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Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli dies in captivity

Cao Shunli died while incarcerated recently for advocating the right of ordinary Chinese citizens to have input into China's entry in the UN's Universal Periodic Review, a new set of human rights reports for every UN member state. She died because she was denied medical care. Her family has not been allowed to see the body. [more inside]
posted by Jacob Knitig on Mar 19, 2014 - 8 comments

 

No Rational Reason

A federal judge has ruled Utah's Amendment 3 is unconstitutional. [more inside]
posted by msbutah on Dec 20, 2013 - 283 comments

“It wasn’t clear the law was going to be around."

Ten years ago today, invoking the “dignity and equality of all individuals", the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared that the state must allow same sex couples the right to marry. The plaintiffs' attorney was Mary Bonauto.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 18, 2013 - 12 comments

"Remember – language is the battleground of humanity."

In the Shadows. The healthcare and human rights challenges of the LGBT populations of Malawi -- where homosexuality is outlawed. Via
posted by zarq on Oct 28, 2013 - 1 comment

"I have never been custodian of my legacy."

In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 6, 2013 - 89 comments

︻╦╤─

Bearing Arms: [New York Times] Articles in this series examine the gun industry’s influence and the wide availability of firearms in America. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 29, 2013 - 242 comments

Rise of the rainbow hawks

How the Conservative Party in Canada got in bed with Gay Rights in two decades or less: The move allowed the Conservative government to poke a stick in Iran’s eye, and help a genuinely in-need refugee constituency, all at one blow. As a bonus, such steps help create a bulwark against radicalism in our immigrant population. “When you’re dealing with a country like Iran, gay asylum seekers are exactly the ones you want,” says Mr. Raphael. “In general, these are precisely the people who you can guarantee don’t support the Iranian regime back home. They’re going to bring in a more secular, moderate perspective.”
posted by skermunkil on Aug 24, 2013 - 28 comments

Photos Of Child Labor Between 1908 And 1916 in the USA

A photograph of breaker boys that changed history for millions of kids in America, who worked grueling lives as child laborers. What Charles Dickens did with words for the underage toilers of London, Lewis Hine did with photographs for the youthful laborers in the United States. Library of Congress collection of over 5,000 Lewis Hine child labor photos. Kentucky 1916. Previously. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 15, 2013 - 6 comments

"Texas is heaven for men and dogs, but it’s hell for women and horses.”

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives. "In 2011 the Texas state legislature slashed family planning funds, passed a new sonogram law, and waged an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically shifted the state’s public health priorities. In the eighteen months since then, the conflict has continued to simmer in the courts, on the campaign trail, and in at least one PR disaster. Meanwhile, what will happen to Texas women—and their fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands—remains very much unclear."
posted by zarq on Aug 12, 2013 - 35 comments

Examined Life - Judith Butler & Sunaura Taylor

Judith Butler and Sunaura Taylor went for a walk and engaged in a terrific conversation about disability as not merely some physical status but largely a social status, and that is also true for so called "able-bodied" persons. (14:23) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jul 5, 2013 - 16 comments

The Expendables

Many of America's biggest corporations rely on temp workers to make up an ever increasing portion of their work force. This has led to a boom in the temp agency industry and a sharp decline in temp workers' quality of life.
posted by reenum on Jul 2, 2013 - 32 comments

Take the Impossible “Literacy” Test

Slate posts on a 1960's era voting literacy tests [more inside]
posted by garlic on Jun 28, 2013 - 267 comments

"I move for a 'bad court thingy'."

Scarlett Johansson is suing the author of a best-selling French novel that features her “doppelgänger.”
"The American star is challenging writer Gregoire Delacourt, and his publisher JC Lattes, after he described a character in his novel as being her "doppelgänger", or exact double. The case — if it comes to court — could make legal and literary history."

posted by Fizz on Jun 18, 2013 - 83 comments

Iraq's constitution has something America's doesn't: The right to vote

The Missing Right: A Constitutional Right to Vote is an essay regarding the proposed constitutional amendment to provide all Americans the affirmative right to vote and empower Congress to protect this right. The right to vote is the foundation of any democracy and yet, surprisingly, such a right is not part of the constitution. U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) are trying to create that right and limit the power of special interest to chip away at it.
posted by 2manyusernames on May 26, 2013 - 29 comments

Act of Terror: arrested for filming police officers - video

When police carried out a routine stop-and-search of her boyfriend on the London Underground, Gemma Atkinson filmed the incident. She was detained, handcuffed and threatened with arrest. She launched a legal battle, which ended with the police settling the case in 2010. With the money from the settlement she funded the production of this animated film, which she says shows how her story and highlights police misuse of counterterrorism powers to restrict photography. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 29, 2013 - 24 comments

IRS Claims Authority to Read Your E-Mail Without A Warrant

The ACLU reports that the IRS claims in an internal document that it has the authority to access citizens' online communications without a warrant. The IRS claimed in a 2009 document that "the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications." It still retains that position even after the 2010 case of US v Warshak which determined that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 11, 2013 - 50 comments

"I thought I was the only gay person in the world for a long time."

The county where no one's gay. The 2010 Census of Franklin County Mississippi shows no same sex couples. (pdf). CNN videographer Brandon Ancil and human rights columnist John D. Sutter tried to determine if the census was wrong, and see if they could find gay men and women willing to speak about "what keeps them hidden." Video
posted by zarq on Mar 30, 2013 - 54 comments

Her Name was Lucy Meadows

Popular transgender Lancashire teacher Lucy Meadows was found dead last Tuesday. Blame has quickly fallen on an inflammatory Daily Mail article by Richard Littlejohn, which has lead to a petition to sack the writer. Is this fair? Jane Fae at the New Statesman says it doesn't matter, while the New Scostsman calls it 'monstering'. The f word blog and the Guardian have longer articles on the case and the issues surrounding it.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Mar 24, 2013 - 72 comments

"I am a prime example of American unacceptablility."

Civil Rights is a slam poem performed at last year's Brave New Voices festival. There's a transcript here, though it's worth noting that the page gets the poem's title wrong.

Written and performed by Shanita Jackson and Dakota Oder, it becomes even more impressive when you realize that both women are still teenagers...and from the looks of it, Jackson was only fourteen at the time.
posted by MeghanC on Mar 7, 2013 - 5 comments

Abnormal Desire

In Malaysia's continuing efforts to persecute and combat the "deviant wave" of homosexuality, after banning a LGBT rights event claiming a threat to "public order" and training parents and educators to spot "LGBT behaviors" in school children for possible entry into a gay rehabilitation centre, they are now producing and presenting Asmara Songsang, a musical where LGBT people live lives fuelled by sex, drugs, and rock and roll...only to be struck by lightning and go straight or die. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Mar 2, 2013 - 30 comments

You've Come a Long Way, Baby...?

Makers: Women Who Make America is a sweeping 3-hour documentary of the movement for women's equality in the last half of the twentieth century. Airing this month on US public television, it's accompanied by an online archive of videos of interviews with individual women in leadership across a variety of fields. Leaders and activists, celebrities and pioneers, and everyday women retell the story of their awakening, organizing, and world-changing efforts.
posted by Miko on Feb 28, 2013 - 5 comments

"Roe has been her life, but it's no longer much of a living."

"Better known as the “Jane Roe” in the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey has led a conflicted life. Forty years ago, she was at the center of the court decision that famously legalized abortion. Today, she is a zealous anti-abortion advocate." Why did McCorvey turn against the cause she once championed? Tracing the life of an Accidental Activist. Via
posted by zarq on Jan 24, 2013 - 39 comments

Abortion in America

The Geography of Abortion Access - Forty years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court ushered in legal abortion for American women when it decided in Roe v. Wade. Today, states—particularly in the South and Midwest—are eroding that right by legislating hundreds of provisions intended to impede access with burdensome obstacles. To understand more fully the complex state of access to abortion services in America, The Daily Beast identified and confirmed the location of the country’s remaining 724 clinics and calculated the distance from every part of the country to its closest clinic. (more)
posted by Artw on Jan 24, 2013 - 26 comments

The Jim Crow violence machine

In on attempted murder . . . According to evidence cited by Diane McWhorter in today's NYT: Bull Connor, eased out but still active, organized a police assassination plot against Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. The conspiracy failed, but it was known to the Birmingham News beforehand. (The News was & is owned by the Newhouse family -- Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, etc). According to McWhorter, the paper also funded and collaborated in police spying on civil rights activists. McWhorter won a Pulitzer for Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution. Her point in today's piece is to recall how wide and deep the Jim Crow violence machine operated. Good And Evil In Birmingham
posted by LonnieK on Jan 21, 2013 - 11 comments

Persistence prays

Chagos Islanders Lose the European Court Battle but the Struggle Continues Former residents of the Chagos Islands have lost their latest legal bid for the right to return following a European ruling. What next for the islanders? James Wan recaps the decades long struggle and the implications of the latest ruling on the fate of the former residents of Diego Garcia. Previously in 2002, 2003 2006 and some archives.
posted by infini on Jan 5, 2013 - 32 comments

TIRED OF BRAND X?

An insert house provides labels and covers for products in TV and film production to avoid legal problems and Earl Hays Press is the big granddaddy of them all so why not enter an alternate off-brand universe of Butt Beer, Captain Sugarr, and Sports Page today?
posted by The Whelk on Jan 4, 2013 - 54 comments

Undue Burden

Jennie Linn McCormack "isn’t the only woman in recent years to be prosecuted for ending her own pregnancy. But her case could change the trajectory of abortion law in the United States": The Rise of DIY Abortions. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 3, 2013 - 66 comments

15 years of Aboriginal title in Canadian courts

It has been 15 years since the Supreme Court of Canada released their decision in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia. The decision was perhaps the most important Aboriginal rights decision in Canadian history, radically framing the notion of Aboriginal title and creating several legacies in common law. [more inside]
posted by salishsea on Dec 11, 2012 - 9 comments

No rights are absolute and there is no hierarchy of rights.

A woman wanting a mans-style hair-cut was denied one by a Toronto barber because his religion forbids him from touching a woman he is not related to. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario is expected to hear the issue if mediation fails, as a competing rights issue where there is a conflict between two individuals exercising their rights. The OBA (warning, cheesy music autoplay) defends some Barbershops as a men's-only space tradition dating back to Ancient Greece, while others point to womens-only spaces like spas that are allowed to continue to operate while discriminating against men.
posted by saucysault on Nov 15, 2012 - 239 comments

Just taking a video.

Surveillance Camera Man (SL Vimeo) is a man who acts like a surveillance camera. However, he is not ceiling-mounted like most surveillance cameras. He takes video of people in public and private places. Most people have a problem with him, creating conflict. One person actually likes him.
posted by ignignokt on Oct 29, 2012 - 68 comments

"I would not choose to be any one else, or any place else."

"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.
In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 17, 2012 - 62 comments

How does that make you feel?

Civil Rights CAPTCHA is unique in its approach at separating humans from bots, namely by using human emotion. This enables a simpler and more effective way of keeping sites spam free as well as taking a stand for human rights.
posted by mahershalal on Oct 7, 2012 - 107 comments

Electronic surveillance skyrockets in the US

The Justice Department, after a legal battle with the ACLU to avoid having to admit it, recently released documents showing that the federal government’s use of warrantless “pen register” and “tap and trace” surveillance has multiplied over the past decade. But the Justice Department is small potatoes. Every day, the NSA intercepts and stores 1.7 billion emails, phone calls, texts, and other electronic communications. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Oct 3, 2012 - 82 comments

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

What do you do when you own the IP to a beloved 28-year old family classic widely regarded as one of the finest Christmas movies ever? Why you make a sequel of course. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Sep 10, 2012 - 174 comments

Our country has never solved anything with less democracy

With the U.S. Presidential election about 3 months away, and voter ID laws headed to court this Wednesday in Pennsylvania and in other states like Texas and Minnesota, Propublica tells you Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws. A solution to a nonproblem. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jul 23, 2012 - 96 comments

Dance before the police come

"Shut Up and Dance’s 1991 hardcore LP ‘Dance Before the Police Come’ was released at a time when the UK authorities were struggling to contain the massive explosion of raves. Thousands of people each weekend were playing a cat and mouse game with the police to party in fields and warehouses, and if the state was often outwitted by meeting points in motorway service stations and convoys of cars, it tried to keep the lid on the phenomenon by staging high profile raids."
Dance before the police come: a social history, covering UK (and US) raves, queer activism, morality police (both figurative and literal) and racial discrimination. [more inside]
posted by Len on Jul 9, 2012 - 14 comments

"The justice system is invisible, unable to deter or heal."

In July 2007, NPR published a two part series (direct links: 1, 2) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf) from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime," NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
posted by zarq on Jul 6, 2012 - 14 comments

A difficult decision.

"Boxes where parents can leave an unwanted baby, common in medieval Europe, have been making a comeback over the last 10 years. Supporters say a heated box, monitored by nurses, is better for babies than abandonment on the street - but the UN says it violates the rights of the child." [more inside]
posted by sio42 on Jun 26, 2012 - 121 comments

The "Unstoppable Gay Jew"

In 1971, "decades before any state had seriously considered legalizing gay marriage, long before anyone had thought of creating—never mind repealing—a policy called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” before Reagan, before AIDS, before the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, and before half the people currently living in America were even born, a man named John Singer stepped into the King County marriage license office in Seattle." Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist who pioneered the fight for same-sex marriage in Washington State, 41 years ago. Via.
posted by zarq on Jun 7, 2012 - 16 comments

Mabo: 20 Years Later

At least the South Africans acknowledged the ownership of 400,000 square miles of South Africa by the original native inhabitants. We would regard [Ian Smith, the then Prime Minister of Rhodesia] as going entirely berserk in Rhodesia if he acknowledged no native land rights at all. But the position in Australia is that we acknowledge no native land rights whatever. We took the lot with our proclamations of sovereignty.
That complaint, made by Mr Beazley MP in 1967, was corrected twenty years ago on 3 June 1992, when the High Court of Australia found that "the common law of this country recognizes a form of native title", overturning the doctrine of terra nullius that had held since the 1830s. [more inside]
posted by kithrater on Jun 2, 2012 - 37 comments

China: United States Report

China's has just released its report, "Human Rights Record of United States in 2011". This annual report covers gun crimes, OWS, freedom of the press, unemployment, and more. via
posted by rebent on May 28, 2012 - 140 comments

ESC Azerbaijan Human Rights

Look at Azerbaijan! But look beyond the shiny Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) which will be held tomorrow in Baku. Look at the “Dirty Secrets” [SLYT, BBC Panorama, 30 min., English] and at independent film maker Liz Mermin’s film “Glanz und Schatten in Azerbaidschan” [SLYT, 30 min. German but more informative IMHO]. Locals that voted in the music contest for a country that was not in favor of the ruling family were investigated by the police. And then there is the story of two expensive donkeys (€42,000 each) and a comedic video that landed a young man in jail. Let’s not forget the story of a journalist who was blackmailed with secretly shot sex tapes. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch often report of restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Azerbaijan. Shortly before the ESC young musician Jamal Ali fled the country. While US peace corps volunteers don’t feel like criticizing much and sing a song of their own [SLYT], we see more arrests in Baku today.
posted by travelwithcats on May 25, 2012 - 13 comments

Joyce Banda, Malawi's first female president plans to repeal laws against homosexuality

Joyce Banda, who was recently sworn in as Malawi's first ever female president has announced plans to repeal her country's laws against homosexuality in her first state of nation address. She said: "Some laws which were duly passed by the august house... will be repealed as a matter of urgency... these include the provisions regarding indecent practices and unnatural acts." More than two-thirds of African countries have laws criminalising homosexual acts with imprisionment, abuse and even murder being served as punishment to generally widespread public support. This, coupled with Malawi hosting the African summit in July makes Banda's move all the more laudable.
posted by jamiemch on May 21, 2012 - 25 comments

Smile, You're On Camera

As police departments around the country are increasingly caught up in tussles with members of the public who record their activities, the U.S. Justice Department has come out with a strong statement supporting the First Amendment right of individuals to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties.
In a surprising letter sent on Monday to attorneys for the Baltimore Police Department, the Justice Department also strongly asserted that officers who seize and destroy such recordings without a warrant or without due process are in strict violation of the individual’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
posted by veedubya on May 18, 2012 - 100 comments

Strike At The Strand

The workers at Manhattan's famous Strand Bookstore are currently in conflict with management over a severe new contract that radically reduces benefits. Bookstore employee and cartoonist Greg Farrell has decided to explain the conflicts and background of the problem via comic book.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 11, 2012 - 63 comments

Polar Bear Threat on "Ice".. Giving "Chills" To Environmentalist. Puns also deemed healthy

We all know Polar Bears are at risk, right?
"Not so fast!" says a new study completed by the Government of Nunavut on the populations on the Western Coast of Hudson Bay. The populations are actually increasing in number.

This is something that has long been argued by Inuit who live in the area. (video) Inuit are chaulking this up as a win for Inuit Traditional Knowledge. The numbers are said to be confounding doomsayers. [more inside]
posted by dogbusonline on Apr 5, 2012 - 73 comments

Excelsior!

How Marvel Comics screwed Jack Kirby out of millions
posted by Artw on Feb 7, 2012 - 92 comments

Marriage Equality in Washington State Takes the Next Step

The Washington State Senate has approved SB 6239, a bill granting marriage equality, in a 28-21 vote. It now moves on to the House, where its passage is all but assured, then to the desk of Governor Gregoire, who started the process earlier this year and has promised to sign it.

But, then what? As in 2009, when citizens voted 53-47 in favor of Referendum 71 to reject overturning the legislature's domestic partnership bill, the bill will likely be subject to a citizen referendum, rendering it temporarily inactive until approved by popular vote. A recent poll found that 55% of voters would approve that measure. If that holds true, same-sex marriages could begin in Washington State starting December 7th, 2012.
posted by 0xFCAF on Feb 2, 2012 - 70 comments

King Center Archive

The King Center archive launched a new web interface this year, featuring online access to thousands of historical documents relating to Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement.
posted by latkes on Jan 23, 2012 - 9 comments

Moving forward, coast to coast

On the same day that NJ governor Chris Christie announced that he has nominated an openly gay African-American Republican mayor to the state’s highest court, Washington state's legislature has announced that they have the votes to pass the same sex-marriage bill that the governor has already promised to sign. Washington will be the seventh state to have same sex marriages. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 23, 2012 - 70 comments

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