Archive for November, 2013

Partisan Defense

National Mourning

For full details about this important day go to, United American Indians Of New England.

In today from the Center for American Progress

Dignity Denied: LGBT Immigrants in U.S. Immigration Detention

by Sharita Gruberg, November 25, 2013

While the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, does not keep data on the sexual orientation or gender identity of people in its custody, reports of treatment of LGBT detainees obtained through Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests and through complaints filed by immigrant rights groups reveal that much like in the general prison population—where LGBT inmates are 15 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than the general population—LGBT immigrants in immigration detention facilities face an increased risk of abuse in detention.

The U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment went as far as finding the treatment of LGBT immigrants in U.S. detention facilities in violation of the Convention Against Torture after it received information on gay and transgender individuals who had been subjected to solitary confinement, torture, and ill-treatment—including sexual assault—while detained in U.S. immigration facilities.

This report will examine the mistreatment LGBT immigrants face in immigration detention; the steps that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has taken in an attempt to address these issues; the impact that legislation pending before Congress would have on immigration enforcement; and recommendations for how to ensure enforcement of immigration laws is conducted in a manner that is effective and humane.

Read more and download the full report here.

In today from the Gay Liberation Network in Chicago. Where members of the network have joined with others on a mission to Honduras.

Leading Honduran LGBT Activist Eric Martinec (center front) with members of the delegation.

“We recognize that we live in a very homophobic society, and that violence has been increasing. Before the coup, LGBT murders [in Honduras] averaged 3-4 a year. Since then, 24-25 a year.”

Jose Zambrano, from a meeting with LGBT leaders in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Friday
Beginning this past Thursday, a group of 15 LGBT human rights activists from the U.S. have been visiting Honduras to meet with LGBT activists in the Central American country.  Their goal is to help bring more visibility to the rampant violence against LGBTs and others there.  
Gary Cozette of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America and the Gay Liberation Network’s Andy Thayer and  are on the LGBT delegation, dubbed the Honduran Equality Delegation, with GLN’s Buddy Bell and a few dozen more Chicagoans joining two delegations of the Chicago-based La Voz de Los de Abajo in the country.  The two groups are part of the Honduras Solidarity Network, which has fielded some 820 observers around the country this weekend.
Why the Focus on Honduras?
At least 115 LGBT Hondurans have been murdered since 2008, in a country which has a population not much larger than that of metropolitan Chicago. Of that number, 53 were Trans people. And that’s not to mention the countless non-LGBTs murdered in the wave of violence spurred by a U.S.-supported military coup which overthrew the country’s democratically elected government.
Sunday, November 24 will see the country’s first widely-contested elections since the coup which overthrew President Manuel Zelaya.  Zelaya had taken a series of initiatives to promote greater participation and control by Honduras’s historically discriminated against peoples, including LGBTs, angering the wealthy elite who were accustomed to uncontested rule of the country.
With their overthrow of Zelaya, the coup government and its allies unleashed a wave of violence, much of it politically motivated, which gave Honduras the highest per capita murder rate in the world, 86 homicides per 100,000 people.  The first two people killed in political violence following the coup were two transgender women in Honduras’s second city, San Pedro Sula. 
And it should be noted — Honduras doesn’t manufacture any guns — they all come from the United States. President Obama and Congress continue to arm the Honduran government despite a U.S. law which makes illegal the funding of governments established by military coups. (more…)

Wake Me Up Aloe Blacc

Posted: November 22, 2013 in Call to Action, Solidarity

In today from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network a beautiful song by Aloe Blacc.

To find out more about NDLON or the National Day Laborer Organizing Network go to their site HERE.

A thank you to Todd Boyle for this great video of Kshama Sawant speaking at the victory party after being elected to Seattle City Council. Thanks to Solidarity: a socialist, feminist, anti-racist group for posting this video on facebook. A hardy congratulations to all who joined together in Seattle to bring about his victory.

For an excellent article read, A Socialist in City Council, by Barry Sheppard published on Solidarity’s web site.

This is what we can do when joining together. In today from Freedom Socialist.

Sign of the times: Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative Unseats Seattle Democrat.

by Linda Averll

Seattle is a town that Microsoft billionaires and Democratic Party politicians assumed was their own. Well, the 2013 elections proved them wrong. In a game-changing upset, socialist Kshama Sawant won a seat on Seattle’s City Council, defeating 16-year incumbent and Democratic Party stalwart, Richard Conlin. While the election will be certified after the Freedom Socialist goes to press, Conlin has conceded.

In nearby SeaTac, Proposition 1 was also winning. The measure would establish a $15-an-hour minimum wage for 6,300 transportation and hospitality workers. It holds a razor-thin margin and will likely face challenge. Yet like Sawant’s victory, Prop. 1 even getting to this point is amazing in a system where big business buys elections.

Sawant ran as a candidate for Socialist Alternative (SA), a Trotskyist party. Her campaign attracted more than 300 volunteers and $110,000 in donations. Throughout summer, her colorful posters dominated city streets, broadcasting key demands: a $15 an hour wage, rent control, and taxing millionaires to fund mass transit and education. Union rank-and-filers, including Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) members, helped secure union endorsements and donations, and near support from the King County Labor Council, typically a stronghold of the Democratic Party.

Sawant’s win has spurred interest in socialist ideas, especially among young people. It also raises the question, what does this mean for the socialist movement? (more…)

Thanks to Bobby Tucker for bringing this to our attention.

Lead actors, Reinhold Schunzel, left and Conrad Veidt, right in a scene featuring a “gay” masquerade ball.

Robert Ito has a very interesting piece published in the New York Times on November 15, 2013.  The piece A Daring Film, Silenced No More, ‘Different from the Others,’ a 1919 film on Homosexuality is an article that helps us to fill in the gaps in what this blog calls Ourstories.  The movie, “Different From the Others,” opened in the summer of 1919 to sold-out houses across Germany. Mr. Ito has this to say about the film and we enter it here copied from his article:

“But as much as some critics and audiences took to the film, others found it indecent, unwatchable. There were catcalls at some screenings; at others, riots and walkouts. It wasn’t just that the two romantic leads were men. The film also had the audacity to claim that homophobia, not homosexuality, was a scourge of society. The following year, censors banned “Different From the Others” throughout Germany, claiming that the film could endanger public safety or turn impressionable youths gay. When the Nazis came to power, they destroyed every copy they could find. In doing so, what many consider the world’s first feature film to showcase sympathetic gay characters and themes was lost.”

Lucky for all of us Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld removed 40 minutes of the original film and inserted the scenes into another film. From these 40 minutes and from  and photographs and from Dr. Hirschfeld’s surviving papers (remember the Nazis sacked and burned his library) the film is being recreated as much as can be done.

This blog and all of us who love to hear and read ourstories thank UCLA Film and Television Archives and the preservationists who are working on this film. Thanks also to Robert Ito for writing this piece and the Times for publishing it.

One note though, it is interesting that one of the main characters who is being blackmailed commits suicide as so many early homosexuals did in novels but his lover leads us all in another direction, he goes on to fight Paragraph 175 the German law that was used to condemn homosexuals to death in the concentration camps. The other interesting fact is the film  claimed that homophobia, not homosexuality, was a scourge of society. Yes to that and yes again as we still need to stress that each and every time queerphobia  rears its ugly head, and each time we must remember our stories and where they have lead us, and each and every time we must remember that even if we think we have never had it so good we are still outsiders.

In from Socialist Action

The Global Economic Crisis,
The Corporate Offensive,
And the Coming Fightback

Saturday, November 23rd
1:00pm
Har
tford Public Library, Main Branch
Ground Floor Classroom
500 Main Street, Hartford, CT

In the first two years of the recent so-called recovery the wealthiest 1% took 100% of U.S. income gains, and the combined income of the bottom 99% actually fell.  The gap between the wealth held by Black and white Americans is now substantially greater than it was in South Africa at the height of its apartheid system.

Everywhere on the planet big business is kept afloat with epoch-making assaults on working people and massive borrowed money – both public and private.  Meanwhile, historic fights unfold all over the world, and in the U.S. socialist candidate Kshama Sawant has just beaten a 16 year Democratic Party incumbent to become the first socialist in 100 years to take office in the city of Seattle.

What are the roots of the continuing crises and the attacks on working people?  How are we going to fight back and win?

Speaker: Jeff Mackler – Director, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal;
Administrative Committee, United National Antiwar Coalition; West Coast
Coordinator, Lynne Stewart Defense Committee; Socialist Action candidate for
U.S. Senate in California 2006

Sponsored by Socialist Action

For More information Contact 860-985-4576 or daniel.adam.piper@gmail.com

Also, Don’t Miss.. (more…)

” The greatest single acts of terrorism to date were not perpetrated by Osama bin Laden, but by the US military when it dropped atomic bombs on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   Moonanum James, at the 32 National Day of Mourning 2001

To read the full speech given by Moonanum James go to HERE.  Look in the upper left corner.