1. We need system change to stop climate changeSeptember 20, 2014
Viking I landed on Mars, the Ramones released their first album, the Soweto Uprising began in South Africa, North and South Vietnam reunified to become the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Gerald Ford was in the White House.
1976: The same year scientists discovered that refrigerant chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons, better known as CFCs, were responsible for creating a hole in the ozone layer was also the last time when global average temperatures were below the 20th century norm.
Hence, the earth has now experienced 353 consecutive months—or an astonishing 38 years in a row— of above average temperatures. In terms of hot and cold spells, snowfall patterns and the number of extremely hot or cold days, there are millions of people alive today who have no direct experience of the kind of planet their parents grew up on.
For communities of small farmers and pastoralists—who number in the hundreds of millions around the world—dependent on seasonal bio-indicators for information on rainfall, planting, harvesting and herd movements, this becomes a life-and-death question. Knowledge from elders about the annual rhythms of springtime flowering; flocks of migratory birds; the emergence of butterflies, pests and other pollinating insects; trees and plants blooming; and when to expect rain is becoming dangerously unreliable, and even irrelevant.
Examining the situation in the U.S., one only has to look at the photography of drought-afflicted California, where 50 percent of the fruit, nuts and vegetables for the whole United States are grown, to imagine what is going to happen to food production and the price of agricultural produce in a warming world.
The loss of water in the state—240 gigatons of surface and groundwater, an amount equivalent to almost 10 cm (4 inches) of water spread over the entire West—is so great that the mountains are measurably rising, as the weight on them diminishes.
For exactly half of those 38 years since 1976, world leaders have been discussing at international climate talks what to do about the increase in global temperatures resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and land-use changes.
Such societal activities have increased the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the key global warming gas, from a pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 400 ppm—having some time ago exceeded 350 ppm, the danger level calculated by scientists. Yet even as the science has become more definitive, and the direct impacts on our landscapes and climate ever more obvious, the political landscape has deteriorated faster than a California lake.
Indeed, world leaders and negotiators for the UN inter-governmental process on climate change, begun 19 years ago, have at this point essentially given up. The coming climate summit in Paris in December 2015—billed as the meeting that would finally adopt an international plan for replacing the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 to deal with carbon dioxide emissions and deforestation—is already acknowledged by participants as completely inadequate and having “no chance,” more than a year before it is set to take place.
As a new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, titled “Expectations for a New Climate Agreement,” says:

We doubt there will be negotiation specifically on quantitative national emissions reduction targets, as under the Berlin Mandate [agreed to in 1995]. Furthermore, any legal provisions included in an agreement will not be of a form requiring ratification by national legislative bodies. Involvement by the United States is crucial to any future regime, and the U.S. Senate is an impassable barrier on the horizon of COP-21 negotiations.

So more than a year ahead of negotiations that are supposed to map out and finalize a global deal on significant emissions reductions—which in any case were not due to come into effect until five years later—we already know the outcome: there will be no specific limits on emissions or targets for setting them; nothing will be enforceable and whatever happens will be merely voluntary; and the U.S., the biggest polluter in history, will be the major obstacle.
The “impassable barrier” of the U.S. Senate, more than half of whom are Democrats at the moment, means that 100 people—the majority of them millionaires, 80 of them male, 93 of them white, 85 identifying as Christian, with an average age of 62 and an average ofmore than 10 years in the same job—are holding hostage 7 billion people, millions of species and the climate stability of the entire planet.
Is it any wonder that a recent Princeton study, titled “Testing Theories of American Politics,” affirmed what many American’s already know: The United States of America is not a democracy in any meaningful sense. The report notes:

In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

The study also reports: “The net alignments of the most influential, business oriented groups are negatively related to the average citizen’s wishes.” Which means that not only do ordinary people in the United States have virtually no influence on government policy, despite formal national elections which might suggest otherwise, but the policies that are enacted under the influence of a small economic and political elite are contrary to the expressed desires of the majority of the population.
Many examples related to issues like taxing the rich, public health care and education could be cited. On the environmental front, several polls show majorities in favor of stronger U.S. government action on climate change. And contrary to a popular myth, the polls show consistently higher support from people of color, due to the fact that they are most directly, immediately and worst affected by environmental problems.
Full articleArt by Favianna Rodriguez. Download it & share here.
People’s Climate March in New York CitySunday, September 21 at 11:30 a.m.Central Park West btw 65th & 86th St.Facebook event page
Flood Wall Street - Mass action to shut down climate profiteersMonday, September 22 at 9 a.m.Battery Park, New York CityFacebook event page
See you out on the streets!

    We need system change to stop climate change
    September 20, 2014

    Viking I landed on Mars, the Ramones released their first album, the Soweto Uprising began in South Africa, North and South Vietnam reunified to become the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Gerald Ford was in the White House.

    1976: The same year scientists discovered that refrigerant chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons, better known as CFCs, were responsible for creating a hole in the ozone layer was also the last time when global average temperatures were below the 20th century norm.

    Hence, the earth has now experienced 353 consecutive months—or an astonishing 38 years in a row— of above average temperatures. In terms of hot and cold spells, snowfall patterns and the number of extremely hot or cold days, there are millions of people alive today who have no direct experience of the kind of planet their parents grew up on.

    For communities of small farmers and pastoralists—who number in the hundreds of millions around the world—dependent on seasonal bio-indicators for information on rainfall, planting, harvesting and herd movements, this becomes a life-and-death question. Knowledge from elders about the annual rhythms of springtime flowering; flocks of migratory birds; the emergence of butterflies, pests and other pollinating insects; trees and plants blooming; and when to expect rain is becoming dangerously unreliable, and even irrelevant.

    Examining the situation in the U.S., one only has to look at the photography of drought-afflicted California, where 50 percent of the fruit, nuts and vegetables for the whole United States are grown, to imagine what is going to happen to food production and the price of agricultural produce in a warming world.

    The loss of water in the state—240 gigatons of surface and groundwater, an amount equivalent to almost 10 cm (4 inches) of water spread over the entire West—is so great that the mountains are measurably rising, as the weight on them diminishes.

    For exactly half of those 38 years since 1976, world leaders have been discussing at international climate talks what to do about the increase in global temperatures resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and land-use changes.

    Such societal activities have increased the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the key global warming gas, from a pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 400 ppm—having some time ago exceeded 350 ppm, the danger level calculated by scientists. Yet even as the science has become more definitive, and the direct impacts on our landscapes and climate ever more obvious, the political landscape has deteriorated faster than a California lake.

    Indeed, world leaders and negotiators for the UN inter-governmental process on climate change, begun 19 years ago, have at this point essentially given up. The coming climate summit in Paris in December 2015—billed as the meeting that would finally adopt an international plan for replacing the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 to deal with carbon dioxide emissions and deforestation—is already acknowledged by participants as completely inadequate and having “no chance,” more than a year before it is set to take place.

    As a new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, titled “Expectations for a New Climate Agreement,” says:

    We doubt there will be negotiation specifically on quantitative national emissions reduction targets, as under the Berlin Mandate [agreed to in 1995]. Furthermore, any legal provisions included in an agreement will not be of a form requiring ratification by national legislative bodies. Involvement by the United States is crucial to any future regime, and the U.S. Senate is an impassable barrier on the horizon of COP-21 negotiations.

    So more than a year ahead of negotiations that are supposed to map out and finalize a global deal on significant emissions reductions—which in any case were not due to come into effect until five years later—we already know the outcome: there will be no specific limits on emissions or targets for setting them; nothing will be enforceable and whatever happens will be merely voluntary; and the U.S., the biggest polluter in history, will be the major obstacle.

    The “impassable barrier” of the U.S. Senate, more than half of whom are Democrats at the moment, means that 100 people—the majority of them millionaires, 80 of them male, 93 of them white, 85 identifying as Christian, with an average age of 62 and an average ofmore than 10 years in the same job—are holding hostage 7 billion people, millions of species and the climate stability of the entire planet.

    Is it any wonder that a recent Princeton study, titled “Testing Theories of American Politics,” affirmed what many American’s already know: The United States of America is not a democracy in any meaningful sense. The report notes:

    In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

    The study also reports: “The net alignments of the most influential, business oriented groups are negatively related to the average citizen’s wishes.” Which means that not only do ordinary people in the United States have virtually no influence on government policy, despite formal national elections which might suggest otherwise, but the policies that are enacted under the influence of a small economic and political elite are contrary to the expressed desires of the majority of the population.

    Many examples related to issues like taxing the rich, public health care and education could be cited. On the environmental front, several polls show majorities in favor of stronger U.S. government action on climate change. And contrary to a popular myth, the polls show consistently higher support from people of color, due to the fact that they are most directly, immediately and worst affected by environmental problems.

    Full article
    Art by Favianna Rodriguez. Download it & share here.

    People’s Climate March in New York City
    Sunday, September 21 at 11:30 a.m.
    Central Park West btw 65th & 86th St.
    Facebook event page

    Flood Wall Street - Mass action to shut down climate profiteers
    Monday, September 22 at 9 a.m.
    Battery Park, New York City
    Facebook event page

    See you out on the streets!

  2. fuckyeahanarchistbanners:

There Are No Prisons In A Queer Paradise // San Francisco, CA, USA // Free the gay shame 3

Prisons are for burning.

    fuckyeahanarchistbanners:

    There Are No Prisons In A Queer Paradise // San Francisco, CA, USA // Free the gay shame 3

    Prisons are for burning.

    Reblogged from: fuckyeahanarchistbanners
  3. Today in history: 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of 1963September 15, 2014
The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was used as a meeting-place for civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and Fred Shutterworth. Tensions became high when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) became involved in a campaign to register African American to vote in Birmingham.
On Sunday, 15th September, 1963, a white man was seen getting out of a white and turquoise Chevrolet car and placing a box under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Soon afterwards, at 10.22 a.m., the bomb exploded killing Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14). The four girls had been attending Sunday school classes at the church. Twenty-three other people were also hurt by the blast.
Civil rights activists blamed George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, for the killings. Only a week before the bombing he had told the New York Times that to stop integration Alabama needed a “few first-class funerals.”
A witness identified Robert Chambliss, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, as the man who placed the bomb under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. He was arrested and charged with murder and possessing a box of 122 sticks of dynamite without a permit. On 8th October, 1963, Chambliss was found not guilty of murder and received a hundred-dollar fine and a six-month jail sentence for having the dynamite.
The case was unsolved until Bill Baxley was elected attorney general of Alabama. He requested the original Federal Bureau of Investigation files on the case and discovered that the organization had accumulated a great deal of evidence against Chambliss that had not been used in the original trial.
In November, 1977 Chambliss was tried once again for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. Now aged 73, Chambliss was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Chambliss died in an Alabama prison on 29th October, 1985.
On 17th May, 2000, the FBI announced that the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing had been carried out by the Ku Klux Klan splinter group, the Cahaba Boys. It was claimed that four men, Robert Chambliss, Herman Cash, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry had been responsible for the crime. Cash was dead but Blanton and Cherry were arrested and Blanton has since been tried and convicted.
Source

    Today in history: 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of 1963
    September 15, 2014

    The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was used as a meeting-place for civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and Fred Shutterworth. Tensions became high when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) became involved in a campaign to register African American to vote in Birmingham.

    On Sunday, 15th September, 1963, a white man was seen getting out of a white and turquoise Chevrolet car and placing a box under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Soon afterwards, at 10.22 a.m., the bomb exploded killing Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14). The four girls had been attending Sunday school classes at the church. Twenty-three other people were also hurt by the blast.

    Civil rights activists blamed George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, for the killings. Only a week before the bombing he had told the New York Times that to stop integration Alabama needed a “few first-class funerals.”

    A witness identified Robert Chambliss, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, as the man who placed the bomb under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. He was arrested and charged with murder and possessing a box of 122 sticks of dynamite without a permit. On 8th October, 1963, Chambliss was found not guilty of murder and received a hundred-dollar fine and a six-month jail sentence for having the dynamite.

    The case was unsolved until Bill Baxley was elected attorney general of Alabama. He requested the original Federal Bureau of Investigation files on the case and discovered that the organization had accumulated a great deal of evidence against Chambliss that had not been used in the original trial.

    In November, 1977 Chambliss was tried once again for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. Now aged 73, Chambliss was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Chambliss died in an Alabama prison on 29th October, 1985.

    On 17th May, 2000, the FBI announced that the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing had been carried out by the Ku Klux Klan splinter group, the Cahaba Boys. It was claimed that four men, Robert Chambliss, Herman Cash, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry had been responsible for the crime. Cash was dead but Blanton and Cherry were arrested and Blanton has since been tried and convicted.

    Source

  4. STOP SHOPPING AT URBAN OUTFITTERS if you for some reason still do.
The retailer just released this “vintage” blood-stained Kent State sweatshirt on Sunday, referencing the shooting massacre at Kent State on May 4, 1970, when four unarmed college students were killed and nine wounded by Ohio National Guardsmen during a Vietnam War protest at the university. 
It has since been removed & listed as “sold out.”
Urban Outfitters apologized on Twitter: 
Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.
UO has a history of super offensive & appropriative clothing, including Native exploitation & a crop top with “depression” written across it.
Gross. Don’t shop there. 

    STOP SHOPPING AT URBAN OUTFITTERS if you for some reason still do.

    The retailer just released this “vintage” blood-stained Kent State sweatshirt on Sunday, referencing the shooting massacre at Kent State on May 4, 1970, when four unarmed college students were killed and nine wounded by Ohio National Guardsmen during a Vietnam War protest at the university. 

    It has since been removed & listed as “sold out.”

    Urban Outfitters apologized on Twitter: 

    Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.

    UO has a history of super offensive & appropriative clothing, including Native exploitation & a crop top with “depression” written across it.

    Gross. Don’t shop there. 

  5. egoting:

    Some pictures from the rally today at Columbia. So much wonderful support for my sister and I! Emma and I are truly grateful to everyone who came, and everyone who was there in spirit.

    Emma, you are such a fierce source of inspiration. Solidarity, sister <3

    Reblogged from: thejesusandmarxchain
  6. 
The phenomenon of the female homicides in Ciudad Juárez, called in Spanish the feminicidios (“femicides”) and las muertas de Juárez (“The dead women of Juárez”), involves the violent deaths of hundreds of women since 1993 in the northern Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, a border city across the Rio Grande from the U.S. city of El Paso, Texas. The estimated homicide toll is speculated to be around 400, but many local residents believe that the true count of los feminicidios stands at an estimated 5,000 victims. Most of the cases remained unsolved as of 2003, and are still mainly unsolved today.

    The phenomenon of the female homicides in Ciudad Juárez, called in Spanish the feminicidios (“femicides”) and las muertas de Juárez (“The dead women of Juárez”), involves the violent deaths of hundreds of women since 1993 in the northern Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, a border city across the Rio Grande from the U.S. city of El Paso, Texas. The estimated homicide toll is speculated to be around 400, but many local residents believe that the true count of los feminicidios stands at an estimated 5,000 victims. Most of the cases remained unsolved as of 2003, and are still mainly unsolved today.

    Reblogged from: mochente
  7. Eviction &amp; intersectionality: Why black women need housing justiceSeptember 14, 2014
My heart sank once I realized it was an eviction notice. After coming home from an underwhelming day at work, I looked forward to zoning out on TV realities that were infinitely more exciting than my own reality. I never imagined I would be greeted by a real-life soap opera in the form of an official-looking notice posted on my door. That day, I became the recipient of a one-way ticket on the eviction train, party of one. Needless to say, the notice put a wrench in my ambitious plans for the evening.

Where did I turn first? Google. I didn’t know the first thing about eviction. At that point in my life, I thought simply mentioning evictions was a little taboo &#8212; I believed eviction only happened to people way more downtrodden than myself. Growing up, whether it was true or not, I always considered my family middle class. Surely, an eviction could never happen to a girl like me (I had yet to recognize that my current job hardly qualified me for a place in the middle class and that my salary bordered those of the working poor).

Upon Googling the foreign concept of tenants being forced out of their homes, I found nothing to ease the anxiety gradually building in the pit of my stomach. The legalese, convoluted language and complete lack of tenant resources I encountered on the Internet provided little information and no peace of mind. I felt lost, dazed and confused. Surely the nice ladies in the office of my apartment complex were willing to negotiate with me to ensure a roof over a fellow woman’s head.

Rude awakening: Any sisterhood I ever had with my apartment’s white female property managers was null and void now that I was headed to Eviction Land. Solidarity be damned! After pleading with them for a merciful payment plan, they told me my best option was to pay off my balance and move immediately. Of course, I did not have enough money to pay them what I owed &#8212; I was paying far more than 30 percent of my income, which explains why I fell behind on my rent. No safety net in sight, I needed to stay in my apartment as long as possible (which was not very long according to the Google gods).

I never saw the sheriff &#8212; I vacated my apartment just in the nick of time. With my tail tucked between my legs and feeling irresponsible as ever, I moved back to Georgia (my home state) to crash on a family member’s day bed. I wish I knew then that my shame was unwarranted and that my story of eviction was not an extraordinary one. A recent study conducted by the MacArthur Foundation revealed that poor Black women are disproportionately impacted by evictions. The study found that while Black women were only 9.6 percent of Milwaukee’s population, they experienced 30 percent of the city’s court-ordered evictions. This distressing statistic was attributed to a number of factors including low wages, intimidation by male landlords and triggering the aggravation of landlords because of child and partner-related incidents. Apparently, several landlords find eviction justifiable when a Black woman merely makes a complaint about mold affecting her children’s health or when she lives with an abusive partner who causes domestic disturbances.

My “Blackness” and my “womanliness” are both things that I love about myself and other Black women; however, neither polls well in today’s discriminatory housing market. Black women face higher eviction rates than any other group because of our marginalized identities. While the term “intersectionality” has been appropriated to reference a plethora of social phenomena, it was originally coined by Black feminist scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how the multiple oppressed identities of Black women collectively contribute to how people perceive us in society. If you asked me to hypothesize why women of color bare the brunt of evictions in this country, I would point you down the path of intersectionality.

In the tradition of countless resilient Black women that came before me, I made lemonade out of lemons by carving a career path out of a hardship &#8212; stopping evictions became my line of work. After moving back to Georgia, I tapped into a vibrant community of activism, which eventually led to a job as an organizer for a housing justice organization called Occupy Our Homes Atlanta. Our mission was to repair the devastation caused by the housing crisis in Atlanta by fightingforeclosure and eviction through direct action and public pressure. 

Unsurprisingly, the majority of our residents-in-struggle were Black, and many of them were Black women. These women inspired me to no end &#8212; they were smart, radical and ready to salvage their slice of the American Dream by fighting like hell to save their homes. I will never forget one of my favorite resident-activists, Mildred Obi. A daughter of the Civil Rights Movement, she occupied her home after being evicted and eventually won it free and clear from Bank of America. Mildred harnessed her power in the name of housing justice and continues to help others in danger of losing their homes. She is a prime example of why Black women need housing justice: Because when we fight, we can win. As Black women, even the seemingly simple act of survival is a fight, so fighting for our human right to housing is inherent in us.

I carry Mildred’s spirit with me in my new position as a community organizer with the Tenants Union of Washington in Seattle, which was recently named the number one city for apartment rent increases in the country. Any push for rent stabilization in Seattle will be a hard-won fight due to a statewide ban on rent control. Displacement and gentrification both run rampant in the city as for-profit developers snatch up affordable housing and drive up rents in historical communities of color. While our city’s Just Cause Eviction Ordinance prevents landlords from terminating tenancies at will, still approximately 10 households are evicted every day. I brace myself for all of these challenges knowing that other Black women are in this fight with me ready to create space for other Black women in the housing justice movement. I fervently believe that my role in this movement is to amplify and elevate the voices of Black women because more than any other population, we need housing justice and we need it now.
Source

    Eviction & intersectionality: Why black women need housing justice
    September 14, 2014

    My heart sank once I realized it was an eviction notice. After coming home from an underwhelming day at work, I looked forward to zoning out on TV realities that were infinitely more exciting than my own reality. I never imagined I would be greeted by a real-life soap opera in the form of an official-looking notice posted on my door. That day, I became the recipient of a one-way ticket on the eviction train, party of one. Needless to say, the notice put a wrench in my ambitious plans for the evening.
    Where did I turn first? Google. I didn’t know the first thing about eviction. At that point in my life, I thought simply mentioning evictions was a little taboo — I believed eviction only happened to people way more downtrodden than myself. Growing up, whether it was true or not, I always considered my family middle class. Surely, an eviction could never happen to a girl like me (I had yet to recognize that my current job hardly qualified me for a place in the middle class and that my salary bordered those of the working poor).
    Upon Googling the foreign concept of tenants being forced out of their homes, I found nothing to ease the anxiety gradually building in the pit of my stomach. The legalese, convoluted language and complete lack of tenant resources I encountered on the Internet provided little information and no peace of mind. I felt lost, dazed and confused. Surely the nice ladies in the office of my apartment complex were willing to negotiate with me to ensure a roof over a fellow woman’s head.
    Rude awakening: Any sisterhood I ever had with my apartment’s white female property managers was null and void now that I was headed to Eviction Land. Solidarity be damned! After pleading with them for a merciful payment plan, they told me my best option was to pay off my balance and move immediately. Of course, I did not have enough money to pay them what I owed — I was paying far more than 30 percent of my income, which explains why I fell behind on my rent. No safety net in sight, I needed to stay in my apartment as long as possible (which was not very long according to the Google gods).
    I never saw the sheriff — I vacated my apartment just in the nick of time. With my tail tucked between my legs and feeling irresponsible as ever, I moved back to Georgia (my home state) to crash on a family member’s day bed. I wish I knew then that my shame was unwarranted and that my story of eviction was not an extraordinary one. A recent study conducted by the MacArthur Foundation revealed that poor Black women are disproportionately impacted by evictions. The study found that while Black women were only 9.6 percent of Milwaukee’s population, they experienced 30 percent of the city’s court-ordered evictions. This distressing statistic was attributed to a number of factors including low wages, intimidation by male landlords and triggering the aggravation of landlords because of child and partner-related incidents. Apparently, several landlords find eviction justifiable when a Black woman merely makes a complaint about mold affecting her children’s health or when she lives with an abusive partner who causes domestic disturbances.
    My “Blackness” and my “womanliness” are both things that I love about myself and other Black women; however, neither polls well in today’s discriminatory housing market. Black women face higher eviction rates than any other group because of our marginalized identities. While the term “intersectionality” has been appropriated to reference a plethora of social phenomena, it was originally coined by Black feminist scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how the multiple oppressed identities of Black women collectively contribute to how people perceive us in society. If you asked me to hypothesize why women of color bare the brunt of evictions in this country, I would point you down the path of intersectionality.
    In the tradition of countless resilient Black women that came before me, I made lemonade out of lemons by carving a career path out of a hardship — stopping evictions became my line of work. After moving back to Georgia, I tapped into a vibrant community of activism, which eventually led to a job as an organizer for a housing justice organization called Occupy Our Homes Atlanta. Our mission was to repair the devastation caused by the housing crisis in Atlanta by fightingforeclosure and eviction through direct action and public pressure. 
    Unsurprisingly, the majority of our residents-in-struggle were Black, and many of them were Black women. These women inspired me to no end — they were smart, radical and ready to salvage their slice of the American Dream by fighting like hell to save their homes. I will never forget one of my favorite resident-activists, Mildred Obi. A daughter of the Civil Rights Movement, she occupied her home after being evicted and eventually won it free and clear from Bank of America. Mildred harnessed her power in the name of housing justice and continues to help others in danger of losing their homes. She is a prime example of why Black women need housing justice: Because when we fight, we can win. As Black women, even the seemingly simple act of survival is a fight, so fighting for our human right to housing is inherent in us.
    I carry Mildred’s spirit with me in my new position as a community organizer with the Tenants Union of Washington in Seattle, which was recently named the number one city for apartment rent increases in the country. Any push for rent stabilization in Seattle will be a hard-won fight due to a statewide ban on rent control. Displacement and gentrification both run rampant in the city as for-profit developers snatch up affordable housing and drive up rents in historical communities of color. While our city’s Just Cause Eviction Ordinance prevents landlords from terminating tenancies at will, still approximately 10 households are evicted every day. I brace myself for all of these challenges knowing that other Black women are in this fight with me ready to create space for other Black women in the housing justice movement. I fervently believe that my role in this movement is to amplify and elevate the voices of Black women because more than any other population, we need housing justice and we need it now.
  8. fotojournalismus:

Palestinian children look out from their family’s house, which witnesses said was badly damaged during the recent Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City on Aug. 28, 2014. (Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Zuma Press)

    fotojournalismus:

    Palestinian children look out from their family’s house, which witnesses said was badly damaged during the recent Israeli offensive, in the east of Gaza City on Aug. 28, 2014. (Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/Zuma Press)

    Reblogged from: realworldnews
  9. 9,600 Gaza students will not attend school at start of academic yearSeptember 14, 2014
Around 9,600 students would not be able to start the new academic year in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, a United Nations agency has said.
This is particularly so because Palestinian families – whose homes were destroyed during Israel&#8217;s latest war on the Gaza Strip – have come to seek refuge at three Gaza schools and refuse to leave those schools, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) added late on Saturday.
UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna told Anadolu Agency that the three schools are located in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, noting that the schools would not welcome their students for the new academic year, which will start on Sunday, because displaced Gazans are refusing to leave.
He added that this means that the 9,600 students enrolled in these three schools would not be able to start their academic year on Sunday.
The Palestinian Education Ministry said earlier that the new academic year would start in Gaza on September 14.
The academic year should have started in the Palestinian enclave – home to 1.9 million people – earlier, but it had to be delayed because of Israel&#8217;s offensive on it.
The 51-day offensive had come to an end on August 26 by a cease-fire deal that was signed by the Palestinians and Israel in Cairo.
The war left 2,156 Gazans dead and more than 11,000 others injured.
Source

    9,600 Gaza students will not attend school at start of academic year
    September 14, 2014

    Around 9,600 students would not be able to start the new academic year in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, a United Nations agency has said.

    This is particularly so because Palestinian families – whose homes were destroyed during Israel’s latest war on the Gaza Strip – have come to seek refuge at three Gaza schools and refuse to leave those schools, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) added late on Saturday.

    UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna told Anadolu Agency that the three schools are located in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, noting that the schools would not welcome their students for the new academic year, which will start on Sunday, because displaced Gazans are refusing to leave.

    He added that this means that the 9,600 students enrolled in these three schools would not be able to start their academic year on Sunday.

    The Palestinian Education Ministry said earlier that the new academic year would start in Gaza on September 14.

    The academic year should have started in the Palestinian enclave – home to 1.9 million people – earlier, but it had to be delayed because of Israel’s offensive on it.

    The 51-day offensive had come to an end on August 26 by a cease-fire deal that was signed by the Palestinians and Israel in Cairo.

    The war left 2,156 Gazans dead and more than 11,000 others injured.

    Source

  10. nativeamericannews:

 Photos: Monument Valley Organizes Silent Protest Against Redskins
 In Monument Valley, Utah, the Internet is not a ubiquitous tool for most members of the Navajo Nation. So, many stories on the Web or comments on social media about the Washington football team’s name-change debate were not heard.

    nativeamericannews:

     Photos: Monument Valley Organizes Silent Protest Against Redskins

     In Monument Valley, Utah, the Internet is not a ubiquitous tool for most members of the Navajo Nation. So, many stories on the Web or comments on social media about the Washington football team’s name-change debate were not heard.

    Reblogged from: peaceshine3
  11. Here’s a sure-fire way to know that you hate women: when an incident of intimate partner violence in which a man knocks a woman unconscious gains national attention and every question or comment you think to make has to do with her behavior, you really hate women. Like, despise.

    There is no other explanation. There is no “I need all the facts.” There is no excuse. You hate women. Own it.

    Now, you probably don’t believe you hate women. You probably honestly think you’re being an objective observer whose only interest is the truth. You are delusional.

    We have this problem in our discourse around the most important challenges we face where we feel we have to be “fair to both sides.” But sometimes, one of those sides is subjugation and oppression. If you’re OK with legitimizing that side in the interest of “fairness,” you’re essentially saying you’re OK with oppression as a part of the human condition. That’s some hateful shit.

  12. Reblogged from: america-wakiewakie
  13. Students show solidarity by helping Columbia rape survivor carry her mattressSeptember 12, 2014
Responding to the call to “carry the weight together,” fellow students helped Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia senior who is lugging her mattress everywhere while her rapist remains on campus, carry it from the courtyard to her class yesterday. 
The collective carry was organized by students and alumni who want ”to help Emma carry the weight of the physical mattress, give her and other survivors of sexual assault in our community a powerful symbol of our support and solidarity, and show the administration that we stand united in demanding better policies designed to end sexual violence and rape culture on campus.”
As Alexandra wrote, the idea of “carrying the weight together” holds much symbolic resonance — not just as a way of lightening the burden on survivors but also by highlighting the collective sacrifice required to eliminate it. “If we all helped carry the weight of injustice, we could not bear it,” she wrote. “And so we would finally stop tolerating what we’ve been content to force others to carry alone.” And it makes a damn powerful visual too.
Source

    Students show solidarity by helping Columbia rape survivor carry her mattress
    September 12, 2014

    Responding to the call to “carry the weight together,” fellow students helped Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia senior who is lugging her mattress everywhere while her rapist remains on campus, carry it from the courtyard to her class yesterday

    The collective carry was organized by students and alumni who want ”to help Emma carry the weight of the physical mattress, give her and other survivors of sexual assault in our community a powerful symbol of our support and solidarity, and show the administration that we stand united in demanding better policies designed to end sexual violence and rape culture on campus.”

    As Alexandra wrote, the idea of “carrying the weight together” holds much symbolic resonance — not just as a way of lightening the burden on survivors but also by highlighting the collective sacrifice required to eliminate it. “If we all helped carry the weight of injustice, we could not bear it,” she wrote. “And so we would finally stop tolerating what we’ve been content to force others to carry alone.” And it makes a damn powerful visual too.

    Source

  14. socialjusticekoolaid:

    The Ferguson City Council convened for the first time since Mike Brown’s death, and proved that they literally give no fucks about what the community has to say. Added to their vague, paltry proposed reforms, seems real change will have to come in Ferguson via the ballot box. I don’t care where you live folks— let this be a lesson in voting/participating in your local elections and government! #staywoke #farfromover 

    Reblogged from: socialjusticekoolaid
  15. Reblogged from: cultureofresistance
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