A deal to undo the North Carolina law known as the “bathroom bill” fell apart Wednesday night when legislators couldn’t agree on a plan to the repeal the measure, a sign of the bitter political divide within the state. The North Carolina General Assembly was called into a special session on Wednesday, but things seem to have gotten only worse since then.
International Migrants Day is an international day observed on 18 December as International Migrants Day appointed by the General Assembly of United Nations on 4 December 2000 taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world.
This day is observed in many countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations through the dissemination of information on human rights and fundamental political freedoms of migrants, and through sharing of experiences and the design of actions to ensure the protection of migrants.
Here’s a doodle of M.S. Subbulakshmi at her 1966 United Nations General Assembly Concert. I didn’t work on it as much as I wanted to, but I’m sleepy and I’ll have a lot more work to start on tomorrow so…this’ll do.
The idea of human rights is that each one of us, no matter who we are or where we are born, is entitled to the same basic rights and freedoms. They are not privileges and they cannot be granted or revoked. They are inalienable and universal.
The history behind the concept of human rights is a long one, but one of the most modern affirmations of universal human rights emerged from the ruins of WWII with the creation of the United Nations. The treaty that established the UN gives as one of its purposes ‘to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights’ and with the same spirit, in 1948 the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In the past decades, International Human Rights Law has grown, deepening and expanding our understanding of what human rights are and how to protect them.
So if these principles are so well-developed, then why are human rights abused and ignored time and time again, all over the world?
Slave States Believed Lincoln Would Bring Abolition and Equality between the Races -- and They Seceded to Prevent It
Judge Harris spoke in front of a joint session of the Georgia General Assembly on December 17th, 1860. No states had yet seceded from the Union. But Abraham Lincoln had just been officially elected president, and many state legislatures were moving quickly to leave the Union.
It was widely believed that Lincoln and the new party called Republican would attempt to end slavery in the south – not just prevent its spread to the west as Lincoln promised on campaign. And from there it was a short step to believing Lincoln and the Republicans wanted equality between blacks and whites.
Mississippi had already, in November of 1860, agreed to hold a state-wide convention on the question of secession. The Mississippi legislature further ordered the governor of Mississippi to appoint “commissioners” to every slave state. They were tasked with explaining Mississippi’s actions and calling for the other slave states to support whatever came out of Mississippi’s convention.
Judge Harris was a native Georgian with a reputation as a great thinker and great debater. In fact, he had been offered a Supreme Court seat earlier in the year, but turned it down believing succession was imminent. He was chosen by Mississippi’s governor to be the commissioner to Georgia for those reasons. His speech before the Georgian legislature was very similar to the other commissioner’s speeches to the other state legislatures, and Judge Harris’ conclusion to his brief address is a good example of the entire south’s thinking at the time:
Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, the part of Mississippi is chosen, she will never submit to the principles and policies of this Black Republican Adminstration.
She [Mississippi] had rather see the last of her race, men, women and children, immolated in one common funeral pile [pyre], than see them subjected to the degradation of civil, political, and social equality with the negro race.
A bill that would require public officials in Indiana to dispatch law enforcement swiftly to remove any protesters blocking traffic by “any means necessary” prompted uproar on Wednesday.
Opponents of the bill, introduced by a Republican state senator, rushed to the general assembly in Indianapolis on Wednesday afternoon to attend a hearing for the legislation, arguing that it could give a green light to the police to shut down protests harshly “even to the point of costing lives”.
The proposed law, simply labelled Senate Bill 285, or SB 285, and designed to deal with “traffic obstruction by protestors” would go into effect in July if passed.
On this day in 1793, the King of France Louis XVI was executed
by guillotine in ‘Revolution Square’ in Paris. Louis ascended to the throne upon the death of his father Louis XV in 1774, four years after his marriage to Marie Antoinette. The monarchs proved controversial figures, due to Louis’s ineptitude and Marie’s extravagant tastes and
devotion to Austrian interests. Both opposed monarchical reform and the reorganisation of the general assembly, a
stance which spelled their doom as the French Revolution reached a turning point with the storming of the Bastille fortress in July 1789. In the
midst of the unrest, in 1791, Marie and Louis attempted to flee to Austria, but were apprehended and returned to Paris. The royal couple were
imprisoned in 1792, and the monarchy was abolished in the same year. For
his efforts to thwart the revolution, the National Convention tried King Louis XVI for
treason and executed him by guillotine in January 1793; he was
executed as ‘Citizen Louis Capet’, rather than King Louis. In October of that
year, Marie Antoinette was also convicted of treason and faced death at
the guillotine. Their deaths marked a turning point in the French
Revolution, and, indeed, in the history of France, as the nation transitioned from a monarchy to a republic.
“I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my
charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God
that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.” - Louis XVI before his execution
Russia’s attempt to win a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council was rejected on Friday, in a surprising vote that saw several other countries with human rights issues easily winning seats.
The United Nations General Assembly’s 193 members gathered on Friday to fill the open seats on the council, which are doled out regionally. Russia — a member of the Eastern European region — ran against Hungary and Croatia for two open seats, ultimately losing the vote.
Human rights advocates heavily contested Russia’s bid to retain its seat on the 47-member council — which it has held consistently since the Human Rights Council was formed in 2007 — given the role Moscow is playing in Syria’s ongoing civil war.
When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression
Brian Sims, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives representing Center City Philadelphia’s 182nd District. A Democrat, in 2012 Sims became the first openly LGBT person elected to the General Assembly in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s 237 year history.
[The Mirabal Sisters: Patria, María Argentina Minerva and Antonia María Teresa. Sisters from the Dominican Republic who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo through “clandestine activities against his regime”. The Mirabal sisters were assassinated in 1960. In 1999 “the sisters received recognition by the United Nations General Assembly, who designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor.” (Wikipedia)]