This Issue: Affirming Life, Resisting War, Reporting UFOs
What do we do when those in power recklessly put the future of the
entire planet at risk with their acts of aggression and military
provocations, while they ignore the growing disaster of climate change?
We fight back and organize, on every level, wherever we are, doing
whatever offers the hope of resisting and of building a movement that
can stop and overturn the out-of-control monster of late capitalism.
In this issue, you’ll learn about workers, peasants, scientists
and Zapatistas meeting to explore ways of ensuring that science is
guided by ethics, social responsibility, and human needs. You’ll read
about how indigenous women, who often experience the first and worst
effects of climate change, struggle to protect their environments. In
the People’s History section, you’ll find a story about the Quechua
people and their centuries-long project of developing and protecting
more than 2,000 varieties of potato: a heritage that is a gift to the
entire world, more important than ever in the face of climate change.
We travel back to look at the historical background of the current
tensions in Korea, a background that includes a long history of
American attacks on, and threats against, North Korea, with the
predictable result that North Korea’s leadership feels it has to deter
another U.S. attack at all costs.
UFOs are not normally a topic that receives much attention in Other Voices,
but in this issue we draw attention to a flood of phone calls to the
hotline set up by the U.S. government for reporting illegal aliens. It
seems they have been getting so many phone calls reporting UFO
abductions, and describing Star Trek episodes in great detail, that the
hotline (1-855-48-VOICE) is essentially out of service. Oh dear!
Our topic of the week is Militarism and Democracy. Or, more
precisely, the irreconcilable conflict between militarism versus the
possibility of having a real democracy.
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Militarism and Democracy
The increasing growth of militarism – including the
militarization of the police – has inevitably been accompanied by a
progressive erosion of what remains of the democratic rights that are
supposed to belong to citizens of those states that claim to be
democracies. The Connexions Library features a wide range of articles,
books, and films on the relationship between democracy and militarism,
from Rosa Luxemburg’s prophetic writings about militarism before the
first World War, to current analyses of the military recklessness of the
Trump administration. Explore them here
Zapatistas urge scientists to join in building a better world
The Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional
(EZLN, Zapatista National Liberation Army, commonly called the
Zapatistas) recently held a 10-day educational conference which brought
together members of the EZLN, scientists from 11 countries, and
working people and peasants from the Chiapas region to discuss a range
of scientific topics and to consider the role of science and scientists
in the fight against oppression and poverty. A central question they
asked was, faced with all the damage that the capitalists have done to
the people through their misuse of science, can we create a science
that is truly human? Can we work collectively to defend life and
humanity? Read more
Keywords: Science - Science & Society
Indigenous Women: The Frontline Protectors of the Environment
Indigenous women, who experience the first and worst effects
of climate change globally, are often in the frontline of struggles to
protect the environment. Their struggles are not only against ‘old’
economy of extraction and pollution, but the ‘new economy’ of‘carbon
trading’ and ‘clean energy’ projects, which are often placed on
indigenous people’s lands without their consent. Read more
Keywords: Indigenous Women - Women's Issues/Environment
Endless Atrocities: The US Role In Creating The North Korean Fortress-State
This overview of the history that informs North Korea's
relations with the United States examines how the long history of
American attacks on, and threats against, North Korea, have hardened
that country’s determination not to submit to American dictates. Read more
Keywords: Korea - North Korea
Trump's Hotline for "Criminal Aliens" Flooded with Reports of UFOs
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has unveiled its
controversial hotline for U.S. citizens to report alleged crimes
committed by undocumented aliens. The hotline has been promptly
overwhelmed with calls about extraterrestrials and UFOs. One of those
who called the hotline, Marine Corps veteran and journalist Alexander
McCoy, said that he had called to report that he had been abducted by a
UFO. Commented McCoy, "I think it's powerful to see the response there's
been. I think there are a lot of people who have been searching for
something they can do to speak out, and I'm glad that so many people are
showing solidarity with the immigrant community."
"Wouldn't it be a shame," McCoy said, "if millions of people
called this hotline to report their encounters with aliens of the
The number is 1-855-48-VOICE.
Keywords: Alien Abduction - Anti-Immigrant
A Heartfelt Apology to Ha’aretz Readers
Ha’aretz columnist Gideon Levy offers an apology to readers who complained about his ‘one-sidedness.’
“Allow me to apologize,” writes Levy. “To apologize for writing
the truth all these years. I should have taken into account that this
truth wasn’t palatable to you, and acted accordingly.... I apologize
for the one-sidedness. How could I not maintain a balance
between the murderer and the murdered; the thief and his victim; and the occupier and the occupied?” Read more
Keywords: Israeli Apartheid - Palestine/Occupation
Website of the Week
Inter Press Service (IPS)
IPS was founded in 1964 with the goal of "giving a voice to the
voiceless" -- acting as a communication channel that privileges the
voices and the concerns of the poorestIPS believes that information is
an agent of change and precondition for lifting communities out of
poverty and marginalization.
IPS's work includes:
* Providing news and content: producing stories and analyses,
which explain how events and global processes affect individuals and
communities, especially the marginalised and voiceless.
* Capacity-building: empowering journalists, media
organisations and civil society to be better able to communicate
effectively by leveraging IPS’ character as a Southern-focused news
agency, offering a different kind of training and follow-up.
* Dissemination and networking: building an information
bridge linking civil society, international institutions, policy-makers,
donors and individual readers, to promote an ongoing dialogue about
communication and development for a better world.
Find IPS here
Keywords: Alternative Media - Progressive News Sources
Book of the Week
Reading Revolution: Shakespeare on Robben Island
By Ashwin Desai
The prison authorities on apartheid South Africa's Robben Island
strictly censored the reading materials inmates received from the
outside world. Yet, the prisoners cleverly managed to smuggle political
literature disguised as religious texts, into their communal cells. The
works of Shakespeare resonated most deeply among the inmates for their
anti-colonial and anti-apartheid inspirations, as well as for the power
and beauty of the words. Through memories and biographical accounts
written by former political inmates including Nelson Mandela, Reading Revolution
evocatively depicts the power of these great works. We see how words
can inspire the human spirit, light up the intellect, and free the
reader to travel the world. The book, with nearly fifty pages of
four-color illustrations, ignites once more, a reading revolution, to
stir up the imagination.
"Somehow, Shakespeare always seems to have something to say to us." -Nelson Mandela
Keywords: Political Prisoners - Reading
Film of the Week
A portrait of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who became
increasingly disturbed by the U.S. security agencies’ secret and illegal
surveillance of hundreds of millions of people. A gripping, thoughtful,
complex portrait of a man who risked everything to do what he believed
he had to do. Find out more
Edward Snowden is on Twitter - Find him at @Snowden
Keywords: National Security - Surveillance
An account, by a prisoner, of a workplace rebellion by prisoners in
the notorious Rikers Island correctional facility. The result was chaos
for a hated overseer, and the sweet aftertaste of an assertion of
people power all too rare in their line of work. Read more
Keywords: Prisoners - Workplace Conflict
The guardians of the Andean potato
More than 2,800 types of potatoes are known to have originated in
Peru. The existence of these varieties can be attributed to the high
value the Quechua people place on their cultural traditions and
biological diversity. Now they are striving to ensure the potato’s
survival in the face of climate change. Read more
Keywords: Potato - Plants & Indigenous People
From the Archives
Marx and Engels and the Red Chemist
New studies of Marx’s long-unavailable notebooks, now being
published in the massive Marx-Engels Complete Works cast new light on
the development of Marx’s ideas and his detailed plans for the books
that he was unable to finish before his death. One important influence
on both Marx and Engels was Carl Schorlemmer, a chemist and a communist,
who helped them to understand the latest developments in the natural
sciences. Both Marx and Engels were keenly interested in science and
natural history. Read more
Keywords: History and Philosophy of Science - Marxism and Ecology
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International Workers’ Day
Marches around the world mark May Day: International Workers’ Day.
May 3, 2017
World Press Freedom Day
A day to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess
the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from
attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have
lost their lives in the line of duty.
May 5 – 7, 2017
Canadian Association of Labour Media Annual Conference
This year, the theme for Advanced Communicators Day is: using sound to
improve your communications and amplify your members' voices.
May 9 – 10, 2017
World Migratory Bird Day
World Migratory Bird Day is an annual awareness-raising campaign
highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their
habitats. It a tool to help raise global awareness of the threats faced
by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for
international cooperation to conserve them.
May 11 – 12, 2017
Ontario Climate Symposium 2017
The symposium theme, Just Transformations: The Next 150, aims to
engage discussions across research disciplines and policy and practice
communities about the future of Ontario’s society and economy as we
collectively address climate change.
The Connexions Calendar is an online calendar that exists to
advertise events that support social justice, democracy, human rights,
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May 5, 1818
Birth of Karl Marx
Marx breathes dialectics and revolution. For Marx, radicalism means
going to the root, and Marx’s radicalism seeks to go to the root of
capitalism, to comprehend its essence dialectically, to understand its
inherent contradictions – and the seeds of revolution it contains.
May 6, 1968
Protests in Paris intensify
In Paris, intensifying student protests reach a new level as the
national student union and the union of university professors jointly
call a march to protest against the police invasion and occupation of
Sorbonne University. More than 20,000 people gather to march toward the
Sorbonne, which is still sealed off by police. As they approach the
vicinity of the university, police charge them with batons flailing,
striking anyone they can reach. The march breaks apart, but soon people
are starting to build barricades.
May 7, 1954
Vietnamese defeat French Empire
After a two-month battle, Viet Minh resistance forces inflict a
decisive defeat on the French army at Dien Bien Phu in central Vietnam.
Thousands of French soldiers are killed, more than 10,000 are taken
prisoner. The Vietnamese victory marks the end of the French Empire in
May 9, 1763
Start of Pontiac’s war
An alliance of indigenous Ottawas, Ojibwas, Potawatomis, and Hurons led
by the Ottawa chief Pontiac lay siege to Fort Detroit, the British
military stronghold in the Great Lakes area. They are angered at the
British, who have recently moved into the area and are treating the
native population as conquered people, while ever-increasing numbers of
settlers move onto native land.
May 11, 1970
The Abortion Caravan arrives at its destination in Ottawa. The caravan
was initiated by members of the Vancouver Women’s Caucus, who want to
draw attention to the current abortion law in Canada, allowing abortion
only in cases where a woman's health is endangered by her pregnancy. The
Abortion Caravan aims to emulate the On-to-Ottawa Trek of unemployed
workers in 1935. It sets out from Vancouver in mid-April 1970 and
travels across the country, holding meetings every night in different
communities, and raising public awareness of the abortion issue.
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This issue was edited by Ulli Diemer.
812A Bloor Street West, Suite 201
Toronto ON M6G 1L9 Canada
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