Between January and April 2014, over A THOUSAND DOLPHINS washed up ashore in northern Peru. They included males and females, adults, juveniles and newborn babies: whole pods died. This massacre is the awful result of just one thing, seismic testing undertaken by oil companies.Stop seismic exploration in Peru and save the dolphins!

In seismic exploration, sound blasts are sent to the bottom of the ocean. They bounce back and are picked up by hydrophones to create an image of the seabed. Dolphins can hear the frequency that is used for the surveys. The blasts are so loud and so frequent that they cause damage to the dolphins’ ears. The sound waves start a chain reaction in which the dolphins’ ear bones can crack, their veins can explode and their organs end up full of air bubbles. The dolphins can end up with decompression sickness and become disoriented, feel terrible pain and become deaf so they can no longer dive and fish. Ultimately, the dolphins die in agony.

In 2012, Peruvian authorities denied the real cause of death and said a virus killed the dolphins. This year they have been saying a toxic algae is the cause. No evidence for either of these suggestions has been found.

Please sign this petition to ban seismic testing in Peru!

8

TCS Vigil August 26th 

A skinned head falls onto the pavement while being transferred from the “Ryding Regency” bovine killing facility to a rendering truck, in full view and smelling distance of the doomed cows in the holding pens torturously awaiting their deaths. It is dyed blue meaning that it is unfit for consumption by anyone (not even other farmed animals, which is what such parts are usually used for, despite the fact that most of these animals would naturally be herbivorous). Often this is what happens to the parts of cows that were sick upon arrival to the slaughterhouse, and more often than not, these sick cows are ‘spent’ dairy cows, whose bodies, after years of forced pregnancy, extreme emotional distress, poor diets, bodily mutilations, and filthy environments are very worn down at best, and ill and/or crippled at worst. To learn more about the disturbing truths of the dairy industry please click here, here, and here.

This was a gruesome reminder of what happens to the cows after we see them in the transport trucks, gently pet their noses and sometimes receive their kisses, and share with them our love. Dreadfully, due to religious guidelines, the vast majority of cows at both “Ryding Regency” and “St. Helen’s Meatpackers” are forced, through the use of electric prods which are purposely stuck in their more sensitive areas (such as their genitals). into the slaughterhouse where they have their necks cut in a sawing motion while fully concious and aware. Sometimes, the windpipe will be ripped out at this point, even though this is not something that is supposed to be done. The cows are then skinned and dismembered, and horrifically, some are even still conscious when this happens due to the increased pressure for faster kill-lines. This is also dangerous for and leads to abuse of the workers, and indeed we have heard of unacceptable instances of injury, leading to an environment where a severed finger is considered to be a regular occurance. There is absolutely nothing ‘humane’ or ‘peaceful’ about what happens in slaughterhouses, no matter what the industry says. 

If you want to take a stand against such appalling cruelty against both nonhuman and human persons, choose veganism today and speak out on their behalf. 

Learn about Toronto Cow Save and please join our vigils.

Photo credit to Agnes Cseke, Hannah Gregus, and Anita Krajnc. Please note that while the portraits of the cows were taken during summer 2014 vigils, they were not taken on this day.

The self-sacrifice of the militant or the activist is mirrored in their power over others as an expert - like a religion there is a kind of hierarchy of suffering and self-righteousness. The activist assumes power over others by virtue of her greater degree of suffering (‘non-hierarchical’ activist groups in fact form a ‘dictatorship of the most committed’). The activist uses moral coercion and guilt to wield power over others less experienced in the theology of suffering. Their subordination of themselves goes hand in hand with their subordination of others - all enslaved to ‘the cause’…The self-sacrificing martyr is offended and outraged when she sees others that are not sacrificing themselves. Like when the ‘honest worker’ attacks the scrounger or the layabout with such vitriol, we know it is actually because she hates her job and the martyrdom she has made of her life and therefore hates to see anyone escape this fate, hates to see anyone enjoying themselves while she is suffering - she must drag everyone down into the muck with her - an equality of self-sacrifice.
Warning: Contents May... (Trigger)

by Megan Ryland

 

[Image: Yellow triangular sign with black lettering. It reads “! TW,” a common shortened form of the term “trigger warning.”]

 

Trigger warnings are becoming part of modern conversation. You’ve probably seen them around at the beginning of articles or in tags on Tumblr, sometimes shortened to “tw.” They seem to be having a ‘moment’ right now—something that reportedly started gathering steam in anti-violence and social justice spheres online has moved into general internet spaces and is now entering offline content and conversation. This trend is bringing renewed attention and scrutiny to the use of trigger warnings as a conversational alert system for content that people might find triggering.

You may be intimately familiar with the idea of trigger warnings, but this week I want to take a step back and take a second look at trigger warnings. Starting from the basics, moving to arguments against them, and then looking at the big picture, I hope that by the end of the week, it’s clear why writers at The Body is Not An Apology use trigger warnings, and why you might want to start using them too (if you don’t already).

The first important question to answer is, “What is a trigger?” Well, a trigger can theoretically be anything and people often have triggers that are unique to them. Some people are triggered by smells, or a familiar feature, or a certain phrase, all of which may be difficult to control or avoid.  That fact may make trigger warnings seem useless, as you cannot possibly warn for everything that could act as a trigger. But instead of throwing our hands up in the air, we can warn for certain items.

Kyriarchy and Privilege, a tumblr with a lot of social justice resources, has a pretty comprehensive list of common trigger warnings, to be found here. If you’re familiar with tumblr, you’re probably familiar with trigger warnings like those for rape, abuse, self-harm, eating disorders, suicide, drug use and many others. The Body is Not An Apology frequently makes use of them.

If you’ve never been triggered by something, you may not quite understand the purpose of the warnings. Being triggered isn’t something that people have come up with to force others to be politically correct or tiptoe around conversations. The term describes an actual, powerful experience for many people and is used by those who have experienced trauma, sexual assault, bigotry, child abuse, PTSD or other events. According to 1 in 6, being triggered brings your past trauma rapidly to the present, potentially causing intense stress, anxiety, flashbacks, sudden fear or anger. Shakesville features a more extensive definition:

“A trigger is something that evokes survived trauma or ongoing disorder. For example, a person who was raped may be “triggered,” i.e. reminded of hir rape, by a graphic description of sexual assault, and that reminder may, especially if the survivor has post-traumatic stress disorder, be accompanied by anxiety, manifesting as anything ranging from mild agitation to self-mutilation to a serious panic attack.

Those of us who write about triggering topics (sexual assault, violence, detainee torture, war crimes, disordered eating, suicide, etc.) provide trigger warnings with such content because we don’t want to inadvertently cause someone who’s, say, sitting at her desk at work, a full-blown panic attack because she happened to read a triggering post the content of which she was unprepared for.”

As mentioned, you cannot always anticipate what might trigger someone. In my opinion, that’s not an excuse to dismiss the idea of anticipating the experiences of your listener or audience. We actually do this all the time in other ways, whether that’s gauging someone’s sense of humour or whether right now is the best time to ask for a favour. The reality is that in a room of ten people, someone has likely experienced violence first hand. Accepting that we are collectively responsible for caring for our community, even and especially those who might need support or accommodation to feel comfortable, is part of practicing social justice.

I cannot claim to have been triggered in the way that some people experience it, but I still appreciate trigger warnings, as they allow me to make an informed choice about the content I’m ready to dive into. It’s rare that a trigger warning dissuades me from reading a piece, but it does prepare me for what I’m about to read in a way that I appreciate. On days where I’m tired or I’m already down, I might bookmark the page and read it later.

This is the informed consent aspect of the trigger warning. The warning arguably offers readers, listeners or watchers an opportunity to opt into the material. Instead of demanding that someone participate in a conversation where you set the terms and catch them unawares, you are asking them to participate in a conversation of shared interest. With a trigger warning you’re putting a few more cards on the table so that someone knows a little more about what they’re getting into. It’s not asking a speaker to tiptoe or stay silent. It’s asking them to allow others to enter as informed participants, ready to engage with the material.

Words and images are not as harmless as some people would like to believe. New research suggests that some journalists exposed continually to violent images and stories may develop symptoms of PTSD without exposure to the violent events themselves. We all know from experience that some things can bring us back vividly to an intense memory—maybe that’s a smell reminding you of your grandma or a song bringing you back to prom night. Now imagine that this vivid memory was attached to something that you’d rather not re-live at the drop of a hat. It only seems considerate to give someone a heads up if that might happen.

For me, a trigger warning is a small gesture for those who may not understand what it’s like to be triggered but care about those who do. We are all a part of a culture that incorporates violence, and this violence has an impact on members of this culture; therefore, we are all implicated in that. Trigger warnings ask us to remember that we approach content differently and to care for one another. Used as an alert for content, trigger warnings don’t censor or shut down conversation; they open up conversation to those who need support to feel safe to engage, and they allow informed participation in topics that can be rough to discuss. By taking responsibility for your own content through trigger warnings, you don’t ask people to apologize for their experiences or their triggers. You anticipate what’s required to open the space to as many people as possible and do what little you can.

reminder that today is the first day of Hunger Action Month in the United States

consider the millions who go hungry every day and maybe donate or volunteer at your local food pantry or shelter

thanks bye

ps if you’re in baltimore/dc area i’m organizing an event (happy hour WITH PIE) at the end of the month, message me if you want to attend or help out

5

This is the Rice Bucket Challenge.
Now, before you grab a bucket of rice to dump and ask yourself: “Why am I doing this? Shouldn’t this rice be used for the hungry?” I’m gonna tell you that this is a little bit different.
The Rice Bucket Challenge, originally started in India, was made to promote giving to the needy. We’re trying to move this across the pond over into North America. It’s easier than you think!
Finding a local food pantry to donate to is easy. In fact, let me Google that for ya. 

You can donate money as well, and share that, too!

If you aren’t in a position to do any of this, at least consider sharing this. I’m trying to get a movement going.

Thanks for reading!

2

Two ways of dealing with tear gas grenades from comrades in Turkey:
1. Submerge them in water. Make sure you can close off the container cause the gas will still spread for a while. Don’t use glass, Turkish protesters have used big plastic water gallons.

2. Throw them in the fire so the gas burns off before it can spread. Use a gas mask, burning CS gas creates toxic gas locally. 

Use gloves, gas grenades get hot and can burn your hands.

1000 Ways to Politically and Socially Activate Your Life

8. If you’re going to a protest, try to bring as many of your friends as you can.

11. Write an open letter to the CEO of a certain company that you dislike and publish the letter online.

19. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! Volunteering teaches you that human actions do not have to always be about financial rewards.

23. Do not get ahead of yourself with thoughts of changing the world, change your life first and the lives of those around you.

I don’t agree with all 1000 of these, but a lot of them are very helpful and insightful.  Check it out.  Let me know what you think.

Urgent - Please Spotlight:

I regret to tell you that Christina Fonthes - a dear friend and organiser of Rainbow Noir has been held against her will in The Congo - she was on a family holiday with her mother who has decided to have Christina ‘cured’ of her sexuality. 

Christina has managed to escape from her aunt’s house and is currently hiding out with a friend. She has access to internet and has been communicating with us via email. The next available flight is 2nd September - 5 days away! Chris needs help and protection from the British Embassy in Congo but her mother has reported her missing and therefore we need to get in contact with both the UK Home Office and UK embassy in Congo to let them know that she is in danger and that her mother is lying/the one endangering her life!!

PLEASE SHARE THIS ON ALL YOUR NETWORKS. CALL, EMAIL, TWEET the British embassy on behalf of Christina - the more we call, the more attention it will bring to her case and hopefully they will act quicker in getting Christina to a safe place. 

HER MOTHER HAS HER PASSPORT AND TRAVELING DOCUMENTS!

CHRISTINA’S LIFE IS IN DANGER. PLEASE DO AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. 

If you can help please contact @RainbowNoirMCR or @WritersofColour on twitter.

UK EMBASSY: 0871 050 5840 
public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

DETAILS OF THE EMBASSY IN CONGO ARE HEREhttps://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-kinshasa

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