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Yemen’s New Ways of Protesting Drone Strikes: Graffiti and Poetry

Citizen Media at Manchester

Street artists and poets in Yemen campaign against American drone strike

US drone attacks in Yemen

A Yemeni boy looks at graffiti depicting a U.S. drone at a street in Sana’a, Yemen, Nov. 6, 2013.

An American drone hovers along a main thoroughfare in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. Not a real drone, but rather a 7 foot-long rendition of an unmanned aircraft spray-painted near the top of a whitewashed city wall. Below it, a stenciled-on child is writing: “Why did you kill my family?” in blood-red English and Arabic script.

Painted by Yemeni artist Murad Subay, the Banksy-esque mural sits beside three others also admonishing the United States’ use of drones in Yemen to track and kill terrorism suspects. This drone art is part of Subay’s latest campaign, “12 Hours”, which aims to raise awareness about twelve problems facing Yemen, including weapons proliferation, sectarianism, kidnapping and poverty. Drones are the fifth and arguably most striking “hour” yet…

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Despite Supreme Court Ruling, at least 15 States Still Allow Mandatory Life Sentences for Juveniles

Despite Supreme Court Ruling, at least 15 States Still Allow Mandatory Life Sentences for Juveniles

This is what happens when our government allows a for profit prison system to operate in our country. It’s heartbreaking to know that our country imprisons more people than any other country. What’s worse is that profit driven prison systems do not help the country, instead it creates a demand for prisoners and our youths and the disenfranchised are already paying the price. 

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Decay and Repair: Government Corruption Can Be Fixed

Decay and Repair: Government Corruption Can Be Fixed

“Congress is the pivot point, the compass of our national direction. It is the meeting point of corporate power and national government. From the moment our newly elected Representatives assume their posts in Washington, they are introduced to the rule of money.”

Schools and the New Jim Crow: An Interview With Michelle Alexander

Schools and the New Jim Crow: An Interview With Michelle Alexander

 

“I think this mythology—that of course we’re all beyond race, of course our police officers aren’t racist, of course our politicians don’t mean any harm to people of color—this idea that we’re beyond all that (so it must be something else) makes it difficult for young people as well as the grown-ups to be able to see clearly and honestly the truth of what’s going on. It makes it difficult to see that the backlash against the Civil Rights Movement manifested itself in the form of mass incarceration, in the form of defunding and devaluing schools serving kids of color and all the rest. We have avoided in recent years talking openly and honestly about race out of fear that it will alienate and polarize. In my own view, it’s our refusal to deal openly and honestly with race that leads us to keep repeating these cycles of exclusion and division, and rebirthing a caste-like system that we claim we’ve left behind.”

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On Virginity.

I hate the term virginity as much as I hate misogyny, racism and tomatoes. The fact that for centuries it has been used and continues to be used as a tool for controlling women’s sexuality makes me even more repulsed by it. Being defined as a virgin has different implications for men and women and it’s unfair that women must be burdened to “keep their virginity”, while men have no pressure to keep it or value it. Their self worth and character won’t be up for debate if or when they decide to engage in sexual activity.  But the term alone is damaging to society because the concept of virginity puts unwarranted pressures on women to be submissive and in the case of men it shapes their interactions and relationships with women.  The worst part is that women have internalized this concept and use it to oppress each other.  It is called slut shaming.  Men engage in it as well, but the internalization of “virginity” as a virtue and a defining characteristic by women makes social rejection of this concept greater to achieve when the group being most damaged by it also uses “virginity” as a tool for defining their self worth and as a tool for shaming.  Don’t forget that in some countries women are killed for not “being virgins”because their sexuality represents a family’s honor.

Its time that we start changing the way society treats women’s sexuality. Let’s acknowledge that women like men are sexual beings. Let’s stop valuing women for their willingness to conform to oppressive systems. Let’s stop instilling in women that their sexual inexperience will some how evelvate her status or gain her special privileges.  Let’s stop treating “virginity” or lack there of as a moral issue because it isn’t. Oppressing a group of people to the point that they will be killed for not submitting to another’s will isn’t moral. Oppressing women over something as superficial as “virginity” is not moral. “Virginity” is not real. It was made up to control and suppress women’s sexuality. We need to give that up. “Virginity” is an outdated concept that helps no one. Remaining a “virgin” doesn’t make a woman a better person.  What it does make her is sexually inexperienced and unaware of the joys of sex.  Sex is fun and there is always something new to learn. What’s wrong with enjoying something as natural as sex and admitting to liking it? The answer for women is shame. It’s shameful for women to identify as sexual beings because of the concept of “virginity”. But what social functions does “virginity” fulfill other than the oppression of women?  Let’s cut the bullshit. “Virginity” is nothing more than an outdated concept used to suppress women’s sexuality by attaching honor and virtue to its definition.

Some idiots will say that I just want women to let loose and go on a fucking spree and catch an STI or unwanted pregnancies.  To them I say. Yes! I do want women to let loose. I want them to set themselves free from the constraints brought upon their sexual lives by “virginity”. If they want to go on a fucking spree they should go for it and enjoy themselves. What’s wrong with that? STI’s and unwanted pregnancies you say? We live in the 21st fucking century. If we let go of the immoral and damaging concept of virginity and all the bullshit that is associated with it people in general would be better informed about STI’s and pregnancy prevention and we wouldn’t have to worry about it as much.  Instead of scaring people and teaching them to be ashamed of sexual feelings we should, for the progression of a healthy and accepting society, teach people about the importance of owning their sexuality. Let’s teach our young girls that if they want to engage in sexual activity they should be aware of not only the responsibilities that come with having sex, but the importance of having sex for pleasure and not for the pressure of maintaining certain relationships or for the sole purpose of bearing children.

In conclusion, FUCK “VIRGINITY”!

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lasophielle

I wrote this for In These Times: read it there at the Uprising blog.

Whether or not we think that cops can—meaningfully—be tried and sentenced in the courts, there is every reason to closely watch the class-action law-suit Floyd et al vs. City of New York. Multiple new and long-term struggles against the Police Department’s systemic, bloody, and racist violence are now converging. Among them we must count the movement for justice for Kimani Gray, Stop Stop and Frisk, Stop Police Brutality, the CPR, Ramarley’s Call—Ramarley Graham’s parents link his death with stop-and-frisk—and those still battling for justice for the “Central Park Five”. Thanks to prosecution witnesses Officers Polanco and Serrano, the police union (PBA) has recently been proven to collude in the implementation of quotas: bosses have demanded 20 summonses and 1 arrest per precinct per month. This is, it goes without saying, an interesting and…

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Elizabeth Warren Takes On Eric Holder’s ‘Too Big To Jail’ Statement

A Progressive's thoughts


As we have seen with the recent settlements, these Banks are free to do whatever they like with impunity while the small people of the world get served with warrants by civil courts threatening arrest over past debts that have been bought by debt collecting law firms buying old debt for pennies on the dollar. It is appalling. The republicans in their corner are doing everything they can to make the Dodd-Frank Act ineffectual but at this stage of Too Big to Fail, where we saw that a certain Big Bank can get away with money laundering for drug cartels, does it even matter? There is something rotten in the State of Denmark if we are subsidizing these big banks and Wall Street to the tune of 85 billion dollars when at the same time the sequester is cutting 85 billion dollars that will directly affect poor people across the…

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