Monday, May 31, 2010

The Freedom Flotilla to Gaza Attacked by Israel's Navy

“If you’re watching this that probably means that the flotilla has either been attacked or stopped at sea...”
Pre-recorded distress video from a freedom flotilla activist. it’s a call for civil society to mobilize support.

Last update I read lists 16 civilians from the flotilla dead and 2 Israeli Navy personnel. Post will be updated with information as I am able to gather it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga pardoned!

Malawi: Breaking news – Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga pardoned � bird of paradox: "According to BBC News (and others), Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga have been pardoned and granted immediate release:

A [...] couple who were jailed in Malawi have been pardoned by President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Mr Mutharika, speaking as UN chief Ban Ki-moon visited Lilongwe, said he had ordered their immediate release.

Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were given 14-year jail terms after being convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts."

And let's just make sure that this is straight for all my readers... Steven and Tiwonge were convicted of "unnatural acts" based on the fact that Malawi officials refused to acknowledge Tiwonge's womanhood and so viewed the two as a "gay couple."

Unfortunately, most of the coverage I've seen takes the Malawi government's position for granted and also discussed Steven and Tiwonge as a "gay couple."

That's really not ok.

If you're not sure just WHY that's so fucked up, please refer to this post by Helen G.

That said, VERY glad to see that they were pardoned!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Free Gaza - We will resist Israel’s attempts to stop us


(Hearklin, Crete, Tuesday, May 25, 2010) As Israel continues to insist it will stop the seven-ship international Freedom Flotilla, two more ships departed from Greece to Gaza today.

A 2000 ton cargo ship and fifty-person passenger ship owned by the European Campaign Against the Siege of Gaza, and Swedish/Greek Ship to Gaza campaigns left Athens to meet the Freedom Flotilla in international waters.

They follow hot on the trail of the cargo ships of Insani Yardim Vakafi (IHH’s) and Free Gaza’s MV Rachel Corrie. IHH’s remaining 1100 capacity passenger ship and cargo ship are to sail shortly from Turkey.

In Crete, the Free Gaza Movement is readying its two passenger boats for their imminent departure. ‘Al Samoud’ (The Steadfast’) and ‘Al Haya’ (The Ship of Life) were named by children from schools in occupied Gaza and Jerusalem.

Reports coming from the Israeli Navy say they will jam the flotilla’s signals and communications, isolating those on board the ships, and barring the world from witnessing what could become a confrontation or prolonged naval stand-off.

The strategy of the Freedom Flotilla, however, is to resist any attempts by the Israeli Navy to hijack its ships or to divide cargo ships from passenger vessels.

“The message from Israel is clear: ‘We will stop you. And no-one can prevent us from stopping you.’ said Free Gaza chair, Huwaida Arraf.

“However, we will non-violently resist Israeli attempts to seize our boats. Thousands of people have contributed to making this flotilla a reality, and the people of Gaza are expecting us.

“We will not allow our flotilla to be divided. We will stay with our cargo ships – they are the core of the flotilla carrying essential construction materials denied entry into Gaza – cement, steel, and houses. This action is not a symbolic gesture but a concrete intervention to allow the people of Gaza to rebuild their lives with dignity’, emphasized passenger, Aengus O’Snodaigh, TD Sinn Féin party, Ireland

Ewa Jasiewicz added, "We are not breaking the law, we are upholding it. We are acting out of necessity to prevent a greater crime from taking place – the collective punishment of 1.5 million people imprisoned in Gaza. The international community is complicit in this collective punishment and must break its silence. Respect for international law is not optional, it is obligatory.’


Crete Free Gaza Movement 0030 698 377 6683

Cyprus Free Gaza Movement 00 357 99 18 72 78 or 00 357 96 48 98 05

h/t guerrilla mama

Immigration Check Point

Cops profiling illegal European immigrants!

Overall, this kind of amuses me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Senior Seminar Project.

Women and Gender Studies at SFSU's Photos - Deconstruct This, Volume 5
The 2010 Senior Seminar is pleased to announce the publication of Deconstruct This! volume 5. If you would like a copy, either stop by HUM 315 or, if you are off-campus, contact the department office to have one mailed to you.
Wooooooot! I put a buttload of work into this thing... I was a head person on the layout team and then this is also what the collaborative sex ed piece I shared with y'all a while ago was for. Overall I'm pretty happy with the final product. There are some really excellent pieces in it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Angela Davis on Prisons

via novaya zemlya:

Dr. Angela Davis — Are Prisons Obsolete?

“Under conditions of global capitalism, prisons have become a place to deposit those who no longer have a place in society, surplus populations, those who are considered to be garbage. So that is why all over the world — not only in the U.S., but all over the world — we see people of color imprisoned.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Local News and History

via clingtomymouth:
The northern California home of Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the progressive Tikkun magazine, was vandalized.

Posters attached to his door and the fence around his Berkeley home attack Lerner personally, and liberals and progressives, as being supporters of terrorism and “Islamofascism,” according to a news release from the magazine.

Oakland literacy program needs your help
An Oakland literacy program designed to address the academic needs of at-risk Oakland families is dealing with a whole lot more than just reading.

The 8-year-old Oakland Parents Literacy Project, a nonprofit group, has become an extension of the region's social services network. It turns out the free dinners included in the program are drawing many more participants who need to feed their kids.

Since the start of the school year, the numbers of participants have grown dramatically.

"Typically, we see about 10,000 people every (school) year," said Denise Geer, the group's executive director. "We saw that many people by January this year."

Verdict upheld against police in gun-planting
A federal appeals court upheld $3.7 million in damages Tuesday against the city of Oakland and two police officers who, according to a jury, planted an assault rifle on a parolee's property.

Jurors found in November 2007 that the officers had violated the civil rights of the parolee, Torry Smith, and his then-girlfriend, Patricia Gray, by fabricating a case against Smith to justify his arrest in September 2004.

via clingtomymouth:
Leap of Faith: How Enmanji Temple Was Saved

Before World War II, historic Enmanji Buddhist Temple in the rural town of Sebastopol was the center of Japanese community in Sonoma County. During the war, the temple was locked up while the Japanese families in the area were forcibly incarcerated. Anti-Japanese sentiment ran high. This inspiring film tells a little-known story of young people who put their bodies on the line to protect Enmanji Temple from being destroyed by hate-motivated arson and vandalisms.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Homeboy Industries Needs Your Help!

via blackamazon: ilykadamenso-treu: pcquotes: novazembla: tumblangeles:
I have some incredibly sad news to report.  Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention program in the world, serving Los Angeles’ youth, is losing 75% of its staff for failing to meet the $5 million it needs to provide job development, case management, tattoo removal, mental health counseling, curriculum and legal services for gang members.  Its motto: “Nothing stops a bullet like a job,” says it all.  Lead by influential Jesuit priest Father Greg Boyle, Homeboy Industries’ mission has been praised by everyone from the White House down to the LAPD and leading celebrities but our homeboys need our help more than ever.
How to support: Donate as little as $10 via their website or by mail, Visit the Homegirl Cafe or Homeboy Bakery, located at 130 W. Bruno St (just three blocks north of Union Station at Alameda St.) for a meal, Support Homeboy Silkscreen and Embroidery for your t-shirt ordering needs for teams, schools or business, or even buy a Jobs Not Jails t-shirt to support the cause.  Or learn how to volunteer or hire a homeboy or homegirl for your business here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Feature on The Jaded Hippy

So, as some of you have already noticed, there are now little buttons you can click assessing whether an individual post is "amusing," "interesting" (debated between "interesting" or "informative", opinions welcome), "privileged," and "right on". So feel free to click away, and if you have the time, let me know what you clicked what you did!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Barney Frank, ENDA, and Bathrooms (AGAIN)

Via The Sexist:
"* Barney Frank says he supports transgender protections in ENDA, so why the fuck is he talking like this?:

“There’s no chance of doing it without it,” he said of the transgender protections.

Frank said he’s told wavering Democrats that “the principle is the same. It’s discrimination.”

He said concessions were made in the drafting of the language to address moderates’ concerns. For instance, Frank said, transgender people with “one set of genitals” would not be able to go to a bathroom for people with another set of genitals.

And, Frank said, they also would have to have a “consistent gender presentation” in order to be able to sue for discrimination.

“They can’t sit there with a full beard and a dress,” Frank said."
Can I say I'm really surprised? No. Frank has shown over and over that he's ok making "compromises" to get legislation passed and those "compromises" have rather often meant throwing trans people under the bus. Looks like we're in for another round this year.

Read more about this at Questioning Transphobia.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Reconcile: It has to be you

Like the Stuff White People Do link I posted last week, the below is an issue I have been struggling with in the last year, which I excerpt from and link here to share my process of figuring-it-all-out with all of you. As always, thoughts welcome, the comments on the SWPD post were great to read.

It has to be you:
"Lately I’ve seen people asking “Some marginalized people tell me they think one thing about an issue affecting them, and some similarly marginalized people think the other thing. How do I figure out who to defer to?”

It has to be you.

I sometimes get a little embarassed for these people who, although they identify as progressive or radical, seem to have just begun grappling with the problem that a given marginalized population is made up of individual people.
Yes, you don’t know what it’s like to be a person you aren’t. Yes, your sources for self-education about a given axis of oppression should consist of the voices of people oppressed along that axis. You have to work to process the points at which these people challenge your privilege and you have to keep current on dialogue and movement coming from them/us.

But as you’re doing all this (I can’t say “after” because that is work that is never done) at some point, it has to come down to you. Upon educating yourself, you are going to have an opinion (it is not reasonable to ask you not to) and that opinion has to come fundamentally from yourself.
Often an outright abusive conflict may happen between members of an oppressed population, and if you are personally connected to anyone involved it is then essential that you have the faculty to support the victims and not be swayed by the bullies or abusers.

Listening to marginalized people but making the ultimate decision about what you think (& often keeping your own counsel) means that sometimes you will be wrong, maybe devastatingly wrong. Well, that’s part of the human experience, and you can’t get out of it by deferring to whichever side in an argument seems most numerous or popular or academic or political or marginalized or any other metric. Learn from it and remember it when next you have to decide what you think is right."

Monday, May 03, 2010

stuff white people do: think that in terms of race, things are getting gradually better

Always worth reading, but this post especially, I am so guilty of falling into this, and for a very long time. :\
“It seems to me that a common consequence of this belief is that when most well-meaning white people witness or hear about a new act of racism, or encounter new evidence of institutional racism, it doesn’t stick with them. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, because things are getting better, so why remember it? And so, the example doesn’t get added to the many earlier examples that they’ve witnessed or heard that also didn’t stick with them. The evidence doesn’t accumulate into an understanding that racism is nowhere near going away, because in response to the latest example, something inside of us often says, “Well, that’s sad, but hey, things are getting better. Eventually, that kind of racism won’t happen much at all anymore. Just like racism in general.”

So when I try to talk about racism with white people, one thing that’s blocking their reception is this sense that it’s not as important as I’m trying to say it is. Because, you see, things are just not as bad as they used to be, and they’re certainly going to be better in the future.

This kind of thinking sort of short-circuits serious consideration of today’s racism; it also lets white individuals who are willing to at least acknowledge racism off the hook in terms of actually doing anything about it.”

Saturday, May 01, 2010


See yesterday's post for events in the Bay Area!  Hope to see you out in the streets; no one is illegal!