Monthly Archives: December 2020
(December 27, updated December 29) – Canada routed Germany 16-2 in the “world” juniors hockey championship on December 26. The German team was missing six players including its top to goaltenders – one third of its roster – due to the covid pandemic. It had also played the night before, while Canada was playing its first game. Nevertheless, the game was not cancelled or postponed by the International Hockey Federation, being scheduled for the TSN Cable TV sports network  at primetime (6 p.m.) Saturday night. Continue reading
Pfizer and the Sovereign: Cuba’s COVID19 vaccine offers an interesting counterpoint to the Pfizer roll-out in the US
By Naomi Schoenfeld
(December 21) – As 2020 draws to a close, the COVID19 pandemic rages on, yet, undoubtedly, we have entered a distinct phase as a number of countries now begin or plan for mass distribution and administration of newly developed vaccines. As of this writing, there are six approved vaccines and over 50 candidates in development (Craven, 2020, WHO 2020). In the UK, the NHS recently started administering the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine, and the US followed suit one week later. COVID19 vaccine development has reinvigorated a certain type of vaccine nationalism not seen for decades. Each vaccine or candidate gets a particular pedigree, narrative and aura of trustworthiness according to its origins. The vaccines and candidates are a mix of private-sector developed or public/private partnership, with only a few candidates from universities or the public sector (WHO, 2020). In Cuba’s state-run socialist biopharmaceutical system, their new COVID19 vaccine, called Soberana or “The Sovereign,” is effortlessly enfolded into a long-standing national narrative of vaccine prowess. Continue reading
By TONY SEED
Originally published December 28, 2018
1890 (29 December): The 7th U.S. Cavalry commanded by Col. James Forsyth massacred 300 unarmed and peaceful Lakhota Sioux Indians, many of them women and children, at Wounded Knee Creek (Chankpe Opi Wakpala), South Dakota – a Lakota encampment on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation – after a fruitless search for weapons in their encampment. In other words, the Sioux are completely disarmed. About thirty soldiers also died, many victims of their own crossfire. Continue reading
By KATHLEEN CHANDLER
The U.S. Civil War officially ended 155 years ago. Despite this, civil war talk mentioning secession and treason have become commonplace. The Texas lawsuit which called on the Supreme Court to vacate the votes cast for president in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin pitted groups of states against each other, 17 in support and 20 against, with both sides saying constitutional issues were being raised.
On hearing the Supreme Court ruling against the Texas lawsuit, the head of the Texas Republicans said: “Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.” In countering the lawsuit, state Attorneys General said it “risks the destruction of the Union,” and that it was a “seditious abuse of the judicial process.” Continue reading
The House of Commons is addressing a motion that exudes hostility towards the People’s Republic of China. It is, again, the racist, colonialist approach which, at the turn of the 20th century, accused people from Asia of constituting a “Yellow Peril.” | PAULINE EASTON
The House of Commons is addressing a motion that exudes hostility towards the People’s Republic of China. The cartel parties are espousing the ill-advised cause of opposing alleged Chinese attempts to undermine Canada’s “democratic institutions.” In the name of “eliminating foreign interference in Canada’s political process” the resolution will criminalize Canadians and permanent residents of Chinese national origin and generally foment a hysterical racist anti-Chinese climate. It is, again, the racist, colonialist approach which, at the turn of the 20th century, accused people from Asia of constituting a “Yellow Peril.” A dictionary definition describes “Yellow Peril” as the power or alleged power of Asiatic peoples “to threaten or destroy the supremacy of White or Western civilization.” Continue reading
By JOSHUA CHO
As an Asian-American, I’m not surprised that there are numerous reports surfacing of racist and xenophobic responses arising in the US (and elsewhere) as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, where “coughing while Asian” is being compared to “driving while black.” In case there are any doubts that media coverage is being racialized, reports about new coronavirus updates in the US, particularly in areas like New York City, are using unrelated header images of East Asian people wearing face masks to drive the impression that Chinese people are unique carriers of disease, even when they aren’t Chinese. Continue reading
The revolutionary actions and thought of Engels are present today as a guide to action to settle scores with the old conscience of society and permit the emergence of the modern democratic personality.
The haphazard discovery of Roman ruins in Amman sparked questions about the fate of antiquities in the city’s downtown area amid calls for expanding the excavations | Mohammed Ersan, Al-Monitor
AMMAN (December 27) — Jordanian authorities discovered on Dec. 12 antiquities dating back to the Roman era underneath the main street of downtown Amman, when they were excavating the area for installation of a water drainage system for flood control. Continue reading
NATO & EU first: Human rights organizations criticize obstruction of Covid-19 vaccine supply to poorer countries
The Canadian government has signed purchase agreements with seven different pharmaceutical companies for up to 418 million doses of the various Covid-19 vaccines under development – far more than it needs for its own population. This is said to be hedging bets in case some vaccines do not pan out as well. These companies are Pfizer-BioNTech (U.S.-Germany), Moderna (U.S.), Medicago (Canada), University of Oxford-AstraZeneca (UK-Sweden), Johnson & Johnson (U.S.), Novavax (U.S.) and Sanofi-GlaxoSmithKline (France-Britain). German-foreign-policy.com reports on the global consequences of the rich countries securing most of the supplies for themselves. Continue reading
The 1989 invasion of Panama was staged just two weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the empty euphoria about the so-called “end of Communism.” US president George H. W. Bush ushered in the post-Cold War unipolar world. According to Bob Woodward’s book, The Commanders, Gen. Colin Powell, newly appointed Joint Chief of Staff, stated, “we have to put a shingle outside our door saying, ‘Superpower Lives Here’.”
A leading jurist decodes the 1989 Panama Massacre: “The invasion was a crime against International Law and the largest US military projection since the Vietnam War.” It is a matter of concern to Canadians as successive governments have annually deployed the Canadian Forces to participate in the US PANAMAX military-naval exercises, usually held in August | JULY YAO”
By TONY SEED
Originally published on December 20, 2014
1919 (20 December): Under the heading “Scientists as Spies,” The Nation, a liberal journal based in New York, published on this date a letter by Franz Boas, the father of academic anthropology in the United States. Boas was one of the most prominent opponents of the then popular pseudo-science of eugenics and “scientific racism”, the fascist concept that race is a biological concept and that human behaviour is best understood through the typology of biological characteristics and not social and cultural factors.
Boas publicly charged that four American anthropologists, whom he did not name, had abused their professional research positions by conducting espionage in Central America for the U.S. armed forces during the First World War – precisely when U.S. imperialism had aggressively occupied Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti and was conspiring against the Mexican Revolution. Boas strongly condemned their actions, writing that they had “prostituted science by using it as a cover for their activities as spies.” Continue reading
(December 14) – An advisor to the Iraqi parliament’s foreign affairs committee says the Baghdad government is planning to lodge an international lawsuit against the United States for violating the country’s sovereignty and using internationally-banned munitions in civilian areas. Continue reading
On November 28th one hundred years ago on a roadside in County Cork, Ireland a small group of young men with hardly any military training lay in wait for their enemy. History was about to be made.
By Phil Mac Giollabhain (philmacgiollabhain.ie)
The ambush is a particularly risky military operation to pull off. If the element of surprise is lost then it usually ends in calamity for the ambusher Continue reading
The true accomplishment of the Intifada is the fact that it almost entirely changed the nature of the political equation pertaining to Palestine, imposing the ‘Palestinian people’, not as a cliche used by the Palestinian leadership and Arab governments to secure for themselves a degree of political legitimacy, but as an actual political actor | RAMZY BAROUD
December 8 came and went as if it was an ordinary day. For Palestinian political groups, it was another anniversary to be commemorated, however hastily. It was on this day, thirty-three years ago, that the First Palestinian Intifada (uprising) broke out, and there was nothing ordinary about this historic event. Continue reading
Pretentious claims of fighting against hate and intolerance, and defending human rights are being used by the Canadian government to cover up the fact that its main priority has been and continues to be the defence of Israeli Zionism | LOUIS LANG
On November 25, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named Irwin Cotler Canada’s “Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Anti-Semitism.” The announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office stated: “With a longstanding record of leadership in the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, and hate, and extensive experience in human rights and justice including in cases related to mass atrocities, Mr. Cotler will lead the Government of Canada’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).” Continue reading
Canada is playing games unworthy of any country which claims to stand for rights. For the past 20 years Canada’s voting record on Palestinian issues has moved consistently in a direction which defends Israel’s violation of its duties as an occupying power | YI NICHOLLS
On November 19, Canada voted along with 162 other countries in favour of a draft UN resolution affirming the Palestinian right to self-determination. The resolution emphasized “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine” and “stressed the urgency of achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,” based on a two-state solution. Continue reading
The appointment of the tried and true point man of the Anglo-Canadian state, Bob Rae, as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations is for purposes of achieving nefarious aims.
By Steve Rutchinski and Philip Fernandez
Canada is up to no good at the United Nations where it is very active in promoting imperialist definitions of rights and cajoling countries to adopt those definitions of rights under threat of retaliation by imperialist financial, military and political institutions. Canada’s aim is to push through a restructuring in the field of international relations in a manner which serves U.S. imperialist interests. Continue reading
Corbyn’s election captured the people’s imagination and movement for change. However, there was no chance that the cartel parties would tolerate any space being used for the independent program of the working class | PAULINE EASTON
The Need to Settle Scores with Britain’s Decrepit Anachronistic Institutions
On October 29, the leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, was suspended from the party because he refused to retract his reaction to a recent report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). This report alleged that the Labour Party under Corbyn’s leadership had breached the 2010 Equality Act through a combination of “inappropriate involvement” and harassment in complaints procedures relating to “anti-Semitism,” and an “inadequate training provision for those handling the complaints.” Corbyn was suspended, it was said, for refusing to accept all the EHRC report’s conclusions and for claiming that “the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents.” In response, Corbyn declared his intention to “strongly contest the political intervention to suspend” him. Continue reading
More plausible explanations for these maladies include headaches, crickets, paranoia, mass hysteria or simply lying, rather than a vast global conspiracy using heretofore unknown science fiction weapons in order to mildly inconvenience a few American operatives | ALAN MACLEOD
No to Negation of Workers’ Rights!
On December 11, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs informed officials of the Canadian Union of Public Employees New Brunswick at a meeting that his government is planning to impose a wage freeze followed by wage restraint on all the public sector workers in the province, unionized and non-unionized. This comes in the midst of the stresses and anxiety caused by pandemic working conditions. Already, for twelve years, New Brunswick workers have been fighting against wage freezes imposed by successive governments which have declared they have “wage restraint mandates.’ Continue reading
California Proposition 22: Lessons to be learned on how super exploitation of gig workers is made legal
We are reposting five articles from Workers’ Forum on how five network companies – Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Postmates and DoorDash – legally denied network workers in California their status as workers. Hundreds of thousands of workers involved in the rideshare and package delivery industry have been declared non-workers in law. They did this using “Proposition 22,” which passed November 3. Its aim is to give the network companies the legal authority to get away with super-exploiting network workers with impunity.
The network companies operate internationally and they have combined forces in cartels and coalitions to push their narrow private interests, including their refusal to provide even a minimum wage or compensate their drivers for work done. Based on their achievement in California, they have now made it clear that they expect to extend these efforts. “Going forward, you’ll see us more loudly advocate for new laws like Prop 22,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi declared.
• Imperialist Democracy on Ugly Display in California
• Corrupt Electoral Process to Ensure Government of Powerful Private Interests
• What It Means to Legally Deny Network Workers Their Status as Workers – K.C. Adams
• The Case for Voting “No” on CA Prop 22 (Excerpts)
• Most Ride-Hailing and Delivery Workers in San Francisco Not Eligible to Vote Continue reading
Canada’s strategic critical minerals: Who decides? | Fernand Deschamps
TML Weekly explained in February how Canada and Quebec are being further integrated into the U.S. imperialist economy and war machine through the Canada-U.S. Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration. A recent Quebec government announcement reveals that the next step is to build infrastructure to guarantee a supply chain to ship these critical minerals to the United States. Continue reading
By Margaret Villamizar
Following the election of the new National Assembly, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed satisfaction that the National Assembly had been freed from the control of opposition forces who used it as a base over the past five years to violate the country’s constitution, obstruct the normal functioning of government and support the U.S. economic war against the country. He called it a great victory for democracy, for the constitution. Maduro has said that the first task of the new legislature must be to repair the damage done to the country’s economy by the sanctions, adopting necessary measures to fortify and shield it from the effects of the U.S. economic war. He said this would require passing legislation approved in October by the National Constituent Assembly, which dissolves December 31, known as the Anti-Blockade Law for National Development and the Guarantee of Human Rights. Continue reading
By Claude Brunelle
Elections to Venezuela’s National Assembly were held on Sunday, December 6, within a vast mobilization of the Venezuelan people for the affirmation of their right to be and to determine their own destiny. Despite the interference, threats, sabotage and disinformation activities of the U.S., Canada, their puppet Lima Group, and the European Union to discredit and besiege the Venezuelan people, they prevailed. The victory of the Bolivarian government within these conditions of encirclement and suffocation is a great achievement.
International observers applauded the conduct of the election and commended the Venezuelan government’s efforts to ensure the participation of all, compliance with sanitary measures against COVID-19, the establishment of sophisticated electronic voting stations, and numerous other measures. No incidents or irregularities occurred. Continue reading
On December 7, with 98.63 per cent of votes cast in Venezuela’s December 6 parliamentary election counted, the President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela, Indira Alfonzo, presented the second bulletin of results. She reported that 6,251,080 valid votes were cast, of which the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP), an alliance of parties led by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, received 68.43 per cent. The opposition alliance Democratic Action received 17.52 per cent; a second opposition alliance, Venezuela United, received 4.15 per cent, and the Communist Party of Venezuela/Popular Revolutionary Alternative obtained 2.7 per cent. Other political organizations that participated received a combined total of 6.48 per cent of the votes. Turnout was reported to be 30.6 per cent of registered voters. Continue reading
A campaign of interference in Cuba’s internal affairs is being undertaken by U.S. diplomats, politicians and anti-Cuba terrorists in the United States.
1. Oppose Imperialist Interference in Cuba and Violation of Diplomatic Norms
By Nick Lin
A campaign of interference in Cuba’s internal affairs is being undertaken by U.S. diplomats, politicians and anti-Cuba terrorists in the U.S. This is being done by inciting Cuban youth to take up counterrevolutionary activities, in flagrant violation of the rules governing diplomatic relations.
On November 30, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, through his official Twitter account, denounced the direct participation of the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Havana, Timothy Zúñiga-Brown, in inciting and assisting in illegal acts against public order and health standards in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, Carlos Fernández de Cossío, the Director General in charge of the U.S. at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex), pointed out “the serious violations of the functions as diplomat and head of mission” committed by Zúñiga-Brown. Continue reading
This week marks the 100 year anniversary of the burning of Cork City by British Crown Forces. An account (abridged from an essay by historian Donal Fallon) of the conflict before and the cruelty during the devastating Cork City fire. “The most colossal single act of vandalism committed in the whole period of the national struggle” was how Florence O’Donoghue, the Head of Intelligence of the Cork No.1 Brigade of the IRA, described the destruction of Cork City on the night of 11 December, 1920.
1. The decontextualization of history
The Sixth of December is the 103rd anniversary of the horrific Halifax Explosion of 1917 – the largest explosion in history before the barbaric devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by U.S. atomic bombs in 1945. Some 1,963 innocent men, women and children or more were massacred, another 9,000 injured and 199 blinded, according to understated official figures. Despite scores of books, exhibits, radio and TV programs, and memorial meetings much is unknown, covered up or falsified while those responsible – the Royal Navy, the United States and the Borden government in the first place – were given impunity for a war crime.
We are reposting a recent article by journalist Susanne Rent from the Halifax Examiner to bring to the attention of a wider audience the poignant story of Dr Clement Ligoure and his selfless humanitarianism. Reporting on the research of well-known playwright David Woods, Ms Rent asks, “I’m sure many of us know about the heroics of Vince Coleman, the train dispatcher who sent a message stopping a train that was heading to the city, and then died in the explosion. But how many of us have heard the name Dr. Clement Ligoure and stories of his heroics?” Continue reading