From Feministe, this gave me chills. I think think the only word for it is righteous. Her name is Sonya Renee.
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Bryan Finoki of Subtopia has posted some interesting ruminations on Amnesty International’s campaign Counter Terror with Justice.
The campaign, meant to raise awareness about the terror that is illegal U.S. detention (and Guantanamo more specifically), is comprised of a truck hauling a full-scale replica of a Guantanamo Bay maximum security cell. Actual detainees kept in these cells are regularly isolated inside of them for up to 23 hours a day.
From the outside, the cell carried by the truck looks to be nothing but a large orange box, with the words “Counter Terror with Justice” printed on its side. It’s not until the truck is parked and the box unloaded in visible, open places that the general public is invited to isolate themselves inside the cell and leave messages about their experience via touchscreen computer device on the wall.
Says Finoki: The exhibit, perhaps inadvertently, I see as a revelation of this hazardous notion that American justice is a deployable prison cell that can be made cheaply on time and at any time, shipped anywhere in the world day and night, and dropped off on doorsteps here and abroad when and wherever the global arbiters of detention see fit…
Has the public square, the shopping mall, the tourist area, the protest zone, just been converted into an informal detention facility itself?
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You may or may not have already heard about this particular abhorrence. Briefly, the APA is revising the DSM for a new edition; people have been named to work on committees evaluating the entries for various conditions. One committee will be focusing on sexuality and gender identity issues, addressing the entry for “Gender Identity Disorder,” among other things. Horrifyingly, the committee is populated by the likes of Dr. Kenneth Zucker — the group’s chair, who supports “curing” queer people, from gays and lesbians to transgender people to gender variant kids, and J. Michael Bailey, who has advocated eugenics and thinks it’s entirely moral for parents to “eliminate” an LGBT child. The others on the panel aren’t much better. The afore linked post has the scoop; see also this update with more info.
Once you’ve finished reading, I recommend attempting to quell your nausea by signing the petition asking the APA to remove these bigoted junk scientists from the work group immediately. At the time of this posting, 1393 people have signed.
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May 1st is National Day of Action in Defense of Immigrant Families. A series of supportive marches will take place on this day, and Pro Inmigrant provides a list of times and places to meet up. Take a look, mark your calendars, and take part.
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First off, for information about the struggle of the Tibetan people and the worldwide effort against the Chinese occupation and of Tibet in exile, check out Students for a Free Tibet, an international, widespread organization started by students in 1994 and dedicated to the cause of the Tibetan people ever since.
For more on China’s response and the riots in general, check out coverage from Aljazeera.
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The following video was produced by the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles in response to the increasing regularity and brutality of ICE Raids and deportations from the U.S. It details the rights of undocumented immigrants when encountered by ICE or other law enforcement officials in a variety of circumstances.
Via Citizen Orange, a good resource for background/contextual information and regular updates on migration-related struggles.
For more information on the current U.S. response to immigration, specifically as it relates to the post-9/11 “war on terror” and the nativist, militarized mindset it has helped foster, I recommend Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration by Deepa Fernandez, only one of the many books I’m currently reading and learning lots from.
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In honor of the Gender-shenanigans that went down last night, and of course to afford Daisy and Emily more time to watch Lost, I am going to post briefly on something called the Sexual Offense Prevention Policy, or SOPP. It is a policy at my school designed to combat Rape Culture and make everyone feel a little more safe and secure about their sexual and gender identities, and the likelihood of harassment.
The main point of SOPP is consent. The two or more parties involved in physical activity of ANY kind, from hugging to making-out to fighting to naked jello wrestling, must VOICE explicit consent at every level of said activity. Basically, you have to hear the word “Yes” before you can throw your partner down and rub jelly in their face.
Obviously SOPP gets fudged a lot if you’re in a long term relationship, and its pretty darn ineffective against rape or any sort of real sexual harassment. But if something out of line does occur, under SOPP a complaint can be filed, and that person will be kicked out of school/banned from campus/reported to the police, etc.
But what does SOPP really do? It doesn’t stop harassment. My first month at Antioch I was verbally harassed very badly, in the form of questions. I would say no to one sexual position and I would quickly be asked if I was open to another, and this would go on and on and on. There is also definitely rape, fighting, and child abuse on this campus. Although I have seen some pretty bad situations, such as fights, adverted because of SOPP.
What SOPP does manage to achieve is an open dialogue. Some people have already gotten to this place on their own, and for that, I applaud you. But partly because of SOPP and partly because Antioch is a sex-positive campus, the conversations about sex are never-ceasing. In a society where you are forced to talk about what feels good to you sexually, how you identify, even what diseases you have, all before you actually sleep with someone, misunderstandings and some bad situations are avoided.
The SOPP: talking is good. Consent is good. Dialogue about important issues, such as sex, is very, very good. And I live in a community where if you don’t follow these guidelines, then you lose the right to be a community member. Because it’s that important.
Daisy asked me to blog a little about my school, so here goes. I go to Antioch College, in a tiny itsy town called Yellow Springs. Antioch, as a collective, has currently gone mad.
Because this week is Sex Week.
Which is pretty much the best week ever, if you couldn’t already tell.
Genderfuck happens once a semester, and is an entire week devoted to workshops, seminars, field trips and dance parties concerning sex, gender-bending, and exploration of identity. To give you an idea of the schedule, here are a few of the activities posted:
Reproductive Justice, a seminar on Adoption (for Gay couples, etc.)
A Survivor/Ally Workshop
A porn and cigarettes party (free cigarettes!)
Porn 101- The new wave of porn, Sex 101, and Kink 101, Bottoming Workshop, Topping Workshop (all but on by our local Queer Center)
A trip to the Sex Shop
Love Your Body Night (open to female-body-identified people)
An SOPP (Sexual Offense Prevention Policy) Dance Party
Non-normative Masculinities Panel
Erotic Art Party
and of course, the grand finale, the GENDERFUCK dance itself.
The end of Sex Week is the Genderfuck dance. To illustrate a snapshot of what people usually look like at Genderfuck: a friend of mine will be dressing like Liz Vicious, a gothic porn star. I believe my friend plans to add a thong to Liz Vicious’ general ensemble, but still. Another friend is going as a broken marionette doll, and a third is going as Rainbow Bright. People will “perform”, and usually there’s at least one performance set to the Dresden Dolls, who I love.
19-year-old Medhi Kazemi left Iran to study in Britain in 2005. In 2006, a boy with whom he’d been in a relationship in Tehran was arrested and hanged for sodomy. Afraid to face a similar fate should he return home, he appealed for asylum in Britain but was denied his claim because Britain’s Home Office does not believe that a return to Iran poses a serious threat to Medhi Kazemi’s life. It does.
Medhi sought refuge in the Netherlands for a while, but was denied asylum there too and is to be sent back to the UK where, due to the international campaign that has arisen to demand safety for him and countless others who would be persecuted for their sexuality, a temporary stay on Medhi’s deportation has been announced…but he’s not yet in the clear.
Check here for more info, petitions to sign and notice of other opportunities for action to take on Medhi Kazemi’s behalf.
Alert via God is for Suckers!
I’ve added a design/gadget lust category, and done a little bit to put old, relevant posts in there. It’s about time.
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