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JUNE 2012



“Then we looked at each other and marveled how, just a mere week ago, there were four lone pots beating out a tune of solidarity & disobedience & freedom in his neighborhood, and now, so few days later, young children are teaching themselves rebellion, and as another friend said to me on the street, we anarchists are struggling to catch up to what the tens of thousands of people are doing here in Montreal.” Read more here. Read How Students Are Painting Montreal Red. Read more about Occupy Montreal.



June is Gay Pride Month so we are happy to thank JC Penney for this ad featuring fathers. This ad is JC Penney's response to the boycotting, caterwauling and whining about their use of Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson. According to the company, the two men who appear in this ad are "real-life dads Todd Koch and Copper Smith," and the jubilant children are their kids, Claire and Mason. Read more.



While technology writers often act as if the Web is something out there away from society, we all know (and they do too) that technology is always embedded in social structures, power, domination and inequalities. And the words we choose to talk about tech, while seemingly innocuous, betray some pretty heavy political predispositions. The New York Times ran a story looking at a “new digital divide” where “poorer” folks aren’t using the web in a “meaningful” way but instead are “wasting time” on social media.
I was reminded of how Facebook users looked down on MySpace users a few years ago or the current racist rhetoric surrounding iPhone versus Android mobile phone users. Technology is often an excuse to reify the fallacy that those less privileged are an other, different, less capable and less human. Read more.



Voting this year can help stop recent setbacks of women's rights, says Martha Burk in her book "Your Voice, Your Vote: The Savvy Woman's Guide to Power, Politics and the Change We Need." But before heading to the ballot box, press candidates and arm yourself with knowledge.

Read more. Also, an interesting graph on the gender gap in election coverage.



Zarifa Qazizadah has become the first woman to head a village in Afghanistan.


In a male-dominated society that has for years been controlled by the ultra-conservative Taliban, the emergence of the first female village chief took everyone by surprise. After being ridiculed by male villagers for wanting to occupy political office, Zarifa Qazizadah, the mother of 15 children, managed to become the mayor of Naw Abad, a village in the northern Balkh province. Qazizadah’s political ambition started in 2004 when she told her mocking fellow villagers that she wanted to represent them and promised to supply Naw Abad with electricity.


Read more here.



If you are a white girl, a black girl or a black boy, exposure to today's electronic media in the long run tends to make you feel worse about yourself. If you're a white boy, you'll feel better, according to a new study led by an Indiana University professor. "Regardless of what show you're watching, if you're a white male, things in life are pretty good for you," Martins said of characters on TV. "You tend to be in positions of power, you have prestigious occupations, high education, glamorous houses, a beautiful wife, with very little portrayals of how hard you worked to get there." Read more here.



[Brussels, 31 May 2012] Members of Pussy Riot, a feminist punk-rock band staging performances against the Vladimir Putin election campaign and standing up for women in Russia have been arrested and are now awaiting trial. Three brave young women —Nadya Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich—risk conviction on charges of aggravated hooliganism and vandalism that could land them seven years in prison.


The arrest took place for allegedly performing a protest song against Vladimir Putin in Moscow's Church of Christ the Saviour. It was not Pussy Riot’s first attempt to stand up for what they believe in. They have also conducted several actions in the subway and on the roof of buses in Moscow where they have protested against Russian macho culture. Read the article. Sign the petition. Like the Facebook page: Free Pussy Riot Now! (Putin, fear no art.)


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