British government jails raped African women


One Day Withous Us in Britain

By Elizabeth Tswana and Anna Cross in England:

Victims of rape treated with suspicion and scorn

Friday 17th February 2017

A Ugandan refugee and gang rape victim, Erioth Mwesigwa escaped to Britain. But the government locked her up in Yarl’s Wood. Elizabeth Tswana and Anna Cross tell her harrowing story

WE ARE the All African Women’s Group, a self-help group of women seeking asylum, based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre in London.

Once a fortnight, 90 to 100 women from different countries come together to discuss our legal cases, share experiences and support each other.

One of our members, Erioth Mwesigwa, a 59-year-old woman who suffered multiple gang rape by soldiers in Uganda, has been detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

Erioth has helped other women with their legal cases, spoken at public events and regularly attends our fortnightly meetings. Last Friday, guards came to her room in detention to take her to the airport but Erioth bravely refused to go.

Now the High Court has refused her claim and told her she has to go back to Uganda to appeal.

We cannot allow this. Erioth won’t survive and we refuse to allow anyone to be sent back to their death.

Erioth was targeted by soldiers because her husband was suspected of opposing former Ugandan president Milton Obote.

A family member who hid her in his house after she escaped from prison was subsequently killed.

She spent years in hiding in Uganda before she finally managed to escape to Britain and meet with her (now ex-) husband and family, who had already been granted refugee status. However, when Erioth asked for the same, she was refused.

Many of us in the All African Women’s Group are victims of rape and other torture.

We too have been in detention and threatened with removal.

A few of our members have been sent back to their country of origin and have suffered further rape and abuse.

It is the actions of governments like the British that fuel wars in Africa that make us flee in the first place.

We are forced to be refugees. Yet when we come here to get safety we are treated like beggars and scroungers.

The Home Office has accepted that Erioth is a victim of rape but they still want to deport her because the rape happened a long time ago.

We hear on the news every day how victims of abuse in this country have come out after so many years and are still scarred and traumatised.

Who would dare say to them that they should just get over it?

Erioth is clearly still very badly affected by what happened to her and has never had the support she needed to recover until she met us.

We have been in touch with Erioth every day since she was detained.

She said to us: “When I was in Uganda I had to spend all those years in hiding and fear that one day I will be found by the soldiers again.

“After all that, I have finally found a place where I feel safe with people who care about me. It has given me hope for my life. I do not have anyone who I can return to in Uganda. Here I have my family and friends who look after me.”

Women Against Rape, which is also supporting Erioth, has shown that 88 per cent of victims of rape and sexual violence are disbelieved when they claim asylum.

Even though it is well known that in some countries rape is widespread and used as a way of waging war on the community, when we arrive in Britain and say we have been raped, we are treated with suspicion and forced to prove in every little detail what we have been through.

We believe that Erioth should be able to stay in here and remain a part of our group.

Please join our protest and write to the Home Secretary to demand that Erioth is released from detention and given the right to stay.

Elizabeth Tswana and Anna Cross are member of the campaigning All African Women’s Group. You can join the protest against Erioth’s detention and removal as part of the One Day Without Us event on Monday February 20 outside the Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, Westminster, SW1P 4DF, from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. For more information on the One Day Without Us visit 1daywithoutus.org.

Trump parodies all over Europe


Donald Trump signs anti-abortion measure

This photo from the USA shows President Donald Trump signing an anti-abortion measure.

Swedish minister signing environmental measure

And this photo from Sweden shows Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin signing an environmental measure.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Not seven men, but seven women: Swedish politician copies photo of Trump

Today, 14:28

The reactions about Trump’s policies keep coming. Now, the Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin has posted a photo on Facebook in which she mocks a picture of Trump.

As the photo of Lovin resembles a picture of the US President signing an anti-abortion law. At Trump’s photo, he sits at a desk and he is surrounded by male only colleagues. Lovin also sits at a desk, but is surrounded by all female colleagues.

Quite different laws

The laws signed differ: Trump signed an anti-abortion law, Lovin signed a climate law to promote the use of green energy.

Another parody, by the mayor of Kuurne in Belgium.

This video from Belgium says about itself:

Trump not allowed in Belgium – big decisions in Kuurne, Belgium

2 February 2017

I am the mayor of Kuurne in Belgium. I decide to build a wall around my city and I decide that Trump is not welcome. I decide that every one who was not born in Kuurne has to leave the town. I have a problem because I was not born in my own city.

And this parody video says about itself:

Europe welcomes Trump in his own words – Compilation EU countries (Germany, Portugal, etc)

3 February 2017

State Department Reverses Visa Ban, Allows Travelers With Visas Into U.S. The reversal was announced in compliance with the opinion from a federal judge in Seattle barring President Trump’s executive action. 02/04/2017 10:48 am ET: here.

Women’s March against Trump, 11 March Amsterdam


This video from the USA says about itself:

Rev. Jesse Jackson: Confirming Sessions as Attorney General Would Stick a Knife Through Martin Luther King‘s Work

1 February 2017

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats managed to delay a vote on Jeff Sessions’s nomination for attorney general. The move comes amid continued protest against Jeff Sessions over his history of opposing the Voting Rights Act and his history of making racist comments. On Monday, about 10 members of the NAACP, including President Cornell William Brooks, were arrested at a sit-in at Sessions’s office in Mobile, Alabama. It was the second NAACP sit-in against Sessions’s confirmation where Brooks and others were arrested. For more, we speak with Reverend Jesse Jackson, founder and president of Rainbow/PUSH and a Democratic presidential candidate in 1984 and 1988.

From Facebook, by the organisers of the first Women’s March against Trump in Amsterdam, on 21 January 2017:

International Women’s Day [8 March] and upcoming Netherlands elections [15 March] fuel us to meet again, in solidarity, to show our numbers and support each others’ actions. We stand for the end of discrimination, equal rights for all humans and we value each other’s diversity and passions to create a world with more commpassion.

More information coming soon – save the date.

They announce another Women’s March in Amsterdam on Saturday 11 March, noon.

21 Women Respond To Trump Telling Female Staff To ‘Dress Like Women’. Reminder: There’s no one way to dress like a woman: here.

Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee


This video from the USA says about itself:

SCOTUS pick Gorsuch to carry out agenda of religious right – America’s Lawyer

31 January 2017

President Donald Trump picked Neil Gorsuch for his Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia. But if confirmed, will he follow the hardline conservative‘s legacy? ‘America’s Lawyer’ host Mike Papantonio joins ‘News With Ed’, saying that Gorsuch will follow suit on abortion rights, the Second Amendment, oil companies, big pharma and more.

President Donald Trump has chosen an ultra-right acolyte of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to fill the vacancy created by Scalia’s death a year ago, nominating Neil Gorsuch, a federal appellate judge from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Denver, Colorado: here.

From UltraViolet in the USA:

BREAKING: Donald Trump just nominated a judge more conservative than Justice Scalia to the Supreme Court.1

As a justice on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Neil Gorsuch repeatedly tried to gut the Affordable Care Act‘s birth control mandate and would have allowed Planned Parenthood to be defunded.2 And his record shows he’s a threat to Roe v. Wade.3

As a Supreme Court justice, Gorsuch will fill the seat that will decide whether Trump’s executive orders are constitutional or not.

Current Senate rules require a nominee to receive 60 votes, eight of which are held by the Democrats. We can’t let this life-long position go to Gorsuch–if there’s ever a moment when Democrats needed to fight like hell, it’s now. Can you sign the emergency petition demanding Democrats filibuster Gorsuch?

Senate Democrats: Block Neil Gorsuch from a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court.
Sign the petition

Democrats can stop this nomination–they’ve done it before–and there’s already talk in the Senate about filibustering.4

When Republicans tried to take away abortion access for survivors of human trafficking, Senate Democrats led by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) spoke passionately about abortion access, and forced Republicans to roll back their plan.5 And earlier today, Democrats boycotted hearings for two of Trump’s nominees, one of whom is Representative Tom Price, who is nominated to be head of Health and Human Services and is committed to gutting the Affordable Care Act.6

This nominee can be stopped too. Remember, Trump stole this nomination from President Obama when Senate Republicans refused to even hold a hearing for President Obama’s nominee.7

Trump has already won votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and signed orders to ban US funding for abortion care overseas, build a border wall and the Keystone pipeline, and keep out immigrants. The only recourse Americans have from these horrific acts is the Supreme Court–and now Trump is trying to take that over, too. The line must be drawn here.

Click to sign the petition to keep extremists off the Supreme Court

Thanks for speaking out,

–Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kathy, Onyi, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Shannon, Megan, Libby, Emma, PaKou, and Pilar, the UltraViolet team

Sources:

1. Neil Gorsuch nominated by Donald Trump to fill supreme court vacancy, Guardian, January 31, 2017

How Trump’s Nominee Will Alter The Supreme Court, FiveThirtyEight, January 30, 2017

2. Potential nominee profile: Neil Gorsuch, SCOTUSblog, January 13, 2017

10th Circuit Court won’t hear Planned Parenthood lawsuit against Gov. Herbert again, FOX 13, October 28, 2016

3. Here’s Where Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Picks Stand on Abortion, Motto, January 30, 2017

4. A Senate Democrat just vowed to filibuster Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Vox, January 30, 2017

5. In abortion debate, Feinstein evokes ‘small step for womankind’, LA Times, March 20, 2015

6. Senate Democrats boycott, delay committee vote on Mnuchin, Price, Reuters, January 31, 2017

7. Democrats, With Garland on Mind, Mobilize for Supreme Court Fight, New York Times, January 24, 2017

MEET TRUMP’S SUPREME COURT PICK Here’s everything you need to know about President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, conservative Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals judge in Denver. Gorsuch is being called another Scalia — and this graphic lays out where he is in terms of conservatism on the current Supreme Court. And as Democrats weigh whether to vote for the nominee, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said, “The ghost of Merrick Garland still floats around part of this place.” [HuffPost]

LGBTQ Groups Blast Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Neil Gorsuch: here.

TRUMP TELLS MITCH MCCONNELL TO ‘GO NUCLEAR’ FOR HIS SUPREME COURT PICK The use of the “nuclear option,” which would require a Senate rule change so that only 50 votes are required to confirm a Supreme Court nominee instead of the 60 currently needed, would forever change the Supreme Court nomination process. [HuffPost]

Protests in history, London exhibition


This video from Britain says about itself:

Satire, Print Shops and Comic Illustration in 18th and 19th Century London – Mark Bills

11 August 2011

This lecture tells the story of visual satire in London, a city in which caricature flourished like no other. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the people of London have been both amused and outraged by the thousands of social and political satires in paint, paint and engravings which have variously and humorously described London and its people.

The enormous body of cartoon images range from the specific to the general: from caricature portraits of leading figures to the London ‘types’ recognized by all Londoners; from specific events and political debacles to the state of a typical London street. The array of approaches of artists, both ‘high’ and ‘low’, amateur and professional, is equally wide and extends from light-hearted mocking to vitriolic and libellous attacks. This lecture leads us through the various ages of the production of cartoons in London, from the independent print publisher to the editor of a comic journal, providing us with a rare perspective on the life of the city through its contemporary satirical images.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: here.

By Jane Clinton in Britain:

Designs on dissent

Tuesday 31st January 2017

JANE CLINTON recommends an exhibition on radical protest over the last two centuries

A SMALL silk buttonhole, a pamphlet on how to avoid arrest and a petition for women to sit their medical degree exams.

These are just some of the objects on display at the Radical Voices exhibition at Senate House Library in the University of London charting how protest has been expressed over the past two centuries.

Including petitions, photographs, posters, songs, poetry, book collections, political cartoons, badges and ephemera, it is a rich analysis of the voices that have spoken out and have often forced change.

There’s a James Gillray cartoon dating 1807 — the oldest item on show — along with much more recent items such as a 2003 Stop the War poster and literature printed by Occupy Design in 2012 as part of the occupation at St Paul’s cathedral.

For Dr Jordan Landes, research librarian of history at the library and the guiding light behind the exhibition, it was reading Rebel Footprints by David Rosenberg that inspired her.

“It made me realise the wealth of what was in the collections as I recognised that we held the collections of so many of the people he wrote about,” she says.

“Instead of trying to do this by subject we do it by how the voices are expressed,” she explains. Thus the Gillray John Bull and Communist Party cartoons sit cheek by jowl in the political cartoons section, while in the badges category there’s a silk buttonhole worn by men to express support for the Suffragettes next to membership badges of the Liberal Party of South Africa.

The “Advice for Those Taking Part in Protests” section is a particular favourite for Dr Landes because it not only reveals the ever-shifting face of protest but also how dissent was once regarded as the sole preserve of men.

“There is the change over time in the tone and language,” she explains. “I love the 1934 pamphlet, where there is a warning to men to tell their wives not to let policemen into their house.

“There was the assumption that the women would not be protesting. It reveals so much about society at the time, not just about protest.”

That this free exhibition should take place at the University of London is no surprise. It has long been seen as a radical institution and this too is explored.

William Beveridge served as vice-chancellor of the university from 1926-1928 and in 1942 he outlined the contents of The Beveridge Report in Senate House’s Macmillan Hall.

Also progressive was the fact that the university did not have a religious requirement. In 1878 it was one of the first institutions to open up higher education to women.

Despite this progress, there was a sticking point — women were not allowed to sit their examinations to earn their degrees. A petition calling for this to change is included in the exhibition.

With a mixture of personal libraries and manuscripts, Radical Voices also has a concurrent series of events including film screenings, talks, conferences and music.

“I hope the exhibition is a reminder that libraries and archives are places that preserve these, as we are calling them radical voices, and in preserving them they can potentially inspire people to study further and learn more, which is our main purpose.”

On entering the space, there is a poster emblazoned with a simple but powerful quotation from WH Auden: “All I have is a voice” and Dr Landes is keen that the exhibition will inspire people to think more deeply about the means and messages of protest.

“Hopefully this exhibition will allow people to read and hear others’ voices and maybe in turn it will help them find their own.”

The free exhibition Radical Voices runs until March 31 at Senate House Library, University of London, Malet Street, WC1, opening times here.