Police Called to London University After Protesters Trap Attendees of Israel Event in Room, by Rachel Frommer

Police were called to University College London (UCL) on Thursday evening after anti-Israel protesters stormed an event organized by local pro-Israel advocacy groups, according to initial reports from the event.

Israeli activist Hen Mazzig was addressing a gathering at UCL hosted by CAMERA on Campus and the Friends of Israel student group, when anti-Israel protesters from the Friends of Palestine Society tried to stop the speech by loudly chanting, “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free.” They eventually trapped attendees inside of the on-campus event space where the talk was taking place.

According to footage taken by an attendee at the event and posted to the Sussex Friends of Israel (SFI) Facebook page, police arrived after “things got out of hand.” Officers are seen warning the event attendees not to leave the room without police protection, for their own safety, before escorting them through a crowd of anti-Israel activists shouting, “Shame! Shame!”

In another SFI video, the attendees at Mazzig’s speech are seen singing the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah,” and holding an Israeli flag, as they remain blockaded inside the event space.

According to information obtained by The Algemeiner, anti-Israel students first attempted to get UCL to ban Mazzig from speaking, and when those measures failed, they planned the mass protest.

Earlier this year, a similar event took place at Kings College, London where protesters violently disrupted a talk by Ami Ayalon — the ex-commander of the Israeli Navy and former head of the Shin Bet. One protester was later found guilty of assaulting a Jewish student at that protest.

Watch a video of the UCL demonstration below: (It’s actually at the link)

So, is Great Britain still considered a civilized nation? The spiritual rot of anti-semitism seems awfully strong there.
Conflict of interest allegations against Christy Clark heading to B.C. Supreme Court
Commissioner Paul Fraser cleared the premier earlier this year but decision being challenged

Two rulings clearing British Columbia Premier Christy Clark of conflict of interest allegations are now being challenged in B.C. Supreme Court by a citizen advocacy group.

Ottawa-based Democracy Watch has petitioned the court to set aside rulings last May and August by provincial conflict of interest commissioner Paul Fraser.

They cleared Clark of conflict allegations connected to her attendance at high-priced, exclusive B.C. Liberal party fundraising events.

The petition filed Tuesday in Vancouver also asked the court to find Fraser should not have ruled on the complaints because his son works as a deputy minister for the provincial government.

It said John Fraser “has personal ties to the premier. It is reasonable to suggest that the close family connection to senior members of the B.C. Liberal party, including Premier Clark, is a factor indicating a reasonable apprehension of bias.”

The petition also said the conflict commissioner recused himself in 2012 from a separate conflict complaint against Clark by a former Liberal member of the legislature on grounds his son’s senior government role could be viewed as creating a perception of conflict.

Continue Reading.


Homeless People Read Mean Tweets About Themselves To End Stereotypes

When celebrities read mean tweets about themselves, it’s funny. When homeless people do it, it’s heartbreaking.

In a powerful PSA by Canadian advocacy group Raising the Roof, people who are dealing with homelessness read actual tweets written about those living without stable shelter. See all of the emotional reactions here. 

Watch the full video here.
A New Advocacy Group Is Lobbying for the Right to Repair Everything
As all our things become ‘smart,’ companies are increasingly saying that fixing them is illegal.

Last summer, when the Copyright Office asked if anyone wanted to defend the right for video game console jailbreakers to mod or repair their systems, no one had a formal legal argument prepared.  A new association representing repairmen and women across all industries was just formed to make sure nothing like that ever happens again.

Repair groups from across the industry announced that they have formed The Repair Coalition, a lobbying and advocacy group that will focus on reforming the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to preserve the “right to repair” anything from cell phones and computers to tractors, watches, refrigerators, and cars.  It will also focus on passing state-level legislation that will require manufacturers to sell repair parts to independent repair shops and to consumers and will prevent them from artificially locking down their products to would-be repairers.

“It’s long overdue,” Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the group, told me.  “We have all these little businesses trying to repair stuff and running into what they thought were different problems in different industries.  We realized it was all just the same problem.”

That problem — that manufacturers of everything are trying to control the secondary repair market — has two main sources, Gordon-Byrne said.  First, manufacturers use federal copyright law to say that they control the software inside of gadgets and that only they or licensed repair shops should be allowed to work on it.  Second, manufacturers won’t sell replacement parts or guides to the masses, and often use esoteric parts in order to specifically lock down the devices.

These problems have been well known in the smartphone, computer, and consumer electronics for years, and it’s why groups like iFixit and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have been able to mount successful challenges to the DMCA in recent years.  Increasingly, however, these problems are spilling over into just about every other industry.

The Repair Coalition — which is also calling itself — includes members from the EFF, iFixit, PC Rebuilders & Recyclers, The Fixers Collective, Public Knowledge, and a series of other smaller industry groups.

“All consumer appliances, from refrigerators to microwaves, very much have repair monopolies from manufacturers, even if you are able to buy parts,” Gordon-Byrne said.  Customers who have dared to repair their refrigerator will get to a certain part of a repair and find that components for thermostats or valve controls are locked down via passwords that manufacturers only give to licensed repair shops that they themselves control.  The problem is only going to get worse as the Internet of Things takes hold.

“We’ve had these kinds of issues for a long time, but now with the electronics-fication of everything, they’re affecting literally everything in the world that is complex enough to have digital components,” Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit, told me.

And so The Repair Coalition will primarily work at a federal level to repeal Section 1201 of the DMCA, which states that it’s illegal to “circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under [the DMCA].”  Thus far, activists have tried to gain “exemptions” to this section — it’s why you’re allowed to repair a John Deere tractor or a smartphone that has software in it.  But the exemption process is grueling and has to be done every three years.

“I don’t like exempting equipment because it’s all conceptually the same problem,” Gordon-Byrne said.

On a state level, the group will push for laws such as one being proposed in New York that would require manufacturers to provide repair manuals and sell parts to anyone — not just licensed repair people — for their products.  The thought is that, if enough states pass similar legislation, it will become burdensome for manufacturers to continue along with the status quo.  At some point, it will become easier to simply allow people to fix the things they own.

“We want to become an umbrella organization for repair,” Gordon-Byrne said.  “We want to help the small repair technicians that aren’t getting help from anywhere else.”

“They’re affecting literally everything in the world that is complex enough to have digital components” – in an increasingly connected world, that’s a big problem.

What's happening in Australia

Australia still doesn’t have marriage equality.

Today the government announced that on February 11 2017, a plebiscite (compulsory vote) will be put to the citizens of Australia to answer the question: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”

The Australian government is pledging $15 million in public funding (tax money) towards the “Yes” and “No” advocacy groups.

This means $7.5 million dollars worth of tax money is being spent on a campaign against LGBTI+ human rights.

This means 5 dehumanising months of LGBTI+ people being forced to have their humanity “debated” on.

Of children listening to hateful homophobic rhetoric. Of LGBTI+ people’s lives and well-being being put in danger.

Even worse, the fact that Parliament isn’t voting on the issue themselves means the likelihood of the plebiscite passing (allowing “same-sex” marriage) is actually very low. There’s no logical reason for Parliament not to vote on the issue because in Australia, the definition of marriage is civil (governmental), and not religious.

Essentially a tonne of money is being used in a bid to prevent marriage equality passing in Australia and endangering the lives of LGBTI+ citizens.

LGBTI+ people in Australia are hurting today.

#NoPlebiscite is the tag being used on Twitter in protest, please consider helping.
Navajo Water Supply is More Horrific than Flint, But No One Cares Because they’re Native American

The news out of Flint, Michigan brought the issue of contaminated drinking water into sharp focus, as it was revealed that officials at every level—local, state and federal—knew about lead-poisoned water for months but did nothing to address the problem.

Under state-run systems like utilities and roads, poorer communities are the last to receive attention from government plagued by inefficiencies and corrupt politicians. Perhaps no group knows this better than Native Americans, who have been victimized by government for centuries.

In the western U.S., water contamination has been a way of life for many tribes. The advocacy group Clean Up The Mines! describes the situation in Navajo country, which is far worse than in Flint, Michigan.

Since the 1950s, their water has been poisoned by uranium mining to fuel the nuclear industry and the making of atomic bombs for the U.S. military. Coal mining and coal-fired power plants have added to the mix. The latest assault on Navajo water was carried out by the massive toxic spills into the Animas and San Juan rivers when the EPA recklessly attempted to address the abandoned Gold King mine.

“In 2015 the Gold King Mine spill was a wake-up call to address dangers of abandoned mines, but there are currently more than 15,000 toxic uranium mines that remain abandoned throughout the US,” said Charmaine White Face from the South Dakota based organization Defenders of the Black Hills. “For more than 50 years, many of these hazardous sites have been contaminating the land, air, water, and national monuments such as Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Each one of these thousands of abandoned uranium mines is a potential Gold King mine disaster with the greater added threat of radioactive pollution. For the sake of our health, air, land, and water, we can’t let that happen.”

There is no comprehensive law requiring cleanup of abandoned uranium mines, meaning corporations and government can walk away from them after exploiting their resources. 75 percent of abandoned uranium mines are on federal and Tribal lands.

Leona Morgan of Diné No Nukes points out one example: “The United Nuclear Corporation mill tailings spill of 1979, north of Churchrock, New Mexico left an immense amount of radioactive contamination that down-streamers, today, are currently receiving in their drinking water. A mostly-Navajo community in Sanders, Arizona has been exposed to twice the legal limit allowable for uranium through their tap.”

Last week, Diné No Nukes participated in protests in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of past and ongoing contamination of water supplies in the west, which disproportionately affects Indian country.

“These uranium mines cause radioactive contamination, and as a result all the residents in their vicinity are becoming nuclear radiation victims,” said Petuuche Gilbert of the Laguna Acoma Coalition for a Safe Environment, the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment and Indigenous World Association. “New Mexico and the federal government have provided little funding for widespread clean up and only occasionally are old mines remediated.  The governments of New Mexico and the United States have a duty to clean up these radioactive mines and mills and, furthermore, to perform health studies to determine the effects of radioactive poisoning. The MASE and LACSE organizations oppose new uranium mining and demand legacy uranium mines to be cleaned up,” said Mr. Gilbert.

Politicians continue to take advantage of Native Americans, making deals with mining companies that would continue polluting their water supplies. Senator John McCain sneaked a resolution into the last defense bill which gave land to Resolution Copper. Their planned copper mining would poison waters that Apaches rely on and would desecrate the ceremonial grounds at Oak Flat.

While EPA and local officials have been forced to address the poisoned water in Flint, the contamination of Indian country water supplies continues. A bill called the Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act, introduced by Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva, has languished in Congress for two years.

Beginning tomorrow, I’ll be taking a 50 day trip in partnership with the United Nations, supported by the Secretary General’s MDG Advocacy Group. I’ll be posting portraits and stories from the trip on the blog. We’re calling it a ‘World Tour,’ because the trip will span over 25,000 miles and circumnavigate the globe. But since there are only ten countries on the itinerary, it would be rather foolish to claim that these portraits and stories somehow represent 'the world,’ or humanity as a whole. The point of the trip is not to “say” anything about the world. But rather to visit some faraway places, and listen to as many people as possible. 

In addition to gathering portraits and stories, the purpose of the tour is to raise awareness for the Millennium Development Goals, which are pictured. The MDG’s are eight international development goals that every member state of the UN agreed we should accomplish by the year 2015. Basically: they’re stuff that everyone can agree the world needs. (More info can be found here: So in addition to telling stories of individuals, we hope this trip may in some way help to inspire a global perspective, while bringing awareness to the challenges that we all need to tackle together. Hope you enjoy.
Men's Rights Group Demands Their Balls Be Allowed to Breathe on Buses

A recent campaign to stop the phenomenon known as “manspreading” on New York’s transportation system has men’s rights organizations in a tizzy, especially in Canada, where one “advocacy group” is demanding men be allowed to spread their legs as far and wide as they want to to avoid a pain more awful than anything women have ever known.

normally you shouldn’t read the comments, but the comments are fantastic.
On Being Queer in the Caribbean
To find themselves, and for safety, many gay and trans people choose exile.
By Gabrielle Bellot

“An editorial in the Jamaica Observer asked if it was necessary for Jamaicans to be in exile to write well, yet, incredibly, failed to examine the reason for Mr. James’s exile: his fear of what would happen if he were to live openly as a gay man. Rather than start a conversation, the mainstream Jamaican media largely killed off his queerness.

And the many voices of queer individuals in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean who have been assaulted, forced into pretending to be heterosexual or cisgender, or even murdered, need to be heard. Such stories are not hard to find. Between 2009 and 2012, the Jamaican advocacy group J-FLAG reported 231 attacks against L.G.B.T. people.“
For the first time, the White House LGBT liaison is a trans woman of color
Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is now the White House’s main point of contact for LGBT groups on all issues.
By Dominic Holden

Yesterday, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan was named as the official LGBT liaison for the White House. She’s a trans woman of color with lots of experience organizing in trans communities and advocacy groups – and she’s also the first transgender person to ever have this role. 

Last year, Raffi became the first trans person on staff at the White House when she became the outreach and recruitment director in the presidential personnel office. Now, she’ll be the administration’s primary point person when it comes to working with LGBT groups. 

Some background on both Raffi and the role:

Marsha Scott, a straight woman, was the first White House gay and lesbian liaison, named to the role by President Clinton in 1995. Later, cisgender gays and lesbians held the role in the Clinton and Obama administrations. The position was held most recently by Aditi Hardikar, who left the post in January to join Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Before joining the White House, Raffi was a policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality and a legislative director in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

This is an incredible moment. Huge congratulations to you, Raffi! 


For decades, instant ramen noodles have been a culinary staple for cash-poor college students, young working professionals and even prisoners. Yet ramen noodles are a main culprit of deforestation due to the high amount of unsustainable palm oil used to make them. While several large food corporations have committed to eliminating conflict palm oil from their supply chains, two of the world’s biggest instant noodle producers, Nissin Foods Holdings and Toyo Suisan Kaisha (Maruchan), both Japanese firms, have failed to adopt responsible palm oil policies, according to SumOfUs, a non-profit consumer advocacy group.

Bad news for broke college students, even worse news for the planet

Detroiters organize after judge rules there is no human right to water
October 3, 2014

The people of Detroit are vowing resistance after a federal bankruptcy judge on Monday ruled that the city can continue shutting off water to its poorest residents if their bills cannot be paid.

Judge Steven W. Rhodes at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigandeclared that citizens have no implicit right to water, that he lacked the authority to issue a restraining order to stop the shutoffs and that doing so would be a financial hit to the city already in the throes of bankruptcy. “There is no such right or law,” Rhodes said.

Advocacy groups had filed for a temporary restraining order against the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to stem the shutoffs until a plan is put into place to ensure that Detroiters can afford access to clean water.

The plaintiffs—which include the National Action Network, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, Moratorium Now and the Peoples Water Board—argued that the city implemented shutoffs unfairly, without adequate notice and with little financial assistance for poor people who lack the means to pay.

The Detroit Water Brigade, which has spearheaded relief efforts for households where the water has been shut off, issued a statement following the ruling saying they “strongly condemn” the decision.

“Each day, hundreds of our neighbors and friends are losing access to life’s most essential ingredient for the simple fact that they are unable to pay,” the statement reads.

“This affront to dignity and human rights will not continue on our watch: today we pledge our voices and our bodies to protect each other when the legal system will not,” it continues.  The volunteer group has vowed to undertake a “sustained and escalating campaign of nonviolent direct action” and risk arrest in order to “protect and uphold the human right to water in Detroit.”

Plaintiff Attorney Alice Jennings said Monday that the group will look to appeal the decision. “We have demonstrated, and the judge agreed, that a family without water faces risk of irreparable harm,” Jennings said.  “We believe there is a right to water and there is a right to affordable water.”

During the two days of hearings last week, Detroit residents and experts took the stand to testify about the hardships that stemmed from a lack of access to clean water.

Speaking before the courtroom, one witness reportedly “became teary” after describing how she had to buy bottles of water from the dollar store to bathe herself. “It doesn’t make me feel good,” she said, according to an account by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Social worker and city resident Maureen Taylor, who also chairs the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, described her visits to hundreds of homes deprived of running water. “It’s beyond sad,” Taylor said, adding that there are often empty bottles of water all over the place. “People are scared. It’s a horrible thing to see.”

During her testimony, DWSD head Sue McCormick said that she has no clue how many of the over 19,000 homes where water was shut off this year were occupied or home to kids or disabled residents. Further, McCormick admitted that, despite being DWSD policy, utilities representatives were not knocking on doors to see if a bill was in dispute before shutting off the water supply.

“Thousands of people in Detroit remain without water service, including the elderly, the disabled, and families with small children," said Kary Moss, ACLU of Michigan executive director, in a statement following a ruling. "Without a clear plan for helping people afford their bills or appeal incorrect bills, the water department shouldn’t be in the business of turning off anyone else’s water.”

During his ruling, Rhodes touted a new city plan to create an independent regional body, the Great Lakes Water Authority, that will lease the city’s water pipelines to suburban towns in order to recoup funds for DWSD. However, opponents have criticized the plan saying it’s a clear step towards water privatization.

On September 19, the Detroit City Council voted 7-2 in favor of the plan and the surrounding municipalities are currently in the approval process.

LA Times Reflects on Toon Town Gender Imbalance
The Los Angeles Times reached out to major college-level animation programs to explore the rising tide of women enrolling to study the art form, and the way that hiring in the industry has yet to fairly reflect this trend.

“The article by reporter Deborah Vankin notes that women make up the majority of students at acclaimed schools like…

  • CalArts: 71%
  • USC’s John C. Hench Division: 65%
  • UCLA’s master’s in animation: 68%
  • Ringling College’s computer animation program: 70%

However, women make up just 21% of artists, writers and technicians employed under an Animation Guild contract this year.

‘They come out of art school and aren’t hired for the creative jobs,’ Marge Dean, co-president of the nonprofit advocacy group Women in Animation, told the paper. ‘They end up being PAs [production assistants] or on the production management track, the housekeepers and the organizers as opposed to the creators.’”


BICYCLE ACTIVISM:  Latvian activists from a branch of the bicycle advocacy group Let’s Bike it recently created a visual reminder of the space taken by cars on a typical road. To this end, the group fabricated bamboo skeletons shaped like actual cars and mounted them on their bikes. The activists then cycled around the streets of Riga for several hours to highlight the absurdity of using a large car to move a single person. The stunt was organized as part of European Mobility Week, an ongoing campaign that explores sustainable urban mobility around Europe.

Source:  Christopher Jobson, "Cycling Activists Build Bamboo Car Skeletons to Demonstrate Space Taken by Single Occupancy Cars,“ Colossal, October 14, 2014

the canadian federal election is happening this month on october 19th, so just in case you needed a list of reasons why you should vote against the literal shit stain who calls himself stephen harper:

you can check if you’re registered to vote here (if you’re in college or university and you want to vote in your uni town, you have to be registered to vote AT YOUR CURRENT ADDRESS). different options for voting, including advance polls and voting by mail, are listed here.



British photographer Mishka Henner’s most recent work shows the astonishing and terrible beauty of two of Texas’s most valuable landscapes — its feedlots and its oilfields.

Waste lagoons have raised the ire of environmentalists who say such lagoons can cause indelible harm to surrounding land and communities.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit environmental advocacy group, these lagoons often break, leak or overflow, allowing microbes from animal waste to seep into the ground and contaminate air and water supplies.

“People who live near or work at factory farms breathe in hundreds of gases, which are formed as manure decomposes,” reads the NRDC website. “For instance, one gas released by the lagoons, hydrogen sulfide, is dangerous even at low levels. Its effects – which are irreversible – range from sore throat to seizures, comas and even death.”

Even the Environmental Protection Agency recognizes the way waste is handled by some companies has become problematic:

[The] growing scale and concentration of [Animal feeding operations] has contributed to negative environmental and human health impacts. Pollution associated with AFOs degrades the quality of waters, threatens drinking water sources, and may harm air quality.
BREAKING: Oregon is about to ban anti-LGBT conversion therapy for youth
Oregon took a major step Thursday toward becoming the third state in the country to ban the practice of conversion therapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, when the state Senate voted

The state Senate in Oregon today voted to pass a bill banning anti-LGBT conversion therapy for minors. The House had already passed the bill, and openly bisexual Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign it. 

Conversion therapy involves trying to change the sexual orientation of children. The American Psychological Association highly opposes the practice, and it is widely condemned because it can lead to anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide among LGBT young people.

In a press release, Basic Rights Oregon, a major LGBT advocacy group that pushed for the bill’s passage, commended legislators for passing the bill.

“This is an important step in protecting LGBTQ youth,” said co-director Nancy Haque. “The harms caused by conversion therapy are very real and we must do everything we possibly can as a state to prevent the loss of even one child.”

That makes three states (California, New Jersey and now Oregon) plus D.C. banning this abusive, terrifying practice. Keep. It. Going. 


Considering Journalist Safety, Worldwide

Visiting the campaign site for the Committee to Protect Journalists is quite startling. There are maps, statistics, and there are the numbers of journalists killed recently, and as far back as 1992

We spoke with them recently the state of journalist safety worldwide, and their new digital campaign: Speak Justice

Here’s what Maria Salazar-Ferro, the Coordinator of CPJ’s Impunity Campaign, told us about violence and threats against journalists:

CPJ tracks a wide array of attacks on the press worldwide. Here are some numbers from several of our indicators.

* In 2012, 57 journalists have been killed in direct retaliation for their work worldwide. With this background in mind, the countries with the worse records in targeted murders of journalists this year are Somalia with 12 journalists murdered in retaliation for their work; Pakistan with five, and Syria with three.

* As of December 1, 2011, the countries with the highest number of jailed journalists were Iran, China, Eritrea, Burma, and Vietnam. We will be putting out new stats for 2012 next week.

* The top countries for impunity in murders of journalists—that is where journalists are routinely killed for their work and their killers go free are: Iraq, Somalia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Colombia.

And here’s Maria on what many killed journalists were covering, and who they were:

Of course each case is different, and trends vary between countries and regions. Most journalists who have been murdered covered one of five beats: corruption, politics, crime, armed conflict or human rights—all issues of vital importance to everyday life, and to democracy. They covered these stories at a very local level, which made them more vulnerable. More than 10% were freelancers, which meant they had little institutional support. But most importantly, they received very little protection from authorities—this is evident in the fact that in about 4/10 cases of murdered journalists there had been threats prior to the murder, which meant that the killing could have probably been prevented.

And on their main concern – impunity:

CPJ has found that impunity is a cycle in which journalists are killed, authorities are ineffectual, and for fear, the rest of the press corps self-censors. Speak Justice is looking to demand justice for murdered journalists from the grassroots up, and gain convictions in countries with high rates of impunity. In 2013, our advocacy will focus on the Philippines, Mexico, Russia and Pakistan.

The Speak Justice site will go live next week.

FJP: We’ve covered the violence against Mexican journalists a great deal, and those interested may want to look under our Mexico tag, and see this piece, as well as our interview with documentary filmmaker Bernard Ruiz.
The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira Picks Up Her Sword to Fight Sexism Around The Globe
This zombie slayer is determined to end a global crisis.

“Don’t bother trying to second-guess or pigeonhole Danai Gurira. Though she’s best known as the katana wielding badass Michonne on AMC’s The Walking Dead, she’s also an esteemed Broadway actor and award winning playwright. And while her character is famous for slicing and dicing zombies in the imaginary post-Apocalyptic world first seen in Robert Kirkman’s comic book, her plays confront the very real life issues facing women in Africa, where she spent large parts of her childhood. Whether as a tough female action hero or in her own writings, the quest for social justice and sexual equality is at the heart of her work so it comes as no surprise that Danai is involved with the advocacy group ONE’s ‘Poverty Is Sexist’ campaign. Her name was on the open letter the group sent to world leaders addressing the global reach of sexism and how poverty disproportionally affects women around the world and she spent International Women’s Day talking about the crisis and what can be done to help.

VH1: Tell us about the ‘Poverty Is Sexist’ campaign.

Danai Gurira: Unfortunately in the world today poverty is sexist. There’s nowhere in the world that women have the same opportunities as men and the poorest and least developed countries tend to be where the gender gap is the largest. This results in the fact that women and girls are the poorest and least advantaged people on the planet. 62 million girls around the world are unable to go to school simply because they are female. Two-thirds of our world’s illiterate are female. We have 40,000 girls a day becoming child brides before the age of 18. On the continent of Africa we know that 74 percent of all adolescents that contract the AIDS virus are female and that is often the result of sexual violence. So these are the facts that lead us to making this very powerful statement. If half of our population is unable to grow to their fullest potential or given every opportunity just because of their gender, then we have a problem and we are thwarting our own development as a global community.”

Read the full piece here

Sanders Responded To A Transgender-Rights Survey, But Clinton Didn’t
Trump also did not respond to a Trans United Fund questionnaire sent to presidential candidates.
By Dominic Holden

Bernie Sanders declared he was an ally to the transgender community and he vowed to expand transgender protections under existing federal civil rights laws if he’s elected — according to his answers to a presidential questionnaire sent in April by a transgender-rights advocacy group.

More than a month after receiving the same questions, however, Hillary Clinton hasn’t provided answers to the Trans United Fund’s survey — even though her campaign initially indicated she would respond.

“I think Sanders’s answers were thoughtful and strong,” said Hayden Mora, chair of Trans United Fund’s organizing committee, which was formed this year as a response to a growing effort by conservatives to block and repeal transgender rights.

In contrast, Mora said the group’s leaders “feel disappointed and perplexed” by Clinton’s silence.

“Too often, it seems as if the ‘T’ in LGBT is silent.”

“She has been a champion on these issues,” said Mora. “But I’m disappointed. The trans community is in tremendous crisis, not just due to issues of violence and HIV, but also because there is a national coordinated political attack by extremists now more than ever.”

(Continue Reading)