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OCTOBER 2014

 
 

SEATTLE ADOPTS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' DAY


The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution to celebrate the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day. While the day is marked federally as Columbus Day, the resolution states the newly recognized day will be an opportunity for the city "to celebrate the thriving cultures and values of the Indigenous Peoples of our region." "The City of Seattle strongly encourages Seattle Public Schools to include the teaching of indigenous people's history," the text also notes. Councilmember Kshama Sawant, one of the sponsors of the resolution, said at the Council meeting that it "is about more than just a name change. It is about educating ourselves and our children, about taking a stand against racism and discrimination." "When Columbus arrived on this continent, there were an estimated 50 – 100 million indigenous people already living in what came to be known as the 'New World.' READ MORE

 

SILENCE PANDORA'S AD

Pandora radio, a popular and free streaming service with over 77 million listeners each month, is running ads that prey on pregnant women. These deceptive ads implore listeners with an unplanned pregnancy to call 1-844-UCHOOSE--an anti-choice hotline that tells women they can get cancer from abortion and other dangerous lies. These women, who are at their most vulnerable, need real medical care, not anti-science myths. After hearing from UltraViolet members earlier this year, organizations like Google and Yahoo dropped similar deceptive ads. Together, we can make sure Pandora is next. Can you sign the petition? Tell Pandora radio: Stop profiting from ads that mislead and lie to women. If you search online for an abortion clinic, chances are you'll start getting Pandora ads from the radical, anti-science organization running 1-844-UCHOOSE, which doesn't support a woman's right to "choose" at all. Instead, Bethany Christian Services lures women in to tell them dangerous lies--like that they will become suicidal or get cancer by having an abortion. Click here to tell Pandora radio: Stop profiting from ads that mislead and lie to women. Thanks for taking action.

 

TEXAS STRIPS WOMEN OF THEIR HEALTH & RIGHTS

From Amy Goodman's recent editorial: In Texas, how far women have come can be measured by how far they have to go. Scores of medical facilities have been shuttered in Texas, stranding almost a million women hundreds of miles from a healthcare facility that they might need. The reason? These facilities provide, among other services, safe, legal abortions. Last week, the U.S. Appeals Court for the 5th Circuit affirmed Texas state restrictions on abortion access, closing 13 more clinics overnight. Overall, 80% of Texas abortion clinics have closed since the law went into effect. Imagine the headline: “A Federal appeals court in Texas has ruled that 80% of gun stores in Texas must close.” Self-proclaimed patriots in Texas would be up in arms. But in the Lone Star State, not all rights are created equal. A woman’s right to choose, her right to terminate a pregnancy, her right to privacy, was settled by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, more than 40 years ago, in its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. READ MORE

 

HELP NATIVE AMERICANS VOTE IN SOUTH DAKOTA

We have a chance to help Rick Weiland win the Senate seat in South Dakota thanks to the vote the nine tribes (Oceti Sakowin or Seven Council Fires) there can provide this election. How do we get the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota (Sioux) Nations out to vote? Fortunately, some big motivators are already in place this year to invigorate these voters. Tribal elections are being held on the same day as the federal and state ones, and there are a record number of American Indian candidates running this year in various races. A much-desired county name change made it on the ballot as a referendum thanks to State Rep. Kevin Killer and his team. Shannon County is entirely within the Pine Ridge reservation and was named for a white man who was key in grabbing the land away from the tribes in the late 1800s. If it passes, the referendum will change the name to Oglala Lakota County, a move that the tribe is entirely behind. Pine Ridge has the third-largest population of all the South Dakota reservations. The votes there and on the other reservations could be critical in a Senate race in which the winning margin might be only hundreds of votes. As you know, these motivators are not enough. Traditional get-out-the-vote methods are needed, and the grassroots Great Plains Get Out the Native Vote organization is in place to tour the nine reservations to register voters. FIND OUT MORE

 

EFFECTS OF LEGALIZING PROSTITUTION: TRAUMA EXPERTS LOOK AT GERMANY

Over a decade after its decision to legalize the industry of prostitution, Germany is now known as a world capital for the commercial sex industry. What began as a short-sighted experiment to regulate harmful conditions for women in prostitution is now fostering a booming sex trade, including sex tourism and sex trafficking, generating profits at a reported €15 billion (roughly $19 billion). With a population of approximately 400,000 individuals - overwhelmingly women - in prostitution, Germany must reassess its decriminalization framework.  Germany’s leading feminist magazine, EMMA, continues to examine the situation in its September/October 2014 issue as the government is yet again coming under pressure by sex industry lobbyists to deregulate prostitution even further. Among the pieces published by EMMA is a petition calling for the abolition of prostitution written and signed by prominent trauma experts who have worked with women bought and sold in prostitution. These mental health providers are convinced, through the counseling of their patients, that prostitution cannot be considered a “normal” occupation. According to Dr. Michaela Huber, Head of the German Society for Trauma and Dissociation, “prostitution is in no way a job like any other. It is degrading, torturous, exploitative.” These mental health and trauma counselors are advocating for awareness of the realities of sex trafficking and legalized prostitution in Germany and its devastating effects on women. READ MORE Amnesty International is currently advocating for full decriminalization of all aspects of prostitution which violates the basic human rights and dignities of prostituted individuals. Contact Amnesty Email: aimember@aiusa.org Decriminalize the sellers of sex but not the pimps, traffickers and buyers. AND Sign This Petition. Thank You!

 

GARY WEBB: CIA, CONTRAS, & THE CRACK COCAINE EXPLOSION

With the opening of the new Hollywood film "Kill the Messenger" this week, we look back at Democracy Now's interviews with Gary Webb, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter the film is based on. In 1996, Webb published an explosive series in the San Jose Mercury News titled, "Dark Alliance." The articles began: "For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the 'crack' capital of the world." The investigative series sparked protests in African-American and congressional probes. Following the controversy, the San Jose Mercury News demoted Webb. He then resigned and pushed his investigation even further in his book, "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion." The CIA's inspector general later corroborated Webb's key findings, but, by then, his career was wrecked. Watch/Read/Listen to Democracy Now

 

THE END OF KINDNESS: WEEV AND THE CULT OF THE ANGRY YOUNG MAN

This essay, published at The Verge, tells the troubling story of the harassment of Kathy Sierra, the incident that drove her away from participating in the tech Internet for years, and how the man who perpetrated this incident is being lionized and held up as a hero by cyber civil liberties organizations like EFF. Below are a couple of excerpts: … In March of [2007], some visitors to Sierra's blog called "open season" on the now 57-year-old. Hundreds of commenters on her blog made rape and death threats. "I hope someone slits your throat," wrote one person. People posted photoshopped images of her with a pair of panties choking her, or a noose near her head. She had enraged scores of men for supporting a call to moderate reader comments, which is of course common practice now. Sierra went public about the threats, writing on her blog, "It's better to talk about it than to just disappear." But disappear is exactly what she did next. Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, a well-known provocateur, hacker, and anti-Semite, circulated her home address and Social Security number online. The image above and his self-description that follows is from Google Profile: I have "beaten five felonies, shifted market caps by billions, embarassed some of the largest companies in the world, manipulated the electorate of an entire continent" READ MORE.

 

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