LGBTQ liberation and global class struggle

first_imgComrades Minnie Bruce Pratt and Devin Cole (right) in Evergreen, Ala., October 2016.This talk was presented on Nov. 18 at the 2017 Workers World Party conference in Newark, N.J.Perhaps it is no coincidence that I was finishing this talk for the conference on Nov. 15. Today marks the third anniversary of WWP comrade and transgender revolutionary communist Leslie Feinberg’s untimely death.In the last section of Leslie’s 1992 publication, “Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come,” Leslie closes out with these words:“The institutionalized bigotry and oppression we face today have not always existed. They arose with the division of society into exploiter and exploited. Divide-and-conquer tactics have allowed the slave-owners, feudal landlords and corporate ruling classes to keep for themselves the lion’s share of wealth created by the laboring class. Like racism and all forms of prejudice, bigotry toward transgender people is a deadly carcinogen. We are pitted against each other in order to keep us from seeing each other as allies.“Genuine bonds of solidarity can be forged between people who respect each other’s differences and are willing to fight their enemy together. We are the class that does the work of the world, and can revolutionize it. We can win true liberation. The struggle against intolerable conditions is on the rise around the world. And the militant role of transgender women, men and youths in today’s fightback movement is already helping to shape the future.”In northwest Florida, where I live, I lead an organization called Strive, or Social Trans Initiative. We are a grass-roots organization of working-class, multinational, multigender people who provide many services to the transgender people of northwest Florida and some surrounding areas.Among these services are emergency housing, payment allocations for HRT (hormone replacement therapy), food and transportation. We are the only organization in the area that handles these types of situations. We do not receive any federal assistance. This need for basic supplies for transgender people was born out of the material oppression of transgender people — the majority of transgender people are working class, poor, and all are oppressed.Queer and transgender oppression is born out of capitalist exploitation and white supremacy. Though white transgender people can and do still derive relative benefit from white supremacy, it is crucial to understand that anti-queer and anti-trans attitudes and behaviors are also born of white supremacy.Putting this into historical context, we understand that in prefeudal times, queer and trans identity was not only accepted, but often celebrated. Then, with the creation of private property, with the seizing and sectioning off of previously communal, public land by ruling-class families, the oppression of queer and transgender people began.Homosexuality or any sexual leanings away from “heterosexual sex only for reproductive reasons” was seen as a threat to land inheritance and thus to the continuation of private property. Because of this, trans people began to be demonized and shamed, and homosexual people began to be heavily persecuted.Thus began the system of exploitation by the white, European ruling class that continued throughout the centuries until the colonization of the so-called “New World” and the subsequent slaughter of the Indigenous people, who celebrated gender variance with identities such as Two-Spirit. This is the connection between white supremacy and queer/transgender oppression.Capitalism is at its end and survives only through continued imperialist war and exploitation of the masses. Queer and transgender people are no exception, and in fact we are thoroughly part of the oppressed masses. And every intersecting identity, be it nationality, race, dis/ability, citizen status, etc., includes queer and transgender people.Therefore, the wild accusations that Marxist-Leninists are putting “identity politics over everything” are just that: Wild. False. While it is true that focusing too deeply on a single identity in terms of political struggle can put us onto an incorrect path toward liberalism, we must also look at how each of these oppressed identities interact and intersect with each other and apply those insights to the struggles of the working class.And, yes, queer and trans people fit into every sector of oppression, but these are not the only sectors that intersect and overlap. Black and Brown women and undocumented migrants are two other groups that face heavy oppression. To fail to acknowledge any oppressed groups in order to “avoid identity politics” is to willfully deny the historical and material conditions that led to the exploitation and oppression of these groups.All oppressed and exploited groups must be represented in order for the atrocities of capitalism to be fully destroyed, in order to defeat capitalism and bury it once and for all.Finally, the exploitation of queer and trans workers must be discussed. Transgender people specifically face high amounts of unemployment and even once in the workforce, face discrimination from both other workers and management. In northwest Florida, we find ourselves assisting transgender people who work, either full or part time, with basic needs such as housing and medication.This is evidence enough that capitalism is an inefficient and outdated system: full-time workers are still struggling for basic needs. I am presently a full-time worker myself and still struggle to pay monthly rent and bills. I share with a roommate who also works, but only barely, because she is also transgender and is also subjected to anti-trans prejudice in relation to work.Due to the decline of heavy industry and the replacement of many already low-wage jobs with high-tech equipment, it becomes harder and harder to secure a stable income or to join a union to fight for better working conditions. This is merely another function of capitalism’s inevitable decay and affects trans workers disproportionately to most in the workforce.As unions, which were created to build solidarity among workers, have declined, the homo/transphobic, divide-and-conquer tactics by the ruling class capitalists have tainted both union organizing and the workplace itself, causing deeper divisions between queer/transgender workers and cisgender/heterosexual workers.Solidarity among all workers and oppressed peoples must be built with these groups in order for all of us to be liberated — and in order for socialism to be built and maintained.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Second Covid Wave: Calcutta High Court To Function Completely Through Virtual Mode Till Further Orders

first_imgNews UpdatesSecond Covid Wave: Calcutta High Court To Function Completely Through Virtual Mode Till Further Orders Nupur Thapliyal13 April 2021 8:47 PMShare This – xIn view of the recent surge in the Covid-19 cases, the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday, on the recommendation of its Covid Committee, decided to hold hearings only through virtual mode from 14 April 2021 till further orders at principal seat at Kolkata and circuit benches at Jalpaiguri and Port Blair.The notification modifies the earlier notification dated 8th April 2021 wherein a decision…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginIn view of the recent surge in the Covid-19 cases, the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday, on the recommendation of its Covid Committee, decided to hold hearings only through virtual mode from 14 April 2021 till further orders at principal seat at Kolkata and circuit benches at Jalpaiguri and Port Blair.The notification modifies the earlier notification dated 8th April 2021 wherein a decision was taken to hold hearings via hybrid mode including both physical and virtual mode of hearings till April 30.As per the modified notification, the new resolution with regards to the functioning of the Court reads as under:”All Court proceedings shall be in the virtual mode only. It shall be the option of the Hon’ble Judge concerned if Court proceedings are to be done from the Court or from His Lordship’s chamber. Court timings shall be from 10.30 A.M to 01.15 P.M and from 02.00 to 03.00 P.M.”The notification also states that the Registrar General/Registrar (Original Side) shall regulate the staff attendance by rotation so that there is not more than 60% attendance on any day. Moreover, the Registrar is also directed to ensure that the entire staff is assigned duties on rotational basis.The Government is also requested to complete the vaccination drive of the employees of the Hon’ble Court at the earliest. Further directions read as under:- All new filings should be accompanied by a brief list of dates, synopsis of the case with a copy of the impugned decision or action, not exceeding 2 pages. The PP and APPs shall furnish synopsis of the case diary to the ACO through the PP office for placing before the Court. In case the Bench concerned requires physical production of case diary, the PP may be directed to do the needful. – All other notifications in force not contrary to the above shall remain in force. – All the District Judges in the State shall regulate functioning of the Courts on virtual or hybrid mode, regulating the attendance of the staff and the presence of the learned lawyers in such a way so as to take all precautions on account of increase in Covid cases. Matter for vaccination of the staff shall also be taken up with the local administration on priority basis.Click Here To Read NotificationNext Storylast_img read more

Supreme Court wont hear Merchant Law Groups appeal to keep residential school

first_imgHolly MooreAPTN InvestigatesCanada’s highest court has denied a bid by Regina- based Merchant Law Group (MLG) Thursday declining to hear an appeal in a case where more than $20,000 of a residential school survivor’s compensation was retained by the firm to settle outstanding legal bills.Survivor J.S was awarded $93,000 Jan. 2014 under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement’s (IRSSA) Independent Assessment Process (IAP).MLG had, since 2000, acted for the woman and her son in both their IAP claims and in other unrelated legal matters.When the firm received the IAP compensation money for J.S. in trust, they raised the possibility of legal action if she failed to instruct the firm to withhold $21,310.83 to pay for the previously incurred legal bills.During the routine fee review conducted on each IAP file, the adjudication secretariat took note of the deduction for the previous legal bills and MLG was told to pay that money back.A 2006 Supreme Court of British Columbia decision, Article 18 of the IRSSA and the Financial Administration Act, all prohibit assignments. Because IAP claimants were considered especially vulnerable lawyers were expressly forbidden to assign any part of IAP compensation.MLG believed it could make an argument that this case was an exception to that prohibition.MLG filed a request for direction in October 2014 to retain part of the award to settle the debts. A B.C. court denied the request in 2016 and the law firm ordered to repay the money to J.S.Read the B.C. decision here: MLGThe court found the assignment was “impermissible” and ruled the firm was “not entitled to retain the funds.” MLG was ordered to return the cash to J.S with interest.With Thursday’s ruling that it won’t hear MLG’s appeal of that B.C. court decision. The case comes to an end.When contacted, Tony Merchant of MLG declined to comment.IAP Chief Adjudicator “pleased” with decision.“I am pleased that the SCC has allowed the decision of the BC Court of Appeal to stand,” wrote Dan Shapiro,  the Chief Adjudicator of the IAP in an emailed statement.“The lower Court decision affirms that compensation awarded to claimants under the IAP cannot be assigned, as this would deny claimants the benefits to which they are entitled under the Settlement Agreement.” He added that the Court’s decision is consistent with case law, IAP decisions and “special clauses in our adjudicators’ fee rulings.”Shapiro provided direction to lawyers representing IAP clients in this document.He added that the decision ensures all compensation paid under the IAP will reach claimants apart from approved legal fees and [email protected]@HollyMooreaptnlast_img read more