Monday, February 15, 2010

Violation in Vancouver: Indigenous Activists Protest WHM Supremacist Canadian Government and Media's Gross Disregard of First Nations (as usual)

Since being a kid, I have loved the Olympics. I still do. I've been watching the Vancouver Winter Games and enjoying them. Go Apolo!!! Break the record! And a huge congratulations to Alexandre Bilodeau, on his Men's Moguls Gold Medal accomplishment, and for the love between him and his brother, Frédéric, who has Cerebral Palsy and inspires Alexandre. Congrats also to the self-possessed and super smart Hannah Kearney for her Gold in Women's Moguls.

I've also been considering, at least during commercial breaks, how enjoying things that require genocidal activities is required to be part of dominant society.

I suspect one key dynamic in dominant cultural apathy and resistance to being conscious of what is actually going on to allow the dominant West to be dominant is that it manufactures and promotes so many ways for all of us to be "entertained" and distracted, deluded, in denial, caught up in dominant cultural spectacles, as well as financially invested or economically dependent, socially and institutionally tethered, and politically obligated and obliged. I'm sure there are whole books on this subject. I don't think I'm saying anything new, and I've thought about this on and off for years. But it really sinks in and hits nerves when reporting here on atrocious activities that I am "enjoying" the practice of--off-camera, to be sure. I plan to write more about this. For now...

All that follows is from *here*, with thanks to Brenda at Censored News.

Olympic Resistance: Indigenous Groups, Anti-Poverty Activists, and Civil Liberties Advocates Protest 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Our Olympic coverage begins today in the streets of Vancouver, where some say a historic convergence is taking place. Indigenous groups, anti-poverty activists and civil liberties advocates are some of the voices being heard in protests against the Olympic presence. Franklin Lopez of the Vancouver’s Media Co-op has been following the Olympic protests. He filed this report. [includes rush transcript]

Ruchira Gupta is a Changemaker

[photograph of Ruchira Gupta is from here]

All that follows is from *here*.

Ruchira Gupta is a journalist, activist, and policymaker who has worked relentlessly for the past 25 years to end human trafficking and to empower some of the most marginalized girls and women in the world. She is best known for leading girls and women in prostitution to advocate for their own change though Apne Aap Women Worldwide, a community-based initiative in India that builds up the capacity of girls and women through small “self-help” group structures.

Apne Aap has had overwhelming success in assisting thousands of women and girls working in prostitution, transforming them from victims into leaders. Employing its strategy of learning, livelihood and legal protection , the organization has enrolled 2,500 children of women in prostitution in school, offered over 7,500 women survivors skills in small business management, and has trained more than 1,097 police officials in Bihar and Maharashtra to fight trafficking.

In addition to her work with Apne Aap, Ruchira provides policy support to the Government of India, and the United Nations. In 2009 and 2008, Gupta addressed the UN General Assembly on human trafficking and took the first ever panel of survivors of trafficking to speak at the UN. She has been awarded the Clinton Global Citizen Award for leadership in civil society (2009), the Bharat Nirman Award (2009), the Abolitionist Award (2007) at the UK House of Lords and the Emmy for outstanding investigative journalism (2005).

She played an important role in the passage of the US Trafficking Protection Bill through her first-hand testimony to the US Senate on the flesh trade. She has worked in the United Nations for the last ten years and helped the Government of Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Kosovo and Philippines to develop National Action Plans and laws against human trafficking. She has written two anti-trafficking manuals for police officials and prosecutors developed with UNODC and UNIFEM.

Her work has been cited in the following books: Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff and A. Wu, Revisiting India by Ramin Jehanbegloo, Sale by Patricia McCormick, That Takes Ovaries by Rivka Solomon, Adventure Divas by Holly Morris, Ten Thousand Miles without a Cloud by Sun Shun Yun, Breaking the Earthenware Jar by Ruth Hayward, and In the name of Ram By Abid Surti. Documentaries that she has worked on include:

a) Paul Merton in India, BBC, Channel 5, UK, 2008
b) Land of the Missing Children, Channel 4, UK, 2005, on teenage sex-slavery in India.
c) Saffron Warriors, Channel 4, UK, 2003 on Nazi style Hindu fundamentalism in India
d) Rape for Profit. (Life in the Mumbai Brothel): News Night, BBC-1999
e) Kali’s smile: Radio 4, BBC documentary on role of Gods and goddesses in Indian popular culture. 1998
f) Shiva's wedding: Radio 4, BBC documentary on role of Gods and goddesses in Indian popular culture. 1998
g) The Selling of Innocents. (On sex-trafficking from Nepal to Mumbai, India): Documentary screened on CBC and HBO. Awarded the EMMY for outstanding investigative journalism by the United States Academy for Television Arts and Sciences in 1997 and used by NGOs, activists, government agencies as educational material to combat trafficking. -1997

On Lesbianism. One View. For Valentine's Day: A Day for Women to Be Liberated by Loving Women Fiercely and Affectionately

[image is from here]
Source: *here*.

On Valentine's Day, my thoughts always turn to Andrea Dworkin

"It is no secret that fear and hatred of homosexuals permeates our society. But the contempt for lesbians is distinct. It is directly rooted in the abhorrence of the self-defined women, the self-determining woman, the woman who is not controlled by male need, imperative, or manipulation. Contempt for lesbians is most often a political repudiation of women who organize in their own behalf to achieve public presence, significant power, visible integrity."