spiralsheep: Flowers (skywardprodigal Cog Flowers)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
If any of the people on this com who're more aware of the subtleties of the US "justice" system than I am, or at least have useful links to share, could help me understand WTH is going on in this case then I'd be grateful.

News via: http://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/leah-lynn-plante-a-third-anarchist-comrade-jailed-for-silence/

Leah's statement on tumblr: http://leahxvx.tumblr.com/post/33298924637

Leah's statement at anarchist news: http://anarchistnews.org/content/we-are-made-star-stuff-statement-leah-lynn-plante

I first heard this story via: http://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/katherine-olejnik/

Write to the three prisoners: http://supportresist.net/letters.html (my postcards are on their way).
ajnabieh: A seagull standing on a "no seagulls" sign, with the text FIGHT THE POWER (fight the power seagull)
[personal profile] ajnabieh
I've started, for my teaching and research, keeping a publicly readable GoogleDoc on news articles, blog posts, tweets, etc on gender, women, feminism and the Arab revolutions of the past year. (Most of my links are only a month or two old, at this point in time.) I thought members of this community might find it useful! Nearly all the links are in English, though some have untranslated Arabic text in images, or untranslated Arabic audio for video clips. The links don't have annotations right now, because I don't have time--but parts of them are sorted into readings for my class, so those at least have themes.

The document is here. Enjoy--and if you have other links you think I should have, pass them on!
la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Somalia: victim of war, famine and a pestilence of policy.

The news from Somalia is grim. Last week, the UN declared a famine in two southern areas, calling the food crisis Africa's worst since 1991-92 (which was also in Somalia). The UN estimates that a staggering 3.2 million people need urgent assistance.

The immediate cause of the crisis was the recurrent failure of seasonal rains across the Horn of Africa. But it will be exacerbated by the continuing instability in Somalia, where the internationally recognised (and appointed) government controls but a few blocks of the capital, Mogadishu. The rest of the country is under the sway of various other groups, including the al-Shabaab militia. For most Somalis, the famine represents a deeper trough of an already existing and perpetual misery of abject poverty and instability.

International policy to stabilise Somalia has been a total failure. Yet, the same policies persist. In 2000, the "international community" set up what it thought was a legitimate government in Somalia, in an attempt to create a political consensus where none existed. Today, the so-called Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is neither transitional nor federal, nor even really a government, in that it offers no prospect of a transition to a more durable alternative, does not represent the rest of Somalia in a meaningful way, and, as a government, provides no services to its people, who did not elect it, in any case. The TFG is, in the words of a recent International Crisis Group report, "incompetent, corrupt and hobbled by weak leadership" and should be given a deadline to shape up, or be removed. Very few observers expect it to shape up: the current system pays the cabal who control it far too well.

The famine in Somalia should not have come as a surprise

n John Vidal's report (22 July) on the famine in east Africa, he says the massive drought appeared "as if out of nowhere". It may have seemed that way, but in reality the shock of this famine underlines a more worrying problem in aid. There is a long-established famine warning system for Somalia, the Food Security and Nutrition Assessment Unit (FSNAU) – the question is, why was it not effective this time?

Somali PM accuses UN of holding back aid

On Thursday heavy fighting erupted in Mogadishu as African Union peacekeepers launched an offensive aimed at protecting famine relief efforts from attacks by al-Qaeda-linked fighters, officials said.

At least six people died.

Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Ankunda, spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping force, said al-Shabab had sent 300 reinforcement fighters to Mogadishu in recent days.

Ankunda said the AU force believes that al-Shabab is trying to prevent aid from reaching the tens of thousands of famine refugees who have arrived in Mogadishu this month.

The drought in southern Somalia has created a triangle of hunger in the Horn of Africa, where the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia meet.
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
So I'm doing it now:

Changing the Framework: Disability Justice: How our communities can move beyond access to wholeness

Our communities and movements must address the issue of access. There is no way around it. Accessibility is concrete resistance to the isolation of disabled people. Accessibility is nothing new, and we can work to understand access in a broad way, encompassing class, language, childcare, gender-neutral bathrooms as a start.

We must, however, move beyond access by itself. We cannot allow the liberation of disabled people to be boiled down to logistics. We must understand and practice an accessibility that moves us closer to justice, not just inclusion or diversity.

As organizers, we need to think of access with an understanding of disability justice, moving away from an equality-based model of sameness and “we are just like you” to a model of disability that embraces difference, confronts privilege and challenges what is considered “normal” on every front. We don’t want to simply join the ranks of the privileged; we want to dismantle those ranks and the systems that maintain them.

In no way am I saying that accessibility is not important—it most definitely is. We cannot have disability justice without it, but we want to question a culture that makes inaccessibility even possible. Just because disabled people are in the room doesn’t mean there is no ableism (a set of beliefs that favors non-disabled people) or that people won’t pretend we’re invisible. MORE

Access Intimacy: The Missing Link

Access intimacy is that elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else “gets” your access needs. The kind of eerie comfort that your disabled self feels with someone on a purely access level. Sometimes it can happen with complete strangers, disabled or not, or sometimes it can be built over years. It could also be the way your body relaxes and opens up with someone when all your access needs are being met. It is not dependent on someone having a political understanding of disability, ableism or access. Some of the people I have experienced the deepest access intimacy with (especially able bodied people) have had no education or exposure to a political understanding of disability.

Access intimacy is also the intimacy I feel with many other disabled and sick people who have an automatic understanding of access needs out of our shared similar lived experience of the many different ways ableism manifests in our lives. Together, we share a kind of access intimacy that is ground-level, with no need for explanations. Instantly, we can hold the weight, emotion, logistics, isolation, trauma, fear, anxiety and pain of access. I don’t have to justify and we are able to start from a place of steel vulnerability. It doesn’t mean that our access looks the same, or that we even know what each other’s access needs are. It has taken the form of long talks into the night upon our first meeting; knowing glances shared across a room or in a group of able bodied people; or the feeling of instant familiarity to be able to ask for help or support. MORE
eumelia: (science will be okay)
[personal profile] eumelia
My brother and my ex-girlfriend sent me links to the same story!
I was both charmed and kinda creeped out by how similarly they thought about what would interest me!
I'm hoping they're not sharing a trans-Atlantic psychic bond I don't know about...

The story they sent me was about the archaeologists who found a "gay caveman" near Prague. I've only managed to find the sensationalist reports, so if any one has an article from an Archaeology blog and/or journal about this issue I'd be very much obliged.
I think it's important that evidence regarding gender variant people in pre and ancient history is important, the fact that a male skeleton was buried in a traditionally feminine pose is significant.
I'm not keen on the anachronism of "gay" and "transsexual" as descriptors for this findings.

Homosexuality as a human category is extremely new, it's hard for us (queer or not) to conceptualise in which sexual behaviour didn't necessarily connote sexual identity - even today, when we try to assert this, it is met with much resistance.

And yet, the category of sexual identity, rather than behaviour is something new, not even 200 years old since the word was first put down in paper back in the 1870's.

So, why this anachronism? Why must we place our own identity markers onto historical moments who most likely did not even consider sexuality in the way we do in our Euro-Centric ideas of universality.

We need to find a way to talk about gender variant people and same-sex relationships that happened before the notion of homosexuality and heterosexuality as identities came to be. That's a lot of history to think about.

Food for thought.

The same way some interpret Jesus as an openly gay man, which to me is simply a queer interpretation of a canonical text, but Jesus as a religious figure can't simply be queered in the way other characters are interpreted in queer and social literary theory.
This, again, is an anachronism, especially if you're going to use Freud, because once to go Freudian you can't really say much any more - if everything is Freudian (especially in the stereotypical, Oedipal triangle one tries to talk about considering Jesus, Mary and Joseph as people, it gets boring, really fast and just adds to the whole sensationalism bit.

Much like the News about Gandhi being bisexual, which was reported quite extensively in Israel due to the fact that his alleged male lover (I say alleged, because I really don't know and I really want to find out!) was a German-Jew muscle-man.

However, Gandhi was a man who lived and died and had an actual impact on people's lives as a non-fictional person, unlike Jesus, who lives in texts and in the hearts of those the idea of him touched and certainly unlike this anonymous cave person who can be a great piece of evidence regarding the fact that gender variance isn't anomalous.

The sexual identity is historical figures and characters is important, because the invisibility and exclusion of queers from history is a thing we feel on our bodies and on our minds. So, yes, it matters if this cave person who is physically male was treated differently in life as he or she were treated in death. And yes, it matters, that interpretations that allow erotic love between Jesus and his followers (who were male and female) not be dismissed as perversions or reduced to Freudian pathology. And yes, it matters if Gandhi was bisexual, because his life influenced a nation and a philosophy people outside of India continue to follow and his sexuality was a part of his life.

Let's not erase lives, histories and ideas - but they should be in perspective as well.
trouble: "Canada is a myth people made up to entertain children, like the tooth fairy.  There's no such place." (Canada is a myth)
[personal profile] trouble
Content includes racial slurs.

Ignorance and Slurs: Indigenous Election Coverage

The ignorance is quite literal. Entire election campaigns go by where the media mostly ignores First Nations, Inuit or Métis peoples. Take clean water for example.  Trouble with the water supply in Walkerton received media prominence for weeks and was seen as a key reason the Mike Harris government was defeated in Ontario, while decades of bad water on dozens of First Nation reserves is mentioned only as context to a lobbying scandal involving a former Harper aide. Despite deep poverty and longstanding democratic, legal and human rights grievances, there is nary a word on the nightly news of what parties would do about it.

What does garner the occasional news story in every election is racist commentary by candidates.


And as the CBC reports today, Liberal candidate André Forbes is under fire for referring to the Innu of Quebec as “featherheads” among other slurs. Mr. Forbes history as leader of L’Association des Droits des Blancs is apparently also “under investigation” by the Liberal leadership.

My French 101 translates that as "The Association for the Rights of Whites", but please note that I am lousy at French.
trouble: Fight ALL! The Oppressions!  With Enthusiasm! (Fight ALL! the Oppressions!!!!)
[personal profile] trouble
I have been following with dismay the decision of the government of New Brunswick (NB), a Canadian province, to dismantle the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women (ACSW).

I have, however, not been surprised.

Some Background )

About The Issue (from the blog for the ACSW):

During his election campaign, David Alward promised that, if elected, he would consult with the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women. Then he released the 2011 provincial budget, which abolishes the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, effective April 1st.

The government is stating that the NB ACSW is going to be absorbed into the government’s existing internal Women’s Issues Branch to “eliminate overlap” and that this move is not an attempt to “water down the activities” of the organization. The government has stated that there will be no staffing reduction as a result of this move.

Of course, the Women’s Issues Branch and the ACSW do not overlap and the Women’s Issues Branch cannot simply absorb the work of the ACSW. The ACSW’s defining feature (and the reason it is so important) is that it is an arms-length agency that has the freedom to criticize the government, its policies and its decisions. By its very nature, as a government department the Women’s Issues Branch cannot act as an independent voice for the women of New Brunswick the way that the ACSW does. (There is also a staff reduction as a result of the abolition of the ACSW: two full-time staff have been offered positions with the Women’s Issues Branch while one full-time staff and a part-time contract worker have not.)

But what does the NB ACSW actually do? (This is long, because they do a lot of things) )

Why is this happening? )

Okay, what can I do if I don't live in NB? )

Where can I learn more? )

What happens next?

This Thursday, the NB Legislature (the provincial government) will debate the motion to reinstate the NB ACSW, as proposed by the opposition Liberals. Hopefully the outcry against this decision will lead to a change.

It is not too late to stand up in solidarity. I hope you will be able to do so, and add your words to those calling for the continued existence and support of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

USA update

Mar. 26th, 2011 01:00 am
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Vermont House passes Single Payer!!! Woootttttt!!!! Vt. House passes single-payer health care bill Read more... )

Eyewitness at the Triangle
Read more... )


On a related theme, daily kos user dsteffen has an ongoing series called How regulation came to be. I keep hearing a whole lot of people talking utter nonsense about how regulations are bad for business because how dare the consumer be kept safe at the expense of the almighty dollar, and the free market will keep us safe, blah blah blah. Such people need to be hit over the head with historical cluebats. 
And you know what? Mr. Dsteffens has a GREAT selection: Read more... ) Black Kos' Week in Review features black scientists and artists. 

Makeshift Magazine's newest issue is now out 

General Electric, btw, paid no taxes this year
 None. Zip. nada. Despite make a grand worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, of which $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. But they did get a tax credit! Guess how much? 

Have some news of radical childcare collectives in an article originally published in Make/shift mag Read more... )


This is from the rather pro-business and low taxes Wall Street Journal. Proceed with that in mind:Insolvency Looms as States Drain U.S. Disability Fund Read more... )


Unsurprisingly :Disability Claims in Puerto Rico Get New Scrutiny I want to see more about this situation, will keep you posted as to developments. 

In more happy-making news:Workers With Epilepsy, Diabetes Gain Under Obama Disability Rule Read more... )


U.S. Hispanic population tops 50 million Read more... )
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
[personal profile] nicki has How teachers unions work (in the USA)

[personal profile] jae has a fascinating series: Dutch politics through the eyes of a Canadian

[personal profile] whatistigerbalm has a WIP series on a still popular book that is praised as a primr about interwar Yugoslavia by Rebecca West Black Lamb and Grey Falcon critique The thing with historical books written by outsiders with great honking biases of which they are not aware, is that these books become the prism through which analysts and experts try to understand modern day politics and then convey that understanding to their listeners. As we can see, that can lead to some redonkulous nonsense passed off as making sense of already complex situations.

[livejournal.com profile] haddayr links to an article detailing a disability rights group's occupation of the Wisconsin Republican Party headquarters, because the same budget that is attacking unions righs to collectively bargain is also demanding nasty cuts to Medicaid.Not just unions
eumelia: (fight like a girrl)
[personal profile] eumelia
In Alphabetical order and a tiny bit of commentary:

Algeria: Defying a ban, protesters demonstrate in heavily policed Algiers. The demonstrations in Algeria in early January due to food shortages, but really, the poverty level in a country that is very rich in natural resources (and a long term dictator) showed it was a matter of time.

Bahrain: Bahrain mourner killed in clashes during another protester's funeral. The violence coming from the government in response to the protests has been overwhelming.

Iran: Police confirm protest death. The Reformists demonstrations never stopped, it just wasn't reported with the same fervor as when it started, but now that fire is sweeping through the region, it makes sense that the demo's are gathering greater numbers and are being suppressed with more violence.

Israel: While the region begins it's slow slog towards something resembling democratic process, we continue to dig our heels is and write out racist legislation like a Bill proposes discount in tuition fees for soldiers - meaning that higher education will become even more inaccessible than it already is to the working class - it is racist and ethnically based because the only ones drafted are Jews and the Druze (only men in this case) meaning that those who do not serve (i.e. Arabs, who also happen to be the most economically disenfranchised) will find it very hard to study at university, creating an even greater disparity between classes that (miraculously) coincide with ethnic and religious groups.

Palestine: Palestinian government resigns in hope of fresh start. Allow me to be more scathing than usual. The PA is so scared of what's happening in the region, the fact that just a few days about Saeb Ereakat resigned because of the Palestine Papers that they'll do anything to make appearnces of appeasement, while they suppress anti-PA demonstrations. Hamas, by the way, will not be running in these elections as it rejects Fatah authority. Like this schism is anything new.

Syria: Schoolgirl blogger jailed. A week after Syria opens their internet up for Twitter and Facebook. The Asad regime is in survival mode, it has been for years now.

Yemen: Yemen protests enter fifth day. The numbers are small, and there isn't a huge presence of women in Sanaa, but following reports on Twitter informs me that there was sizable female presence in Taizz.

That's what I got.

the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
‘The last free people on the planet’

In small pockets around the world live isolated indigenous communities, groups that, even though they have had run-ins with their neighbours or Westerners, prefer to avoid or resist any further contact. Although we sometime call them ‘uncontacted,’ a more accurate description is probably ‘voluntarily isolated’ or ‘withdrawn’ or ‘evasive.’ Many of these groups have tragic histories of encounters with outsiders — too much ‘contact’ — where they fought to preserve their isolation and, usually, came up much worse off than their more numerous intruders.

Survival International reports that about one hundred groups around the world prefer to be left alone. They refuse to become enmeshed with their neighbours, to give up their ways of life and languages, or to find some way to earn the local currency or trade goods. All have made it abundantly clear their wishes: stay away.

la_vie_noire: (Jerome Lagarrigue)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Cholera Outbreak Worsens in Haiti.

Yes, experts predicted the likely outbreak of deadly disease not long after the earthquake, yet infrastructure in preparation for the outbreak was still lacking when it hit. Indeed, as of two months ago, a mere 2% of the earthquake debris has been cleared; I’m unsure if more recent figures are available, but it’s doubtful that two months managed to magically accomplish what nine months did not. With this being the case, it’s less than shocking that there is also a severe lack of working toilets and uncontaminated water.

If you have money to spare, Partners in Health is an on the ground organization in Haiti that takes a community-based approach to providing free health care. They have been responding to the cholera outbreak by treating patients both at special treatment centers and in their communities, distributing soap and water purification supplies, educating communities on prevention, building showers, and working towards long-term water security in Haiti. You can support Partners in Health’s efforts to respond to the cholera outbreak and save lives by donating here.

la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
No one is innocent.

**Trigger warning for descriptions of violence and sexual abuse**

[...] This framing of individuals as either victim or perpetrator troubles me deeply. Truthfully, while there are exceptions to every rule, I generally believe that in the case of major crimes, the following rule applies: not all victims are perpetrators, but all perpetrators are victims.

I know, I know. No one wants to think of the person who did something awful to them as being a victim. And honestly, I’m not asking you to. There’s a reason the criminal justice system isn’t supposed to be about what the victim wants* – you can’t be objective. Heck, you shouldn’t be objective. But law and society should be. Which means that before we punish someone, we need to take into account that victimization is a cycle—it’s those who have been hurt that go on to hurt someone else.


Throughout all this time, no one stepped in to help this child. No one stopped him from quitting school. No one kept him away from the man who beat him mercilessly and tried to kill his mother. No one protected him from sexual abuse. No one loved him and taught him how to find solace in anything other than drugs and alcohol. Removed from the fact that he later killed, it would be difficult to imagine that anyone would not agree that this man had been a victim.

Yet, once a victim crosses that line to perpetrator – once this man killed his step-father – no one wants to remember the victim he once was. And that, I believe, is one of the fundamental flaws in our criminal justice system. No one wants to acknowledge that a perpetrator has been a victim, because if that’s true, then that means we are also punishing victims.

Robert Lawrence Smith writes in the Quaker Book of Wisdom about how people never look at the homeless. Folks avert their eyes and look away–ashamed, guilty perhaps. According to Smith, we don’t want to look at them because we don’t want to recognize our humanity in them. It’s difficult to think that we would let someone live in such conditions. So instead of recognizing them as human, we simply ignore them. This is similar to the response of the general public when we convict someone and label them a perpetrator: rather than acknowledge their humanity, we simply shuffle them away where no one can see.

A Victim Treats His Mugger Right.

Julio Diaz has a daily routine. Every night, the 31-year-old social worker ends his hour-long subway commute to the Bronx one stop early, just so he can eat at his favorite diner.

But one night last month, as Diaz stepped off the No. 6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.

He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy approached and pulled out a knife.

"He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, 'Here you go,'" Diaz says.

As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, "Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you're going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm."

The would-be robber looked at his would-be victim, "like what's going on here?" Diaz says. "He asked me, 'Why are you doing this?'"

Diaz replied: "If you're willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was get dinner and if you really want to join me ... hey, you're more than welcome.


When the bill arrived, Diaz told the teen, "Look, I guess you're going to have to pay for this bill 'cause you have my money and I can't pay for this. So if you give me my wallet back, I'll gladly treat you."

The teen "didn't even think about it" and returned the wallet, Diaz says. "I gave him $20 ... I figure maybe it'll help him. I don't know."

Diaz says he asked for something in return — the teen's knife — "and he gave it to me."

Afterward, when Diaz told his mother what happened, she said, "You're the type of kid that if someone asked you for the time, you gave them your watch."

"I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It's as simple as it gets in this complicated world."
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
BRASIL:More than 200 ways of being a mother

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jul 13, 2010 (IPS) - "You can only have one mother," as the saying goes, but in Brazil there are 215 ways of becoming a mother, one for each of the ethnic groups in this South American country. Promoting maternal health while respecting cultural traditions is a major health challenge.

Silvia Angelice de Almeida, who works at the state National Health Foundation's (FUNASA) Department of Indigenous Health, knows all about it from her nursing experience.

Some indigenous peoples believe the placenta must be returned to the community after birth. Others regard it as important that people should be born, and die, on their own land. In some native villages, special care is given to pregnant women, including particular haircuts and body painting.

"We have general guidelines for infant and maternal health, but we found we needed others, specifically for indigenous peoples," Almeida told IPS.

One of these, on "inter-cultural healthcare," includes respect for native healers or "pajés," shamans, traditional midwives and natural medicine.

"The concept of pregnancy is different among native peoples. Field staff have to undertake training in order to be able to address these issues," Almeida stressed.

According to the state National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), Brazil has 460,000 indigenous people divided into 215 ethnic groups, making up 0.25 percent of the national population of over 193 million.

There may be between 100,000 and 190,000 more native people living outside the indigenous territories, some of them in urban areas, and an unknown number have not yet been contacted, according to FUNAI.

The known native population is spread over 24 of the country's 26 states, 336 administrative centres, 4,413 villages and 615 indigenous territories comprising 107 million hectares, equivalent to 12.6 percent of the area of Brazil. MORE

Midwives Seek Legal Recognition, Respect

BOGOTÁ, Jul 13, 2010 (IPS) - In Colombia, western medicine has nearly succeeded in pushing midwives -- "parteras" or "comadronas," as they are known in Spanish -- out of existence. But some tenacious practitioners are pushing for a law to formalise the role of midwife as a health worker.

"Through 2009 and so far in 2010, there have been no deaths of women attended by a member of the United Midwives of the Pacific Association," said Liceth Quiñones, 22, who works as a midwife in Buenaventura, the principal Colombian port on the Pacific coast.

Daughter of 60-year-old midwife Rosmilda Quiñones, Liceth was three in 1991 when her mother founded the association, which she still heads. With the acronym ASOPARUPA, it has 250 members in the western departments (provinces) of Chocó, Valle, Cauca and Nariño.MORE

Read more... )
la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire
Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day 2010:

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2010

Amazing, amazing links.


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