United States Ted Cruz-ite preacher wants girl scout leaders killed

This video from the USA says about itself:

Ted Cruz at KILL THE GAYS rally

13 December 2015

Ted Cruz attended the National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa in November. Infamous “Kill-the-gays” pastor Kevin Swanson introduced Cruz to the stage.

By Curtis M. Wong in the USA:

Pastor Wants Girl Scout Leaders To Be Executed For Supporting Gays

“Frozen” foe Kevin Swanson has set his sights on another big American icon.

03/15/2016 03:52 pm ET

After he blasted the hit Disney film “Frozen” and the Harry Potter books for being too “pro-gay,” Pastor Kevin Swanson has now set his sights on the Girl Scouts of America.

Swanson, who is a pastor at the Reformation Church of Elizabeth, Colorado, slammed the Girl Scouts for promoting “lesbianism, abortion and contraception for 14-year-old girls” among its participants on Monday’s installment of his weekly radio show, “Generations with Kevin Swanson,” Right Wing Watch first reported.

He then implied that scout leaders should be put to death, specifically by having “a millstone be hanged” around their necks and “drowned at the bottom of the sea,” for their actions toward young girls.

“Jesus means what he says. You’ve got to take what he says, and you have to apply it,” he said. “Don’t train your little girls to be feminists.”  …

Later in the broadcast, Swanson praised evangelist Franklin Graham, who has publicly vowed not to buy Girl Scout cookies this year because of the scouting organization’s “support of transgender rights and homosexuality.”

“I’m just thankful that, finally, another protestant leader is willing to stand up against this American icon that has been used as a tool of the left for many, many decades,” Swanson said.

As easy as it may seem to just laugh off the pastor’s claims, Swanson has been dominating headlines with his outrageous views since the start of the 2016 U.S. election cycle. In November 2015, he was the chief organizer behind the National Religious Liberties Conference, which was attended by Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz.

It was at the conference that Swanson delivered his tirade against Harry Potter in a convoluted speech, pointing to author J.K. Rowling‘s 2007 revelation that she always thought of Dumbledore the wizard as a gay man.

If there were any lingering doubts about where his political allegiances lie, Swanson has also argued that Hillary Clinton will turn children gay if she’s elected.

When it comes to Swanson’s wrath, it seems like no American icon will be spared.

Ted Cruz’s New Adviser Is Even More Anti-Muslim Than Donald Trump. Here are some of the most Islamophobic theories spun out of the mind of Frank Gaffney: here.

A top Ted Cruz donor runs a company accused of stealing seniors’ Social Security, Medicare, and VA checks. (Sarah Posner, HuffPost)

Disgraced Televangelist Jim Bakker Compares Bernie Sanders To Hitler. Huh?!? Here.

Syrian war refugees stuck at Greek-Macedonian border

This video says about itself:

Greece: Idomeni – Syrian Single Mother

11 March 2016

In the refugee and migrant crisis, more children and women are on the move than men – they make up 60% of recent arrivals to Greece, compared o less than 30% in June 2015.

Forced to make the dangerous trek into Europe on their own after their husbands, fathers or brothers were killed or otherwise separated. Thousands of women with children are now at Greece’s northern border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, some waiting for weeks, hoping to be allowed northwards. Life in the makeshift Idomeni camp is a daily struggle.

Nisrine is here with her five children. Her husband was killed by a bomb in Aleppo 3 years ago. Her family’s flight from war came to a halt here.

“I feel it is impossible to live here with my children. I can’t bear it. I have been here for ten days. I haven’t had a single night’s rest. They sleep, I don’t.“

Learn more here.

William Shakespeare against hatred of refugees: here.

British sexually abusive spy now trains police in Australia

This video from Britain says about itself:

Environmental and social justice campaigner Helen Steel talks about being spied on by undercover police officer John Dines.

Campaign Opposing Police surveillance meeting, London Metropolitan University, 12 November 2014.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

Spy Cop ‘Training Police Abroad’

Thursday 10th March 2016

Undercover officer who deceived campaigner into relationship now working with Australian police

POLICE chiefs must give up hiding the identities of undercover coppers, campaigners said yesterday as an officer who deceived a woman into a long-term relationship was revealed to be training police abroad.

John Dines, a member of the Metropolitan Police’s elite Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), was found to be directing police training courses at Charles Sturt University in Sydney.

The explosive revelation came as a whistleblower undercover officer called on the upcoming undercover policing inquiry to rule out the Met’s petition for secrecy.

Mr Dines disappeared 24 years ago, after a career infiltrating protest groups.

As “John Barker,’ an identity stolen from a dead child, he had a two-year relationship with environmental activist and McLibel defendant Helen Steel.

Ms Steel was one of seven women given substantial payouts by the Met in November — when the force issued an “unreserved” apology for forming “abusive and manipulative” relationships.

The Met continues to “neither confirm nor deny” the identities of individual police officers involved in these covert operations.

Campaigners, who gathered outside New Scotland Yard yesterday evening, hope the inquiry, which is currently holding preliminary hearings before full sessions begin in the summer, could force chiefs to change this policy.

Protesters said that only 10 per cent of undercover officers’ “cover names” were known.

Reclaim the Streets activist Carolyn, who is a core participant in the inquiry, said she believed that her group was spied on by other coppers.

“No-one knows for sure if they were spied on,” she told the Star. “We’re asking for all the cover names to be made available — we’re not asking for their real names, it doesn’t affect their own security.”

But the Met has petitioned inquiry chairman Christopher Pitchford to maintain officers’ anonymity and sit in secret when discussing covert operations.

Now lawyers acting for Peter Francis, the ex-officer who revealed that the SDS had spied on trade unions, have urged Mr Pitchford to rule out this request.

They say that the Met’s argument that disclosure would contravene its promise to officers that their identities would be protected for life did not stack up.

Lawyers also say there are “no real national security considerations” in disclosing information on the targeting of activist groups — unlike undercover cops “used in relation to serious crime and to counter terrorism.”

Mr Francis previously issued a statement saying he had spied on members of five trade unions. The undercover inquiry is also examining evidence that police colluded in the blacklisting of construction workers.

GMB national officer Justin Bowden, who has been key to the anti-blacklisting campaign, said: “There is an obvious need for complete transparency on this very emotive issue.

“For there to be any kind of reconciliation and closure for people harmed by police activities, the truth has to come out.

“The police can either continue to be part of the cover-up, or be part of the clean-up.”

Ms Steel flew to Australia after discovering her ex-boyfriend’s new career, and confronted him at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport — where he was greeting a party of Indian police officers due to be trained at Charles Sturt.

She said Mr Dines apologised but added that when he had been sent in to infiltrate groups in north London it was to look out for “extremists.”

Ms Steel fears what his role might be with the Indian police training programme. New South Wales legislative council member David Shoebridge yesterday called for the state government to investigate whether local officers had been trained by disgraced SDS veterans.

Mr Dines was listed as a staff member on the course for Indian officers in university literature and as a “professor” in another academic document. But the university said his role was “solely administrative.”

UK plans to track all internet connections could cost £1bn, campaigners warn: here.

Somali woman athlete, drowned off Libya

This video is called Samia Yusuf Omar @ 2008 Beijing Olympics.

By Michal Boncza in Britain:

Dream graphically denied

Tuesday 8th March 2016

An Olympic Dream: The Story of Samia Yusuf Omar
by Reinhard Kleist
(SelfMadeHero, £14.99)

IN APRIL 2012 news broke that Somali Olympian Samia Yusuf Omar, who had made history four years earlier at the Beijing games, had drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya to Europe.

In Beijing she came last in the first round heat in the 200 metres but won a rousing standing ovation. Attired in casual leggings and a baggy T-shirt, her slight body and long stride became a symbol of extraordinary determination and courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

But, most importantly, they were also a dismal reflection on the haves and have-nots of international athletics and, by implication, its entire governance.

Back in Somalia, with scant official support and facing harassment and intimidation by al-Shabaab fundamentalist thugs, she took the futile advice of looking to train in Ethiopia and later Djibouti. That set her on a migratory path to Libya with the hope of making it to Europe in time to train for the London Olympics.

Travelling overland with similarly desperate souls, all victims of ruthless, money-grubbing and abusive people-traffickers, she was thrust with them into unseaworthy vessels at gun-point. They were pushed out to sea to fend for themselves.

Reinhard Kleist, author of the memorable graphic biography Castro reviewed glowingly in the Morning Star, is — as this book shows — at the peak of his creative endeavour. This visual narrative that immortalises Omar is rendered with breathtaking vigour and passion. The draughtsmanship is masterly, with every brush stroke eloquently descriptive and invoking admiration, pity and often revulsion.

Kleist knows better than most how pictures are worth thousands of words and the story of the runner has the urgency of her dash to make it in time for the dream of a second Olympics.

But his words are equally weighted and to the point when evoking human aspiration and solidarity or even the vilest inhumanity.

At a time when the French authorities have decided to investigate the shenanigans within the Olympics movement and thousands will be forced into rickety boats off Libyan and Turkish coasts, Kleist holds an uncompromising and unsentimental mirror to the West’s ugly face.

Compulsory reading for every secondary-school pupil, anywhere.

Western powers prepare military operations in Libya: here.

Egyptian feminist Nawal El Saadawi interviewed

This video says about itself:

Egyptian Female Activist Shaima al-Sabbagh Killed By Police In Tahrir Square Protest

24 January 2015

Shocking moment: female socialist activist is gunned down by police during demonstrations on 4th anniversary of Arab Spring against Hosni Mubarak

A woman was killed on Saturday in Cairo after the police fired shotgun pellets at a handful of socialist activists marching to Tahrir Square with flowers to commemorate the hundreds of demonstrators killed there during the revolution that began on Jan 25 2011, witnesses said.

A health ministry spokesman said Shaima al-Sabbagh died of birdshot wounds, which fellow protesters said were fired by police to disperse the march. Al Sabbagh who was said to be 34 years old with a five year old son, was shot while she peacefully marched towards the Tahrir Square to lay a commemorative wreath of roses.

Egyptian activists shared graphic images of Ms. Sabbagh’s last moments on social networks. Photographs and video recorded before the police moved in seemed to show the protesters, including Ms. Sabbagh, standing peacefully outside the Air France KLM office in Talaat Harb Square near Tahrir. As officers charged at the protesters guns drawn shots rang out and Ms. Sabbagh fell to the pavement. Al-Sabbagh was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Power and Patriarchy

Tuesday 8th March 2016

JOANA RAMIRO talks to renowned novelist and former political prisoner Nawal El Saadawi about love under capitalism and whether men can ever be fully feminist

SHE lies on a sofa in front of me. Legs stretched out under a coat, her white cotton hair incandescent against the dark room. The author is resting before confronting her readers in a London club but I was granted a quick audience.

“Come closer,” she says when I introduce myself, and I pull my chair nearer. Nawal El Saadawi is Egypt’s most famous novelist. A psychiatrist, feminist, former political prisoner and Nobel nominee, the power of her words is such that she has recently been cited as the inspiration behind US pop-singer Ariana Grande’s new album.

I am not a little intimidated by her. I ask her about her best-known novel, Woman At Point Zero, the real story of a woman whose lifelong abuse led her to prefer execution over contesting her wrongful death sentence. “I never forget her. I met her. I’ve never met a woman like that in my life,” Saadawi says in a whisper. “The most honourable woman I met was this woman.”

Firdaus, the hero of her story, is the kind of character that every woman I spoke to who’s read the book cannot help but identify with. It’s not that our lives have many similarities, but her despair over a world where men always have the upper hand resonates deeply with women everywhere. I couldn’t put down the book, myself.

It felt as if the book had been written for me and about me, though I never went through any of the terrors Firdaus went through — FGM, sexual abuse, forced marriage, domestic violence, rape, prostitution and betrayal.

Later, when Saadawi finally meets her British readers, I see women of all ages nodding vehemently along during a discussion on Woman At Point Zero. Saadawi makes sure Firdaus is understood, though. “She didn’t hate men. In fact she was in love with men. She was disappointed with men.”

But she preferred to die, I add. “Because she was at point zero. She experienced everything and she was not ready to live in such a jungle. Some say it is despair because she should have fought against her death. She shouldn’t have died. Some people say it’s pessimism, it is rejection. [I say] it is a woman ready to die for her cause. She was very positive.”

What could Firdaus teach us about the fight for women’s rights? And what does her love for men, some of whom become her worst torturers, say about the contradictory nature of heterosexual relationships under capitalism?

Saadawi — with three husbands behind her — admits the dynamic is always fraught, even with liberal or socialist men. “Psychologically, patriarchy affects the psyche of men. My third husband was a Marxist and progressive and he translated many of my works, including Woman At Point Zero.

“We lived together 43 years. He wrote books about women, novels about women. But all the time I felt that he could not cope with a woman as a wife.

“When we were friends he was so proud of me, happy, boasting. When we married he was boasting but he was jealous. He couldn’t cope with a woman who is not a wife. I cannot play the role of a wife. I’m a writer, I’m a doctor, I’m like him. And I am more successful.”

I open up. I too have shared my life with a Marxist and at points wondered about the seriousness of his commitment to women’s equality. Under capitalism, and when confronted with their own privilege, can men ever be fully feminist?

“It’s very easy from the rational point of view, from the intellectual point of view, for the man to be a feminist. But from the psychological, the deep psyche of the man … Patriarchy is embedded in childhood, [man] cannot get out of childhood.”

I ask for answers from the octogenarian in front of me, lying quietly with a naughty twinkle in her eye.

“The solution, it will come. Younger generations are much better now. It will come, but it takes time.”

And harsh capitalism, as she calls our times, is making things worse. In her own country sexual harassment has become rife in the backlash to the revolution of 2011.

In a way she blames the populist Muslim Brotherhood for the return of conservative mores and an interpretation of Islam that sees women as second-class citizens. But “these backward religious conceptions” go “hand in hand with neoliberalism and capitalism.”

“Islamic fundamentalism is a phenomenon related to Islam, but the religious fundamentalist movement includes all religions: Christianity, Judaism.

“And in fact, postmodernism, neoliberal postmodernism, and religious fundamentalism are two faces of the same coin.

“World capitalism, this harsh capitalism, the mentality of money and profit is like a jungle, we live in a jungle. Women are at the core of that. Women, blacks and the poor.

“[Politicians] use religion, we cannot blame religion. In fact religion is a political ideology itself. The books, the holy books, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Koran, the Gita in India, all those books, of course created by people, not divine books, are very reactionary, very against women and against the poor.

“The political powers, the capitalist political powers, in the West, in the States, in Europe, they use religion, they use God, to justify injustices. And that’s why God is very prominent now, everywhere.”

Saadawi laughs, the simple laughter of someone outwitting a great charade. It’s contagious, I laugh too. Her readers start walking into the room, staring at Saadawi’s small frame as she keeps chatting to me about feminist films and British austerity cuts which are costing women’s lives.

She has to go and face her audience, they are waiting. A room now packed to the brim mostly with women awaiting their heroine to speak. She starts standing up, turns to me and winks.

“You don’t mind if I mention you during the talk? I like what you said about Firdaus,” she says as she takes the stage. She takes a little bow and the event begins. Saadawi’s feminist inspiration might have been an Egyptian woman on death row, but she, alive and kicking, cannot help but be an icon herself.

Women’s rights march in London

This video from Britain says about itself:

#VoteFeminist: A message from Helen Pankhurst

6 May 2015

My grandmother – Sylvia Pankhurst – was repeatedly arrested as she fought for women to have the right to vote. Yet at the last general election 9.1 million women didn’t use their vote. We can’t let this happen again.

HELEN PANKHURST, great-granddaughter of suffragette founder, Emmeline (centre left, in hat) next to RACHEL HOLMES (centre, author of ‘Eleanor Marx: A Life’) with the crowd at the ‘Walk in Her Shoes’ rally in London, 6 March 2016

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Pankhurst leads Mother’s Day march for women’s equality

Monday 7th March 2016

SUFFRAGETTE Emmeline Pankhurst’s great-granddaughter led a march yesterday days before International Women’s Day to highlight the inequality still facing women.

The march held on Mother’s Day commemorated women that trek long distances to protect their children from warzones and young girls that often put their education on hold to walk miles every day to find clean water.

Dr Helen Pankhurst — one of many of the women dressed as suffragettes with “deeds not words” sashes — said she felt “really honoured” and “proud” to be related to the leader of the women’s rights movement but that there was “still a need for activism” on the streets.

She added: “It’s about celebration, it’s about being together, it’s about sisterhood.

“We can do that in many ways, we can do that through social media but there is still a value in being out in the streets, walking together shoulder to shoulder as the suffragettes did 100 years ago.”

She was marching with her daughter Laura in aid of the Walk In Her Shoes rally organised by Care International to encourage people to fundraise by walking 10,000 steps a day for one week in March.

Celebrities such as singer Annie Lennox, rights campaigner Bianca Jagger and pop trio Sister Sledge were also among the procession that walked near the River Thames to the sounds of cheers and drumming.

Ms Lennox made a passionate plea to stamp out gender inequality around the world and praised the suffragettes for their bravery in campaigning for women’s right to vote.

She said: “They were sacrificing themselves for us … To have access to the democratic vote, to education, to job opportunities — the fight continues. “

The problem is in our country is we have amnesia. We forget that people sacrifice so much to give us the things we take for granted.”

She added: “As a mother I’ve realised I’ve such a privileged life and I’ve seen the disparity, and I feel indebted and I feel that I must stand in solidarity.”

Hundreds of people also assembled in the Scoop amphitheatre on the South Bank to listen to women forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), politicians and feminist campaigners.

Labour candidate for the mayor of London Sadiq Khan and his lawyer wife Saadiya also attended.

See also here.