Alternative News

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

Transit Workers Are Still Dying -- With No End in Sight

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2197 ... September 21, 2020
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Transit Workers Are Still Dying -- With No End in Sight

Marcia Brown

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, public-transit workers have been called "essential" and "heroes." Yard signs plaster suburbia with "Thank you essential workers" and "Essential workers are heroes." City apartment windows boast similar signs. And every day, these transit workers show up to work, exposed to hundreds of people a day, and transport other frontline essential workers to their jobs as nurses, grocery clerks, and other jobs we can’t do without.

But their work has come at an appalling cost. Hundreds of these transit workers have died as a result of their exposure to the virus while at work. Nearly 100 members of Transit Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 in New York City alone have died. Every time there’s a hot spot around the country, labor leaders told me, transit workers in that region contract COVID-19 and some die. "As soon as I see a hot spot, I’m like ‘Oh no,’ because there’s the buses," said John Costa, international president...

Read more: Transit Workers Are Still Dying -- With No End in Sight

Episode 2: Canada in The World w/ Tyler A. Shipley

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A Socialist Project podcast ... No. 2 ... September 20, 2020
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Episode 2 – Canada in The World w/ Tyler A. Shipley

In this episode we speak with Tyler A. Shipley about his new book Canada in The World: Settler Capitalism and the Colonial Imagination. We dive into the juxtaposition between Canada’s performance as a well-intentioned peacekeeping force on the international stage, with its original sin of colonial genocide and its continuing behaviour as a settler colonial power.

Tyler A. Shipley is professor of Culture, Society, and Commerce at the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

Listen to podcast

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#MayflowersKill: we asked Indigenous Peoples what the Mayflower means to them.




Here are their powerful perspectives on why this is not something to be celebrated

Read more: #MayflowersKill: we asked Indigenous Peoples what the Mayflower means to them.

'I Am Greta' Shows the Struggle of a Teen With the Future Resting on Her Shoulders

r1 Plus, tell world leaders to fight human rights abuse in Zimbabwe, and more.

READ

'I Am Greta' Shows the Struggle of a Teen With the Future Resting on Her Shoulders

...

Read more: 'I Am Greta' Shows the Struggle of a Teen With the Future Resting on Her Shoulders

Lessons from the Gig Economy for Transforming Public Services

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2196 ... September 18, 2020
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Lessons from the Gig Economy for Transforming Public Services

Ursula Huws

Even before the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, major upheavals were taking place in the UK labour market. Between 2016 and 2019, the number of people working for online platforms such as Deliveroo and TaskRabbit doubled from 4.7% of the adult population to 9.6% – the equivalent of 5.5 million people. Lockdown caused these trends to escalate still more sharply as a housebound population switched en masse to ordering goods online.

For many, the growth of the platform economy is cause for concern. But I believe the principles of platform technology could be used by governments to transform the way public services are delivered, taking advantage of the way that they efficiently connect users with the services that they want. Under municipal control, or through public-private partnerships, platforms could transform service delivery to citizens.

Colleagues and I surveyed 28,000 people across Europe in our research on the platform economy. In the UK, we measured changes between 2016 and 2019 not just among...

Read more: Lessons from the Gig Economy for Transforming Public Services

ICE & Best Western

Over 100 migrants detained

Best Western has opened its hotel doors to ICE to detain migrant children in the U.S.

Tell the hotel’s executives to stop participating in a shadowy system for secretly detaining migrant children.

Sign the petition

A,

Since the beginning of the year, over 100 migrants — many believed to be children — have been detained at a Best Western Hotel by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) contractor.

There has been no way for these kids to report neglect or abuse. No way for them to request legal help. And no way for their parents to even know where they are.

Being held in a hotel instead of a migrant detention center means that the systems put in place to protect and keep track of these children are gone. Once they walked through the doors of the Best Western, they essentially disappeared.

Read more: ICE & Best Western

A babushka doll of crises

A babushka doll of crises r1 ...

Read more: A babushka doll of crises

Flood Freelands phone lines

Keep up the pressure on Finance Minister Freeland to get to work on climate r1

Dear Paov,

The smoke from the west coast wildfires has travelled through 6 Canadian provinces. It’s even reached Toronto, where I live, and Ottawa, where Trudeau’s cabinet just finished their strategy retreat.1

We can only hope that seeing the climate crisis on their front porch will be enough to push federal leaders into prioritizing bold climate action. But we’ve only seen reports that they’re pushing climate to the back burner and shelving plans for a green recovery.2

Let’s turn up the pressure. Call Finance Minister Freeland this week and demand that she make climate action a priority in the federal budget.

We have less than a week until the Trudeau government unveils their pandemic recovery plans in the Speech from the Throne on September 23rd. This will be their chance to win the confidence of the house and the support that they need to govern.

This is a rare opportunity for the government to chart a new course that meaningfully tackles the most important crises of our time while supporting struggling people across the country. It’s a chance to stop sinking tens of billions of...

Read more: Flood Freelands phone lines

Street checks are illegal and racist - they must go!

Ban Street Checks r1

Sign our petition!

Dear Friend,

The call to END police street checks in Vancouver and across BC is picking up speed; both Vancouver and Victoria City Councils have passed motions calling for an end to this unjust practice! Our next stop is the Vancouver Police Board, which meets today to discuss the call to end this racist and illegal police practice. We need your help to pressure the Police Board to take immediate action.

Our petition calling for an end to street checks has over 8,200 signatories. Having 10,000 people backing us would show that public opinion is clear – street checks must go!

We’re only 1,800 signatures away. Will you join us by adding your name?

We’ll be appearing at the Vancouver Police Board as a delegation alongside Black Lives Matter - Vancouver, Hogan’s Alley Society, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and WISH Drop-In Centre Society to drive home that the Police Board must immediately ban police street checks in...

Read more: Street checks are illegal and racist - they must go!

Re. Bee-saving ban destroyed

Hi A, quick question: We're launching an emergency campaign to save the bees -- will you join us?

If you’ve saved your payment information with SumOfUs, your donation will go through immediately:

Donate CA$92 nowDonate another amount

Thanks for all that you do,
Nabil and the team at SumOfUs


Here’s the original email with more information:




BREAKING: Bee-killing pesticides are making a come-back in France. Bayer’s cashed-up lobbyists just persuaded Macron to overturn the neonics ban you helped win in France.

You can rescue this bee-saving ban -- but we need to move right now. Can you chip in CA$92 for an emergency campaign to save the bees?

“images

If you’ve saved your payment information with SumOfUs, your donation will go through immediately:

Read more: Re. Bee-saving ban destroyed

Trade Unions Need New Strategies

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2195 ... September 17, 2020
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Trade Unions Need New Strategies

Asbjørn Wahl

Trade unions are on the defensive all over the world, under immense pressure from strong economic and political forces. We are facing a multiplicity of crises. Employers are attacking on all fronts, and the pandemic is being used as an excuse further to undermine unions, wages and working conditions.

Since the neoliberal offensive began around 1980, we have experienced an enormous shift in the balance of power, from labour to capital. In spite of that, large parts of the trade union movement have continued to cling to the ideology of social partnership -- with social dialogue as its main method of influence -- which, in the current situation, is proving counterproductive.

A growing number of unions are however realising that we are in a critical situation and that we have to take bold new steps toward confronting our adversaries. We have to reform our unions, to turn them into more effective instruments and to prepare them better for the confrontations to come.

Continue reading Read more: Trade Unions Need New Strategies

Hope amid the smoke

Hope amid the smoke r1 ...

Read more: Hope amid the smoke

Popular Radicalism in the 1930s

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2194 ... September 16, 2020
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Popular Radicalism in the 1930s:
The History of the Workers’ Unemployment Insurance Bill

Chris Wright

At a time when unemployment is skyrocketing in the US and millions of out-of-work Americans have been abandoned by the federal government, it may be of interest to consider how an earlier generation responded to an even greater crisis, the Great Depression (1929-1936). In particular, we might draw inspiration from the remarkable story of the now-forgotten Workers’ Unemployment Insurance Bill that was introduced in Congress in 1934, 1935, and 1936.

Despite essentially no press coverage and extreme hostility from the business community and the Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) administration, a popular movement developed in support of this bill that had been written by the Communist Party. The mass pressure that was brought to bear on Congress secured a stunning victory in the spring of 1935, when the bill became the first unemployment insurance plan in US history to be recommended by a congressional committee (the House Labor Committee). It was defeated in the House -- by a vote of 204...

Read more: Popular Radicalism in the 1930s

BC is giving billions to polluters


BREAKING: Our new report reveals that the BC government gives away twice as much money to the fossil fuel industry as it spends on its climate change program. This is outrageous. Email Premier Horgan right now and call for an end to fossil fuel subsidies in BC.

I don’t like being the one to tell you this – but BC’s government is giving billions of your tax dollars to corporate polluters.

Released today, our shocking new report reveals that after oil-centric Alberta, BC gives more handouts to fossil fuel companies than any other province. Twice as much, in fact, as it spends on its climate change program.

We’re in a climate crisis, and on top of that, communities across BC are still reeling from the impacts of COVID-19. Instead of lining the pockets of oil and gas executives, that money should be going to the people who need it.

It’s time to sound the alarm on BC’s bankrolling of corporate polluters. Will you email Premier John Horgan right now and demand an end to fossil fuel subsidies in BC?

STOP FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES

Our ‘pro-environment’ BC NDP government is nowhere near as green as you might think. Under John Horgan’s leadership, handouts to corporate polluters have gone up and up. In the last year, the BC NDP gave away 79% more to the fossil fuel industry than the BC Liberals did in their last year in power.

Read more: BC is giving billions to polluters

The Police and Racist Vigilantes

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2193 ... September 15, 2020
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The Police and Racist Vigilantes

Sonali Kolhatkar

Police in America, whose mottos claim to "protect and serve" us, have been openly declaring allegiance with the forces of white supremacy. It is no coincidence that this has become a hallmark of Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump defended Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old white suspect in the shooting deaths of two activists in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the days following the police shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake. Implying that the suspected shooter was acting in self-defense against Black Lives Matter protesters, Trump said, "He was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like… He probably would have been killed." Later, in a Fox News interview, he defended police in a similar manner, saying they were "under siege" and using a golf analogy to explain why they routinely kill unarmed people: "just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot putt."

Across social media, those claiming to "Back the Blue," and that "Blue Lives Matter," have taken their cues from the president and...

Read more: The Police and Racist Vigilantes

Abuse of power cannot stand

This is a test r1

We're heading to court

Dear Friend,

In the last few weeks, we’ve told you about Bill 10 in Alberta, a new law that expands government powers and limits accountability.

Today, we filed to intervene in a case challenging the constitutionality of Alberta’s Bill 10.

In the video below, I explain why this new law endangers our democratic rights.

Bill 10 allows cabinet ministers to unilaterally write new laws without any oversight from the Legislative Assembly or the public. The Albertan government says that these new sweeping and undemocratic powers are necessary to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. But the government already has broad powers thanks to the Alberta Public Health Act.

The pandemic shouldn’t be used as power grab.

Since Bill 10 was passed, government Ministers in Alberta have rushed to decree new laws, enacting more than 35 new orders and amending over 20 pieces of legislation. All of these changes happened without any debate...

Read more: Abuse of power cannot stand

This Remember a Charity Week, will you choose to remember tribal peoples in your will?



This Remember a Charity Week, will you choose to remember tribal peoples in your will? “We love our culture, and we want to pass it on to our children and grandchildren.”
Botswana Bushmen, Kua Children. © Forest Woodward/Survival, 2015

Dear friend,

“We love our culture, and we want to pass it on to our children and grandchildren.” - Moeti Gaoberekwe, Bushman, Central Kalahari Game Reserve

This Remember A Charity Week, will you choose to remember tribal peoples in your will? Tribal peoples are key to our world, yet they continue to face unprecedented challenges. Despite our many successes over the past 50 years, which wouldn't have been possible without you by our side, our work is as needed today as it ever was.

Read more: This Remember a Charity Week, will you choose to remember tribal peoples in your will?

Amazon under threat


Last month, our team released a bombshell report calling out six major European banks for funding the destruction of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters by financing crude oil exports from the Ecuadorian rainforest.

Since the report’s release and the global media outcry that followed (with nearly 300 news stories and counting), five of the six banks named in the report have come to the negotiating table – and we are hopeful that one of them, Rabobank, will make their recent commitment to stop all trade financing of Amazon crude oil permanent. This is a great start (huge really!), but it’s not enough. Will you help us keep the pressure up during this crucial moment and turn the bank’s words into real, lasting commitments?

DONATE TO PROTECT THE AMAZON

With your help, we can make sure ING, Credit Suisse, Natixis, BNP Paribas, and UBS executives get a continual flood of media questions and comments from people like you until they commit to stop financing Amazon crude oil exports.

If we raise $10,000, we’ll be able to launch a powerful digital campaign so that bank employees can’t run a Google search, check their LinkedIn accounts, open their email inboxes, or listen to their voicemails without being faced with our campaign demands.

Read more: Amazon under threat

Bee-saving ban destroyed

Hi A, I just wanted to make sure you saw this: Bayer is on the verge of destroying France’s ban on bee-killing pesticides.

We have to fight back before it’s too late -- can we count on you, A?

Can you chip in for an emergency campaign to save the bees?

If you’ve saved your payment information with SumOfUs, your donation will go through immediately:

Donate CA$92 nowDonate another amount

Thanks for all that you do,
Nabil and the team at SumOfUs


Here’s the original email with more information:




BREAKING: Bee-killing pesticides are making a come-back in France. Bayer’s cashed-up lobbyists just persuaded Macron to overturn the neonics ban you helped win in France.

You can rescue this bee-saving ban -- but we need to move right now. Can you chip in CA$92 for an emergency campaign to save the bees?

“images

If you’ve saved your payment information with SumOfUs, your donation...

Read more: Bee-saving ban destroyed

Canadian Auto Workers Fight for Contract Transparency

~~~~~~~~~~~~~(((( T h e B u l l e t ))))~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2192 ... September 14, 2020
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Canadian Auto Workers Fight for Contract Transparency

Rebecca Keetch

As bargaining at the Detroit Three automakers kicks off in Canada, union members are fighting back against a longstanding undemocratic contract ratification process. In an unprecedented development, the Solidarity Movement, a rank-and-file movement within Unifor, has launched a petition to demand full disclosure of the collective agreement before voting takes place. Since the launch in early August, more than 1,800 members have signed.

Though the collective agreement is one of the most important documents to shape a worker’s life, Canadian auto workers at General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler, and Ford are not allowed to see it before we are asked to ratify it. Unifor, the largest private sector union in Canada, represents nearly 17,000 auto workers at the Detroit Three.

The petition calls on Unifor leadership to "provide full disclosure of the contents of the contract, five days before ratification, by publishing all revisions, additions, deletions, and changes to the contract, clearly marked, on the Unifor National website and the websites of the locals involved in...

Read more: Canadian Auto Workers Fight for Contract Transparency

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