Hunger Strike Song

This video might be challenging for some viewers, because of the people of color, the rap-inspired chant, and its (quite reasonable!) support for the rights of the (innocent) Muslims who are hunger-striking.

I posted the video in accordance with the email I received:

The Peace Poets and Witness Against Torture have collaborated on a Hunger Strike Video [shown above] that WE NEED YOUR HELP posting, sharing & promoting.  If you are on Facebook, please share directly from the
Witness Against Torture Page (& ‘like’ the page if you haven’t already).

Friday, May 17marks the 100th day of the Guantanamo Hunger Strike.  A coalition has formed to hold International Days of Action against Guantanamo from May 17-19. 

Hunger Strike Song Performance in Times Square!
It’s time to sing our hearts out for Justice!  Join us on Friday, May 17, 5pm in Times Sqaure b’twn 43rd and 44th to do a mass sing along of the Hunger Strike Song.  Come and join and raise the volume of the people’s
voice demanding an end to torture and indefinite detention.
Fast for Justice

Choose May 17, 18 or 19 to participate in a one-day solidarity fast, and let us know that you are participatingMay 17 Global call-in action: Call the White House or the US embassy in your country.  The White
House comment line number is 202.456.1111

White House Protest, Petition Delivery, an Nonviolent Resistance: May 17, 12-1pm

Grand Jury Resisters Need Your Support

Friends are in jail. We don’t know how long they will be there. We don’t what criminal activity is being investigated that leads to these folks being jailed for refusing to answer Grand Jury questions.

Land of the Free. Home of the Brave.

First they came for the anarchists….

Jump in, you can help. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Compilation Album Created in Support of Grand Jury Resisters

Musical Impressions has created a compilation album called “Black Clothing, Anarchist Literature, Flags, Flag-Making Materials, Cell Phones, Address Books, & Hard Drives” in support of the Grand Jury Resisters.

You can buy it here. Proceeds go to support the legal and material needs of those resisting the FBI investigations of anarchists in the Pacific Northwest.

The State is a Condition

“The State is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of behaviour; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently toward one another…”

Gustav Landauer

Have to pack and set up the Really Really Free Market in Olympia.  Contracting other relationships, behaving differently toward one another?  Can we really destroy the state by behaving differently?

If an Agent Knocks on your door…

Well, the news in Olympia is that the agents came knocking in the last few days.

Our free society has generally embraced the political freedom of aligning with either the Republican or the Democratic Party!

For those of us that find that range to be a little too tight, you can stray into the fringes of the Justice Party or the Green Party.

If you are drawn to politics beyond this range, you should expect to be surveilled, investigated, possibly indicted and maybe jailed for your politics.

True political freedom in the land of the free and the home of the brave has always been illusory.

There are some important considerations to consider if you have a hoody on your coat rack in the closet today.

Claim and exercise your Constitutional rights. Don’t fall for lying schemes and conversational gambits such as “you know why I am here, don’t you?”

“Let me come in and let’s talk.”

You may want to exercise your right to remain silent.

You may want to exercise your right to counsel.

I expect we will be having meetings to discuss the suppression of political thought, the continuing criminalization of poverty, the politics of oppression.

Sunday, July 29th at Sylvester Park at 2:30. See you there?

Here are a couple of online resources:

http://ccrjustice.org/files/CCR_If_An_Agent_Knocks.pdf

http://grandjuryresistance.org/

Who Deserves Sympathy?

I came across this article this morning and I wanted to share some thoughts about sympathy and sexual orientation.

Social darwinism is probably better understood and more influential than the complexities of Darwin’s natural selection and evolution, even though there is good reason to spend time trying to understand Darwin’s ideas and little reason to spend time on Ayn Rand’s warped economic romanticism.

So, James Cantor asks, do pedophiles deserve sympathy? If you are willing to set aside all of your punitive media and cultural programming and consider Cantor’s work, you have my respect. I have thought about the subject of sexual orientation long and hard for a variety of reasons. I have considered the idea that just as most folks are sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex, some other folks are sexually attracted to members of their own sex. I can accept that. It’s not my experience, but is our own experience the yardstick by which everything in the universe must be measured?

I have read and tried to increase my understanding of transgender life. As a boy now trapped in an old man’s body, I can imagine how it might feel to have the experience of being a girl trapped in a boy’s body or vice versa. Decades of volunteer work in sexual assault response and domestic violence work have sensitized me to some extent to a wide range of human orientation and experience.

Catch the movies: Boys Don’t Cry or the documentary The Brandon Teena Story if you don’t understand this situation at all.

Maybe you just need to stretch a little to build sympathy and understanding of human sexuality and orientation.

Well, most of us would need to stretch a lot to build sympathy and understanding of human sexuality and orientation if the obscure object of desire (thanks to Luis Bunuel for his work) was age-inappropriate. Sexual attraction to children is really hard to comprehend for most of us, and if you can’t comprehend it, it’s going to be really hard to build sympathy for folks whose sexual orientation may include attraction to children.

Cantor asks a good question here. A question that leads to questions about our prison-industrial complex, about our ability to imagine and support folks whose very brain structure may criminalize them. If you can, try to imagine the number of folks out in the community who are pedophiles, but not child molesters in Cantor’s important definition.

I have always had sympathy for gay guys who are so deeply in the closet that they marry a woman who does not perceive that their sexual orientation is intellectually constructed, not innate (and I do believe that orientation and our internal experience of ourselves are male or female is innate). I also have sympathy for the gal in this situation who may eventually have a bad time if/when their spouse decides that they can no longer fool themselves about their sexual orientation.

Cantor challenges me to consider the plight of pedophiles who are in lifetime of resisting their sexual attraction to children. That has to be struggle. I hope we can do more to help these folks in their struggle and in that process, become better human beings ourselves, and protect our children and grandchildren.

Do pedophiles deserve sympathy?

By James Cantor, Special to CNN

updated 10:32 PM EDT, Thu June 21, 2012

 

Editor’s note: James Cantor, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, is a psychologist and senior scientist at the Sexual Behaviors Clinic of the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. He is editor in chief of “Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment” and blogs at Sexology Today.

(CNN) — One cannot choose to not be a pedophile, but one can choose to not be a child molester.

As details of the accusations of sexual abuse emerged from the Jerry Sandusky trial, and as the public looks on with horror, a central element to the case that has received scant attention is pedophilia itself.

“Pedophilia” was long used as a synonym for “child molestation,” and both were often seen as psychological failures of self-control. Child molesters were thought to be acting out their own histories of abuses, reacting to fears of adult relationships, or manifesting a symptom that might be resolved in psychotherapy, after which they would no longer be pedophilic.

Recently, however, a number of studies have starting changing that view. It appears that one can be born with a brain predisposed to experience sexual arousal in response to children.

Read the whole article?