Nuevo Laredo, Mexico - Ruben Flores, 64, sits inside his one-room office. He types letters for people who can’t write. He opened his stall in 1964, just across from the city’s municipal building. For nearly 50 years he’s helped people with everything from taxes to government forms, but his favorite letters to write are love letters. To him the border has changed a lot over time and today he says it makes it harder for people to get visas and for tourists to enter his city.
Throughout the years he’s seen a lot of life pass by and has many memories. One of his fondest — the night he and his friends went to see the Beatles in ‘A Hard Days Night.’ “I remember the day like it was yesterday,” said Flores, with a wide grin.
And yes, he really said that, believe me I didn’t prompt the pun. Half his answers were in Beatles lyrics.
East African refugees victims of hate crimes in Fort Morgan, Colorado. -
They left Somalia and other parts of eastern Africa to escape unpredictable violence, but now Fort Morgan police say the town’s refugee community is being victimized because of their race and heritage.
In the past week and a half, multiple cars have been vandalized, left with broken windows and spray painted with racial slurs.
"Get out of town. Go back to your country," said Khadar Ducaale, of what was written. "It’s been very frustrating, at the same time, it’s been scary. We don’t know who is responsible."
"We left our home country back in Africa for lack of security and instability, "said Abdi Wahab, whose car windows were broken. "It feels like we might be having the same problem we left our countries for now."
There are hundreds of east Africans who’ve been given refuge by the U.S. government to live and work in Fort Morgan. Many work at the Cargill meat plant. They said vandalism to their vehicles has happened several times in the past. 9News reported on eight cars hit in 2011.
Refugees fear the hatred may escalate.
"The house is pretty close to the car, so there is no guarantee that next time they might not break down the door and hurt me or my kids," said Ifrah Haji.
Every window in the young mother’s van was broken, and she said it’s the second time it’s happened. Haji said it’s the only vehicle she has to get to work.
"Our feeling is that people here don’t like us for whatever reason," she said. "My feeling is break down and cry, but that’s not going to help. We just don’t know what to do."
They know someone in the town knows who did this or saw something, and they’re asking for help.
"Good citizens of this town need to come and say, ‘This is not going to happen in our town,’" Ducaale said.
Fort Morgan Police said they believe the car windows were shot out by a BB gun. A town spokesperson said a hate crime investigation is underway, but there are no suspects. Anyone with information should call Fort Morgan police at 970-687-5678 or Crime Stoppers at 970-542-3411.
A US Map Of Romantic Comedy Settings Or Storylines Based On Location
i hate teachers who give homework over break like do u not understand what a break is do u want me to demonstrate on ur neck
‘The Earth Belongs to the People - Ecology and Power’, Peoples Press, San Francisco, 1973.
This week, Tunisia passed a truly historic constitution widely heralded as a progressive and monumental document.
Here’s just some of what these brave elected representatives agreed upon in the face of strong pressure from the more extreme factions of their parties:
- Guaranteed equality between men and women
- A constitutional mandate for environmental protection, only the third country in the world to do so
- A declaration that health care is a human right, with preventative care and treatment for every citizen
- A democracy with civil laws that respects freedom of religion
- An established right to due process and protection from tortureIn one stroke,Tunisia’s become more democratic than many Western countries have been for years.
This is a revolution of democracy and a great victory for human rights — and the more we recognize that, the more Tunisia can shine as an example for the Western and the Arab world!
Congratulate the Legislators!
MESSAGE FOR TUNISIAN LEGISLATORS: We , the citizens of the world, applaud your bravery in making a strong commitment to universal human values in your constitution. People deprived of democracy around the world look to you to set the example of human rights and democratic principle — hold true to the promises made in this revolutionary document!
The best hope for stopping sexual assault on college campuses may be bystander interventions, which call for individuals to use creativity and action to prevent assaults before they happen — such as turning on the lights at a party, accidentally spilling a drink, or forming a conga line and pulling an aggressor on to the dance floor. Like the Mothers Against Drunk Driving campaign, it takes the tack that drinking to excess can’t be stopped but collateral damage can.
Read more via the New York Times.
[TW: Colonization, Forced Sterilization, and Genocide] Officials Will Not Be Charged in Peru’s Forced Sterilization Program -
Many thousands of indigenous Peruvian women were forcibly sterilized in the late 1990s and the people in charge of the program will not face charges according to a recent ruling. Women’s rights advocates in Peru are condemning the ruling that drops charges against the officials implicated in the forced sterilization of thousands of indigenous women as part of the National Reproductive Health and Family Planning Program of 1996-2000.
For fat women, being stylish isn’t a luxury. It’s often a necessity to get hired, to get access to healthcare, to get treated like a human being.
Fat women have all kinds of narratives about sloppiness, laziness, dirtiness to overcome. Sometimes heels are a crucial part of looking “put together” in a way that sufficiently convinces people that we care about ourselves, that manages to counteract pervasive cultural narratives that fat people don’t care about ourselves. That we have “let ourselves go.”
Being “put together” is part of the way many of us convey to a judgmental world that we are worth caring about.
I get treated completely differently at a $20 hair salon if I’m dressed up or dressed down. Two totally different experiences. I get treated differently at the doctor’s office, and at the emergency room. I can’t go to the ER in sweatpants, because I’ll get shittier treatment. In an emergency, I have to worry if I am dressed up enough to prove that I deserve respect and care. — Melissa McEwan: Fat Fashion (via stainedglassgardens)
The Fatal Transgender Double Standard -
A few days ago, Katie Couric interviewed transgender model Carmen Carrera, andOrange is the New Black star Laverne Cox. For whatever reason, Couric chose to veer suddenly into questioning Carrera about how her “private parts” are “different now” and if she’s had that surgery yet. Carmen shushed her immediately, and reminded Couric that’s a very private issue. In the next segment with Laverne, Couric went right back to asking Ms. Cox about the genitalia question.
Laverne’s answer was flawless."The preoccupation with transition with surgery objectifies trans people and then we don’t get to really deal with the real lived experiences. The reality of trans people’s lives is that so often we’re targets of violence. We experience discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the [LGBT] community. … [B]y focusing on bodies, we don’t focus on the lived realities of that oppression and that discrimination."
Other commentators have noted that the bodies of transgender people are somehow public domain. Though Laverne alluded to it, not only are our bodies expected to be public domain, but so are our histories. The results of this unrealistic expectation are horrific.
In Australia, police took a man into custody. While there, the police (illegally) informed him that his girlfriend was a post-operative transsexual. After being released from police custody, he went home, found his girlfriend sleeping, and woke her up by repeatedly bludgeoning her with a glass ash tray until it tore her lips off. After she lost consciousness, he took her to the attic balcony and threw her over the rail onto the concrete two floors below.
The police who leaked this information got community service as punishment.
In Scotland, a transgender man has been convicted of rape and placed on the sex offender list for not disclosing to his girlfriend that he was transgender before engaging in consensual sexual activity.
I have seen it expressed that any transgender person who does not tell their partner that they have transitioned is guilty of rape, and that violence against the transgender person is merely an act of justifiable self-defense. The way this man stuck his hands down the pantsof a transgender woman without her consent and then beat her when he found out her birth gender. One commenter on this assault summed up how transgender people are expected to know their place:"Since heterosexual males generally are not looking for a person of the same physical sex as them, shouldn’t this transgender person have informed the man that she is in reality a male? "Anita" Green is the problem here, not the poor guy who got duped."
When 18-year-old Angie Zapata’s boyfriend found out she was transgender by forcibly groping her, he bludgeoned her to death with a fire extinguisher. A commenter on theDenver Post summed up society’s feelings in one sentence: “This transgender brought it on himself…”
Not only are our bodies not our own, neither are the history of your genitals or your genetics. For whatever reason, this seems to only apply to transgender people.
Is there societal acceptance of someone who beats a woman when he finds out she’s a quarter Jewish? Are men required to tell if they’re circumcised? Women have to announce if they’re had a clitoral hood piercing? Is it self-defense if you murder your boyfriend because you found out he’s not a gold star gay like you? How about throwing your girlfriend off a balcony when you find out she identified as bisexual before she identified as a lesbian?
From Gwen Araujo, to Brandon Teena, to Angie Zapata, to Cemia Dove, our lack of ownership of our bodies has meant being forcibly stripped, groped, raped, strangled, stabbed burned, and bludgeoned. It means that transgender panic defenses live on in court, and sometimes even win. After Brandon McInerney shot Larry King twice in the back of the head in the middle of a crowded classroom, the jury deadlocked on the case. Some even sympathized with the murderer. “[Brandon] was just solving a problem,” one juror said.
Since Couric’s interview, much has been written about how transgender people seem to have no expectation of privacy. Laverne alluded to the violence that the transgender community faces. Couric’s expectation that transgender people have little right to physical privacy is an expression of the cause.
Follow Brynn Tannehill on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BrynnTannehill
DEFEND TRANSWOMEN AT ALL COST
Peru approves gas project, spells disaster for uncontacted tribes
January 28, 2014
Peru has approved the highly controversial expansion of the Camisea gas project onto the land of uncontacted Amazon tribes – despite international outrage, the resignation of three ministers, and condemnation by the United Nations and international human rights organizations.
Peru’s Ministry of Culture, tasked with protecting the country’s indigenous population, has approved plans by oil and gas giants Pluspetrol (Argentina), Hunt Oil (US) and Repsol (Spain) to detonate thousands of explosive charges, drill exploratory wells and allow hundreds of workers to flood into the Nahua-Nanti Reserve, located just 100km from Machu Picchu.
The expansion could decimate the uncontacted tribes living in the reserve, as any contact between gas workers and the Indians is likely to result in the spread of diseases or epidemics to which the Indians lack immunity.
Pluspetrol itself recognizes the devastating impact the expansion could have. In its ‘Anthropological Contingency Plan’ the company states that any diseases transmitted by workers could cause ‘prolonged periods of illness, massive deaths, and, in the best cases, long periods of recovery.’
When oil giant Shell first started explorations in the area, it led to the death of nearly half the Nahua tribe. One Nahua man recounted, ‘Many, many people died. People dying everywhere, like fish after a stream has been poisoned. People left to rot along stream banks, in the woods, in their houses. That terrible illness!’
The project violates Peruvian and international laws which require the consent of any projects carried out on tribal peoples’ land.
Last year, protests were held around the world to stop the expansion of Camisea, and more than 131,000 Survival supporters have sent a message to Peru’s President Humala demanding a halt to the oil and gas work on uncontacted tribes’ land. Today, Survival handed the list of the thousands of petition signatures to the Peruvian embassy in London.
As a result of the high profile campaign by tribal rights organization Survival International, local organizationsAIDESEP, FENAMAD, COMARU and ORAU, and others, to stop the expansion, seismic testing has been averted from riverways and the location of one well was moved from the land of an isolated tribe.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Thirty years ago workers prospecting for the Camisea deposit penetrated deep into the territory of the Nahua people – and soon after, half the tribe were wiped out by flu and similar diseases. Has the Peruvian government really learnt nothing from history, that it is prepared to risk this happening again for the sake of a few more gas wells?’
This map shows the state of Ukraine’s protests (as of Jan 24) and the country’s 2010 election results.