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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

Marriage Equality in Washington State

Governor Christine Gregoire announces her support for marriage equality in Washington State. "And let me just tell you, I feel so much better today than I have for the last seven years." (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by alms on Jan 4, 2012 - 48 comments

Land of the free?

Two days ago, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), "with reservations about key provisions in the law — including a controversial component that would allow the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects, including American citizens arrested in the United States, without charge". [more inside]
posted by stinkycheese on Jan 2, 2012 - 341 comments

81 words

Being gay was considered a mental disorder by psychiatry - until 1973 - when the battle lines were drawn. Reporter Alix Spiegel continues the gripping story that spurred a radical rethink. It's the story of a closeted cartel of powerful, gay psychiatrists; of confrontations with angry activists; a shrink dressed in a Nixon mask, and a pivotal encounter in a Hawaiian bar. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 24, 2011 - 28 comments

Sharing is caring, isn't it?

On the 6th of December 2011, as has been traditional for the past 9 decades since Finland's Independence, the President, Tarja Halonen and her spouse, Dr Pentti Arajarvi host what is known as the Linnan juhlat or Castle Ball, an extremely popular televised reception for the notables of the nation. Along with the usual dignitaries, the President is also permitted to select invitees based on merit - entertainers, athletes, individuals - whom she feels have been in the news in the past year. This year Peter and Teija Vesterbacka also were invited due to Peter Vesterbacka's work as the CMO of Rovio. Teija Vesterbacka wore a red dress for the evening that had design concepts from one of the birds in the mobile game Angry Birds. Highlighted in the Finnish news by the very select group of photographers permitted entry to this exclusive event, it was when the photograph of this dress went viral among global MSM that the angry birds began to fly.
posted by infini on Dec 8, 2011 - 29 comments

The Rights that were Left.

On December 6th, 2011, International Human Rights Day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in front of the United Nations proclaiming freedom and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (transcript included). [more inside]
posted by seanmpuckett on Dec 7, 2011 - 71 comments

"Clay and many magazine people told me not to include a lesbian article in the first issue—and so, of course, we did."

The December 20, 1971 issue of New York Magazine came bundled with a 40-page preview of the first periodical created, owned, and operated entirely by women. The first issue sold out in eight days. 40 years later, New York Magazine interviews Gloria Steinem and the women who launched Ms. Magazine. (single page version.) From the same issue: How the Blogosphere Has Transformed the Feminist Conversation [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 31, 2011 - 11 comments

“Today we have a new group of satirists who, at the same time that they bite the bourgeoisie, use only their lips, but not their teeth”

While he was contributing to the New Yorker as Syd Hoff, he was also contributing to the Daily Worker and New Masses as A. Redfield — the pseudonym he adopted for his radical work, The Ruling Clawss (Daily Worker, 1935) a collection of surprisingly relevant cartoons.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 29, 2011 - 21 comments

Abortion Access Worldwide: A Reference

Since 1988, the Center for Reproductive Rights has compiled a visual map of the laws regulating abortion throughout the world. Earlier this month, they released their 2011 Map in pdf and updated their online World Abortion Laws Map in a new interactive format which allows country comparisons and provides text of abortion laws for certain countries. (Via Good: Can I get an Abortion Here? The Abortion Rights Map of the World)
posted by zarq on Oct 27, 2011 - 35 comments

Bullseye

A while back, Gawker broke the story of a former manager suing Target as part of a series about life at the notoriously anti-union store. Since then many more employees have come forward with stories about "The sketchiest place I've ever worked." (Target Previously)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 23, 2011 - 141 comments

Many rights groups withdraw from the Pickton inquiry

An inquiry has been set up in BC in response to the poor response by the police to missing women from the Robert Pickton case. (Previously 1, 2, 3, 4.) Many smaller groups, such a drop-in centre for sex workers in East Vancouver and First Nations groups have withdrawn amidst allegations that the inquiry is fundamentally biased towards protecting the police, and larger groups such as Amnesty International and the BC Civil Liberties Association have also withdrawn in support. [more inside]
posted by jeather on Oct 7, 2011 - 19 comments

But can I drive to the voting booth?

Women in Saudi Arabia to vote and run in elections: Women in Saudi Arabia are to be given the right to vote and run in future municipal elections, King Abdullah has announced. [more inside]
posted by infini on Sep 25, 2011 - 53 comments

The GOP War on Voting

The GOP War on Voting [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 3, 2011 - 263 comments

Give me that old time religion - or not.

In 2002 a Mrs. Soile Tuulikki Lautsi, a Finnish/Italian woman and member of the Italian Union of Atheists, Agnostics and Rationalists objected to the crucifixes on the wall of her child’s public school. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Jun 27, 2011 - 52 comments

"It is better to live for one day as a tiger, than to live for a thousand years as a sheep."

Amnesty International, 50 Years: Standing Up For Freedom (Vimeo. YouTube.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2011 - 18 comments

Short Films Against Global and Social Injustice

In 2009, Ctrl.Alt.Shift, the "youth initiative of Christian Aid," held a national competition in the UK for aspiring filmmakers aged 18 to 25. Their mission: create a short film treatment based around three key issues: "War + Peace," "Gender + Power" and "HIV + Stigma." The results were then screened to an audience at the 2009 Raindance Film Festival. The films: 1000 Voices, HIV: The Musical, Man Made, No Way Through and War School. (All YouTube links. Vimeo links and descriptions of each film are inside this post.) These films deal with adult subject matter and may be disturbing for some viewers. Some may also be nsfw. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 24, 2011 - 3 comments

The costs of Honor

"It was your words, Jim, that were a call to arms for the rest of us." The story behind an iconic photo of the civil rights movement.
posted by pjern on May 18, 2011 - 35 comments

A band of sisters and brothers in a circle of trust

Images of a People's Movement - more than 18 pages of photos and dozens of first-hand narratives, interviews & recollections of the 1951-1968 Southern Freedom Movement by the Civil Rights Movement Veterans. (These are just samplings - it's a deep and rich site.) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 4, 2011 - 12 comments

A Half-Century of Rights, Gone

Republicans remove fiscal measures of Wisconsin's controversial budget repair bill, no longer need quorum denied to them by the 14 AWOL Senate Democrats. After seven minutes and over the objections of the Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, the bill is revised and accepted. The bill passes in the Senate 18-1. Previously. Before that Before even that.
posted by shesdeadimalive on Mar 9, 2011 - 1264 comments

It's Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This.

Security-in-a-Box. A complete guide to digital security for advocates and human rights defenders (and for you too!). It includes all the info and tools you'll need for anything related to personal digital security.
Mobiles in-a-box: Tools and tactics for mobile advocacy.
Message in-a-box: Everything you need to make and distribute your own media.
NGO-in-a-box: Set up you NGO using free and open-source software.
[more inside]
posted by lemuring on Feb 28, 2011 - 14 comments

predicting civil unrest

Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments - With protests spreading in the Middle East (now Yemen - not on the list) I thought this article and blog on a forecast model predicting "which countries will likely experience an escalation in domestic political violence [within the next five years]" was rather interesting. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 27, 2011 - 42 comments

Vermont Challenging Corporate Personhood

One year after the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which, overturning over 100 years of precedent, opened a floodgate of corporate money into election campaigns, Virginia Lyons (D-VT), has introduced legislation (full text of bill not yet available, articles here and here) in the Vermont State Senate to amend the United States Constitution to explicitly state that corporations are not persons. This would overturn the controversial notion of corporate personhood which was established in the 1800s. Controversial not only for the unequal distribution of rights and responsibilities among humans and corporations, some, like Thom Hartmann (previously), have claimed that the notion of corporate personhood was established as an intentional misinterpretation of the decision as recorded by court reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis, former president of the Newburgh & New York Railway Co. [more inside]
posted by laminarial on Jan 24, 2011 - 102 comments

Copycat of Arizona's Immigration Status Bill

Copycat of Arizona's immigration status bill has passed the Mississippi Senate by a vote of 34-15. The difference here is that there is a precondition with the immigration status check. Though selection cannot be based on race, color, or country of origin but ability to English can cast enough suspicion to warrant a check on immigration status.
posted by azileretsis on Jan 20, 2011 - 73 comments

These were educated people saying, "Your son made a bad choice" or "He's the problem."

GLBT rights advocate Carolyn Wagner has passed away. In 1996, Carolyn's 16 year old son, William, was assaulted in his school in Fayetteville, Arkansas, following years of anti-gay harassment. School administrators rebuffed his complaints, telling him to man-up. His mother, Carolyn, filed a complaint with the Office For Civil Rights that the Fayetteville Arkansas School District was in violation of their son's Title lX rights and succeeded in convincing the OCR that GLBT students are covered by Title lX, and won. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 19, 2011 - 28 comments

Bayard Rustin, Civil Rights and Gay Rights Pioneer

Bayard Rustin was an important civil rights activist, the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and an invaluable strategist to Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite opposition relating to his status as an openly gay man, he continued to contribute throughout his life to the struggle for racial equality and later, for gay and lesbian equality. [more inside]
posted by Morrigan on Jan 17, 2011 - 26 comments

Well, uhhhh...

When did you choose to be straight?
posted by boo_radley on Dec 6, 2010 - 138 comments

The fundamental problem is that terrorism is innovative while TSA policy is reactive

A Nude Awakening - The TSA and Privacy. An insightful article about the TSA and fundamental freedoms from the Oklahoma Daily Student newspaper. via
posted by blue_beetle on Dec 6, 2010 - 48 comments

"...we will continue to oppose any policy or action that would celebrate or affirm homosexual conduct."

"Yeah," she told me. "What we're saying is these [anti-gay] groups perpetrate hate—just like those [racist] organizations do." [more inside]
posted by kipmanley on Nov 24, 2010 - 164 comments

Polygamy in Canada

Will Canada be the first developed nation to decriminalise Polygamy? After Charter challenges legalised orgies, prostitution (most recently "living off the avails"), same-sex marriages, non-sexual adult interdependent relationships, common-law marraiges and multiple legally recognised spouses in Saskatchewan, the West Coast is now hosting a unique reference case in B.C.'s superior court considering whether section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code is legal under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [more inside]
posted by saucysault on Nov 22, 2010 - 119 comments

NOM Exposed

NOM Exposed collects information about the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a secretive front group for the Mormon and Catholic churches which funds other front groups across the country, in their fight against recognition of same-sex marriage rights in the United States. NOM Exposed pulls together biographies about the leadership behind the organization, the ties to extremist religious and other groups, the money trail and the shadowy outfits where the cash leads, the organization's ethical, campaign finance, and other legal violations across the country (such as that pointed to here), and various propaganda that NOM uses to spread its message.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 30, 2010 - 95 comments

Are you a cafeteria American?

She read from notes, stumbling occasionally, and did not so much lean on her metaphors as wrestle them to the floor and grind them underfoot; but they loved it anyway - all 15 minutes of it. She attacked everyone from the president on down, demanded stricter standards for America's service personnel, espoused an aggressive red-meat constitutionalism, and proposed a new policy which she summed up as "if you don't like it - go home." The 2,000-strong crowd cheered wildly as she literally howled her frustration before leading them, fists pumping, in an anti-incumbent chant of "Go home!" A strange mix of patriotism and petulance, it was a rough kind of stump speech that hadn't been tested in a focus group or tried out on a campaign aide, and which was delivered with complete disregard for how it might play in the media. Witness the startling political debut of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, American citizen.
posted by anigbrowl on Sep 20, 2010 - 115 comments

"Without the participation of Microsoft, these criminal cases against human rights defenders and journalists would simply not be able to occur"

Russia Uses Microsoft to Suppress Dissent - Adding to its long-running series on corruption and abuse in post-Communist Russia, the New York Times has reported on Russian authorities using the pretext of software piracy to seize computers from journalists and political dissidents critical of current policies. In a surprising twist, lawyers representing Microsoft have been found working with Russian police, despite reporters and NGOs providing evidence of legitimate software purchases. An official response to the NYT piece suggests impostors claim to represent Microsoft in Russia, and notes the company's offer of free software licenses to these and similar groups.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 12, 2010 - 25 comments

Judge Rejects Military Policy Toward Gays

Judge Rules "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Is Unconstitutional - Judge Virginia A. Phillips of Federal District Court struck down President Clinton's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy in an opinion (Scribd) issued late Thursday, ruling on the constitutionality of a complaint brought by the Log Cabin Republicans (PDF). President Obama's Justice Department has until a September 23 deadline to submit objections to the court regarding Judge Phillips's permanent injunction, which is uncertain given Obama's previous support of his Department of Justice defending the legality of DADT, despite his opposition to DADT in principle.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 9, 2010 - 91 comments

You'll Be Missed, Ms. Lincoln

Not just a singer, but a songwriter. Not just an actress, but an activist. Abbey Lincoln helped to push the expectations that the jazz loving public had of jazz vocalists beyond the stereotype of sexy chanteuse delivering someone else's lyrics. From sexy and sultry (as in this clip from "The Girl Can't Help It") to quirky and passionate to elegant and expressive, Ms. Lincoln was a true original in every sense of the word. [more inside]
posted by jeanmari on Aug 14, 2010 - 21 comments

You’ll be pleased to note, it also makes it easier for you to dust.

My Fault, I'm Female [more inside]
posted by lunasol on Jul 19, 2010 - 712 comments

Obama Administration Applies Stupak Amendment to High Risk Pools

Although the Stupak amendment was defeated, women in the new high risk pools will be denied coverage for abortion. The "clarification" from the administration comes in the wake of a scuffle over Pennsylvania's plan to provide abortion coverage. Hopefully, building criticism will have an effect.
posted by stoneweaver on Jul 16, 2010 - 24 comments

People of the Stony Shore

The Shinnecocks have been a fixture in New York State for centuries — their beads became the wampum Dutch settlers used as money in the colonies — but the US Department of Interior never included them on its official list of Native American tribes. That all changed on June 14th. Almost four centuries since their first contact with Europeans and after a 32-year court battle, the 1,300 member impoverished Shinnecock Native American Nation was formally recognised by the US federal government. The tribe's tiny, 750-acre reservation in the middle of the Hamptons (home and summer playground to some the country's wealthiest Americans,) is now a semi-sovereign nation, allowing them to apply for Federal funding to help them build schools, health centers and to set up their own police force, as well as the right to open a casino. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2010 - 77 comments

Broadband in Finland is now a legal right

As of 1 July 2010, broadband is now a legal right in Finland. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Jul 1, 2010 - 70 comments

"Homer, I won your respect, and all I had to do was save your life. Now, if every gay man could just do the same, you'd be set."

Americans' Acceptance of Gay Relations Crosses 50% Threshold - To try to figure out why, NYT columnist Charles M. Blow taps sociologist Dr. Michael Kimmel and Professor Ritch Savin-Williams, who offer three hypotheses as to what may have lead to the surprising changes and what remains of the gender disparity in attitudes. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 4, 2010 - 88 comments

To remain silent, simply speak

In a 5-4 decision in the case of Berghuis v. Thompkins, the Supreme Court has ruled that suspects must explicitly assert their right to remain silent under the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona decision. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jun 1, 2010 - 156 comments

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