Archive for the ‘For your information’ Category

The Equity and Diversity Collection, LGBTQI+ Archives housed at Central Connecticut State University are in need of your help. In reviewing the contents of the collection, it has been noted that there is very little on the Bisexual movement here in Connecticut. Richard Nelson is spearheading the project of collecting any and all material concerning the Bisexual movement for justice in Connecticut. He and some of the folks who were involved in the movement are gathering archives and are looking for any objects, buttons, pamphlets, leaflets, writings or articles that you may have.

As we say in the collecting of ourstories, Out of the closets, Out of the attics and barns, Out of the basements and storage places. Researchers of ourstories, students who use the LGBTQI+ archives and others yet to come will thank you. It is important that we are a people tell all of our stories.

Anyone with anything to donate can contact Nelson at rvnted@gmail.com who will coordinate these archives and deliver the archives to CCSU. Please share this with anyone you know who may be interested in donating material.

Thank you.
For justice and Liberation

This excellent article is published in Freedom Socialist and reminds us Yes it is happening here again.

April 11, 2019
SOAPBOX
Return of the Red Scare

BERNADETTE LOGUE | APRIL-MAY 2019 FREEDOM SOCIALIST

“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination and control.” This intoned by Donald Trump during his much-delayed State of the Union Address. Delayed because he forced a government shutdown to coerce Congress into paying for his Wall to deprive refugees from seeking … liberty and independence.
Alarmed? Trump and his fellow capitalists are in a downright tizzy, because interest in socialism is at an all-time high. And why wouldn’t it be? Desperate people are looking for rational answers. If we can put cars on Mars (R.I.P. Opportunity Rover), why can’t we dump fossil fuels and begin to deal with climate change? If Congress can give the Pentagon more money than requested, why can’t it fund universal healthcare? For working people trapped in immovable wages, students crushed by debt and seniors unable to afford medications like insulin, the capitalists offer no answers — only scapegoats and war.
Our rulers are terrified of socialism, because they think it means nationalizing private companies and banks and redistributing their vast wealth back to the people who created it, the workers. They are absolutely correct. That is what it means. As a revolutionary socialist, I’m all for sharing the wealth and abolishing poverty.
But the social democracies of Europe and the mixed economies of Latin America, like Venezuela, are not socialist countries, no matter how many times Fox News calls them communist or socialist. A country may have free healthcare and education. But wherever capitalists control the banks, trade, factories, utilities and agriculture, then sorry — that’s not socialism.
“I love war,” says Trump of the heel spurs. And why wouldn’t he? War is very profitable. Trump & Co. are not doing the fighting and dying. The war with Iraq was sold as a war to stop nonexistent weapons of mass destruction; it was really about stealing Iraq’s oil. Now we’re being sold a shiny, new war to “free the Venezuelan people from a socialist dictator.” But it’s really about stealing Venezuela’s oil and imposing more harsh sanctions. It’s called re-enforcing good old Yankee Imperialism in Latin America.
Trump has assembled a troika of fervent anti-communists to accomplish this — John Bolton, Elliot Abrams and Mike Pompeo. Bolton, national security adviser, also loves war. He and the president have that to share as they decide which countries to sanction, bomb or invade. Secretary of State Pompeo’s ultra-hawk positions fit perfectly with old cold-war politics. He’s for expanding Guantanamo Bay prison, defends CIA’s torture interrogations, focuses on “radical Islamic terrorism,” and applauds spying on people by Google and Facebook.
In a truly twisted move, even for this White House, Elliot Abrams was appointed to head up the ‘humanitarian aid’ for Venezuela. At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, he refused to answer Rep. Ilhan Omar’s question, “Yes or no, would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide if you believed they were serving U.S. interests, as you did in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala?” (more…)

March 12, 2019
Oppressions: the capitalist connection and the socialist solution
FEBRUARY-MARCH 2019 FREEDOM SOCIALIST

FSP contingent at Washington D.C. Women’s March in protest of 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump. PHOTO: FSP

The following excerpts are from a 1989 keynote speech by Clara Fraser to a conference called “Parallels and Intersections: Racism and Other Forms of Oppression.” What is the relationship between the oppression of different groups of people — and what are the implications for social change? These are the issues Fraser and the conference were addressing, and it’s one that has stalked movements for equality and liberation from their beginnings.

In the 1960s, Fraser and the organizations she co-founded, the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women, answered these questions with multi-issue revolutionary socialist feminism. The excerpts below capture the essence of these politics and their relevance to debates about intersectionality and identity politics today. The full speech can be read at marxists.org or in Fraser’s fierce and funny collection of essays and speeches called Revolution, She Wrote, available at RedLetterPress.org.

Chains forged by history

All the many brands of oppression — racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, classism — are historical; they have not been always with us. It was not ever thus. And it’s not going to be this way, come the revolution!
Human nature, by itself, is fine. If you’ve raised children, you know babies don’t come into the world nasty and exploitative — they’re nice people! They want support and help and solidarity. And they give love and gratitude. They’re cheerful; they like life. It’s what happens to them as they grow up that turns them into the kind of people you hate to meet. So the problem doesn’t start with human nature but with historical categories.

Oppressions grew. They developed — not out of somebody’s evil mind, but out of material reality. Given certain economic conditions, levels of technology, and the particular development of the forces of production, assorted varieties of subjugation had to happen. When production of “commodities” — goods for sale — became widespread, private ownership arose and with it came new family structures and relations among people. Classes emerged. And to entrench these new classes, new forms of rule developed. The state was born; laws came on the scene. The culture changed.
We live in an epoch in which there coexists class oppression, racism and sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, anti-Semitism, et cetera, et cetera. There’s a name for this kind of society and it’s called capitalism. In its most developed expansionist form, it’s known as imperialism. (more…)

Here is information about the group Hartford Police Department Not Safe For Women.

Why We Exist
HPD Not Safe For Women·Saturday, March 2, 2019

HPD Not Safe For Women·Saturday, March 2, 2019
.
Hartford Police Department Not Safe for Women was born in February 2019 in direct response to City of Hartford Officer & LGBT community liaison Kelly Baerga’s sexual harassment complaint. For 9 months, she heard no updates, no reassurance, and no resolution from the Police Department, Human Resources, or the Mayor’s office.

Officer Baerga is a lesbian Latina police officer who claims she was sexually harassed over a period of time by Sgt. Andrew Rodney who is her superior and a Jamaican man. Due to all of the complicated intersections of sexism, homophobia and racism, and the fact that the victim is a police officer, has made this an issue of sexual harassment that many of the usual allies haven’t been able step up for Officer Kelly Baerga. After all, she works for and represents the very institution of patriarchy and toxic masculinity that we claim to want to destroy.
Many of us have worked in good faith to address and shift the toxic HPD workplace culture, where incidents like those graphically described in Officer Baerga’s complaint are ignored, and disappeared. As Hartford residents, we have lifetimes of stories of being mistreated by law enforcement in this city. We have heard of the “Old Boys Club” confirmed in Officer Bearga’s complaint and again in Officer Mirella Gentry’s, submitted just a few weeks later. Add to this the $180,000 pay out to Officer Renee LaMark Muir in 2017 from her 2014 sexual harassment lawsuit and we know that these aren’t isolated incidents.

Hartford is a beautiful city, filled with diverse communities of Black, brown, white, immigrant, Queer, Same Gender Loving, gender non conforming, survivor, and other communities of women who often have to decide if they can call on the HPD to keep them safe. Police leadership and officers who engender a hostile, misogynist workplace also dismiss survivors of sexual assault, sex workers experiencing abuse, families with domestic violence, and other women in our community – making our most vulnerable moments even more traumatizing. Officer Baerga is a community officer who, up until she filed her complaint, was actively recruiting Queer, Black and brown Hartford residents to the HPD with a vision of community policing that included US actually caring for US.

This sentiment doesn’t appear to be shared by many in the HPD, so we’re asking them to find employment elsewhere. OR, to commit to being a part of dynamic change.
Leadership at the HPD as well as at City Hall has to loudly and boldly make it clear through their words and behavior that harassment of any kind won’t be tolerated. At this point, we have no confidence that current leadership has the ability to do this. There is a pattern that needs to be broken, and we intend to break it.

 

The Women’s Action Coalition marches in support of lesbian rights in the 1992 Gay Pride Parade.

Lesbophobia Past and Present

By ANN MONTAGUE

Lesbians resist and rebel against institutions and belief systems that oppress us. Starting as young girls we fight against the tyranny of pink. Today, the situation is worse than ever for all girls, as multi-million-dollar corporations become the enforcers of oppressive sex stereotyping.

Over the last 10 years, Disney has marketed over 26,000 “Princess” items. This has not only become the fastest growing brand for Disney, it is also the largest franchise in the world for girls ages two to six. The products are all about clothes, jewelry, makeup, and of course, being rescued by the prince.

Disney enforces oppressive gender norms for girls by idealizing the institution of monogamous heterosexual marriage (Cinderella, Little Mermaid, The Princess, and the Frog). Princesses can only be imagined as heterosexual and their greatest success can only be the fairy-tale wedding, which renders them as property.

At the same time, the proliferation of pink sends more messages to girls. Pink becomes more than a color, and academics have even created the word “pinkification,” which is defined as “teaching and reinforcing stereotypes that limit the way girls perceive themselves.”

Peggy Orenstein, the author of a recent book, “Cinderella Ate My Daughter,” asked a sales rep, “Is all this pink really necessary? There are other colors in the rainbow.” He laughed, “I guess girls are just born loving pink.” There are, of course, girls who rebel, turn their backs on imposed limitations, and shout, “Pink Stinks.”

As lesbians enter their teenage years, the struggle continues as it becomes clear that they are not even trusted to name their own experience.

A young Arab American lesbian did a Q and A interview about her first novel, which was a 2018 finalist in the Wishing Well Book Awards’ “Books For Teenagers” category. She was aghast and appalled when the interview was published. Everywhere that she had said the word “lesbian,” they had changed the word to “queer” in their quotations.

“I was rebranded,” she said. “I became the mythological ‘if the situation were right’ lesbian. Queer has become the ‘I am not going to rule anything out because I am an open-minded girl.’ It doesn’t carry the sting of ‘lesbian.’ The stigma of ‘lesbian.’ The boundaries of ‘lesbian.’ Lesbian is a solid ‘no.’”

She added that she would never have said that the androgynous lesbian character in her book was “presenting a gender,” as her interviewer had made up. “That unwillingness to bend is the very reason lesbians are targeted with insidious psychological warfare.”

Why did she (Julia Diana Robertson “Beyond The Screen Door”) have this strong reaction? It was not just that she was “misquoted,” and it was not aimed at those who choose to identify as queer. It was because lesbians of all ages are seeing themselves, as well as their history erased. This, of course, is nothing new, but after past years of struggle there is now an aggressive resurgence.

She was shocked that words she would never use to describe herself or the characters in her novel were put into her mouth. The interviewer admitted unapologetically what she had done; she was trying to “provide space for all LGBTQ women.” In doing that, however, she excluded Julia from her own story, and by extension, all lesbians.

Lesbian critical theory (more…)

Last week, local media published Hartford Police Officer Kelly Baerga’s detailed report of extensive sexual harassment, homophobia, and sexism within the Hartford Police Department.
If this is how women and LGBTQ police officers are treated, how people in the community being treated?

Local news story: https://www.wfsb.com/…/article_7dea0622-3004-11e9-b027-9fbb…

Full report: https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/…/5c64da650011…

Statement of February 24, 2019 from HPD Not Safe For Women.

Today’s statement

Women in Hartford are not safe and the HPD is our biggest threat.

Officer Baerga is a woman and a Latina and a lesbian, she is one of us. She is a sworn police officer and she is not safe from sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior from Sgt. Rodney at the Hartford Police Department. She went through the proper channels to address her harassment, and those channels made it clear that their Old Boys club would not protect her or take her complaints seriously.

Today we ask, if a police officer is not safe, what about a woman who calls for help or police protection? What about a woman involved in an incident that police are called to? What if a woman is arrested? How safe will they be?

Sgt. Rodney needs to go. NOW! City Hall and the HPD have stretched this out for far too long, hoping that it will disappear. We demand a full and complete investigation of the entire Hartford Police Department and all unresolved sexual harassment complaints.
ALL OF THEM!! Investigate every internal complaint and every community complaint involving women. Go back at least five years. What is the process? Who investigates these complaints? What were the outcomes?

WHY DON’T WE KNOW THIS!

This is situation intolerable. Sgt. Rodney is today’s unfortunate example of what happens when City leadership choses to stand back in the face of abuse because it’s messy and uncomfortable. Welcome to Hartford, we are a beautifully diverse city of messy and uncomfortable. We demand better city leadership. We demand that those at the HPD who knew this was happening, gave Sgt. Rodney the space to abuse officer Baerga and have been dragging their feet since May, step down and allow our HPD to step into the 21st century.
The behavior of the HPD reflects what the Mayor and City Council are willing to allow. If they won’t demand that the HPD treat ALL women with respect, we will vote them ALL out in November!

For years, the Hartford Police Department has cultivated a culture of gender discrimination and homophobia that has allowed officers to abuse each other with almost no fear of retaliation.

For more on the movement in Hartford Ct. HPD Is Not Safe For Women go to their facebook page HERE.

Furbirdsqueerly is compiling a article on the history of ourstories and the interaction with HPD over the long years of our movement.

40+ Cities Plan Activities During #23Feb Weekend of International Actions
Send in your action plans or use our guide to plan an event in your area

Juan Guaido is promising that U.S. intervention through “humanitarian aid” will arrive in Venezuela by February 23rd. This makes our global response on that day even more important. It’s time to show our solidarity with a sovereign and progressive Venezuela. We must defend the revolution before U.S. soldiers set one foot on Venezuelan soil.
If you haven’t already submitted your planned action for the weekend of February 23rd, please submit the details here. Upwards of 40 cities across the world, from the U.S. to Bangladesh, Canada to Malta, India to Russia, and many others are planning actions. Find the full list of what’s already being planned below.

If you’re in a city where nothing has been planned yet, but you still want to show solidarity – don’t worry! We can help.
Every action held during the weekend of February 23 – no matter the size or scale – will have an impact.

Consider a smaller-scale action to raise awareness:
Link up with a few like-minded allies to print our fact sheets on Venezuela and pass them out in public places, such as a mall or public transit station
Consider a banner-drop, a picket, or holding signs and distributing fact sheets near a busy intersection or overpass. Get slogans or pre-made placards from our resource page
Wear red with your friends and take a photo while holding pro-Venezuela messages and tag them on social media as #HandsOffVenezuela or #23feb
Picket your local gas station with messages that convey: NOT ANOTHER WAR FOR OIL!

Screen Venezuela: La lucha sigue, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, or other films that tell the truth about the Bolivarian Revolution at a public space or in your home. Invite like-minded activists to link up and begin to plan the next day of action in support of Venezuela.

Whatever activity you organize, make sure to post pictures to social media with #HandsOffVenezuela and #23feb, and send them in to info@nowaronvenezuela.org
You can also use our Facebook page to link up with like-minded allies, post a message on Twitter and tag our account, or send an email to our international organizers. We will be glad to assist you in planning an action in your area and connecting with others in your area.

International Actions On the Weekend of February 23

(more…)