”Here only butterflies and birds are free”
- Bethlehem, West Bank - Palestine
”Here only butterflies and birds are free”
- Bethlehem, West Bank - Palestine
This week, Tunisia passed a truly historic constitution widely heralded as a progressive and monumental document.
Here’s just some of what these brave elected representatives agreed upon in the face of strong pressure from the more extreme factions of their parties:
- Guaranteed equality between men and women
- A constitutional mandate for environmental protection, only the third country in the world to do so
- A declaration that health care is a human right, with preventative care and treatment for every citizen
- A democracy with civil laws that respects freedom of religion
- An established right to due process and protection from tortureIn one stroke,Tunisia’s become more democratic than many Western countries have been for years.
This is a revolution of democracy and a great victory for human rights — and the more we recognize that, the more Tunisia can shine as an example for the Western and the Arab world!
Congratulate the Legislators!
MESSAGE FOR TUNISIAN LEGISLATORS: We , the citizens of the world, applaud your bravery in making a strong commitment to universal human values in your constitution. People deprived of democracy around the world look to you to set the example of human rights and democratic principle — hold true to the promises made in this revolutionary document!
Huge moment for Tunisia, which has persevered through terrorist attacks and assassinations. The hard work doesn’t end today, of course, but this is a great day nonetheless.
A Palestinian girl’s message to Israel after Zionist forces shelled her home. Occupation 101: Voice of the Silenced Majority (2006)
Western media works really hard so we don’t see this, we don’t see this articulate little girl
because it doesn’t sit right with the “we’re bombing savages” notion.
Thousands of people have turned up in Pakistan to protest against NATO and the US government’s drone attacks that have murdered hundreds of Pakistani civilians and violate their country’s sovereignty. As usual, they have been ignored and silenced by the corporate media. Please reblog & share this to spread their message.
— Rafiq ur Rehman, a Pakistani schoolteacher whose mother was killed in a drone strike. He testified along with his young son and daughter before Congress today about the civilian death toll from US drone strikes and targeted killing, speaking through a translator. At this point in the testimony, the translator had to break to cry. (via thepoliticalnotebook)
Banksy Tags the South Bronx, Catching Up with Weekend Banksys
Today’s Banksy in the South Bronx (via banksy.co.uk)
Today’s Banksy is up in the South Bronx. This…
Dark Ages, Schmark Ages. The De-Textbook cuts through that and so much more fake-fact bullshit.
— Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot (via mirroir)
Mesut Özil: The Perpetually-Hyphenated Footballer
No sport involves topics like ethnicity and cultural distinctions quite as much as football. From teams that only field athletes of certain cultural backgrounds, to ever-evolving discussions regarding race and integration in countries like France and Italy, ethnicity and culture are always at the forefront of football, a situation that can be constructive, but just as often perpetuates misunderstandings. That said, we’re a bit confused as to why Mesut Özil is a perpetually-hyphenated footballer.
It’s no surprise that Mesut Özil’s transfer to Arsenal is making headlines across Europe, but what is startling is that most stories regarding the transfer include a qualifer when discussing the footballer: Turkish-German, even though Özil was born in the heart of Germany. From The Daily Mail:
”The arrival of the third-generation Turkish-German playmaker Ozil comes in a deal worth the best part of £200,000-per-week …”
Now, The Daily Mail has a reputation as a newspaper that places a premium on tumult, but it’s a trend visible in newspapers across Europe, and one that, despite the seemingly throw-away nature of the phrase, is unquestionably significant.
Whether the malice is intentional or not, qualifers both demonstrate ongoing cultural tensions, and marginalize specific populations by implying that they are not full-members of society. “Turkish-German, sure, but German? No.” This might seem relatively unimportant, but in a practical sense, these sort of distinctions place barriers between people and impact everyday interactions, not to mention issues like employment, pay and incarceration…
This isn’t to say that Özil’s cultural heritage isn’t a topic that deserves attention, but that an article discussing a transfer window isn’t exactly the right place for it. Further, it’s doubtful whether any harm is intended in the use of qualifiers when a trend of lazy journalism is far more likely. Regardless, words carry weight, and we ought to consider their implications. [Posted by Maxi]
This was a Black artist shrugging the weight of White consumption, deciding when enough was enough. This isn’t the first time Chappelle has done so and it isn’t the first time his behavior has been characterized as a meltdown. There is a long history of asking African-Americans to endure racism silently; it’s characterized as grace, as strength.
“Israel used white phosphorus, a chemical weapon, during 2008 war over Gaza. America, UK, France did NOT intervene. WHY?”
Via I Acknowledge Apartheid Exists
At that time, the United States was throwing money at anyone who could deliver an out-of-town Arab found in the region. Nabil was sold to the United States for a bounty of $5,000 and taken to an underground prison in Kabul. There he experienced torture for the first time. To house the prisoners of its war on terror, the United States military put up a makeshift prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Bagram would quickly become notorious, and make Guantánamo look like a church camp. When Nabil arrived there in January 2002, as one of the first prisoners, there were no walls, only razor-wire cages. In the bitter cold, Nabil was forced to sleep on concrete floors without cover. Food and water were scarce. To and from his frequent interrogations, Nabil was beaten by United States soldiers and dragged up and down concrete stairs. Other prisoners died. After a month in Bagram, Nabil was transferred to a prison at Kandahar, where the abuse continued.
Throughout his incarceration in Afghanistan, Nabil strenuously denied any connection to Al Qaeda, the Taliban or anyone or any organization remotely linked to the 9/11 attacks. And the Americans had no proof of his involvement, save for bogus claims implicating him from other prisoners extracted in a Kabul torture chamber. Several United States interrogators told him his was a case of mistaken identity. Nonetheless, the United States had adopted strict rules for Arabs in custody — all were to be sent to Guantánamo. On Feb. 15, 2002, Nabil was flown to Cuba; shackled, bound and hooded.
Since then, Nabil has been subjected to all the horrors of the Gitmo handbook: sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, temperature extremes, prolonged isolation, lack of access to sunlight, almost no recreation and limited medical care. In 11 years, he has never been permitted a visit from a family member. For reasons known only to the men who run the prison, Nabil has never been waterboarded. His lawyer believes this is because he knows nothing and has nothing to give.
— John Grisham wrote a heartbreaking essay for the New York Times about Guantánamo Bay detainee Nabil Hadjarab. Hadjarab’s interest in Grisham’s novels got them banned at Guantánamo for “impermissable content,” prompting Grisham to investigate which of the detainees was a fan. The story he found about the past decade of Nabil’s life is tragic and revolting. (via thepoliticalnotebook)