Queer Notes: September-October 2021

September 21, 2021

A roundup of Pride events around the world: Pride Afrique; Budapest, Hungary, Pride March; Equality Pride in Warsaw, Poland; Sulong Vaklash in Manila, the Philippines; Pride Parade in Bogotá, Colombia; Resiste Bebita in Lima, Peru; Boston Pride/BP; Chicago Drag March for Change, Pride Without Prejudice and West Side Pride.

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Readers’ Views: September-October 2021

Readers’ Views on: Solidarity with Palestinians; Attacks on Democracy; Iranian Revolt; Musicians’ Labor; Damage to Homeless; Covid-19 Killers; Trump and Taliban; Far Right in Portland; Critical Race Theory; Prisoners under Fire; Voices from Behind Bars; Only the Dialectic Can Save Us

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Voices From the Inside Out: Monopolies hurt prisoners

Not a month goes by when we don’t hear of some city, state or country challenging corporate monopolies, acting as the guardians of citizens’ rights to avoid corporate abuses. But companies are awarded monopoly status to sell inferior products for inflated prices to the prisoner market, exploiting prisoners and their loved ones.

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Ocotlán residents defy criminal mine company

September 20, 2021

Community authorities and residents of the Ocotlán Valley, Oaxaca, are demanding that the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources not give in to pressure from Compañía Minera Cuzcatlán, a subsidiary of Canada’s Fortuna Silver Mines, to expand their San José II mining project.

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Taliban reconquest shakes alliances, challenges Left

The Taliban’s reconquest of Afghanistan has shaken world politics and challenged the Left to respond in a revolutionary way. In the absence of truly liberatory revolutionary movements, what looms to fill the vacuum is not only a reinvigoration of fundamentalist political and military movements but the reactionary maneuvering by Russia and China, refugee-scapegoating parties, and repression of social movements on the model of Syria’s Assad and Burma’s Tatmadaw—all of which have been flourishing under the U.S. permanent “war on terror.”

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Medicare for all!

A high-school student from San Jose read her poem castigating lousy U.S. health insurance at a Medicare For All (M4A) Rally in San Francisco on July 24.

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World in View: Tunisia put to the test

September 11, 2021

Since 2011, the opposition between a largely secular “Left” and a more religious “Right” has delimited bourgeois democratic politics. This could have been the starting point for a revolutionary politics. But the Tunisian Left has been unable to transcend this Enlightenment contradiction, despite the vital working-class participation in the 2011 revolution.

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World in View: Central Asia reconfigures imperialism

September 9, 2021

The continuing struggle for Afghanistan is not about “tribalism,” or the past—it is an up-to-date product of world capitalism. It is about state power and wealth. This is true whether we consider the remaining influence of Ghani’s Islamic State, which did raise the educational level, and sometimes status, of women; or the continuing threat of Daesh, with its “Caliphate’s” appeal to disturbed and nihilistic urban youth; or the prospect of rule by the Taliban’s Emirate with new diplomatic recognition from China, Russia, and Iran.

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Review: Outward: Adrienne Rich’s Expanding Solitudes

September 6, 2021

Ed Pavlić’s ‘Outward: Adrienne Rich’s Expanding Solitudes’ is the first critical book to appear after Rich’s Collected Poems (2016) and thus the first covering all of Rich’s poetry. The book is especially welcome because Pavlić attends to the latter half of Rich’s career, and acknowledges her Marxism, largely unexplored territory even now.

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World in View: Assassination in Haiti

September 1, 2021

The labyrinthine conspiracy surrounding the July 7 assassination of Haiti’s controversial President Jovenel Moise embodies the retrogression and violence of bourgeois democratic politics.

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Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2021-2022: The dialectic of crises worldwide is testing liberation struggles

As another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic swells, too many people are stuck in a recurring nightmare. The world faces multiple existential crises–a global state-capitalist system shot through with racism, xenophobia, sexism, heterosexism, ableism and authoritarianism. That calls for the confluence of labor and liberation struggles through a unifying philosophy based in the dialectic of liberation in those movements.

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Woman as Reason: Afghan women pay price for U.S. hubris

August 31, 2021

In Afghanistan the Taliban are murdering men who helped the U.S., UK, and other forces who fought them; and murdering and beating women and girls who have made even marginally independent lives for themselves. Yet, despite the terror, Afghans, especially women, continue to demonstrate against Taliban rule.

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Afghanistan turmoil shakes world politics, challenges Left

August 21, 2021

The Taliban’s reconquest of Afghanistan has shaken world politics and challenged the Left to respond in a revolutionary way. In the absence of truly liberatory revolutionary movements, what looms to fill the vacuum is not only a reinvigoration of fundamentalist political and military movements but the reactionary maneuvering by Russia and China, refugee-scapegoating parties, and repression of social movements on the model of Syria’s Assad and Burma’s Tatmadaw—all of which have been flourishing under the U.S. permanent “war on terror.”

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Afghan women pay the price for U.S. hubris

In Afghanistan the Taliban are murdering men who helped the U.S., UK, and other forces who fought them; and murdering and beating women and girls who have made even marginally independent lives for themselves. Yet, despite the terror, Afghans, especially women, continue to demonstrate against Taliban rule.

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Online event: Meeting the challenges of this year of pandemic, climate, economic, and political disasters

August 7, 2021

You’re invited to a discussion of News and Letters Committees’ “Call for Convention”
to work out perspectives for 2021-2022

DATE: Thursday, August 12
TIME: 7:30 PM Central Time

Ꮬ What should a revolutionary group do to meet the challenges of the next year?

Ꮬ How will the philosophy of Marxist-Humanism impact these decisions?

Ꮬ How will we meet the challenges arising [=>]

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Autonomous trucks vs drivers’ pay

July 29, 2021

Large trucking companies are teaming up with others to inaugurate test runs of “Autonomous Relay Convoys” where an autonomous truck is programmed to follow a human driving a leader truck, as a way to eliminate human truck drivers and lower wages.

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Queer Notes

July 20, 2021

More Russian youth are accepting LGBTQ+ people because for years many have been coming out publicly; the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya is demanding USAID and the UK redirect their aid–which has been funding conversion therapy in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda–to LGBTQ+-run organizations; and two businesses in Tennessee won an injunction against an anti-Trans law.

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‘Care, not jail’

July 5, 2021

On June 22, Decarcerate Alameda County called on Oakland’s City Council to move $43 million from the sheriff’s proposed budget and designate a total of $122 million to fund mental health and housing.

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Celebrating Juneteenth

Oakland, Calif., celebrated Juneteenth 2021 with a couple hundred booths selling food, clothing, beauty products, etc. But there were also book stalls featuring Black history and tables staffed by people from various movements.

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Abiy Ahmed’s bloodbath in Tigray

Ahead of parliamentary elections, Ethiopia’s President Abiy Ahmed proclaimed that he was aiming for a country “where every Ethiopian moves around relaxed, works and prospers.” but instead he launched a brutal civil war against the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray.

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Volvo workers defy UAW to resume strike

UAW workers on June 7 resumed their strike at the Volvo Truck Plant in Dublin, Va., the day after rejecting for the second time the tentative agreement that Local 2069 Bargaining Committee presented to them. The vote to reject, like the vote on May 16 to strike, was by more than 90%.

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Forcing workers back to unlivable wages

July 4, 2021

Missouri is one of 25 states on track to reject by July 2021 the $300 a week federal supplemental unemployment insurance. The payments issued to shore up the economy in response to the pandemic, and in fear of unrest that unemployment levels unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930s might create, were not scheduled to end until September.

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Free Hong Kong rally

Activists from Hong Kong along with emigres from Tibet and the China mainland joined supporters of freedom for Myanmar and Thailand in Chicago, Ill., on June 12 to mark two years since millions filled the streets to protest a threatened extradition law.

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Los Angeles police insist on their right to kill

Police brutality and murders have continued in the U.S. as District Attorneys rarely prosecute criminal police. Los Angeles is no exception where the Los Angeles Police Association and Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva are behind the petition to recall progressive LA County District Attorney George Gascon.

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Chinese youth, labor and Marxism

A U.S. youth looks at the “lying flat” movement in China seeing it as a revolt against the capitalist mode of production and the alienation, sexism, racism and depression that it brings….Soon the Chinese Communist Party will see the Subject is not the Party or capital but human beings.”

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The injustice of India’s surging COVID-19 deaths

In person report of the COVID-10 pandemic in India which is in the throes of a second wave. There are horrific scenes of people dying due to the lack of medical oxygen, hospital beds and so on. There is neither enough space for the dead in the crematoriums and graveyards, nor enough wood for the pyres.

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A Review: ‘Men Who Hate Women…’

Adele favorably reviews “Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists: The Truth About Extreme Misogyny and How It Affects Us All by Laura Bates. The book exposes the extreme damage caused to society by online misogynist communities, or the “manosphere.”

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Ortega jails dissidents

July 3, 2021

Nicaragua’s President (for life?) Daniel Ortega, who has won three consecutive terms since returning to office 14 years ago, ruthlessly moved to consolidate his absolute hold on power in advance of the November elections by jailing four of his possible opponents, including Cristiana Chamorro.

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Women Worldwide: July-August 2021

July 2, 2021

On May 1, the BC Women’s Alliance, a coalition of feminists in British Columbia, Canada, dropped banners from bridges, and other locations reading #Women Demand Guaranteed Livable Income; On May 19, 2021, Alix Dobkin, a founder of the group Lavender Jane, died; COVID-19 lockdowns contributed to a worldwide increase in violence against women, including female genital mutilation which is being fought by Lucy-Ann Ganda, a director at Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation.

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Readers’ Views: July-August 2021, part one

Readers’ Views on: What Is Socialism?; What Is Marxist-Humanism?; Nuclear Socialism?; Nuclear Capitalism; Flat Earth Society; Indigenous Genocide; Indigenous Liberation; Racism Takes its Toll; Rape Culture; Coming Out in Sports; Colonialism and Liberation

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Woman as Reason: Abortion rights at crossroads

July 1, 2021

Paxton Smith’s valedictorian speech against a new extremist anti-abortion bill signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott illuminates how this assault on women’s freedom can open the gates for women–especially young women–to flood the streets and demonstrate that control of one’s own body is something so fundamental to being human that they are willing to overthrow a government to create it.

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Native Americans challenge Line 3

The protests over the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota are the latest front in a long struggle of Native Americans. It is also part of the movement to confront climate change in a way that benefits Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, workers and youth, rather than narrowly aimed to help capital.

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From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Need for a Total Uprooting: Down with the Perpetrators of the Palestinian Slaughter

In light of the ongoing Israel-Palestine crisis, we present a piece that takes up the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the connected slaughter of Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila in Beirut. This piece goes beyond exposé to explore the treacherous nature of halfway revolutions, which set the stage for counter-revolution. It thus illuminates today’s crisis.

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Editorial: Republicans savage democracy and history

The worldwide protests over George Floyd’s murder and other protests of Republican-led policies led them to erode, stifle, obfuscate, erase from memory and repress democracy, passing laws to subvert elections and teaching. Republicans decided that democracy must be destroyed so that they can rule in perpetuity, representing the 1% in the name of white Christian America.

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