Pandemic prompts rethinking education

January 31, 2021

The pandemic challenges assumptions about the purpose of schooling, creating an opportunity to address basic issues, including ways to help students reflect and build on what they have learned, in school or out, and to figure out how to allow those experiences to “count.”

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News from Mexico: January-February 2021

While the U.S. and Mexico argue whether General Salvador Cienfuegos and former Mexican President Peña Nieto were involved in abetting a narco-trafficking cartel, the Mexican army and navy have a despicable history of human rights violations never honestly investigated. The Zapatistas issued a “Declaration for Life” and intercontinental call for meetings.

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Black homes matter

Report on “#Black Homes Matter” podcast with experts taking up how one in three Detroit families have lost their homes, often due to the fact that Detroit homes continued to be assessed as if no change in market value had occurred and that one of the highest property tax rates in the nation.

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World in view: Massacre in Tigray

Thousands have died—including an undetermined number of civilians—and tens of thousands become refugees in the current conflict between Ethiopia’s central government and the regional government of Tigray. The central government of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is being aided in its war by the Eritrean regime of long-time dictator Isaias Afwerki.

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Argentine women win abortion rights

After years of struggle by women, the Argentine Senate finally passed an abortion rights bill, making it legal to terminate a pregnancy in the first 14 weeks. Abortion will be free in government hospitals, crucially important for poor women.

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Pandemic changes education

January 14, 2021

The pandemic challenges assumptions about the purpose of schooling, creating an opportunity to address basic issues, including ways to help students reflect and build on what they have learned, in school or out, and to figure out how to allow those experiences to “count.”

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Trumpist coup reveals fascist threat and Left’s philosophic void

January 11, 2021

The Jan. 6 Trumpist coup reveals the depth of the far-right threat, compliticy of major institutions, and the philosophic void of the Left. A liberatory banner of a new society on truly human foundations is needed if we are not to be thrown right back into more oscillations between fascist horrors and the crumbling “normal” of capitalist liberal democracy.

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Trump’s election obsession shreds a flawed democracy

Amid COVID-19 deaths and economic decline, a fascist mob stormed the Capitol. If U.S. democracy lives to see another day, it was because of the unprecedented turnout of Black voters, reflecting the mass movement on the streets that continues to put that democracy on trial.

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Argentina’s feminist revolution

At four in the morning on Dec. 30, the Argentine Senate finally passed an abortion rights bill, making it legal to terminate a pregnancy in the first 14 weeks. The procedure will be free in government hospitals, crucially important for poor women.

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Zapatista Declaration for Life

January 2, 2021

The Zapatistas have just issued a new declaration signed by hundreds of organizations regarding their work in the last several months establishing contacts with many groups and discussing what unites and divides them and working out what allows them all to move forward. They agreed to continue to have meetings around the globe, inviting those [=>]

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Women WorldWide: November-December 2020

November 29, 2020

Women in Lima, Peru, demonstrate against a judge who ruled a woman could not have been raped because of her red underwear; a plaque was given to honor Mary Heaton who spent years in an insane asylum for interrupting a vicar’s sermon; a Nigerian woman started an organization in Italy to support trafficked survivors of prostitution; and in Egypt, the Cairo Criminal Court began hearings on a male university student from a wealthy, influential family accused of rape by hundreds of women worldwide who gave anonymous testimonials on social media.

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Review: Women Are Blamed for Everything

A feminist review of a book by Jessica Taylor, ‘Women Are Blamed for Everything: Exploring the Victim Blaming of Women Subjected to Violence and Trauma’ that explores how and why each victim of abuse was always blamed in some way although it was never her fault, even internalizing self-blame.

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‘Virtual’ teaching or hazardous workplace

A teacher of six-year-olds in a low-income Illinois suburb tells of her experience teaching during COVID-19 and how those who run the schools have no comprehension of what the job entails and no interest in protecting the mental and physical health of teachers, staff, or children.

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Ethiopia civil war fears

Armed conflict broke out in Ethiopia, two years in the making. It remains to be seen whether it will become a full-blown civil war, and possibly engulf other countries of the region.

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Trump’s immigrant policies challenged

Both the “Remain in Mexico” policy, in which border guards stop asylum seekers from approaching U.S. border stations, and the family separation policy on the border which has failed to unite families of over 650 children are being challenged by immigrant rights activists and organizations.

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Readers’ views, November-December 2020: part one

Election battles, reaching for the future, and the pull of the past; Sabotage of the post office; Food recycling workers strike; Anti-labor statue downed; Oil and biden; COVID-19: where’s the vision?; Racism and fascism; Polish women’s revolutionary moment; News & Letters is back in print!

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News from Mexico: November-December 2020

Guanajuato has 2,587 missing persons, and 3,438 intentional homicides in the first nine months of 2020; President López Obrador claims to be against neoliberalism, but combines it with state-capitalism in developmentalist projects; many states and communities are COVID-19 hot spots with high levels of deaths, particularly in maquiladoras; and the Zapatistas report on their situation vis-a-vis COVID-19, and their resistance along with CNI against developmentalist projects.

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Queer Notes: November-December 2020

Thailand’s LGBTQ Pride Parade demanded resignation of Prime Minister and limitations on King; Black and Brown Trans, non-binary and gender nonconforming people on the South and West Sides of Chicago have a new mutual aid organization; Nigerian Queer rights activist Pamela Adie’s Lesbian love story film “Ife”; and Trans Sistas of Color Project locked out of their venue for their awards brunch.

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Count every vote!

In virtually every Bay Area city at least several hundred came out to “Count Every Vote” rallies on Nov. 4, the day after the election with the feeling, as one speaker put it, “vacillating between anxiety and hope.”

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Black-led revolt ensures defeat of Trump’s racist campaign

November 27, 2020

Racism and the resistance to it permeated the election, from the Trump campaign’s appeal to white supremacy to the outpouring of Black organizing and votes, energized by the new stage of revolt sparked by the police murder of George Floyd. However, grave questions remain about where the U.S. and the world are heading. Movements from below will be challenged to resist the calls for “unity” under the capitalist umbrella and to continue to deepen their revolt against a “return to normal.”

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Youth in Action: November-December 2020

Youth and others in several places in Nigeria protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who rape, extort, and otherwise abuse youth; residential advisors at several big name universities are striking over COVID-19 related issues; and students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University creatively used hundreds of padlocks hanging on a bridge to spell: “Save the 12,” referring to 12 Hong Kong youth abducted from a boat who are now being held in mainland China.

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Detroit voters speak truth to power

November 26, 2020

People in Detroit, Mich., involved in counting the vote of the 2020 presidential election speak for themselves of their pride in fighting Republican intimidation and their anger and determination to keep fighting against racism.

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Editorial: Caucasus war concerns all of humanity

Humanity needs to take head of the warfare that broke out between Armenia and Azerbaijan in late September, over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh which took the lives of thousands of soldiers, and hundreds of innocent civilians, on both sides.

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Latin America Notes

November 25, 2020

Chileans voted by 80% to get rid of the 1980 Constitution and begin the process of writing a new one; Bolivia’s presidential election repudiated the right wing that had taken over the government when Evo Morales was forced to flee last year; and in Colombia, thousands of Indigenous people marched hundreds of miles to Bogotá demanding a meeting with the president to protest extreme violence against their peoples.

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World in View: EU enables fascism

The European Union has once more proved its feckless inability to halt the destruction of democracy by Hungary and Poland, who caused a crisis by vetoing the EU budget, needed to fund the bloc’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

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World in View: ISIS in Mozambique

November 24, 2020

In early November, terrorists linked to the “Islamic State,” beheaded up to 50 villagers, men and boys, in Mozambique’s northern province of Cabo Delgado. They are looking to exploit extensive energy resources, along with mineral wealth. High unemployment helps fuel the insurgency.

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World in view: Massive student-led protests cover Thailand

Tens of thousands of Thai students, many from high schools, have been carrying on massive demonstrations for months demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha; rewriting the Constitution that Prayut foisted on the country, including a Senate appointed by the military; and reining in the vast privileges and protections of the monarchy.

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