Occupy Wall St News Roundup

30.09.2011 § Leave a comment

news roundup:

38,000 NYC TRANSIT WORKERS TO JOIN OCCUPY WALL STREET NEXT WEDNESDAY

full article here

Up until this announcement, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been unwieldy and somewhat lacking in a coherent voice, but that’s all about to change. New York City labor unions have decided to descend upon the streets of Lower Manhattan on Wednesday.

The leadership of the Transit Workers Union Local 100–comprised of subway and bus workers–voted unanimously to support the protestors. With a membership of 38,000, 5 Oct. will easily be the largest day yet in the protest. On 12 Oct., SEIU 32BJ, representing doormen, security guards, and maintenance workers around the city, is also staging a rally in support of the cause.

It’s unclear for now whether the transit system will be completely shut down while the 38,000 workers are participating in the protest. If it is, the Occupy Wall Street movement will definitely make its mark in history. And either way, it now has a substantial footing to make a real statement about American economic policy.

TRANSGENDER OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTESTER SEGREGATED, HUMILIATED BY NYPD DURING ARREST, DETENTION

full article here

We stand in solidarity with Justin Adkins, and all transpeople who are subject to and deal with police brutality, physical and verbal assault and, profiling daily. However, we want to push the discourse away from separating the “good” prison population from the “bad” as these lines are drawn on lines of race and class.  Adkins says “That I was not just a peaceful protestor exercising my rights on that bridge. That I deserved to be handcuffed to a railing in the side of the precinct with violent criminals.”

SLRP in their report “It’s War In Here: on Transgender and Intersex People in New York State Men’s Prisons” directly confronts this faulty division by looking at the criminalization of low-income transgender women of color—- “Transgender people report consistent police harassment, brutality, and profiling increased risk of contact with law enforcement. Transgender and Intersex People in New York State Men’s Prisons · In the face of poverty and discrimination, many transgender people engage in criminalized activity such as sex work, drug sales, or theft, or become entangled in the criminal justice system through other poverty-related arrests including loitering, turnstile jumping, or sleeping outside. These activities, in combination with police profiling of transgender individuals as mentally unstable and violent, pre- disposed to involvement in sex work, inherently deceitful, or all of the above, place transgender people—particularly low-income transgender women of color—at an increased risk of contact with law enforcement.

As we condemn the violence and transphobia of the police we want to insist on an abolitionist perspective seeing white supremacy and transphobia not as two distinct operations, but as part of the same system of the criminalization of specific populations by the state.

POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANSGENDER PROTESTER, FIRST HAND ACCOUNT—–

Police mistreatment of transgender man – Brooklyn Bridge Occupy Wall Street Protest Saturday October 3, 2011 1:39pmMy name is justin adkins. I am a transgender man who was arrested at the Occupy WallStreet Protest October 1st on the Brooklyn Bridge. This was my first arrest. I was toward the front of the march and after being trapped by the police on the bridgeand, watching as they arrested people one-by-one I went peacefully when it was clear that it was my turn. My arresting officer, Officer Creer, found out I was born female when I yelled that information to the legal observer on the bridge.
I was arrested with a group of 5 other guys and once they got us to the precinct they initially put me in a cell with the men I was arrested with. They asked if that was ok with me and I said yes. About 5 minutes after they took the cuffs off and shut the cell door an officer came back to the cell to move me. When he opened the door and looked my way I was aware of what was happening. I knew that my transgender status would potentially be an issue once at the jail, which is why Itold the legal observer that I was transgender. The officer glanced at me motioning to come out of the cell and then told me to put my hands behind my back as my fellow protestors looked on in wonder. As we walked out past the other protestors waiting to have their pockets emptied, onewoman looked at me with a puzzled look, we had connected on the long drive around Brooklyn as they tried to figure out where to take us. I told her that it looked like transgender people got “special treatment”.
Within the first 15 minutes of being at precinct 90 I was being segregated and treated differently from the rest of the protestors arrested. They took me away from the cellblock where they had all of the protestors locked up andbrought me to a room with 2 cells and a bathroom. One small cell was empty and the large cell had about 8 men who had been arrested on charges not related to the protest. Unlike me, these men had been arrested for a variety of crimes, some violent. When I entered the room they had me sit down in a chair on the same portion of the wall as therestroom, and then handcuffed my right wrist to a metal handrail. I thought that this wasa temporary arrangement as they tried to find me a separate cell as part of someprotocol regarding transgender people, which I later discovered does not exist in New York City. After about an hour I realized that they had no intention of moving me. I remained handcuffed to this bar next to the bathroom for the next 8 hours.

NO SURPRISE HERE–MAYOR BLOOMBERG, NYC’S WEALTHIEST CITIZEN BACKS MASS ARRESTS OF WALL STREET PROTESTERS

full article here

New York City’s billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has endorsed the police operation in which some 700 peaceful protesters were arrested Saturday on the Brooklyn Bridge. Boomberg, whose net worth of some $19.5 billion is derived from Wall Street, voiced unqualified support for the police repression on the Brooklyn Bridge.

“The police did exactly what they are supposed to do,” he told reporters Sunday before marching in the Pulaski Day Parade. He declared that New York City “is the place where you can come to express your views. Protesting is fine, but you don’t have the right to go and without a permit violate the law.”

In reality, with or without permit, the city and its police department have increasingly restricted protest. They have used barricades to pen in and block demonstrations, employed undercover infiltrators and agents provocateurs to spy upon and entrap those participating and used excessive force, including beatings, pepper spray and mounted police charges to suppress unresisting demonstrators.

FIRST ‘OFFICIAL’STATEMENT OF THE OCCUPY WALL ST MOVEMENT

full article here

Here is a snippet of the declaration which looks like more of a list of grievances. We are SO grateful//relieved that rad people (so real it hurts, south asians for justice, safer space committee) stepped in to change the production of this document moving it away from flattening liberal adages that have served to justify racist/patriarchal projects of the state and capital. We’re  disappointed to see no explicit anti capitalist, anti white supremacy, anti patriarchal threads in the statement, and know that a list of grievances is not tantamount to a critique of the current state of things. There’s certainly a problem that smells of white male activists when the liberation of non-human animals is mentioned before the liberation of people in cages (even though we need to see them on a continuum.) —The Nothing

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

HOW KILLER DEBT AND UNEMPLOYMENT MADE YOUNG PEOPLE THE LEADERS AT OCCUPY WALL ST.

full article here

  • Employment among young adults between the ages of 16 to 29 was at its lowest level since the end of World War II. Just 55 percent were employed, compared with 67 percent in 2000.
  • Nearly 6 million Americans between the ages of 25 to 34 lived in their parents’ homes last year.
  • Young men are nearly twice as likely as women to live with their parents.
  • Marriages among young adults hit a new low. Just 44 percent of Americans in that age group were married last year.
  • Other trends were also headed in the wrong direction. In 43 of the 50 largest metro areas — often a magnet for 20-and-30-somethings — employment declined.

Even if we can ever move out of the short-term recession, it will impact young people for years to come. Looking at a research summary compiled previously by Roosevelt Institute super-intern Charlie Eisenhood, Beaudry and DiNardo (1991) found “that every percentage increase in the [national] unemployment rate is associated with a 3-7 percent drop in entry-level contract wages.” Kahn (2009) found an estimate on the high end of that spectrum, discovering an “initial wage loss of 6 to 7% for a 1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate measure.”

Unfortunately, the recession’s effect is not limited just to the initial job search and wages. The negative impact persists far beyond that. Kahn found that the effect “falls in magnitude by approximately a quarter of a percentage point each year after college graduation. However, even 15 years after college graduation, the wage loss is 2.5% and is still statistically significant.”

ANONYMOUS ISSUES THREAT: NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE WILL BE ERASED FROM THE INTERNET OCT 10

full threat here!

Greetings, Institutions of the Media. We are Anonymous.

The events transpiring within Wall Street have caught our eye.

We witness the Government enforcing the laws that punish the 99% while allowing the 1% to escape justice, unharmed, for their crimes against the people. This is why we choose to declare our war against the New York Stock Exchange. We can no longer stay silent as the population is being exploited and forced to make sacrifices in the name of profit.

We will show the world that we are true to our word. On October 10th, NYSE shall be erased from the Internet. On October 10th, expect a day that will never, ever, be forgotten.

TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION  BLASTS CITY FOR PUTTING HANDCUFFED OCCUPY  WALL ST PROTESTERS ON BUSES

The Transport Workers Union will go to court Monday to try to stop the city from forcing bus drivers to transport Wall Street protesters arrested by the NYPD, the Daily News has learned.

The union, whose leaders voted last week to support the protesters, said police brass commandeered three MTA buses to transport many of the 700 demonstrators arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday.

Union President John Samuelsen called ordering bus drivers to drive prisoners “a blatant act of political retaliation.”

“TWU Local 100 supports the protesters on Wall Street and takes great offense that the mayor and NYPD have ordered operators to transport citizens who were exercising their constitutional right to protest – and shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place,” Samuelsen said Sunday night.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 4PM: UNIVERSITIES WALKOUT TO OCCUPY WALL ST

COMMUNITY AND LABOR MARCH LINK HERE

NYU LINK HERE

NEW SCHOOL LINK HERE

Join the National Student Walkout in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street!Stop what you are doing/walk out of class/ at 4pm on Wednesday, October 5th.We will meet outside the West 12th street building at 4pm and march together to City Hall, where we’ll join the Community/Labor March in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, endorsed by dozens of NYC unions and community groups including the United Federation of Teachers, SEIU 32BJ and SEIU 1199, the Transit Workers Union Local 100, Make the Road New York, New Yorkers Against Budget Cuts, the Alliance for Quality Education, and more! (see: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=282473051782707 and http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20111002/ECONOMY/310029971 )
We will also be joining students from around the city who are organizing walkouts against unforgivable student debt and soaring tuition rates.
Join us to protest the arrest of 700 marchers on the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday, while the banksters who wrecked the economy remain free. Join us to protest the horrific inequality that leaves 1 in 3 New York City children in poverty while Mayor Bloomberg sits on a $20 billion fortune. Join us to protest the foreclosure crisis that has driven millions from their homes, while bank profits soar. Join us because We Are the 99 Percent!

700 PERSON MASS ARREST SATURDAY EVENING SEPT 31 ON BROOKLYN BRIDGE

full article here

More than 700 people were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday evening during a march by anti-Wall Street protesters who have been occupying a downtown Manhattan square for two weeks. IT IS CONFIRMED THAT NYPD ARRESTED A 12 YEAR OLD. (link here)

During the afternoon a long line of protesters numbering several thousand snaked through the streets towards the landmark bridge across the East River with the aim of ending at a Brooklyn park.

However, during the march across the bridge groups of protesters sat down or strayed into the road from the pedestrian pathway. They were then arrested in large numbers by officers who were part of a heavy police presence shepherding the march along its path.

 SO REAL IT HURTS: Notes on Occupy Wall Street

full essay here from comrade

On Thursday night I showed up at Occupy Wall Street with a bunch of other South Asians coming from a South Asians for Justice meeting. Sonny joked that he should have brought his dhol so we could enter like it was a baarat. When we got there they were passing around and reading a sheet of paper that had the Declaration of the Occupation of Wall Street on it. I had heard the “Declaration of the Occupation” read at the General Assembly the night before but I didn’t realize that it was going to be finalized as THE declaration of the movement right then and there. When I heard it the night before with Sonny we had looked at each other and noted that the line about “being one race, the human race, formally divided by race, class…” was a weird line, one that hit me in the stomach with its naivety and the way it made me feel alienated. But Sonny and I had shrugged it off as the ramblings of one of the many working groups at Occupy Wall Street.

But now we were realizing that this was actually a really important document and that it was going to be sent into the world and read by thousands of people. And that if we let it go into the world written the way it was then it would mean that people like me would shrug this movement off, it would stop people like me and my friends and my community from joining this movement, one that I already felt a part of. So this was urgent. This movement was about to send a document into the world about who and what it was that included a line that erased all power relations and decades of history of oppression. A line that would de-legitimize the movement, this would alienate me and people like me, this would not be able to be something I could get behind. And I was already behind it this movement and somehow I didn’t want to walk away from this. I couldn’t walk away from this.

After the meeting ended we ended up finding the man who had written the document and telling him that he needed to take out the part about us all being “one race, the human race.” But its “scientifically true” he told us. He thought that maybe we were advocating for there being different races? No we needed to tell him about privilege and racism and oppression and how these things still existed, both in the world and someplace like Occupy Wall Street.

Let me tell you what it feels like to stand in front of a white man and explain privilege to him. It hurts. It makes you tired. Sometimes it makes you want to cry. Sometimes it is exhilarating. Every single time it is hard. Every single time I get angry that I have to do this, that this is my job, that this shouldn’t be my job. Every single time I am proud of myself that I’ve been able to say these things because I used to not be able to and because some days I just don’t want to.

This all has been said by many many strong women of color before me but every time, every single time these levels of power are confronted it I think it needs to be written about, talked about, gone through over and over again.

And this is the thing: that there in that circle, on that street-corner we did a crash course on racism, white privilege, structural racism, oppression. We did a course on history and the declaration of independence and colonialism and slavery. It was hard. It was real. It hurt. But people listened. We had to fight for it. I’m going to say that again: we had to fight for it. But it felt worth it. It felt worth it to sit down on the on a street corner in the Financial District at 11:30 pm on a Thursday night, after working all day long and argue for the changing of the first line of Occupy Wall Street’s official Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. It felt worth it not only because we got the line changed but also because while standing in a circle of 20, mostly white men, and explaining racism in front of them: carefully and slowly spelling out that I as a women of color experience the world way differently than the author of the Declaration, a white man, that this was not about him being personally racist but about relations of power, that he needed to, he urgently needed to listen and believe me about this, this moment felt like a victory for the movement on its own.

QUELLE SURPRISE! ” J. P> MORGAN CHASE “DONATES” $4.6 MILLION TO NYPD #OCCUPYWALLST

full article here

JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon a note expressing “profound gratitude” for the company’s donation.

“These officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Dimon said. “We’re incredibly proud to help them build this program and let them know how much we value their hard work.”

NYC TRANSIT UNIONS JOIN OCCUPY WALL ST.

full article here

New York City labor unions are preparing to back the unwieldy grassroots band occupying a park in Lower Manhattan, in a move that could mark a significant shift in the tenor of the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street protests and send thousands more people into the streets.

The Transit Workers Union Local 100’s executive committee, which oversees the organization of subway and bus workers, voted unanimously Wednesday night to support the protesters. The union claims 38,000 members. A union-backed organizing coalition, which orchestrated a large May 12 march on Wall Street before the protests, is planning a rally on Oct. 5 in explicit support. And SEIU 32BJ, which represents doormen, security guards and maintenance workers, is using its Oct. 12 rally to express solidarity with the Zuccotti Park protesters.

DO NOT MISS THIS VIDEO: THE BOURGEOIS PRESS GETS SMART!!

“This weekend a few trouble makers turn a peaceful protest against Wall St. greed into a violent burst of chaos. The troublemakers carried pepper spray and guns and were wearing badges.”

Everyday in America police cross the line and abuse citizens. White America was shocked at what they saw done to Rodney King. Black America would have loved to have been shocked by what they saw the police do to Rodney King.  There is a Rodney King everyday in this country and Black America has always known that. Everything those cops did this weekend to those protesters they’ve done to somebody else when the cameras weren’t rolling. They’ve done it and they’ve gotten away with it. They know just how much assault and battery they can do, they know just how many false arrests they can make.”

PILOTS ON STRIKE BRING FIGHT TO WALL ST.

Over 700 hundred Continental and United pilots, joined by additional pilots from other Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) carriers, demonstrate in front of Wall Street on Tuesday. The demonstration coincided with the 11th straight day the Occupy Wall Street encampment, which has seen thousands of demonstrators descend onto downtown Manhattan – and hundreds arrested.

CITY’S BIGGEST UNIONS AND COMMUNITY ORGS JOIN WALL ST OCCUPATION

full article here

“It’s become too big to ignore,” said one political consultant.

The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union Local 100 are all expected to participate. The Working Families Party is helping to organize the protest and MoveOn.org is expected to mobilize its extensive online regional networks to drum up support for the effort.

REBEL DIAZ on the occupation:

full article here

“Our analysis on whats going in Wall Street is that its very similar to the Syntagma Square uprisings in Greece, and other city squares like the ones in Madrid. In these movements, there is no central leadership, its about something, but then again not really, because the demands arent clear. What is clear is the identification of the common enemy : the greedy banks….There is an obvious access to some privilege as the MacBook Pros and coffee seem to be part of the growing everyday scenery.  #OccupyWallStreet seems to be a new phenomenon in that we are witnessing a first generation in which massive numbers of young white people are no longer experiencing the economic benefits of the capitalist system. Their working class parents have had their homes foreclosed, their school loans cant be paid because they too now are unemployed or underpaid in the shrinking job market. Their reality has gotten closer to what black and brown folks have lived for many many years. There is a blatant economic inequality in this country and it is a result of corporate Wall St greed. The middle class is almost extinct as most people nowadays are working merely to survive and pay bills. We encourage folks to support the occupations and see them for themselves. Perhaps the topless nude activists, or the drum circle may not be for you, but the idea of having a national dialogue sparked about these greedy bankers and their abuse of the people is important and needed. We plan on going back with more people!! All Power to the People!!”

BROWN POWER AT OCCUPY WALL ST.

full article here

At the general assembly a document was introduced called “The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City”. I, Thanu, Sonny, Manissa, and Natasha felt that some language needed to be urgently changed. The line was: “As one people, formerly divided by the color of our skin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or lack thereof, political party and cultural background, we acknowledge the reality: that there is only one race, the human race, and our survival requires the cooperation of its members…”

The first major concern amongst us was that the phrase “formerly divided by” was unrealistic, and erased histories of oppression that marginalized communities have suffered. The second concern was that the “human race” language also felt very out of touch.

I started shouting “mic check!”, got the crowd’s attention, and said that we did not agree with the phrase “formerly divided by” and instead felt it could perhaps be “despite”, and said that the original phrasing erased histories of oppression. Unfortunately, even though about 4 or 5 presumably white people had spoken up before me about changes to the document, I was told that this was a time for questions, not changes to the document – by a facilitator who was a man of colour. Talk about feeling shut down.

I again shouted “mic check!” and our spontaneous Brown Power crew again shouted my words after me – I reiterated again that the phrasing erased much history, and that it was idealistic and unrealistic. I think at this point I looked around and realized everyone was staring at me; it hit me what we were doing, that we had the floor, that we were demanding a change.

The protestors at Occupy Wall Street have been saying that there will be efforts to reach out to people of colour, to have communities of colour engage and be a part of the protests, to help create real change – because, let’s face it, the protests have been very white and people of colour need to be present, and need to speak up. Well, that’s exactly what we were doing, and I realized that we were helping to make that change happen.

PATRIARCHY DOESN’T DELETE ITSELF JUST CAUSE YOU’RE IN AN OCCUPATION– A NOTE FROM SOME FEMINISTS FROM WITHIN OCCUPY WALL ST.

Last night  “Safer Spaces Committee was initiated at the occupation. A note from folks involved:

“We understand the various problematics of the term “safe space” but think people were at least into the idea of making a commitment to confronting people on their shit. We had a long talk about instances of oppressive behavior at the occupation (like people talking over not-men, making rape jokes, being touchy-feely, holding racist signs) and the 50 or so people who were there decided to make this committee. And some of us who don’t feel confident enough to handle a situation ourselves would look around for other allies from this group to back them up when the time comes.

Things we discussed doing:
-integrating anti-oppression teach-ins as a daily feature in the daily General Assemblies— having sub-groups to make daily mini-lectures to address gender, race, LGBTQ, and ability
-creating a sleeping space for those who feel vulnerable at the occupation (ie survivors/female-identified/queer folks)
-making a commitment to being allies in calling out oppressive behavior or mediate situations— we may mark ourselves by pink armbands

ANONYMOUS LEAKS PERSONAL DETAILS OF ALLEGED WALL ST. PEPPER SPRAY COP

full article here

Online hacktivist collective Anonymous has posted the personal details of a New York Police Department inspector caught on camera apparently pepper spraying female protestors at an anti-establishment march in Wall Street at the weekend.

The footage, which has been widely circulated, depicted a white shirted police officer who casually walked up to a group of protestors, many of whom were women and penned in behind orange netting, and sprayed them in the face before walking away.

RADIOHEAD TO PLAY FRIDAY (TODAY) 4PM AT OCCUPY WALL ST.

SIKE!

Off-duty D.C. cop arrested for shooting trans women

29.08.2011 § Leave a comment

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray joined LGBT activists on Friday in expressing shock and outrage over news that an off-duty District police officer allegedly fired a pistol at three transgender women and two male friends while the group was sitting in a car on a city street.

Police issued a statement Friday saying three of the people in the car “sustained non-life threatening injuries” in the incident. The statement said the officer involved in the incident was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and driving while intoxicated.

According to the employees and the DCTC members, the two women said the incident started when Officer Furr, appearing drunk, approached one of the two women on the street near First and Pierce Streets, N.W. about 5:25 a.m.

They said the two victims informed them that Furr became angry when he solicited one of the women for sex and she turned him down. What unfolded next remains unclear, with police officials saying they wanted to wait until Furr appeared in court on Saturday or Monday before providing full details as they known them.

Full Article Here

Groundbreaking Canadian case sets a complicated precedent for AIDS-based murder convictions

01.07.2011 § Leave a comment

Johnson Aziga is the first person in Canada to be convicted of murder via HIV transmission after having infected several women with with the virus through unprotected sex, two of which have since died from AIDS-related cancers. Aziga argues that he was convicted by a racist jury (they were all white, as were a number of his victims), and that there is insufficient evidence to prove that he was the source of the infection in his victims. However, the highly-educated former public servant also admitted to  knowingly engaging in unprotected sex with 11 different women in the 8 years since his diagnosis and to having witheld his condition when asked directly by some of the women. From an article in the Vancouver Sun:

He has given a number of reasons for why he didn’t tell the women about his HIV status, including that he was afraid of losing companionship, he was not counselled properly on how to do so by public health officials and that his ex-wife made him a “monster” and “morally dead.” Aziga also blames his culture for not making it easy to divulge personal information.

While the racist stereotyping around HIV is completely fucked up, and the limits of HIV counseling and education in North America are real, Aziga’s behavior during the trial is still extremely disturbing and overrules these excuses as in any way justifying his actions:

 During the cross-examination, she asked him if he was ready to let the victims move on by resigning to serve his life sentence for the murders or if he was still preparing to appeal the convictions.

“Why should I?” retorted Aziga. “I cannot definitely tell you that I’m abandoning my appeal.”

On Wednesday, Aziga personally apologized to the women for the first time in a two-page statement he read aloud in court. Most of the statement was about his own suffering.

On Thursday, he admitted that he’d be willing to engage in unprotected sex if he is released from prison if the woman told him she was a “risk taker.”

Since his conviction, debate has continued over whether to label Aziga as a ‘dangerous offender,’ which would result in his being ineligible for parole. In addition to the above testimony, the prosecution is citing Aziga’s “abnormally high libido” in arguing the likelihood of recidivism, further underscoring the  racist and patriarchal tenor of the whole affair.

woman walks through market holding severed head of man who tried to rape her

20.06.2011 § Leave a comment

…Covered in blood, she held the head high like a trophy, said police – her way of showing that she had delivered her own kind of justice to her attacker…

According to police officer Ram Bharose, the unnamed 35-year-old woman had sliced off the man’s head with a sickle she had been using to cut grass near her village.

‘She was getting grass for her cattle when the man came up from behind her and tried to sexually assault her,’ said Mr Bharose.

‘In a bid to save her dignity, she turned on him and during a struggle managed to chop off his head with the sickle.

‘We have no doubts about her story because she had bite marks on her neck and cheek when the man tried to take advantage of her sexually.’

So determined was the woman to show that she had beaten off her attacker, who she claimed had been stalking her for three months, that she decided to take his head immediately to the local market.

‘She put the head on parade,’ said Mr Bharose. ‘She walked right through all the crowds who were buying their vegetables, holding the head up high.

‘All her clothes were covered in blood, but as far as she was concerned that didn’t matter. She just wanted to make a point and she definitely succeeded in doing that.

‘Everybody scattered. It was a very terrifying sight.’ Mr Bharose said the woman had no regrets about her actions.

‘We have to follow the letter of the law and although she says she acted in self defence she will probably be charged with culpable homicide,’ said the police officer.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1078520/Woman-walks-market-holding-severed-head-man-tried-rape-her.html#ixzz1PmBQ32gV

“These customers think they can use us for anything they want, because we don’t have the power that they have or the money that they have” : Housekeepers speak out on rampant sexual assault in Hotels across the US

03.06.2011 § Leave a comment

“These customers think they can use us for anything they want, because we don’t have the power that they have or the money that they have,” said Yazmin Vazquez, a Chicago room attendant.

Hotel workers face injuries from the physical stress of their work, including the awkward lifting of heavy mattresses hundreds of times a day. But the hidden hazard of hotel work, housekeepers say, is customers’ assaults on their dignity and physical integrity.

Workers report that male customers expose themselves, attempt to buy sexual services, grab and grope them and, in some cases, attempt to rape them.

Cecily Phillips, at the speak-out in Toronto, said she felt “humiliated, dirty, and nervous” after a customer groped her while she was making a bed.

“Customers offer money for massage—but they don’t want massage, they want something else,” said Elizabeth Moreno, an 18-year Chicago hotel worker. When she delivers room service items, male guests occasionally come to the door naked, she said.

The problem is so prevalent that hotel workers in Hawaii and San Francisco have resisted management efforts to make them wear skirts. Workers said the uniforms make them more vulnerable to groping in a job that requires bending over beds, tubs, and floors.

One worker reported wearing extra layers as a deterrent after a guest barged into a bathroom she was cleaning and exposed his genitals.

At the New York Sofitel, where Strauss-Kahn occupied a $3,000-a-night room, management has now changed the skirt uniform to pants and tunic, according to a union representative.

Room attendants’ safety is compromised by staff cuts that leave women isolated as they work. Some Hawaiian hotel workers on “turn down duty,” which involves entering rooms in the evening to draw drapes and turn down covers, used to work in pairs. Now management is asking them to work alone, and they say it makes them feel unsafe…

MANAGEMENT LAUGHS

A 30-year hotel worker in Indianapolis, a “guest runner” on the evening shift, brings towels and shampoo to customers who request them. She said that twice a week she confronts men who come to the door naked, proposition her, or worse. Managers know about this, she said, but most laugh it off.

Toronto hotel worker Andria Babbington also said managers laughed at her when she complained about a naked guest who asked to be tucked in…

If workers do report a guest’s behavior, the police are rarely called. “This needs to stay confidential,” workers in a Texas hotel were told several years ago after a worker delivering a razor late at night was grabbed and groped by the naked guest who requested it.

Great article over at Labor notes, do read teh whole thing HERE, but as always, a tepid, dubious, victim-blaming conclusion:

It’s not enough, say union staffers. Management has to “make sure they train people more so they understand they have a right to speak up,” said Babbington, a union health and safety officer in Toronto, to a reporter. “Make sure you’re sending the message out that guests won’t get away with it.”

 

 

Mother sets fire to her daughter’s gloating rapist

29.05.2011 § Leave a comment

A Spanish mother has taken revenge on the man who raped her 13-year-old daughter at knifepoint by dousing him in petrol and setting him alight. He died of his injuries in hospital on Friday.

Antonio Cosme Velasco Soriano, 69, had been sent to jail for nine years in 1998, but was let out on a three-day pass and returned to his home town of Benejúzar, 30 miles south of Alicante, on the Costa Blanca.

While there, he passed his victim’s mother in the street and allegedly taunted her about the attack. He is said to have called out “How’s your daughter?”, before heading into a crowded bar.

Shortly after, the woman walked into the bar, poured a bottle of petrol over Soriano and lit a match. She watched as the flames engulfed him, before walking out.

The woman fled to Alicante, where she was arrested the same evening. When she appeared in court the next day in the town of Orihuela, she was cheered and clapped by a crowd, who shouted “Bravo!” and “Well done!”

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Personal Violence vs. Structural Violence: DSK / IMF

26.05.2011 § Leave a comment

An interesting read investigating the correlation btwn DSK’s personal violence and the IMF’s historical structural violence against women.

It’s not perfect–the end is crap–but it’s worth the read. Full article here.

A selection:

While the media dissects the attempted rape of a young African woman and begins to dig out more information about Strauss-Kahn’s past indiscretions, we couldn’t help but see this situation through the feminist lens of the “personal is political.”

For many in the developing world, the IMF and its draconian policies of structural adjustment have systematically “raped” the earth and the poor and violated the human rights of women. It appears that the personal disregard and disrespect for women demonstrated by the man at the highest levels of leadership within the IMF is quite consistent with the gender bias inherent in the IMF’s institutional policies and practice…

…IMF-mandated government cutbacks in social welfare spending have often been achieved by cutting public sector jobs, which disproportionately impact women. Women hold most of the lower-skilled public sector jobs, and they are often the first to be cut. Also, as social programs like caregiving are slashed, women are expected to take on additional domestic responsibilities that further limit their access to education or other jobs.

In exchange for borrowing $5.8 billion from the IMF and World Bank, Tanzania agreed to impose fees for health services, which led to fewer women seeking hospital deliveries or post-natal care and naturally, higher rates of maternal death. In Zambia, the imposition of SAPs led to a significant drop in girls’ enrollment in schools and a spike in “survival or subsistence sex” as a way for young women to continue their educations.

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