Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter

February 26, 2015

This Week: Ukraine, police state legislation, solidarity, people's history

Ukraine is spotlighted in this issue of Other Voices. We've got several articles on the background to the events of the past year, which include the overthrow of Ukraine's elected government; its replacement by a puppet regime in which the extreme right plays a prominent role; threats and violence directed against the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine, leading to a resistance movement and demands for autonomy for the eastern regions, and finally armed conflict. Shaping and driving these events are reckless US-NATO military and economic pressure directed at Russia, uncritically applauded by the mainstream media, who seem to regard the prospect of a military confrontation that could lead to nuclear war as nothing to worry about.

Worried though we may be, we continue to regard movements for social justice as key to creating a radically different future, as well as to understanding our past. In this issue, you'll find information about a campaign in the UK by #DomesticExtremists to ridicule the latest police state legislation, and a handy illustration that explains world inequality in one simple image.

In the People's History section, we've got an article about mass strikes during the First World War, and a review of Pride, the film about gays and lesbians who organized to support striking mineworkers during the UK miners' strike in 1984.

Seeds of Fire for February 26 recalls two events which illustrate our continuing challenges and our continuing resistance. February 26, 1942 marked the imposition of the War Measures Act in Canada, the legislation under which thousands of Japanese-Canadians were expelled from their homes and interned for reasons of "national security." February 26, 1851, on the other hand, saw the founding of the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada, by ordinary people appalled by the injustice of slavery, an event worth commemorating war.

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This Week on Connexions.org

Global inequality, illustrated, described, explained

Places rarely suffer from having too many people, but frequently suffer from a few people taking far too much. The world with its billions does not have too many people, but it does have too many in their thousands who think that they are worth a million others. Individually these people take up the space that used to house hundreds; they consume fossil fuels and other resources far less sustainably than thousands of others collectively consume, and they demand the time and labour and subservience of tens of thousands of others in mining for their needs, manufacturing for them and servicing them in a way that deprives millions more of the potential benefits of that labour. Read More

Keywords: Inequality - Wealth

#DomesticExtremist trend mocks UK police surveillance of protestors

Non-conformists across the UK took to social media earlier this month to declare themselves #DomesticExtremists in a bid to raise awareness about secretive police powers. Organized by the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol), the first annual 'Domestic Extremist Awareness Day' encouraged Facebook and Twitter users to publicly declare what might make someone a so-called 'domestic extremist'. Read More

Keywords: Police State - Surveillance

The Fallujah Option for East Ukraine

The fundamental thing to understand is this: Washington needs a war in Ukraine to achieve its strategic objectives. The US wants to push NATO to Russia's western border. It wants a land-bridge to Asia to spread US military bases across the continent. It wants to control the pipeline corridors from Russia to Europe and to ensure that gas continues to be denominated in dollars. And it wants a weaker, unstable Russia that is more prone to regime change, fragmentation and, ultimately, foreign control. These objectives cannot be achieved peacefully. Read More

Keywords: Ukraine - US Foreign Policy

Wretched US Journalism on Ukraine

A basic rule of journalism is that there are almost always two or more sides to a story and that journalists should try to reflect that reality, a principle that is especially important when lives are at stake amid war fevers. Yet, American journalism has failed miserably in this regard during the Ukraine crisis. With very few exceptions, the mainstream U.S. media has simply regurgitated the propaganda from the U.S. State Department and other entities favoring western Ukrainians. There has been little effort to view the worsening crisis through the eyes of ethnic Russian Ukrainians living in the east or the Russians witnessing a political and humanitarian crisis on their border. Read More

Keywords: Media Bias - Ukraine

Washington Piles Lie Upon Lie

The mountain of lies piled up by Western governments and media has obscured the true story. The US government orchestrated the overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine and imposed a US puppet in Kiev. Washington's puppet government began issuing threats and committing violent acts against the Russian populations in the former Russian territories that Soviet leaders attached to Ukraine. The Russian people in eastern and southern Ukraine resisted the threat brought to them by Washington's puppet government in Kiev. Read More

Keywords: Lying - Propaganda

The Petulant Entitlement Syndrome of Journalists

Prior to the advent of blogs, establishment journalists were largely immunized even from hearing criticisms. Blogs, and online political activism generally, changed all of that. They were confronted for the first time with aggressive critiques, with evidence that not everyone adored them. What made the indignity so much worse was that the attacks came from people these journalists regard as nobodies: just average people, non-journalists. What right did they have even to form an opinion, let alone express one? Read More

Keywords: Blogs - Journalism

From the Archives

People's Archive of Rural India

"Can a project's success be judged on the basis of its never being completed? Yes, if it's a living archive of the world's most diverse and complex countryside. Rural India is in many ways the most diverse part of the planet. Its 833 million people include distinct societies speaking well over 700 languages, some of them thousands of years old...

The same diversity characterises rural Indian occupations, arts and crafts, culture, literature, legend, transportation. As the Indian countryside rushes through an extremely painful transformation, many of these features disappear, leaving us poorer....
Much of what makes the countryside unique could be gone in 20-30 years. Without any systematic record, visual or oral, to educate us -- let alone motivate us - to save this incredible diversity. We are losing worlds and voices within rural India of which future generations will know little or nothing. Even as the present one steadily sheds its own links with those worlds...

There is surely much in rural India that should die. Much in rural India that is tyrannical, oppressive, regressive and brutal -- and which needs to go. Untouchability, feudalism, bonded labour, extreme caste and gender oppression and exploitation, land grab and more. The tragedy, though, is that the nature of the transformation underway more often tends to bolster the regressive and the barbaric, while undermining the best and the diverse. That too, will be captured here. PARI is both a living journal and an archive. It will generate and host reporting on the countryside that is current and contemporary, while also creating a database of already published stories, reports, videos and audios from as many sources as we can. All PARI's own content comes under the Creative Commons and the site is free to access." Read More

Keywords: India - Libraries/Archives - Rural Living

People’s History

Unite and Fight

Pride isn't just excellent labour history. It's a reminder of what real solidarity looks like. The film is an emphatic statement about solidarity organizing and the importance of movement culture to political struggle. As the miners and LGSM members get to know one another, speak at each other's assemblies, and sleep on each other's couches, the two communities are transformed. Read More

Keywords: Gay & Lesbian History - Solidarity

The mass strike in the First World War

Rosa Luxemburg's writings on mass strikes help us to understand working class resistance to the first World War in Germany, Italy, France, and Austria. Read More

Related reading: Rosa Luxemburg: The Mass Strike, the Political Party, and the Trade Unions

Keywords: Mass Strikes - Workers' History

Forgotten February In The United States of Aggression

Mickey Z. writes: "Since it appears so many folks need reminding that "USA" has always stood for "United States of Aggression," here are a forgotten few from February's Files:" Read More

Keywords: US History - US Imperialism

Topic of the Week: Ukraine

The events of the last year, starting with the overthrow of the country's elected government in February 2014, have been a disaster for the people of Ukraine - especially the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine. They have also, because of continuing US/NATO military and economic pressure, become a flashpoint of international relations. The US is pushing ahead recklessly, seemingly willing to risk a military confrontation with Russia, raising the spectre of nuclear war. Ukraine is therefore an issue for us all.Check out the Connexions Subject index for more analysis and information about Ukraine.

Website of the Week: The New Cold War: Ukraine and beyond

Information and analysis of the critis in Ukraine and the NATO offensive in Eastern Europe. Reports from a network of correspondents on events in Ukraine and related conflicts, and their causes and background. Newcoldwar.org

Keywords: Regime Change - Ukraine

America's Deadliest Export: Democracy. The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else.

Since World War II, the world has believed that US foreign policy means well, and that America's motives in spreading democracy are honourable, even noble. William Blum, a leading non-mainstream chronicler of American foreign policy, argues that nothing could be further from the truth. Moreover, unless this fallacy is unlearned, and until people understand fully the worldwide suffering American policy has caused, we will never be able to stop the monster. Read More

Keywords: Intervention - U.S. Imperialism

Film of the Week: Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media.

An exploration of the poltics and ideas of Noam Chomsky, highlighting Chomsky's analysis and criticism of the mainstream media as a key element of elite control. Available from the National Film Board and from the Internet Archive.

More Information

Keywords: Media Criticism - Propaganda

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Connexions Calendar

February 28-March 01, 2015
Labour and the Environment
Hamilton, Canada

March 01, 2015
Zero Discrimination Day ------------------Worldwide

March 06-07, 2015
Beit Zatoun's Annual Open House & Rent Party -----------------------------------------------Toronto, Ontario

March 08, 2015
International Women's Day ---------------------------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 →

Seeds of Fire

February 26, 1851

The Anti-Slavery Society of Canada is founded “to aid in the extinction of slavery all over the world.”

February 26, 1942

The Canadian government uses the War Measures Act to intern 26,000 Japanese nationals of military age.

Read more →

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Thanks to Ulli Diemer for his work on this newsletter.


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