Mar 282007
 

Public Statement by Women’s Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran

FOR IMMIDIATE RELEASE
ACTION ALERT

CONTACT: press@wfafi.org

BOSTON, MA- -On March 26th, 2007 the U.N. Human Rights Council voted to end a routine monitor of the status of human rights in Iran. This vote was based on the recommendation presented by the Five- Nation panel to the Council, mostly notorious violators of human rights themselves. Such travesty is in contrast with the views of the U.N. General Assembly that strongly condemned Tehran’s regime for systematic violations of human rights in December 2006.

For the past 28 years, Tehran’s fundamentalist regime maintains the highest number of female executions in the world. Thousands of political prisoners, among them pregnant women, teenage girls and grandmothers, have been executed publicly and privately in notorious prisons such as Evin in Tehran, Gohardasht, Tabriz, Mashad, Esfahan, Shiraz, Ahwaz and other major cities. According to Tehran’s own account, 189 prisoners were hanged in 2006, including women and minors. Last year a total of 1,250,000 people were arrested in Iran. Peaceful demonstrations of women, students, teachers, bus drivers, labor unions and ethnic minorities were violently suppressed and hundreds arrested and imprisoned.

Currently, there are eight women sentenced to death by stoning and 32 facing execution by other means, five of them are below the age of 20.

While Tehran’s regime practices stoning, public hanging, amputations of limbs or gouging of eyes as forms of punishment, UN Human Rights Council calls off the routine monitoring of the status of human rights in Iran. This is a tragedy and disgrace for humanity. The Council is in charge of advocating and safeguarding human rights, not turning a blind eye and rewarding the violators.

Women’s Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) denounces the Council’s decision and consider their vote as endorsing Tehran’s gender apartheid regime. WFAFI calls upon the human rights organizations, officials and governments to protest this decision by the U.N. Human Rights Council. By ignoring the flagrant human rights violations in Iran, the Council emboldens the fundamentalist regime and encourages escalation of suppression. WFAFI also urges the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to step in and assign a Special Rapporteur to monitor the situation of human rights in Iran.
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 March 28, 2007  Posted by on March 28, 2007 Comments Off on WFAFI Denounces End of Human Rights Monitoring in Iran
Mar 262007
 

Press Release form the National Network to End Domestic Violence:

VICTORY — The Biden VAWA Budget amendment passed unanimously!
Please Forward — 3/23/07

Thank you for all your calls and emails to your Senators.

Our efforts paid off! The Biden amendment to the budget will increase the funds
available for VAWA programs by $100 million. This is critical in our efforts to
increase funding for VAWA in the Budget and Appropriations process for FY 2008.

This is a HUGE SUCCESS — and it is DIRECTLY due to your calls.

Now that the Biden amendment has passed, the Senate Budget Resolution includes
more money that can be available for VAWA programs. The House and Senate will
now have to work out a compromise Budget Resolution, so we may need action in
the future to ensure this funding is in the final Budget Resolution.

The good news is that this means the Appropriations Committee will likely
have more money in the Budget Resolution to enable them fully fund VAWA
programs! It also puts the Senate on record as supporting increased VAWA
funding – a big help during the Appropriations process.

The way the Budget and Appropriations process works can be confusing. For a
brief summary of the process, visit our web site at:
http://www.nnedv.org/pdf/BudgetandAppropriationsOverview.pdf:
< http://www.nnedv.org/pdf/BudgetandAppropriationsOverview.pdf> .

Action is still needed to ensure VAWA funding!

If you didn’t get the chance to call your Senator today, please take the time to
call or meet with them over the next two weeks. Early Spring is when Congress
is making many decisions about Federal funding – it is our primary window of
opportunity to increase VAWA funding. There are 2 things you can do to take
action.
Continue reading »

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 March 26, 2007  Posted by on March 26, 2007 Comments Off on Big VAWA Success, but Action Still Needed
Mar 252007
 

My good friend Margherite sent me this darling link.

It seems that Priorities NH (yes that stands for New Hampshire) is looking for an actress to play Cookie Mom at political functions, here is the job description:

“Cookie Mom will be the face of that project. The campaign is looking for an actress between the ages of 35 and 55 who can portray a wholesome, non-threatening image. Cookie Mom will attend Presidential candidate events in costume (an apron, button-down shirt and slacks), hand out special Priorities cookies (iced and labeled like our Priorities budget pie pin) and pens, and talk with attendees, reporters and candidates about sensible budget priorities. She will need to be able to conduct short interviews with reporters and to stay in character and maintain composure in high-tension situations.”

As James Caan said in the original Slither, “Who are these guys?”  Not the right-wing nut jobs you might think.  According to their website, they are,

“a nonpartisan big-tent organization that promotes grassroots community involvement in the democratic process in New Hampshire. DFNH works to protect the foundations of our democracy and the integrity of our political process and supports fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates who speak honestly about policy choices.”

And their website is decorated with links to the likes of Colbert and Olbermann.  No links to NOW though…
If you don’t have anything better to do and happen to be in a really pissy mood, feel free to drop these unevolved folks a note and tell them to get a clue–June Cleaver doesn’t live here anymore.

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 March 25, 2007  Posted by on March 25, 2007 1 Response »
Mar 242007
 

The Like Maria Said Paz blog has a provocative response to my piece last week about the peace movement’s attitude towards women. She writes,

“You will never hear about attacks on women from MoveOn. They’re too busy burying their noses into the skivies of the military in their jingoistic efforts…when you worship the military to avoid being called unpatriotic, you can’t speak out for the victims of militarization.”

I think that about sums it up. I too have been struggling with the collapse of the Lee amendment to the Iraq war funding bill that the House just passed. What Move On did was heinous, but the real truth is that the Dems have sold the voters who propelled them into office down the river. What remarkable chutzpah to solemnly and sanctimoniously tell us that not supporting a bill that funds Bush’s illegal war would be a vote for Bush. Truly Orwell could not come up with a better example of doublespeak.

Stephen Colbert issued an interesting challenge to Dems last week. He provided them a list of reasons to impeach Bush To wit:

  1. WMD’s
  2. Iraq War
  3. Katrina
  4. Valerie Plame
  5. Signing Statements
  6. Torture
  7. Wiretaps
  8. Secret Prisons
  9. U.S. Attorneys

He ended with this, “I think what the President is saying is that if you don’t impeach me now you guys, you are all a bunch of pussies.” I’m not sure that I would put it that way :-), but truly, how many times does one president have to break the law to be impeached, surely this must be an all-time record. Interesting note–Colbert’s comedic knife apparently cut a little too close to home for the audience, the laughter and applause was distinctly tempered.

Disappointed as I am, I understand why Reps. Waters, Woolsey and Lee backed down, the pressure must have been enormous. I suppose the good news is that they got a tremendous (relatively speaking) amount of press and perhaps will get more attention with future efforts. I hope so, these are the women we need to listen to, not Pelosi and Clinton. I just hope this whole sorry episode was not the last nail in the coffin.
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 March 24, 2007  Posted by on March 24, 2007 2 Responses »