Friday, September 19, 2008

Some bits of bittersweet

Allen Ray Andrade, murderer of Angie Zapata, was just charged at his preliminary hearing with first-degree murder after deliberation, bias-motivated crime, felony motor vehicle theft and felony identity theft in her death. The case will go back to court on November 16th. Helen has a lot more info, and links to her previous writings on Angie's murder and murderer. I hope he gets life in prison with no chance of parole ever.

Police finally confirm that there was no violence on the part of the trans* folks at London Pride.

A federal court found that the Library of Congress refusing to hire Diane Schroer because she was transitioning is a clear-cut case of discrimination based on sex. This sets an amazing precedent and hopefully the court of appeals will agree with this amazing ruling.
I really like this part:

Imagine that an employee is fired because she converts from Christianity to Judaism. Imagine too that her employer testifies that he harbors no bias toward either Christians or Jews but only "converts." That would be a clear case of discrimination "because of religion." No court would take seriously the notion that "converts" are not covered by the statute. Discrimination "because of religion" easily encompasses discrimination because of a change of religion. But in cases where the plaintiff has changed her sex, and faces discrimination because of the decision to stop presenting as a man and to start appearing as a woman, courts have traditionally carved such persons out of the statute by concluding that "transsexuality" is
unprotected by Title VII. In other words, courts have allowed their focus on the label "transsexual" to blind them to the statutory language itself.

This isn't bittersweet, its just wrong:
Troy Davis was denied clemency last week by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole and is scheduled to be executed on September 23, next Tuesday, despite the tremendous amount of doubt that surrounds his conviction. Besides the Board of Pardons and Parole, the only entity that can stop the execution is the US Supreme Court. However, Amnesty International sent out an action alert today that states that the Board of Pardons and Parole can still reconsider its decision
Amnesty International is asking that people send emails and letters to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole urging that they reconsider their decision in the face of the considerable doubt cast upon Troy Davis’ guilt. Please take a few moments to do this; this may be one of the last chances that Troy Davis has to escape being murdered unjustly by the state.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Three Notices

For Immediate Release
September 17, 2008

For information Contact:
Randy Alexander (901) 359-4982
Marsha Katz (406) 544-9504

50 Arrested as ADAPT Takes Affordable, Accessible Housing Crisis to Congress

Washington, D.C.—From their base at “DUH City”, groups of ADAPT activists fanned out on the Hill to hit congressional leaders who have responsibility to help solve the housing crisis for low income people with disabilities. Visits to the offices of Rep. Barney Frank (D, MA), a longtime leader on housing issues, and Senators Chris Dodd (D, CT) and Richard Shelby (R, AL), the Chair and ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs resulted in a total of 50 arrests.

“Our first stop was to see Rep. Barney Frank,” said Diane Coleman of ADAPT in Rochester, New York. “ADAPT has been in talks with him over the past year, and early on he told us in no uncertain terms that he could get 500 housing vouchers from HUD that would be targeted to free people with disabilities who live in nursing homes and other institutions. He repeated that promise for months, and we kept trusting his word, and then one day he suddenly says he can’t help us. We were also working with him to get funding that pays for segregated housing redirected to support integrated housing and more vouchers. Sen. Frank arranged a hearing on this funding, and not only did he not invite any people with disabilities to testify, he didn’t even notify us about the hearing. So, today, we decided to confront him on his broken promises and bad faith.”

Shortly after 13 ADAPT members entered Franks’ office, he ordered staff to have them arrested, refusing to even discuss the ADAPT concerns, or strategies to address the housing crisis for low income people with disabilities trapped in institutions for lack of affordable, accessible, integrated housing.

ADAPT went to the offices of Dodd and Shelby because HUD and housing fall under the purview of their committee. Sen. Shelby declined to work with ADAPT saying, “I don’t help people who can’t help themselves.” There were 19 arrests made in Shelby’s office. An aide to Sen. Dodd spoke with ADAPT, but declined to put her remarks on paper after indicating she might be willing to do so. ADAPT conti
nued to wait for the written statement, and eventually nearly 25 people were arrested.

“The TV is full of news about the bank crisis, and the mortgage crisis, and the need for candidates to appeal to middle income people,” said Cassie James, Philadelphia ADAPT organizer. “Meanwhile, people who live on disability benefits, and people who are trapped in nursing homes because of no housing are being held hostage while the government bails everyone else out. Rent has gone up so much, it’s higher than many monthly disability benefits. Not only do us younger people with disabilities need affordable, accessible housing, older people need it, too. This is a crisis, and we need help to solve it.”

ADAPT has been in D.C. since September 13, erecting DUH City, a tent city, on the plaza outside HUD headquarters to bring attention to the situation of the people who have been ignored in this election year- low income people with disabilities. The crises with the economy and housing extend well beyond the middle class, but the Presidential candidates and their parties have seemingly forgotten that fact. Not so, ADAPT.

Press release also posted here and here.

h/t Monica Helms and Lisa

save Bitch Magazine!
as many of you know, a slew of really awesome independent magazine (such as Clamor, Punk Planet, LiP, Kitchen Sink, to name a few) folded over the last year or two as a result of the whole IPA debacle. One of the few to survive was Bitch Magazine, but now they're facing more financial difficulties. So I highly encourage you to find out what you can do to help!

this is from their website:

First the bad news: The print publishing industry as a whole is staring into a void. Across the board, newsstand magazine sales are in a slump, subscriber numbers are down, and paper and postal costs continue to rise. But it's not magazines like US Weekly or Vogue that you'll see disappearing from the newsstands—they have the parent companies and the resources to weather industry ill winds. It's the small, independent magazines like Bitch that will disappear, because the odds are already stacked high against us. And simply put: We need to raise $40,000 by October 15th in order to print the next issue of Bitch.

Now the good news
: While it's true that $40,000 is a lot of money, we know the number of you Bitch supporters is in the hundreds of thousands. And we're asking each of you who values independent, nonprofit media and intelligent feminist cultural analysis to contribute what you can to ensure that Bitch thrives. And while we can't say what form Bitch will take in the future (our direction will depend, in part, on your feedback), we can say that we've been hard at work to find an innovative publishing model that will allow us to maintain the spirit and integrity of Bitch while also reflecting the changing world around us.

As a nonprofit, reader-funded media organization, our fate really is—and always will be—in your hands. We don't need a parent company. We just need you!

Once again, the link to donate is:

help make the weiner dog grow!

Copy/pasting Lisa's edit:


"As Cedar says in comments:

I’m frustrated, though, that 1)the few feminist presses that actually take (white) trans women seriously and publish folks like Serano & Stryker do busted, racist shit (I want there to be good folks and bad folks, damnit!), and 2)that other folks aren’t willing to say yeah it’s not ok, but they’re the only folks that are not doing this other kind of not ok thing… I don’t know, it feels very hierarchy of oppressions to me. …I want them to be held accountable and not have an option to keep doing this shit, AND I want to have the only people who have my back to stick around. (no, feministing does not have our backs)

And Renee:

I have not been reading bitch for long but I do know that it speaks for some women. They did have a good article up about black motherhood not to long ago. I believe that any magazine that is not created for the specific purpose of serving WOC means that white women will be privilege within its pages. Is that in and of itself reason enough to wish that Bitch closes…I don’t think so. It is still far more progressive that say a glamor magazine and we can over time push for it to take a more inclusive approach. When I think of where the best chance of being heard as a WOC is in a traditionally white magazine, I tend to think it would be at places like bitch over say cosmo.

And of course this scandal earlier this year. There may be other stuff (but I’m not clued in at the moment, and google hates me).

And this kind of thing, I think. Although Lisa Jervis fixed that quickly."

24,700 crowns and 5 years
That is what a Romany teenager's life is worth.

"The youth who beat dead with an axe a Romany, aged 14, in a street in Jasov, East Slovakia, was sentenced to five years in prison today, court spokeswoman Marcela Galova told CTK.

Besides, the assailant must undergo psychiatric treatment and pay a compensation of 24,700 crowns to the family. [currency converts at 813 British pounds, or 1,457 US dollars]

The attack was racially motivated, Galova said.

The attack occurred in early last December when a boy, aged 17, attacked the boy outside a house and repeatedly hit his head with an axe.

The Romany boy tried to escape, but as he fell down, the assailant dealt him more blows. He then pushed the body to a brook and left the scene.

He caused to the Romany boy a fracture of skull and brain concussion. The Romany boy died in hospital after a week.

The punishment was proposed by the prosecutor. The court today approved an agreement on guilt and punishment. There is no appeal against the verdict.

The assailant told the court today he regretted the crime, Galova said."
h/t Debi