Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category

Photo Women’s March San Francisco California via 48 Hills.

We thank the women with the sign in San Francisco. Our sign here in Hartford said, We Remember Never Again and used the pink triangle the Nazi’s symbol for gay men. We stand with not allowing history to repeat itself when people are targets, registered and tagged. When immigrants are detained and deported, when Muslims are banned from entering this country and registered. When women are denied their full access to reproductive rights, and laws are pass such as the First Amendment Defense Act against our LGBTQ community. The other side of our sign said, Build a United Front. That is the only way we will survive.


“So we are here. We are here not merely to gather but to move, right? And our movements, our movements require us to do more than just show up and say the right words. It requires us to break out of our comfort zones and be confrontational. It requires us to defend one another when it is difficult and dangerous. It requires us to truly see ourselves and one another.

I stand here today as the daughter of a native Hawaiian woman and a black veteran from Texas. I stand here as the first person in my family to go to college. I stand here as someone who has written herself onto this stage to unapologetically proclaim that I am a trans woman-writer-activist-revolutionary of color. And I stand here today because of the work of my forebears, from Sojourner to Sylvia, from Ella to Audre, from Harriet to Marsha.

I stand here today most of all because I am my sister’s keeper. My sisters and siblings are being beaten and brutalized, neglected and invisibilizied, extinguished and exiled. My sisters and siblings have been pushed out of hostel homes and intolerant schools. My sisters and siblings have been forced into detention facilities and prisons and deeper into poverty. And I hold these harsh truths close. They enrage me and fuel me. But I cannot survive on righteous anger alone. Today, by being here, it is my commitment to getting us free that keeps me marching.

Our approach to freedom need not be identical but it must be intersectional and inclusive. It must extend beyond ourselves. I know with surpassing certainty that my liberation is directly linked to the liberation of the undocumented trans Latina yearning for refuge. The disabled student seeking unequivocal access. The sex worker fighting to make her living safely.

Collective liberation and solidarity is difficult work, it is work that will find us struggling together and struggling with one another. Just because we are oppressed does not mean that we do not ourselves fall victim to enacting the same unconscious policing, shaming, and erasing. We must return to one another with greater accountability and commitment to the work today.

By being here you are making a commitment to this work. Together we are creating a resounding statement, a statement that stakes a claim on our lives and our loves, our bodies and our babies, our identities and our ideals. But a movement – a movement is so much more than a march. A movement is that difficult space between our reality and our vision. Our liberation depends on all of us, all of us returning to our homes and using this experience and all the experiences that have shaped us to act, to organize, to resist. Thank you.”

Yes it is our commitment to “getting us free that keeps us marching.” Thank you Janet Mock.

To hear Janet’s speech go on over to BUSTLE for an excellent article plus video.

Furbird NOTE:

By the time Miss Mock was half-way through this old queer had tears in his eyes. We are so happy that you said, “Collective liberation and solidarity is difficult work, it is work that will find us struggling together and struggling with one another. Just because we are oppressed does not mean that we do not ourselves fall victim to enacting the same unconscious policing, shaming, and erasing. We must return to one another with greater accountability and commitment to the work today.” Oh what a struggle that has been on all sides and in so many groups for so long now. When you called upon our sisters now passed on, called up women, strong women of my generation who we fought along side of for so many years, strong powerful women Sylvia and Marsha taken from us too soon. I think of them often when we go marching, I say many times to myself now what would Sylvia do, how would “my girl” Sylvia respond? Yes Janet only by creating a strong powerful united front within the LGBTQ movement and with all other movements will be ever win liberation and be free. As our sister Audre Lorde said, “There is no such thing as a single issue, as we do not lead single issue lives.” I am so tired of telling that to the LG main stream.

Our hearts go out to Mr. Scott’s wife Rakeyia and his 7 children. We stand with you and know that somehow together we can and will demand Justice. R.I.P Keith Lamont Scott.

A black man named Keith Lamont Scott was shot dead by police outside an apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday night while the cops were searching for someone else.

According to Keith Lamont Scott’s family, he was married and had seven children. One family member told reporters that Scott was a “great man and great father” and he waited at the bus stop for his son every day.

In the wake of his tragic shooting death, a GoFundMe page has been created to help donate money to Scott’s family. The page mentions that Scott was “taken away from his wife Rakeyia Scott and 7 chilren and family who love him dearly.”

The message reads in full:

We unfortunately are here again where police have shot another innocent black man because “he posed a threat”. This can no longer be tolerated it’s time to take a stand! On Tuesday 9/20/2016 Keith Lamont Scott was shot reportedly 4 times while reading a book and waiting for his son to get off the bus. He has sadly been taken away from his wife Rakeyia Scott and 7 children and family who love him dearly. We can’t keep letting police take away our innocent black men from their families the time is now to stand up and support Black Lives! Please donate what you can to help this family in this very sad time! And please lift up prayers for their family as well! Justice will prevail!

Its bad yes its bad. How back check out the numbers on The Counted: People killed by Police in The US. HERE. In 2016 so far 790 people.

For our weekend music enjoyment is the song Pastures of Plenty written by Woody Gutherie in 1941. This version is sung by Holly Near and Ronnie Gilbert.


In a recent television interview, featuring Baldemar Velasquez – a vigorous farm worker organizer – Bill Moyers summarized the period since the movie Harvest of Shame: “Believe it or not, more than fifty years later, the life of a migrant laborer is still an ordeal. And not just for adults. Perhaps as many as half a million children, some as young as seven years old, are out in the fields and orchards working nine to ten hour days under brutal conditions.” (See the full interview here.)

Among the conditions Moyers was referring to are the daily exposures to pesticides, fertilizers and the resulting chemical-related injuries and sicknesses. Far more of these pesticides end up in the workers’ bodies than are found in our food. President of Farmworker Justice, Bruce Goldstein writes: “Short-term effects include stinging eyes, rashes, blisters, blindness, nausea, dizziness, headache, coma and even death. Pesticides also cause infertility, neurological disorders and cancer.”

¡Viva La Huelga! ¡Viva La Huelga!

For readers who would like to know the battles that United Farm Workers are still fighting check out the Home Page which is found HERE. On their site is an excellent history of the United Farm Workers. The fight for decent living wages, decent housing, and for the right to be represented by a union continue. Today a bill to expand overtime rules for farm workers has been resurrected in the California legislature. Hear this from one campaign of the United Farm Workers. Hear this and shake your heads and get up and help in this fight against may we saw greedy capitalism. Today in 2016 there should be no need for even having to introduce this bill anywhere in the U.S.

“We currently have a new bill, AB1066, which is in the CA Senate. As bill author Rep. Lorena Gonzalez said,“Tens of thousands of farm workers are toiling in the fields without the same overtime protections that other hourly workers in our state receive. They deserve better. California can do better. That’s why we amended ‪#‎AB1066 — to once again try to get an eight hour day for farm workers. We won’t stop until this bill passes.” 

Go to HERE to support the Phase in Overtime for Agricultural Act of 2016.  (We will support this bill but have to say, this should not be a phase in. These workers deserve overtime now not in any type of phase in. Most american workers would not allow this if it was happening to them.

The Fight is far from over for the agricultural workers and their supporters. Join them.

Lettuce pickers work in a field in the Imperial Valley. (Tim Tadder/Associated Press)

This in today from the Gay Liberation Network, Chicago. Photo sums it up very well.

Judge and exectuioner chicago

Gay Liberation Network members discuss why Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel should resign and recent police misconduct. This program was recorded on June 10, 2016 at Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV).

Check out the GLN’s excellent response in their PRIDE month show.

In from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network

I’m so proud to share our newest music video with you.  I’m also writing to share some exciting upcoming plans and to ask for your help in getting the word out.

You may have heard that we held a series of seven concerts last year outside of the Metropolitan Detention Center, an immigrant prison that hides in plain sight in Downtown Los Angeles.  Our goal was to visualize injustice caused by the status quo and to elevate the request for President Obama to take protective action for all immigrants, not just some.

Los Jornaleros del Norte were fortunate to be joined by artists such as Ana Tijoux, La Santa Cecilia, Los Cadetes de Linares, El Gavachillo, Hermanos Hererrra, Voz del Rancho, Mare Advertencia Lirika, Son del Centro, among others.  Our music pierced the walls of the jail, turning inmates and those outside into a common audience. Together, we resisted efforts to divide our community, and we formed a unified voice calling for equality.

Inspired by the actions, several artists pledged their support, and organizers from around the country asked if we could do similar events in their hometowns.  So we decided to launch a new “tour.”  Our next event is now set to start in Adelanto, CA on Sunday, March 29, 2015, with additional artists and dates yet to be announced.


The making of this extraordinary video

During one of the Los Angeles shows, a mother arrived with her two children to celebrate her husband’s birthday. She brought balloons, flowers, and love for her jailed loved one to see across the street from the tiny jail cell window. Omar León, lead singer of Los Jornaleros del Norte, approached her to ask why she was there and she shared with him her story.

Omar turned that story into this beautiful song. It serves as testimony that arts and culture enable people who face and struggle against injustice to turn circumstances of oppression into practices of emancipation. “Serenata a un Indocumentado” is not just a song; it is an enduring historical document that tells the world that beautiful acts of love can happen in the face of ugly suffering.

Chant Down the Walls Boys holding posters

Shot by acclaimed film director Alex Rivera on the same day of the President’s speech announcing administrative relief, the video depicts Los Jornaleros, true to their purpose, standing on a corner across the Metropolitan Detention Center, serenading the detainees inside while videos of jornaleras and jornaleros are projected onto its walls.

This is the sentiment and culture of protest, love, resistance, and struggle that we hope the Serenata concerts will replicate across the country. From San Diego to Maricopa County, from Texas to Alabama and beyond, music will serve as a tool to uplift immigrants’ humanity. We will highlight and redress family separation, unjust detention, inhumane incarceration conditions, criminalization of communities of color, and senseless deportations. We will confront dehumanization and unite in song to overcome walls that divide our community into deserving and undeserving, good and bad, winners and losers, “felons and families.”

Can you help us make it happen?

For now, if you watch and share the video on social media, it would really help. And please also consider making a donation of art, time, or money to help resource future events. You can find us on Twitter,Instagram, and Facebook.

With uncertainty in courts and unprecedented hostility in Washington DC, immigrants have no choice but to fight to have our voices heard.  All immigrants deserve equality, and we must continue to imagine- and organize to make possible-  a world without deportations.
In Solidarity,

Pablo Alvarado
Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)


In from Arvey Jones
Please sign this important petition. This is an issue for all of us no matter where we live. These are real good people and this blog supports them 100%.
In August, an intentional family of eight adults and three children bought a foreclosed nine-bedroom mansion in an upscale section of Hartford’s West-End. Although they…
Police smash protest movements while the media calls them “disorganized.” Meanwhile, corporations get all the “free speech” money can buy.
womens day 2
THE ORIGINS OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: On March 8, 1857, garment workers in NYC marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Their ranks were broken up by the police.
Fifty-one years later, March 8, 1908, their sisters in the needle trades in New York marched again, honoring the 1857 march, demanding the vote, and an end to sweatshops and child labor. The police were present on this occasion too. (1)

In 1910 at the Second International, a world wide socialist party congress, German socialist CLARA ZETKIN proposed that March 8th be proclaimed International Women’s Day, to commemorate the US demonstrations and honor working women the world over. Zetkin, a renowned revolutionary theoretician who argued with Lenin on women’s rights, was considered a grave threat to the European governments of her time; the Kaiser called her “the most dangerous sorceress in the empire.”

International Women’s Day is a historic day of fightback against patriarchy around the world.

womens day

 International Women’s Day, 2014

International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th around the world, is a day to commemorate the struggle and honor the memory of working women of the country and the city, feminists, and women who struggle against capitalism. We are daughters, mothers, relatives, friends, and acquaintances of women who have given their lives to the struggle for our rights, justice, and an end to discrimination.

Above all, we are women who reaffirm our unrestricted commitment toward a world without capitalist and patriarchal violence that oppresses women the most. Therefore for Via Campesina, March 8th is a fundamental date for the conquest of our rights. This is how we struggle for a society with new social and power relations, where women and men have equal opportunities, rights, and duties. We remain always alert and firm in the struggle for our rights, our presence, participation, and action within our organization and throughout society at large. Moreover, we struggle for the sexual and reproductive rights of women and demand our rights to access land in a world where women only own a mere 2% of all land…Via Campesina


Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza

International Women’s Day 2015. Furbirdsqueerly salutes Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza founders of Black Lives Matter. Thank you for standing up and out and being a voice of the people in this struggle. To our queer sisters we thank you for showing all of us in the lgbt/q community the way.

Patrisse Cullors of #BlackLivesMatter.

Queerness on the front lines of #BlackLivesMatter.


This is an excellent letter that was posted over at the Gay Liberation of Chicago’s Network’s Facebook page and speaks a truth that we as LGBT/Q progressives must think about and think about again. Here in Hartford Ct. we have a gay mayor who is running again in the upcoming election. There will be a primary for the democratic nomination for mayor and in this city with no real opposition the democratic party always wins the election. Let’s take a hard look at his record.

This letter as we all know could have been written anywhere in americkkka today. We now have LGBT folks in all sorts of high places and must ask ourselves is it enough that they are LGBT? We must demand more. Read the letter and ask, are these the types of folks I want representing those of us who are LGBT/Q? Do we want our years of working for unity with other groups destroyed because of their policies?

From the Gay Liberation Network facebook page.
It isn’t just enough to get LGBT representation in city government; instead we must start asking “What kind of representation do we want?” When a gay alderman, James Cappleman, harasses the homeless sleeping in freezing bus terminals or opposes a Christmas toy drive for homeless children—is this how…
UPDATE: A copy of the letter is published here as the connection is not working sometimes.
Letter to the editor: 46th Ward race
It isn’t just enough to get LGBT representation in city government; instead we must start asking “What kind of representation do we want?” When a gay alderman, James Cappleman, harasses the homeless sleeping in freezing bus terminals or opposes a Christmas toy drive for homeless children—is this how we want society to see us as the LGBT community?The days of Harvey Milk are long gone. We once had far-left progressive voices demanding justice in city governments. Labor rights, affordable housing, and racial justice: these used to be the crusades of early LGBT political trailblazers. If you’re looking for a Harvey Milk in today’s Chicago’s City Council, you sadly will find none. Instead in Uptown and Lakeview, we are stuck with a reactionary embarrassment: enemies to labor, affordable housing and racial justice.

I was disheartened to see the Windy City Times give Cappleman an A rating because, frankly, I see him deserving an F. His time in Uptown has been one of onslaught against anything remotely progressive and humane. Food trucks have been told not to feed people in his ward. Low-income seniors have been forcibly removed from their homes. Black and brown children have been profiled and stripped of basketball courts that they once played on. All thanks to James Cappleman. Not only has the man shattered any sense of solidarity with other oppressed communities, but he has failed the majority of LGBT people who are low- to moderate-income and who aren’t white themselves. Does this really deserve an A- rating Windy City Times?

Housing has become a prime issue to both LGBT youth as well as seniors. Yet in Uptown, we have an alderman who opposed the Wilson Yard senior housing and an alderman who harasses the shelters many of our youth sleep in. Cappleman has made our cities less affordable for LGBT youth to escape/flock to as well as closed most of the SROs [single-room occupancies] that housed LGBT seniors. The man fails to connect the LGBT struggle to other movements and to carry out our own economic interests.

This election, I dare to say that the straight woman represents us better in the 46th Ward. I will be supporting and canvassing for his opponent, Denice Davis. Many other LGBT activists, including Andy Thayer and myself, have rallied behind her calls for economic justice and racial fairness. She has a proven history of providing AIDS funding to city budgets, supporting LGBT health services and adding more housing options to the vulnerable segments of the LGBT community. She is an A+ and is a way for the LGBT community to move forward alongside others in pursuit of a more equitable just democratic society.

Ryne Poelker