Solidarity.

by matttbastard

solidarity

Resistance: it’s not futile, it’s fuzzy.

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Petition to defer any bill on prostitution until after the next general election

by Caroline Shepherd

(Originally posted at Shiraz Socialist)

There’s a petition up to defer any bill on prostitution until after the next general election on Number10.gov.uk

The right of people in this country to decide by mutual agreement whether and under what conditions they consent to sexual intercourse is fundamental. In particular, it has never been illegal to pay for consensual sex since at least as far back as Magna Carta. The government are now proposing to criminalise men who pay for sex for the first time in this country’s history. That would constitute a radical change in the legal position for which the government has no electoral mandate, since the policy at the time of the 2005 general election was to legalise brothels operated by a small number of sex workers. We therefore call upon the government to obtain a mandate from the electorate before introducing any bill on prostitution.

If you’re wanting to fight this Jacqui Smith nonsense, there’s a good place to start.

If you’re a British citizen, do please sign this. I’ve written [at Shiraz Socialist] (A feminist perspective on Jacqui Smith’s proposals to change the prostitution laws and What do you make of this?) and my own [blog] about how much these new laws would endanger sex workers if they came into effect, so do have a read through if you’re not sure what’s happening and then do sign the petition.

I would also like to ask people to spread the link to this petition as widely as possible. If you’re a blogger and not a British citizen, I’m sure you’ll have British citizens reading, so do please reblog this.

Cheers.

Caroline Shepherd is a self-described “sex positive feminist who supports sex workers rights.” Her kick-arse posts can be found at Better Burn That Dress, Sister, Shiraz Socialist, Feminist Carnival of Sexual Freedom and Autonomy and in the moderation queue.

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Say No To Homophobia – Boycott Digg!

by matttbastard

Kevin Rose and the fine young gentlemen @ Digg appear to have a problem with Lesbian-authored websites.

Paula the Surf Mom:

Well friends and readers it did not take us here at Lesbiatopia long before we have reluctantly found ourselves entering the realm of controversy as it would seem that Lesbiatopia has been banned by the internet book marking service Diggs, for displaying Adult content. But it is our option that our banning has more to do with a homophobic and misogynistic group think element by a of a small number of Digg users that tends to only wish to promote their personal views on homosexuality, lesbians and women in general.

[Digg] likes to promote itself as a non-hierarchical community-based popularity website, that uses a form of democratic editorial control were news stories and websites that are submitted by Digg users. Digg users then promote these submissions to the front page through a user-based ranking system.

[…] 

Only last week [Digg] banned another Lesbian authored site that I am sure many of the readers here are familiar with called Just A Girl in Short Shorts, for exactly the same reason as it banned Lesbiatopia… but if one reads this authors page you can see the banning of this site was probably motivated more by the fact the author is a lesbian with a brain, who presents content that is targeted primarily to a lesbian readership and that talks frankly about lesbian issues.

[…]

Hmmm me thinks that possibly there may just be a double standard at [Digg] and I think it just might be time to let [Digg’s] advertisers know that if they are looking for a demographic that has a proven track record for spending their money on line they just might want to look at the Gay and Lesbian demographic and remember that we tend to support firms that support us.

Shiver me timbers, the dirty so-and-sos have even banned The Cap’n, who be mates with The Beav!

Now, to be fair to teh boyz @ Digg, some Lesbian content is a-ok.

*blinks*

Ahem.

*headdesk*

Moving on….

Paula has subsequently addressed an open letter to Digg:

Gentleman,

Recently you banned a site I author called Lesbiatopia for mature content, you also recently banned another lesbian authored site called Just a Girl in Short Shorts for the same reason, but a search of your site with the word ‘lesbian’ reveals that there is still plenty of prurient lesbian content present, much of which I can assure you would be considered by many of my lesbian readers as exploitive and insulting… for example the content and comments of this very popular string that I had no problem finding on your site titled Britney Spears has lesbian footage of Paris Hilton. This post is seems only the tip of the iceberg when it come to efforts by your users to humiliate and degrade lesbians and gay people in general.

So it sort of seems to me and several other lesbian and gay publishers I have contacted that your action against Lesbiatopia and other lesbian authored sites recently may well be a bit homophobic on your parts and that you seem to pander to a misogynistic and lesbiaphobic element who tend to frequent your site. We can only take this to mean that your only concern would be material this element considers ‘offensive’ as lesbian material posted by lesbians for other lesbians.

Therefore since you are a San Francisco based company and you have chosen to ignore any communications from me about this matter to date, I feel I have no choice but to contact the San Francisco Human Rights commission to see if they might be of some assistance in this matter and I will be asking my readers to do the same.

Thank You

Paula the Surf Mom

I echo Dave and Chet’s call to arms: let’s give Digg the heave-ho and bury it, in solidarity with Paula and the rest of our sapphic sisters.  This non-heterosexual male definitely tends to support companies that support members of the community–and vice versa.

h/t pale via IM.

x-posted @ Bread and Roses 

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Today: Solidarity and Justice for Robert Dziekanski

by matttbastard

Vancouver: Protest against RCMP using excessive force on Robert!
Host: Facebook Group – “Petition against RCMP officers involved in YVR Tazer [sic] Death”

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: Downtown Vancouver, Art Gallery (Georgia Street side)
City/Town: Vancouver, BC

Description:
A protest against the brutality shown in the video, which resulted in the death of new immigrant Robert Dziekanski, 40. Please express your interest by showing up next Saturday November 24th, downtown at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Georgia Street side. Rally will commence 12pm. Please try to wear the red/white colors of the deceased’s Polish heritage, in his memory. Remember, this is about awareness of the tragedy and a protest against the excessive use of tasers, _NOT_ an anti-police rally. THIS WILL BE A PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION!

More info on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=8636840125

VICTORIA: Solidarity and Justice for Robert Dziekanski.
Express your outrage and show supprt for his family through a peaceful demonstration

Host: Facebook Group – “Petition against RCMP officers involved in YVR Tazer [sic] Death”

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
City/Town: Victoria, BC

Description: PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION – come along and express your outrage and your disgust at the recent events resulting in the unlawful killing of Robert Dziekanski. Show Solidarity for the Dziekanski family and demand Justice so that this kind of thing NEVER happens again

More info on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=6187158110

TORONTO: Solidarity and Justice for Robert Dziekanski Toronto Queen’s Park Protest Nov 24
Protesting Unreasonable Force/Showing Solidarity with Vancouver BC Protest Nov 24

Host: Facebook Group – “Protesting the use of Excessive force on Robert Dziekanski”

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Location: Queen’s Park
Street: University Avenue
City/Town: Toronto, ON

Protest SCHEDULE:

i) Opening Remarks by organizers & circulation of petitions.

ii) Guest Speakers:
Peggy Nash – NDP Member of Parliament for High Park
Borys Wrzesnewskyj – Liberal Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre
Peter Milczyn – City of Toronto Councilor of Etobicoke Lakeshore
Alan Borovoy – General Counsel – Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Wladyslaw Lizon – President – Canadian Polish Congress

iii) Moment of Silence and Candlelight Vigil.

iv) Musical Guests (tbc).

Description: This Protest is designed to continue raising media awareness about the mistreatment of Robert Dziekanski and protest the unreasonable use of force. We want the government to know that Canadians, regardless of their location in Canada are disgusted and heartbroken by the handling of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver Airport. This situation involves issues of race, nationalism, violence and most significantly ethical human behaviour of kindness, patience and compassion.

More info on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6407280731

For those who will be attending the Toronto protest:

Thank you for joining the event and showing your solidarity! The protest will begin tommorrow (Saturday) as scheduled at 12 noon on the south lawn of Queens Park.

Just two quick announcements:

1) At the end of the rally there will be a candlelight vigil, so if you are so inclined, there will be a memorial display where you can leave candles and flowers.

2) This is a very grass-roots movment so we are asking people to please bring their own home-made protest signs. It is very important to make sure tommorows protest remains peaceful, so please be counscious of any slogans that others might find offensive. Below are a few suggestions for slogans:

“Solidarity and Justice for Robert Dziekanski” (our offiical slogan)
“Pokoj, Peace”
“Accountability Now”
“Tasers are not Toys”

Thanks again for your solidarity and support!!

Sincerely,
Mike Mlynarczyk
Protest Co-chair.

Please show your support!

Related: CTV News reports that Poland will be watching:

A documentary crew from Poland is in Vancouver pursuing the story behind the death of their countryman Robert Dziekanski.

[…]

“(We’ve come) to show what happened. To tell the story, but at the very same time, to portray the reaction of Canadians themselves,” said Marcin Wojcik with TVN, a national broadcaster in Poland.

In Poland, there is no ill will towards Canada but rather questions about the country’s policing system, said Wojcik.

“Nobody is connecting the story with Canada itself,” he said.

The TVN crew members plan to stay in Canada for the next 10 days and say they’ve been promised co-operation from many of the agencies involved in the incident.

On Saturday, the crew will be filming a rally for Dziekanski on the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

More from Godammitkitty and skdadl (h/t and hugs to you both), who reminds us that “[t]he Poles know something about people who show up.”

solidarity-1.jpg

(click image for more on “The strike that changed the world.”)

Also see this rabble interview with Tania Lukasiewicz, one of the organizers of the Vancouver rally:

As a registered psychiatric nurse, I fight for my patients’ everyday, to make sure that their rights are upheld, their needs are met and their wants are considered. I felt that as a citizen of Canada it is really important that I bring this to light. And nobody else had a protest going so I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to start one.’

[…]

The first day the rally group [on Facebook] started, there were 30 people, then 35, but now there are over 430 people. It has been very inspiring to know that people care, and people from all walks of life, Canadians, immigrants, children, young people, old people – everybody. And I think they are coming out in the masses that they are because there are so many things that went wrong.

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Quote Of The Day: “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”

by matttbastard

There are no current representations of [union workers] in the mainstream media. We have long since fallen out of favor as subjects of photographs or other works of art. There are no interviews, roundtables or summits disseminated in the news media featuring the knowledge and opinions of our leaders, let alone that of the rank and file. Newspapers have long since eliminated their “labor beats.” There are no holidays in honor of our national heroes of labor; no day off for Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, Asa Philip Randolph, Cesar Chavez. No chapters in our children’s schoolbooks that give recognition to our history, our struggles, our triumphs, or our defeats.

Making us faceless, makes us disposable.

Without our presence, media imagery of unions and union workers is distorted. This distortion serves to make our interests—and those of our unorganized brothers and sisters, unimportant. Whining, even. Aren’t we glad to just have a job?

 […] 

Back in the day, [union workers] had our own forms of media. We published our own newspapers (in several languages), held rallies and night classes for our memberships. We did not rely on other to tell our truths. As corporate control of the media tightens, as our publically-owned analog airwaves are scheduled to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, I can’t help but wonder why we are not more active in pursuing our own interests in this realm. We need to do a better job of supporting the pro-labor media that exists, and create new forms of our own. Our survival, individually and collectively, depends on it. We will not hear from the mass media how the erosion of the eight-hour day contributes to rising injury and death rates at work. We will not hear how understaffing and doing more work with fewer people results in more illness, injury and repetitive-use injuries. We will not hear critiques of the repeal of the Illinois Scaffolding Act; we will not get answers to our question on why Illinois still does not have an Electrical Licensing Act. We may be informed that we have a new OSHA director and a new MSHA director, yet we won’t hear about their backgrounds or why they were chosen to lead these critical agencies. New OSHA director Edwin G. Foulke made his bones being the OSHA expert at Jackson Lewis, a huge law firm specializing in union busting. Richard Stickler, our new MSHA director, was the head of mine safety in Pennsylvania during the time of teh Quecreek mine near-disaster, where fortunately nine trapped miners were rescued. He was notable for presiding over mines wih an injury rate double the national average. Every year, we celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a giant who lived among us—and every year, during the retelling of the story of his assassination, the mass media neglects to mention that the sanitation workers’ strike that Dr. King went to Memphis to support, was in response to the deaths of two workers. Even here in Springfield, with the plethora of historical information offered to tourists, there is no mention of John L. Lewis, or that his house still stands near Washington Park. There is no plaque to identify it; it remains an unacknowleged part of our past.

– La Lubu, A Worker’s Memorial

Goddamn.  La Lubu really, really needs to post more often.

Related: if you haven’t already, make sure to bookmark and/or subscribe to LabourStart, a pro-labour global media hub definitely worthy of attention, support, solidarity.

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