Wednesday, December 10, 2008
--by fabulously feminist
mojo in constant flow
across from me he sits
swanking sock showin'
orphan orange sweater
clings to his lanky
catholic school by frame
as he speaks
the archaic beat
of human existence thus far
pulses through his boy
as his words pulse
through his hands
of cigarette smoke
mingling with the steam
of double mochas
he searches my face
with italian eyes
blistering my inhibitions
with our gaze locked tightly
as I wish our bodies could be
his approving smile
elevates my spirit
to the deity proportions of a
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
2) María de los Ángeles Hernández Flores (f), his wife
3) Santiago Nazario Lezma (m)
According to María de los Ángeles Hernández, on 27 November an unmarked car with three armed men stopped the car in which she was traveling with her husband, Máximo Mojica, and their two children. The men forced Máximo Mojica out of the vehicle and took him away, but did not identify themselves aspolice officers or show an arrest warrant. On 29 November, María de los Ángeles Hernández, received a phone call from her husband telling her he had been kidnapped and that she needed to pay a ransom of 50,000 pesos (US$2500). Later on the same day, neighbors reported that María de los Ángeles Hernández, her nephew (who was later released but is now hiding for his safety) and another man who was visitingthe family's house, Santiago Nazario Lezma, had also been taken away from her home by a number of armed men in uniforms. The armed men had arrived in seven unmarked vans without license plates. It is believed the men whodetained Máximo Mojica, María de los Ángeles Hernández and Santiago Nazario Lezma were all officers of the State Judicial Police (Policía Investigadora Ministerial).
The whereabouts of the three were unknown until they were finally traced on 3 December to the office of the State Attorney General’s Office in the city of Acapulco, Guerrero state. They were visited on the same day by staff of Guerrero State Human Rights Commission (Comisión de Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de Guerrero). The Commission reported that Máximo Mojica, María de los Ángeles Hernández and Santiago Nazario Lezma had visible bruises all over their bodies and had not had access to a lawyer of their choice. The three have not been permitted to see lawyers or relatives since this visit, and could be tortured or ill-treated while they are held incommunicado. It is not known if they have received any medical treatment. The three have still not been officially charged.
On 29 December, the home of Máximo Mojica’s brother, Pastor Mojica was also searched by armed men while hewas out and has been occupied by these men since. Pastor Mojica and his family are currently in hiding.
We've reacted to anti-gay ballot initiatives in California, Arizona Florida, and Arkansas with anger, with resolve, and with courage.
NOW, it's time to show America and the world how we love. Gay people and our allies are compassionate, sensitive, caring, mobilized, and programmed for success. A day without gays would be tragic because it would be a day without love.
On December 10, 2008 the gay community will take a historic stance against hatred by donating love to a variety of different causes.
On December 10, you are encouraged not to call in sick to work. You are encouraged to call in "gay"--and donate your time to service!
December 10, 2008 is International Human Rights Day. CLICK HERE to join us, and search or add to the list of human rights organizations that need our help RIGHT NOW. "
From Day Without A Gay homepage.
Rebecca Kadaga, the Deputy Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, has recently called for the legalization of abortion in Uganda. Kadaga believes that it is possible to legalize abortion in Uganda in line with the Maputo Protocol, an agreement led by the African Union that includes provisions on women's rights.
Mary Jo Kilroy won a tight race for Ohio's 15th congressional district by a 2,311 vote margin and officially declared victory last night. Kilroy faced Ohio state Senator Steve Stivers, a Republican, in her second bid for a House seat. Provisional ballots put Kilroy over the top against Stivers, who was leading by 594 votes before provisional ballots were counted, according to the Washington Post. In 2006, Kilroy lost her race by only 1,062 votes against Republican incumbent, Deborah Pryce.
The Kansas State Supreme Court issued a ruling Friday in a lawsuit related to former Attorney General Phill Kline's conduct in an ongoing case with Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider who is one of the few late-term abortion providers in the US that serves women with troubled pregnancies and complicated health problems. The lawsuit sought to have Kline, who originally launched an investigation into Tiller’s practice in 2006, relinquish all medical records and be held in contempt of court. Though the ruling called Kline's conduct inexcusable, the only sanction against him is that he must deliver "a full and complete and understandable set of any and all materials gathered or generated by Kline and/or his subordinates in their abortion-related investigation and/or prosecution" to the Attorney General's office.
Friday's opinion heavily criticized Kline's conduct: "Kline exhibits little, if any, respect for the authority of this court or for his responsibility to it and to the rule of law it husbands. His attitude and behavior are inexcusable, particularly for someone who purports to be a professional prosecutor. It is plain that he is interested in the pursuit of justice only as he chooses to define it."
Planned Parenthood of Kansas President Peter Brownlie told the Capital-Journal that "the court confirms what Planned Parenthood has said all along: Phill Kline is a zealot pursuing a lawless prosecution and misusing the people’s trust to advance a radical anti-choice political agenda."
Brought to ya'all by:
Monday, December 8, 2008
--Lee Sustar reports from Chicago on how the struggle at Republic Windows & Doors took shape.
A FACTORY occupation in Chicago that began as a show of defiance by 250 workers has been transformed into a focus of national and international labor solidarity.
Grassroots activists, rank-and-file union members, labor leaders, members of Congress and Rev. Jesse Jackson have all come to Republic Windows & Doors factory just north and west of the city's downtown to show their support for the overwhelmingly Latino workforce.
In a matter of a few days, news of this fight has spread far and wide--even gaining the attention of President-elect Barack Obama, who declared that the workers' struggle was just.
The occupation of the Republic factory began December 5 when workers on the afternoon shift voted to stay in the plant rather than accept a shutdown on just three days' notice--and without the vacation pay or severance money mandated under federal and state law.
The workers, members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1110, were prepared to be arrested to make a statement about the Republic owners' violation of the law--and about the refusal of the company's main creditor, Bank of America (BoA), either to extend credit to the company to keep it operating or to make good on management's obligations to workers.
Republic workers are angry that BoA received $25 billion from the U.S. government as part of the Wall Street bailout--taxpayer money handed over to banks specifically to stimulate lending. Instead, the bank's Chicago managers were sitting on the money while Republic prepared to toss workers into the street and cut off their health insurance.
As a result, workers said, the decision to occupy was an easy one--whatever the consequences. Suddenly, an American factory occupation--something usually relegated to dusty labor history books about the 1930s and nostalgic speeches at union conventions--was a reality.
IF REPUBLIC'S owners considered calling the cops to evict the workers, they perhaps thought the better of it given their own obvious violation of the law.
Within a few hours, said UE International Representative Mark Meinster, the company reached an "understanding" with the union: Workers would keep the plant clean and safe, and a handful of company security guards would stay away from the cafeteria where the workers have set themselves up.
Workers have another very practical reason for guarding the plant--to make sure that management would no longer be able to move out critical equipment. In recent weeks, important and expensive gear had disappeared--including brand new presses that showed up on the loading dock one day, but were never installed.
"They said we were cross-docking," said Local 1110 Vice President Melvin Maclin, referring to the practice of taking delivery of items and shipping it out the same day. "In more than 20 years, they've never cross-docked." Maclin and other workers suspect that the owners are either selling off equipment or preparing to restart production in a separate, nonunion company--a practice perfected in the trucking industry in the late 1980s and adopted by other employers since.
Republic workers were determined it would not happen this time--not without a fight.
Hours into the occupation on Friday evening, local labor and immigrant rights activists began turning up at the plant's entrance with bags of takeout fried chicken, coffee and soda. Others who rushed over without stopping for food dug into their wallets instead, handing cash to union organizers to get more supplies. Meanwhile, more than a half-dozen TV news vans crowded the street outside as reporters prepared to do live broadcasts.
E-mail alerts, text messages and reports from the mainstream and independent media circulated around Chicago to promote a vigil to be held at Noon the next day. At the appointed hour, there were more than 300 union members and supporters on hand, as prayers gave way to an exuberant solidarity rally and fundraiser.
Rev. C.J. Hawking of the Chicago-based Interfaith Worker Justice committee led prayers--and revved up the crowd with her fiery pro-worker message. Several Republic workers spoke, explaining to the crowd why they decided to draw the line.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who had tried to broker a meeting between Republic management, BoA and the union--the owners didn't show--was the featured speaker.
"Somebody said to me, 'Those windows don't belong to them. What do you mean they're staying with them?'" Gutierrez told the crowd. "It seems to me that it was [the workers'] labor that put together those windows. It was their creativity, it was their work, their commitment to quality that made this company successful...Those windows belong to the workers until they are paid for."
Veterans of other labor struggles spoke--such as Rich Berg, president of Teamsters Local 743, who took office earlier this year after a long fight for democracy in a union notorious for corruption. Other speakers included James Thindwa, executive director of Chicago Jobs with Justice, and Jesse Sharkey, a delegate in the Chicago Teachers Union and member of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE), a union reform group. UE Western Region President Carl Rosen closed out the rally.
BY THAT afternoon, the Republic occupation was international news. The mainstream media, usually clueless where labor issues are concerned, got the essentials across: BoA has $25 billion of taxpayer money but it wants to cut off credit to a viable company and toss more than 250 workers on the streets.
Barack Obama felt compelled to address the Republic struggle at his own press conference. "The workers who are asking for the benefits and payments that they have earned," Obama said. "I think they're absolutely right, and understand that what's happening to them is reflective of what's happening across this economy."
Sunday morning saw Jesse Jackson bring 200 turkeys to workers as UE staff set up a food distribution system. "These workers deserve their wages, deserve fair notice, deserve health security," Jackson said at a press conference. "This may be the beginning of [a] long struggle of worker resistance, finally." U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky also arrived to tour the plant and pledge her support.
While the political figures have dominated the media's attention, the crowded foyer of the plant has become a rolling solidarity meeting involving union members, social movement activists and students.
On Sunday, a young Chicago bus driver and union activist was there to show support--and make activists aware of the Chicago Transit Authority's attempts to eliminate mechanics' jobs.
Rich De Vries, business agent for Teamsters Local 705, visited the plant, as did Gerald Colby, president of the National Writers Union, who came as part of a delegation from the U.S. Labor Against the War national leadership meeting, held just outside Chicago over the weekend. "This struggle shows that working people are not going to be pushed around--that they are going to stand up for their rights--and that they have rights at the point of production," Colby said.
James Thindwa of Jobs with Justice made a similar point. "This is the end of an era in which corporate greed is the rule," he said. "This is the start of something new."
Originally appeared at Socialist Worker
New York judges can no longer bar people from changing their name to one that matches "the other gender."
Obama will reportedly push for ratification of the women's equal-rights treaty known as CEDAW, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Check out Sociological Images' series of posts on people of color in advertising.
On the high rate of cervical cancer in Nicaragua.
New media: Gawker lays off its lone female employee. Old media: Meet the Press will again be hosted by... a white dude. Totally shocking.
In Maine, the Senate president, House speaker, and attorney general are all women.
The Vatican still considers gay people criminals.
Shark-Fu on the conservative definition of "life" and "family."
Jessica Yee on native youth and the power and importance of native land.
Who was overlooked in the '100 Greatest Movie Characters' list? Women.
Obama's speechwriter and the "boys will be boys" defense of sexism.
Krista at Muslimah Media Watch on a truly bizarre fundraiser for Afghan women: the wine-bottle burqa. Just... wow.
How the child marriage rate in Nigeria relates to the prevalence of obstetric fistula.
Obama looks likely to appoint the first openly gay cabinet member.
Read Dan Barry's moving piece on hate crime in the wake of the election.
The New York Times reviews Alison Bechdel's new The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For.
Renee remembers the women of École Polytechnique.
Ask Congress to Act Now: Reimbursement for Birth Centers
Support Antigone magazine by buying their 2009 calendar, Dreams for Women.
Action Alert: Empowering Women & Girls Against HIV/AIDS
The DC Abortion Fund is seeking emergency donations.
Sign the petition asking the Obama administration to be a pro-breastfeeding administration.
Teen Voices is looking for volunteers.
Call for papers: Representing Disability and Emotion.
Call for papers: The Palin Factor: Political Mothers and Public Motherhood in the 21st Century
Make a donation to help Cara and Marcella make it to this year's Women Action and the Media conference.
Become an ongoing supporter of Bitch by joining the B-Hive.
Join a live chat at RH Reality Check about the future of reproductive health, December 17.
Word of the tour has been of good-sized crowds and positive responses. It's hardly surprising that events of the past few months have turned out an increase in young heads looking for ideas to move them.
SON will be appearing with local Chicago MC Phillip Morris and Kevin Coval, who has appeared on HBO's Def Poets. Spinning the beats that night will be Selector Vanessa Beck.
Doors will open at the Viaduct Theatre at 7pm. Tickets are $10, but solidarity donations are also encouraged, as this will be a fundraiser for Haymarket Books, an independent publisher dedicated to social and economic justice.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
During high school she studied theatrical singing, and at 19 she landed a part in the musical Fianian's Rainbow. While on tour in San Francisco she discovered her life's calling in the city's vibrant juke-joints and bohemian coffeehouses. "We would finish our play, we'd go to the joint, and people would sit around playing guitars and singing songs. And it felt like home."
Though the path to a career in Hollywood and Broadway was open to her--or as open as it could be in segregated America--she felt her place was singing the songs of work and struggle that she had been exposed to as a child:
Join Planned Parenthood in Richmond to lobby your state legislators, see votes and testimony on important issues at committee hearings, and gather with hundreds of pro-choice Virginians from around the state! No experience is necessary - training provided at lobby day.
What: Virginia Pro-Choice Lobby Day
We are working on the finalized lobby day schedule but lobby day activities will include:
- Morning welcome, legislative training and breakfast
- Visits with your legislators
- Attending key committee meetings to hear critical legislation
- Breakout sessions on this year's hot issues
- Rally with pro-choice Virginians
- Spending the day with hundreds of pro-choice Virginians!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
haphazardly parked on brady street
too close to the white line
carefree mental boxes drone on
driving to places i will never see
driven by beautiful boys
i will never know
on gum stained sidewalk
people meander by
soaking up the winter sun
walking their dogs
smoking their cigarettes
examining the bmw
my coffee is gone
my eyes bloodshot
wearily i light my last djarum
filling my lungs
exhaling its sweetness
unconsciously i pick
at the lavender armor
adorning my stubby nails
my assertion to the world
that I have yet to completely
conferred to the conformity
demanded of me
by my esteemed institute
of higher learning
which will ultimately
propel my existence
down the path
in which i too
can own my own bmw
park too close to the white line
and never again wear
lavender nail polish
1851 at the Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.
I'm working on a paper about Sojourner Truth and this is an important speech for feminists and nonfeminists alike.
The National Hockey League has decided today that using your position as a professional athlete to prove your "masculinity" by verbally trashing a woman will not be tolerated .
Dallas Stars player, Sean Avery was suspended today indeinfitely for seeking out a camera in order to deal with his own insecurities. Calling an opponent's current girlfriend his "sloppy seconds" in an interview caused outrage today in Calgary, AB Canada as well as strongly worded statements from the hockey community. Nothing like trying to prove your "manliness" by putting down your ex-girlfriend in public for no apparent reason.
I do like that the NHL didn't hesitate to suspend Avery, and how the team owner, Tom Hicks seconded the decision, stating, "I completely support the league's decision to suspend Sean Avery. Had the league not have suspended him, the Dallas Stars would have. This organization will not tolerate such behavior, especially from a member of our hockey team. We hold our team to a higher standard and will continue to do so."
Sad that 'higher standard' = decency, but the swiftness of the decison is appreciated.
Now if only there could be something done to discourage this kind of behaviour before it happens...and if only MTV would avoid giving this dude more glorifying airtime for lame behaviour...
Walgreens harasses woman buying Plan B
Consumerist brings us a story out of Oxford, MS, where a woman buying Plan B - which is sold over-the-counter to women over 18 years old - was harassed by the pharmacy staff when she tried to purchase the contraceptive.
She said the pharmacy worker started asking for proof of insurance in order to get the pill. My girlfriend refused and asked to speak to someone in charge. The pharmacist then came, and my girlfriend told him she simply wanted Plan B and that her ID should be good enough. The pharmacist then went about getting the pill, but they also seem to have a policy, a lá abortion clinics, of forcing a waiting period of an hour and giving adoption literature to the person requesting the contraceptive. Now, Plan B is just an additional spermicide, not an abortion pill, but that's another can of worms. In the end, my girlfriend demanded the Plan B immediately, and she got it, but not without a fair amount of interference on Walgreens' part. They also insisted on writing down her driver's license number. (Editor's Note: Plan B is not a spermicide, but that's besides the point.)
Proof of insurance? Adoption literature?! And writing down her driver's license number...it's all just too much. Something tells me this woman isn't the only one to be given a hard time about buying this legal contraceptive - and I'm betting not all women who went there knew that they didn't have to put up with this bullshit.
You can contact the Oxford Walgreens at (662) 513-0894 if you want to tell them what's what.
I'd also encourage folks to call the corporate offices and tell them that store number 7757 is harassing women trying to buy Plan B. You can also call them at (877) 250-5823 and ask about their company policy regarding birth control and how they make sure that their pharmacists aren't denying women medication.
Don't let them get away with this.
Each year for 16 days, from November 25 (Elimination of Violence Against Women Day) through December 10 (Human Rights Day) we ask you to stand with us as we call for an end to violence against women.
The focus of this year's 16 days action is the International Violence against Women Act (IVAWA). Amnesty International, the ENOUGH Project and several other partner organizations are standing in support of this legislation aimed at ending violence against women worldwide.
Here's what the International Violence against Women Act would mean to women around the world:
- Increased efforts to prevent violence against women during conflict and in humanitarian settings
Increased pressure to find perpetrators and bring them to justice
Strengthened capacity of women's organizations working to bring such perpetrators of violence to justice
- Increased opportunities for women, free from violence, to seek testing or treatment for HIV/AIDS or disclose their HIV status without fear
- Increased economic and educational opportunities that would reduce the vulnerability of women at risk of violence
Center for Women's Global Leadership
REPORT: It's time to put an end to violence against women on November 25
UNIFEM: United Nations Development Fund for Women
REPORT: Neither violence against women nor poverty are inevitable
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Worlds AIDS Day is being commemorated globally today with HIV/AIDS testing initiatives, awareness drives, and fundraising efforts. Since its discovery in the early 1980s, AIDS has killed over 25 million people and today 3.3 million are living with HIV worldwide. A United Nations report (see PDF) released earlier this year indicated that the percentage of AIDS deaths worldwide has decreased 10% though the prevalence of new infections is steady at 2.7 million per year.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation coordinated a 'One Million Tests' campaign that coordinates with World AIDS Day and seeks to test over one million people worldwide for HIV/AIDS with the assistance of more than 1,000 partner organizations. A study released last week by the World Health Organization confirms the benefits of universal testing and early treatment. This study found that annual voluntary universal HIV/AIDS testing and treatment with antiretroviral drugs immediately upon diagnosis could reduce HIV cases by up to 95 percent worldwide in 10 years, according to the Washington Post.
Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, said in a statement on this year's World's AIDS Day that "empowerment is critical for an effective response, and most especially so for prevention. We must do much more to empower adolescent girls and women, both to protect themselves and to act as agents of change….In many countries, legal as well as social and cultural barriers prevent groups at risk from receiving the interventions and knowledge needed to reduce harmful behaviors."
Middle East's First Women Demining Team Trained
A demining team of 15 women, which is the first all-female demining team in the Middle East, began work yesterday detecting and removing landmines in northern Jordan. A second team of women will begin in February 2009. The women, who were trained and contracted by
Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), will work alongside all male teams to remove approximately 136,000 landmines along the Jordanian/Syrian border, according to Agence France Presse.
Each woman will earn benefits and a monthly salary equivalent to $760Lini Gazi, a spokeswoman for NPA, told Irin that "we want to show everybody that women can do anything men do." Walaa Andali, one of the newly trained deminers, told the AFP that "I know that removing landmines is going to be dangerous and might cost me my life, but at the same time, this job is feasible and might help me start my professional life."
According to The National, 50 people were injured and 3 were killed in Jordan by landmines between 2005 and 2007. In addition to posing physical threats to civilians, landmines also have economic implications because they prevent land development.
Indiana Chapter of Planned Parenthood to Offer Gift Certificates
Planned Parenthood of Indiana will offer gift certificates for their services this holiday season. The Indiana state vice president of PPFA told Indiana's CBS 10 that the decision to offer the certificates is in part because of the economic downturn: "People are making really tough decisions about putting gas in their car and food on their table, so we know that many women especially put healthcare at their bottom of their list to do." Nearly 800,000 in the state do not have health insurance, according to the Associated Press.
PPFA of Indiana offers a range of basic health care services including annual exams that include pap smears and breast exams, dispensing of birth control prescriptions, as well as abortion services.
The gift certificates have drawn criticism from anti-choice forces. The Office for Pro-Life Ministry for the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana Right to Life, and the American Life League are among the groups who have denounced the gift certificates. However, Dr. Judy Monroe, Indiana’s health commissioner, has called the certificates a "really a meaningful gift," according to the Washington Times.
Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of PPFA of Indiana responded in the Washington Times to charges that the certificates promote abortion: "an abortion is a tragic and urgent situation in a women's life, and gift certificates don't lend themselves to that." She also said that "even a gift certificate of $25 goes a long way toward what's potentially a life-saving but certainly just essential, basic health care for a loved one." Only 5,000 of the 92,000 patients seen annually by PPFA of Indiana receive abortion services.
- 2009 American Association of University Women National Conference "Breaking through Barriers", June 26-28 in St. Louise Missouri
- Women of Color: Theory, Scholarship, and Activism, June 15-17 in Atlanta, Georgia
- National Women's Studies Association Conference, "Difficult Dialogues", November 12-15 in Atlanta, Georgia
- Oakton Community College Women and Gender Studies Conference, "Chicago Feminism: Past, Present, Future", March 6, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois
Please check the a new series, "You voted, now what?" by Wiretap Magazine and the Nation highlighting the huge bump in youth energy, engagement and organizing through the Obama campaign and election and inspired by the hope that young people will embark upon a life-long careers in public service.
Here is a promo explaining the series, "You voted, now what?"
Check it out and spread the word. One way we can hold Obama accountable is demand the resources we need to keep organizing, along with stay involved ourselves.