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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
By Eva Orbuch in Kosmos Journal. Oakland, CA – Last Fall, I participated in one of the most meaningful educational experiences of my life—a training facilitated by Generation Waking Up. A very diverse group of 25 young adults spent three whole days together examining the major issues of our time and learning enlightening frameworks from which to re-view things like social justice, oppression, and the environment. What made the training go beyond solid curriculum and into actual shifts in our mindsets and hearts was our commitment to working deeply and intimately with ourselves and with each other. By the middle of the second day, we had shared a lot of our personal stories and often some of the pain that was behind who we are and why we act today.
By Roisin Davis in Truthdig – Pope Francis this week embarked on a seven-day “homecoming” tour of Latin America on his unstoppable quest to defend the planet and the poor. The continent—the most unequal region in the world, and the Argentine pontiff’s home turf—will likely provide fertile ground for more of his legendary sermons on poverty and inequality. After addressing a crowd of a million in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on Monday, Francis is scheduled to attend a meeting of grass-roots political activists and visit one of the continent’s largest prisons, in Bolivia, as well as a slum and a children’s hospital in Paraguay. While he advocates for South America’s impoverished and disenfranchised, its prisoners, its indigenous peoples and its children, one group is unlikely to feature in Francis’ apparently radical agenda: its women.
By Rucha Chitnis in ReImagine – “There is an entrenched devaluation of immigrant women workers. Domestic workers are breadwinners of their families throughout Latin America and Asia. In so many ways they are uplifting the economies of their countries through remittances,” said Katie Joaquin, campaign director of the California Domestic Workers Coalition. “We see this as an international struggle that is critical to the leadership of women,” she said. There are nearly two million domestic workers in the United States, more than 90 percent of them women, mostly low-income immigrant women from diverse ethnicities. Over the past 25 years, MUA has built a worker-center model of sharing power and harnessing workers’ collective bargaining rights.