Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2019-04-04T12:09:49-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

Why the Arab battle for democracy now runs through Sudan | The Christian Science Monitor

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Apr 24, 2019 08:41 AM
"The roots of the pro-authoritarian alliance can be traced to the Arab Spring of 2011, when the oil- and gas-rich Gulf monarchies were caught off-guard by popular uprisings that brought protests right to their palace gates. Determined to push back for their regimes’ survival and regional influence, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, analysts and insiders say, have been backing strongmen and groups in recently ‘liberated’ Arab states, undermining democratic gains. ... The campaign’s first success was in Egypt, where the Saudis, the UAE, and their allies quietly pledged support to Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, then the defense minister. He later staged a coup ousting Mohammed Morsi, a democratically elected Islamist president, in a move initially welcomed by large swathes of the Egyptian public."

Egypt president could rule until 2030 as constitutional changes backed | BBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Apr 24, 2019 08:28 AM
"The National Election Authority said 88.8% of those who took part endorsed the proposals. The turnout was 44.3%. Mr Sisi's second term has been extended from four to six years, and he will be allowed to seek one more term in 2024. The changes also expand the military's power to intervene in politics and give Mr Sisi more power over the judiciary. In 2013, Mr Sisi led the military's overthrow of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, following protests against his rule."

Libyans charge France with double dealing over Haftar | Yahoo News

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Apr 24, 2019 08:15 AM
"Haftar is seen by his allies, who also include Russia and Libya's eastern neighbour Egypt, as a bulwark against Islamists who gained a foothold after the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi. A Kadhafi-era military commander who spent two decades in exile in the United States, he returned to Libya in March 2011 and later brought together a coalition of armed factions to battle jihadists. ... France was forced to admit that it has provided military assistance to Haftar after three French troops were killed in Libya during an intelligence-gathering mission in 2016."

Marx and race: a Eurocentric analysis?

by JBB — last modified Apr 23, 2019 03:00 PM
Ken Olende | International Socialism | Marx wrote at the very beginning of colonialism. He died in 1883, the year before the Berlin conference at which the European powers carved up Africa. In the end the question is not just whether Marx presented workers and peasants outside Europe as the agents of change in their own lives, but if Marxism allows them to find that role. The tradition of Marxism from below always looks to people as actors in their own story, whether they are protesting in Tahrir Square, Cairo in 2011; Syrian refugees pushing through the Macedonian border having crossed the Mediterranean in 2015 or West Indian migrants fighting for justice amid the Windrush Scandal in 2018. Marxism is a tool that can bring these ­different strands together in a way that other interpretations have not.

Interlibrary Loan & Delivery Cancelled in Ontario By Ford Government

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Apr 23, 2019 09:32 AM
"It is with great sadness that I have to inform public libraries in southern Ontario that the SOLS interlibrary loan delivery service will permanently cease to operate, effective April 26th, 2019. I know this is very sad and disappointing news but given the enormity of the cut to our operating budget, there is no alternative. Even under our previous budget allocation, it was becoming difficult to sustain the service because of ever increasing operating costs."

Funding cuts to Northern, Southern Ontario library systems hit rural and Indigenous communities | Globe

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Apr 23, 2019 09:30 AM
The Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) said on its website last Tuesday that the operating budgets of SOLS and Ontario Library Service – North (OLS-North) have been slashed by about 50 per cent. The two agencies, which operate on behalf of the Ontario culture ministry, facilitate co-ordination between libraries and provide consultation and training. They said they are being forced to re-evaluate their services, making decisions that will especially hit rural and Indigenous communities.

Don’t Fall for the Hype of Free Trade Agreements

by JBB — last modified Apr 23, 2019 08:26 AM
by Jim Goodman | CounterPunch | Clearly, one of the long term intentions is to break Canada’s supply management system for dairy, poultry and eggs, and the US hopes NAFTA 2.0 will cause the first cracks in that system. Canadian farmers control their production insuring stable, fair farm prices, a consistent supply of locally produced food at a fair market price, all with no government subsidization.
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