Sex Worker Open University is a project created by and for sex workers. You might be working as an escort, rent boy, porn actress/actor, professional dominatrix or submissive, cam model, erotic masseuse, sexual healer or street worker; this is a place to socialise, learn new skills, and create events together. Our aim is to empower our community through workshops, debates, actions and art project as well as fighting against our criminalisation.
"Mallika spoke about many burning issues such as rape, female feticide and honour killing. And while she did make some rather relevant points about the double standards that exist with regards to many issues concerning women in India; she also received some flak for painting a rather grim picture of the country on an international platform.” - Anand Vaishnav, India Times
DEAR DIRTY HIPSTERS - Kai Davis & Safi Niara at Brave New Voices 2012
LIES journal is now available on AK Press
Today in history: November 20, 1969 - Indians of All Tribes (IAT) begins occupation of Alcatraz Island, demanding That the abandoned site of the infamous closed prison be turned over to Native people. The Alcatraz Occupation lasted for nineteen months, from November 20, 1969, to June 11, 1971, and was forcibly ended by the U.S. government.
According to the IAT, the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) between the U.S. and the Sioux returned all retired, abandoned or out-of-use federal land to the Native people from whom it was acquired. Alcatraz Penitentiary closed on March 21, 1963, and the island was declared federal surplus property in 1964. After a 1969 fire destroyed San Francisco Indian Center and Interior Secretary Walter J. Hickel offered to turn Alcatraz into a national park, the protesters mobilized.
The occupiers wanted to transform the island into a center for Native American Studies, an American Indian spiritual center, an ecology center, and an American Indian Museum. The Occupation attained international attention for the situation of Indigenous peoples in the United States, and inspired a wave of militant activism among Native Americans.
Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)
Loggers, Miners, and Dams: Why Brazil’s Indigenous Community Is Under Assault
November 19, 2013
Indigenous communities are under assault in all areas of Brazil. Ranchers using gunmen are evicting the Guarani tribe in southern Brazil. Meanwhile, further north, in the eastern Amazon, the Awá people are watching their forests being felled by loggers; and on the banks of the Xingu River, whole communities are seeing their fishing and water supplies destroyed by the impending Belo Monte dam. This is only a small sample of the many tribal peoples struggling to protect what is rightfully theirs.
While these communities are assailed on the ground, indigenous rights in general are being torn apart in Brazil’s Congress. One bill currently being considered would prohibit the expansion of territories occupied by indigenous people, benefiting farmers and others living in the agriculturally driven mid-west and south, where violent land conflicts are frequent and politicians own ranches on land that would be returned to indigenous people. It would be particularly damaging to the Guarani, who have been waiting years for the federal government to demarcate much of their ancestral land.
Another measure, a proposed constitutional amendment, would give Brazil’s Congress, heavily influenced by the anti-indigenous farming lobby, the power to participate in the process of demarcating indigenous lands, threatening the recognition and protection of territories. Yet another proposed amendment, known as Draft Bill 227, would open up indigenous territories for mining, dams, army bases and other industrial projects. No indigenous people have been consulted about these proposals.
A draft-mining bill, proposed by anti-indigenous politicians in the northern Amazonian state of Roraima , would open up indigenous territories to large-scale mining for the first time if approved. A Yanomami spokesman, Davi Kopenawa , said to Survival International  that mining “will destroy the streams and the rivers and kill the fish and kill the environment – and kill us”. There are currently 654 requests to mine on Yanomami land, the largest forested indigenous territory in the world.
The Brazilian constitution guarantees indigenous peoples’ right to exclusive use of their land, except in extreme circumstances of ‘relevant public interest’. However, even where land is recognized, loggers, miners and settlers invade with impunity. The Awá , for example, have lost over 30% of the forest cover of one of their territories to illegal logging operations.
The current struggles being fought by indigenous communities are even more alarming when viewed in light of Brazil’s past treatment of its indigenous peoples. A recently rediscovered report, authored by Brazilian prosecutor Jader de Figueiredo in 1967, documents horrific crimes against the indigenous peoples of Brazil in the 40s, 50s and 60s at the hands of powerful landowners and the government’s own Indian Protection Service. These crimes included mass murder, torture, enslavement, bacteriological warfare, sexual abuse, land theft and neglect. Some tribes were completely wiped out  as a result, and many others decimated. When the report was originally released, it caused an international outcry and led to the foundation of tribal rights organization Survival International  in 1969.
One of the many gruesome examples described in the Figueiredo report was the “massacre of the 11th parallel”, where dynamite was hurled from a small plane onto a village of “Cinta Larga” Indians below. Later, men returned to kill off any survivors. Thirty Indians were murdered in total – only two survived. Rubber barons wanted to operate on the tribe’s land and saw them as obstacles.
Since the Figueiredo report and since the end of the military dictatorship in the 1980s Brazil’s constitution recognizes many fundamental indigenous rights: most territories in the Amazon have been recognized; the population of many indigenous tribes and communities is increasing; and indigenous-led associations and organizations working in their interests are thriving.
These achievements are now in jeopardy. The current assault on indigenous rights in Brazil harkens back to the days of Figueiredo, the dark days of Brazil’s military dictatorship, when indigenous people were regarded as “obstacles to progress” and their lands were freely given away for massive development schemes. Indigenous peoples are fighting back on the ground: protesters stormed Brasilia last week and one Guarani woman has been leading her community in a reoccupation of its ancestral land since September. The international community must play its part and call on Brazil to uphold the basic human rights of its indigenous peoples.
On Saturday November 23, LIES was present at the Manchester Anarchist Bookfair at the People’s History Museum.
LIES met WAST // Women Asylum Seekers Together
WAST are doing incredible work with women asylum seekers in the UK. Here is some information, which has been paraphrased from their website: http://www.wast.org.uk/
WAST, “WAST women. We are often in vulnerable situations – isolated, traumatised, in ill health, facing destitution, homelessness, and deportation. But we refuse to be invisible and we are making our voice heard. We are women of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, language, religion, sexual orientation and disability. Some have children born in this country. Some have British spouses or partners. Our families face being split up by deportation.”
WAST are women asylum seekers of different nationalities who have been through the asylum process, who are going through the process, and/or are under threat of deportation. Some of the women have started their own anti-deportation campaigns. They continue to wait to hear about fresh claims from Home Office in order to support more women asylum seekers. They work to gather new evidence to put in fresh claims and often find themselves without legal support, and with all other legal options exhausted. Most of the women are living with children, many of whom were both after the women’s asylum claims were refused, and they have been left to survive on the help of friends, Red Cross parcels, and the inadequate support of Section 4 vouchers.
Reasons for fleeing:
What the women asylum seekers have in common:
“Because of some of our cultures women are pushed to the background – we’re not used to talking, but at WAST we do all the talking. We can encourage women to talk if they want to, and have courage to confront issues.”
WAST provides a space from which women asylum seekers can empower themselves and help each other to set up their own anti-deportation campaigns. They build expertise on women’s issues, such as rape, honour killing, domestic violence, etc., and share useful information about asylum, campaigning and human rights claims. WAST raise awareness in the community and through media about asylum seekers, in particular women asylum seekers, and the issues that are of concern to them and their families. WAST promotes a positive image of asylum seekers and ensures their voice is heard.
WAST holds meetings in a mixture of relevant languages in a child-friendly environment, giving mutual support, understanding, and friendship.
WAST gives hope and empowers women by creating a platform where they can meet others. WAST has created a SAFE environment for asylum seeking women to talk with others who understand what they’re going through.
"It’s important that asylum seekers take the lead in campaigning, otherwise we may be patronised by others, who may have their own agendas."
"We’re for women, by women, not led by men, as in other “refugee” projects. So much happens to women, who make up most of the world’s refugees. Women are subjected to so much violence, which is hidden and regarded as less important. When men are raped, we are shocked, but with women it’s less shocking, because it happens so often – at WAST can tell the truth about violence against women."
"Because of some of our cultures women are pushed to the background – we’re not used to talking, but at WAST we do all the talking. We can encourage women to talk if they want to, and have courage to confront issues."
"WAST brings us together – together we have power, we can learn skills, increase our capacity, overcome helplessness and isolation."
LIES will be at Queer Zine Festival London
Space Station 65
Building One, 373 Kennington Road
12noon - 5:00pm
zines / workshops / talks
For more on Edie, check out this profile by Bitch Media http://bitchmagazine.org/post/smart-queer-zine-machine-edie-fake-queer-comic-artist-feminist-magazine-books-art
We have our first Spanish translation of a piece from vol1 up on our website! It’s a translation of “The Gender Distinction in Communization Theory” - “La Distinción de Género en la Teoría de Comunisacion.” Thanks to Cynthia Abril for the translation work!!
Dear Pledges and followers and supporters of Lies Journal,
LIES has been funded $6617 by your pledges to fund Vol. II production.
How do I deal with racist LGBT members? I feel like its not talked about enough, but there are a lot of racist undertones in gay movies, clubs/parties, and more. It becomes a little too much when you see a group of white gays try to “channel” sassy black women. I’ve even been cast out of groups because of my skin color. Marginalized groups discriminating against other people is an example of pure hypocrisy.
Firstly I feel that it is necessary to discard the idea that white gay people are that much different than white people in general. Racism is going to manifest amongst a dominant culture and being marginalized in one aspect of one’s life does not negate his or her privilege in another. The only difference with racism in the queer community is how it reveals itself, which I think you touched on in your question.
Dealing with and confronting racists is an extremely difficult task for a person of color. It is often nearly impossible to affect change because their racism is both a weapon and a shield. They will refuse to listen to you because of your color. You will automatically be seen as militant, combative, or even plain stupid. Because of this shield, there is no introspection, there is no dialogue, and there is no change. I still haven’t found a way to deal with that issue. It can become extremely frustrating to know that your feelings and the feelings of all people of color are valid and you still have that validity denied.
As people of color, we often try to make our opinions palatable for white people. I don’t think you should do that. Oppression has subdued us enough and I don’t think our liberation will come from that same silence. Almost all of the knowledge and information that is readily accessible has been filtered through the white worldview. Yes, that means that even much of the race theory we study in high school and college is watered down so that it can be easily digested. And based on what you’ve mentioned in your question, it hasn’t helped race relations much, even amongst marginalized groups.
Confrontation, aggressiveness, and assertiveness might chip away at the iceberg and it might not. The bigger fight is not allowing yourself to be silenced. People don’t like being called racists, because then they must acknowledge it, and when they acknowledge it they are expected to change their actions, thereby disrupting the status quo. The disruption of the status quo is the last thing a person in power wants to do. Backlash is inevitable when it comes to confronting bigots, but you are not here to make them comfortable. Confront them in a way that placates your soul. Confront them in a way that liberates your heart because even if they haven’t changed for the better, you have.
This is something everyone should read.