Latin America Says No to Violence Against Women

Tens of thousands of women across Argentina walked off the job Wednesday to “make noise” against gender violence and economic inequalities in the first national women’s strike in the country’s history . Photo / Cobertura Colaborativa Nosotras Paramos

 

Not One Less! Latin America Says “Ya Basta!” to Violence Against Women 

By Telesure IN PICTURES: Multimedia > Galleries Click for more.
The gruesome rape of a 16-year-old girl has united women across Latin America to demand an end to femicide and sexual violence.

Women from over 150 cities took part in marches to call for an end to the epidemic of violence against women. The marches were organized by the Argentine collective Ni Una Menos, or Not One Less, after a 16-year-old girl was brutally raped and murdered.

Protesters showed signs with the stories of missing or murdered women, chanting “We won’t forgive, we won’t forget!” /Photo: Facción

 

In Costa Rica, women smeared signs reading “I’m tired of being afraid! I want to be alive tomorrow” with red handprints to represent the victims of sexual violence. Photo: Ale Ara

 

In Peru, women held a candlelight vigil to honor the thousands of women who are killed at the hands of men.

Women in Rosario, Argentina yell “We want us alive!”

A man in a march in Chile stands with a sign that reads “I am half naked, surrounded by the opposite sex … and I feel protected not intimidated. I want the same for them.”

Women placed candles in tribute to the victims of femicide, committed primarily by their spouses and partners.

Sign reads “66,000 women are killed each year worldwide.”

UN Monitoring Abuses Against Standing Rock Protectors

Indigenous water protectors face off with police during last week’s military-style raid. (Photo: Wes Enzinna/cc/flickr)

The increasingly violent attacks by North Dakota police and private security forces against peaceful, Indigenous water protectors have caught the nation’s attention as well as that of the United Nations, an arm of which has begun an investigation into the protesters’ claims of human rights abuses, including “excessive force, unlawful arrests, and mistreatment in jail,” the Guardian reported late Monday.

Observers have begun collecting testimonies from those protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline and, on Monday, Grand Chief Edward John, a Native American member of the U.N. permanent forum on Indigenous issues, met with police officials in Mandan, North Dakota and visited the cages where some of the 141 arrested protesters were held after last week’s military-style police raid.

Those detained at the Morton County Correctional Center said that while they were held in the 10-by-14-foot cages they were forced to wait for basic necessities, such as “access to bathrooms, food, water, and medical attention,” the Guardian reported.

“We embarked upon a peaceful and prayerful campaign,” Standing Rock Sioux member Phyllis Young told the U.N. representatives. “They were placed in cages. They had numbers written on their arms very much like concentration camps.” Young said that the police’s treatment of native people was “not only conditions of colonialism, but conditions of war.”

“The government is allowing the police force to be used as a military force to protect an oil company,” added protester Kandi Mossett, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara nation.

The Morton County Sheriff’s office has also been accused of tracking the activists through a feature on Facebook, a claim which spurred more than one million people worldwide to “check in” to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation on Monday in an attempt to “overwhelm and confuse” law enforcement and express solidarity with the demonstrators.

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The fact that a campaign of “intimidation and repression” is being waged on behalf of a private company is not to be overlooked, according to a coalition of environmental groups, which late last week sent a letter (pdf) to the owners of the $3.7 billion tar sands pipeline, reminding them of their “complicity” in the ongoing human rights abuses.

“As joint owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline,  you have a corporate duty under international law and the laws of the United States to respect human rights and to avoid complicity in further human rights abuses.  It is imperative that you take action to stop the attacks on peaceful occupiers immediately,” states the letter, which is addressed to officials with Energy Transfer Partners, Phillips 66, Enbridge Energy Partners, and Wells Fargo bank.

The violent raid and mass arrest last week “has created a situation of urgency in which the companies must take immediate responsibility for the human rights impacts of their actions, including the companies’ complicity in the actions of others,” the letter continues:

As a matter of international law, your companies have an affirmative responsibility to protect human rights, including the responsibility to: avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts to peaceful protestors through your companies’ own activities; and to seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to your companies’ operations. These responsibilities also apply to banks and other institutions that provide financing for a project that will cause such adverse human rights impacts.

“We emphasize and caution that the active involvement by persons acting under color of governmental authority, including state or local law enforcement, does not absolve your companies of these duties,” it further states.

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The signatories, who are leaders with the Center for International Environmental Law, Honor the Earth, Bold Alliance, Climate Justice Programme, EarthRights International, Oil Change International, and Greenpeace USA, note that they “have spent decades advocating and litigating on behalf of Indigenous communities outside the United States,” whose rights are too often “violated by proponents of extractive industries around the world…And we are alarmed that these all-too-familiar patterns are playing out in the United States at Standing Rock.”

Similarly, Roberto Borrero, a Taino tribe member and representative of the International Indian Treaty Council, who is assisting the U.N. in collecting the testimonies, told theGuardian, “When you look at what the international standards are for the treatment of people, and you are in a place like the United States, it’s really astounding to hear some of this testimony.”

International human rights watchdog Amnesty International has also sent a delegation of human rights observers to monitor the police response to the ongoing protests. Meanwhile, the water protectors have vowed to maintain their vigil throughout the winter and continue their resistance as the pipeline construction encroaches upon their sacred land and water.

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The Last Days of the Colony

Eléctrica in the Desert

2015-04-5--10-44-12 Claire O’Brien / 2015

Nobody wanted to bowl.

The court jester’s efforts were desultory, if not grim, and the tour buses kept breaking down in the desert. An abundance of vegetation sprung up where none had grown before, historic buildings sloped sideways, and tourists found themselves trapped in luxury hotels.   2015-04-5--10-44-12 Meanwhile, Love fluttered around like an anxious butterfly without a map, looking for a place to land, Yet, in the midst of it all, the three little girls beamed. 2015-04-5--10-44-12 Art by Claire O’Brien / 2015

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Havana Times Photo Contest, 2016

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GANADORA: “Bendecidos por la lluvia” / Eduardo Garcia, Cuba

 

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Un momento emocionante e íntimo de una abuela y nieta. / Felix Lupa

 

                                         Ernesto Gonzales Diaz

 

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Esposos con 100 años / Felix Lupa

 

Mención  Especial /  Alfonso Aguilar, México

 

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Mención Especial – A un paso de la gloria.  Rafael Velázquez Mora, México

 

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Mención  Especial: Dame platanos.  Ghyslaine Peigné, Francia

 

 

SEAN ARTHUR JOYCE AS DEAD CROW

 D E A D  C R O W: P R O L O G U E

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 AND THE PRICE OF TRANSCENDENCE
Hi folks. Just wanted to let you all know about an exciting event—the launch of my new poetry video Dead Crow: Prologue and the accompanying fall tour in the West Kootenay. The video has been in production for two months now and much loving care has been lavished on it, as you’ll see when you visit the link to watch it online.
The live show will offer a whole other element to the performance, with Noel Fudge performing the soundtrack live, lighting effects, and more freedom of movement for the artist (me).
Hope to see you at one of the shows! Support the other artists involved in Dead Crow: Prologue by visiting their websites and purchasing their work.
Take Care
LINK:

 Why God Made Spanish. 

 Spanish Comes Just in Time.

crucesatnight

Las Cruces, New Mexico at nightfall. The city is larger than it appears from this distance, with a population of about 125, 000.

 

Once upon a time, about two and a half months ago, l was stuck in a motel in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where my car had died:  suddenly, without warning, and in the middle of a six lane highway .. wait –

during rush hour. When else?

The cost of the tow truck, a new alternator and the motel bill had left me with exactly $4.26 to my name. Sounds about right. I mean, what’s my point here?

Let’s see..twenty minutes before my car came to a dead stop, I’d been lying in a hospital bed a few blocks away, expecting surgery and rehab for which I’d been waiting three and a half years. I’d prayed only that it wasn’t too late:  that is, I’d certainly been able to walk three and a half years earlier. Had New Mexico’s public health system included actual medical treatment, I’d have been walking long ago.

I shouldn’t have been surprised when I was told there would be another delay, but I was. By now, though, I’ve learned that filing complaints, calling Santa Fe, appealing to state social workers and otherwise pitching a fit are stupid things to do if you are poor in New Mexico. So two nice medics wheeled me out to the hospital parking lot, sort of shoved me into my car, tossed my walker in the back seat and waved as I pulled into rush hour traffic. Hopefully, there’d be someone around to shove me back out of the car when I got home. A few blocks later, my car suddenly slowed down….

And that’s where you came in.

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 Five years ago, I stood alone against Vampires Are Us Media Group, aka GateHouse Media and its neoliberal lawyer and/or journalist pals.

At stake was the life of a Mexican-American father who was being framed for murder after he had acted to defend himself from a white supremacist attack .1

During and after the case, I was attacked by a relentless barrage of  lies, threats, retaliation, libel, and textbook defamation. 2

It turns out that the idea of a reporter’s faith in the truth is actually a huge media joke.

Everything that made up my life was smashed and broken in order to destroy my credibility.

After they broke my heart, they broke my back.

 

No, I didn’t stay in this motel with the cool sign / Google Images

Meanwhile, Business Begins in the Motel Lobby

In spite of the increasingly surreal quality of my world, I nevertheless maintained a dim sense that life went on. For example, I awoke the next day from motel dreams of swerving traffic and began lurching down the hall toward the free breakfast. A sharp flash of pain immediately reminded me that I’d left my walker on the passenger seat of my old Crown Victoria, which had been towed away.  The pain  remarked, in the overly familiar tone of a permanent guest, that the motel hallway had certainly grown longer overnight.  I ignored it hatefully and leaned heavily into the wallpaper, sliding almost horizontally toward the distant lobby.

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The breakfast area was a sea of Anglos:  half of them were attending business meetings, and the rest were families on vacation. I looked around for something to help me through the line and as I grabbed a large luggage rack on wheels, I was pierced with longing: a memory of gliding swiftly through  crowds, able to estimate their size,  take photos, grab phone quotes and spot the outside auditors arrive without missing a beat.

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Then I moved my back the wrong way and cried out as a flash of electricity instantly knocked  me over – I mean way, way over. I was bent completely in half and I couldn’t move.  Everyone just sat and pretended they weren’t looking at me. I looked at the floor because it was all I could see.

“I’ll get to her as soon as I can,” a motel employee said impatiently (and to someone else!) from behind me. Instantly I was resolved not to ask for help.

 

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However, I knew that I would soon fall to the floor, so I rapidly ran through my options. I was fairly sure that if I cried in front of this large group of strangers, I would hurl myself in front of the first rapidly approaching cement truck I could find.
I heard what sounded almost  like a sort of scuffle, and twisted my neck as far as I could.  A man rapidly approached, elbowing  people aside so that he could place a chair under me and – very slowly – help me to sit down.  With the authority of a single gesture, he signaled a passing businessman  to assist him in lifting the chair into an adjourning lounge and getting me onto a couch, Once lying on my side,  the pain soon subsided.

 

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Just shoot me! Oh, never mind, I’ll jump in front of this cement truck.

 

The man’s name was Ruben, and he was evidently pissed off at the entire breakfast crowd.

(Hey, me too hermano! Over here! I am pissed off too – at everyone. !Mira – aqui!)

?”Usted hablan Espanol?” I asked Ruben. English was not working out for us.

“Si, si!”  he replied enthusiastically and I arranged my brain in preparation.  At least ten or twelve minutes later, however I realized that my brain had bypassed the prep zone and gone, unsupervised, straight to Spanish.

Wow.

This blew my mind. I’d been speaking Spanish freely and effectively without thinking about it!

Let me tell you, it was like a visit from magic! I shall never forget it. My brain had inexplicably changed in significant, even profound ways, and my world had suddenly become much bigger. Infinitely bigger than if I had suddenly been able to get up and run.

 

wespeakspanish

 

Ruben and I didn’t have a complicated conversation, but it was, by every measure the best kind of conversation because it connected us. He was a Mexican national who had recently taken his time exploring North America’s west coast from Vancouver to San Diego. He said he had seen Mexicans everywhere he went. I told Ruben that I have been studying Pancho Villa and E. Zapata. Some of Villa’s generals were actually Americans – these were by far the most moronic scoundrels in the conflict. ( No, I didn’t say “by far the most moronic scoundrels” in Spanish.)

Villa himself, of course, had the heart of a lion.

 

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  EMILIANO   ZAPATA

When I mentioned the EZLN and “Commandante Marcos”, Ruben gave me a huge smile and a small victory sign. I told him that for 15 years my life’s biggest dream has been to join the Zapatista struggle in some way. Ruben said they are a role model for every resistence struggle in the world. He thought the right-wing coup in Brazil should be a global priority right now, because it represents a huge threat to all of Latin America. Looming right behind that is, of course,  the relentless aggression of the United States.

 

Zapatista Youth and Women in La Realidad

 

Hugo Chavez

 

We ended by vowing that Hugo Chavez will live forever and  the Bolivarian Movement will triumph. The very last thing I told Ruben was that although I was born in New York City, Mexico is the country of my heart. Ruben didn’t roll his eyes. (Thank-you, lord ) Instead he called me a sister of Mexico before disappearing around the corner.

 

Southern New Mexico Desert / CLAIRE O’BRIEN 2014

 

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That afternoon, I drove north through the bright desert. To the west, eight or ten coyote loped  along at easy pace, out well before sunset and close to the flatland farms they know to be dangerous. They were looking for water.

What I knew had been lost to me:  I didn’t believe it anymore. But Spanish had returned it to me that morning  (or at least pointed the way) because Spanish holds memory forever. It infuses the past into the present until collective memory crackles in the air. As itself a living thing, Spanish recognizes you.

You have to know the way / Claire O'Brien 2012

Claire O’Brien 2012

 

I was more than halfway home. Although the day remained shining yellow and blue, the earliest signs of  evening had  begun to appear in the western sky – so subtle as to be nearly invisible. By now, Ruben was zipping through West Texas,  heading southeast to San Antonio, where he planned to cross the border at Laredo Nuevo

If only one comrade can hear you, all  can hear you.

Some families are lost to their daughters forever, and some are not. Somewhere, the people are waiting intently for snow.

The last and smallest of the yellow flowers are blooming now in the New Mexico desert,

Still, even in loneliness, no heart beats alone.

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Sleeping Indian, Caballo Mountains, Sierra County

 

!JaJaJaJaJa! (Ha, ha, ha!)   That is the sound of my remembered laughter. No matter what anyone says, it is also the sound of Sandinistas laughing from far away.

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myspanishadventure

   

Was it magic? Well, my Spanish adventure hasn’t happened again – not like that, not that way.  For the most part, except for the common exchanges of daily life, and a political vocabulary known to all, my road to Spanish  remains a careful and deliberate, albeit always generous one.

But hey! Don’t you know that God sends Spanish just in time?

 

divinespanish

__________________________

N O T E S

These are meant for readers interested in further clarification, and supplement the numbered statements above.  

111. Media and popular support for my refusal to identify a confidential source evaporated in the face of my conviction for contempt of court. Without my knowledge, First Amendment stars such as Harvey Silverglate and Lucy Dalglish joined corporate media lawyers in a behind-the-scenes effort to force my testimony. This is in and of itself a basis for disbarring all attorney on both sides.

2 Worse, the coverup was itself a series of flagrant federal civil rights law violations that propelled  already alarming evidence of entrenched press/corporate corruption into a much more chilling sphere.  It revealed that non-profit public policy giants such as the ACLU have a real disregard for both the First Amendment and sections of federal civil rights law. It’s a disregard as genuine as that displayed by the most recalcitrant corporate offenders.

 

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Bercian’s Rooster Flew

  •   F   R   E   D   E   R   I   C   O

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Continued in English just below

Hey Bercian! ¿Estás en tu casa? ¿Hola? It’s Clara. Sólo vine a darle un regalo espléndido: un grande gallo llamado Frederico. Me siguió hasta aquí desde Nuevo México.

Mi abuela y yo estábamos de gira con una banda llamado América Turístico, pero fue despedido por tratar de iniciar una revuelta en Cleveland. Además, somos demasiado perezosos para mover equipo pesado.
Este país es una mierda.

¡Oh no, Frederico ha volado! Ahora que lo pienso, dónde está mi abuela? No estés triste, Bercian. Un pollo guapo y noble como Frederico  es amado de de su rebaño. Debería haber sabido iba a regresar a ellos.
Te voy a enviar otro espléndido regalo – un pájaro carpintero gigante desde el Río Grande! De acuerdo a mi abuela, ellos aman para nadar!

                _______________________________

VISIT BERCIAN:   VIAJES AL FONDO DEL ALSA

 

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                               American Tourist, Rust Bowl Tour 2016 / O’Brien

P  A  R  A  P  H   R   A   S  E

 I surprise the good artist, writer, and blogger Bercian Langan with the splendid gift of a large, handsome rooster named Frederico, who has followed me all the way from New Mexico. I pass on the news that my grandmother and I have just been kicked off the Rust Belt Tour of the Country/Hip-Hop band, American Tourist. We had proven ourselves useless as roadies because of our strong opposition to moving heavy objects. Also, someone had ratted Grandma out for attempting to incite the Cleveland audience to riot.

Whatever.

“This country is turning to shit,” I tell Bercian.

It suddenly becomes clear that Frederico the Rooster has flown away.  Come to think of it, where’s Grandma?

“Don’t be sad,” I tell Bercian, “A chicken  as handsome and noble as Frederico is beloved by his flock. I should have known he would return to them.”

Before I leave, I promise Bercian another splendid gift.

“I’ll send you a Giant Woodpecker from the banks of the Rio Grande,” I say grandly.

Maybe I shouldn’t have added that Giant Rio Grande Woodpeckers can swim. At least, that’s what my grandmother told me…

 

T  H  E   ~  E  N  D

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               CLICK HERE:   VIAJES AL FONDO DEL ALSA

If there were comrades: a political critique of the Left

Eléctrica in the Desert

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Our political convictions have endured because we have seen the same oppressive dynamics played out over and over and over again. Every gain we have ever made has been based on strategies developed from the  predictability of repression. Defending those gains would be impossible if we were surprised by each new form of the same, historic, relentless attack. We don’t have to figure out and agree on what to do each time. We have learned to anticipate, predict, and sometimes even prevent such attacks.
That is how the true Left tradition developed, and why certain standards prevail.

We do not have to like or even know someone to understand that when he is attacked in specific ways, in  specific political contexts, we must immediately respond as if we are all being attacked – because we are. Any one of us could be next.

L3VUI

If we have privilege, we are obliged to use it to protect those who do not, even if this…

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