Alternative News

Articles from non-mainstream as opposed to corporate for profit sources.

Creative Responses and Righteous Demands for the Coronavirus Crisis

Creative Responses and Righteous Demands for the Coronavirus Crisis r1 ...

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Viruses and Care

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2040 ... April 1, 2020
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Viruses and Care

Pat Armstrong

It is not surprising that the first recorded deaths from COVID-19 were in nursing homes. But the contributing factors cannot be attributed solely to age.

Long-term residential care shares with other healthcare organizations the negative impacts of neoliberal policies, namely cutbacks in government funding and a failure to keep up with demand for public services, managerial practices that create part-time jobs, contract work that eliminates benefits and irregular hours of work, the downloading of labour to those with the fewest formal credentials, the reduction of staff to a minimum, tight control over workers, and the privatization of ownership as well as the contracting out of work in non-profit and municipal homes. All of these policies and practices have an impact on the conditions of work that are the conditions of care.

However, they have a particular impact within the places most commonly called nursing homes, defined as those that provide 24-hour nursing care and services heavily subsidized by government to make them accessible based on need, not ability...

Read more: Viruses and Care

Re. Coronavirus bailouts

A,

Thousands of people like you are ready to fight hard to make sure the coronavirus bailout money helps people and builds a better world.

We can’t let these billions disappear into the pockets of greedy corporate bosses, with no strings attached.

If we get started right away, we can win this -- but it’s gonna take a lot of us chipping in what we can each month to pull off this huge effort. Can you make a small monthly gift to win bailouts for the people instead of corporations?

Donate CA$6 monthly nowDonate CA$12 monthly now Read more: Re. Coronavirus bailouts

Global Health Crisis: They Are at War... Against Us!

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2039 ... April 1, 2020
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Global Health Crisis: They Are at War... Against Us!

International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles

Governments and bosses claim to be at war with coronavirus. In reality, it is a war against our social class that they are waging. A war against us for their profits!

The global health crisis is largely a consequence of the capitalist system.

Of course, we do not mean by this that the virus was created by capitalism; but the human disaster we are experiencing is due to capitalism. Governments around the world make the same choices, even if it is to a slightly different degree: they started by diminishing the extent of the epidemic, not because of ignorance but because management, the shareholders, the capitalists had as priority the safeguarding of their profits. The profits of a minority, against the health of billions of humans!

Once the crisis is in place, the damage of capitalism comes back to us.

* Lack of infrastructure, staff, resources in all areas of health: this is the result...

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By midnight tonight

By midnight tonight r1 ...

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Billions for pipelines in a pandemic?

Jason Kenney giving $6 billion dollars to the Keystone XL pipeline in the midst of a global pandemic r1

Friends,

Today, I was filled with rage after waking up to the news that Jason Kenney is handing close to $6 billion dollars to the Keystone XL pipeline in the midst of a global pandemic.1 The announcement comes just two days after he laid off 26,000 public education workers on a Saturday afternoon.

Then, a couple of hours later during his daily press conference, Justin Trudeau defended the continued construction of the TransMountain pipeline.2 While telling millions of Canadians to stay at home to stop the spread of COVID-19, he had the nerve to justify cramming thousands of oil workers into man camps on unceded Indigenous lands.

Let’s be clear. There is no way that either of these projects can be built without risking further spread of COVID-19 to workers, rural communities, and the Indigenous nations whose territories they pass through.

To top it all off, these decisions to prop up oil and gas companies are coming not only at a time when oil is worth next to nothing, but at a time when hundreds of thousands of people are worried...

Read more: Billions for pipelines in a pandemic?

This is a Global Pandemic -- Lets Treat it as Such

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2038 ... March 31, 2020
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This is a Global Pandemic -- Let’s Treat it as Such

Adam Hanieh

In the face of the COVID-19 tsunami, our lives are changing in ways that were inconceivable just a few short weeks ago. Not since the 2008-09 economic collapse has the world collectively shared an experience of this kind: a single, rapidly-mutating, global crisis, structuring the rhythm of our daily lives within a complex calculus of risk and competing probabilities.

In response, numerous social movements have put forward demands that take seriously the potentially disastrous consequences of the virus, while also tackling the incapacity of capitalist governments to adequately address the crisis itself. These demands include questions of worker safety, the necessity of neighbourhood level organizing, income and social security, the rights of those on zero-hour contracts or in precarious employment, and the need to protect renters and those living in poverty. In this sense, the COVID-19 crisis has sharply underscored the irrational nature of healthcare systems structured around corporate profit -- the almost universal cutbacks to public hospital staffing and infrastructure...

Read more: This is a Global Pandemic -- Lets Treat it as Such

IMF Refuses Aid to Venezuela in the Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2037 ... March 30, 2020
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IMF Refuses Aid to Venezuela in the Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis

Vijay Prashad, Paola Estrada, Ana Maldonado and Zoe PC

On March 16, 2020, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva wrote a blog post on the Fund’s website; it represents the kind of generosity necessary in the midst of a global pandemic. "The IMF stands ready to mobilize its $1-trillion lending capacity to help our membership," she wrote. Countries with "urgent balance-of-payments needs" could be helped by the IMF’s "flexible and rapid-disbursing emergency response toolkit." Through these mechanisms, the IMF said that it could provide $50-billion to developing countries and $10-billion to low-income countries at a zero-interest rate.

The day before Georgieva made this public statement, the foreign ministry of the government of Venezuela sent a letter to the IMF asking for funds to finance the government’s "detection and response systems" for its efforts against the coronavirus. In the letter, President Nicolas Maduro wrote that his government is "taking different preventive measures and following through strict and exhaustive controls...

Read more: IMF Refuses Aid to Venezuela in the Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis

Hope and Determination from Wetsuweten

Hope and Determination from Wet’suwet’en r1 ...

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Coronavirus bailouts

A,

In a moment, I’m going to ask you to make a small monthly gift to jumpstart a game-changing new campaign. But first, let me explain why.

Right now behind closed doors, governments are planning eye-watering bailouts that will shape what our global economy looks like after coronavirus.

But regular people’s voices aren’t in the room, and corporate lobbyists are. If we don’t seize the moment, we’ll just see bailouts for cruise lines and airplane manufacturers -- like the financial crash all over again.

In this lockdown, influencing politicians is going to be harder than ever. But you know that the mega-corporations and their lobbyists are finding a way. So you and I need to as well.

That's why we need your help -- a few coins a month, from as many people as possible, to build the kind of sustained campaigning we will need through this crisis. We CAN emerge from this with a bold, people-powered economy, but we can only do that with you, A.

Can you chip in to help make sure these bailouts work for the people and planet -- not corporate greed?

Read more: Coronavirus bailouts

From Coronovirus to the Green New Deal: Navigating the Perilous Passage

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2036 ... March 30, 2020
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From Coronovirus to the Green New Deal: Navigating the Perilous Passage

Richard Sandbrook

When we have dealt with the coronavirus crisis, we need to address the climate emergency. We have learned a lot from handling the pandemic that will help in tackling climate change.

  • It is critical to tackle the crisis early, based on the best scientific evidence. Indecisive political leadership pushes the crisis quickly out of control.
  • The most vulnerable citizens are the first to die, so ethically we have a responsibility to move fast to protect those who suffer through no fault of their own.
  • Social cooperation is critical in overcoming the crisis. Each person plays a part in limiting the common danger. We must all sacrifice cherished pursuits in the short run in order to save ourselves and societal order in the long run.
  • Resolution of the crisis requires massive state activism, a willingness to do what is needed to stave off disaster, whether economic or health related. Emergency situations require mobilization of all resources.
  • A crisis that is global in scope...

    Read more: From Coronovirus to the Green New Deal: Navigating the Perilous Passage

Weaponizing the Numbers

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2035 ... March 29, 2020
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Weaponizing the Numbers:
The Hidden Agenda Behind Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform

Sean Sweeney

Among progressives concerned about climate change, few issues provoke as much anger as the knowledge that governments continue to subsidize fossil fuels. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2017 these subsidies totaled $5.2-trillion annually.

Don’t governments realize that fossil fuels are cooking the planet? The scientific community says we are in a desperate race against time, but the coal, oil, and gas companies apparently still have their noses deeply in the public trough.

Most policy elites think fossil fuel subsidies should go. A decade ago, the Group of Twenty (G20) leaders committed to "rationalize and phase out" government support for coal, oil, and gas, a decision supported by major institutions like the IMF and the World Trade Organization (WTO). At a summit in May 2019, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said "taxpayers’ money" was being used "to boost hurricanes, to spread droughts, to melt glaciers, to bleach corals. In one word -- to destroy the world."

These are fighting...

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1 in 500

1 in 500 r1 ...

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Hope in Uncertain Times: We are Launching #Solidarityfromhome

Hope in Uncertain Times: We are Launching #Solidarityfromhome r1 ...

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The Official Story of the Coronavirus Hides a Systemic Crisis: A View from Spain

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2034 ... March 28, 2020
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The Official Story of the Coronavirus Hides a Systemic Crisis: A View from Spain

Joan Benach

The new coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2) has many faces. The health-related facet has been thoroughly examined for weeks or, better said, scrutinized by the media, especially in countries like Spain and Italy, among others. From the last week of January to the time of writing this text (March 9), the coronavirus is known to have infected more than 114,000 people in more than 100 countries, with over 4,000 individual deaths caused by COVID-19. And it is more than likely that several thousand more deaths will be added to the count in the coming weeks or months, in what is already a pandemic.

Without a doubt, it is a serious health problem, but not the most important one, and perhaps not even the most urgent. An example of this is the case fatality rate, estimated at 3.4 per cent, which can be compared with 11 per cent for SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) or 34 per cent for MERS (Middle East...

Read more: The Official Story of the Coronavirus Hides a Systemic Crisis: A View from Spain

5 ways to demand justice during the COVID19 pandemic

Add your name to the open letter calling for a united global response to COVID-19 r1

Friends,

We are in a moment like no other in modern history. In every corner of the world, COVID-19 is upending our lives and livelihoods, and putting the most vulnerable in our communities at even greater risk. That is why, amidst this dark and difficult time, it’s been so inspiring to see the ways that people are coming together in this moment.

After seeing so much mutual aid organizing, community care, and solidarity day in and day out, I can’t help but feel that, despite the challenge, we will pull through this together.

And, as we do, we need our governments to be with us in having each others’ backs. That’s why, along with tens of thousands of people, organizations, and groups, we’ve signed onto support 5 key principles for a just COVID-19 response and recovery. Will you add your name and demand a just recovery from this pandemic?

We know that we can’t get out of one crisis by making others worse. Even before this pandemic hit, people were already struggling in the midst of a climate crisis. That’s why these principles lay out a...

Read more: 5 ways to demand justice during the COVID19 pandemic

Waterfront Toronto: Google's de facto Development Arm in Canada

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2033 ... March 27, 2020
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Waterfront Toronto: Google’s de facto Development Arm in Canada

Thorben Wieditz

Big tech’s smart city initiatives aim at taking over governance and decision-making functions in cities around the world. While peer-to-peer platform giants like Uber and AirBnB have long been disrupting labour and housing markets, a current attempt by Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet, and sibling to Google, to develop data-driven infrastructure in Toronto not only aims to remake entire city districts, but also to subsequently privatize city governance, municipal services, land use planning, transit, housing and more. The current COVID-19 induced crisis may accelerate this trend under the banner of public health, online education and disease control, if we don’t organize appropriately.

What all the above-mentioned tech giants share is a similar playbook. They use technology to create and corner new markets by operating outside of existing rules and regulations. Uber seeks to turn as many private vehicles as possible into taxis. AirBnB aims to convert as many residential homes as possible into hotels, while Google’s smart city tech aims to collect...

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What's an 'essential' service?

What's an 'essential' service? r1 ...

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'And the people stayed home'

r1

We must stay safe – and vigilant

Fossil Free Digest

An apartment building facade at night with lit windows and the words stay safe, stay home

Friends,

The COVID-19 outbreak has made us all realise just how fragile this interconnected world is.

As we grapple with staying home, finding new ways to comfort those we love and support those most impacted – we’re also creating space to dream up new ways of being, thinking, and healing.

Watch and share this poetic video now about the extraordinary time we’re in, and then read on to see how the movement for a Just Recovery is responding – and how you can help.

A grid of different headshots of individuals singing

Towards a Just Recovery

It might be hard to imagine a way through this crisis – especially one that honours other crises that people and planet both face...

Read more: 'And the people stayed home'

Austerity and the Crisis in Healthcare

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2032 ... March 26, 2020
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Austerity and the Crisis in Healthcare

Ontario Health Coalition

Analysis of the Ontario Government’s Economic Statement

Ontario’s government released its economic statement today (March 25). Overall, they are providing $3.3-billion for healthcare, another $3.7-billion in supports for people and businesses, and $10-billion for other deferrals and tax "relief."

The Ontario Health Coalition’s key message: The overall funding announcement for healthcare of $3.3-billion amounts to a funding increase of about 5 per cent. This is approximately what is needed to just to meet population growth, aging, inflation and utilization at not much more than current levels. Please note: that total includes the $1-billion COVID-19 contingency fund that the government announced today.

Within the particular health subsectors the numbers need to be put into the context. Ontario is far behind due to years of austerity budgets, downsizing of public hospitals beyond all reason, and rationing of long-term care to levels far less than population need. We have a long way to go just to catch up. It is not unreasonable to demand that we...

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