Archive for the ‘knowledge is power’ Category

On Saturday folks from furbirdsqueerly join with about 45 other people in what was dubbed an Equality March. It was wonderful to see so many LGBT and queer folks out that day. Young folks, old folks, Black folks, Brown folks, white folks, all out for equality bringing their issues out to the streets of Hartford Ct. we wrote this as a response:

“We would like to bring up a point here as lesson. A lesson for learning to all of us in these dreadful times. A light to shine in darkness. A please remember others beside yourselves. A all for one and one for all! This article has been adapted from our comment over at The Equality March Page found HERE.

Before marching I had asked the organizer if she would please have the march go a little slow as some of us would most likely not be able to keep up. This was met by some off remark by someone in the crowd and a laugh by her. When the march was going down Pearl Street I noticed that the front of the march was getting further and further away. I yelled out a few times to slow down and was met with a few off handed remarks from other marchers which took me by surprise, until Pickles heard me say “Slow Down- Pass it On” and repeated it. Thank you Pickles for passing it on. Thank you for helping stopping and slowing down the marchers. I couldn’t understand why the rush, why would we want to become a blur? The cops were blocking the intersections, no need to rush through, why the rush, were we out to please them so they wouldn’t have to stand there? Did we care about the people sitting in their cars waiting for us to pass so much that we forgot about those who were all ready standing with us? Funny I heard no honks in support of the march from any motorist waiting. It wasn’t pouring rain, or freezing cold. Some of us older people and folks with children were having a hard time keeping up. The children in this march had some wonderful signs that they had made. What did it say to them that the march left them way up Pearl Street.

What was at play here? Self centered ableism? Getting into the moment of the thing and forgetting that everyone who was out that day would help to make this resistance succeed? Breaking a number one rule of revolution (yeah I will call it that for now, when push comes to shove that will be another story) “all for one and one for all.” Forgetting that some are not as able as others for whatever reason? Or as one person said, “These people are just oblivious and only think to the tip of their nose.” Sad commentary on our state if that is the case. What is next non-accessible meeting spaces?

I would like to tell a little story here. In my long history of resistance, I started as a young queer child, I have always made it a point to say when any action was to be taken, or laws to be passed, how will this effect the least of those among us? How will this affect the poor, the elderly, the young? Then I would work up from there. If I couldn’t see advancement for those of us who were not privileged then I would not take part. Many years ago there was an argument about a space that some in the LGBT movement wanted to use. Well the space had 3 stairs to get into. I knew that one of the speakers was in a transportation chair. I couldn’t believe my ears when one person a very able bodied lesbian said, “Well all we have to do is carry him up the stairs.” Needless to say folks on my side of the fence booed her out of the picture and another meeting space was found. What length were we willing to go to? Busting up the group and forming a new one? We were willing at that point. 

Another point that should be well taken and contemplated is this, in these times when in small marches we must look out for each other. Folks left behind could become victims and when we rush ahead we put them in danger. No one in that line of march should have made an off remark about stopping and slowing down. One person had the nerve to say, we were “power walking.” So funny I forgot to laugh. What only the able folks got the power? Honey get with it. With messages such as ours wouldn’t a stroll be nicer. Give folks on the sidelines time to read your signs, to hear your chants. Instead we go rushing by, to beat the band, to get to the fire, the fire is in the streets not in front of an empty state capitol.

In the future please remember to check out others, look behind you, get off and out of yourself. Extend your compassion. If you see folks falling behind you and your friends please go and walk with them. One thing please don’t be just like trump and his boys, leaving seniors and the young behind. That is what I took away from this lesson. I know many folks who are out and about protesting today are new at the game with many lessons to learn and I know one lesson is to stop being so damned privileged. You and I well know, we all have a lot to learn in these times.

Onward and forward! Remember, “What force on earth is weaker than the feeble force of one!” Together we are strong. This resistance will not succeed with only you, if you think so welcome to the end of the cliff.  Equality March? Equality March? Equality March? Come on folks forget your able body fast walking selves? Equality march no it isn’t when some are left way up the next block. 

Now we don’t usually publish anything by democrats or those who sniff around with them but we thought this is very interesting. We have been saying this for months now. Of course we know full well that when Obama was president that the drones flew and the bombs dropped. Yesterday I wore to the Equality Demo a button from back in the day but a button that is just as true today as it was then. You remember it, War Is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things. I talked to anyone who would listen. I will continue to keep talking and talking and talking. So read what Sen. Murphy has to write. From what we gather he is a decent guy. All we can say is We know and we knew and we say NO TO WAR!!!

Trump Is Dragging Us Into Another War… And No One Is Talking About It

While Americans have been focused on the ACA and Trump’s ties to Russia, Trump has been busy expanding the American troop presence inside Syria.

By Sen. Christopher Murphy, CT.

Quietly, while Americans have been focused on the ongoing drama over repealing the Affordable Care Act and the new revelations about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, President Trump has been busy dramatically expanding the American troop presence inside Syria. And virtually no one in Washington has noticed. Americans have a right to know what Trump is planning and whether this will lead to an Iraq-style occupation of Syria for years to come.

Without any official notification, Trump sent 500 new American troops into Syria, ostensibly to take part in the upcoming assault on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. News reports suggest this deployment may just be the tip of the iceberg, with some saying that the plan is for hundreds more American troops to be added to the fight in the coming weeks. No one actually knows how many troops are inside Syria now, because the administration has largely tried to keep the build-up a secret.

This deployment poses a significant, potentially catastrophic risk for the United States and the future of Syria and the Middle East. Congress cannot be silent on this matter. I have long been against putting U.S. troops on the ground in Syria—I opposed the idea during the Obama administration and I oppose it now, because I believe we are destined to repeat the mistakes of the Iraq War if we try to force political stability simply through the barrel of a gun. I would urge my colleagues who have not focused on the question of U.S. troop presence in Syria to, at the very least, demand the administration answer two basic questions before signing off on the money to fund this dangerous escalation.

First, what is our mission and what is our exit strategy?

The public explanation of the military escalation has been to prepare for the assault on Raqqa. Taking Raqqa is a necessary and long-desired objective. The problem lies in making U.S. troops an indispensible part of the invasion force, which likely will require us to stay and become an indispensible part of the occupation force as well. This is what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I see no reason why we wouldn’t face the same trap in Syria. But if this is not the administration’s plan, they should be explicit about this. They should assure Congress and the American public that we are in Syria simply until Raqqa falls, and no longer.

There are other important questions to ask. Recently, Trump sent a small group of Special Forces operators to Manbij to keep the peace between Kurdish and Turkish-backed forces fighting for control of this remote section of northern Syria. This suggests our military mission is much broader—and more complicated—than simply helping to retake Raqqa.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Comrade Frank O’Gorman

Tribute to Frank from us, YES!!,  Making trouble, standing up, out and proud. Always willing to lend his voice, heart, compassion and mind. As Frank said “maybe we were born for these times.” To be silent is not an option. He knows why we are not a one issue lot, understands that our struggle as LGBTQ folks must be united with all struggles around the world. From demos and rallies denouncing the military industrial complex, to wars and more wars, marching for freedom for the people of Palestine, to freedom for LGBTQ folks and justice for immigrants.  Sees the many connections and acts on them. Nice as nice can be, cute as a button to boot. Furbirdsqueerly loves Frank and we know that Frank loves us.

Frank with the bullhorn at the HRC Awards Dinner in Boston. Queers Without Borders joined with activists from New England to protest. Also in the picture are, Jeri Marie, Alvin with flag, Richard, Bernardo, Paul and Regina. Timmy was somewhere around also dressed in an outfit for the occasion.

Queers Without Borders Contingent at NYC PRIDE in support of Bradley (Chelsea) Manning.

L to R; Jeri Marie, Richard, Ricky, Paul, Frank, Tasha.

A night some of us will never forget. (If Mr Blumie only knew) A night of Diversity Awards Presentation, MCC Hartford.

Frank, Jeri and Sen. Blumenthal. Getting an award at MCC for their tireless efforts on behalf of the LGBT community. The invitation to this event had this to say about Frank:

Frank O’Gorman is a gay Christian, activist, and a member of Dignity/USA (until the Hartford chapter disbanded). He is now a member of MCC Hartford, and a convener of People of Faith CT, a faith-based, progressive, activist organization in Connecticut     (www.faithCT.net)

Frank has been instrumental, passionate, and untiring in his efforts to bring a queer Christian perspective to movements for social justice and peace in Hartford, and to build bridges between various activist communities across lines of ideology, race, social class, and religion. (more…)

Michael Moore just launched this daily list of nationwide events.

Organize. Resist. Repeat.
resistancecalendar.org

Part 1 we asked the question Where Have All The Peacenicks Gone when they are needed now more than ever. It seems everything except military spending will be offered up to the cutting board maybe even Grandma’s Social Security all in the name of defense and other ugly meanness that is beyond a decent persons comprehension.  Defense spending world wide is growing and growing as everyone is afraid of everyone else and we all want to make damn sure we can blow each other to hell and and guess what you may not be back. America already spends more on it’s military than the entire world put together why do they need to spend more.?  Check out this pie.

Last year, the United States spent more than $596 billion on the military, a total greater than the next six countries in the world combined. But the Republican-controlled Congress is looking to increase that number for next year. On Wednesday, the House passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), allowing for $602 billion to be spent on the country’s defense in 2017, but the way the money is budgeted could mean that total military spending could actually end up being far higher.

I bet when the present regime in DC is done with it there will be crumbs in place of some of those slices.

We here like this pie better:

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There really isn’t any need to say much more than this. Just please put peace on the agenda.

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?” –The Mahatma Gandhi

Are you already against the next war? Damn right we are. All it takes is just one glance at the photo below and we know were we stand. We don’t care what cause people wrap murder in we stand against your murderous cause.

Syrien Humanitäre Katastrophe in Aleppo

War is for losers, if you have nothing better to do with your life except to join a government killing machine, to kill your fellow man then you’re a loser, especially in this day and age, where the truth is freely available

Check out the group World Beyond War.

Which of these three campaigns would you like to help with?

Click one. Read about it. Use the form at the bottom of the page to tell us you’d like to help.

Divest public funds from weapons dealing.

Close military bases.

Support global justice.

Support World Beyond War’s work by clicking here.

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Poverty in Amerikkka. Low on the priority list HIGH on ours. (more…)

Of the 11 million undocumented people in the United States, more than 267,000 identify as LGBTQ; individuals who fled their home countries to escape persecution and torture. Instead of finding safety, LGBTQ immigrants are placed in dangerous detention facilities where they wait anywhere from weeks to months to see a judge who will decide their fate. Most of the sites have links to other groups that are working on behalf of our LGBTQ people. Of course this is not a full listing of all groups working in the US at this time.

Here are a few organizations that are out there to help any and all immigrants who may need it.

One of our favorites based in LA is Famila Trans/Queer Liberation. They are found at HERE

Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement (Familia: TQLM) is the only national organization that addresses, organizes, educates, and advocates for the issues most important to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and Latino communities. Familia: TQLM is inclusive and serves of all LGBTQ Latinos, Latinas, and gender nonconforming individuals. We also collaborate with non-LGBTQ families and friends who support our vision of a united LGBTQ Latino and Latina community.

We are committed to the collective liberation of trans, queer, and gender nonconforming Latinxs to build power and (re)imagine our communities free from oppression. We seek to abolish the systems that marginalize, criminalize, imprison, and kill our people. We are building on the legacy of racial justice and liberation movements.

 

Bills itself as the Nations Leading Immigrant Rights Organization. What attracts us to this page is

President Trump Executive Orders
Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that immigration policy is changing frequently. Check back to these FAQs periodically for important updates. (Last update February 14, 2017)

A person who needs it can also get free expert legal services from our team or a member of our nationwide pro bono law firm network.

In the Chicago area anyone with questions can contact ALMA, The Association of Latinos/as Motiving Action. They say about their group: The LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition of Chicago is collaboration between organizations serving the primarily lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations, and institutions advocating for immigrant rights. The members of the coalition collaborate to support immigrant rights organizing, public policy advocacy, and resource-gathering through collaboration; engage the LGBT community in immigrant rights work; and increase the visibility of LGBTQ people affected by immigration policy for the media, legislators, and the general public.

QUIP

The Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP), a program of United We Dream seeks to organize and empower Undocumented Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer immigrants, LGBTQ immigrants and allies to address social and systemic barriers that affect themselves and the broader LGBTQ & immigrant community.

QUIP’s vision is to transform the immigrant and LGBTQ movements, to adopt an intersectional analysis in their efforts to advance and build power for the rights of both communities. Through QUIP’s work we hope to shift the consciousness and public opinion of immigrants and LGBTQ communities that result in collaboration and embracement towards each other. United We Dream has 5 things you should know about Trans and Queers in Detention which has this to say: The Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, a program of United We Dream, is committed to a #BoldBroadInclusive effort for the President to act on behalf of all immigrant communities. Detention and deportations are a harm the entire community, and this is especially true for those who fall under the Risk Classification Assessment (RCA), which include pregnant women, HIV+ people, LGBT individuals, people with disabilities, and chronic illness. See HERE.

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In the United States and Canada, a sanctuary city is a municipality that has adopted a policy of protecting unauthorized immigrants by not prosecuting them for violating federal immigration laws and by ensuring that all residents have access to city services, regardless of immigration status.

On Sunday a very important program sponsored by Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez and Ct. Students for a Dream will be held at St. Peters Church from 1-3. The program entitled What Is A Sanctuary City? Towards A Sanctuary City is free and open to the public. A little blurb about this event:

Hartford City Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez and CT Students for a Dream are partnering to organize community conversations on what it means to be a sanctuary city and how we can support each other during times of crisis.  This event is open to everyone who is interested in learning more about their rights as residents and how we can work together to make every family feel safe in our community. See our postings for details. We thank the councilwoman and the Ct.Students for a Dream for sponsoring this event.

When reading up on Sanctuary cities as there has been questions lately on how does ICE get peoples names? How do they find folks? What can we do to help stop this?  we came across this article an op-ed piece from the New York Times that makes sense. We hope that in Hartford our police force has adopted these safe guards for the immigrant communities.

From the article Sanctuary Cities In Name Only written by Shakeer Rahman and Robin Steinberg op-ed contributors and published on 2/15 we learn this:

“President Trump’s plan to deport millions of people appears to be underway. Last week, federal immigration officials arrested more than 600 people at their homes and workplaces in at least 11 states, sending terror through immigrant communities.

The abruptness of the raids provoked criticism from local officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, who vowed to “stand with” immigrant communities. But mass deportation under President Trump will also happen through a more routine policy that is in the mayor’s control: endless, unnecessary arrests for low-level offenses, which end up feeding immigrants into the federal government’s deportation machine.”

and continues to say:

“It’s not enough for cities like New York to declare themselves “sanctuaries,” which simply means that the local police won’t detain noncitizens on the federal government’s behalf. If cities really want to protect immigrants, they must also end the quota-driven style of policing that makes immigrants the victims of unnecessary arrests and disproportionate punishment.”

from the article

“Undocumented immigrants are not the only ones at risk. Any noncitizen can be thrown out of the country for minor offenses like simple marijuana possession or any “crime involving moral turpitude,” a broad term that covers everything from jumping a subway turnstile to selling counterfeit T-shirts.”

So we got a big problem here. We will then ask, How can we make our Sanctuary City stronger? How can we make sure that our police force is not turning over any information to the Feds?  How can we stop unnecessary arrests for low-level offenses? What if any information for minor offenses is Hartford Police sending into the Feds?

and ending in a very important way:

“President Trump’s plans to deport millions of immigrants can’t happen without boots on the ground. Until cities reject the failed thinking that led to mass incarceration, local police and prosecutors will be doing the legwork for mass deportation.”

What does Hartford’s ordinance say on this matter:

Sec. 2-928. – Usage of city services—Police matters specifically.

(a) Hartford police officers shall not inquire about a person’s immigration status unless such an inquiry is necessary to an investigation involving criminal activity as defined in section 2-926 above.

(b) Hartford police shall not inquire about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses, or others who call, approach or are interviewed the Hartford Police Department.

(c) The Hartford Police will not arrest or detain a person based solely on their immigration status unless there is a criminal warrant.

(d) Hartford police officers shall not make arrests or detain individuals based on administrative warrants for removal entered by ICE into the National Crime Information Center database.

(e) The Hartford Police Department shall conduct necessary training and education to ensure that its officers are knowledgeable about provisions set forth in this article.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any Hartford police officer from cooperating with federal immigration authorities as required by law.

(Ord. No. 20-08, 8-11-08)

For more on this and to read the ordinance go to HERE