Bahrain medics on trial for treating protesters

13.06.2011 § Leave a comment

Video HERE.

Bahrain has begun the trials of 48 medical professionals accused of attempting to topple the monarchy.

Those on trial include some of the country’s top surgeons, accused of supporting weeks of pro-democracy protests in the country.

It is the latest trial at a special security tribunal set up by Bahrain’s rulers amid a far-reaching crackdown in the kingdom, which is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Human rights organisations have condemned the trials, saying the staff are being hounded for treating hundreds of wounded protesters.

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!”

« Read the rest of this entry »

SPAIN vids: cops roll in, the people roll them back

28.05.2011 § Leave a comment

More than 40 Spanish protesters suffered injuries in altercations with police in Barcelona Friday, as pressure mounted on demonstrators to end nearly two weeks of sit-in protests around the country.

Five of the protesters were taken to hospital, medical sources said. The injured also included one police officer.

Similar clashes were reported in Lerida, while Madrid’s governing conservatives called on Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialist government to disperse hundreds of protesters in the capital’s central Puerta del Sol square…

An entrepreneurs’ association threatened to take legal action if the protesters were not forced to leave their Madrid encampment ‘immediately.

– Thx signalfire

Today then, the people fought back, and the cops backed on out of the plaza:

Recent feminist surges within struggles; “Friday of the Free Women” in Syria; “The revolution will be feminist or it will not be” in Spain

26.05.2011 § Leave a comment

For at least 9 consecutive Fridays, people in Syria have filled the streets in protest. May 13th was designated the “Friday of the Free Women”, and the march was a flood of not-men. Here women have been coming out in larger and larger numbers to demonstrations, and have also adopted a tactic of women-only marches which are met with less violent repression by the police.

article (in french) here with comrades dndf.

In Spain a feminist convergence within the current demos produced a document entitled THE REVOLUTION WILL BE FEMINIST OR IT WILL NOT BE. Although note that The Nothing suspects that “indignades” should be translated as “indignant” rather than “teased”… And that a google translate of the website offers perhaps a better translation than is given on the site. The site is a feminist locus for the Spanish uprising in Madrid, find it here: feministes indignades a placa catalunya.

Some highlights (from modified googletranslate)

We are in this place because:
1. -Capitalist and patriarchal society oppresses us. We want a society in which people are the heart and not the markets. Therefore we demand: free and vital public services like education, health care and care for children and promotion of personal autonomy, against social cuts and labor reform and pensions.
2. -We want everyone’s commitment to building a society where macho violence have no place in all its forms: economic, aesthetic, occupational, physical, psychological, sexual, institutional, religious, racist, as trafficking for purposes of labor and sexual exploitation …
3. -We want to decide freely on our body, enjoy and relate with him and who gives us the appetite.
We want abortion forfree.
4. -We want a society where respect for the many diverse forms of live sex and sexuality (lesbian, gay, intersex, bisexual, transgendered, transgender, people with disabilities …) and recognize the right to sexuality at all stages of life.Despathologization demand the identities of the trans.
5. -We demand that the state, church and market, stop interfering in our lives.
0. – We are anti-capitalist wars and armies, we reject the use of the body of women as a weapon of war, particularly the rape of women…
0. – Denounce violence by police and control institutions such as prisons, immigrant detention centers, psychiatric centers, children, etc.. And his violence specific to women, lesbians and trans for being so.
0. – Call for transnational feminist solidarity as a tool to change the world. In all places there are women, lesbians and trans indignant feminists, we endorse their claims and give our full support.
NO WOMEN NO REVOLUTION!
THE REVOLUTION WILL BE FEMINIST OR IT WILL NOT BE!
note The ever present contradiction between (1) demand for social services/jobs and (5) demand that the state/capital GTFO.
The Nothing is a confrontation of this paradox which must be superceded and destroyed at its fount.

Two recent posts hating on Slutwalk (thnkgod)

17.05.2011 § Leave a comment

Two recent articles online critiquing slutwalk, one on the basis of some police-state-apologist white-supremacist bullshit, and the other on the basis of where the fuck’s the feminism this is gobbledywack.

Slutwalk: a stroll through white supremacy

This post points out that the cop who originally spurred the enormous response in Toronto was in fact INVITED TO ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN A CAMPUS MEETING ON SEXUAL ASSAULT. WHAT?  And that slutwalk was in fact geared towards reforming and repairing the police system. The author draws out some moments in the media hype around slutwalk to show the pretty obvious white supremacist vibrations emanating from the recent slutwalk upsurge. Also points out by contrast some effed up facts from new orleans about how “sex crimes” are dealt with (of course completely targeting women of color for repression, exploitation and death).

As Trymaine Lee has reported, black, poor and transgender women are being disproportionately and systematically branded as criminal “sex offenders” on an online database for engaging in “survival sex” in New Orleans. Under the cover of an obscure, slave-era legal term called “crimes against nature,” police officers target those who engage in oral or anal sex-for-money. Those targeted for a second time are charged as felons (vaginal sex-for-money, meanwhile, is considered misdemeanor prostitution). 40 percent of those who appear on the sexual predator database are there because they were accused of committing a “crime against nature;” more than 80 percent of those are black women.

The author reiterates that there is a deep blindness and disavowal of women and trans feminists of color in the mainstream debates, an erasure of movements against both the patriarchal and racist criminalization of sexuality, and against the police and state forces of capital… Not a surprise, but great concise breakdown.

We’re Sluts not Feminists: Wherein my Relationship with Slutwalk gets rocky

The author of this post starts out making the important points about why something like slutwalk is initially exciting and potentially important for the radical feminist conspiracy:

One moment I feel like YEAH! WOMEN GETTING MAD. Because, hey, women should be mad. Victim blaming is one of the most insidious, abusive, and traumatic experiences a woman can go through. Not only have we been assaulted, had to come out and admit/describe the assault (terrifying in and of itself), but then we are treated as though we somehow instigated, deserved, or imagined the assault. It is sick. I have witnessed it and I have experienced it.

The author goes on to express their intial suspicion – come – total – disgust with slutwalk as bourgeois anti-feminism par excellence (“par excellence” in that it is cast as womens liberation).

what I found over and over again was not only a refusal to align with feminism, but, often, an outright aversion to it. I saw numerous attacks on radical feminism and radical feminists and I witnessed the reinforcement of negative and untrue stereotypes about feminism (you know the ones: man-hating, misandrist, no-fun, sex-negative, etc). While I do believe the organizers had good intentions, desiring that Slutwalk be inclusive to all, it began to look a lot like the “funfeminist” — NO NO WE’RE THE CONVENTIONALLY ATTRACTIVE FEMINISTS. THE FUN ONES. WE’RE OK. WE LIKE PENISES AND PORN AND LOOKING SEXY kind of feminism that, in the end doesn’t successfully challenge much of anything, and simply repackages sexist imagery in “empowering” wrapping paper.

But what of the  contrast of these two texts? Do they speak to each other? do they conflict with one another?

JURYSOUT

“Women were betrayed by the revolution they helped to make” – Gender, Class and Security Politics in Iran

06.04.2011 § Leave a comment

Fabulous article just finished, focuses intensively on role of women and labor in recent uprisings as well as Iranian revolution. Some passages excerpted below.

New Middle Eastern Uprisings: Gender, Class and Security Politics in Iran

” The two groups that most contested Khomeini’s consolidation of power were women and labor. Iranian women were at the forefront of the struggle to overthrow the Shah; they participated in leftist guerilla struggle as well as in the mass demonstrations that formed the iconic images and collective strength of the revolution. Women’s experience of making the revolution empowered them to launch the modern Iranian feminist movement in its immediate aftermath. Missing from most histories and timelines are a series of marches and sit-ins organized and led by women demanding that gender equality be written into the new post-revolutionary constitution. On International Women’s Day, March 8, 1979, just weeks after the revolution had triumphed, tens of thousands of womenfrom all classes, some veiled, some nottook to the streets. “We didn’t make a revolution to go backwards,” they chanted. For Iranian women, a new phase of struggle against new state forms of patriarchy began at the very moment when the struggle for national liberation was over, when Khomeini told everyone to stop protesting and go home. They marched for days against Khomeini’s draconian family law and mandatory veiling and sat in at the Ministry of Justice. On March 9, Khomeini revoked the mandatory veil decree, only reinstituting it after discrediting the women as corrupted by Western-influenceand then driving them off the streets with violent repression.

Women were betrayed by the revolution they helped to make. Subsequent generations of women’s rights activists have taken this legacy seriously and drawn the lesson that national self-determination in no way guarantees self-determination for women (a reversal of the common wisdom at the time). Significantly, among the first groups of Iranians, if not the first, to express solidarity with the Tunisian revolution, was the women’s movement, which issued a statement excerpted here:
“Tunisian women’s rights activists should know that what they manage to accomplish in their quest for democracy and the equality of women will significantly impact the region and serve as a model for us all. Today, a gain for the women of Tunisia is a gain for all the nations in the region and for all women in Islamic countries.”
http://www.socialtextjournal.org/blog/player.swf 

The above clip summarizes the work of a
grassroots feminist campaign in Iran from 2005-2008.
http://change4equality.org
Iranian women were out in front of the riot squads in 2009 and joined the protests again this past week despite the violence. The women’s movement struggles to find ways of injecting feminist politics into the broader struggle. This is, of course, not an easy task but activists have continued to organize under severe repression. All of the major feminist leaders are in jail or exile, but new leaders have stepped up and the decentralized structure and word-of-mouth strategies enable the work to go on.
Also rarely mentioned in references to the Iranian revolution is the role of labor. Not only were there strikes in every sector of the economy in 1979, including most decisively a protracted strike by oil workers at the Abadan refinery (one of the world’s largest at that time), but workers formed their own councils, or shoras, to coordinate their activities and put forward demands. [2] Again, the experience of making the revolution translated into demands that could not be met within the framework of patriarchal capitalism that Khomeini was attempting to consolidate. Instead, workers demands revealed competing definitions of what an Islamic Republic should look like. On March 1, 1979, less two weeks after the revolution had been victorious, the Founding Council of the Iranian National Workers’ Union issued 24 demands including: “government recognition of theshoras; the expulsion of all foreign and Iranian capitalists and expropriation of their capitals in the interests of all workers; and the inclusion of workers’ shoras in industrial decisions such as investment and the general conditions of the plant, as well as buying, selling, pricing and the distribution of profit.” [3]

300 rowdy Queens College students blocked the highway today for a hot second!

01.04.2011 § Leave a comment

A student walk-out and demo starting from queens college spontaneously took to the LIE for a good 15 minutes, CUNY Queens College students. Hollerin at u!
much love!

And if you’re interested in their statement (*cough* press release) and willing to overlook a John Dewey Epigraph, download it hurr: CUNY Queens College Walkout

 

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