sisters of resistance

anti-imperialist pro-vegan radical queer feminist hip-hop & grime revolutionaries.

News Roundup: Ferguson, Gaza, Rape Culture and Resistance — August 18, 2014

News Roundup: Ferguson, Gaza, Rape Culture and Resistance

A collection of news from around the web showing the latest information on the situation in Ferguson, protests against the genocide in Gaza, and an excellent piece showing not only how they are linked, but also how the ‘war on terror’ has always existed for Black Americans. We also join others in calling for an end to rape culture and whorephobia by posting a critique of the Internet’s response to Christy Mack’s release of photos of a brutal attack by an ex-partner, and a show of online solidarity with 16-year-old rape victim Jada.

Latest news on Ferguson:

Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Struck at Least 6 Times [Frances Robles and Julie Bosman, NY Times]

Second night of curfew in Ferguson, governor calls out National Guard  [Al Jazeera America]

Ferguson, Mo., police were trying to ‘besmirch’ dead teen when they released convenience store video: governor [Adam Edelman, NY Daily News]

Amnesty International Sends Human Rights Delegation to Ferguson, Missouri [Amnesty International]

U.S. and Israeli Military Tactics Used Against American Citizens … Gazans Tweet Tips to Help AMERICANS On How to Handle Tear Gas [Washington’s Blog]

Palestinians express “solidarity with the people of Ferguson” in Mike Brown statement [Rana Baker, Electronic Intifada]

“From all factions and sectors of our dislocated society, we send you our commitment to stand with you in your hour of pain and time of struggle against the oppression that continues to target our black brothers and sisters in nearly every aspect of their lives.

We understand your moral outrage. We empathize with your hurt and anger. We understand the impulse to rebel against the infrastructure of a racist capitalist system that systematically pushes you to the margins of humanity.  

And we stand with you.”

Critical Analysis Pieces on Ferguson

Itemizing Atrocity [Tamara K. Nopper & Mariame Kaba, Jacobin Magazine]

“The problem with casting militarization as the problem is that the formulation suggests it is the excess against which we must rally. We must accept that the ordinary is fair, for an extreme to be the problem. The policing of black people — carried out through a variety of mechanisms and processes — is purportedly warranted, as long as it doesn’t get too militarized and excessive.”

12 things white people can do now because of Ferguson [Janee Woods, Quartz]

In the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown, may he rest in power, here are some ways for white people to become white allies who are engaged thoughtfully and critically in examining the situation in Ferguson and standing on the side of justice and equity. This list is a good place to start your fight to dismantle racial inequity and shine a light on the oppressive structures that lead to yet another extrajudicial killing of a black person.

In Ferguson the violence of the state created the violence of the street [Gary Younge, The Guardian] 

“Nobody in their right mind wants more violent protests. But nobody wants more Michael Browns either. And those two things – the violence of the state and the violence of the street – are connected.”

Resistance to genocide in Gaza:

10,000 protest in Tel Aviv for a just peace, end to occupation [Moriel Rothman-Zecher and Haggai Matar, contributors, +972 blog]

Israeli ship remains at sea as thousands of protesters gather in Oakland [Rebecca Bowe, The Guardian] (#BlockTheBoat)

Critique of Internet response to the abuse of Christy Mack

[TW – Rape, Rape culture and physical abuse]:

This is how the Internet responds when a porn star is beaten up [EJ Dickson, Daily Dot]

“Apparently, we not only think that sex workers deserve to be treated differently than other people: Many of us don’t even think of them as people to begin with.”

Solidarity with Jada (#IamJada)

Trolling of teen rape victim Jada sparks internet fightback with hashtag #IamJada [Heather Saul, The Independent]

From Avaaz – Stop the Violence, End the Occupation! — July 18, 2014

From Avaaz – Stop the Violence, End the Occupation!

Dear friends,

As a new round of violence kicks off in Israel-Palestine and more children are killed, it’s time to take definitive non-violent action to end this nightmare. Our governments and companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the violence, but we can help stop it if we call on key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out their investments.

It’s not enough just to call for another ceasefire. It’s time to take definitive non-violent action to end this decades long nightmare.

Our governments have failed — while they have talked peace and passed UN resolutions, they and our companies have continued to aid, trade and invest in the violence. The only way to stop this hellish cycle of Israel confiscating Palestinian lands, daily collective punishment of innocent Palestinian families, Hamas firing rockets, and Israel bombing Gaza is to make the economic cost of this conflict too high to bear.

We know it works — when EU countries issued guidelines not to fund the illegal Israeli settlements it caused an earthquake in the cabinet, and when citizens successfully persuaded a Dutch pension fund, PGGM, to withdraw, it created a political storm.

This may not feel like a direct way to stop the current killing, but history tells us that raising the financial cost of oppression can pave a path to peace. Click to call on 6 key banks, pension funds and businesses to pull out — If we all take smart action now and turn up the heat, they could withdraw, the Israeli economy will take a hit, and we can turn the calculation of the extremists politically profiting from this hell upside down:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?byfdzfb&v=42613

In the last five weeks three Israeli teenagers were murdered in the West Bank, a Palestinian boy was burnt alive, an American kid was brutally beaten up by Israeli police, and now over 40 Gazan kids have died in Israeli air strikes. This is not the “Middle East conflict”, it’s becoming a war on children. And we are becoming numb to this global shame.

The media makes out like this is an intractable conflict between two equal warring parties, but it is not. Palestinian extremists’ attacks on innocent civilians must be condemned and ended but the root of the conflict lies elsewhere — in the dispossession of the Palestinian people. Israel currently occupies, colonises, bombs, raids, and controls the water, trade and the borders of a legally free nation that has been recognised by the United Nations. In Gaza, Israel has created the largest open-air prison in the world, and then blockaded it. Now as bombs fall, the families, literally have no way to get out.

These are war crimes and we wouldn’t accept that anywhere else, why accept it in Palestine? Half a century ago Israel and its Arab neighbours went to war and Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Occupying territory after war happens all the time. But no military occupation should turn into a decades long tyranny which only fuels and benefits extremists who use terror to target the innocent. And who suffers? The majority of loving families on both sides that just want freedom and peace.

To many, particularly in Europe and North America, calling for companies to withdraw investments from financing or taking part in Israel’s occupation of Palestine sounds completely biased. But it’s not — this is the most potent non-violent strategy to end the ritual violence, ensure Israelis’ security and achieve Palestinian freedom. Israel’s power and wealth dwarfs Palestine, and if it refuses to end its illegal occupation, the world must act to make the cost unbearable.

Dutch pension fund, ABP, invests in Israeli banks that help fund the colonisation of Palestine. Massive banks like Barclays invest in suppliers of Israeli arms and other occupation businesses. Computer giant Hewlett-Packard supplies sophisticated surveillance to control the movement of Palestinians. And Caterpillar provides bulldozers that are used to demolish Palestinian homes and farms. If we can create the biggest global call ever to get these companies to pull out, we will show clearly that the world will no longer be complicit in this bloodshed. The Palestinian people are calling on the world to support this path and progressive Israelis support it too. Let’s join them:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?byfdzfb&v=42613

Our community has worked to bring peace, hope, and change to some of the world’s toughest conflicts, and often that means taking difficult positions to address the root cause. For years our community has looked for a political solution to this nightmare, but with this new round of horror unfolding in Gaza, the time has come to turn to sanctions and disinvestment to finally help end the horror for Israelis and Palestinians.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Fadi, Ben, Laila, Anna, Ricken, Jo, Nell, Mais and the entire Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION:

UN independent expert calls for boycott of businesses profiting from Israeli settlements (UN)
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43376#.U7_ynqhMrRI

12 more EU countries warn against trade with Israeli settlements (Haaretz)
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.603030

Israelis, Palestinians Pro Peace Process, but Not Hopeful (Gallup)
http://www.gallup.com/poll/161456/israelis-palestinians-pro-peace-process-not-hopeful.aspx

Under pressure, a strong EU-Israel relationship faces uncertain future (Middle East Monitor)
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/debate/9675-under-pressure-a-strong-eu-israel-relationship-faces-uncertain-future

Israel-Gaza conflict: 80 per cent of Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes are civilians, UN report says (The Independent)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-80-per-cent-of-palestinians-killed-by-israeli-strikes-are-civilians-un-report-says-9606397.html

Rule 156. Definition of War Crimes (ICRC)
http://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_cha_chapter44_rule156

Palestinians: Most Gaza dead are children, women, elderly (Haaretz)
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.604443

Caught on Tape: US Teen Allegedly Beaten by Israeli Police (ABC News)
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/caught-tape-us-teen-tariq-abu-khdeir-allegedly-24449873

A policy of displacement (Visualizing Palestine)
http://visualizingpalestine.org/infograhic/a-policy-of-displacement

Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry
http://www.whoprofits.org/

Additional sources for this campaign:
http://avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_sources_a/?blast

Sisters of Resistance say NO to War on Syria — September 4, 2013

Sisters of Resistance say NO to War on Syria

From the petition on Credo:

President Obama has sent a draft resolution authorizing the use of American military force in Syria to Congress. We need to speak out today and tell our senators and members of Congress to say no to military intervention by the U.S.

The brutal and bloody Syrian civil war has already left 100,000 people dead and created millions of refugees. And now chemical weapons have been used, killing hundreds of civilians.

The use of chemical weapons is morally reprehensible, and it should be punished. The International Criminal Court should immediately start war crime tribunals and proceedings against those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. And the U.S. can take evidence that Assad’s regime used chemical weapons to the UN Security Council and seek a resolution against Syria. Both acts would make it far more difficult for Russia to continue defending the regime and open the door for international action to broker a ceasefire — the only way we will stop the massacre of civilians.

We say NO to War on Syria!

What you can do:

Sign the Credo Petition | Sign the White House Petition

Contact Your Congresspeople:
House of Representatives | Senate

Forward this information to your networks and share it on social media

Participate in protests against the war on Syria

Let your voice be heard! No more imperialist wars!

Racism, Invisible Children and the Kony2012 Viral — March 7, 2012

Racism, Invisible Children and the Kony2012 Viral

As Invisible Children’s Kony2012/stopKony campaign goes viral, Sisters of Resistance share links that criticize the paternalistic, racist, “white savior” nature of the “not for profit” organization (as well as a trailer for a documentary about US interference in Africa.)

In advocating further US military intervention in Uganda, with no reference to the political economic context, or underlying systemic causes of the conflict,  let alone the fact corporations prolong and profit from it, Kony2012 furthers a racist, imperialist Western agenda which cannot be understood without reference to Africom.

African people are presented as “invisible” and incapable, while the Hollywood narrative of the “white American good guy saving the world and getting the bad guy” is perpetuated at a time when US global dominance is crumbling. 

If the founders of Invisible Children were serious, they would take down the arms companies, corporations and governments that fund, profit from, cause and prolong the conflict (read more about cobalt, corporations and Central Africa here).

Supporting further militarization

We got trouble.

From http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com/post/18890947431/we-got-trouble

Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services (page 6), with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production. This is far from ideal for an issue which arguably needs action and aid, not awareness, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they lack an external audit committee. But it goes way deeper than that.

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission.

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Thoughts on Kony 2012 and White Saviours vs. Allies

by Alex Snider

From http://2zelda.blogspot.com/2012/03/kony-2012-reduces-story-of-northern.html

I watched the Kony 2012 video this morning and I have to say the White saviour, colonial overtones made me extremely uncomfortable. Not to mention the lack of any consultation or even reference to any of the Ugandan groups who have been actively fighting against Kony for years. Even the way Invisible Children denies granting the two (!) Ugandan politicians further identification in the video. What party are they from? What role in government do they play? Why was there no mention of the president? Or of any other adult Ugandans? Why weren’t Ugandans given the opportunity to speak for themselves? Why were they instead treated as props for the self-aggrandizing filmmaker and his friends? Merely showing images of nameless mutilated children, flashing them before the audience’s eyes reduces and erases the children’s humanity. This type of stomach-turning pity-porn is no way to bring attention to a cause. This is no way to treat those you wish to help. 

I could go on about the problems with the video: the lack of Ugandan culture; the weird inclusion of the narrator’s very young son and how the video placed him at the centre of the narrative as the ideal future; the fact that it took nearly 9 minutes for Joseph Kony and the LRA to even be mentioned; the pro-military stance; and the basis that no one else could possibly have heard or cared about the LRA before Invisible Children ever before. The video is the very definition of the White Man’s Burden.

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Stop Kony, yes. But don’t stop asking questions

From http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/03/07/stop-kony-yes-but-dont-stop-asking-questions/

Invisible Children has had some success already: late last year, President Barack Obama committed 100 US troops to provide “advice and assistance” to the Ugandan army in removing Joseph Kony from the battlefield.  The President’s move came in part due to the NGO’s tremendous advocacy efforts.  Everyone agrees that this a hugely important issue, but Invisible Children’s methods have come in for searing criticism; most scathingly, they have been attacked as “neo-liberal, do-good Whiteness”.  Elsewhere, Foreign Affairs has provided some important context on this matter, in relation to Uganda’s strategic importance to the USA.  I would also recommend the  Twitter feed of Laura Seay, who was moved to comment this morning that “[Solomme Lemma] is tweeting links to great community-based organizations working in Northern Uganda.  Give there if you really want to help. I understand the anger and resentment at Invisible Children’s approach, which with its paternalism has unpleasant echoes of colonialism.  I will admit to being perturbed by its apparent top-down prescriptiveness, when so much diligent work is already being done at Northern Uganda’s grassroots.

********************

@DynamicAfrica, @InnovateAfrica and @TexasinAfrica have been tweeting criticism and analysis as well as promoting the important work already being done by grassroots Ugandan organisations. For further information on the context of US imperialism in Africa please see:

Apocalypse Africa: Made in America – Trailer

Sisters of Resistance will be adding to this list as more anti-imperialist analysis of Kony2012 becomes available.

Lowkey turns down Westwood TV — January 25, 2012

Lowkey turns down Westwood TV

Sisters of Resistance are huge fans of Lowkey. Soundtrack to the Struggle is, in our opinion, easily the best UK hiphop album of 2011 and we were honoured to host a night of his album tour. Whether you get the album via download or hardcopy, you will definitely not regret it. Lowkey’s big boy bars, well produced beats, moral integrity, political consciousness and dedication to fighting for equality and justice are inspiring and uplifting. He stays close to the original objective of hiphop employing it to “empower the powerless” and to provide a vehicle of expression for the voiceless.  Lowkey has taken an active stand against British imperialism and the war machine, criticising the so-called “war on terror” in Terrorist?, exposing and condemning the UK military industrial complex in Hand on Your Gun. He recently wrote a Guardian article speaking out about police racism and the criminalisation of hiphop.

Lowkey takes a stand against injustice (photo credit Henna Malik http://www.hennam.com/ )


In sharp contrast, Westwood lacks even the most basic understand of the history of hiphop and he has actively promoted the military occupation of Afghanistan. His insensitive and unsuccessful attempts to imitate, steal or misappropriate a mainstream version of hiphop culture, despite his evidently rich, white and privileged background, are cringeworthy.

Below, we have cross posted an excerpt from Lowkey’s article in the brilliant Ceasefire magazine  (@ceasefire_mag) explaining why he refused to appear on Westwood’s show.

Lowkey rightly focuses on Westwood’s involvement in war propaganda but Sisters of Resistance would like to briefly share an anecdote which confirms that artists with moral integrity such as Lowkey have no place in the company of such morally bankrupt careerists as Westwood. Many years ago, I attended a Westwood event at a club in East London. Westwood spent the night screaming “b*tch” and “wh*re” down the microphone in a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to create an image of street credibility and gain acceptance from the predominately black crowd. The “joke” began when Westwood offered free champagne to the first woman to present herself to the stage. When no one responded to his request, Westwood repeatedly begged for a woman to come to the stage simply to pick up some giveaway champagne. When a young black woman did eventually approach the DJ booth, Westwood played the then popular (I said that this was a long time ago) Ludacris song “Ho.”For the rest of the evening Westwood spewed racist and sexist hatred on the mic creating a strong atmosphere of misogyny in the nightclub. 
Westwood is only interesting in promoting himself. Many have never forgiven him for his delayed response to grime music and homegrown UK talent, refusing to play or promote it for many years. And as Lowkey makes clear, Westwood’s promotion of the military occupation of Afghanistan is inexcusable and a further reason for true hiphop heads to completely ignore the increasingly irrelevant, politically offensive BBC DJ.

**************************************


Lowkey: Why I had to say no to Westwood TV

Earlier this month, Lowkey, one of the UK’s leading hip hop artists turned down an invitation to appear on TimWestwoodTV, the influential YouTube channel hosted by Tim Westwood, arguably UK Hip Hop’s biggest name. In an exclusive piece [for Ceasefire] , he explains why.

by Lowkey (@lowkeymusic1)

Being not only a Hip Hop artist but a life-long fan of the genre, I have, like many others, been very familiar with Tim Westwood. As a young boy, I remember listening to his show on Capital FM and have since spent the majority of my almost decade-long musical career trying to get a spot on his BBC Radio1/BBC 1xtra show. For a long time, an appearance on the show was – and, to some extent, remains – the benchmark for any aspiring Hip Hop or Grime MCs. For many rising artists, you were only considered relevant if you had been acknowledged by Westwood. Moreover, whenever Westwood chose to champion a particular artist, throwing his weight behind their career, big success was almost guaranteed.

Yes, his clout as the self-described “gatekeeper” has declined over the past three years, due to the rise of independent media like SBTV and Grime Daily and, more recently, the progression of Radio 1’s Hip Hop DJ Charlie Sloth. Nonetheless, turning down an invitation to appear on Tim Westwood TV, as I have done this month, was not a decision I could take lightly.

As far as I am aware, Tim Westwood’s first visit to the occupying military base ‘Camp Bastion’, in Afghanistan, was in early February 2011. In contrast to his later trip in May 2011, this one seemed to be in a more personal capacity, he had remarked of the British troops stationed there that they were “really making a difference to the world” and that he felt he had a “moral duty to come out”. He also vowed to “come back with Radio 1”. And come back he did. […] Why should BBC Radio 1Xtra listeners be subjected to this propaganda?  […] The reality is that the MOD and the BBC need to sell an increasingly unpopular military adventure to the youth of this nation, so they use a character of dwindling relevance by getting him to broadcast his live show from the heart of the occupation itself.

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE PLEASE VISIT http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/lowkey-no-to-westwood-tv/

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