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Human Rights

There Are Hungry People There Are Hungry People

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reports that, every minute, a child is pushed into hunger in fifteen countries most ravaged by the global food crisis. Twelve of these fifteen countries are in Africa (from Burkina Faso to Sudan), one is in the Caribbean (Haiti), and two are in Asia (Afghanistan and Yemen). Wars without end have degraded the ability of the state institutions in these countries to manage cascading crises of debt and unemployment, inflation and poverty. Joining the two Asian countries are the states that make up the Sahel region of Africa (especially Mali and Niger), where the levels of hunger are now almost out of control. As if the situation were not sufficiently dire, an earthquake struck Afghanistan last week, killing over a thousand people – yet another devastating blow to a society where 93% of the population has slipped into hunger.

The Paradoxical Seeds Of The Holocaust

Lyd, Occupied Palestine – It is becoming increasingly difficult for Israel and the agencies that promote Zionism around the world to portray Zionism in rosy colors. This is primarily because there is a history of close to 100 years of Zionism; and the actions of the Zionist State, Israel, have a history of seven and a half decades of violence and racism. To add to that, in February, Amnesty International came out with a damning report demonstrating in no uncertain terms that Israel is engaged in the crime of apartheid and has been since the day it was established. The Amnesty report is fewer than 300 pages long and can, and indeed must, be read by everyone. It is detailed, well-written and can provide the tools and information needed when confronting Israel and its allies in the various spheres in which they operate...

How The ‘Janes’ Created Underground Abortion Access

As early as 1976, three years after Roe, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment prohibiting the use of federal funds like Medicaid for abortions, except to save “the life of the mother.” States have since enacted many other restrictive laws, such as mandating onerous insurance for clinics, requiring parental consent for an abortion, mandatory “counseling,” forced ultrasounds and waiting periods. Tax-exempt religious institutions like Catholic hospitals have prohibited their medical providers from performing abortions. Right-wing extremists and religious fundamentalists have waged a violent war against abortion providers and abortion seekers, including the bombing of clinics and the murder of doctors, clinic staff and patient escorts.

Outrage, Resolve As Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Large crowds of people took to the streets of cities and towns across the United States Friday evening to protest the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade and to vow to fight for reproductive rights. In San Francisco, hundreds of youth-led protesters shouting slogans including "We won't go back!" and "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries" rallied in Civic Center Plaza, while hundreds marched and staged a sit-in on Market Street. "Abortion is a human right," Amnesty International youth leader and protest co-organizer Samprikta Basu told Common Dreams outside San Francisco City Hall. "A ban on abortions is a ban on safe abortions and this affects marginalized communities, the poor, and people of color the most."

Brazil: Officials Working With Indigenous Peoples Go On Strike

On Thursday, officials from the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) paralyzed their activities and joined the national day of protests called to reject the murder of British journalist Dom Phillips and ethnologist Bruno Araujo-Pereira in the Brazilian Amazon. Carrying banners calling for justice, human rights defenders and environmental activists gathered in Brasilia and other Brazilian cities to demand protection for the Indigenous Peoples and demand that the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro open an exhaustive investigation into "the chain of crime in the Amazon." In Rio de Janeiro, social activists paid tribute to Phillips and Araujo-Pereira with a remix version of the indigenous song "Wahanararai," which the slain ethnologist sang during his last visit to the Ticuna people. Previously, social networks made a video of him and the Ticunas singing that song go viral.

We Need A National Organization To Energize The Fight For Single Payer

There is a need for a national group of grassroots activists advocating, mobilizing, and organizing exclusively for national single payer. In the early days of 2021, when it became clear no member of Congress would champion the cause of Medicare for All, a group of long-time health care activists, unionists, grassroots organizers, and progressives met to discuss the need for a national organization to unite activists across the country and rally the movement for national single payer health care free from corporate profits. The activists were frustrated. After all, the Democrats held power in the House, in the Senate, and in the Executive Branch, and yet, there was no enthusiasm for improved and expanded Medicare for All.

Governments Must Break Big Pharma-WTO Stranglehold On Medicine

By acting on behalf of pharmaceutical interests and blocking WTO removal of intellectual property (IP) barriers to global vaccines, tests, and treatment access, the European Union, Switzerland and United Kingdom have betrayed the billions of people worldwide who still need access to lifesaving vaccines, medications, and diagnostics. In failing to deliver on a vaccine waiver for which it announced support and blocking the inclusion of treatments and tests, the United States has also turned its back on a planet desperate for the COVID pandemic to end. The failure to temporarily waive the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as demanded by the vast majority of the world’s countries and by public health experts and health workers, generic medicine manufacturers, human rights advocates, faith leaders, labor unions, community groups, scores of Nobel laureates and former heads of state, the World Health Organization Director-General and even the Pope spotlights just how broken and dangerously out-of-touch the WTO remains.

A Whistleblower’s Agony

A C.I.A. whistleblower languishes awaiting trial in a federal prison under inhumane conditions and almost nobody is paying attention. Joshua Schulte is a former C.I.A. hacker, one of those computer geniuses whose job it is to work his way into the computer systems of our country’s enemies in support of some of the most highly-classified operations the C.I.A. carries out. The government believes that Schulte was a malcontent who released to WikiLeaks in 2017 the equivalent of 2 billion pages of top secret C.I.A. data with code names like Brutal Kangaroo, AngerQuake and McNugget. These programs, collectively known as Vault 7, were custom-made techniques used to compromise Wifi networks, hack into Skype, defeat anti-virus software and even hack into smart TVs and the guidance systems in cars. 

Transit Is The New Frontline Of The War On The Unhoused

On June 9, Winnipeg’s public works committee voted to remove the glass, seating, and doors from two bus shelters outside Kildonan Place mall as a means of displacing unhoused people who have been living or spending time in them. While far from the first time this has happened⁠—the city has removed doors and heated benches from at least 11 bus shelters to discourage their use as “temporary homeless shelter[s]”⁠—it’s one of the most visible and contentious instances of the trend. Councilor Shawn Nason, who represents the Transcona ward where the two bus shelters are located, has spent the last several months inciting an increasingly aggressive campaign about the issue, including introducing a motion against “hoarding” in public areas that would enable city staff to more easily raid encampments.

Mexico’s President AMLO Condemns US Blockade Of Cuba

Mexico’s left-wing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has condemned the illegal US blockade of Cuba as a “type of genocide” and “tremendous violation of human rights.” At his daily press briefing on the morning on June 6, López Obrador was asked about his decision to boycott the US government’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California. The Mexican president, known popularly by the acronym AMLO, explained that he refused to attend in order to protest Washington’s exclusion of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. López Obrador denounced the blockade that the United States has imposed on Cuba for more than 60 years, in flagrant violation of international law.

But For The Failures Of His Attorneys, He Would Not Have Been Convicted

“Innocence is not enough” are words to chill your heart. That’s the language Arizona state prosecutors used as a reason not to revisit the conviction of Barry Lee Jones, after the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals determined that Jones had not received effective counsel, and that if he had, his jury would likely not have convicted him of the murder of his girlfriend’s four-year-old daughter. And the Supreme Court agreed this week. They voted six to three, in a case called Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez, that incarcerated people, including death row inmates like Jones, have no right to bring new evidence in their claims of ineffective lawyering in federal court, even if that evidence would show they’d committed no crime.

Assange’s Lawyer Has Reached A Settlement With The Government

One of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's lawyers has reached a settlement with the Government after it accepted it was likely she was the subject of 'covert surveillance which breached her human rights', she said. Jennifer Robinson welcomed a statement by the European Court of Human Rights which she said meant the UK Government has 'accepted her rights were breached by surveillance'. She was one of the three lead claimants in a complaint against the UK Government which went to the court. Ms Robinson said the UK Government has reached a 'friendly settlement', admitting there was reasonable cause to believe she was the subject of surveillance. She said: 'The UK Government has now admitted that its surveillance and information-sharing arrangements with the US violated my rights.

Protect Trans Youth, Fight For Bodily Autonomy

This Pride month is unlike the others. We are facing a moment of unprecedented roll backs of victories won over the last 50 years. Attacks on queer people and queer rights are mounting as the right wing advances their political agenda of limiting our right to our bodies. Over 300 anti LGBTQ+ pieces of legislation have been put forward in state legislatures across the country. Many have passed. Many of these laws specifically target trans children and their ability to access healthcare, play sports, and even go to the bathroom. One especially horrific policy in Texas deems gender affirming healthcare as child abuse and demands that trans children be separated from their supportive parents. They are going after the children, the brave kids who stand in their truth.

Colombia: Groups Launch Electoral Mission To Monitor Human Rights

Cali, Colombia - AfroResistance and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance have launched an international electoral expert mission to monitor human rights processes during the upcoming Colombian presidential election. The delegation consists of human rights experts, racial and gender justice activists, grassroots organizers, cultural workers, attorneys, and journalists, gathered to assess and monitor the safety, fairness and human rights protection in the upcoming Colombia primary elections taking place Sunday, May 29th, 2022. AfroResistance, an advocacy and solidarity building organization focused on the human rights of Black Women and Girls throughout the Americas and Grassroots Global Justice, **a multi-racial, multi-sectoral alliance building a grassroots movement for peace, democracy and a sustainable world, has assembled a team of experts that have all been accredited by the Colombian electoral authorities.

US Women Human Rights Defenders Deported From Western Sahara

Three US women heading to visit their friends in Boujdour, Western Sahara, were forcibly turned back on May 23rd, when they landed at Laayoune Airport. Twelve men and six women Moroccan agents physically overpowered them and placed them against their will on a plane back to Casablanca. During the scuffle, one of the women’s shirt and bra were pulled up to expose her breasts. In the cultural context of the passengers on the plane, this was a serious form of harassment and violence against women. Wynd Kaufmyn said of her treatment by the Moroccan forces, “We refused to cooperate with their illegal actions. I repeatedly shouted out on the departing airplane that I wanted to go to Boujdour to visit Sultana Khaya, who has endured torture and rape at the hands of Moroccan agents.
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