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Reposted from Anti-Capitalist Meetup by NY brit expat

Most probably people have heard of the bizarre investigative journalism by The Mail on Sunday in an article which appeared on Easter Sunday (of all days in the year). The Mail on Sunday sent in a reporter, a wannabe Jimmy Olsen, to investigate provision of food by food-banks in Britain and that reporter literally took food out of the mouths of the hungry in order to prove some point. This provoked a backlash on social media that demonstrated that the neoliberal agenda seems to not have sunk too deeply in the hearts and minds of the British people. That is a relief and quite honestly more than I expected, given the constant barrage in the newspapers and on the news on telly that has never questioned the logic (forget the morality) of welfare caps and cuts to welfare benefits.

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ht: my sister Mia for comments and editing on this piece
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Reposted from Kitchen Table Kibitzing by rb137
Table with yellow teapot and cloth embroidered with blue flowers

Pakistan became a free, sovereign, independent state on August 14, 1947. India became a free, sovereign, and independent state on August 15, 1947. Just one day divided the two joyous declarations. But the months before and after these declarations were filled with massive upheaval and tumult. The British drew the dividing lines between India and West and East Pakistan. (East Pakistan broke away and became an independent nation-Bangladesh--in 1972.)

After drawing the lines, the British left, and the two nascent governments of India and Pakistan were completely unprepared to deal with the fact that this division led to the transfer of 15 million refugees, deaths of 1 million people, riots, murders, looting and rapes on a massive scale. All three communities affected by the Partition, Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs participated in unspeakable atrocities on each other (Hindus and Sikhs on one side, Muslims on the other). Trains between Amritsar (on the Indian side) and Lahore (in Pakistan) carrying refugees returned on the other side filled with butchered corpses. As always, this violence was accompanied by sexual savagery, about 75,000 women were abducted and raped by men from religions different from their own.  

India map

Both of my parents are from Pakistan and came to India as refugees. While they met and married in Delhi when they were in their twenties; during Partition, my dad was 12 years old and my mom was 9. My dad's family was one of the lucky ones, they escaped in an Indian army convoy before the real bloodshed began, spent a couple of years in a refugee camp, eventually settling down in Delhi in a refugee resettlement colony built by the Indian government. My dad's mother was persuaded to leave the house and all her belongings only when she was told that the move was temporary. She locked up everything very carefully and kept the keys with her all her life. In fact she became a bit obsessive about all keys after that, and an open door made her very nervous throughout her life.  

My mom's family did not leave till after the violence erupted. Her grandfather was a city magistrate and they all thought they would be safe. Sadly, however, he was knifed to death when he was returning home from the court. By this time leaving was very difficult and completely unsafe. A few of my mom's aunts and uncles escaped on the trains, hiding in the toilets. Some of them were killed and raped. Eventually one of her uncles chartered a private plane and flew them to safety. They had a much harder time settling again; the refugee camps were all full, so they stayed with friends of family and other family members (who had always been in India)  for 4-6 years, before they were able to afford to rent a place for themselves.  

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Reposted from Kitchen Table Kibitzing by rb137

Last March, folks here at KTK helped to support this fundraiser, by reccing, sharing, reposting, learning, or donating. A group of teenage, single mothers in Democratic Republic of the Congo are working to become leaders in their community, participate in the formal economy, promote health care for their families and neighborhoods, and teach other women about their rights.

Women in DR Congo do have rights now. A new constitution was passed in 2006 -- and those laws are slowly but gradually being enforced.

This is the "girl effect" in action. Empowering women is the key to peace, health, and sustainable economic development. These women -- with pop band Maisha Soul -- made this video to spread their movement through DR Congo. The DRC doesn't have a lot of communication infrastructure, but most people do have cell phones -- and they can watch this video.

When this message spreads across Congo and the world, good things will happen.

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Reposted from liberaldad2 by rb137

I am outraged.  I don’t know why this story isn’t getting wider coverage.  A new Southern Poverty Law Center report shows that:

Nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by active users of the leading racist website, Stormfront, according to a report released today by the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.
You read that right, 20 people a year are being murdered by white supremacists who congregate at a skinhead website.  A site that is populated by deluded losers who spend their days bitching about the direction this country is going.  Wallowing in rage and self-pity, they have taken up arms in increasing numbers since the election of our first black President, blaming all their personal troubles on the failure of this country’s government to protect white folks.  [And please, DON’T visit that site, not even out of curiosity – every click represents dollars to its founder. You can learn more about the history of this violent site and its founder here.]  
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Reposted from Jimmy Rustler by Lisa Lockwood Editor's Note: Republished here, in hopes that diarist will seak legal aid. Support and the feeling that 'your'e not alone' has got to help? The more eyeballs, the better! -- Lisa Lockwood

So, in yet another edition of "public officials who don't care," today I want to talk about more food safety, as well as fire safety.

I wish I felt safe identifying which store I work at, but just for your own caution, considering that the 'backstock problem' is nationwide, mine might not be the only one who's doing this. But we have way, WAAAAY too much shit in the back rooms, and this applies not only to room-temperature stuff, but to stuff in the coolers and freezers as well. One problem is, our freezers are tiny. So in order to do any picking or binning, we have to pull the pallets out of the freezer.

I didn't work last night, but several of the guys who did warned me to not buy frozen food from my store for a while. I naturally inquired as to why. I was told that, Monday night / Tuesday morning, some of those pallets of frozen food were allowed to sit out for SIX FUCKING HOURS. And only some of it was thrown away, I'm guessing just the stuff that did not APPEAR sellable. The rest was, by order of management, thrown back into the freezer. The associates complied, because many of them really, really need their jobs.

I was shaking BEFORE I almost hit a deer on the way home. The first thing I did when I got inside my home was send a tip to the local news station, whose anchors I sometimes see shopping in my store. They ignored my complaint about the mold, so let's see the fuckers ignore this too.

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Reposted from Charlie Grapski by rb137

A Police Badge is Not a "License to Kill"

A picture tells a thousand words. This montage would fill a book. It asks the question as to why unjustified police killings are not prosecuted as would be any
You Decide
Please tell the District Attorney to Arrest & Prosecute the Officers who murdered James Boyd.  Sign and share the Petition and Letter to DA Kari Brandeburg. — in Albuquerque, NM.


Who would be prosecuted in the photo montage

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15%6 votes
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10%4 votes
51%20 votes
23%9 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from rb137 by rb137

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There is a community-based movement taking place in Democratic Republic of the Congo, supported by a program called Succeeding Together. It is structured to help women help each other by providing education, training, and leadership skills for creating businesses, assisting with family health, and economic development. Now that the graduates are enjoying success, they need a little of your help to spread the word about their work. They want to tell the people of Congo about the positive changes they've made in their lives and communities -- and want everyone in Congo to know that they can do it too.

Lasting, positive change in Congo has to come from the people of Congo. And it will.

Details are at the end. But even if you can't donate, Please help spread the word via social media, your friends, and your family.

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Reposted from Valtin by rb137

On February 21, attorneys for six former Guantanamo prisoners took their civil case against Donald Rumsfeld and a number of U.S. military officials to federal appeals court. Rumsfeld and the others are being sued "for the torture, religious abuse and other mistreatment of plaintiffs," according to a press release from Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

Unremarked in the otherwise thin press coverage of this case was the fact that four of the six former prisoners charge the U.S. with forced drugging, via pills or injections. In one case, a special riot squad known as the "Extreme Reaction Force" entered the cell of one of the prisoners to restrain him and force medications upon him.

The former prisoners were from Turkey, Uzbekistan and Algeria. According to an Agence France-Presse account published at The Raw Story the day of the hearing, "the judges will make their ruling in several weeks, but one of them, Judge David Tatel, said military and civilian officials at the Pentagon had failed in their duty.

"'Their job is to protect the detainees from abuse, they failed to do so,' he said."

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Reposted from Meteor Blades by rb137

But not just doctors.

Lynn Luker, a Republican representative in the Idaho state legislature from Boise, wants all businesses and professionals not to lose their licenses if they deny service to gays, lesbians and transgendered persons.

Well, not just LGBTs. Also unmarried mothers.

Under the legislation, which has already received unanimous approval from the House State Affairs Committee, teachers could refuse to instruct gay students in their classes.

But only for sincerely held religious reasons.

“We as a nation have almost divorced any association with a higher being,” Luker said. [...]

“But how do you prove your sincerely held beliefs?” asked state Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake. “Are you going to bring people to court?“

“Yes, if it comes to that,” Luker said.

The trouble with this proposal is that it doesn't go far enough.

Why should cops have to investigate burglaries or assaults against gays or unmarried mothers? Or, for that matter, divorced mothers?

Why should notaries or real estate agents or cosmeticians be at risk for losing their licenses just because they're f'n bigots?

Why should sincerely religious grocers have to sell potatoes to women who can't, as one would-be president recently noted, control their libidos?

Too many of these right-wingers like Representative Luker are really waaaay too soft. Somebody who really has sincerely held religious beliefs needs to primary them.

Reposted from Steven Payne by rb137

An astonishingly ugly video out of Warren, Michigan was posted by 7 Action News today. The video shows a woman named Charda Gregory being roughly shoved onto a bench by a police officer identified as Bernadette Najo. An Emergency Restraint Chair is then wheeled out and and Gregory is thrown into the chair by three officers. Even as Gregory is being restrained, Officer Najo is seen behind her hacking off her hair weave with scissors while Gregory thrashes and struggles against what is happening to her.

From the accompanying article posted to 7 Action news:

“I was confused.  I didn’t know what happened and what was going on,” said Gregory.

Warren police officials say they do ask prisoners to remove clipped-in long hair extensions, so they can’t be used as a weapon or to commit suicide.  But a weave is different, and Police Commissioner Jere Green says what Officer Bernadette Najor did was not a proper use of force.

“There’s a real simple thing:  it’s called right and wrong.  And to me this is something that I won’t tolerate, I don’t think the citizens of Warren will tolerate it,” said Green.

I'm heartened to hear that Police Commissioner Green is taking the matter seriously. This is something not just the citizens of Warren should not tolerate, it is something society as a whole should not tolerate. I can think of no reason to do this to someone other than to punitively humiliate them. It is one thing to restrain a combative person in custody. It is quite another to arbitrarily decide that their hair extensions offend you enough to slice them off.

Warren, Michigan, with a population of roughly 135,000 people is the largest suburb in the Metro Detroit area. The demographics show that whites making up nearly 80% of the population while the black population hovers around 13%. I will leave it to readers to decide for themselves whether race played a role in this abuse. As for me, I have a very difficult time imagining this same officer taking her scissors to a head full of blonde hair.

UPDATE: As I was writing this diary, 7 Action News updated their story with much more detail. Officer Najo has been fired from her position.

“I don’t buy that’s the proper way to treat a human being.  I don’t think it’s decent, I don’t think there was any reason to do it, and when I look at it – that bothers me,” said Green.

Green says as soon as he learned about the incident, he placed Najor on leave and she has since been fired.

“Is this the first time she’s had discipline problems,” asked Catallo.

“No,” said Green.

Reposted from Frederick Clarkson by rb137

The exposure of widespread sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy—and of the subsequent cover-ups by church leaders—has rocked the Catholic church for more than a decade. Less well known, though closely analogous, is the issue of widespread abuse within Protestant evangelical churches.  Such stories raise doubt that the evangelical/Catholic alliance that defines the contemporary Christian Right is, in any legitimate sense, a defender of “family values.”

Boz Tchividjian rattled the evangelical world in 2013, when he declared that the problem of child sex abuse in evangelicalism is “worse” than the problem in the Roman Catholic Church. The grandson of Billy Graham, a former child sex crimes prosecutor for the state of Florida, and now a law professor at Liberty University, Tchividjian has both the public profile to hold an audience, and the professional experience to back up his assertions.

Tchividjian is not the only prominent evangelical speaking out. “Catholic and Baptist leaders have more similarities than differences on the child-abuse front,” wrote Robert Parnham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics. “Both have harmed church members and the Christian witness by not swiftly addressing predatory clergy and designing reliable protective systems.”

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Reposted from Anti-Capitalist Meetup by NY brit expat

Annie Takes Up Her Flag

Ana K Clemenc
Ana K Clemenc
On July 23, 1913, 9,000 copper miners of the Keweenaw laid down their tools and walked off the job. The were led by the great Western Federation of Miners, and they had voted by a good majority for a strike: 9,000 out of 13,000 The main issue were hours, the miners wanted an eight hour day, wages, and safety. The miners hated the new one-man drill which they called the "widow-maker." They claimed this drill made an already dangerous job more dangerous.

The mining companies had steadfastly refused to recognize the Western Federation of Miners in anyway. They would continue to refuse all efforts at negotiation or arbitration, even those plans for arbitration which did not include the union, and this despite the best efforts of Governor Ferris, and the U. S. Department of Labor. James MacNaughton, general manger of Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, famously stated that grass would grow in the streets and that he would teach the miners to eat potato parings before he would negotiate in any way with the striking miners.

The Keweenaw Peninsula was a cold, windy place, jutting out into Lake Superior from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This area was known as the Copper Country of Michigan and included Calumet Township of Houghton County, with the twin towns of Hancock and Houghton ten miles to the south. Calumet Township included the villages of Red Jacket and Laurium.

It was here in Red Jacket, on the third day of the strike that Annie Clemenc, miner's daughter and miner's wife took up a massive America flag and led an early morning parade of 400 striking miners and their families. Annie Clemenc was six feet tall, and some claimed she was taller than that by two inches. The flag she carried was so massive that it required a staff two inches thick and ten feet tall. The miners and their supporters marched out of the Italian Hall and through the streets of the Red Jacket to the Blue Jacket and Yellow Jacket mines. They marched silently, without a band, lined up three and four abreast. These early morning marches, with Annie and her flag in the lead, were to become a feature of the strike.

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