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"Illegal" Word is a Gateway to Racism and Exploitation

What about illegal do you understand?

Fresh off the press is Colorlines superb video with Rinku Sen dissecting why our conversation around immigration is so often driven to extremes. Taking the term ‘illegal’ to task, Rinku shows us how we need to re-examine our stereotypes and the reasons we have grown immune to the hostilities directed at immigrants.

The truth is when we deny due process to some people, we put all of our rights at risk. This is exactly what has happened in our Restore Fairness video with racial profiling spreading its tentacles to affect even legal immigrants like Ana Galindo and Walter Chavez, victims of a warrantless raid, as well as their U.S. citizen son who still has nightmares about the ordeal.

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Action Alert – Demand Investigation Into Attacks on Transgender Man in La Matanza

The rights violated in this case include: The right to life and security, the right to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to be free from discrimination, the right to equality before the law, and the right to freedom of expression.
The Issue

On July 19, 2008, Ian Breppe was verbally assaulted with reference to his transgender identity by the owner of a butcher shop near his bicycle repair shop. The butcher shop owner then beat Ian up. When Ian reported this assault at the police station in La Matanza, the officers rejected the complaint and verbally humiliated him.

The next year, on April 10, 2009, Ian was verbally abused by David Martin Albarran, who grabbed him by his hair, dragged him around, beat him, and then finally threw him against the window, causing Ian serious injuries. Ian had three tendons cut in his right foot, his ribs cracked, and was bruised on various parts of his body He brought complaints to the Attorney General of La Matanza and to the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism, which is part of the Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights of Argentina. Neither of these institutions responded to the complaints.

These threats and violence against Ian are indicators of systemic violence against trans people in La Matanza. The perpetrators of these acts remain unpunished because they have the implicit support of the police and municipal authorities. Perpetrators have even boasted of having the direct support of the police in other cases. This intolerance, discrimination, and abuse, based on gender identity manifests itself daily in various towns in the Province of Buenos Aires.

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Call for Applications: Pacific Feminist Legal Theory and Practice (FLTP) Training

November 9-13, 2009 Nadi, Fiji Islands

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) in collaboration with Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) is conducting a Pacific Feminist Legal Theory and Practice (FLTP) Training.

The FLTP training has been a significant activity of APWLD and has grown into a dynamic program that offers a unique model in the region in so far as it attempts to bring feminist insights and perspectives into legal practice. The FLTP framework has feminism as its core and human rights as its foundation.

Deadline for applications: October 4, 2009.

The trainings seeks to challenge the traditional notion that law is a neutral, objective and rational set of rules, unaffected by the perspective of those who wield power in societies. It seeks to address the social, cultural and political contexts that shape the legal system. Given that law (as a culture, system and as an institution) is a reality that women face and engage with, it is essential for women’s rights activists to explore how it can be utilised to transform women’s situations.

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Call for Papers - SEWSA: Cultural Productions, Gender and Activism

Call for Papers
Southeastern Women’s Studies Association Conference
at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
March 25-27, 2010

Keynote Speakers: Judith Halberstrom, Marjorie J. Spruill, and
Bernice Johnson Reagon

Cultural Productions, Gender, and Resistance Theme Includes:

Culture, Globalization, and Transnational Activism

Art, Culture, and Empowerment

Cultural Work as Intellectual Work

Cultural Work as Political Work

Guerrilla Art and Guerilla Activism

Art and Social Resistance

Activist Art

Grassroots Organizing Through Arts and Culture

Pedagogies of the Oppressed

Theater of the Oppressed

Performance, Slam Poetry, and Politics

Thematic papers are encouraged, but we welcome paper proposals on all women’s studies topics.

Submit Papers Here

December 1, 2009

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Walking Home: A film about street harassment


Street Harassment is violence.  It is bullying, demeaning, insulting and serves no good purpose on earth - none.


"Walking Home" is an experimental piece about women ritually facing street harassment as they walk home.  Shot in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, it mixes 16mm film, video, poetry and music in an effort to honor and reclaim our humanity in the public sphere.

Written and directed by Nuala Cabral.

Spoken word performed by:

Tarik Asmerom
Nuala Cabral
Lucy Coutinho
Jazmine Dukes
Aghigh Ebrahimi
Kendell Mattos
Malaika Robinson

Music by April King

This is for the walkers, talkers and those who say nothing. 


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ACAS Bulletin 83: Sexual and gender based violence in Africa

Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS)


This Bulletin began in response to news reports of “corrective” and “curative” gang rapes of lesbians in South Africa. These were then followed by news reports of a study in South Africa that found that one in four men in South Africa had committed rape, many of them more than once.

ACAS wanted to bring together concerned Africa scholars and committed African activists and practitioners, to help contextualize these reports. They wanted to address the ongoing situation of sexual and gender based violence on the continent, the media coverage of sexual and gender based violence in Africa, and possibilities for responses, however partial, that might offer alternatives to the discourse of the repeated profession of shock or the endless, and endlessly reiterated, cycle of lamentation.

To that end, ACAS has brought together writers of prose fiction (Megan Voysey-Braig), lawyer-advocates (Salma Maoulidi, Ann Njogu), poets (Chinwe Azubuike), trauma scholars (Sariane Leigh), human righs and women’s rights advocates (Michelle McHardy), gender and transgender advocates (Liesl Theron), activist researchers (Sasha Gear). These categories are fluid, since every writer here is involved in various activist projects, advocates in many ways. The writers do not pretend to `cover Africa’, and neither does the collection of their writings. The writings treat South Africa, Nigeria, Zanzibar, Kenya, Sierra Leone. They are meant to continue certain conversations, to initiate others.

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Sign Up Now! Free Teleconference on Independent Media

Independent Media 2.0

Using free, easily accessible media tools (blogs! video! podcasts! twitter!) to revolutionize & remix a powerful disability rights message

Monday September 21 at 8 pm est

To sign up for this one-time only teleconference/webcast, visit

Speakers Include:

Moya Bailey, Quirky Black Girls founder
Anita Cameron, ADAPT media maker
Cripchick, feminist blogger
Ari Ne’eman and Melanie Yergeau, organizers with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Captioning will be provided via the web! Keep an eye out for the link in your email box after you register.

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Introducing: LUZ Reproductive Justice Think Tank

The Luz Reproductive Justice Think Tank is a coalition of young women and transgender people of color and their allies from a variety of social justice movements who work to incorporate reproductive justice into their activism

Working across intersecting issues, the Luz Think Tank focuses on information sharing and skills building.  In its structure and approach, the Luz Think Tank strives to model equality, inclusion, and social change.  

A Different Vision for the Reproductive Justice Movement: A Documentary about LUZ Think Tank - Part One

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AWESOME: New, Support for Gay Marriage sign

Free for download and use. Print out BIG and post on your lawn, your car, at your church, and hold up proudly at protests. Make stickers! Let people know up front where you stand on this issue.


Let's get people to THINK -- marriage equality is in peril so long as NOM and the Mormon and Catholic churches continue to fund legislation that robs Americans of their constitutional rights.

If you take photos with this sign, please let me know. I'd love to see.

There are more wonderful signs here as well.

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NOW Supports Legislation to Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act


Statement of NOW Executive Vice President Bonnie Grabenhofer

September 15, 2009

The National Organization for Women is proud to stand with Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) in support of legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- a discriminatory law that is deceptive and harmful. Under DOMA, same-sex couples who legally wed are still denied federal marriage benefits, and other states may refuse to recognize their unions. NOW thanks Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) for cosponsoring this important legislation.

Loving couples and their families deserve the same recognition and legal protection as their neighbors. NOW applauds Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Maine for legalizing same-sex marriages.

Last month, the Obama Administration strongly denounced and defended DOMA, placing itself in a neutral position and forcing Congress to take up the fight.

Rep. Nadler is doing what the Obama administration has failed to do: take a hard line on DOMA and say discrimination and bigotry do not belong in the law. The right to marry has been recognized by the Supreme Court as a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution. DOMA singles out a group of people and categorizes them as second-class citizens. NOW urges Congress to support this bill and remove one more barrier to fulfilling the promise of equality and justice for all.


For Immediate Release

Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906

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