Granny Boots presents the PROTEST BAHATI! party –

@issue: launch of Sistas in Solidarity (SIS)

@ issue: 15th October, 2009

 

FOR immediate PRESS RELEASE:            

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)  Condemn the tabled anti-homosexuality bill

 

As a network of human rights activists, working in the areas of sexual rights as well as other human rights issues, we write to urge you to oppose a repressive bill which was tabled in Parliament of Uganda on 14th October 2009.

This bill is a blow to the steady progress of democracy in Uganda. It proposes criminalization of advocacy and support for the rights of homosexual Ugandans.  It also prohibits any public discussion or expression of gay and lesbian lives and any organizing around sexual orientation.  In doing so, it violates the basic rights to freedom of expression, conscience, association, and assembly, as well as internationally recognized protections against discrimination.   The proposed bill intention is to divide and discriminate against the Ugandan homosexual population, and exclude them from participation in public life, which goes against the inclusive spirit necessary for our economic as well as political development. Its spirit is profoundly undemocratic and un-African.

Over the recent months increased campaigns of violence have gone uncontrolled. The violence directed at Homosexual Ugandans has resulted in the unwarranted arrests of many people; there are eight ongoing cases in various courts all over Uganda of which four accused persons are unable to meet the harsh bail conditions set against them.  These acts of violence have now resulted in the deaths of several homosexual people, such as Brian Pande at Mbale Hospital as he awaited trial. This bill aggravates stigma and hatred; and renders all promised protections enshrined in the constitution for all Ugandan citizens void.

 Religious leaders and policy makers have also exhibited very hostile attitudes towards otherwise peace keeping homosexual Ugandans by publicizing slanderous and hateful messages in the media, creating serious security concerns for the lives of SMUG network members

Uganda has repeatedly pledged to defend these fundamental freedoms in the Constitution; it has also signed treaties binding it to respect international human rights law and standards, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.  As part of the community of nations forming sexual minorities we urge Ugandan parliamentarians and government to continue to respect these principles and reject this bill, which establishes a new and totally undemocratic level of policing private life. SMUG condemns both of these positions as undemocratic and unacceptable.  

These positions will further set a dangerous precedent and send a signal that any Ugandan’s privacy is unguaranteed -that all of our civil society could be put under attack.     If this bill is passed into law, it will clearly endanger the work of all human rights defenders and members of civil society in Uganda.

 This proposed legislation violates Uganda’s most basic obligations to the rights, and well-being, of its people. By signing international treaties and entering the international community, the Ugandan government has undertaken the obligation to promote and protect the human rights of its population, without discrimination on any grounds. As the Sexual Minorities in Uganda, we urge you to act on that obligation, and to further the growth of our democracy.  Kindly vote against this bill.

ISSUED BY

Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG

Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG is a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people’s organizations based in Uganda.

 

For further details, contact:

Frank Mugisha

Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG

Email:fmugisha@sexualminoritiesuganda.org

Tel: +256772616062

 

David Kato

Sexual Minorities Uganda – SMUG

Email: advocacy@sexualminoritiesuganda.org

Tel: +256773104971

 

Valentine Kalende

Freedom and Roam Uganda – FARUG

Email: vkalende@farug.org

Tel: +256752324249

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Dear Madam Secretary:
We write to raise serious concerns about the “Anti-Homosexual Bill” introduced in Uganda’s parliament earlier this month. This egregious bill represents one of the most extreme anti-equality measures ever proposed in any country and would create a legal pretext for depriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Ugandans of their liberty, and even their lives. Particularly given the United States’ substantial contribution to Uganda through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), we believe swift action is necessary to ensure Ugandan leaders understand this bill is wholly unacceptable and antithetical to democratic values.
 
As you may know, the “Anti-Homosexual Bill” would increase the penalty for “same sex sexual acts” to life in prison, limit the distribution of information on HIV through a provision criminalizing the “promotion of homosexuality,” and establish the crime of “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by death for anyone in Uganda who is HIVpositive and has consensual same-sex relations. Further, the bill includes a provision that could lead to the imprisonment for up to three years of anyone who fails to report within 24 hours the identities of everyone they know who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, or who supports human rights for people who are, to the government.
 
Last year, PEPFAR spending in Uganda amounted to almost $300 million, representing approximately 2.60% of the total Ugandan economy. According to these estimates, the U.S. spends approximately $12 dollars per person in Uganda through PEPFAR. Dr. Eric Goosby, Ambassador atLarge and Global AIDS Coordinator, has made it clear that he believes efforts to combat discrimination against LGBT individuals are an important part of PEPFAR’s mission to combat global HIV/AIDS. During his Senate confirmation hearing in June, Dr. Goosby stated, “if confirmed, I look forward to working with field and headquarters staff, Congress and others in the Administration to ensure that PEPFAR effectively targets the most at-risk and vulnerable populations – including LGBT populations – with culturally appropriate prevention, care and treatment interventions.” The “Anti-Homosexual Bill” would clearly impede Dr. Goosby and PEPFAR’s goals by seriously compromising efforts to reach LGBT communities in Uganda. We believe it would undermine the substantial U.S. contribution to Uganda through PEPFAR and raise serious questions about the effectiveness of this global health investment.
 
Madame Secretary, we applaud your leadership on LGBT issues and steadfast commitment to human rights. It is our fervent hope that you will use every means possible to convey to Ugandan leaders that this bill is appalling, reckless, and should be withdrawn immediately. We stand ready to work with you in addressing this matter and look forward to your response. If you have any questions, please contact Amber Shipley of Rep. Baldwin’s staff at 202-225-2906.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Tammy Baldwin
Howard Berman
Gary Ackerman

GRANNY BOOTS hosts the launch of Sistas in Solidarity (SIS)

when: Wednesday November 4th

where: The GladStone Hotel.1214 Queen St.West

time: 7:30 – 10:30 (ish)

after party: SWAGGER  hosts Fresh To Def

 

tdot39 (40) 

 

details: radical, queer stuff

join us for the official launch of the Pan-Afrikan Queer/Trans Activists listserv, hosted by Fahamu.

we’ll be screening an exclusive television interview with Toronto’s 2009 International Pride Parade Grand Marshall, Victor Juliet Mukasa.

en excerpts from 2 upcoming documentaries by local filmmakers
….


performances by Abstract Random, Amai Kuda, Ayo Leilani & more

we’ll be celebrating Pouline Kimani’s birthday en exchanging zawadis.

 

bring your beautiful soul, and your friends……

come en RIOT with us!

queerwomen

 

it’s (not) a SECRET! we’re doing this, because, yes! we can…..

to learn how to give love and to let it come in.

 in the spirit of love en resistance,

here’s another gift (yes yes y’all! tis’ the giving season)

more s/heroes waxing LIBERATORY  about  OUR  stories.

iS.I.S: you are beautiful

Wathint abafazi!
Wathint` imbokodo uzo kufa!

Now you have touched the women!
You have struck a rock
 

(You have dislodged a boulder!)
You will be crushed!

The Federation of South African Women (1955)

 sistas in solidarity (SIS) is a working concept that grew out of Thursday’s  roundtable discussion on building solidarity within queer/trans afrikan communities.  (this is a living document). 

It is an intuitive and logical consequence to the big dreams we have for the liberation of ALL Afrikan peoples. It is our contribution to the struggle for Afrikan liberation. We are critically analysing our gaps and internal contradictions.

We are addresssing the intersections of our diversity, sharing resources, and building radical, sustaining and  sustainable coalitions.

It’s significant to note that there were only 3 (bio) brothas in the brainstorming session. And only one was over the age of 4. That would be Chris Harris from BADC. another comrade in the struggle for afrikan liberation, ase. and ase, to all the wo/mynthat came together to build solidarity.

We warn you! we have (not)  only just begun, en these issues are OUR stories…..

 For the next few weeks, we will be (mostly) sistas in solidarity, mobilising resources en working together to do more to support queer/trans activism on the continent. we’re working on our own unity first.

It’s official we’re recruiting. write an op-ed. bring it up wherever en whenever. Do something (more).

We will be talking with you on community radio.Verlia stephens is officially back on air this week en she’ll be telling you more about the bill and proposed actions in her next  show  on “Liming with Verlia in de African Diaspora”.

We will be circulating petitions and requesting folks to sit on advisory commitees.

 

We will support the implementation of 4 programs, to start….

AO101  workshops,

a womyn’s circle for healing en self recovery,

queer/trans youth arts collective &

queer/trans youth exchange program (Jun-Aug 2010), to be launched in East Afrika,

en spearheaded by The People Project with the collaboration of various Kenyan & Ugandan groups.

(much, much more will be shared in detail on the listserv)

 

We’re asking for donations of many kinds. 

we will be sending you our wish lists for the GALCK  resource centre

(and) we’ll be checking them twice. 😉    

so check this space (soon).

 

to give you an idea. we’re looking for donations like books, videos & educational brochures for our library.

Binders, condoms, dams, lube, computers, cameras, printers, scanners, sound recorders, paper, STP’s, blank tapes, a boom & mic, hormones, technical support, volunteers, & MONEY.

 

we’re going to ship a container back to Kenya, with (some) necessary resources, for these groups in East Afrika.

MWA, TEA, IshtarMSM, Gay Kenya, AfraKenya, SMUG, FARug &  TITs

 

there are many possibilities to the ways you could support.

(be as creative en as revolushunary as you can, en get back to us with your ideas and suggestions)

 

We’re recruiting performers for our UNDERGROUND &  BIG LOVE  parties.

we promise a round up of the biggest celebrity talent (from the margins)

we got an after party, and our favourite DJ’s cherry picked alot.

 

yes. we have our wishlist. we want folks like  Ryan Hinds, Dainty Smith, D’bi Young.AnitAfrika, Amai Kuda,Troy Jackson, Laura Aidanblase,  Stacey Ann Chin, Imani Henry, Hanifah Walidah, Milo de Milo, Suzy Yim, Brescia Birdthroat Bloodbeard, LAL, zaki ibrahim, deb kirk pearce, ryli skelton, tenacious bryan, marie jolie, njeri damali campbell, truthIS …..the list is long.

we want U people

(to)

 

Book these dates. Nov 21st & Dec 18th.

we’ll be throwing you some (not-so) “UNDER-GROUND”  parties.

 

For now, we’ll spill jus’ a few juicy secrets. 

On Nov 21st,there will be spoken word/dub poetry, song en dance, en an after party.

There will be be many beautiful  QPOC en a silent auction.

It’ll be the kinda win-win situation we all looking for. come out, en raise money, for a revolushunary cause.

 

AND we’re looking for sponsors for raffle prizes for December’s   BIG LOVE  party……

the idea is that we get it all from the community, but we’re ready to exploit small en big businesses for our purposes. 

all a dis, en more,  is by, for, en from the community.

we are (the )  GRASSROOTS.

we are the power of (u) people.

 

We”re looking for other parties to donate part of their proceedings in events over the next 3 months.

would the (not so) usual suspects please stand up?

 Give us your ideas of who else we can get to donate part of their party funds to our cause.

 

Watch the streets and  join our group on FACE BOOK  for more details.

we need your support to realise our dreams.

Because we’re setting lofty goals, and THIS IS  the revolution.

Thinking global and starting local.

 

Join us!

  We are doing this not only because we can, but because it is necessary.

 We stand in resistance to all forms of imperialism.

and, to start, we petition the Prime Minister to release an official declaration condemning Bill 18! 

 

We will launch a queer/trans/pan/Afrikan activists listserv, hosted by Fahamu, that will serve as a forum to connect  Q/tPOC  and, activists of Afrikan descent from the continent en in the diaspora(s).

The official launch for the listserv will be, online, on Friday October 23rd.

And, we’re recruiting people for the cause.

 

Izwe lethu! I Afrika!

 

sis

[you tube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BpXhaDXp-c]

 

s.I.s(ta)