

Rabble - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 11:45

It is traditional at this time for year for prophets, prognosticators and political pundits to make predictions about what dramatic events the coming year will hold. 

This is a relatively safe activity. After all, there are new stories every day in what we used to innocently call “the news business,” that quaint notion that you could make a living writing about what had happened the day before.

After all, by the time it’s late December again, almost everyone will have forgotten what you predicted, and those who don’t are just negative nellies who are of no account anyway – so unless I got something right, there’s no need to remind me about it!

And while it may no longer be possible to make a decent living reporting the news, the tradition of oracular New Year’s journalism, charmingly, lives on – augmented by the entertaining idea of the Top Ten list, pioneered by late-night talk show hosts. 

Call me a nihilist, but I thought I’d turn that tradition on its head this year and predict the Top Ten things that are not going to happen in Alberta politics next year:

No. 10: Premier Danielle Smith’s United Conservative Party Government will not change human rights legislation to protect the unvaccinated. Actually, we already knew this. Premier Smith admitted in November it’s easier just to bully organizations with vaccine mandates into dropping them. Still, it’s always good to start a list like this with something you’re confident can’t be proved wrong. 

No. 9: United Conservative Party unity. Premier Smith says her UCP legislative caucus is working like a well-oiled machine with nothing but the 2023 provincial election in mind. While it’s undoubtedly true caucus members are doing little but trying to figure out how to win an election with Smith in command, the prospect of an election is about the only thing holding them together at this point. Most likely, that will not last.

No. 8: There will not be any train from Calgary to Banff, except for regular Canadian Pacific freights passing through on their way to Vancouver. This hardy perennial springs up almost every year, foolish investors part with their dollars, and in the autumn, the leaves fall and winter comes again. Chances are, there will never again be a passenger train from Calgary to Banff. 

No. 7: An Alberta Provincial Police Force will not replace the RCMP as Alberta’s provincial police force in 2023. It’s too complicated, too expensive, and too unpopular. Yes, Smith and the Take Back Alberta fools who run the UCP nowadays would love to have a tame police force, but actually moving ahead with this before the government is re-elected would cause a rebellion in caucus (see No. 9). 

No. 6: The UCP government will not drop out of the Canada Pension Plan and set up an Alberta Pension Plan. Nor will it hand all the dough over to the Alberta Investment Management Corp. to sink into cryptocurrency. Nope! If you thought dumping the RCMP would piss off elderly voters, wait till you see what fooling with their pensions would do. So this scheme has to wait for an election too. 

No. 5: The Smith government will not implement yearly health spending accounts, no matter how parsimonious, at least until after the election. First, it would cost a billion dollars or more. Second, because the whole point of the exercise is to introduce co-pays, user fees and delisting to public health care. That just might get Alberta cut off from federal health care funds – all very well when you’re a group of half a dozen right-wing college wankers spit-balling Big Ideas, but a whole different matter when you have to get reelected from time to time.

No. 4: The Smith government’s relationship with Treaty 6 First Nations will not be renewed, in 2023, or in all probability, for the life of this government. Smith burned that bridge to the ground when she introduced her Sovereignty Act without First Nations being consulted. Both the previous NDP Government and former UCP premier Jason Kenney worked hard to build trust with Treaty Nations. Smith destroyed that in two months. Cute stories and fake bonhomie will not repair that damage. 

No. 3: There will not be any kind of meaningful review of Alberta’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith’s promises to her Q-adjacent anti-vaccine supporters notwithstanding. A “task force,” maybe. But everybody understands a “task force” is just a fig leaf for the introduction of policies a government already plans. An inquiry under the Inquiries Act? Forget it. It couldn’t be done without breaking that law, and an inevitable defeat in the courts. 

No. 2: The Sovereignty Act will not be used in 2023. After all, unused, it’s a talking point to keep the UCP base on their side and be safely ignored by everyone else. Using it would split the caucus, already uncomfortable with the idea (for good reason), as this year’s leadership campaign showed, drive voters in Calgary to the NDP, and spell an early defeat for the government in court. 

And the No. 1 reason none of these things won’t happen in 2023, even the ones that could plausibly be done after an election, especially if more radical Take Back Alberta MLAs get in and fewer real Conservatives with connections to urban voters do? 

The No. 1 reason these things will not happen next year is … 

There will not be an Alberta election in 2023!

There! It’s an official prediction. There won’t be an Alberta election, at least, if the polls don’t say the UCP can win it. And I’m pretty sure that the longer Premier Smith is in power, the less likely a UCP victory is going to be. 

Of course, I will be delighted to be proved wrong about this and see the election called as promised. But don’t bet the farm, or even a modest Edmonton condo, on an election being held on May 29, 2023. 

The post Ten things that won’t happen in Alberta politics in 2023 appeared first on rabble.ca.

Categories: F. Left News

Rethinking the “Person of the Year”

Rabble - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 09:45

Listening to the Christmas Day speech of King Charles, I wondered if he thinks he should’ve been Time’s Person of the Year, rather than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Charles did finally make it to the throne, after persevering, the sort of thing you get points for over there, and he seems to like to sulk anyway. Think of his beautiful snit about a leaky pen.

(There’s also Dominic West’s portrayal of Charles in this season’s “The Crown” as, pretty much, James Bond. Heady stuff for a lifelong wuss.)

I view Time’s Person of the Year, which was Man of the Year till 1999, not just as a one-item end-of-year list, but as the last stand of the Great Man theory of history. It had a decent run in the 19th century, sponsored by Thomas Carlyle — “The History of the world is but the Biography of great men” — but petered out, to be replaced by social or historical determinants of our fate, like class conflict and technology.

Marxism was a prime example of that approach to history. When I was in the U.K. just before Christmas (which may’ve got me obsessing about whatever Charles obsesses about), I talked with a veteran left-wing academic. He said Marxism is back after a period of retreat, but with a difference: it used to be suffused with optimism; now it’s riddled with despair.

It had the ring of truth, but really, who wants Marxist despair? The whole point of Marxism was to assure you that, despite the apparent dominance of wealth and inequality, History was on your side and justice would prevail.

And the Great Man/Person theory never quite vanished. It has a strong grip on us; its appeal is visceral. In the 20th century its avatar was Winston Churchill, almost universally acclaimed, even into the 2000s, when George W. Bush had a Churchill bust in his Oval Office and Barack Obama later took stick for removing it — despite the fact that Churchill was a lifelong racist and warmonger who only got one thing right in his long career. (Granted, that thing was fighting Hitler relentlessly.)

Overall though, neither approach seems helpful at the moment. TV and the internet have undermined the Great Person shtick; we know too much about these mighty individuals to think they have all the answers. And the failures of Marxism and socialism severely dented the authority of systemic or structural explanations and formulas as ways out of humanity’s calamities.

Have new approaches surfaced? I think so, at least as represented in pop culture. That would be the return of magical and supernatural thinking. If people can’t solve their own problems, maybe superhuman forces can. This may partly account for the appeal of superhero film franchises and “Harry Potter”-ish books. I may sound out of touch here. I have difficulty getting into this stuff, even in fiction. My socio-political imagination is still rooted in conflicts between human forces, with flawed leaders seeking a way to harness our better impulses.

I don’t think it’s hard to see how this magical-supernatural thinking refracts into religion-based politics in places like Iran, the U.S., Israel, etc. It’s not to my taste, but so what. Normally I’d say humanity can just futz around waiting for some new, better framework to show up as an explanatory path forward, except for one thing: for the first time ever, there’s a real time limit on survival for our species, due to climate change. So there’s a unique sense of urgency, if you want something else to resolve about this New Year’s.

A final thought. I’d like to nominate for “Not Person of the Year,” alongside Charles, Toronto Mayor John Tory, based on his addendum to his demand for funding from higher levels rather than raising property taxes: “I’m sorry to be asking for special treatment, but I don’t apologize for it.” Must remember that: I’m sorry but I don’t apologize. It’s brilliantly gutless, and deserving of recognition.

The post Rethinking the “Person of the Year” appeared first on rabble.ca.

Categories: F. Left News

Climate Change, Christmas and Capitalism: The Great Southwest Airlines Meltdown

Rabble - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 06:45

Climate change, Christmas and capitalism chaotically converged with an epic operational failure at Southwest Airlines that stranded thousands of holiday travelers and airline staff at airports for days.

Winter Storm Elliott slammed the continental United States with snow, pelting winds and freezing cold arctic air in what meteorologists call a “bomb cyclone.”

Air travel was understandably impacted, but the scale of the disruption at Southwest was many times greater than other airlines, accounting for an estimated 90 per cent of the tens of thousands of canceled flights.

Central to this travel catastrophe are the deregulation of the airline industry during the late 1970s, during the Carter administration, and the decision by Southwest executives to prioritize their investors over customers and staff.

“It is unconscionable…we have been sounding the alarm, along with our pilots’ union and other unions, that our technology issues are absolutely going to lead us to this place. This is not the first time. It is the first time it’s happened over a Christmas that’s affected so many,” Corliss King, vice president of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, representing Southwest Airlines flight attendants, said on the Democracy Now! news hour.

Her union has been in contract negotiations with Southwest for four years. Among the workers’ demands is that the airline fix “the technology failures that disproportionately impact frontline aviation workers and passengers.” Southwest uses software called SkySolver, released in the early 2000s, to correct scheduling interruptions by moving planes and staff around the country as fast and efficiently as possible.

The storm overwhelmed Southwest’s dated system, as Corliss King explained:

“Crew scheduling, which is our heartbeat of our operation for our crews, is using technology that is not expandable to the airline we are right now…on a normal day, we have 500 people who are out of place, but due to a crisis, we now have a thousand people, 1,500 people out of place. That technology has to be able to expand to meet an unprecedented situation like this. That is not able to happen.”

Consequently, thousands of Southwest flight attendants and pilots were stranded, often with no place to stay other than in an airport’s crew lounge. Southwest had no way to match available crews with idle planes, lacking basic information about where their workers were. Meanwhile, ground crews were forced to work longer hours in the freezing cold, some suffering frostbite.

Tens of thousands of passengers have spent days stranded in airports, often separated from their luggage – some without medicines. Southwest told most passengers they wouldn’t be getting an alternate flight for several days at the earliest, claiming the airline lacked capacity.

“They have no capacity because it’s actually more profitable to have bad service than good service,” Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights, an airline passenger rights organization, said on Democracy Now! “Every airline is required to have a plan to deal with bad weather and other disruptions, but there’s no enforcement. There are no reserve requirements. There are no customer service standards of any meaningful nature. The whole idea of deregulation was that the airlines would compete to provide better service. But actually what happens today, they compete to provide more profitable but worse service.”

For passengers experiencing multi-day flight delays, Paul Hudson warns, “Domestically, you have no rights to delay compensation. If weather is the reason for the cancellation or delay, you don’t really have any rights to things like hotel accommodations. It’s all up to the airlines. Of course, they’ll do anything to avoid those expenses.”

While Southwest has underinvested in its IT infrastructure and reserve capacity, it has treated its investors well. In the three years leading up to the pandemic, Southwest reportedly spent $5.6 billion on stock buybacks, and just weeks before the Christmas debacle announced it would be the first U.S. airline since the pandemic began to provide a stock dividend.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted on Wednesday, “Southwest Airlines needs to do everything it takes to get stranded passengers to their destinations–and cover their expenses (like meals, hotel, ground transport) in the meantime. We’ll continue to hold them accountable.”

This compensation is the least Southwest should do. However, according to the Transportation Department’s own website, “There are no federal laws requiring airlines to provide passengers with money or other compensation when their flights are delayed.”

Meanwhile, the climate emergency worsens. Air travel is estimated to produce 4 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions annually. After a dramatic, pandemic-related drop in 2020, air travel has recovered and is increasing. Unless we make drastic changes to how we live, including how we travel, we will all be stranded, not at airports, but on this, our only, rapidly heating planet.

The post Climate Change, Christmas and Capitalism: The Great Southwest Airlines Meltdown appeared first on rabble.ca.

Categories: F. Left News

2022: A year in review, from the editor’s desk

Rabble - Fri, 12/30/2022 - 05:00

Hello readers! I’m excited to share with you a look back on the top news stories of the past year. I began my role as editor of rabble.ca in April this year. This December, I was excited to review all of the great work that our team has done throughout 2022.

2022 saw major news stories that changed the political, health and labour landscape in Canada and around the world. These stories will no doubt follow us into and affect our decision-making in the year ahead. 

Over the last 12 months, rabble.ca kept you up-to-date on the news and views you needed to know. As we enter the last few days of 2022, let’s review some of the top stories of the year.

Freedom Convoy occupation of Ottawa

The year began with the chaotic Freedom Convoy protest. Ostensibly about a federal vaccine mandate for international truckers, this protest saw hundreds descend upon downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill.

The protesters harassed Ottawa residents —subjecting them to incessant honking for weeks on end —as a part of their demand to end all COVID-19 related mandates.

As similar protests began at some of Canada’s border crossings to the U.S., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to evict the protesters from the capital.

Before the occupation began making national headlines, rabble contributor David Climenhaga shared how many of the financial backers of the Convoy were connected to far-right wing and Alberta separatist groups.

Karl Nerenberg, rabble’s parliamentary reporter, and resident of Ottawa, shared his first hand account of the protest.

“[I] witnessed a rather large proportion of the protesters carrying aggressive and obscene signs which featured an upwardly outstretched middle finger accompanied by the words F*CK TRUDEAU,” Nerenberg wrote in late January.

“In their actions, the protesters have, so far, avoided out-and-out violence. But when it comes to their words and their imagery, it is another story,” he added.

Monia Mazigh called out how differently police agencies were handling this mostly-white protest as compared to protests by racialized communities. She wrote, since 9/11, the only “publicly perceived threat to Canadians is ‘Islamic terrorism’.” 

“[Canada has] passed highly intrusive anti-terrorism legislation that expanded police powers to arrest actors, disrupt groups, and prevent attacks,” Mazigh wrote. “Many activists, especially those in Indigenous and racialized communities, knew this legislation targeted Muslims and those contesting governmental policies like Indigenous land defenders. If anti-terrorism laws were really useful, and I am not advocating to enact them, they would be the ideal tools to use against these occupiers.”

Provincial elections

There were two major provincial elections this past year, one in Ontario and another in Quebec. Both elections resulted in victories for right-wing parties and both elections saw comparatively low voter turnout.

In Ontario this June, Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives returned to a larger majority government. Despite winning less than 20 per cent of the vote.

National politics reporter Stephen Wentzell reported on Democracy Watch’s analysis of the election. This analysis found that Ford was funded by an equally small group of donors.

Later in the fall, François Legault’s governing the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) party returned to power with a massive majority of 90 seats out of 125. And again, a right-wing party was able to achieve this astounding victory without majority support. Roughly 40 per cent of the electorate actually cast their ballot for Legault.

Legault had previously been a champion of reforming Quebec’s electoral system, a cause he has let fall to the wayside now that he no longer stands to benefit from it.

“Now, Legault says he doesn’t perceive any demand from the population for a different electoral system. So it is no longer a priority for him,” wrote Karl Nerenberg just prior to the vote. “It just so happens that the current system hugely favours the CAQ. That’s because the governing party faces a highly fractionalized opposition.”

This year also saw John Horgan step down as premier of B.C. and provincial leader of the NDP. Horgan was replaced by David Eby in November this year. 

Poilievre takes the CPC further down the road of toxic politics

In September, Pierre Poilievre was officially crowned as the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC).

During the campaign, Poilievre did what he was best at, campaigning on the offensive, both literally and figuratively.

In a piece written just before the leadership vote, I chronicled how Poilievre was quick to use social media as a tool to assault journalists who he disagreed with, regardless of the danger it represented for those journalists.

“We try not to get into critiques on politics per se, but on issues and policy of hate,” said Bernie Farber, chair of the Canadian AntiHate Network. “I’m taking a bit of a different track with Mr. Poilievre. Only because of his clear associations with the hard right, that I find a really clear and present danger to the country right now. That’s why we’re having a discussion.”

Furthermore, Poilievre was not quick to distance himself from far-right leaders like Jeremy MacKenzie, leader of Diagolon, with whom he was photographed with during the leadership campaign over the summer.

Joyce Arther of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada also highlighted Poilievre’s anti-abortion record.

“Fourteen years ago, Poilievre opposed giving Dr. Henry Morgentaler the Order of Canada. Since then, he has consistently voted in favour of anti-choice private member bills and motions, with just one exception. He voted against Bill C-233 in 2021 (to ban sex selection abortion),” she wrote.

End of a royal era leaves difficult legacy for First Nations

On September 8, 2022, after 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II passed away.

As head of state, the passing of a monarch leaves a complicated legacy for Indigenous peoples living in Canada.

rabble columnist Rachel Snow explained that in the view of some First Nations groups, treaties made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries between Canada’s Indigenous people and the British Crown were done so with the monarch, rather than simply the government of the day.

“The Queen has not really done anything to assist the First Nations People[s] here in Canada who signed or believed that the promises and negotiations and everything that was discussed, that that treaty was going to be honored and fulfilled,” Snow said. “I think some people will be upset that they didn’t get a chance to directly go to the Queen to ask for this kind of a nation-to-nation agreement.”

Roe v. Wade struck down and the state of reproductive rights in Canada

Canada, like much of the world, watched in horror as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the right to an abortion and related healthcare in America.

rabble columnist Judy Rebick explained how the decision represented a broad attack on human rights.

“A ban on abortion affects millions of people,” Rebick wrote. “The Supreme Court argument basically says that there are no legal rights unless they are guaranteed in the Constitution other than those originally there unless a constitutional amendment is passed by elected representatives. With that argument, same sex marriage, perhaps inter-racial marriage, birth control, gay rights and trans rights could be eliminated.”

Also this year, Stephen Wentzell reviewed Martha Paynter’s book Abortion to Abolition: Reproductive Health and Justice in Canada. The two discussed how the status of abortion rights in Canada is far more complex than is widely understood.

“New Brunswick has always had, since 1810, the most restrictive and conservative approach to abortion access,” said Paynter, noting that the province’s Medical Services Payment Act prevents physicians from being paid for abortion care services if they are provided in “free-standing” clinics.

Lisa LaFlamme and the attack on female journalists

Canada’s most prominent female journalist Lisa LaFlamme was herself unwillingly thrown into the spotlight this summer after her employer unceremoniously fired her.

While no official explanation was given to the public, speculation was rampant that this was a decision motivated by sexism and ageism.

Judy Rebick wrote that the firing of LaFlamme highlighted greater issues faced by women and people of colour working in journalism.

“As an older woman with grey hair who still works in the media from time to time, I am glad to see the massive support for Lisa LaFlamme but I am much more concerned with the online hatred experienced by young women journalists and particularly Black, Indigenous and racialized women,” Rebick wrote.

rabble labour reporter Gabriela Calugay-Casuga spoke to Kiran Nazish, the founding director of the Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ). The two discussed how newsrooms can protect journalists from harassment.

“One thing that newsrooms do, which is very harmful and very archaic, is work independently in silos,” Nazish said. “If CBC is going through something, they would not do any kind of support work, assistance or talk about it. I think there needs to be an ecosystem of support between newsrooms. When there’s a journalist in any community, whether they’re freelancers or working with opposition media or competitor media, there should be an ecosystem and a unified support system for all journalists.”

The fight to protect female journalists in Canada rages on. 

As Stephen Wentzell reported last week, Canada is on track to be the most likely country for female reporters to be subjected to major online trolling campaigns.

Solidarity wins out in Ontario labour dispute

CUPE Ontario scored a historic victory for labour as they fought a better contract for their education support workers.

Education support workers, who are mostly women, were only receiving an average annual salary of $39,000 a year.

After talks with the province stalled, Premier Doug Ford reached for the so-called “nuclear option” by passing Bill 28, which imposed a contract of his choosing on the union. He invoked the notwithstanding clause to ensure that the bill could not be challenged in the courts.

I spoke with CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn about this unprecedented attack on labour rights. I asked if he was prepared to call for a general strike, something not seen in a generation. He said:

“I think it is absolutely a possibility in a way I hadn’t imagined before. Many of us talk about the idea of a general strike as though it were a fantasy land. A lovely dream. But I do think that people see what is at stake and if a government isn’t going to allow for any democratic process or any democratic debate, if they’re just gonna create legislation that is such a ridiculous hammer to hang over the heads of people, and continue to cut services . . . This is the beginning of much resistance to many of the components that this government has here.”

Just days later, Ford blinked and repealed Bill 28 and returned to the negotiating table.

CUPE’s members voted to ratify their new agreement on December 5 by a margin of 73 per cent in favour. The new contract secured an average annual salary of 3.59 per cent, but did not address the unions concerns about continued underfunding of public education in Ontario.

Inflation in Canada

Like much of the rest of the world, Canada is facing historically high rates of inflation. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the grocery store.

Grocery industry insiders said that the record profits Canada’s major food chains have seen during the pandemic are not the result of profiteering off of inflation. Economist Jim Stanford told Karl Nerenberg that this simply was not true.

Grocery profits have more than doubled since before the pandemic, but the volume of sales has not similarly grown.

Those facts and figures, argued Stanford, are “definitely proof that the industry is profiting unusually from the current conjuncture of supply chain disruptions, inflation, and consumer desperation.”

This autumn on rabble radio, I sat down with Stanford to talk about the state of Canada’s economy. We also discussed how progressives must band together as we move into 2023.

Environment remains a top priority

Once again global temperatures spiked, and the rabble newsroom was inspired to create the Boiling Point series. At part of this series, our newsroom spoke to a diverse group of healthcare workers, labour leaders and climate activists. We wanted to know: how prepared is our country to handle increasingly hot summers and extreme weather events? And how are these weather events affecting everyday Canadians?  

On the global effort to mitigate the damage being done by climate change, rabble covered COP15 biodiversity conference this fall.

Stephen Wentzell reported that the landmark conference ended with a historic agreement to protect biodiversity by 2030. This agreement was called the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The framework includes a commitment from governments to respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples

Sovereignty Act debacle in Alberta

Newly minted Alberta Premier Danielle Smith passed the so-called Sovereignty Act as her first piece of signature legislation.

rabble Alberta politics correspondent David Climenhaga explained how the act represented a potential constitutional crisis.

“The fact remains the law is still virtually certain to be found unconstitutional as it allows the Alberta Legislature, now apparently dominated by recently converted Alberta separatists, to usurp the power of Canada’s courts to adjudicate jurisdictional disputes between the federal and provincial governments,” he wrote.

Climenhaga will keep a close eye on all-things Alberta politics in the year to come. 

The news is an ever flowing and ever changing thing. It does not respect neat chunks of time like months and years. Some of these news stories will likely continue to dominate the headlines in 2023. See what our columnists chose as their favourite pieces from this past year.

The post 2022: A year in review, from the editor’s desk appeared first on rabble.ca.

Categories: F. Left News

How The Empire Controls The Narrative, With Margaret Kimberly

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 15:19

In the latest edition of “The Most Censored News” interviews, Lee Camp is joined by Margaret Kimberly. A well-known figure in activists circles in the United States, Margaret is the executive editor of and a senior columnist at Black Agenda Report (BAR). BAR’s website offers alternative perspectives on current events and has become a trusted source for those seeking information beyond the mainstream media. In addition to her work at BAR, Kimberly is also the author of “Prejudicial: Black America and the Presidents,” a book that was published in 2020 by Steerforth Press.

Camp and Kimberly talked about the U.S.-Russia prisoner swap between Brittney Griner, a star American basketball player and former prisoner in Russia, and Victor Bout, a Russian arms dealer.

The post How The Empire Controls The Narrative, With Margaret Kimberly appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

CIA And NATO Are Waging Sabotage Attacks Inside Russia

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 15:19

The CIA is using the spy agencies ofa European NATO ally in order to launch sabotage attacks in Russian territory, according to journalist Jack Murphy.

Murphy is a former US special operations officer who has extensive contacts inside the military and intelligence services.

Citing multiple US government sources, Murphy reported that the CIA and the European state spent years developing “sleeper cells that the allied spy service has activated to hinder Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine by waging a secret war behind Russian lines.” Infrastructure that has been sabotaged in Russia includes railways, bridges, fuel depots, military facilities, power lines, and electrical plants.

The NATO ally began sending sleeper cells into Russia in 2016, and with the help of “‘an extensive network’ of front companies,” the CIA and the European state smuggled in explosives, weapons, and other equipment.

The post CIA And NATO Are Waging Sabotage Attacks Inside Russia appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

International Call For New Year’s Eve Noise Demonstrations

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 14:33

This is a call for a night of strong solidarity with those imprisoned by the state. Historically, New Year’s Eve is one of the noisiest nights of the year. This year, most of which has been consumed by a global pandemic, we encourage folks to take whatever measures are necessary to insure individual and community well-being, in response to both the virus and the state, understanding the balance each of us must strike for ourselves. Given our current reality, on New Year’s Eve gather your crew, collective, community, organization, or just yourself to raise a racket and remind those on the inside that they are not alone.

Internationally, noise demonstrations outside of prisons are a way to remember those who are held captive by the state and a way to show solidarity with imprisoned comrades and loved ones. We come together to break the loneliness and isolation.

The post International Call For New Year’s Eve Noise Demonstrations appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

We’ve Reached Peak Zelensky – Now What?

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 11:38

When the president of the poorest, most corrupt nation in Europe is feted with multiple standing ovations by the combined Houses of Congress, and his name invoked in the same breath as Winston Churchill, you know we’ve reached Peak Zelensky.

It’s a farcical, almost psychotic over-promotion, probably surpassed only by the media’s shameful, hyperbolic railroading of the country into war with Iraq, in 2003. Paraphrasing Gertrude from Hamlet, “Methinks the media doth hype too much.”

Let’s remember that before ascending to his country’s presidency, Volodymyr Zelensky’s greatest claim to fame was that he could play the piano with his penis. I’m not joking. And he ran on a platform to unite his country for peace, and for making amends with Russia. Again, I’m not joking.

The post We’ve Reached Peak Zelensky – Now What? appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Japan Rearms Under Washington’s Pressure

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 11:34

The Dec. 16 announcement by Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of a new defense strategy, while doubling military spending by 2027 to implement it, is the largest defense shake-up in decades and a wake-up call to the antiwar movement.

The decision includes openly acquiring offensive weapons and reshaping its military command structure for its expanded armed forces. On Dec. 23, the draft budget was approved by Kishida’s cabinet.

Japan’s dangerous military expansion should set off international alarm bells. This major escalation is taking place based on intense U.S. imperialist pressure. It is the next step in the “Pivot to Asia,” aimed at threatening and surrounding China and attempting to reassert U.S. dominance in the Asia Pacific.

The post Japan Rearms Under Washington’s Pressure appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Perú’s Dictatorship Shows True Colours

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:26

This Monday, December 26, the de facto government of Perú, led by Dina Boluarte, annulled the appointment of 312 district sub-alderpeople across 23 regions of the country, in a move that seems to advance the erasure of any traces of opposition to Boluarte’s controversial rule. These sub-alderpeople had been appointed by President Pedro Castillo, in accordance with local legislation, during his mandate by popular election.

The de facto ministry of the interior justified their decision on the basis that “these officials, instead of responding to the guidelines established regarding the functions of district sub-alderpeople, instead of representing and defending the state as the law indicates, had various degrees of participation in the popular demonstrations,” the repression of which has resulted in almost 30 deaths in less than three weeks.

The post Perú’s Dictatorship Shows True Colours appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Progressives In Belgium Protest Detention Of Migrants

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:17

On Saturday, December 24, progressive groups in Belgium protested at the Vottem detention center in Liège, denouncing the state’s unfair policy on migrants. The protest was organized by the Collective of Resistance to Centers for Foreigners (CRACPE). Hundreds of people including Wallonian MP Julien Liradelfo from the Workers Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA) and activists from the PTB and the Communist Party of Belgium (PCB/CPB) participated in the protest. The protesters asked the federal government to close down migrant detention centers across the county and release and regularize the incarcerated migrants.

Progressives and migrants’ rights activists have gathered and protested in front of the Vottem detention center on every Christmas Eve over the last decade to express their opposition to the opening of the detention center in 1999.

The post Progressives In Belgium Protest Detention Of Migrants appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

How Baltimore’s Inclusionary Housing Bill Got Hollowed Out

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:16

Today will be the first installment of our series called “Tax Broke”. It’s a five-year exploration of our hometown Baltimore’s policy of doling out tax breaks to developers to stimulate growth. And the centerpiece of the work is a documentary by the same name, which we have screened and we will publish next year. The essence of our findings is that the city of Baltimore has used a variety of tax breaks intended to stimulate growth, but has done far less to track their effectiveness or make the process transparent to account for them. We also found that this idea has primarily benefited wealthy neighborhoods while leaving poorer communities neglected. It has, in a sense, heightened the inequality of an already unequal city.

But our 60-minute film only scratches the surface of this topic, but one important underlying question which our film raises is ultimately, how to build affordable housing as efficiently and fairly as possible.

The post How Baltimore’s Inclusionary Housing Bill Got Hollowed Out appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Quarry Encampment Faces Eviction In Minneapolis

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 09:41

Minneapolis, Minnesota – With life-threatening cold this winter season, the City of Minneapolis continues to evict encampments, displacing unsheltered people and throwing away their personal belongings, including propane tanks they rely on for warmth. The longstanding Quarry encampment in Northeast Minneapolis is the latest under threat of eviction after being served a notice on Dec. 21 to leave by Dec. 28.

In response, Quarry residents and advocates held a press conference on Dec. 27 demanding the authorities not evict the encampment and announcing that community would come to defend the residents.

The next day, when the eviction was scheduled to occur, upwards of 100 to 150 encampment defenders showed up to the Quarry over the course of the morning. The city said the eviction was put on hold due to the large activist presence.

The post Quarry Encampment Faces Eviction In Minneapolis appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

Learning From The Biden Strikebreaking

Popular Resistance - Thu, 12/29/2022 - 09:39

The Biden regime’s shameful betrayal of the railroad workers unfolded in late November and early December as the possible railroad strike crisis slowly wound to its ending. The gang-up on the railroad workers and their desire to exercise the basic right to strike was practically all-encompassing. Politicians from both political parties – with only a handful of exceptions – all of the media, every single large corporation in the country, and even some liberals and so-called leftists all made the case why the strike must be stopped. Broken even before it had started. This chorus all echoed the same canard, that it was too important to allow a rail strike, no matter that it was in response to the refusal of the company barons to seriously negotiate in the first place.

The post Learning From The Biden Strikebreaking appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.

Categories: F. Left News

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