Pandemic Worsens, Resistance Will Follow

by John Clarke  (July 23, 2020)

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Two recent developments in the United States seem to capture just how the destructive profit-driven irrationality of capitalism renders it incapable of effectively containing the present global pandemic. On July 10, the US recorded a staggering 70,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, and Florida saw 11,433 cases, with 435 more people hospitalized. The next day, the reopening of “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” Disney World, began in that state. Admission tickets for the four theme parks are already sold out for the month of July. Meanwhile, across the country in Los Angeles, it is reported that the factories used to produce face masks for front-line workers, under the ‘LAProtects’ initiative, have become a major source of coronavirus infection. The low wage sweatshop conditions that the mainly migrant workforce have to endure have proven deadly. Three factories have been closed after three hundred contracted COVID-19 and four died.

Rob Wallace has pointed out that ‘pandemics are mirrors.’ This one has been generated by capitalist conditions of food production, and its impacts are determined by a system in which human and social needs are subordinated to the interests of profit-making. The concept of the ‘superspreader’ of the coronavirus has been developed in such a way as to conjure up images of reckless party-goers or selfish sun worshippers, but those who do the most to spread the coronavirus sit in corporate boardrooms and around cabinet tables.

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WEBCAST: The Formation of the Canadian Colonial Settler State

Thursday, August 6   7 p.m. The Formation of the Canadian Colonial Settler State, with presenters John Riddell and Peter Kulchyski.

 

https://youtu.be/A2b26Rppkg8

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The real WE Scandal

Kielburgers-in-Africa

By Yves Engler  (July 17, 2020)

Once again, the media focuses on salacious details rather than the big picture.

While TV and newspapers have dwelt on the whiff of corruption surrounding the government’s $912 million contract with the WE Charity, some broader points have been ignored. Whatever the Trudeau and Morneau families have pocketed from WE, the deleterious impact that NGO has had on social services and young Canadians’ understanding of global inequities is much more significant.

In a series of poignant tweets Simon Black, an Assistant Professor of Labour Studies at Brock University, highlighted how WE has directed young people towards ineffective political actions and a narrow understanding of doing good in the world. He noted, “teaching kids that ‘breaking the cycle of poverty’ (WE’s words) involves travelling to a ‘developing’ country to build a school and not marching on the IMF, World Bank, White House or Parliament Hill to demand the cancellation of global South debts. That’s the real #WEscam.” In fact, a little discussed reason the federal government funds NGOs is to co-opt internationalist minded young people into aligning with Canadian foreign policy.

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Morneau and Trudeau: Too Rich to Notice their own Corruption?

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Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he’s repaid the WE charity organization more than $40,000 to cover expenses related to two trips his family took in 2017 after recently realizing he hadn’t been charged.

Morneau told the House of Commons Finance Committee on July 22 that he reviewed his family’s records and discovered that he was “unable to locate receipts” related to expenses incurred at “WE facilities” during those trips, including a “humanitarian” visit to Ecuador.

“I expected and always had intended to pay the full cost of these trips. Not doing so, even unknowingly, is not appropriate,” he said. “My practice has always been to pay for expenses incurred.”

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Cops snatch 3 Black Lives Matter – Toronto activists

by Sam Eric

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Three activists from Black Lives Matter – Toronto (BLM-TO) were snatched off downtown Toronto streets on Saturday, July 18, by an enraged Toronto Police Service (TPS). The abductions occurred around 11 a.m. after a peaceful protest and art install, which included pink paint being thrown on symbols of Canadian colonialism and white supremacy. Shortly thereafter the official twitter account of @BLM_TO described the situation and issued a call for accomplices to converge on TPS 52 Division to free the activists.

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After failing to kettle the crowd at Queen’s Park, and thwarted in their efforts by BLM-TO event marshals, the cops settled on abduction of three Black activists that they could get their hands on. An hour after the abductions took place BLM-TO was not even able to ascertain the whereabouts of the arrested attendees of the event, let alone ensure they had access to counsel. It was subsequently revealed that after driving around the city for three hours with the hostages the cops brought them to 52 Division on Dundas Street West. It was at least another two hours later before the activists were granted access to legal counsel.

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