Monthly Archives: March 2020

The trouble with ‘preventing Palestine’

Seth Anziska’s book on the Arab-Israeli “peace process” is a useful primer on the conflict, but it does not fully examine the paradox of the Carter administration’s solution that we are still living with, argues AS’AD ABUKHALIL*

Begin_and_Brzezinski_play_chess_at_Camp_David_September_9_1978_10729693553-1028x709

Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, left, and U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brezinski play chess at Camp David, September 9, 1978 | CIA

A new book by Seth Anziska, titled “Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo” created quite a buzz before its official release in late 2018. The writer had mentioned it in press articles and noted that he had unearthed important documents. The book, however, is not as firm in its Palestinian advocacy as has been assumed by supporters of the cause who have praised it on social media and in reviews. Continue reading

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New Brunswick: Unacceptable anti-worker, anti-social actions

Locked-out CUPE Local 4193 workers and supporters rally before dispersing to respect COVID-19 distancing regulations, Allardville, March 18, 2020 | CUPE Local 4193

Protest against overnight closings of hospital emergency rooms, Sackville, New Brunswick, February 16, 2020 | Bruce Wark

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs announced on February 16, the suspension of a series of anti-social measures due to be implemented March 11. The most brutal and life-threatening measure was the permanent overnight closures of the emergency departments of six community hospitals, in Caraquet, Grand Falls, Perth-Andover, Sackville, Sainte-Anne-de-Kent, and Sussex. Workers’ Forum reports that the ruling elites in New Brunswick are using the COVID-19 pandemic to escalate their attacks on the working class and public health. Continue reading

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Public testing for COVID-19 crippled by privatization: The case of Alberta

The refusal to stop paying the rich and increase investments in social programs has created the current situation where a health care system already over-capacity and where workers experience unsustainable workloads is now faced with the COVID-19 crisis. The  reversal of all privatization schemes is in order | PEGGY MORTON

Across Canada, labs with facilities to test for COVID-19 are overwhelmed. Both the speed of results and the scope of testing are far below what is needed, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and proven effective in countries like China, south Korea and Singapore. This is the case right across Canada and shows the need for significant expansion of public health laboratories. Continue reading

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Nova Scotia: Situation underscores the necessity for the leadership and voice of the working people at all times

Without mobilizing and unleashing the initiative and power of the working class, the fight against the pandemic is seriously undermined and weakened | K.C. ADAMS

The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) is the largest union in the province of Nova Scotia, representing the individual and collective interests of over 30,000 public and private sector employees. NSGEU members work in the civil service, centres of education, universities, hospitals, liquor stores, correctional facilities, municipalities, and other organizations across the province. Continue reading

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March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

(London) – Since 1966, March 21 has been designated by the UN General Assembly as International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD). March 21 was chosen to commemorate the day in 1960 when police opened fire and killed 69 peaceful protestors demonstrating against the so-called “pass laws” imposed by the apartheid regime in South Africa. Those tragic events became known internationally thereafter as the Sharpeville massacre.
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The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life

The US president was aware of the danger from the coronavirus – but the executive power of the ruling elite has created an emergency of epic proportions | Ed Pilkington and Tom McCarthy of the Guardian in New York, who neglect the punitive measures launched in parallel by the US against Cuba, Venezuela and Iran. Continue reading

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All out to activate all working people to make sure the COVID 19 crisis Is resolved in their favour

Workers nationwide organize to uphold the rights of all | Workers’ Forum editorial, March 18, 2020

Workers’ Forum salutes all of Canada’s working people whose contribution makes life possible, especially under the conditions of all out mobilization to contain the coronavirus COVID-19. The immediate aim is to flatten the curve so that lives are saved and the health care system is not overwhelmed. Continue reading

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Postal workers on the front lines serving Canadians: Canada Post must ensure its workers are protected

Postal workers’ needs to perform their work in a safe manner have been systematically ignored. Postal workers’ concerns are not only for their own safety but for that of the public as well | LOUIS LANG

As the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak requires large portions of the population to self-quarantine, the service provided by postal workers is more important than ever to keep lines of communication open at a time on-line shopping becomes a main means households are using to provision themselves. Enabling postal workers to carry out their tasks means that workers in sortation plants, retail offices and letter carrier and rural and suburban mail carrier depots must be provided with equipment and working conditions they require to ensure their safety on a daily basis. Continue reading

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Israeli airstrikes vs Palestinian rockets: Facts & stats on air attacks

Israeli airstrikes vs Palestinian rockets: Facts & Stats on air attacks

Chart of Israelis killed by rockets from Gaza and Palestinians in Gaza killed by Israeli airstrike | If Americans Knew (Click on to enlarge)

Canadian and US media news reports on Israel-Palestine virtually always mention ‘thousands of rockets have been fired from Gaza.’ However, the media rarely report how many people these rockets have killed, when they began, and what they look like. Canadian and US media reports also fail to compare these Palestinian weapons to the weapons Israel uses in its airstrikes. Continue reading

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Media struggle to defend Washington’s cruelty toward Venezuela and Iran as coronavirus spreads

Media Struggle to Defend Washington’s Cruelty Toward Venezuela and Iran as Coronavirus Spreads

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wears a facemask, Marcch 23 | Venezuelanalysis

An Associated Press article (New York Times3/17/20) headlined “IMF Rejects Maduro’s Bid for Emergency Loan to Fight Virus” declared:

The request is an about-face for Maduro, who for years refused to share economic data with the Washington-based lender and just last month condemned it as a tool of US imperialism. In the past he has called the IMF a blood-sucking “assassin” responsible for plunging millions of people into poverty across Latin America. Continue reading

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China bolsters global effort to combat coronavirus

International Cooperation to Help Countries Cope

Chinese and Cuban doctors arrive in Italy to help treat COVID-19 pandemic.

Assistance to Italy and Other EU Countries

On March 12, a group of nine Chinese aid professionals arrived in Rome with tons of medical supplies, including 700 ventilators, monitors and defibrillators, as part of China’s efforts to help Italy contain the novel coronavirus outbreak. Continue reading

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IMF refuses aid to Venezuela (Excerpts)

– Ana Maldonado, Paola Estrada, Vijay Prashad, Zoe PC –

Venezuela receives aid from China, March 19, 2020, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

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. Continue reading

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US imperialists’ utter contempt for human life; new sanctions imposed on Iran

On March 17, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced further sanctions on Iran amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The sanctions are ostensibly in response to March 12 rocket attacks in Taji, Iraq, that killed two members of the U.S. occupation forces, for which it claims Iran is responsible. According to a statement by Pompeo, the sanctions target entities and individuals mostly related to Iran’s petrochemical industry that “provide revenue to the regime that it may use to fund terror and other destabilizing activities.” These include five companies based in the United Arab Emirates, three companies in China, three in Hong Kong and one in South Africa. Continue reading

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Cuba a beacon of international solidarity and medical excellence in the fight against COVID-19

International Cooperation to Help Countries Cope

Cuban medical team of 50 arrives in Suriname March 20, 2020, to assist with COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 21, 53 physicians and nurses from Cuba’s celebrated Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade of health professionals, trained in disaster medicine and infectious disease containment, arrived in Italy’s northern Lombardy region at the request of its health authorities. They will join a dozen Chinese doctors to work in a new field hospital being built in Bergamo in Italy’s hardest hit area, where over 63 per cent of the country’s deaths due to COVID-19 and 42 per cent of its active cases are concentrated, with over 1,000 patients undergoing intensive treatment. It is the sixth contingent of the specialized brigade to go abroad to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and the first sent to Europe. Continue reading

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Cuba’s timely assistance to British cruise ship

International Cooperation to Help Countries Cope

Shortly before dawn on March 18, the British passenger ship MS Braemar of the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, with over 1,000 passengers and crew aboard, docked in the port of Mariel, Cuba. Since March 12, the ship had been denied permission to dock in several of its scheduled ports of call around the Caribbean or in the U.S. by authorities of those countries, due to the fact that one of its passengers and four crew members had confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a further 28 passengers and 27 crew members, including a doctor, in isolation after displaying symptoms. Continue reading

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Emergency measures should be used to address crisis in seniors’ care in British Columbia

It is not acceptable at any time that the province simply hands over the funds and refuses to take any responsibility for what the operators do with it. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on seniors makes this situation an emergency.

Meeting on the crisis in seniors’ care, Comox Valley, February 24, 2020.

By BARBARA BILEY

The neo-liberal anti-social measures that have been implemented by successive governments over the last several decades have resulted in a crisis in seniors’ care in many parts of the country. The proliferation of private seniors’ homes, many replacing what were public homes, has created a perfect storm, which has been activated in all its fury with the current COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

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Problems with the Employment Insurance measures

Workers speak about their concerns | PIERRE CHENIER*

The $82 billion aid package for Canadians announced by the Trudeau government on March 18, to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, includes $27 billion for direct supports to Canadians. Some of the measures concern Employment Insurance (EI) and it is already clear that they are inadequate. Continue reading

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Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to Fight COVID-19

The present aim of maximum private profit has obviously failed with regard to having a secure supply chain of necessary health care products or it would not be a matter of discussion and concern | Commentary by K.C. ADAMS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19. He said the plan will “create pathways to deploy resources to domestic manufacturers and businesses so they can help during this critical time. […] The Plan introduces new measures to directly support these businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against COVID-19. These products could include critical health and safety supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment, sanitization products, diagnostic and testing products, and disease tracking technology. […] It focuses on domestic capacity building, innovative solutions, and procurement of essential supplies.” Continue reading

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Beware of the fend-for-yourself aspect of federal economic response to COVID-19

Our Security Lies in the Fight to Defend the Rights of All | TML Weekly

This past week the federal government made a series of announcements which it says are aimed at coping with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Government ministers have repeatedly stated that their aim is not perfection but speed and asked for the cooperation of the public, if implementation does not go smoothly. Overall, an impression is created that the government has everything under control and Canadians can rest assured they are being looked after. Continue reading

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U.S.-Taliban pact: Agreement on a new war in Afghanistan

By HOSSEIN AMIRI

Tehran (March 11) – After months of ups and downs, finally, a peace deal was signed between the Taliban and the United States in Doha on February 20, 2020.

It was struck at the presence of representatives of about 30 countries, mostly U.S. allies in the Afghan war. However, no representatives from the Afghan government were present at the signing ceremony. Continue reading

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Coronavirus and the sun: a lesson from the 1918 influenza pandemic

Fresh air, sunlight and improvised face masks seemed to work a century ago; and they might help us now.

Influenza patients getting sunlight at the Camp Brooks emergency open-air hospital in Boston. Medical staff were not supposed to remove their masks | National Archives

By Richard Hobday*

(March 10) – When new, virulent diseases emerge, such SARS and Covid-19, the race begins to find new vaccines and treatments for those affected. As the current crisis unfolds, governments are enforcing quarantine and isolation, and public gatherings are being discouraged. Health officials took the same approach 100 years ago, when influenza was spreading around the world. The results were mixed. But records from the 1918 pandemic suggest one technique for dealing with influenza — little-known today — was effective. Some hard-won experience from the greatest pandemic in recorded history could help us in the weeks and months ahead. Continue reading

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Latvian Exhibit in Ottawa: Canadian War Museum should be condemned for falsifying what Canadians stand for

Exhibition at Canadian War Museum (Embassy of Latvia)

The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa is featuring a special exhibit titled “The Latvian Tragedy – 1941.” The exhibit coincides with Latvia’s use of March 16, to hail Nazi collaborators in that country as freedom fighters and to declare that in 1941 the Soviet Union, which was the first country to seriously prepare to counter the Nazi assault on itself and all of Europe, was the invader, not Hitler’s Germany. The exhibit runs from March 3-22, 2020.[1] Continue reading

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Open Letter to François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs on the issue of extraterritorial application of US sanctions against Cuba

Canadian Network on Cuba 

Vancouver monthly pickets against U.S. blockade of Cuba, February 17, 2020

Re: Western Union and U.S. Economic Sanctions Against Cuba

I am writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC), which represents Canada-Cuba friendship and solidarity organizations across Canada, ranging from Vancouver to Halifax and with over 50,000 in membership. One of the CNC’s principal objectives is advocating that Canadian foreign policy regarding Cuba remains based on equality and respect for sovereignty and the right of self-determination. Continue reading

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Oppose attempts to render the population passive in the face of pandemic

A lot of media coverage and official statements in the U.S., as well as from certain quarters in Canada, are focused on bad-mouthing China as a dictatorship which violates human rights. This is intended to divert from the fundamental point that China is defending every life – the most essential human right. The relentless campaign against China in relation to the outbreak of the virus goes so far as to say that 5G platforms and cell phone systems are used “to spy” on people. Continue reading

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World Health Organization advice to public for COVID-19 containment

The World Health Organization has issued the following advice to the general public on basic protective measures against the new Coronavirus COVID-19:

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Strict comprehensive measures urgently recommended to contain the disease and protect the population

The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised strict comprehensive measures to contain the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and to protect the population, including quarantine, testing, contact tracing, social distancing, and direct population/community mobilization. On February 20, the WHO published a report which noted: Continue reading

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The gateway to Idlib goes via Cilica

In this article Ghassan Kadi, our Middle East analyst, looks at the historical reasons that put Syria in a vulnerable position with Turkey. According to his analysis, the buck stops at the long forgotten issue of the Cilician Gates. Ghassan has been warning about this issue for some years now.

***

The root of the military conflict in Idlib is not something that arose from contemporary times. And with all due respect to Sputnik, the cause did not start 80 years ago.

Actually, the seed of the conflict was sown five centuries ago. Its germination could have been prevented a century ago. However, the colonialists had other plans. They implemented them when Syria was weak and unable to exercise its own right of self-determination. Continue reading

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Women as leaders in the fight for the rights of all: Celebrate International Women’s Day

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Women throughout the world are organizing rallies, marches and gatherings of all kinds for March 8, International Women’s Day, to hail and celebrate their fight to affirm their rights and for peace, freedom and democracy. On International Women’s Day, women assert their claim to a say and control over the affairs of society and salute both those fighting in the present and those who have blazed a path forward for women and society throughout history. The struggle to affirm the collective and individual rights of women is part and parcel of the fight to uphold the rights of all and win emancipation for all. It is part and parcel of the struggle of the working class to constitute the nation and vest sovereignty in the people. Continue reading

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History of International Women’s Day

Historic site in Copenhagen, Denmark where women from around the world gathered for the Second International Conference of Socialist Women in 1910 and passed the resolution establishing International Women’s Day.

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