Saturday, February 26, 2011

Libya Today

The battle for Libya has turned into a war. The capital is embattled, with Gaddafi's palace secure, but the other cities are dueling the Gaddafi loyalists, who are hopelessly outnumbered- some estimates saying 5,000, plus mercenaries. But the people have far less machinery and training, excepting the military who sided with the people.

The loyalists and liberators are dueling in several cities. "Within the country, anti-government protesters said the demonstrations were gaining support, and footage believed to be filmed on Friday appeared to show soldiers in uniform joining the protesters.

The footage showed soldiers being carried on the shoulders of demonstrators in the city of Az Zawiyah, after having reportedly turned against the government - a scene activists said is being repeated across the country. Our correspondent in Libya reported on Friday that army commanders in the east who had renounced Gaddafi's leadership had told her that military commanders in the country's west were also beginning to turn against him.

They warned, however, that the Khamis Brigade, an army special forces brigade that is loyal to the Gaddafi family and is equipped with sophisticated weaponry, is currently still fighting anti-government forces.

Our correspondent, who cannot be named for security reasons, said that despite the gains, people are anxious about what Gaddafi might do next, and the fact that his loyalists were still at large.Those worries were compounded as security forces loyal to Gaddafi reportedly opened fire on anti-government protesters in the capital, Tripoli, after Friday prayers. Heavy gun fire was reported in the districts of Fashloum, Ashour, Jumhouria and Souq Al"-Al Jazeera.

There are some dangerous implications that the US may intervene, which would be dangerously close to just another imperialist occupation. "Neoconservative guru William Kristol recently advised President Obama to seize this moment in history and intervene militarily if “force is used to kill innocent civilians” in Libya. “Hundreds of millions of lovers of freedom," Kristol claims, "would salute” Obama. This escalating rhetoric from pundits and the administration toward Libya is not surprising. Libya has oil, and the West needs it.But we should not repeat the mistake of Iraq. The United States – or Europe – should not send troops to Libya except as part of a UN peacekeeping mission."-FPIF

Gaddafi is surrounded in many ways and is in a desperate plea to hold power "an uprising which was last night closing in on Tripoli after thousands of protesters braved gunfire to try to march through the capital. Standing on the ramparts of a fort overlooking the city's Green Square, Colonel Gaddafi pumped his fist and told 1,000 pro-regime demonstrators: "We can crush any enemy. We can crush it with the people's will. The people are armed and when necessary, we will open arsenals to arm all the Libyan people and all Libyan tribes."

Urging the crowd to "retaliate against them, retaliate against them," the 68-year-old President was shown on state television calling on them to "prepare to defend the nation and defend the oil. Some residents claimed there were now neighbourhoods of the capital under opposition control. Others, including the area where the dictator is thought to have a fortified bunker, remained under regime control. Witnesses claimed that armed Gaddafi supporters were also driving at speed through Tripoli's streets."-Indepenent.

The reports are varied and unclear, but what is clear is the conflict is holding and seems to be in the hands of the self-liberating people of Libya. The outcome is not certain however, owing the wide disparity of the armaments and training. But sheer numbers is on the side of the people.

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the people of Libya to gain self-determination.

thanks to:

Report back: Randy Shaw Lecture at the University of Oregon

Randy Shaw, author of a activist guide, the history of the Anit-sweatshop campaign and most recently 'Beyond the Fields'.

Shaw's presentation focused on 'Beyond the fields, a look at the volunteers and organizers of Cesar Chavez' United Farm Worker's Movement (UFW). From the rise of movement involving un-protected workers and disenfranchised people who maintained a multi-year boycott and eventually won victories in field strikes- to the fall of this great organizing feat.

Beyond the fields focuses on the unknown organizers and the difficult circumstances. With Regan as governor of California and Nixon as President of the United States, Chavez was able to organize isolated workers across huge geographical regions. "Chavez got people to overcome fear, as part of a lifetime moral struggle for justice".

"He [Chavez] brought in students and children. He said "We will change the dynamic of struggle", with women organizers. The UAW and steelworkers had no women"-Shaw.

The dedication, melded between religious symbols and phenomenal organizers, made an impossible situation a reality. "These organizers were paid $5 dollars a day, plus room and board" said Shaw, indicating the sacrifice and importance of the mission which UFW instilled in its organizers at all ages.

The great take-away lessons of Shaw's interpretation, are that we must recruit in to uncommon areas, reaching out to groups who may disagree 95% of the time but that we can work together on just this issue and that no matter how hostile the environment, we should fight and can win victories!

Eugene community has formed: Anti-Racist Action group, 'Emerald City Antifa'

Eugene activists have formed an Anit-Racist Action group, to combat recent neo-nazi/White supremacist activity. Emerald City Antifa sent out this communiqué:

"unsavory characters have recently been spotted frequenting the Wandering Goat Coffee Company, a local counterculture hangout. Other white supremacists have been harassing people in the Whitaker neighborhood. There have also been multiple accounts of Neo-Nazis stopping outside of the Wandering Goat and giving the Nazi "Roman Salute" to customers.

If you see them, or any other boneheads, let them know that Fascists are not welcome in our community. Together we are strong.

If you have any information about Jimmy Marr or other Fascist activity in Eugene, please contact the Eugene chapter of the Anti-Racist Action Network:"

The Student Insurgent stands in Solidarity with Emerald City Antifa. Defense of community is fundamental to keeping healthy living spaces for all and encourages anyone with information on racist activity to contact them at the email above.

Related to this aricle:

University of Oregon Arab Student Union Events!


Arab Student Union Winter Hafli "Party" TOMORROW--poster attached:

With: LIVE Music, Dancing, Food, and Raffle!!!

TODAY, February 26; 7:00-10:00 PMDoors Open 6:30PM

IN: UO Agate Hall

$4 UO Students $7 Public
Buy or Reserve your tickets NOW at the UO ticket office or @ the door while quantities last or call --541-346-4363

(Fraternity and Sorority Endorsed)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Koch Brother impersonation

This recorded conversation reveals all the corruption and how the Republican legislature will NOT COMPROMISE. The American tradition has been violated, the human tradition has been violated and the the Governor is trying to trick the Democrats into coming back to break the quorum.

Libya & the cries of a desperate man.

The Libyan dictator Gaddafi, has begun making absurd assertions, that he is only a figure head and so ha cannot be held accountable for every horrendous decision. Also he makes pleas to the West, claiming the protests are fueled by the drug trade and Al-Qaeda. Maybe he is seeking aid from the US with a coded pleas against the international polices the US opposes. It is unclear what Gaddafi is thinking, but it is clear he is losing power, with his military engaging an all-out assault in secessionist towns. While making wild pleas of more money for public-sector employees, to stop the protests.

"Gaddafi argued that he was a purely "symbolic" leader with no real political power, and that citizens had "no reason to complain whatsoever". Libya's leader, has said that al-Qaeda is responsible for the uprising against him. He hinted that he would be prepared to raise salaries, but warned that protesters would be tried in the country's courts...On Friday, state television announced that every family in Libya would receive 500 dinars ($400), and that wages for some categories of public sector workers would increase by 150 per cent."-Al Jazeera

Meanwhile the resigned government officials are forming a counter-regime movement. "intensive discussions are under way between defected Libyan political leaders, including ambassadors and ministers who have stepped down, to form a political body to lead the country"-Al Jazeera.

The Libyan government has sent out mercenaries against it's people killing anyone in the streets of the capital and now trying to fight back against the growing resistance near Tripoli "Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi were yesterday said to be launching fierce counter-attacks as the Libyan uprising edged closer to the capital... Gaddafi also showed every sign of marshalling thousands of mercenaries, many from sub-Saharan Africa, and irregular forces to defend his redoubt in Tripoli, which also appeared to remain in a state of lockdown. Witnesses said that thousands of these forces were massing on roads to the capital.

One suggested that the scenes were reminiscent of Somalia with gangs of armed men in makeshift uniforms brandishing machine-guns, and unlike police, military units and army officers who have defected to join the protesters, were apparently willing to carry out the dictator's threat on Wednesday to defend the regime to "the last drop of blood"- The Independent.

Even though Libya is in a state of uncertainty, supporting this dictator will not bring stability warns a major advocacy agency "the democracy-versus-stability debate rests on a false dichotomy. Backing dictators, especially now, does not necessarily lead to more stability...This diverse, complex group, [of new leadership] which is not on the U.S. terror group list, is hard to paint into an ideological corner – it has both conservatives and progressives, often cooperates with other opposition groups, and abandoned violence and committed itself to the democratic process long ago. This is not yesterday’s Brotherhood...It would also likely split into two or more political parties if legalized... [and] that their actions are based on political incentives. When they participate in elections, they moderate their views, since religious extremism isn’t a winning electoral strategy. "-FPIF.

The Student Insurgent supports the idea of uprisings around the world, the practice of creating self-determination and the principles of human rights. As with any uncertain and changing situation there is a peril of a worse outcome, but more brightly shines the promise of a better world, a better day-to-day existence and how can anyone in any Western country deny this promise to any of the people's of the world? How long should people wait under oppression, how many unnecessary deaths must occur, before the promise for a better world can be chanced? If we say wait, we are really saying go on suffering; if we say hold back, we are really saying the oppression over you is acceptable. Oppression is not acceptable. Solidarity Forever.

thanks to:

Racism is Real: A Quiet Cruelty

UO President La Riviere was walking with two aids towards the EMU, engaged in a discussion about racism at the University of Oregon. The aids informed him that racism is not a serious issue at the University of Oregon, that "we take it very seriously, for our staff and students. Just this week I had a meeting with prospective students, almost twenty seven of them. We care about the community of DIversity, we are even letting six of them in..." Nobody questioned this, nobody was astounded that in reaching out to students, only one quarter will enroll. Why is it difficult for students of color? Why is it difficult for the University to overcome its lily white complexion?

Racism is not found in the same wide scales and dramatic blows that Bull Conner dealt in the 1960s, but we all know it exists in the wage disparity and other systematic measurable inequalities. We continue to find the situations which at their face appear full of racism, but which we can rationalize as some benign thing, but as laws can be a harbor of injustice, so too can just laws be carried out with injustice- look to the prisons for this to be evidenced. A society cannot continue to legally or socially exclude it's people, we cannot live in perpetual fear, living that fear in enclaves and pretending the world will not change around us.

We must embrace different cultures, but can still embrace our own cultural heritage; we can defend our uniqueness, but we must with the same vehemence condemn the exclusion of people from society for different religious or cultural backgrounds. We must embrace each other or we will have failed the test of time. No person need abandon their cultural heritage to appreciate another's. This is a predominantly 'white' campus, a campus that does not reach out to students of color, does not empower its own diversity. The institutions of administration tolerate differences, perhaps, but do not work towards empowerment. If even the educational circles cannot reflect empowerment, the rest of society is overwhelmingly condemned to cultural ignorance and social inhibition.

When a people are deprived of the cultural experiences different from their own, they betray their own potential. This does not exclude the opportunity of an individual's cultural expression or forming enclaves- quite the opposite, it calls for cultural celebration to explore similitude. The idea of cultural empowerment ought not exclude the growth of others and indeed should seek actively to empower other communities, building solidarity over our mutual human desires for expression and our mutual resistance to oppressive systems- like Imperialism, corporate domination of our lives and environmental racism.

As a society and for a campus, which faces the quiet cruelty, born in the numbers of students of color and lack of diversity among backgrounds. We as people must face the facts, that our behavior towards one another and as much as our attendance at events of empowerment reflects our real sentiments and that we need to examine our behavior. As a campus we charge for cultural events, impose restrictive codes and when we impose bureaucracy on cultural growth, this is racism. At the University of Oregon, all the 'ethnic' non-white identities, including international students and those of unknown status, equal less than one third of the student population (as of Fall term, 2010, according the registrar). This should be appalling, that students of color, are excluded for reasons of tuition, university outreach and support as well as a culture on the campus which other students play a role in. But it doesn't stop at the students, there are low margins of faculty, support staff and administration of color as well. How can students of color be welcomed, when the campus makes a clear statement in hiring- that persons of color will not be supported.

Reflections of racism are found on campus, as elsewhere, among its communities and networks. The lack of solidarity is appalling and there is a history of awkwardness in behavior that perpetuates this.

It takes time to acculturate one's self into unfamiliar communities, as well as for communities to trust one another, the level of understanding necessary to overcome the awkwardness and quiet racism takes longer. Make no mistake however, overcoming the sense of awkwardness is the responsibility of the empowered communities, the allies in struggle and the more numerous ‘ethnic’ group Caucasian students. Once these relationships are established, the hard work begins of collaboration and mutual empowerment.

Breaking the cycle of quiet racism, the cruel devil, which isn't the flaming rants of rabid white supremacists, is no easy task. If this university is to overcome quiet racism, it will take an increase in sheer numerical value of students, faculty and staff of color- with a focus on empowerment and retention. Early anti-oppression crash-courses, 'courses' plural, because it is all to easy to sit through a lecture and never challenge one's self to break cycles of ingrained racism. Breaking internalized racism takes time and personal, internal, confrontation. The anti-oppression courses are necessary and of critical importance to a balanced education. Simply leaving it up to students to create a desirable campus will not succeed, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED) needs to be given the tools to make a real standardized improvement across the scholastic system. This improvement is relative to different departments, but requires concerted efforts. Efforts to outreach to students of color by peers and more institutionally with support networks is a significant key to empowerment a recently McClatchy article finds (see below).

We cannot afford to pretend that racism does not exist on our campus and be honest- in our hearts, unless we challenge it. We cannot pretend that we do not look away and may hear the stereotypes of social roles, judgments if even sometimes jokingly. This is racism. We need to challenge racism and it's legitimacy in ourselves as in those around us, to command that voice to not only be silenced but to be replaced by one of cultural embrace. We cannot continue to perpetuate an institution of quiet cruelty, we must create an environment of welcoming and supporting communities. We need to recognize the intellect, skill and sheer guts to come to the University of Oregon as a student of Color. We need to demonstrate solidarity, by attending events and meetings of one another, supporting faculty and staff of color if for no other reason than our own sense of dignity by recognizing the dignity of others as people. In attending events, deliberately not exercising white privilege, by commanding safe space, but respecting the space and its occupants. Respect is shown by not speaking over communities of color or speaking in diminutives, be respectful and show support.

What we need is Solidarity, an injury to one is an injury to all.
By: Cimmeron Gillespie
Contributor, Student Insurgent

Post Script: As the author of this article I am 'white' by heritage. I no more choose this that an African American choose their skin color. I cannot therefore speak for communities of color about their oppression, but I will speak of the oppression itself as I see it and experience it- from a position of privilege. I recognize that I cannot speak for communities of color, but I will say I can sense an almost palpable sensation of terrible awkwardness, that becomes behavior, repeated over and over. I have witnessed this again and again on campus, a sensation that I myself, in moments of cowardice, have felt. The culmination of this feeling is both disempowering to the communities it targets, it is also not empowering among the communities who perpetuate it, walking away from such interactions knowing they have not been supportive. The nauseating frequency of such events normalizes them and only allows racism to build and be perpetuated. The sum culmination of these experiences creates a quiet cruelty, not a single student is responsible, solely and that is the problem. No one person can be called out, or held accountable, unless every student, individually recognizes that this is oppression and it must be challenged. That we are perpetuating this oppression and we must challenge ourselves and others to step up and join communities of color in an effort of empowerment and solidarity. To break the silence and tolerate no longer the quiet cruelty.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

UO brings Randy Shaw to campus

Randy Shaw is a historian, who wrote 'Beyond the Fields'- the story of the United Farm Workers (UFW) labor movement of Cesar Chavez.


His presentation will be at LCC in building 17, room 309, at 1pm

Later he will present on the UO campus, in the Law School building, room 175, at 7pm.

This event is FREE and open to the public (donations welcome).

Sponsored by: the Community Alliance of Lane County, Eugene Media Action, Eugene Weekly, Lane Peace Center, UO Labor Education & Research Center and UO Multicultural Center.

The Student Insurgent strongly encourages attendance at this event, which will be informative and empowering.

Headlines from the World:News! News! News!

The Israel palestine conflict can hardly be discussed without hackles going up. This is highlighted by an Israeli crackdown this afternoon killing dozens of Palestinians, which resulted in a (singular) rocket to be launched into (without guidance of any kind) Israeli territory. A speaker on the subject even beginning to suggest that Israeli and Palestinian Violence being anywhere near comparable is ludicrous.

Governing by popular demand, from Tunisia, to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, to Bolivia, to Madison- Wisconsin. The power of popular protest, can now safely be asserted as a power of popular governance.

In Yemen the government is falling apart, the senior leaders are resigning. Protest continue to grow each day.

Libya is still in uproar, cities have fallen to protesters and the government has turned to the most despicable violence, of shooting anyone in public in the capital city. Resisters now occupy: Cyrenaica, Misurata, "Other towns that appear to no longer be under Gaddafi's control include Derna and Bayda, among others across the country's east.

Soldiers in the cities controlled by the protesters have switched sides, filling the void and no longer supporting Gaddafi's government. In a statement posted on the internet, army officers stationed in Misurata pledged their "total support" for the protesters."-AlJazeera

In Mexico Protesters are gunned down.

In Brazil there is an economic policy of local people budgeting their municipalities. In a Chicago ward, this practice is being adopted.

The Local University of Oregon's Food Justice Confrense last weekend, highlights the growing and justified concern about food politics- what is grown, how it is grown, who is growing it, where it is grown, what the treatment of the growers are, how much energy goes into growing, transporting and consuming food, Etc. These questions, so essential to our health are being asked the whole world over.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

News From Madison Wisconsin labor protests

The Student Insurgent has been following closely the protests in Madison. As the cold temperatures drop and the people simply cannot bear to remain at the protest, still an enduring crowd of around 20,000 came out and Unions talking about a general strike. The Student Insurgent's very own KC has given us the latest of what's going on, with secondary confirmations from demonstrator Ryan Nelson.

"Right now in Wisconsin public workers from across the state, supported by private sector workers, students young and old, retirees, labor activists and more, are holding unprecedented protests in Madison against the utterly dictatorial move by Governor Scott Walker to gut their collective bargaining rights.

After giving $140 million to special interest groups in January, many of whom donated to Republican campaigns and to the Governor himself, Walker is now attempting to strip Wisconsin's state workers of their hard-won right to collectively bargain over the conditions of their labor under the guise of filling a claimed $137 million budget shortfall."-IWW

"The protests continue with sustained crowds of over 20,000. There are many groups working together and most are serious and organized, it's all completely non-violent. There are some student groups that are exploring the ideas of how to defend themselves and the protest if the state militia is called in, but those discussions are far from definitive and some of the students having those discussions are not experienced- with poor consensus skills and gender dynamics. But the real people, the Unions, they are serious- enough to talk and order a GENERAL STRIKE.- Now there's a conversation that hasn't been had in a long time."

"The following motions were passed by the SCFL Monday February 21st:

Motion 1: “The SCFL endorses a statewide general strike, possibly for the day Walker signs his ”Budget Repair Bill,” and requests the Education Committee immediately begin educating affiliates and members on the organization and function of a general strike.”

Motion 2: “The SCFL goes on record as opposing all cuts contained in Walkers ”Budget Repair Bill,” including, but not limited to, curtailed bargaining rights and reduced wages, benefits, pensions, funding for public education and Medicare.”

Please pass supporting motions in your council and organize committees to begin educating affiliates and members on the organization and function of a general strike."-IWW

"The Unions of Iron and steel workers are there and even the police. This is the only time I have ever gotten a solidarity fist from a cop. There is an info shop and all the food is taken care of. There was some talk of if regulating food was necessary- but what is the worst that could happen- theft, its free. In addition there is enough food going around to have a free bought- stand in the demonstration. But because it is in the middle of the capital, there are bathrooms and running water. There has been aid coming in from around the world, most notably from- Egypt, South Korea, South America and Russia, alot of Pizza."

"Nobody is kidding themselves, it is only a matter of time before the people get kicked out. We are squatting the capital. But for now, the democrats have stalled the vote and the people have control of the capital building. We don't know how long this will go on, but there are limited outcomes- either the state capitulates and drops the bill or there will be a bloody massacre."

While we wait over Wisconsin. Many other states are undergoing equally desperate situations- in Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and other places the budget battle rages.

From Ohio, one civic employee writes "writing from the heartland of Ohio....this morning...pouring rain temp. about 40 degrees hundreds of people show up at a town hall meeting in downtown Dayton...which a Republican Ohio Senator was having by "INVITE ONLY" to inform her constitutents about SB 5 which is to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights....

Never in my life I have I witnessed anything like this...I have participated in thousands of marches, protests, etc. but this time....this time was much different...

City buses driving by with passenger's honking their horns in support....Police in cruiser's coming by and honking their horns and waving in support of the protester's....City Sanitation worker's driving huge dump trucks coming by and honking in support, Ambulance driver's giving us the peace was absolutely awesome....

It is on....really on....and I am so damn happy! People are ignited!"

This is growing nationally, there are rumors of 'tea bagger' provocateurs, pushing demonstrators in Wisconsin and bus loads of conservative opposition people coming from Utah. Busses left from Salt Lake just a day ago, to 'fight the war on unions'. Temperatures are predicted to drop to 16 degrees F. tonight and rise to 36 degrees, with showers, tomorrow. This situation is growing in intensity, despite cold and wind and weather, somehow they all stick together.

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the demonstrators, who are defining the nation, and defending all our rights. As the IWW put it "We extend Solidarity to all workers, union or non-union, fighting back against the Capitalist class trying to return us to conditions not found since the Industrial Revolution" simply put, Solidarity Forever.

To help with strike relief, electronically donations here:

or here mailed here:

Madison GMB Mail - PO Box 2442, Madison, WI 53703

thanks to:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

RALLY this Wednesday to support PLANNED PARENTHOOD!

The House of Representatives just voted to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding, including funding for birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment. This vote put millions of women and families at risk, and we can't let it go unanswered.

Join us for a rally in Eugene in front of the old federal courthouse, on the corner of 7th and Pearl. Wednesday, 4:30 to 6:00 PM

Today’s vote reflects the pursuit of an extreme political agenda by Republican House leadership. It is an outrageous assault on the millions of Americans who rely on Planned Parenthood.

Stand with Planned Parenthood and show your support for an organization that does what no other organization does. We look forward to seeing you Wednesday!

Please respond to the Facebook event page and spread this far and wide!!!

Thank you!!!

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with self determination and the woman's right to choose.

University of Oregon EVENTS!

KYR Trainer's Training
Wednesday, Feb. 23rd from 6-8pm
Knight Law School, Room 110
If you know your Constitutional Rights and ever wanted to help teach them to others, here is your chance!

Lauren Regan from the Civil Liberties Defense Center will be coming to the law school TOMORROW EVENING to teach us how to go out and give Know Your Rights trainings in the community. This will take about two hours and you should bring a computer with USB capabilities so you can save the powerpoint on your own computer. You don't have to be a law student to do this, you just have to be well informed and this is the first step.

This program focuses on interactions with police and other general rights, but we will have sessions focused on more specific areas of rights later in the semester and next year.

Thursday, 24th, @ 7:00 in the MCC (multicultural center, bottom emu)---Dabke Night: Come learn how to line/folk dance Arab Style!

Fashioning Resistance to Militarism
In Agate Hall, Friday, February 25, at 7pm This fashion show is all about how the military is influencing the fashion industry. The show will uncover the high costs of militarism in terms of people’s lives, emotional wellbeing, environmental contamination, carbon footprint, war profiteering, and all the ways war is made to seem normal. Each design will be paired with an informative script; together they will tell a wider story about militarism and “counter couture” for peace and justice.

Saturday, 26th, 7-10pm, at UO Agate Hall-----ASU Winter Hafli "Party:" Live Band/Music, Food, Raffle, Amazing! Buy your tickets now at the UO ticket office. $4 students, $7 community. Spread the word ....[POSTER ATTACHED] -- and-----

*International Women's Day
When: March 3, 2011 at 7:00pm, doors open at 6:30
Where: Agate Hall(1787 Agate St)
IWD celebrates the collective power of women past, present and future. A night of celebration with talks by Dr. Vandana Shiva, Mobility International and the Latin American Solidarity Committee and performances by UO international students. The event is $5 for students and $8 for general public.

*Take Back the Night
This event will take place April 28th, in spring term, but the planning is
going to be every week. This year the event will be 3 parts: the rally, march and speak out. The planning meetings are going to take place on
Wednesdays at 6pm in the Women's Center. Take Back the Night is an international event during which survivors of sexual violence and their allies have an opportunity to rally together to protest continued sexual violence in their communities and around the world. Take Back the Night is a survivor-centered event that begins with a rally and march and ends with a speak-out, during which survivors of sexual assault and their allies can share personal stories of how sexual violence has impacted their lives.Come and support your friends, neighbors, community-members, and loved ones as we work to end sexual violence and celebrate the individual and collective strength of survivors.

When: May 13-14th, Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at 8
Where: WOW Hall(291 W 8th Avenue)
Out/ Loud is the queer women's music festival and is the biggest in the
Pacific Northwest. This year is the 10th anniversary and it's going to be 2
days. OUT/LOUD strives to be a safe, fun, all-ages concert where LGBTQQI people and our allies can shake our booties and celebrate queer women artists/activist--from the raw to the sweet, honoring the herstory that brought us where we are today. Celebrating 10 rad years! The planning meetings will be at the Women's Center at 1pm on Wednesdays.

Monday, February 21, 2011

More on Uprisings in Libya and Yemen

The Protests are sweeping across the Middle East, having started in Tunisia, the fire of reform has spread to Egypt, leading to the ousting of Mubarak, now it has spread to Yemen and Libya. The yemen protests are growing, but remain almost entirely non-violent. In stark contrast to Yemen, the Libyan protests are facing what can only be described in the muffled language of decency- horrible, dreadful and utterly terrible retribution.

In Yemen "Large crowds of Houthis have joined pro-democracy protests in northern Yemen as a wave of demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh enters its 10th day." The Yemen protests have gained religious legs "Yemeni clerics have issued a statement prohibiting the use of force against protesters. They called the violence a crime and called for a ban on arbitrary detention and torture"- Al Jazeera.

In Libya the scene is much worse. Without religious support, the government has been far more violent than protesters "It said the protests had resulted in up to 400 deaths. Human Rights Watch earlier cited a death toll of 233"-Al Jazeera. now the government is embarking on a genocidal campaign, to kill anyone seen in public. Meanwhile the president may have fled the country and much of the military is AWOL. Since the military is missing the killing is done by Merenaries,

It is impossible to get a clear picture of events, but here goes:
"pictures told the story with a grainy, fuzzed reality, fantasy turned to fire and burning police stations in Benghazi and Tripoli, to corpses and angry, armed men, of a woman with a pistol leaning from a car door, of a crowd of students"-Independent

"Libyan cities and regime stalwarts began defecting as the pillars of Moamer Gathafi's hardline rule were targeted in Tripoli amid reports he had fled the country. Benghazi in the east had fallen to demonstrators... Two Libyan warplanes with four personnel on board who said they had escaped Benghazi air base after it was overrun by protesters landed in Malta... soldiers and diplomats, other senior regime officials had also defected to the side of protesters, demanding that Gathafi go after more than 41 years in power"-Al Jazeera.

While protest are have absolute success in some regions, the demonstrators, along with anyone in the streets are being killed by "armed mercenaries have gone on a shooting spree, carrying out a massacre in Tripoli...landed from helicopters in some neighborhoods in the capital and opened fire on 'anyone in the streets,' causing a large number of deaths. There has been "a massacre" in the Tajura and Fashlum districts of the Libyan capital, with gunmen indiscriminately shooting people including women, the report added"- Al Jazeera. "Gunfire and flames and cellphone screams; quite an epitaph for a regime"-The Independent. Even if the people take over, it is unclear what path a new government would take, this is the promise and the peril of the situation.

Meanwhile the state government is in denial, ignorant or determined to confused about the situation "Libyan state television said security forces were battling "dens of terrorists" in a sweep that has killed a number of people, without specifying where this was or who was being targeted " in response "Protesters in the capital attacked the state broadcaster's offices and overnight set alight branches of the People's Committees that are the mainstay of Gathafi's regime"- Al Jazeera

As Gathafi's Regime falls into bloodshed, it has been reported that he fled the country, but this won't be known for days. Until he makes a statement on foreign media, repairs state media or his body is found. But let there be no mistake, his fall is a blessing "For decades, his opponents tried to kill him; they rose up as nationalists, as prisoners in his torture chambers, as Islamists on the streets of – yes! – Benghazi. And he smote them all down. Indeed, this venerable city had already achieved its martyrdom status in 1979 when Gaddafi publicly hanged dissident students in Benghazi's main square. I am not even mentioning the 1993 disappearance of Libyan human rights defender Mansour al-Kikhiya while attending a Cairo conference after complaining about Gaddafi's execution of political prisoners"- Independent.

The Student Insurgent mourns the losses of 22 in Yemen and perhaps more than 400 in Libya, but stands in solidarity with the people. The people who stand for self-determination and a desire for a better world.

Thanks to:

Madison Wisconsin & Solidarity Protests

Two Student Insurgent Correspondents reports back, with eye witness accounts on the vigil for economic justice in Madison:

The Situation, "Basically the governor is using the current economic downturn to justify the removal of 'collective bargaining' rights. Simply put the governor want to take away the public employee Unions. Then you have jackasses like Limbagh, saying this is the battleground to end unions. The whole nation is watching because union rights here will determine union rights everywhere and the other states are considering this move. The timing and nature of the protest has the whole world watching, because this could be the United State's Tahrir square"- KC, reporting from Madison.

But the situation is nothing like Tahrir and is a remarkable show of solidarity, between unions and even states. The state democrats have fled the state to prevent quorum in the state legislature, preventing a vote and there is some danger that the state may railroad some legislation and disregard its citizens. But for now the profound demonstration for solidarity continues.

Another native Wisconsin citizen and solidarity demonstrator, Mindy Preston describes the situation this way. "I have a very hard time justifying doing anything besides standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers. The teachers and University of Wisconsin at Madison are all in walkout and will sustain this". Many of the nation's celebrities are appearing to demonstrate support as well, Jesse jackson and others have come to give speeches and call and assure everyone that this is the right action "The crowd at the capital is small right now, because Rage Against the Machine is playing a concert nearby". The temperatures are expected to drop to 18 degrees F and it may get to a balmy, 27 degrees tomorrow. This is freezing, before wind chill. that's a little cold out there, eh? "We go between shivering and shouting in joy. But tonight we may rest easy, because the steel workers union and the Madison Firefighters union are out in a honor guard with us".

One would think the chill, the republican majority might drive the people home. Instead there is real solidarity. But the situation might not be so bad Preston explains "There are 14 senators needed to vote and the vote wont happen. We sang Kumbayah earlier and they may do some drumming now. We are getting ready to settle in for a night. For regular updates check the TAA on Facebook, they are the Teachers Assistant Association [University of Wisconsin's version of the 'GTFF' at the UO]". Remember when just a few months ago they scoffed at sitting around singing songs, now look at the power of song, strength and solidarity.

The Student Insurgent wishes Madison, WI, a good night and stands in solidarity.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wisconsin, Solidarity.

The workers in Wisconsin are going on strike, defending their rights to collective bargaining. "We're not the enemy, we are hard working people"- one worker described it. The protests have grown to over 70,000 people, calling in sick- sick of the Governor and legislature threatening their rights.

A Student Insurgent corespondent, KC had this to say about the situation:
"We are occupying the capital, tens of thousands. This is a people's movement, the police and fire fighters are here with us, because they are next on the chopping block- everyone but the tea party is behind this!

There are clothing exchanges, food supplies- one guy bought three hundred dollars worth of pizza and ordered it to the capital for the protests! This isn't like the old protests with bosses organizing, this is the people doing it themselves and it is so orderly. The IWW is active out here and they are making a key contribution, with a motivated and coordinated effort.

It is amazing to see, everything is in a state of excitement, but it's cold. I am about to go testify, that is why the people can protest here, because as long at the people keep going to testify the building must stay open. Everyone is in this together and it is all non-violent, there have been no arrests and only a few citations."- KC, COntributor, Student Insurgent.

There are also reports that several doctors are advising patients to stay healthy and avoid sickness. The are giving consultations and even providing notes to make sure the people are protected when they return to work.

To support the protests send donations to:

Madison GMB Mail - PO Box 2442, Madison, WI 53703
Right now we are working on housing and logistical issues. Please contact Marty for housing at:

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with the workers, seeking only safety in their jobs.

Two-state solution: A postmortem

By: Sandy Tolan
Among the time-honoured myths in the long tragedy of Israel and Palestine is "the deal that almost was". The latest entry, what we might call the "near deal of 2008," comes from Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister, chronicled in excerpts from his forthcoming memoir and feverishly promoted in The New York Times as "the Israel peace plan that almost was and still could be".

Clearly, the dwindling number of promoters of the two-state solution are in a post-Cairo, post-Palestine Papers attempt to keep afloat what is, in the end, a sinking ship: A bad deal that even the weak Palestinian negotiating team would not accept. "Israel has an overwhelming interest in going the extra mile," a nervous Thomas Friedman wrote as protestors filled Tahrir Square, warning: "There is a huge storm coming, Israel. Get out of the way."

At the heart of the effort to salvage the busted remnants of Oslo is the "near deal of 2008". "We were very close, more than ever before," Olmert writes in his memoirs.

But as they say in a famous TV ad in the US: "Not exactly."

Old myths die hard

Like other such fictions - chief among them "Israel's generous offer" at Camp David in 2000 - this one is not entirely without substance. As the Palestine Papers show, the two sides did agree on various security arrangements, land swaps and some principles of the right of return, much to the alarm of many Palestinians. Just as significantly, Palestinian negotiators agreed to allow Israel to annex major settlement blocs in East Jerusalem - a fact that, in the wake of the document dump, is eroding what is left of Abbas' credibility among his own people. (As if to underscore that point, chief negotiator Saeb Erekat resigned last week in disgrace, after revelations that the Palestine Papers were leaked from his very own office.)

Yet despite the 2008 concessions, the documents also show that the negotiations did not bring the sides close to a deal. Rather, they revealed red lines that signal the end of the peace process as we know it, and - especially after Cairo - the death of the two-state solution. Nowhere is this more clear than in the discussions over two huge settlement blocs, where Israel, backed by an arm-twisting US, undermined its last chance for a two-state deal.

In 1993, at the beginning of the Oslo "peace process," 109,000 Israeli settlers lived on West Bank Palestinian land, not including East Jerusalem. That number has now nearly tripled. One of the settlements, Ariel, juts well into the West Bank, nearly half the way to Jordan from the Mediterranean coast, and is protected by Israel's separation barrier. Ariel, with nearly 20,000 people, promotes itself as the aspiring "capital of Samaria" with its own industrial park and even a university.

"There is no Israeli leader who will sign an agreement that does not include Ariel," Tzipi Livni, Olmert's foreign minister, told Palestinian negotiators in April 2008.

"And there is no Palestinian leader who will sign an agreement that includes Ariel," negotiator Ahmad Qurei replied. Qurei was not just posturing. Ariel bifurcates the Palestinian district of Salfit and helps make a mockery of US diplomats' stated goal of a "viable and contiguous" Palestinian state.

Another red line is Ma'ale Adumim. Despite the significant concessions in East Jerusalem - which Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said amounted to "the biggest Yerushalayim in Jewish history" - the Palestinians see Ma'ale Adumim as a wedge between East Jerusalem and the West Bank. For them, the settlement is another barrier to a contiguous land base on which to build their state. For Israelis, Ma'ale Adumim, founded with the support of then defence minister Shimon Peres in 1975 and now a "city" of more than 34,000 settlers, is untouchable.

In theory, the self-described "honest broker," the US, could have tried to bridge the differences. But that is not what Condoleezza Rice, the then US secretary of state, had in mind when she leaned on the weak Palestinian delegation in a July 2008 meeting in Jerusalem:

"I don’t think that any Israeli leader is going to cede Ma'ale Adumim," she told Qurei.

"Or any Palestinian leader," Qurei replied.

"Then you won’t have a state!" Rice declared.

On the wrong side of history

The US has long been hypersensitive to Israeli domestic political considerations while ignoring those of the Palestinians and the broader Arab and Muslim worlds. In 2000, Yasser Arafat turned down Israel's "generous offer," refusing to agree to a "sovereign presidential compound" in the Old City - essentially, a golden cage near the Muslim holy sites. Arafat understood that neither Palestinians nor Muslims worldwide would agree to such limited Palestinian sovereignty over the Haram Al Sharif, considered the third holiest site in Islam. "If anyone imagines that I might sign away Jerusalem, he is mistaken," Arafat told Bill Clinton, the then US president, at Camp David. "You have lost many chances," Clinton responded. "You won't have a Palestinian state .... You will be alone in the region."

The US' tone-deaf approach to Palestinian realities is a central reason for the failure of the "peace process". Rice suggested in a June 2008 meeting that one way to help solve the entrenched and emotional issue of right of return would be to ship refugees to South America. Barack Obama's team has not fared much better. In 2009, the US pressured the Palestinians to stall the release of the UN's Goldstone Report calling for an investigation into Israeli war crimes in Gaza. This was precisely the opposite of what the Palestinian public fervently wanted. The US carrot: More favourable negotiating terms for the Palestinian Authority (PA).

But the US, so accustomed to dealing with Arab strongmen like Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, seems to have forgotten that the weak Palestinian negotiators were in no position to ignore, much less dictate to, their people. Any peace deal would have been put to a referendum among politically-aware Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A deal as unfavourable as that the US and Israel promoted in 2008 would have been far from a sure thing. Olmert recalls telling Abbas: "Take the pen and sign now. You'll never get an offer that is more fair or more just." But it was the Israelis, and the US, who missed their chance.

In the days just before Egyptians liberated themselves, Obama tried to shore up some of the US credibility squandered since his 2009 Cairo speech by supporting the calls for democracy. But for many Palestinians, US or PA credibility is no longer relevant. In the West Bank, people regard US pronouncements with sharply declining interest. And it was the PA, in the midst of the euphoric struggle of its neighbours, that placed itself firmly on the wrong side of history by banning demonstrations in solidarity with the Egyptian and Tunisian people. "The policy," said a PA security spokesman "is non-interference in the internal affairs of Arab or foreign countries."

You could not find a more apt symbol of a corroded and irrelevant Palestinian regime, shockingly out of touch with its people and the jubilation in Tahrir Square, and structurally unable to seize the moment. Now, with the PA's negotiations team in disarray, it is hard to imagine Palestinians in the West Bank again putting their trust in the "authority," or in the wreckage of an Oslo process tied to a Middle Eastern order that no longer exists.

Even in their last-ditch attempts to forge a two-state deal, beleaguered Palestinian negotiators seemed aware that it was slipping away. "In light of these circumstances and these unrealistic propositions," Qurei told Livni in frustration in April 2008, "I see that the only solution is a bi-national state where Muslims, Christians and Jews live together".

Sandy Tolan is an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC, and the author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East.

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