For more than a year, the indigenous Binnizá community of Álvaro Obregón, in the Isthmus of Oaxaca, have defended their lands against the imposition of a wind park by the multinational Spanish firm Mareña Renovables. As part of that struggle, “the community became aware that the parties and political leaders have only used them for political and personal ends.” In August of 2013, the community held an assembly and decided to return to the traditional indigenous usos y costumbres form of governance, where community leaders are selected via general assembly, without the participation of political parties.
On March 2, community members assembled in Álvaro Obregón to defend the decisions of their general assembly. Around 2:15 PM, gunmen opened fire.
Today marks the anniversary of FDR signing executive order 9066, which authorized the “indefinite detention” of nearly 150,000 people on American soil.
The order authorized the Secretary of War and the U.S. Army to create military zones “from which any or all persons may be excluded.” The order left who might be excluded to the military’s discretion. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt inked his name to EO9066 on Feb. 19, 1942, it opened the door for the roundup of some 120,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese citizens living along the west coast of the U.S. and their imprisonment in concentration camps. In addition, between 1,200 and 1,800 people of Japanese descent watched the war from behind barbed wire fences in Hawaii. Of those interned, 62 percent were U.S. citizens. The U.S. government also caged around 11,000 Americans of German ancestry and some 3,000 Italian-Americans.
Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth
Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth is the first film biography of writer and activist Alice Walker. Most famous for her seminal novel The Color Purple for which she won a Pulitzer Prize, Walker was raised in poverty in the rural South during the violent and seismic social changes of mid-20th century America. Women, poverty and civil rights became the inherent themes in her writing. “I’m not a lesbian, or a bisexual, or straight,” Walker says in the film. “I’m curious. If you’re truly living life, how could you not be?”
Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson
This feature-length documentary focuses on revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson who was a Stonewall instigator, Andy Warhol model, drag queen, sex worker, starving actress, and saint. With her final interview from 1992, director Michael Kasino captures the legendary human rights activist as she recounts her life at the forefront of The Stonewall Riots in the 1960s, the creation of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s, and a New York City activist throughout the ’80s and early ’90s.
Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100
Born July 23, 1899, in Springfield, Illinois, Ruth Ellis was the oldest “out” African American lesbian known. The film offers a rare opportunity to experience a century of our American history as lived by one inspiring woman. By example, Ruth Ellis shows us what is possible and what can be realized, if one not only lives long and ages well but also lives with pride. Ruth Ellis died at home peacefully in her sleep on October 5, 2000. She was 101.
"WHAT YOU SHOULDA BEEN TAUGHT"
Yarl’s Wood Immigation Removal Centre aka Detention Centre aka Detention Hell
and their website is horrific:
Former Yarl’s Wood Detainee Calls For An End To Detention Hell
“WE did not know they were coming for us. Nobody ever knows they are coming.”
Meltem Avcil’s voice wavers as she describes the moment when, in the early hours of August 27, 2007, she and her mother were ‘dragged’ from their Doncaster home and bundled into the back of a van by immigration officers.
“They knocked hard on the door; a terrifying noise. Even now if I hear a loud bang I start shaking,” she says.
Meltem (pictured) was just 13 years old when she was taken to Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre on the outskirts of Clapham.
Now she is 20, a mechanical engineeering student at Kingston University, and campaigning to end the detention of women seeking asylum in the UK - beginning with Yarl’s Wood.
“Whatever they try to call it, any place where they search you at the gates, give you an ID card and lock metal gate after metal gate after you is a prison,” she says of the centre she lived in for 91 days.
On Thursday, she brought her fight to the Government’s doorstep in a peaceful protest outside the Home Office in Marsham Street, London. She was joined by human rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti and refugee charities including Women for Refugee Women.
Back in 2010, Meltem’s story moved the coalition to act after they pledged not to detain the children of asylum seekers.
Her ultimate goal is to put an end detention full stop. But first she is calling for women to be removed from Yarl’s Wood (‘step by step,’ she says).
Since opening in 2000, the centre has been mired in controversy including the fire of 2001 and most recently the dismissal of two guards who sexually abused a female detainee. “Alot of people ask if I am sexist by only campaigning for women,” Meltem says, “but my reply is, of course not. What I know is, for a woman, being in detention is like being in hell”.
A report released last month by Women for Refugee Women, spoke to 46 women who had been detained, the majority in Yarl’s Wood, and found 93 per cent of women felt depressed in detention; 61 per cent thought about killing themselves; and more than one in five had attempted suicide.
More than 85 per cent of the women said they had been raped or tortured before arriving in the UK.
Meltem’s Kurdish family was forced to flee their home in Turkey when she was just four years old.
She travelled to Germany with her parents, where they were refused asylum; they then travelled to the UK, where her parents split up, and she remained with her mother. “After that we lived peacefully in Doncaster until the night they came for us,” she says.
Her message is clear: allow asylum seekers to live in the community they seek sanctuary from while cases - which can take years to be decided - are resolved.
Innocent until proven guilty.
The Detained report also showed that just 36 per cent of women who sought asylum and placed in detention centres were then removed from the UK. The others were either granted leave to remain, or continued their cases while living in the community. Watching her mother endure the experience of detention was enough to convince Meltem that something had to change.
“I had a choice to pretend everything was fine or do something about it. I chose to do something about it.”
In an open letter to Theresa May, which accompanies her petition for change, Meltem makes her plea: ‘It’s possible to create an asylum process which treats women who have survived rape and torture with dignity and humanity’.
Sign the petition at www.change.org/refugeewomen
Trans women of color are magical, powerful, skilled and wise, yet there is still no international network for us. This network gathering will change that.
Please reblog, donate, retweet, share, everything! Thank you!
no, but really.
DONATE! Help make this awesome thing happen.
Leaked document reveals lurid questions asked by Home Office officials in contravention of guidelines
Home Office officials are under fire for using “shockingly degrading” lines of questioning when interviewing gay and lesbian asylum seekers, despite clear guidance that such an approach is unacceptable.
A confidential Home Office document leaked to the Observer reveals how one bisexual asylum seeker was asked a series of lurid questions by a Home Office official, including: “Did you put your penis into x’s backside?” and “When x was penetrating you, did you have an erection? Did x ejaculate inside you. Why did you use a condom?”
The document reveals that during five hours of questioning in a UK detention centre, the male asylum seeker was also asked: “What is it about men’s backsides that attracts you?” and “What is it about the way men walk that turns you on?”
The questions, typed up by a Home Office employee, and dated last October, have been branded an “interrogation”.
The Home Office on Saturday admitted that staff were “not permitted to ask inappropriate or intrusive questions”, but added that attempts to determine an individual’s sexual orientation were conducted “as sensitively as possible”.
S Chelvan, a barrister and expert in asylum claims based on sexuality, said the interview, which was conducted with no lawyer present, was “shockingly degrading”.
He added: “I’m horrified by the nature of the questions that have been highlighted. It’s more like an interrogation than an interview. It is exceptionally troubling that there were questions like whether an individual ejaculated or whether they used a condom. This is an unacceptable investigation of a gay asylum claim. Clearly, something is going terribly wrong here.”
Immigration barrister Colin Yeo also voiced concern: “This is the worst I have seen, but these sorts of intrusive, abusive questions are features of Home Office interview practice, particularly in cases involving sexuality. The underlying problem is that officials believe everyone is a liar. It leads to a fundamental lack of respect for the people they are dealing with.”
Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs select committee, said he was “shocked” that Home Office officials were still questioning asylum seekers in such a manner, and called for the practice to be stopped.
Campaigners said it exposed the culture of disbelief of vulnerable asylum seekers. In 2010, a whistle-blower who had worked at a centre for processing asylum seekers’ claims revealed how colleagues expressed vehemently anti-immigration views and took pride in refusing applications.
Gay rights group Stonewall, whose studies found almost “systemic homophobia” in the UK’s asylum system, said the approach could be “deeply distressing” to asylum seekers.
Richard Lane, spokesman for Stonewall, said: “Valuable time and resources is spent attempting to ‘prove’ a claimant is gay rather than establishing whether they have a legitimate fear of persecution.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and we do not deport anyone at risk of persecution because of their sexuality.
"All applicants are required to establish they face persecution, inhumane or degrading treatment in their home country to qualify for our protection."
since 1990 in the Netherlands, the number of trafficked women from Central and Eastern European Countries into Amsterdam’s Red Light District has tripled. These figures don’t even include the hundreds of women trafficked from Asia and Africa
"Gulabi Gang" is a gang of women in India who track down and beat abusive husbands with brooms.
this is too thug not to reblog
That’s not all they do - they’ve got more information on their website.
What else they do that is awesome:
- Stop child marriages
- Persuade families to educate girl-child
- Train women in self-defense
- Oppose corruption in administration
- Create awareness about the evils of dowry
- Register FIRs against sex-offenders and abusive husbands
- Publicly shame molesters
- Encourage women to become financially independent
Yesssssssss. Female empowerment is a wonderful thing.