maine democratic party

South Africans protest over violence against women

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Pretoria on Saturday, angered by a rise in violence against women and children in South Africa, including killings and sex attacks.

Answering the call by a group calling itself “#Not In My Name” the protesters, most of them men, marched through the streets of the South African capital behind a woman symbolically dressed head to toe in white.

“The time to take collective responsibility for our shameful action is now,” said Kholofelo Masha, on of the protest organisers, who described himself as “a loving dad, brother and uncle”.

South African men have remained quiet on the issue for too long, he added: “You hear a lady screaming next door, you decide to sleep when you know there is a problem next door… No man should beat a woman or rape a woman while you’re watching”.

Reports of the rape and murder of women and girls have been front-page news recently in South Africa, which has some of the worst crime rates in the world.

According to official figures, a women is killed by someone she knows every eight hours somewhere in the country and one woman in five has been subjected to at least one act of violent aggression in her life.

The killing of Reeva Steenkamp by her boyfriend, Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, drew global attention to the issue of domestic violence in South Africa.

South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday visited the home of the parents of a three-year-old girl who was raped and killed.

“We as the citizens of this country must say enough is enough,” Zuma said then. “This is one of the saddest incidents I’ve come across. It’s a crisis in the country, the manner in which women and children are being killed.”

The ruling African National Congress has called the wave of violent acts “senseless and barbaric” while the main opposition Democratic Alliance party has denounced the “failure to make South Africa safe for all,” and has called for a national debate on the problem.
Bernie's empire strikes back
In state after state, supporters of the Vermont senator's presidential bid are challenging the Democratic establishment for party control.

The revolution is back in business.

Supporters of Bernie Sanders’ failed presidential bid are seizing on Democratic disarray at the national level to launch a wave of challenges to Democratic Party leaders in the states.

The goal is to replace party officials in states where Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton during the acrimonious Democratic primary with more progressive leadership. But the challenges also represent a reckoning for state party leaders who, in many cases, tacitly supported Clinton’s bid.

“I think the Bernie people feel very strongly that they were abused, somehow neglected during the primary process and the conventions,” said Severin Beliveau, a former Maine Democratic Party chairman who supported Sanders in the primary. “In Maine, for instance, where Bernie got 70 percent of the caucus vote, they are emboldened and in effect want to try to replace [Maine Democratic Party chairman] Phil Bartlett, who supported Clinton.”

It only took one day after the presidential election for Maine state Rep. Diane Russell, an outspoken Sanders supporter who helped spearhead a push to change how the state allocates its superdelegates, to announce her plans to challenge Bartlett. Russell, whose superdelegate reform effort was sparked by frustration over the fact that a majority of Maine’s superdelegates backed Clinton despite Sanders’ dominance in the state’s caucuses, is positioning herself as a liberal alternative to Bartlett.

(Continue Reading)

Does anyone just ever imagine how a presentist history book in the 23rd century is going to look back on us. Like, if they are going to be all:

As the 21st century progressed, and the Internet helped pave the way toward a more global consciousness, Americans experienced a great social upheaval in the wake of the Great Recession. While the two main political parties - the Democrats (precursor to the modern Socialists) and Republicans (precursor to the modern Democrats) held views that are now almost indistinguishable, their political differences at the time did lead to tension between progressives, liberals, and conservatives. Despite large support from the rural poor, the conservatives experienced a reactionary period against social reforms brought forward by the progressives.* Frustrations continued when the liberals continued making backdoor alliances with the conservatives to get their own bills passed - largely benefiting the white middle class - but soon the conservatives found themselves sitting on a ticking time bomb; their willingness to allow the neoconservative extremists in their party to control their policies, even in the face of unpopularity by Americans at large, paved the way for the destruction of the modern Republican party by the end of the decade.

*Footnote - While forward-looking for their time, one must remember that by our standards, progressives then would, at best, be considered our moderates now (as opposed to the liberals, who had more in common with modern conservatives), if one could even put historical people on modern political spectrums. While they proposed great reforms on social, economic, racial, and gender issues, they were short-sighted to their own privileges: despite criticizing conservatives and liberals for their views on American Exceptionalism, they were quick to categorize non-Americans by their national standards of race, gender, and economic standing; and even those progressives who acknowledged they all benefited from the slavery of African and Asian countries did little to combat it; despite controlling the Presidency for six straight terms, and the Congress for twenty-five years, major reforms would not pass until the 22nd century.
Maldives declares state of emergency
President’s decree suspends all basic rights and gives sweeping powers to security forces ahead of opposition protest rally
By Jason Burke

The president of the Maldives has declared a state of emergency, citing a threat to citizens’ safety and national security.

Abdulla Yameen’s decree, which came into effect at midday local time (0700 GMT), suspends all basic rights and gives the security forces sweeping powers to arrest suspects before a major anti-government rally planned later this week.

The main opposition Maldivian Democratic party (MDP), whose leader Mohamed Nasheed is in jail following his conviction earlier this year under anti-terror laws, has organised the protest.

The Maldives has suffered acute political instability for several years, but a new cycle of chaos and unrest appears to be intensifying.

“President Yameen has declared state of emergency to ensure the safety and security of every citizen,” his spokesman Muaz Ali tweeted.

In a statement to the nation, Yameen, who took power in a contested election in 2013, said there were groups planning to use weapons and explosives.

“My beloved citizens, I assure you, that in enforcing this decree, the rights and freedoms stated in the constitution will only be restricted within the limits of … the constitution, and only to the extent strictly required by the situation,” Yameen said.

Seven articles of the constitution have been suspended, including those guaranteeing citizens of the Indian Ocean island nation the rights of assembly, free expression, freedom from arbitrary detention and freedom of movement.

The state of emergency was limited to 30 days and a curfew would not be imposed, the government said.

Dunya Maumoon, the foreign minister, described the measures as “precautionary action by the government in light of several security threats that have emerged in the last week”.

“As a government we have a responsibility to our citizens to ensure they can go about their daily lives in peace and security. We are determined to root out a small minority who seem intent on causing damage to people and property,” she said.

On Wednesday the streets of Malé, the capital, were quiet, but soldiers had cordoned off water and power plants. Residents said raids were continuing.