Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot’s prison letters to Slovenian philopsher Slavoj Žižek
I hope you have been able to organise your life in prison around small rituals that make it tolerable, and that you have time to read. Here are my thoughts on your predicament.
John Jay Chapman, an American political essayist, wrote this about radicals in 1900: “They are really always saying the same thing. They don’t change; everybody else changes. They are accused of the most incompatible crimes, of egoism and a mania for power, indifference to the fate of their cause, fanaticism, triviality, lack of humour, buffoonery and irreverence. But they sound a certain note. Hence the great practical power of persistent radicals. To all appearance, nobody follows them, yet everyone believes them. They hold a tuning-fork and sound A, and everybody knows it really is A, though the time-honoured pitch is G flat.” Isn’t this a good description of the effect of Pussy Riot performances? In spite of all accusations, you sound a certain note. It may appear that people do not follow you, but secretly, they believe you, they know you are telling the truth, or, even more, you are standing for truth…
Read more at the Guardian
While Ms. McKenna “did not ‘abduct’ the child,” the court said, “her appropriation of the child while in utero was irresponsible, reprehensible.”
Sara McKenna, a former Marine, became pregnant during a brief relationship with Bode Miller, an Olympic skier. While seven months pregnant, she moved from California to New York to go to school, leading a judge to scold her for “virtually absconding with her fetus.” Now, the fight for custody of their son has become “a closely watched legal battle over the rights of pregnant women to travel and make life choices.” (via albinwonderland)
You’re responsible for the predictable consequences of your actions. You’re not responsible for the predictable consequences of somebody else’s actions. The most important thing for me and for you is to think about the consequences of your actions. What can you effect? These are the things to keep in mind. These are not just academic exercises. We’re not analyzing the media on Mars or in the 18th century or something like that. We’re dealing with real human beings who are suffering and dying and being tortured and starving because of policies that we are involved in. We, as citizens of democratic societies, are directly involved in and are responsible for. And what the media are doing is insuring that we do not act on our responsibilities, and that the interests of power are served, not the needs of the suffering people, and not even the needs of American people who would be horrified if they realized the blood that is dripping from their hands because of the way they are allowing themselves to be deluded and manipulated by this system.
- Noam Chomsky - Manufacturing Consent (via theverticalfield)
Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show
Even if the odds are tough, I became irresistibly attracted to the challenge and excitement of it.
- Linda McQuaig, Canadian journalist, author,
I am deeply cynical about any revolution that excludes women but I notice that most of them do. The second wave of Western feminism was partly fuelled by the realization that men in the 1960s anti-war movement wanted women for sex and sandwiches. Women were going to have to rescue themselves.
Any single-sex group is flawed, its exclusionary base doing damage that only appears under scrutiny. There’s no cause for the West to be smug about the treatment of women in the Muslim world.
Look at the U.S. armed forces, where there were 26,000 sexual assaults reported in 2012 (in an anonymous survey), an increase of about 35 per cent over the two previous years. There were only 3,374 formal complaints, resulting in 238 convictions, as CBC.ca has reported. And look at the wave of stories about decades of sexual harassment in the RCMP.
Is this better than Tahrir Square?
I am wary of alleged triumphs. Women are making great strides in the newspaper industry, yes, now that the industry is in turmoil. Girls are doing better than boys in school, causing an avalanche of faux concern about discrimination against boys.
In the 17th century, Shakespeare’s stages were empty of actresses. Today the British are pondering removing the last female image from their currency.
Females have been erased throughout history and it has to end now. The evidence is before your eyes. A revolution that leaves half the population subjugated isn’t a revolution.
by Heather Mallick at the Toronto Star
Harper Government: 1 Information Commissioner: 0 (for now)
It feels way too early in the morning to get fired up about science, but seriously. Seriously!
On any good day, I’m volatile and too easily get fired up when I’m told I don’t need to know something for my own good. I call bullshit. But when the Harper Government (formerly known as the Government of Canada) decides to muzzle our scientists from speaking about their research? And thereby violating our Access to Information Act?
I call bullshit.
(Click the photo to read more)
Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.
- Eleanor Roosevelt speaking on the Universal Declaraton of Human Rights