The Creative Resistance Of Domestic Workers


By Rose Mahi for Open Democracy. Many conditions play into the exploitation of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in Lebanon. Most of the time, MDWs are women, and some of us are illiterate. And at times, this illiteracy furthers existing exploitation, which is already embedded in sexism, classism, and racism. These factors are present in our home countries, and migration renders us even more vulnerable to them. Our employers often believe that people migrate because they had nothing to do, were not qualified, or lacked opportunity in their home countries, and that we therefore owe them for saving us.

Why Were the Saudi Streets So Quiet?


By Medea Benjamin. With the world’s media focused on President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, it’s curious that the streets of Riyadh were so empty. Unlike most of Trump’s public appearances, there was not a protester in sight. While Mexicans pour out on the streets to protest Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, bashing Trump piñatas and burning U.S. flags, there was nary a Saudi protester chanting “Trump: Go home.” In this very religious country, no one seemed interested in demonstrating opposition to Trump’s derogatory comments about Islam nor his attempts to impose a Muslim ban back home. Saudi women could have used the occasion to push for their rights. They could have put out a national call saying that as soon as Trump began to speak, women should walk out of their homes with their heads uncovered and dressed as they pleased, just like Melania and Ivanka Trump.

Women Beware: Saudi Arabia To Shape Global Standards For Women


By Medea Benjamin. It’s hard to sink to a greater depth of hypocrisy than voting Saudi Arabia onto a UN Commission charged with promoting women’s equality and empowerment. And yet, on April 23rd, that is precisely what the UN Economic and Social Council did. Of the 54 countries on the Council, 47 of them agreed to add Saudi Arabia to a four-year term on the UN Commission on the Status of Women. How did the US Ambassador to the UN and the democratic champions of Europe vote? The ballot was secret, and is it any wonder that the UN representatives refuse to reveal their votes? What is undeniable, however, is that the Saudis could not have received 47 votes without support from the Western democracies. The Saudi regime is notorious for its abysmal treatment of women.

Huge Counter-Protests Overwhelm 'Defund Planned Parenthood' Rallies

Defend Planned Parenthood marchers dwarf Defund Planned Parenthood protests Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at the Planned Parenthood center in St. Paul, MN. (Star-Tribune)

By Staff for Common Dreams. Anti-abortion groups called for ‘Defund Planned Parenthood’ demonstrations at more than 200 Planned Parenthood locations throughout the United States on Saturday to pressure President Donald Trump to strip the women’s health provider of federal funding. Then, Planned Parenthood supporters got organized. And the response has been massive: Hundreds of different counter-demonstrations, large, small and in between, were held across the country Saturday – overwhelming the anti-choice rallies.

Many Forms Of Violence Against Women


By Rene Wadlow. 25 November is the day designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.” Violence against women is a year-round occurrence and continues at an alarming rate. Violence against women can take many different forms. There can be an attack upon their bodily integrity and their dignity. As citizens of the world, we need to place an emphasis on the universality of violence against women but also on the multiplicity of the forms of violence. We need to look at the broader system of domination based on subordination and inequality. The value of a special Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is that the day serves as a time of analysis of the issues and a time for a re-dedication to take both short-term measures – such as the creation of a larger number of homes for battered women – and longer range programs.

White Supremacists In Suits And Ties In Washington


By Lacy McCauley. Washington, DC – Nazi salutes. White people demanding a white “homeland.” A speaker talking about how women like to be assaulted. Glowing remarks about Adolf Hitler. Reporters getting booed for asking tough questions. This was the scene inside a conference held at a downtown Washington DC government building this past weekend and at a local restaurant. White supremacists drank champagne this weekend in our nation’s capital to celebrate Trump’s presidential victory. The mostly-male group, part of the “Alt Right” movement, wore suits, ties, and dubious smiles. I wondered if any of them also had white robes at home. I was outside the building with a crowd of about 500 protesters. Our chants included, “Racists eating creme brûlée? You’re still the KKK,” and, “Fascists, we will shut you down.”

Nicaragua, World Champion of Gender Equality in Politics

According to the latest gender gap report released in April by the World Economic Forum, Nicaragua had the best record in all of Latin America. | Photo: Prensa Latina

By Staff of Telesur. Before Sunday’s elections, 42 percent of lawmakers were women, making Nicaragua the country with the highest rate of women representation. Half of the candidates running for legislative elections Sunday were women and Congress will be split 50-50 between women and men, as decreed by a 2012 bill that was part of a general effort to address gender inequality in the country. Before Sunday’s elections, about 42 percent of parliamentary seats were occupied by women, making Nicaragua the country with the highest rate of female legislators — and ministers — in the world, ahead of Switzerland, Finland, France, Cape Verde and Norway. According to the latest gender gap report released in April by the World Economic Forum, Nicaragua had the best record in all of Latin America and is ranked 10th globally out of 145 countries.

Newsletter: Time For Boldness, Clarity & Assertiveness

People have the power; protest in Ferguson City Hall in 2014.

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. In this moment, the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice needs be bold, clear and assertive in putting forth an agenda that will serve the economically dispossessed, those under attack by militarized police, immigrants facing detentions and deportations and demonstrate policies that ensure economic security. Where Trump is right, as in detente with Russia, the movement will support him against the neocons and humanitarian war supporters; and we will push him further for an end to war as the primary tool of foreign policy. Both parties are confronting major fissures, leadership challenges and questions about where they go from here. Their confused leadership provides an opportunity for the popular movement to fill the leadership void with policies that put people, planet and peace over profit.

Stand Up For Abortion Rights

Abortion rights activists stp March for Life in Washington DC, from Stop Patriarchy

By Stop Patriarchy. Abortion rights are in a state of emergency! Clinics across the country have been forced to close through unjust laws and anti-abortion violence. Women and staff are shamed, harassed, and threatened. Christian fascist politicians are fighting to shut down Planned Parenthood. Thousands of women are once again risking their lives and prison to self-induce their own abortions. Eleven people have been murdered by anti-abortion terrorists. And a looming major Supreme Court case will affect abortion rights for decades to come. Each year, tens of thousands of fanatics march against women’s right to abortion and birth control on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Be part of standing up in counter-protest, letting the world and the powers that be feel our demand that abortion be available to every woman without shame, restriction, or stigma.

$8 Million For Women In Sex For Home Repair Scandal

Rally Held In Baltimore Day After Charges Announced Against Officers Involved In Freddie Gray Death

By Marie Lodi for Jezebel. Twenty women who filed a lawsuit against the Housing Authority of Baltimore City are splitting a settlement worth almost $8 million. The lawsuit alleged that maintenance workers at various housing complexes had demanded sexual favors from the women in exchange for receiving badly needed repairs on their units. If the women did not agree, the maintenance requests would go ignored, exposing residents to unsafe conditions. A resident of the Gilmor Homes housing project said that Clinton Coleman, a maintenance supervisor, and Michael Robertson, another worker, demanded sex when the woman asked them to get rid of a bug infestation and fix her pipes. As punishment for her refusal, she had no heat in her apartment for two years. One young mother said she had sex with Coleman because she had feared for the safety of her daughter. “I was scared and ashamed,” the woman said. “I tried to forget about the incident.” Each time the woman needed something repaired, Coleman demanded sex.

For Abortion Providers, A Constant Barrage Of Personalized Harassment

Police guard Planned Parenthood in NY. By Andrew Burton for Getty Images

By Nina Martin for ProPublica. Shootings like the one at a Colorado clinic are rare. Stalking, hate mail, and intimidating protests are the daily reality. Since 1993, 11 people have been killed in abortion-related attacks — doctors, clinic staff, and last week, a police officer and two visitors in the line of fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. While the investigation continues into the shooter’sbackground and motives, David Cohen, a law professor at Drexel University, says that stalking and harassment pose a much more common threat to abortion providers and their families. For their May 2015 book “Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism,” Cohen and co-author Krysten Connon interviewed 87 providers in 34 states — clinic owners, doctors, and other employees.

Trump Repeatedly Interrupted In Raleigh Speech

Trump heckled screen shot

By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. On Friday, December 4th at a campaign rally in Raleigh, NC, Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump was interrupted 14 times by protesters. His speech, which lasted about 50 minutes was interrupted at five to 10 minute intervals by people shouting slogans opposing racism and facism. No one was arrested by all the protesters were escorted out of the rally by police. The Trump campaign has shown concerns about protesters by not allowing people into some of their events. In the end, Trump was interrupted 14 times and shortened his usual presentation. All the Democrats and other Republicans have also been interrupted during this campaign season at public events. Are these protests effective? They certainly do get the message out through the media that people are upset with the way a candidate is responding to an issue of concern.

‘Suffragette’ Raises Question Of Property Destruction’s Effectiveness

Women suffragete's protest Wilson

By George Lakey for Waging Nonviolence. “Suffragette,” a British film now in U.S. theaters, tells a gripping story drawn from the direct action wing of Britain’s woman suffrage movement. Because it spotlights one tactic – property destruction – the film raises the question of effectiveness. Leader Emmeline Pankhurst’s argument for escalating with arson and explosions was to hasten their win. Did it? One way to answer the question is to compare the struggle with Alice Paul’s strategy on this side of the ocean. Paul also escalated with nonviolent tactics but chose to rule out property destruction. The fact that Alice Paul cut her teeth in the British movement, and then in this country made a different strategic choice, provokes some thinking about a tactic that some U.S. activists look upon with favor. Why would property destruction slow us down instead of speeding us toward our goal? The answer lies in noticing who controls the narrative. Even though, in my definition of the word, property destruction is not the same as violence, in many cultures it does get framed as violence by prevailing opinion-leaders and their mass media operations. Certainly in the United States and Britain, where the power-holders respect private property more deeply than human life, property destruction is branded “violence” while militarily invading other countries is called “force.”

Newsletter: The Revolution Of Values


By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. Pope Francis built his speech to Congress around three activists and President Lincoln. The three activists were the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. This shows the pope recognizes where change comes from. While the pope is imperfect in his call for justice, he has certainly moved conversations on a range of issues forward unlike previous popes. There is a moral imperative to our activism as we must act in the face of injustice. Values are not defined only by religious leaders but by each of us. José Mujica, the Former President Of Uruguay began his political life as a guerilla fighter against dictatorship. In an interview he describes what makes us human. He talks about understanding the suffering of others, responding to their injustice and living humbly so all can live decently.

Protesters Urge Pope To End ‘Thousands Of Years Of Misogyny’

POpe Francis protested over women priests

By Ruby Mellen for Huffington Post – Sister Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a Kentucky native ordained by the Roman Catholic Women Priests and one of the leaders of the protest, voiced frustration at what she said was a great injustice. “This is an act of violence, denying priesthood to women,” she told The Huffington Post. Pope Francis, Sevre-Duszynska said, should draw the connection between the oppression of women within the church and violence against women in the world. Doing so, she said, would heal “hundreds, thousands of years of misogyny.” “I think folks are forgetting that Pope Francis is the CEO of an institution that’s a patriarchy. It wasn’t heavy theology,” Bourgeois said. “It’s called discrimination.”