Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase! A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
Malaysian human rights activist Irene Fernandez died on March 31st 2014 at age 67 from heart failure. She was arrested and charged with one year imprisonment in 1996 for "publishing false information with the intention to harm" after publishing a report on abuses of migrant workers in detention camps in Malaysia, and was acquitted in 2008 after multiple delays due to losses of important files. She received a Right Livelihood Award in 2005 for her human rights and migrant advocacy work. She is remembered by activists in Malaysia and overseas, politicians, and international media. [more inside]
Juno star Ellen Page announced she is gay during a speech at a human rights conference in Las Vegas on Friday. [SLYT] Transcript of her remarks here. [PDF]
On The Tamms Poetry Committee: "One of the artists' initiatives was "photo requests from solitary." Prisoners on solitary would request photos and professional photographers would then shoot the request and send the photo back. The gallery of prisoners requests is surprising and poignant."
David Graeber’s “The Democracy Project” and the anarchist revival. "Is the current arrangement of our democracy unstable? Should we start thinking about what might come next?"
Starting by fighting for her own children's rights, she ends up in government implementing the UN Convention on Disability Rights.
None On Record - Stories of Queer Africa. After the brutal 2004 murder of FannyAnn Eddy, founder of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, native South African Selly Thiam decided to start recording the stories of African GLBTs both on the continent and in the diaspora. The result is a growing oral document of "the hopes, struggles, challenges and joy of being a QLGBT African - in their own voices". [more inside]
On Christmas day, Robert Park walked over the frozen Tumen river from China and into North Korea. He did an interview that was to be released when he had crossed over.
The latest tool to challenge homophobia: same-sex hand-holding. This past weekend, a same-sex hand-holding relay was held in London, to coincide with Olympic-related events. It's not just for gay and lesbian couples; sympathetic heterosexuals are encouraged to join in and take a stand, or rather a stroll, for tolerance.
Wael Abbas is an Egyptian blogger and anti-torture activist who recently won a journalism award for his documenting police brutality in Egypt, which led to the conviction of two police officers. In Egypt, blogging can get you arrested, and Abbas has taken enormous risks. But now YouTube has removed his videos and suspended his account after receiving complaints (possibly from the Egyptian government) about their graphic content, and Yahoo has disabled his email account. Evidently YouTube is not the ally human rights advocates had hoped it would be.
China Praises Its Progress Toward Olympics. With one year to go before the 2008 Olympics, China still has many challenges ahead, like dealing with Beijing's terrible air pollution. There is still much criticism over China's record on human rights and freedom of the press, and some protests. But perhaps the most embarrassing public relations setback is that one of the official mascots, Yingsel (aka Yingying) the Tibetan Antelope, has defected from China's Olympic team and gone underground to campaign for a free Tibet. [Some links via BB and MoFi.]
"Guantanamo Unclassified." Adel Hamad, a 48-year-old Sudanese elementary-school teacher, has been held at Guantanamo for five years without charge or evidence of a crime. His lawyers have been unable to convince a federal court to review his case, so they started started Project Hamad and posted a short movie about him online. This is an example of how human rights activists can use YouTube to bring their cases to the public.
From MIT's Media Lab: "The Corporate Fallout Detector reads barcodes off of consumer products, and makes a noise similar to a gieger counter of varying intensity based on the social or environmental record of the company that produces the product"
The story of Huang Qi, the man who started the first human-rights website in China, is one of the most depressing internet stories I've read. Now that he is jailed for "subverting state power," no US internet firms are sticking for him, as they're too busy trying to market their sites and services in China. I've participated in protests before, but I really wish we could get together and protest bigger things, things that might improve or save others' lives. I hope the proposed data havens like Sealand get online and allow sites such as Qi's to continue.