Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter
January 14, 2015
Labour around the Globe
In the first issue of the New Year, Other Voices look into
the labour conditions globally, examines how the working class is being
exploited and shares instances of suppression against whistleblowers.
Also shared are articles regarding the United States' ongoing drone war,
the terror attacks in Paris and an article on what humanity could learn
from Bonobo primates.
Enjoy this issue of Other Voices? Want to share with friends and family? Then we encourage you to share this link. All issues of Other Voices are available on the Connexions website at /Media/CxNewsletter.htm
US drone strikes kill 28 unknown people for every intended target, new Reprieve report reveals
US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have killed as many as
1,147 unknown people in failed attempts to kill 41 named individuals, a
report by human rights charity Reprieve has found.
The report looks at deaths resulting from US drone strikes in
Yemen and Pakistan between November 2002 and November 2014. It
identifies 41 men who appeared to have been killed multiple times –
drawing into question the Obama administration’s repeated claims that
the covert drone programme is ‘precise.’ Read More
Keywords: Drones - War on Terrorism
Why Environmentalists Should Support Working Class Struggles
First, we must recognize the fact that global capitalism is driving
ecocide.The problem reaches much farther back than capitalism itself.
The combination of an early gendered division of labor with the adoption
of agriculture and corresponding formation of permanent settlements set
the stage for class divisions and the private accumulation of surplus
wealth. Maintaining this arrangement required the development of states
with armies, social oppression and repression to weaken internal
opposition, and ideologies to make it all seem normal and pre-ordained. Read More
Keywords: Commons - Ecosocialism
The Whistle-Blower as Deep Mole
There’s an intriguing idea based loosely on the turn-of-the-century
union practice of “salting” a workplace. Salting consists of union
activists secretly hiring into an anti-union shop in order to promote
unionism from within. It’s a technique that was used fairly often prior
to passage of the Wagner Act (1935), and though not widely publicized,
is still used today. Read More
Keywords: Whistleblowers - Labour Organizing
Make 2015 the Year of the Bonobo!
We humans have much to learn from
our kissing cousins, the peaceful, empathic, playful, sensual and highly
sexual Bonobos, writes Susan Block. Rather than play out the myth of
ancestral 'killer apes', better follow the 'Bonobo Way', and extend our
love to all living beings and Earth herself. Read More
Keywords: Sexual Behaviour - Bonobos
Je suis charlie?
‘Je suis Charlie’. It’s a phrase in every newspaper, in every Twitter
feed, on demonstrations in cities across Europe. The expressions of
solidarity with those slain in the attack on the Charlie Hebdo
offices are impressive. They are also too late. Had journalists and
artists and political activists taken a more robust view on free speech
over the past 20 years then we may never have come to this. Read More
Keywords: Media- Free Speech
Treasures From the Archives
Rolf Knight's Traces of Magma is an
annotated bilbiography of left wing novels which deal with the lives of
working people during the twentieth century. It includes some
collections of poetry, drama and stories as well as a smattering of
non-fictional material such as oral history, but basically it is a
compendium of novels. It provides brief synopses of more than 3,000
titles originally in some 50 languages by circa 1,500 authors from over
90 countries. The survey is an introduction of left wing fiction for
those who for whatever reason have become interested in what this
literature has to say about events throughout the world but who have
only a vague notion of which authors and titles exist and where to
begin. Read Full PDF Here
An economic system based on
maximizing profits inevitably reduces the health and safety of the
people doing the work to a secondary consideration -- if that.
Unemployment is high, and workers are easily replaceable. In Canada, a
relatively 'safe' country by world standards, about 1,000 workers are
killed on the job each year. A much larger number suffer injuries, many
of them causing permanent disabilities. Compensation is meagre, and no
compensation can make up for the effects of having your health
In addition to immediate injuries,
there are the hidden and long-term effects of exposure to workplace
contaminants. For example, some 5,000 workers have died of asbestos
exposure in Canada since 1996, and even though Canada's last asbestos
mine is long closed, asbestos-related deaths continue at a rate of more
than 300 a year. In the oil industry, many workers will experience
long-term health effects long after their jobs and paycheques are gone.
Internationally the situation is
grim. The International Labour Organization reports than an estimated
2.3 million workers die every year from occupational accidents and
diseases. We may hear about the most dramatic instances, such as factory
collapses and fires in Bangladesh that kill hundreds of workers at a
time, but most of the deaths go unreported. In China, you can go to jail
for documenting unsafe conditions. In Dubai and Qatar, migrant workers
forced to work in appalling conditions die on a daily basis. Workers who
try to organize unions to improve conditions are likely to find
themselves fired - or murdered, in countries like Colombia and
See Workers' Health & Safety in the Connexions subject index for information on this topic, as well as about organizing to bring about change.
An organization dedicated to
achieving just and humane working conditions for workers worldwide. They
are committed to overcoming child labour, forced labour and other
abusive practices. They promote the enforcement of labour rights through
public education and mobilization, research, litigation and
collaboration with labour, government and business groups.They’re listed
in the Connexion Directory here.
Keywords: International Labour Movement - Labour Issues
Joan Newman Kuyek provides detailed
information and advice on how to organize a group for social change
from a Canadian perspective. She provides relevant anecdotes, exercises
and examples to enhance the understanding of how to build and structure
groups, do successful fundraising, research all the possibilities and
the keys behind effective leadership. Kuyek explains how to create a
culture of hope by reviving community spirit through activities like
community newspapers, radio, theatre and education. She details
different ways to reclaim the economy with such acts as co-operative
living and alternative investment funds. Fighting For Hope shows how to
repossess political power either through direct actions like strikes and
boycotts, to running for municipal government to try to instil change
from the inside. Read More
Keywords: Political Action - Strategies for Social Change
A film inspired by the life of Karen
Silkwood. Silkwood was a nuclear whistleblower and a labour union
activist who died in a suspicious car accident while investigating
alleged wrongdoing at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant where she worked.
Keywords:Activism - Social Change
January 21, 2015
The War in Gaza: What does it mean and Where is Israel-Palestine Headed?
January 21-23, 2015
Canadian Wind Energy Conference & Seminar Toronto, Ontario
January 23-26, 2015
6th International Che Guevara Conference: "Cuba: A Socialist Project in Progress" Vancouver, British Columbia
January 27, 2015
International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust Worldwide
The Connexions Calendar is an online calendar that exists to
advertise events that support social justice, democracy, human rights,
ecology, and other causes. We invite you to use it to promote your
events. Adding events to the Connexions Calendar is FREE. We’ll give you
a username and password which you use to log on. Use the contact form to arrange for a username and password.
Read more →
January 14, 1601
The Roman Catholic Church burns sacred Hebrew books in Rome.
January 14, 1875
Birth of Albert Schweitzer
(1875-1965), physician, theologian, musician, opponent of nuclear
weapons, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Quote: “There are two means of
refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”
January 14, 1918
Mass strikes in Austria-Hungary.
January 14, 1919
Rosa Luxemburg writes her last article, “Order Prevails in Berlin,” hours before she is murdered.
She concludes with the words: “You foolish lackeys! Your ‘order’ is
built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will ‘rise up again, clashing its
weapons,’ and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing: I
was, I am, I shall be!”
Read more →
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Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter, is available online here
Thanks to Tahmid Khan and Ulli Diemer for their work on this newsletter.
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Enjoy this issue of Other Voices? Want to share with friends and family? Then we encourage you to share this link. All issues of OtherVoices are available on the Connexions website at /Media/CxNewsletter.htm