July 7, 2010

CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS & PRESS STATEMENT – IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Beheaded Ugandan NOT an LGBT Activist


This statement is in reference to the disturbing news reports that the Ugandan man who was found beheaded identified as Pasikali Kashusbe was a gay-rights activist working as a volunteer with Integrity Uganda.

SMUG nullifies these reports and we are not aware of any LGBTI activist who has been beheaded. However, details of the mutilated body are yet to be revealed by the Ugandan Police.

Speaking to the Chair of Integrity Uganda, Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, “I have never worked with anyone who goes by the name Pasikali in my organization. I also did not make any comments as quoted in earlier statements made by Rev. Erich Kasirye, Rev. Erich Kasirye no longer has any legitimate connection to Integrity Uganda and the e-mail address integrityuganda@yahoo.com is no longer available as a link to the leadership of Integrity Uganda”.

SMUG stands in solidarity with Bishop Ssenyonjo, who has worked and supported SMUG and the entire Ugandan LGBTI community for a long period of time.

Integrity Uganda which is a member organization of Sexual Minorities Uganda is a faith-based LGBT organization which gives counseling and guidance to LGBT people.

SMUG disassociates the Ugandan LGBT community from these reports, until we have substantial information.

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/category/international

http://www.back2stonewall.com/2010/07/shocking-news-uganda-gay-activist.html

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/candacechellew-hodge/2930/hoax_underscores_urgency_for_lgbt_people_in_uganda/

Press contacts:

  1. Frank Mugisha Executive Director – Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG
    Telephone: +256 312 294 859

Mobile: +256 772 616 062

Email:fmugisha@sexualminoritiesuganda.org
Alter:frankmugisha@gmail.com

Website: www.sexualminoritiesuganda.org

P.O. Box 70208, Clock Tower
Kampala, Uganda. EA 

2.         Bishop Ssenyoonjo

Chairperson – Integrity Uganda

Tel: +256 772 448 958

[elsewhere on turtle island, jus' last moon, another notice went out…..]

On June 7, 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined President Obama in declaring June 2010 LGBT Pride Month.  To celebrate LGBT Pride Month at the State Department, Secretary Clinton, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and PRM Assistant Secretary Eric Schwartz were invited by Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFFA) and the Office of Civil Rights to give remarks on LGBT Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy.

The following is a link to the event http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/06/143517.htm, and Assistant Secretary Schwartz’s remarks are below.

Protecting LGBT Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Assistant Secretary of State Eric P. Schwartz

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

As Prepared Remarks

LGBT Pride Month Celebration with

Secretary Clinton

Loy Auditorium, U.S. Department of State

Thank you Bob, for that kind introduction.  It is an honor to be here today with all of you to celebrate LGBT Pride Month, and to reflect on the challenges and opportunities ahead.  I’d like to thank Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) and the Office of Civil Rights for organizing this important event, and for inviting me to participate.

I know you all join me in recognizing Secretary Clinton for her inspiring words, and for her unparalleled leadership and principled advocacy on behalf of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender) individuals throughout the world, starting here at the Department of State.   And we could not have a better ally at USAID than Administrator Raj Shah.

Let me just echo what you’ve already heard this morning: protecting the rights of LGBT persons around the world is a priority for the Obama administration.  We will continue to stand against persecution and other violations of human rights against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, anywhere in the world.

For the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), this means identifying and addressing protection challenges for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.  We know that in some countries, people are threatened, tortured and even killed for their sexual orientation or gender identity, or for not conforming to social and cultural norms about how men and women should behave, dress, or speak.  LGBT individuals who have fled their own countries may continue to face serious threats in countries of asylum, where they may be isolated and reluctant to seek help.

This is a problem that demands a response.  Our Bureau will continue to engage with both non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organization partners to strengthen our collaboration on behalf of vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.

We have raised this issue with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at both senior and working levels and will continue to do so.  UNHCR’s 2008 Guidance Note on Refugee Claims Relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is an important foundation for enhancing protection for those facing persecution or threats based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  UNHCR must ensure that the Guidance Note is thoroughly understood and implemented by UNHCR personnel worldwide.

This Administration has a strong interest in UNHCR leadership taking effective actions to improve protection for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.  And with our encouragement and support, UNHCR is planning a number of new internal initiatives linked to refugee status determination and resettlement procedures that will focus on identifying protection concerns related to sexual orientation or gender identity.  UNHCR will continue training of their staff on these issues, and work with NGOs to clarify the roles and responsibilities for everyone involved through all stages of a refugee situation.

UNHCR is also drafting a revised version of its resettlement handbook that will address these issues.  We will remain engaged with UNHCR on these and related efforts, including an upcoming UNHCR-hosted workshop on LGBT refugees.

We have also worked to improve the speed with which we process all  highly vulnerable refugee resettlement cases, and the Department will continue to coordinate with our U.S. government, international organization, and NGO partners to ensure these cases are processed as quickly as possible, and that vulnerable individuals, including LGBT persons, are afforded necessary protections.

Earlier this month, PRM hosted a meeting with NGO representatives to exchange information and ideas for enhancing protection for vulnerable LGBT refugees.  We will establish a working group to further develop recommendations from that meeting, including on issues related to expedited resettlement to the U.S. and protection challenges overseas.  The working group will include NGO representatives, PRM staff, and other U.S. government offices involved in refugee protection and assistance.  We look forward to continuing our positive collaboration with members of the NGO community, many of whom I see here today.

We will also continue our efforts to mainstream broader gender issues into our programming in humanitarian settings and in our institutional relationships with international organization and NGO partners.  This means assessing the impact of programs we fund on women and girls, and men and boys, and promoting inclusion.  It also means enhancing our work to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including violence directed at individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This violence is often rooted in destructive notions of how men and women should behave and interact, and we cannot make progress towards achieving gender equality without addressing these fundamental problems.

As Secretary Clinton noted this morning, this is a battle not yet won, but one well worth fighting.  Today, we acknowledge those who risk their lives to speak out, and those who advocate tirelessly at home and abroad, for basic principles of equality, justice, and tolerance.

I look forward to working on these challenges with my colleagues in the Administration, and with many of you here, in the coming months.

And I hope that by next June, we have even more to celebrate.

Thank you.

[blogger’s note: on the q[/t] werd tip, we’d like to know, how much money can we then expect, given this increasing solidarity with LGBTTIQQ & allies, to also be allocated towards LGBTTIQQ folks who’re living in ‘southern’ and ‘third’ world countries?

we know many bredrin en sistren who’d rather stay home/where they live, but still need much help in combating homo/les/bi/transphobia in their communities, in the laws and statutes of neo-colonial governments, and ofcourse we know many who have not only left, like us (/people participating in & producing the first season of this film&video project – shot in tdot, ‘originally’ from afrika – travelling all over native lands….

the truth about hadithi is….our quest on the q[/t] werd….a long (en)/ epic story expected to run quite a few seasons into tdot’s ‘world pride’, if the fiya this time at pride was hawt like that, imagine 2 years from now, and 2 years from then, we’ll have been all over the continent, all through turtle islands, to the end of the earth, to the end of the wotas, and even then, when this ‘film&video’ series ends, we’ll still wanna know, where the (big healing, love en soulfood…where the) money at?

hadithi? hadithi? Nipe mji, nikupe salaam.

hapo zamani ya kale, kulikuwa na…..kesho,

lakini hayo ni ya kesho (kutwa)…]

CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS PRESS STATEMENT:  IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE:       THURSDAY 1ST JULY 2010 

PLACE:           Nairobi, Kenya

 Dear Partners,

UHAI is very excited to announce the third Changing Faces Changing Spaces Conference to be held next year from 30th March – 1st April 2011. This conference offers a unique opportunity for activists, allies, partners, and donors working to build both the LGBTI and Sex Worker movements in East Africa to meet with each other and share ideas on strengthening these essential movements.

We are pleased to have the honour of convening and hosting this conference. Please mark your calendars as you prepare to participate in this valuable opportunity to share ideas, learn from partners, mourn our losses and celebrate the marvellous gains made since the last Changing Faces Changing Spaces Conference.

Block out 30th March – 1st April 2011 for Changing Faces Changing Spaces Reloaded!

Warm Regards,

UHAI Team

[Blogger`s note: en in other werd on the ground……]

KENYANS MUST PASS THE NEW CONSTITUTION TO STOP THIS DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

 Yesterday, the Kenyan nation watched in consternation as MPs dipped their fingers in the public till and stole with impunity.

It will be remembered that two years ago, 17 public spirited individuals drawn from the civil society filed Petition No. 769 of 2008 asking the Nairobi High Court to scrap the Parliamentary Service Commission and recover public resources it has squandered on MPs. This petition was certified as urgent by Justice Nyamu. Justice Nyamu also disqualified himself from the case and referred it to the Chief Justice for him to constitute a bench to hear it. This is the last that was heard of the matter.

In response to this, the PSC constituted the Akiwumi tribunal whose report they adopted yesterday. The adoption of the report seems to us as “gold rush” by the MPs who feel threatened by the wave of a new constitution and therefore want to benefit more before an anti-theft legislation is enacted by the people of Kenya on 4th August 2010.

It is tragic that our Parliament is not able to agree on important development issues, but it took merely 30 minutes of debate yesterday evening for them to award themselves this unethical pay rise.

Our MP’s are presently paid  Ksh 851,000 and they seek to increase this amount  to 1.1million which is  400 times more than the minimum wage for the lowest paid worker   On top of this increase they seek to increase the present sitting allowances from the present  10,000 to 30,000 shillings.

Members of Parliament take home a severance package of Ksh 1.5million every 5 years, this will now be increased to 3.6million. Parliament has issued instructions to the Minister of Finance Honorable Uhuru Kenyatta to allocate money for this increase backdated to 2008. Where will this money come from? The budget is presently running a deficit of Sh223 billion.  Parliament has threatened refuse to pass budget appropriations and effectively stall government operations.

The adoption of a report promoting theft of public resources is the greatest betrayal the Kenyan citizens can get from their representatives. Being an MP is about service, not about self enrichment. We condemn them in the strongest terms possible.

We would like to note that the Proposed Constitution of Kenya sets up  the Salaries and Remuneration Commission  and its role as captured in Article 230 (4) (a) will be to “set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of State officers” and this includes MPs. Whereas MPs in Naivasha had wanted to still retain powers of the Parliamentary Service Commission ( PSC) to appoint tribunal to make recommendations on their salaries the COE disagreed and though the PSC was retained, this function which enables MPs to increase their salaries at will, was removed.  

Further Article 116 (3) of the proposed constitution says that any law or policy that “confers a direct pecuniary interest on members of parliament shall not come into force until the next general election of members of Parliament”

In respect of this, we state as follows

  • We caution that if the PCK is opened up for amendment, as some members of Parliament and some other anti-reform individuals and sectors are saying, MPs will remove this safeguard against theft of public funds. 
  • We demand that the Chief Justice expediently sets up a bench to hear that petition as it is overdue considering what Kenyans are going through
  • We announce operation rudi nyumbani for these MPs in 2012. When there was violence in 20007/8, parliament never saw to it that all IDPs were resettled. The many paper shelters dotted across the country is a testimony to this. Now they have, once again, stolen from Kenyans. MPs waende nyumbani.

Finally, we urge all Kenyans, regardless of religion or creed, regardless of ethnic background, regardless of their views on the Proposed constitution so far, to understand that the PCK is the only weapon we have to protect ourselves from this greed, and therefore to vote Yes for the constitution.

SIGNED THIS 1ST Day of JULY 2010, BY:

NAME ORGANISATION SIGNATURE
 molisa nyakale  peace theatre  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

[blogger's note: and because sharing is caring, spread the werd, we're re-building loving and peaceful communities]

For folks who participated in any of the public marches and rallies leading up to and during the G20 meetings, who have experienced or witnessed police brutality and who would like to share stories about what really happened in the streets of Toronto here is a compilation of links, sites and spaces that you can share your stories, testimonials and incident reports.

It is so important that our stories be documented, compiled and shared because main stream media will not do this for us, because we need to hold Toronto’s police force and City Hall accountable for their actions, because we need to leverage this information to help innocent people get released free of charges from prison, because we can’t let the violence against peaceful demonstrators and community organizers of this past weekend be silenced, because we can’t let property damage and the actions of few mask the real violent terrorism of G20 and IMF on a global scale.

Please continue to stand and be counted. Peace.

 

1. To file an official police complaint:
- Against the RCMP (commission for public complaints against the RCMP): www.cpc-cpp.gc.ca
- Against the O.P.P or Toronto Police (office of the independent police review director): www.oiprd.on.ca

 2. If you would like to share experiences and seek peer support please email peertopeersupportforactivists@gmail.com.

 3. If you would like to share your story and support the call for a public inquiry go to this site. They are doing a large scale compilation of incident reports. The more reports they collect the more power they have to make class action suits against Toronto Police, to request a city sanctioned inquiry (which has been refused already by mayor miller) and to demand Police Chief Bill Blair:
www.g20inquiry.org

 4. Demand answers. Get the truth. “Canadians Demand a Public Inquiry” facebook group.
- http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=135629036463012

 5. Canadian Civil Liberties Association is collecting information & testimonials. They also had many objective observers at several marches, rallies and police clashes (folks in white caps).
- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canadian-Civil-Liberties-Association/80851911931?ref=ts
- www.ccla.org

 
6. Write to your MP, your MPP, your local councillor, the mayor, etc.  Find them at:
pm@pm.gc.ca
http://canada.gc.ca/directories-repertoires/direct-eng.html#mp
http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/members/members_current.do?locale=en
mayor_miller@toronto.ca
http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp

 7. Rabble Blog, to post videos, responses, articles & photos:
http://rabble.ca/issues/g8-g20

 8. G20 Alternative Media Centre: Post stories & articles, tweets, youtube videos, photos:
http://2010.mediacoop.ca/

 9. Toronto Star is conducting a poll: “Do you think the police response to weekend
G20 protests was heavy-handed, or was it appropriate given the threats?” Vote! http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/829601–g20-editorial-brutal-spectacle-failed-a-city-and-its-people

 10. CBC Radio is developing a series to share the stories of several individuals (activists, community organizers, folks who were arrested etc.) who participated in the G20 demonstrations. You can contact the senior producer, social media, Kim Fox if you would like to participate and share your stories publicly:
- 416-205-2130
- kim.fox@cbc.ca
list(ing)s compiled by

Natalyn Tremblay
Co-Director and Program Coordinator
www.thepeopleproject.org
info@thepeopleproject.org
(647)-231-5844

A Global Citizen has:
The wisdom to perceive the interconnectedness of all life.
The courage to embrace difference, to respect and strive to understand people of different cultures and to grow from these encounters.
The compassion to maintain an imaginative empathy that reaches beyond one’s immediate surroundings and extends across the world over.
                                        – Buddhist Philosopher Daisaku Ikeda

 

(next on the Q['t] werd: peace camp & the Peace is Possible (PiP summer) workshops for pikney en youth)

 

ase. ase……

The bigger point of sharing these videos is to highlight the police brutality and targeting of peaceful protesters, in the thousands, and who continue to wo/man the frontlines of working for justice and peace.

Pictures of the burning cop car & ‘violent’ protesters vandalising property circulated the world yesterday while Tdot’s Robocops have arrested six hundred and counting & continue to maintain a lockdown in many parts of the cities

Bredrin en sistren gathered to fight for different causes, all united by our common resistance to the G20  summit, reminding our (in) glorious leaders that most people would not have had our government waste a billion dollars in a summit that has not only failed (read: refused) to re/dress our most critical challenges yet, but that legislated the transformation of downtown Toronto into an armed fortress, where the police state that we live in was most visible with the excessive violence used by mostly  robocops

[ youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KAQKmKjRwU&feature=related]

http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/27/12572/

To make it plain, this is illegal fuckery that we cannot ignore and the government seriously needs to be taken to task now by more of us people, for sanctioning the measures used by the police to violate our human rights…..

http://movementdefence.org/G20appeal

The MDC’s Summit Legal Support Project is appealing to the movements it supports to mobilize a show of political strength and solidarity for the nearly 500 [or 600] people arrested in the last four days. The Toronto Police and the ISU appear to have lost control of their ‘prisoner processing center’, denying arrestees meaningful and timely access to counsel while beating and arresting those peacefully protesting their detention outside.

Despite assurances to the contrary, only a handful of people have been released, including those held for many hours without charge. Arrestees are given incorrect information about the bail process they will be subjected to, and friends and family members gather hours early at the courthouse, located far from the city center and inaccessible via transit. Our lawyers call in and are told that there is no one available to make decisions or wait for hours at the detention centre, only to be denied access to their clients. Almost 500 people are in custody and we know from experience that the vast majority of those charges will disappear and yet the cell doors remain shut.

We need to step it up and build a political response. We need many more voices – especially prominent ones – to say that the abuse and incompetence at 629 Eastern Avenue must stop. We must demand that all levels of government take control of the police forces under their command. We need to ensure that courts and crown attorneys act to enforce constitutional rights rather than collude in their violation.

Free the Toronto 600!

The Movement Defence Committee

This solidarity with those illegally jailed has been growing and going on despite vicious repression….and for native people, for poor & working class people, for so many “minorities”, like another sista said…”this is what we know, this is Canada”

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/outside-makeshift-prisonfor-us-native-people-what-we-know-canada/3895

by michael hureaux perez

We must build a militant grassroots movement rooted in the working majority that is completely independent from the political organizations dominated by the big business classes.”

 

How good it is to know that if the world were burning to a crisp, the owners of society would let us know before we were completely toasted. First the oil spill from the late Deepwater Horizon was spewing out at a thousand gallons a day, then it was five thousand gallons a day, and today it is quietly admitted that it may be upwards of a hundred thousand gallons a day. Not that I’m shocked, you understand, I expect nothing from the ruling class of this country after Hurricane Katrina was used to purge better than a thousand black people from the planet five years ago.

What does intrigue me, however, is the banality of corporate thugs like British Petroleum, who announce such news with the demeanor of a waiter letting you know the short order cook burned your toast. As for the so-called democratic government of the United States, which should be arresting these criminals at this moment, we are treated to yet another display of Obama’s stentorian skills.

Un(/)fortunately, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  

http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/eshu%E2%80%99s-blues-make-them-drink-it 

 The current ruling class of the United States of America is the most corrupt, bloated and incompetent group of gangsters to oversee this country since its founding. Their public face may be sleeker and wary of its “carbon footprint,” they may drink green tea and jog with their kids seated in ergonomically correct strollers through city parks, but they are as venal – nay, they are more venal than the top hatted, cigar puffing fat cats that were lampooned in the socialist press a century ago.

The robber barons of that era at least had enough social consciousness to know that public libraries and public hospitals were a needful thing. The current generation of new age merit class capitalists daily configure new strategies for selling off the public sector, lock, stock and barrel.

Market efficiency will take care of all, na?

 

So welcome to the new efficiency under the predator drone-guarded skies. The new generation of market gurus couldn’t foresee the depth of the banking crisis, they couldn’t foresee the endless nature of their atrocities in the Near East, they couldn’t foresee the disaster that has befallen the Gulf of Mexico. (Gaza, Johannesburg, Mtwapa, Ayiti…….)

Amazing, isn’t it, how people who were allegedly elevated through the magic of the marketplace can’t see a speeding train when they’re standing in front of it? The truth is that our new ruling elite do not care what happens to the economy or the ecology so long as their investment portfolios are yielding high dividends.

 

Certainly the charismatic they put in the White House this last go round wasn’t about to cop to how bad the mess in the Gulf of Mexico is until just a few days ago.

Obama’s response was his usual pursing of the lips, “cluck, cluck, cluck,” and a stentorian reminder to the hup-ho that from now on, they’ll have to play nice. Who needs manatees or pelicans anyway?

Obama’s daily concessions to the ruling gangsters have become the stuff of legend. Even people who never thought he was about much are perpetually astounded at what an opportunist and bloodstained piece of work he’s actually become. He is, in essence, the sort of black politician that all too many white folks – and unfortunately, a great many black people – have come to love and cherish as the best of all possible worlds under the current social order. He’s so obviously disgusting that many of us have grown tired of the topic. He’s just a symptom of our eighteenth century geniuses, Panglosses talking endlessly about their best of all possible worlds.

Our new age Panglosses have basically declared that what we have leading us in this country is the best that anyone can possibly do under the current arrangement. Unfortunately, if this daily grenade range is the best they have to offer, then I can only chime in with the terrible Leon Trotsky, when he observed seventy years ago that if global warfare and the common ruin of nature and humanity were required for the capitalist system to thrive, it’s time it perished.

A triad of transnational behemoths with the appellations Transocean, British Petroleum, and Halliburton have birthed an environmental catastrophe that will in turn imperil the hardwon economic gains of working class people in the deep southern United States for generations. The spill in the Gulf poses a menace to the economies of people of the Caribbean basin: Mexico, the Central American nations, the north of South America. The people who are responsible for this mess are vicious, and we must prepare to make them answer for their crimes against the planet and its peoples.

Obama’s daily concessions to the ruling gangsters have become the stuff of legend.”

So once again: There has been enough “skinnin’ and grinnin’,” and enough group deception around the actual intentions of the so-called “democratic” party. As usual, even as rivers of oil daily threaten not only the crabbing and shrimping industries that have fed our peoples along the Gulf Coast for generations – and not only as such irreplaceable creatures as the brown pelican, the blue fin tuna, and the manatee are threatened with extinction – the “democratic” party leadership stands with its hands in its pockets, and continues to mildly suggest that that the actions currently being undertaken by British Petroleum may not be adequate. Never forget: our ruling class knows that an unspeakable atrocity is palatable when it’s trotted out and played in minor chords.

Our peoples in this country must be made to understand that the destruction of a maritime industry that has kept the Southeastern states in the U.S. relatively solvent for generations and the slow immolation of an entire aquatic ecosystem is a crime against all of nature and all of humanity.

  

We have to stop fooling ourselves. There is a class war going on against our peoples and against the natural world, a calculated gamble that is being pursued by the ruling classes of this country.

If we are to survive, we are going to have to see this game, and raise the stakes………….

The eternal question is: who’s got the plan? There are lots of planners, there are lots of ideas in contention. At the very least, each respective strategy we adopt must retain as its watchword the complete independence of the political organizations of the wage earning majority from the political organizations dominated by the big business classes.

But I would like to modestly suggest that we begin by conducting a militant defense of the public sector of the economy through whatever grassroots community and labor organizations at our disposal – once again, with the notable exception of the “democratic” party, which is not an organization that belongs to the wage earning majority, nor will it ever be. Let’s get clear on that. A lot of us are going to go weak in the knees when the “democrats” break out with their usual “the monsters are coming!” show two years from now when the GOP rolls out creeps like Mitch Romney and Sarah Palin. Let’s declare their agenda irrelevant and organize differently. Let’s build upon what we do as a militantly independent grassroots movement.

The ‘democratic’ party leadership stands with its hands in its pockets, and continues to mildly suggest that that the actions currently being undertaken by British Petroleum may not be adequate.”

Obviously the only ideas that are excluded are racist, classist, sexist, homophobic, shapist, or anything else the capitalist system has come up with to get us to kill each other. No more false unities with people who clearly hate us. Let the polarization that actually exists be open, and let it declare itself openly under the rubric of a political organization rooted in the wage earning majority. There are beginning efforts like this happening in Pennsylvania and North Carolina right now, and there can be no doubt that this will be a long arduous road. All the same, we must get started.

We have to build a grassroots political movement that bases itself upon the energies of the wage earning majority, one that conducts a militant defense of the public sector in this economy. The ruling elite don’t want us to have any political power. Not any. Defend our unions, defend our community organizations, build, defend and expand the public sector of the economy.

The terrible Che Guevara used to say that to accomplish much, one must lose everything.

But be very clear: there are things we have no business losing, and the natural world is foremost among  them. We live in a moment when the ruling class of the most technologically advanced country on the planet is willing to flush all of nature down the toilet in order to preserve its imperatives. We cannot allow that. If all I’m talking about here is what amounts to an existential choice for most of us, maybe that’s going to have to be enough to get some people going. The choice is one of being or nothingness.

As for the fools who are destroying the Gulf of Mexico, who believe as the fool Ayn Rand used to argue, that pollution is good for the global economy – make them drink it.

 BAR columnist michael hureaux perez is a writer, musician and teacher who lives in southwest Seattle, Washington. He is a longtime contributor to small and alternative presses around the country and performs his work frequently.

 Email(s) to: tricksterbirdboy@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

Hadithi? Hadithi? Nipe mji…..nilienda isiolo na kampala, kiambu na malindi, nilirudi nyumbani, for the truth about stories is, they’re all we know, and (where) our heart is,

Leo ni leo….kweli si….

Betwixt en between the lines are our true (true) stories, retold in (a video diary of) the ‘Q[/t]‘ werd….

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/22/football-south-africa-world-cup

we’ve said it before, in other places, and [most  symbolically] here….

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr3uvUU4roc&feature=related]

we’re doing the best we can with what we got to entertain, and re-educate not only ourselves but others, in the practice of freedom.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/06/16/mb-truth-reconciliation-event-winnipeg.html

 

http://archives.cbc.ca/society/education/topics/692/

(re)building coalitions

 and (re)building solidarity with our people…

hadithi? hadithi?

nipe mji…….

 

 

(re) introducing the q[/t] werd: a video diary

It ain’t no mystery that we (been) preparing for dis’ (not-so) new film & video projects: nekkyd & the Q[/T] werd. 

season 1 features 32[+4]stories en the magic is in  retelling of OUR stories

some of the [extra] ordinary people featured [en behind the scenes] include: anitafrika dub theatre, blackness yes! and blockorama, bombastic kasha, bunge la mwananchi, bredrin and dadas in solidarity, colour me dragg, [is] the crux, deb singh, Elijah Masinde, elimu sanifu, faith Nolan, funkasia, the funketeers, gender education and advocacy project, house of munro, Ishtar, kalmplex, nikki mawanda, nneke dumele, red lips. cages for black girls, swagger, tajudeen abdul raheem, victor mukasa, en the Yoruba house project

A love letter to rafikis, [aka.] bredrin and dadas in solidarity.

 

b is for blackness yes! and blockorama

here’s (yet) another article by my brotha (of another mama), simiyu barasa

Nairobi, KENYA - ‘Pornography is the theory, Rape is the practice’ -Robin Morgan

Pornography has, literally,been viewed from all angles. In universities, ladies have dropped from literature classes after reading Ayi Kwei Armah, D.H.Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and David Maillu’s After 4.30, claiming that they are pornographic. Yet in the movie halls films on sex are the craze, and one can’t visit any room without finding the roommates reading glossy porn magazines. One of the ladies, disgusted by all this, almost burnt magazines because the pictures used to advertise cars “expose too much” of the feminine body and thus are ‘pornographic.’ She claims that pornog raphy subordinates women, triggers and promotes violence against women, is immoral, dirty, perverted and bad. But is pornography really to blame for all this?

There has been controversy even in the feminist literary circles, where one group advocates for a total ban on pornography because it denigrates women and another group promotes pornography because they think that it liberates women. It is therefore important that all gender activists debate on the contemporary literary dialectics of feminism, female sexuality and pornography.

What exactly is pornography? Probably the best attempt at its definition is given by Andrea Dworkin, a feminist writer, and her lawyer compatriot, Catherine Mackinnon. Known as the Dworkin /Mackinnon ordinance, it summarises pornography as “. .. the graphic, sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures and/or words” that also includes those in which women enjoy being raped, are seen as sex objects, reduced to their sexual organs, are seen as whores by nature, or as being penetrated by objects or animals.

When our girl says she walked out of the movie hall because the pornography shown there depicted women as sexual objects, she implies that a woman is a tangible object. Raping a woman indeed is treating her as a sex object. Is it the same as in Dambudzo Marechera’s streams of consciousness in House of Hunger, where it is the mental act of fantasizing about having sex with her, a similar case of treating her as a sex object?

By focusing on the ‘body’, we exclude the ‘mind’.

Linda Moncheck in Feminist Politics and Feminist Ethics recognises liberal feminists who see sexual objectification based on physical bodies as what has domesticated women, shackling them to domestic duties and making them mere sex objects to their husbands. They have to eradicate this and press for access to economic and political power that will emancipate them. This is through doing ‘mind’ jobs like astronauts, doctors, etc.

In literature, and especially writing by women, this creates a problem. Don’t women want to be treated as objects of sexual pleasure when they dress up nicely for dinner? Is this not a form of sexual objectification? What then makes one form of sexual objectification good and another one bad?

In the movies and drama, don’t the women want to hear their perfect figures praised? They surely do not want to be treated like philosophers and discuss Cartesian dualism in bed, neither would a movie having a Wole Soyinka discussing African mythiopoesis during foreplay sell.

Linda goes further to show how valuing the mind over the body is no liberation for the woman who enjoys physical sex. Patriarchal societies can even use the superiority of the mind, which such feminists want, to make them ‘sexual’ factors e.g. when a male worker finds his female senior a turn-on due to her brainy nature (“I find her attractive, not because she is beautiful, but because she is intelligent”)

Social feminists seem to offer an answer to this when they propose a rejection of the metaphysical distinction between the mind and the body, and hence a rejection of the moral and aesthetic evaluation we place on the mind at the expense of the body. However this use of dualism would be a paradoxical fall into the anti-feminist trap of using the same traditional values defined by the same patriarchal society they intend to free themselves from.

Our girl also said that pornography subordinates women. One wonders why, in the South African theatre circles, and even causing more controversy when staged here in Kenya, feminists put up a production of The Vagina Monologues that was, to some conservertists, nothing short of vulgarity bordering on pornography.

One is also reminded that in December 1985, Richard Shchener’s Prometheus Project was staged at the Performing Garage in the U.S, to critical acclaim by gender activists. Its central image was the link between the Promethean fire and the Hiroshima bombing. At the end, Annie Sprinkle conducts a masturbation show-within-show. Psychoanalytic feminism supports this as true feminism celebrating women’s genitalia.

When our girl claims that Maillu’s ‘pornography’ about bar room prostitution is for ghetto people and thus is not an art but dirt she invites Marxist feminism to task.

Some feminists see banning of porn as a class argument, where the middle-class identity in a bourgeoisie culture protects itself from contamination.

In Kenya, what people despise as ‘pornography’ are films shown in the Eastland area, while “Kamasutra” and its likes being shown in Nairobi and the Fox Cineplex are seen as ‘erotic’ movies.

Erotica is defended as High Art and as about sexuality (Florida 2000 cabaret shows, D.H.Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Jackie Collin’s Hollywood novels, Playboy magazines and a host of other ‘White’ publications).

Pornography, in turn, is ferociously attacked as back-street trash that needs to be banned because it is about power and sex as a weapon (Mugithi nites in our pubs, Maillu’s After 4.30, and Okot P’Biteks Horn of my love). But where is the boundary between erotica and porn? Erotica is simply the pornography of the elite.

Other feminists, like Jacquelyn Zita in her article ‘Enclitic,’ see a ban on pornography as perpetuation of male dominance. It divides women into good ‘respectable women’ protected by their men (husbands, boyfriends and fathers.) The bad women are out there in the streets unprotected by men. This marks off the privileges of upper-class women against the economic and sexual exploitation of lower class women exemplified by Maillu’s Lili.

Even Susan Sontag, a feminist, is one of the best defenders of porn, for it is “extreme forms of consciousness that transcends social, personality and psychological individuality … because sexuality is the main force of humanity”.

To argue that Maillu’s works are immoral and full of perverse acts would force us to jump into metaethics. If literature is for freedom, then whoever says that pornography is bad has the right to give us advice, but not to impose it on us. Moral advice needs to have justification. Male chauvinists can argue it is an invention by females to serve their agenda.

If our hypothetical outraged girl searched for them in the moral market place that is religion, she can find it exists in all of us. If she links it to the deviation from normalcy because sex is for procreation not literary production, she steps onto the toes of radical feminists who view heterosexual relationships as essential in maintaining the oppressive phallic nature of men, for sex is seen as a manifestation of the anti-feminist violence implicit in the discourse of the dominant power structure.

The fundamental question now remains are we saying that pornography does not subordinate women? Are we saying that CAP.63 sec.181 (1)(a-e) of the Kenyan constitution, which says that anyone caught with pornographic material is liable to be imprisoned is obsolete?

Porn is not the subordination, but a depiction of the subordination of women.

Maillu’s After 4.30 does not subordinate women. It exploits an already existing misogynist attitude for commercial gain.

It shows how bosses exploit their secretaries like Lili after working hours, with one eye on literature and the other on the market value of this controversy. Such works, to quote Dworkin, show how women are humiliated until they finally realise that the ‘O’ in each of their body orifices is a ‘zero’ which symbolizes their nothingness in a man’s world.

These literary works do not encourage violence and rape but they reinforce the already existing negative attitudes towards women. It makes women fall into patriarchal mental slavery that makes them full of contempt for their bodies, so much so that they hate seeing themselves exposed in public. This confines them to domestic spheres.

Literature does not support this. It seeks to resist any systematic devaluation and humiliation of a spec ific target group, be it race, class, or sex.

It however accepts that this might be difficult to engineer if it were to involve tampering, not just with the circulations of magazines and books, but with the modes of thoughts and fantasizing which are not the prerogative of one sex only.

Our hypothetical girl should return to the Literature Department of her hypothetical university and learn that such works like Maillu’s tap into already existing stereotypes. She should also, by now, realise that Maillu, Armah’s and Lawrence’s works are not pornography for they do not fulfill the Dworkin/Mackinnon ordinance.

Literature does not condone pornography. Instead, we should all castigate some of those numerous movies and magazines that go further to represent such evil acts in order to gain financially from the amusement of others. We should condemn pornography and its businesses. It thrives by exploiting the profoundly pernicious enjoyment too many men find in the pornographic images of demeaning subordination.

Blogger’s note: as a pan-afrikan(ist)/feminist, I’d have to disagree with the premise and conclusions of my brotha (in another place, not) here, in his ‘literary’ analysis of the connections between pornography and feminism.

In my (not-so) lil’ ‘one-of-u-people’ position, najua that black feminism is intersectional and sex positive, fundamentally implies that we should not only condone [consensual] pornography but also educate ourselves en others about all the ‘good’ tings’ there are in our sex/uality, so that we KNOW  the difference between de good, bad na taboo.

So that we continue to legislate en support anti-oppressive (re)visions of  the current statutes on pornography, rape, sex work, sodomy, marriage, our right to assembly and privacy…

the bigger point is that , in (honor en memory of) audre lorde’s teachings, ni kama the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house……..na tukona de powah of afrikan fractals.

 Literature, like a gun, depends on the hands it is in.

You ended your literature, blood and doves article with that (poignant en) powerful line, and I agree/d with you in that other place, not here, ndugu…..

precisely because literature CAN and HAS been, like a (loaded) gun, we have to be careful about using it to encourage the criminalization of some of the very people we claim to be advocating for, and strive instead to emulate the ‘good’ in us, doing the best we can to educate in (and for) the practice of freedom, au siyo?

One can play Russian roulette with a loaded gun, kill oneself or an/other (son of a bitch), en you can also remove the bullets, continue to play pretend, jus’ so everyone can continue to ‘think’ you’re tuff’, you can try to hide your darkness, buried deep within.  And ofcourse there’s always the (other) option of Jus’ change/ing and embracing our true true stories, spread(ing) love, (to) gain over/standing.

dear ndugu, literature does actually celebrate, glorify and pathologize sexuality in so, so many ways, WE  all know, because we see, hear, taste, embrace en witness this around us, so what about reflecting the light of sex/uality and decolonising methodologies?

Literature does not condone pornography. Instead, we should all castigate some of those numerous movies and magazines that go further to represent such evil acts in order to gain financially from the amusement of others. We should condemn pornography and its businesses. It thrives by exploiting the profoundly pernicious enjoyment too many men find in the pornographic images of demeaning subordination.

So your conclusion may be way off base [depending on where you look at it from ofcourse], pornography does not equal images of demeaning subordination, and it is not only (too many) men who find profoundly pernicious enjoyment in consuming these images…..the issue may be in jus’ what you glossed over, the consumption of….and these new ‘pernicious’ traditions of debasing [fe/male] sex/uality.

 if we weren’t living in a white supremacist capitalist partriarchal society, and instead in say an indigenous afrikan martriachal society, then there might be way less consumers than actors, lovers, priestesses, freaks, hos and those old couples needing to spice tings up..in that kinda world, everyone would be free to enjoy consensual sex, with guidelines and rules to all relationships influenced by the individual, the ‘village’, and principles (based on something) like maat/ubuntu…..

Look at all the sex/ing around us…why do you think it ain’t that simple to jus’ reclaim (philosophies on) sex work and build bath houses (and temples) for the ‘chosen’ ones?  And why is there much less good porn than there is those straight ‘lesbian’ or cheesy ‘gang-bang/er’ ones?

Maybe we need to advocate more for the institution of affirmative action policies in the sex (work) industry, which would eliminate a lot of the ‘oppressors’ (strategically mis-identified as mostly) straight.white.men (!)

Our (kinda) feminism advocates consensual Sex acts for anyone, anytime they want it, no cop harassment, and as much sweaty, positive sex as you want or can afford instead.

Where [sex]workers are employed in safe spaces and paid fair wages.

 In other words, our kinda feminism practises the vision of a society that respects hos and mamas for their priceless gifts and ancient legacies.

So, dear ndugu, why don’t you listen to what your SISTA has to say on the issue of pornography, if you ask me nicely, I might even introduce you to some delicious, dangerously profoundly enjoyable, totally feminist porn flicks, like champion or crash pad, and there’s many more that (not only) I(‘ve) enjoyed, so I know the differences between good, bad en nasty porn out there, and I gotta confess I quite love the jood stuff,

dear ndugu, asante for writing out and sharing your thoughts on what is necessary to rebuild solidarity with OUR  cause, the liberation of not only all afrikan people, but all oppressed people , may we move forward ever with our growth and unity! The bigger point is, dear brotha, can we be friends and share resources?

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