Anti-female genital mutilation campaigner Efua Dorkenoo, RIP


This video says about itself:

Cutting the rose: female genital mutilation | Efua Dorkenoo | TEDxUCLWomen

In this talk, Efua Dorkenoo, Advocacy Director for Equality Now and a founder of the Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development (FORWARD), a British charity that supports women who have experienced FGM speaks of the current implications of FGM and shares the ongoing efforts dedicated to eliminate this practice.

Event Summary– On December 6th 2013, the first university in the UK to admit men and women on equal merit, University College London (UCL) hosted its first ever TEDxWomen event.

By Hilary Burrage in Britain:

Obituary: Efua Dorkenoo

Thursday 23rd October 2014

Anti-FGM campaigner and writer (1949-2014)

EFUA DORKENOO, who died of cancer in London last Sunday, will be remembered with respect and gratitude for many things, but most of all for her many years of hard-headed and deeply committed campaigning to erase the cruel scourge of female genital mutilation (FGM), which even now blights the lives of — or kills — millions of girls and young women across the globe, year on year.

Striking in both her physical presence and her wider influence, Dorkenoo’s sway and work to stop FGM came to span much of the globe.

In the past year she saw both massively increased concern to address FGM in Britain, and, just a week before she died, the formal launch of the African-led movement, The Girl Generation: Together to End FGM, of which she was programme director.

Born in Ghana, where as a young nursing student she saw at first hand the grim realities of FGM, Dorkenoo then relocated to work in London, becoming an example par excellence of how to combine practical activism, political acumen and solid scholarship to great effect in FGM campaigns.

Dorkenoo understood that none of these elements was likely, alone, to achieve the outcome which she unerringly demanded.

To eradicate FGM, communities, political will and professional skills all need to be aligned, with their own specific briefings, data and messages — so that’s what Dorkenoo, recipient of a master’s degree in public health and an OBE for public service, delivered.

In 1983 Dorkenoo founded Forward, a British women’s health organisation campaigning against FGM. She collaborated for decades with the World Health Organisation and in later years she led FGM programmes for both Equality Now and the international health/development organisation Options.

Dorkenoo’s legacy is already many thousands of girls and women untouched by the looming terror in their communities of FGM.

Those who remain to take forward her life’s work are determined that soon these terrors will reside firmly, only and forever in history.

HILARY BURRAGE

Hilary Burrage is a sociologist, consultant and writer. She is currently writing a book on eradicating FGM in Britain.

Dutch socialists against Iraq war re-start


This video from London, England says about itself:

25 September 2014

Anti-war campaigners protest over the air strikes against IS

Anti-war campaigners gathered outside Downing Street to protest over the air strikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq and Syria. Members of the Stop the War coalition held placards and chanted slogans while U.S. planes continued to pound Islamic state positions in Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted Britain to join U.S.-led air strikes against the Islamic State militant group after the Iraqi government requested London’s help and he recalled parliament to secure its approval for military action. Britain was quick to join military action in Afghanistan and Iraq a decade ago. But a war-weary public and parliament’s rejection last year of air strikes on Syrian government targets prompted Cameron to proceed cautiously this time and win cross-party support before acting.

Translated from the site of the Socialist Party (the biggest opposition party) in the Netherlands:

Everyone is eager to bomb ISIS. Why not so the SP?

With air strikes one cannot fight terrorism. The ISIS warriors just mingle among the people who will be the victims of the military campaign which now under the leadership of the United States has begun and about which they say that it will last for many years. In addition, the Sunni population will be driven by the air strikes into the arms of ISIS. …

What lessons can we learn from previous Western military interventions?

The main lesson to be learnt is that these interventions only very rarely ever lead to positive results and that Western military interventions often lead to an increase in violence. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya show that. The violence in these countries is at an unprecedented level.

Anti-war demonstration, London, 25 September


This music video from the USA is called Edwin Starr – Stop The War (Rare Single).

By Will Stone in Britain:

Wednesday 24th September 2014

ANTI-WAR activists will stage an emergency demonstration outside Downing Street tomorrow amid fears Britain is poised to join US-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed yesterday the first wave of airstrikes launched yesterday by the US and five allied Arab countries on Islamic State (Isis) militants in Syria.

Mr Cameron, who is in New York for the UN general assembly, is expected to use a speech today to set out further details of Britain’s involvement, with speculation growing that he will announce that Britain will join the bombing.

The PM has indicated that he wants to consult the House of Commons, raising the prospect of a Parliament recall on Friday.

Mr Cameron will be anxious to avoid a repeat of last year’s humiliating Commons defeat over airstrikes against Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria.

Labour joined rebel Tories and Lib Dems to vote down that act of imperialist aggression, but senior party figures, including leader Ed Miliband, have backed US-led military action against militants, arguing however that Britain shouldn’t commit forces unless the mission is legal, well-planned and includes a clear exit strategy.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: “When David Cameron beat the war drum over Syria a year ago, Ed Miliband urged caution and the Tories suffered an historic anti-war defeat in Parliament.

“He seemed to understand that a bombing campaign by the West would do little to resolve the crisis there. And he was vindicated.

“But in his speech to Labour Party conference today Ed Miliband has all but written a blank cheque to David Cameron, as President Barack Obama leads the charge with airstrikes against Isis in Syria and Iraq.”

A spokeswoman for Stop the War added: “If this vote passes British forces will be back in action in Iraq just three years after the last troops were withdrawn from the catastrophic occupation of 2003-11.”

Stop the War is calling on supporters to lobby their MPs and protest outside Downing Street from 5.30pm.

More about this Thursday 25 September demonstration is here.

Following yesterday’s massive air attacks inside Syria, the Pentagon made clear that the operations were just the start of a protracted war: here.