"

Suddenly her mom’s silence matched Jackie’s own. “Oh, my God,” she murmured in disbelief. “Are you gay?”

"Yeah," Jackie forced herself to say.

After what felt like an eternity, her mom finally responded. “I don’t know what we could have done for God to have given us a fag as a child,” she said before hanging up.

[…]

She got a call from her older brother. “He said, ‘Mom and Dad don’t want to talk to you, but I’m supposed to tell you what’s going to happen,’” Jackie recalls. “And he’s like, ‘All your cards are going to be shut off, and Mom and Dad want you to take the car and drop it off at this specific location. Your phone’s going to last for this much longer. They don’t want you coming to the house, and you’re not to contact them. You’re not going to get any money from them. Nothing. And if you don’t return the car, they’re going to report it stolen.’ And I’m just bawling. I hung up on him because I couldn’t handle it.” Her brother was so firm, so matter-of-fact, it was as if they already weren’t family.

"

— Source: Rolling Stones piece on Queer kids getting kicked out by their religious parents. 

(Source: feministbatwoman, via dannielle)

beemill:

84yo Asian American victim of NYPD brutality to sue city for $5 million

I blogged earlier this year about the story of Kang Chun Wong, the 84 year old Chinese American man who was brutally beaten by New York City Police Department officers after he was stopped for an alleged incident of jaywalking. Wong, who speaks predominantly Cantonese and Spanish, was walking on the Upper West side when he was stopped by Officer Jeffry Loo at the intersection of 96th and Broadway.

According to the NY Daily News, Officer Loo asked for Wong’s identification, which Wong provided. However, when Loo began to walk away with the ID, Wong — not understanding what was happening — protested. That’s when Loo, along with several officers pushed Wong against the wall of a building and then slammed him to the ground, bloodying his head. Witnesses were horrified, capturing graphic pictures of Wong being handcuffed and taken away.

Wong was eventually charged with jaywalking, along with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, however the Manhattan district attorney’s office decided not to prosecute the case.

Now, Wong — through his attorney Sanford Rubenstein — is suing the city and the NYPD for $5 million dollars.

Read More: http://reappropriate.co/?p=6585

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

dynamicafrica:

In Photos: The Agbogbloshie Problem.

Waste management in many African countries is a major problem.  From littering, to proper sewer and refuse disposal, air pollution and even access to clean water, the basic needs of many African citizens are ignored by those responsible for for carrying out these services. Across the leadership spectrum, from local municipalities and national governments, these failures often fall into a larger and highly disturbing trend of citizen neglect within many African countries.

Forced to  resort to their own initiatives, it’s not unsurprising to hear and see people across the continent carrying out their own form of waste management and address the health and sanitation issues in their own communities, leading to both negative and positive consequences. Although many are familiar with the West’s portrayal of Somali pirates as money-hungry gun-toting kidnappers (see: Captain Phillips), their story is much more complex than that. It begins with the dumping of toxic waste by and the looting of their seas by foreign countries, and progresses with action by local Somali’s attempting to defend their coastline. Similarly, in southeastern Nigerian where oil pollution remains a continuous health hazard and danger to the surrounding flora and fauna, bands of militant groups such as MEND took up arms against the local government and private oil companies responsible for the exploitation of their resources.

Although not as drastic, in terms of the use of arms, as the above examples, Ghana is another such country were citizens have found their own way to deal with toxic and improper disposal of waste in their communities.

Over the past several years, various images and documentaries have highlighted one area of the country in particular. In what was once a wetland and recreation area, e-waste now mars the former picturesque landscape, causing mass-scale pollution in the process. Agbogbloshie is the world’s biggest e-waste site that the around 40, 000 settlers have nicknamed ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’. Most of the ‘workers’ here are young men aged between 7-25 who sift through the e-waste in search of resellable materials, such as copper, earning around $2.50. As a result of the intense and toxic labour they engage in, many of these young men succumb to a myriad of diseases such as untreated wounds, back and joint problems, damage to their lungs and other internal organs, eye issues, chronic nausea, anorexia, respiratory problems, insomnia, and worst of all, cancer.

Even in countries like South Africa with better health infrastructure, miners face a similar dilemma where, faced with unemployment, many are exposed to hazardous conditions through their work and the lifestyle that migrant life facilitates.

With little to no access to basic and adequate healthcare, many often succumb to these illnesses. Not only does the waste have a direct impact on both the short- and long-term health of nearby residents, aesthetically, Agbogbloshie is far from a pretty site. Where small mounds and sizeable heaps of rubbish in Lagos disturb me when walking the cities hot and humid busy streets, I can only imagine how this ugly site and the government neglect psychologically affects those forced to accommodate it.

The images above are from a photographic study carried out by Kevin McElvaney and featured on Al Jazeera’s website.

What I love most about these photos is that, whether intentionally or not, McElvaney features most of the single individual photos on a make-shift ‘podium’ (resourcefulness, once again) almost as if to say that these people are above the rubbish that surrounds them. Not only in a literal sense, but in a figurative sense as well. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram  | Soundcloud | Mixcloud

All Africa, All the Time


Ukraine: Rebels Subject Civilians to Forced Labor
Insurgent forces are detaining civilians on allegations of violating public order and then subjecting them to forced labor. Rebels appear to be using public order infractions as a pretext to obtain unpaid labor.In some cases, the members of these “punishment brigades” are beaten or subjected to other cruel and degrading treatment. In several cases Human Rights Watch documented, civilians were forced to work at checkpoints near front lines, where they were at risk of attacks by Ukrainian government forces.In Donetsk in mid-August, Human Rights Watch interviewed several victims of forced labor and relatives of victims, as well as an insurgent fighter. All said that people detained for alleged public drinking, breaking the curfew, unlawful use of drugs, and other minor infractions could be put into “punishment brigades” for up to 30 days. On several occasions, Human Rights Watch also observed men in civilian clothing working in “punishment brigades” at checkpoints near Donetsk.In two cases, the civilians were subjected to forced labor because they had been drinking beer in public.
Photo: Pro-Russian separatists stand guard at a checkpoint outside the village of Kreminets near the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on September 4, 2014. © 2014 Reuters
Ukraine: Rebels Subject Civilians to Forced Labor

Insurgent forces are detaining civilians on allegations of violating public order and then subjecting them to forced labor. Rebels appear to be using public order infractions as a pretext to obtain unpaid labor.

In some cases, the members of these “punishment brigades” are beaten or subjected to other cruel and degrading treatment. In several cases Human Rights Watch documented, civilians were forced to work at checkpoints near front lines, where they were at risk of attacks by Ukrainian government forces.

In Donetsk in mid-August, Human Rights Watch interviewed several victims of forced labor and relatives of victims, as well as an insurgent fighter. All said that people detained for alleged public drinking, breaking the curfew, unlawful use of drugs, and other minor infractions could be put into “punishment brigades” for up to 30 days. On several occasions, Human Rights Watch also observed men in civilian clothing working in “punishment brigades” at checkpoints near Donetsk.

In two cases, the civilians were subjected to forced labor because they had been drinking beer in public.

Photo: Pro-Russian separatists stand guard at a checkpoint outside the village of Kreminets near the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on September 4, 2014. © 2014 Reuters

Read more.

halftheskymovement:

Approximately 1,200 indigenous Canadian women have been murdered or gone missing since 1980. Furthermore, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) report in May found aboriginal women account for 16% of female homicides and 11% of missing women despite only making up 4.3% of the country’s population. There has been little public inquiry into the high rate of murdered First Nations women and Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been quoted as saying the deaths should be viewed as individual crimes and not as a “sociological phenomenon.” 
The hashtag #AMINext is putting more pressure on the government to investigate the unusually high death rates. Holly Jarrett began the campaign after her cousin, Loretta Saunders was found dead in February in New Brunswick. Since the campaign’s launch, more than 2,600 have tweeted the hashtag.
Read more via BBC.

halftheskymovement:

Approximately 1,200 indigenous Canadian women have been murdered or gone missing since 1980. Furthermore, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) report in May found aboriginal women account for 16% of female homicides and 11% of missing women despite only making up 4.3% of the country’s population. There has been little public inquiry into the high rate of murdered First Nations women and Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been quoted as saying the deaths should be viewed as individual crimes and not as a “sociological phenomenon.” 

The hashtag #AMINext is putting more pressure on the government to investigate the unusually high death rates. Holly Jarrett began the campaign after her cousin, Loretta Saunders was found dead in February in New Brunswick. Since the campaign’s launch, more than 2,600 have tweeted the hashtag.

Read more via BBC.

An Internet Freedom Summit … in Turkey?
The choice of Turkey as the location for the world’s annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) might have been the conference’s most fundamental problem. But it was not the only one.
Thousands of stakeholders from around the globe gathered to discuss how to enhance digital trust, enable access, and prevent Internet fragmentation.
But perhaps the agenda was most notable for what it didn’t include: the question of Internet freedom in Turkey. Over the past year Turkish authorities have imprisoned journalists, banned Twitter, and blocked YouTube. Yet,“country-specific” panels and workshops are not permitted in IGF programs, so Turkey’s digital rights violations were missing from the agenda.
Not surprisingly, Turkey’s Internet freedom and governance problems forced their way onto the agenda anyway. Outside the IGF convention center, in the Google “Big Tent,” citizen journalist Arzu Geybullayeva directly challenged the Turkish government representative about his assertion that the shutdown of Twitter for 13 days wasn’t a significant infringement of free expression. Berkman Internet policy fellow Camille Francois challenged the government representative for his claim that the government was somehow not responsible for imprisonment of journalists on charges such as insulting the prime minister or raising corruption charges in news media. These confrontations generated enormous applause from the audience. 
Read more.
Photo: A man tries to get connected to the youtube web site with his tablet at a cafe in Istanbul March 27, 2014. © 2014 Reuters

An Internet Freedom Summit … in Turkey?

The choice of Turkey as the location for the world’s annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) might have been the conference’s most fundamental problem. But it was not the only one.

Thousands of stakeholders from around the globe gathered to discuss how to enhance digital trust, enable access, and prevent Internet fragmentation.

But perhaps the agenda was most notable for what it didn’t include: the question of Internet freedom in Turkey. Over the past year Turkish authorities have imprisoned journalists, banned Twitter, and blocked YouTube. Yet,“country-specific” panels and workshops are not permitted in IGF programs, so Turkey’s digital rights violations were missing from the agenda.

Not surprisingly, Turkey’s Internet freedom and governance problems forced their way onto the agenda anyway. Outside the IGF convention center, in the Google “Big Tent,” citizen journalist Arzu Geybullayeva directly challenged the Turkish government representative about his assertion that the shutdown of Twitter for 13 days wasn’t a significant infringement of free expression. Berkman Internet policy fellow Camille Francois challenged the government representative for his claim that the government was somehow not responsible for imprisonment of journalists on charges such as insulting the prime minister or raising corruption charges in news media. These confrontations generated enormous applause from the audience. 

Read more.

Photo: A man tries to get connected to the youtube web site with his tablet at a cafe in Istanbul March 27, 2014. © 2014 Reuters

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
More than 5000 people have died in the Central African Republic (CAR) in the last 9 months, according to the AP’s tally. The AP admits this is probably only a portion of the real number.
About 1500 more UN troops will head to CAR next week.
CAR is the crisis that never makes headlines.
Libya has accused Sudan of sending weapons to Islamists in Tripoli and expelled the Sudanese military attache.
The UN helicopter that crashed in South Sudan last month was shot down.
Peacekeepers in Somalia used their hospital connections to target vulnerable women and girls for sexual assault and rape.
With the killing of Al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane has been confirmed, the group chose a new leader — Ahmad Umar.
Drone footage surveys the extent of damage in Gaza. 
Israel has ordered investigation into five incidents during the latest Gaza war, including the deaths of the four boys playing soccer on the beach.
CrisisGroup analyzes the importance of Aleppo in the Syrian civil war.
The largest Syrian rebel group, Ahrar al-Sham, lost nearly all of its leadership in an unexplained explosion.
BuzzFeed profiles a smuggler who has brought thousands of foreign fighters into Syria. 
The Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda linked Syrian group, has released 45 peacekeepers.
Yemen is pursuing talks with the Houthi rebels.
A transcript of President Obama’s remarks on ISIS and strategy from Wednesday.
And… Obama, airstrikes and that tricky War Powers Act.
The Pentagon is authorized to proceed with leadership targeting as a tactic against ISIS, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at the top of the hit list. 
Partnerships against ISIS bring their own complications.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces make advances against ISIS with the help of US airstrikes.
The Washington Post keeps a running tally of US strikes against ISIS.
Looking at the legal rationale offered up by the administration for conducting strikes in Syria.
A more in-depth look at what was on the ISIS laptop obtained by journalists. 
ISIS may have taken anti-tank weapons from Syrian rebels.
Tim Arango, the Baghdad Bureau Chief for the New York Times did a Reddit AMA.
In the thirteen years (this week) since the 9/11 attacks, how has al-Qaeda changed? It has been weakened but it hasn’t been defeated.
The Iraqi parliament approved a new government headed by Haider al-Abadi.
Qatar confirms the detention of two British men researching migrant labor issues.
Afghanistan’s election results are likely coming next week. 
Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has already said he will not accept the official results. 
Pakistan is digging a trench along the border with Afghanistan.
Imran Khan marks a month of protests — demonstrations which have wearied Pakistan’s capital city.
Luhansk counts its dead.
Russia still has 1000 troops in Ukraine and 20,000 at the border.
The EU tightens Russia sanctions.
Mexican journalist Karla Silva was savagely beaten for her critical reporting.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says the declassified CIA torture report might not be released until November.
We already know, though, that CIA waterboarding of top terrorism suspects involved “holding them underwater until the point of death.”
Zelda, the Dear Abby of the NSA.
In 2008, Yahoo! ended its legal battle against complying with the PRISM program because the government threatened a $250,000/day non-compliance fine. 
An appeals court ruled that Jose Padilla’s 17-year sentence was too lenient and revised it to 21 years.
Crowdsourcing a catalogue of all the guns of World War One. 
Photo: Bambari, Central African Republic. June 2014. A Moroccan peacekeeper with the UN’s MINUSCA peacekeeping force on patrol. Catianne Tijerina/UN.

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

Photo: Bambari, Central African Republic. June 2014. A Moroccan peacekeeper with the UN’s MINUSCA peacekeeping force on patrol. Catianne Tijerina/UN.

reportagebygettyimages:

'The whole time, I was acutely aware that ISIS positions were never very far away, sometimes less than a mile…Wherever we went, I asked where ISIS positions were. Sometimes the answers were exact. Other times the reaction was a simple shrug and a crooked smile. I kept replaying in my mind a scene I had depressingly run into twice before — I was kidnapped by Sunni insurgents in April 2004 outside of Falluja, and by Qaddafi troops in Libya in March 2011 — where the desolate horizon turned into an impromptu checkpoint, full of masked men with guns. It is a degree of terror known only through experience, the fear of driving knowingly into the arms of possible death. The masked men shoot into the air and celebrate their prey, while they decide whether they want you dead or alive. The only difference with ISIS is that I know if they capture me, there will be little negotiation for my life. They will kill me, and in the most brutal way.'

- Reportage by Getty Images photographer Lynsey Addario writes in The New York Times about her experiences covering Iraqi Yazidis fleeing ISIS. Read more.

thepluralisphoenixii:

iwriteaboutfeminism:

Police continue to make arrests at Ferguson protest.

Part 4.

(via randomactsofchaos)

"Consider this: Lebanon is hosting 1.14 million refugees from Syria, the equivalent of 83 million refugees in the United States — or the combined population of California, Texas, and New York. And what has the United States done to relieve the human burden on Lebanon and Syria’s other neighbors? In the first 10 months of fiscal year 2014, the US admitted a grand total of 63 Syrian refugees."

US to Syrian Refugees: We’ll Give You Money But Stay Away, Please

In 2006, Eritreans and Sudanese began arriving in Israel through Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in large numbers, fleeing widespread human rights abuses in their countries. By the time Israel all but sealed off its border with Egypt in December 2012, about 37,000 Eritreans and 14,000 Sudanese had entered the country.

Over the past eight years, the Israeli authorities have applied various coercive measures to “make their lives miserable” and “encourage the illegals to leave,” in the words of former Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai and current Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, respectively. These include indefinite detention, obstacles to accessing Israel’s asylum system, the rejection of 99.9 percent of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum claims, ambiguous policies on being allowed to work, and severely restricted access to healthcare.

Since June 2012, the Israeli authorities have indefinitely detained thousands of Eritreans and Sudanese for entering Israel irregularly, that is, without entering through an official border crossing. After the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in September 2013 that such detention was unlawful, the Israeli authorities responded by renaming their detention policy and began requiring Eritreans and Sudanese to live in the Holot “Residency Center” in Israel’s remote Negev desert in conditions which amount to detention despite the change in name.

"Life here in Holot is the same as in [Israel’s] Saharonim [detention center], where I was detained for 14 months before. Lots of people here have mental problems because they were also detained for so long. I am also afraid of getting those problems. I have been in prison for so long."

21-year-old Eritrean detained in the Holot facility, Israel