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Tag: human rights

Do We Owe Politicians Our Respect? (Respect Is Earned #GonzoNotes)

Posted in Creative Commons, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

If they won’t let us dream, we won’t let them sleep

Time and again, one of the resounding criticisms of activist movements from the right and from the center-left is our lack of decorum.

While we sometimes acknowledge that acts of resistance can be effective, we’ve sanded all the rough edges off of our memories of these moments. Frequently cited are the successes of the Black Civil Rights movement, but in the popular imagination their victories were won by respectful, soft-spoken men and women dressed in suits, calmly advocating for their rights.

Using Able-Bodied Privilege To Defend Healthcare & Human Rights

Posted in Act Out!, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

They’re loud, they’re fierce, and they’d rather risk death than see their — and your — health care get cut.

You’ve probably seen stories about protesters torn from their wheelchairs as they shut down Senators’ offices, resisting the devastating new Republican “health care” plan that would push even more people into ill health, bankruptcy and death.

To give you a rough idea of how many — there are currently about 29 million people uninsured under the ACA — although many who are insured still suffer from the economic burdens of trying to stay alive. That number may drop a bit by 2026 but under the proposed AHCA, revised or not, more than 50 million people would be uninsured. And we’ll get to what third option would leave no one insured but first, let’s circle back to these protests.

Organized under the hashtag #ADAPTandResist, they have spread across the U.S., from Capitol Hill to legislator’s offices around the country. We’ve all been justifiably horrified to see people defending their right to health care literally dragged to jail, and sometimes bloodied in the process. But as with anyone who places their body squarely in the path of the powers that be, these protesters don’t want our pity, they want our solidarity — because this is a struggle we should all take part in.

They also aren’t new to this struggle either — actually, disability rights advocates from groups like ADAPT are some of the fiercest, and most effective activists around, and they’ve literally transformed the world you live in, to everyone’s benefit.

Religious Liberty, Bathroom Bigotry (Traitor Radio Podcast)

Posted in Audio, Journalism, LGBTQIA, and Traitor Radio

Increased visibility has become a double-edged sword for transgender, intersex and non-binary Americans, who are increasingly targeted by religious conservatives and Republican lawmakers. You’ve probably heard of “bathroom bills” like HB 2 in North Carolina, which force people to use public restrooms according to the gender they were assigned at birth. But in addition to playing bathroom police, politicians are also championing “religious liberty” legislation — bills that are, in actuality, just about letting people discriminate against trans, intersex, non-binary and other queer folk if they claim Jesus told them to.

We’re at a pivotal political moment, and allies must support trans, intersex, non-binary and queer activists in their fight for freedom. On this episode of Traitor Radio, we talk about how.

While The U.S. Prepares To Crush Net Neutrality, Other Countries Have Made It A Basic Human Right

Posted in Journalism, and Lee Camp

Many countries have made net neutrality a basic freedom. Yet now, the FCC is planning to make sure the U.S. is not one of those countries.

Today, the internet is classified as a “common carrier” in the U.S., which forces telecommunications companies and internet service providers to treat all content more or less equally. If Ajit Pai, chair of the FCC and former Verizon lawyer, has his way, the internet could be reclassified by the end of the summer, replacing internet freedom with a corporate free-for-all of greed and political corruption.

Though the internet was born in the U.S., our ISPs are also slower and more expensive than other countries, so maybe it’s no surprise that we’re behind the curve in net neutrality, too.

Why The United Nations Protects Empires While Failing To Protect Human Rights

Posted in Act Out!, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

So, you might be surprised to learn that Saudi Arabia recently gained a seat on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

That’s right — a country where male guardianship requires that women get permission to do everything from receive an education to travel, a country where women can not drive or leave the house without proper head-to-toe covering – and when they do everything is gender segregated — that Saudi Arabia was given a three year term as a member of the U.N. agency whose sole mission is to promote gender equality and women’s rights. Take a moment with that.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a nonprofit that tries to keep the international body accountable called the move “absurd — and morally reprehensible.”

Absurd as it may be — and it is fucking ridiculous — what’s even more absurd is that the appointment isn’t a sign that something is wrong at the U.N.

Who Would Jesus Arrest? Conservative Alabama Megachurch Could Get Its Own Police

Posted in Journalism, and Lee Camp

A megachurch in Alabama could soon begin hiring its own cops.

Approved by the Alabama Senate on April 11, civil liberties experts are warning that the move will mark a major escalation in the growth of the American police state if, as expected, it’s also approved by the House and Governor Kay Ivey.

Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located near Birmingham, isn’t just one of those oversized churches with a bunch of giant flat screen TVs and its own coffee shop. With 4,100 members, and 2,000 students in its own K-12 school, church officials claim neither deputies from two nearby communities nor private security are enough to keep their religious community safe.