Posts tagged ‘activism’

Saudi Court ‘convicts rights activist Bajadi in secret’

(Source:  BBC News)
Mohammed al-Bajadi
Judges prohibited Mohammed al-Bajadi’s lawyers from attending his trial, activists said.

A state security tribunal in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a prominent human rights campaigner to four years in prison, Amnesty International has said. (more…)


Bill Ayers Gives Knox Students Activism Lesson

(Source: PJStar)

Weather Underground co-founder and education theorist Bill Ayers said he finds it interesting when people call him a “former activist.”

Although his days with the antiwar organization he started are over, Ayers, in a lecture to about 40 Knox College students and faculty Thursday night, explained his ideas about what makes a good activist. Asked about the Weather Underground, which took responsibility for a series of bombings, he did not deny his past, but he did ask not to be singled out.

“I have plenty of regrets. But what I don’t regret is opposing the murder of 6,000 per week,” Ayers said, referring to his opposition to the Vietnam War. “It always strikes me as ironic that I’m asked about it, but John McCain is not asked about it. John McCain, by his own admission, flew mission after mission over civilian targets and bombed them.”

Ayers devoted the bulk of his talk to what a good activist should be. He referred to the “rhythm” of what it means to be an activist: “Pay attention, be astonished and tell about it.”

Ayers drew a parallel between the anti-slavery, universal suffrage movements (describing the political climate then as “everyone’s against it, but no one’s doing anything about it”) and Occupy Wall Street movements, referring to the goal of getting money out of the political system.

“Let’s imagine 40 years from now, and your niece … says to you, ‘Is it true that you were around when the first African-American president was elected?'” Ayers said. He imagined the response, “Yes, I was in Grant Park the day he was elected.”

“‘And is it true that it cost him half a billion dollars to buy the election in 2008?'” he imagined her next question.

Ayers addressed the nature of political debates in the United States, drawing on his experiences as an education activist, highlighting his ideas about the rights of public school teachers.

“Every time any cheap politician from our mayor to our city council people to our presidential candidates gets to a microphone and says, ‘We need to get the lazy, incompetent teachers out of the classroom,'” he loses the argument, Ayers said.

But when he gets the microphone, he says “‘Every kid in our public schools deserves a well-educated, intellectually grounded, morally committed, passionate, caring, thoughtful, engaged, well-paid and well-rested teacher in the classroom.'”

Knox’s Alliance for Peaceful Action, or APA, brought Ayers to Knox as part of its annual symposium, and it was Ayers’ second lecture at Knox in recent years. He was introduced by APA President Netsie Tjirongo, a Knox junior.

“We, as college students, are taught to believe that now is the time for activism,” Tjirongo said in her introduction.

Young Women Demanding Justice and Dignity: By All Means Necessary

(Source: Jadaliyya)

Amina Filali was a young Moroccan girl who was raped at the age of 15 then forced to marry her rapist. She was battered, bruised, and starved until she committed suicide in March 2012. She was 16 years old. Contributing to Amina’s suicide are her rapist turned husband, article 475 of the Moroccan penal code that absolves an aggressor of his crime once he consents to marrying his rape victim, the judge who called for a mediation instead of a prosecution against the offender, the police, and the religious clerics who have given their blessings to the rapist. Amina’s suicide exposes, once again, an entirely flawed legal system and deeply distorted patriarchal honor code that decriminalizes the oppressor and condemns the victim.

Behind her death is the lethal combination of state sanctioned gender violence, legal blindness, and societal silence.


Natalie Warne: Being young and making an impact

Why you should listen to her:

When she was 17, Natalie Warne learned about the Invisible Children Project — a campaign to rescue Ugandan children from Joseph Kony’s child armies. As an intern for Invisible Children, she led a nation-wide campaign for the project.  She successfully got the campaign featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, a victory that dramatically raised the profile of the movement.  Natalie now works as a film editor in Los Angeles.

At 18, Natalie Warne’s work with the Invisible Children movement made her a hero for young activists. At TEDxTeen she uses her inspiring story to remind us that no one is too young to change the world.

(Source: TED)

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