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FEBRUARY 2013

 
 

RADIO TO THE RESCUE


The new Spanish-language radio program "Radio Ambulante" gathers voices from around Latin America and the United States to showcase the untold human stories behind issues such as immigration and kidnappings. Using a network of journalists from around the Americas, the monthly program fills a gaping hole in the radio landscape for Spanish speakers. Democracy Now recently interviewed Radio Ambulante executive producer Daniel Alarcón and by Annie Correal, a Radio Ambulante producer who tells her family’s story of using radio to convey messages to her kidnapped father in Colombia. Radio Ambulante's website (in English).

 

URGE CONGRESS TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED!

The Citizens United vs. FEC Supreme Court decision overturned over a century of precedent and opened the floodgates for unlimited amounts of corporate money to flow into our political system. Shockingly, the court came to this decision based on the notion that a corporation is legally a "person" entitled to First Amendment rights, and by equating a corporation's right to spend unlimited amounts of money influencing an election with our right to free speech. This has led to enormous campaign expenditures that are corrupting our political system. We must overturn this decision with a constitutional amendment. SIGN THE PETITION!!

 

REDEFINING RAPE

IIn January 2012, the FBI updated its definition of rape for the first time in over 80 years. The former definition was “carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” The new definition has been changed to include oral and anal penetration, and it allows for the victim or perpetrator to be of either gender. It also has no requirement of force. That affects how the FBI collects data and measures trends in crime — but doesn’t change the federal or state criminal codes.

A new federal definition helps. The adoption of a more standardized definition by state legislatures would help more. Lawmakers may look to new revisions in the sexual assault portion of the Model Penal Code. That’s the document created by the American Law Institute in 1962 in an attempt to standardize criminal codes across jurisdictions. Its definition of sexual assault is now woefully out of date. However, a group of scholars, prosecutors and judges from around the country are examining it, with revisions expected in 2014. Read more at Solan.com.

 

THREE ARTICLES ABOUT PROSTITUTION YOU SHOULD READ

"Amsterdam Doesn’t Want
Legal Brothels"

The Dutch experiment in legalized prostitution has been a disaster. UK Spectator reporter Julie Bindel tells us the brothel boom is over. A third of Amsterdam’s bordellos have been closed due to the involvement of organized criminals and drug dealers and the increase in trafficking of women.

"There Is No Feminist War On
Sex Workers"

Writing in Feminist Current, Meghan Murphy says she's become increasingly frustrated by what feels like a barrage of articles coming from self-described progressives claiming that feminists are the real enemy of sex workers.

"Protecting Children From Human Trafficking"
Quoted in the current issue of VOXII, Norma Ramos, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) says “the average age when girls enter prostitution is 13—maybe 12.” In the same article, Catherine A. Mackinnon, Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, argues that prostituted women should be treated with the same compassion we extend to children. MacKinnon says that a prostituted child and an adult do not represent two different types of people. “You are talking about the same group of people at two different points in time. In order to help one group you have to help the other,” MacKinnon added. Read the entire article.

 

WHY WOMEN ARE RISING

"I Am Rising …"

Anoushka Shankar, renowned East Indian musician and composer, recorded this personal and poignant video messagefrom her home in London.

Capturing the impetus for the One Billion Rising campaign in Drama Queens Review, author Eve Ensler describes how groups of ordinary people in a town square, large or small, wherever and however, are coming together to insist on the possibility of a world where violence against women is no longer a given.

Ensler went on to make the point that this protest had no chance of succeeding unless men did ‘get involved’.This because she remarked ‘It turns out we don’t rape ourselves’ but she also underlined that it is crucially important that the millions of men who are horrified and outraged by culture(s) of violence against women demonstrate their solidarity in insisting that things can and will change. She also spoke of the need for public sex education in a world where increasingly, the first exposure to sex for many young boys is online pornography—not an ideal model for learning to give and take sexual pleasure.

Here's more information about One Billion Rising events in your area.

 

STOPE THE DRONE KILLINGS!

This week, an unclassified memorandum prepared by the Justice Department for members of Congress on the drone killings accidentally became public.

The actual Office of Legal Counsel opinion which purports to authorize this program is still a wrongfully classified secret, and a federal judge just refused a FOIA request from the New York Times for release of the document.

This is exactly how the infamous torture memo came into existence during the Bush administration, a secret OLC opinion, the legal reasoning of which was so flimsy that it could not survive the light of day. So not only are we not supposed to question the murder of people in multiple countries, we are not even allowed to question the legal basis for it. It is sheer lunacy that LEGAL arguments need to be classified. Visit the Stop The Drone Killings Action Page.

 

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