Alternative News

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

Council This Week

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Accompaniment update

Accompaniment update r1 PBI-Canada & Amnesty International Canada webinar on the impact of Canadian mining on Indigenous rights in Mexico, March 11 … Read more... PBI-Honduras accompanies the National Union of Rural Workers at media conference on food insecurity and agrarian crisis … Read more... ...

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Living Socialism Today: Remembering Leo Panitch

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Living Socialism Today: Remembering Leo Panitch

Sam Gindin

Standing outside a conference with a group of devotees, a famous political scientist brags that there’s only two people in the world he’s afraid of: his mother and Leo Panitch. To anyone who knows Leo, this revelation elicits knowing smiles and an affirmative nodding of heads. But it also poses a question. Those with an authoritative and intimidating presence tend to bring a distancing from others; how then did so many nevertheless come to feel so close to Leo?

The almost universal answer in the hundreds of emails sent in response to Leo’s passing spoke to the vital social dimension that came...

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Can you say fellowship?

Can you say fellowship? r1 ...

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Green job applications are stacking up in Trudeaus office

1,200+ people have faxed their “green job application” to the PM. Send yours. r1

Paov,

I’m impressed. Over 1,200 people have faxed a “green job application” to the Prime Minister’s office. Can you take a minute to send yours? We’re aiming to hit 1,500 by the end of the week.

This action is our cheeky way of reminding the PM that we haven’t forgotten his 2019 pledge to pass a Just Transition Act.

We’re having our fun but we recognize this is a serious matter, especially for the thousands of oil and gas workers facing an uncertain future. Canada needs a Just Transition Act that creates a million green jobs. And we need it today.

Over the last few days, I spent some time reading through some of the customized "job applications" that people faxed to Trudeau. It gave me so much hope to read your stories: retirees explaining why they want their kids’ generation to have green jobs, young people detailing the skills they’re ready to contribute to Canada’s decarbonization efforts, and former oil workers who now work in renewable energy.

Just imagine Trudeau’s office filling up with these moving stories from people across the country who are ready for...

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The two sides of cryptocurrencies

This is a test r1

Dear ,

Bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrencies. You’ve likely heard these words in the last few years.

These technologies all form what experts call virtual assets – things that hold value, but only exist in digital form. The term often refers to cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, but it can also include other assets that are built on similar tech (digital art, collectibles, securities, and so much more).

That’s what the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in BC recently turned its mind to.

Our lawyers are continuing to keep human rights and civil liberties at the forefront of the Commission’s work. Virtual assets and cryptocurrencies could make the Canadian financial system more equitable and inclusive. For people facing financial discrimination, such as sex workers, cryptocurrencies offer alternatives to traditional payment systems.

We support the development of virtual assets in ways that can strengthen our Charter values. However, we strongly oppose new laws that could undermine those gains.

Read our latest blog on...

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“Middle Class” As Deflection

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“Middle Class” As Deflection

Jeffery R. Webber

Saving the middle class has become fashionable again. With alarming regularity, opinion pieces in the country’s leading newspapers, magazines, and online media call for the reorienting of Canadian state policy around this elusive goal. Despite (or because of?) the shared commonsensical tone adopted in such commentary, explanations of the middle class, or indeed of social class in any sense at all, are vanishingly rare.

In all of these senses, Max Fawcett’s recent Walrus article, “How to Save the Middle Class,” draws the same useless cookie cutter from that old, cluttered baking drawer of mid-brow Canadian journalism. Fawcett’s use of “middle class” is symptomatic...

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Urgent pharmacare vote at parliament

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Navalny and the Protests: Some Clarification

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Navalny and the Protests: Some Clarification

Karine Clément

Who is Alexei Navalny? We now hear nothing but good things said about him in the West, and the enthusiasm should probably be tempered. I personally have never been a fan of Navalny. At the same time, the guts he showed in returning to Russia when he knew he was threatened both physically and legally unmistakably raises him to the level of a modern hero.

Navalny has just been sentenced to two years and 8 months in prison for a spurious reason, having broken the rules of his judicial review since… he was in Germany on authorization from the Kremlin to seek...

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GameStop and Share Markets: Between the Bad and the Ugly, There is No Good

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GameStop and Share Markets:
Between the Bad and the Ugly, There is No Good

Harry Glasbeek

The recent GameStop story coming out of the US pushed arcane financial dealings into a prominence they rarely enjoy. The public was introduced to weird concepts such as “short selling and short squeezes” and, for a while, they are likely to be part of many zoom conversations. Not least because, whatever these strange things are, to many they appear to have delivered a rare victory to the little guys who cunningly used apps to hoist the captains of finance – who often refer to themselves as the Masters of the Universe – on...

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Why Amazon Is Fighting So Hard to Stop Warehouse Workers From Unionizing

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Why Amazon Is Fighting So Hard to Stop Warehouse Workers From Unionizing

Sonali Kolhatkar

Thousands of warehouse workers at an Amazon plant in Bessemer, Alabama, are at the center of a potentially game-changing union vote taking place right now. On February 8, the warehouse workers were sent ballots by mail to decide over the next seven weeks if they want to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Just getting to this point was a major victory considering the aggressive union busting by the world’s largest retailer and the fact that employees are working during a pandemic. If workers vote affirmatively, they would have the first unionized...

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The Politics and Geopolitics of the Coup in Myanmar

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The Politics and Geopolitics of the Coup in Myanmar

Vijay Prashad

On February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s military – known as the Tatmadaw – invoked Article 417 of the 2008 constitution, dismissed State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, and arrested her and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party. Condemnation of the coup was swift, although there would be reason for hesitancy in the reaction: Aung San Suu Kyi, who had been the face of the democracy movement until her release from house arrest in 2010, ruined her reputation when she came to the International Court of Justice in 2019 to defend her country’s genocide against the...

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Community Helps to Sustain Portlands Ongoing BLM Protests

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Community Helps to Sustain Portland’s Ongoing BLM Protests

April M. Short

At any given Black Lives Matter (BLM) event in Portland, you might encounter what looks like a farmers market stand, with woven baskets full of fresh veggies, fruits and flower cuttings. Look a little closer and you might come across an “Abolish the Police Lettuce Mix” or a fruit basket with a hand-painted sign that reads “billionaires are not essential.” This is the PlantBloc booth, where everything is freely donated and given away by Portland’s gardeners and plant lovers to support the movement against racism, and justice for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

PlantBloc operates only through...

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Council This Week

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Feb 14: Interpretation Machines /w Larry Lohmann

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Contradictions of "Artificial Intelligence" in 21st Century Capitalism

Sunday, February 14th @ 2:00 PM (EST)

Since the nineteenth century, left movements have sought footholds among the ever-renewing contradictions of capitalist industrial mechanization and its relation to work and energy. These experiments, begun by Marx, remain fragmentary and contested. Yet the crises that twenty-first century digital mechanization presents and exacerbates may shed new light on this longer history of automation even as they confront the left with fresh puzzles.

This talk proposes three responses to these challenges. 1) It may be more useful to movement organizing to stress continuities between industrial-era and digital-era value-creation than to focus only on differences. 2) The contradiction between living and dead labor that Marx identified not only persists in today's digital economy, but also remains fundamental both to understanding crisis and to identifying possibilities for radical political change. 3) It may make more strategic sense for the left to approach the striking innovations in automation advanced over the past decade by the likes of Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, Microsoft, and Apple as a new level of the mechanization of interpretive work than to promote mystifying labels such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Larry...

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New report on human rights defenders

New report on human rights defenders r1 New report documents that 331 human rights defenders were killed in 2020 … Read more... PBI-Canada encourages Foreign Minister Marc Garneau to read US civil society letter to Antony Blinken on human rights defenders … Read more... ...

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Dare to Hope

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In this edition, we bring you some reasons to keep fighting, and some reasons to be hopeful.

Fossil Free Digest

So here we are: we made it through the first month of 2021. Many of us had unprecedented struggles to face in the year 2020, and many of us had to adapt the way we lived, interacted and fought for climate justice. If there is one thing that is abundantly clear, it is that no matter how far apart we may feel, we can’t win this fight alone. In the first month of 2021, the world has faced increased climate disasters and injustice, but it has also seen some amazing wins for people power.

In this edition, we bring you some reasons to keep fighting, and some reasons to be hopeful.

Onwards,

Nona and Drue

In case you missed it

Cancelled pipelines: The Keystone XL pipeline is CANCELLED! On his first day in office, US President Joe Biden cancelled...

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In Memory of Ernie Tate (1934-2021)

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In Memory of Ernie Tate (1934-2021):
A Life of Revolutionary Activism

John Riddell

The socialist movement lost an outstanding educator and organizer with the passing of Ernest (Ernie) Tate in Toronto on 5 February. An outstanding partisan of global anti-imperialist solidarity, Ernie also contributed, with his partner Jess MacKenzie, to building revolutionary Marxist groups and to promoting socialist unity in Canada and Britain.

Raised in an impoverished working-class community in Belfast, Ernie left school at age 14, taking a job at Belfast Mills as apprentice machine attendant. An avid reader and a rebel at heart, Ernie sympathized – unusually, given his Protestant background – with the Irish republican movement.

During a...

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We admit we didnt get this one right

‘We admit we didn’t get this one right’ r1 ...

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Trudeau promised green jobs. Where are they?

Let's flood the PM's fax line with green job applications. r1

Dear Paov,

As you know, millions of Canadians lost their jobs over the course of the pandemic. January’s job numbers, which reflect the impacts of COVID’s second wave, just came out and they’re worse than most experts predicted.1 And, just like with the first wave, women, racialized folks, and young people were hardest hit.

In September’s Speech from the Throne, the Liberal government pledged that "climate action will be a cornerstone of our plan to support and create a million jobs across the country." There’s certainly no shortage of work to be done as we repair our damaged environment and race to build a fossil-free economy.

But, since last year, Trudeau hasn’t said much about green jobs at all. That’s why, with your help, we’ve been pushing him to deliver the Just Transition Act he promised in the last election to support workers and communities impacted by the shift off fossil fuels and by the worsening climate crisis. Done right, there’s massive potential to kickstart a green jobs revolution.

Today, we’re taking the next step in our Just Transition Act campaign with a cheeky new action. Can you take a few minutes to...

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