Update on corrective rape — Note from Ndumi


Change.org
Join the global outcry against “corrective rape” in South Africa 

Sign the Petition

Several weeks ago, survivors of “corrective rape” — a heinous practice in South Africa where lesbians are raped under the guise of “curing” them — started a petition on Change.org to ask the Minister of Justice to declare corrective rape a hate crime.

It has since become the largest-ever petition on Change.org, and the Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Justice has repeatedly contacted us to complain that they are overwhelmed with the messages coming from every part of South Africa and every corner of the globe. But the minister still refuses to meet with the activists who started the campaign — Ndumi Funda and the women of the non-profit Lulekisizwe.

Ndumi asked us to pass the note below along to Change.org members. Take a look, then please add your name to their petition to keep up the pressure:

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/south_africa_declare_corrective_rape_a_hate-crime?alert_id=WBYbWJShPN_oTuENpBIcM&me=aa

___________

To Change.org members, editors and most of all to all of you who signed our petition,

We are GOBSMACKED at the response that our petition has received. Our fight against corrective-rape has been going on for so long, under the most harrowing of circumstances, with only a few volunteers to help, and it just seemed that nobody was listening, nobody cared, and our sisters were getting raped, beaten up and murdered without anyone doing anything about it.

In absolute frustration, we decided to write a petition. This was a first for us, and never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we would get this kind of a response. We did jokingly say that we wanted to crash the Ministry of Justice’s servers, but we thought that our petition would get a thousand or so signatures if we were lucky. More than 65,000 signatures later, and the senior Ministry officials we targeted are apparently having major difficulty accessing their e-mail because of all the e-mails your signatures are generating! WOOOHOOOO! Well done & thank you!

If you haven’t already signed the ‘Corrective Rape‘ petition, please sign and share it with your friends:

http://change.org/petitions/view/south_africa_declare_corrective_rape_a_hate-crime

Unfortunately, despite this becoming the most popular petition of ALL TIME on Change.org, and clearly getting the attention of the minister, Lulekisizwe has still not heard a word from the Justice Department! We need a meeting with the Minister of Justice so we can discuss how ‘corrective rape’ victims are treated, the lack of police response, how long the court cases take, why so many of the dockets get ‘lost’ and why the rapists get out on such low bail. Please keep the pressure up!

Thanks to a donation from an ethical cosmetics company in the UK called Lush, we were able to get another, more secure place to stay and use as a safe-house for the victims, but the rapes and assaults are continuing. We are worn out and things are far from easy, especially at this time of the year when stress levels are very high.

The one thing that is giving us hope is all of you showing love and caring by signing and sharing the petition. We are thrilled, excited and very, very humbled by the support that every one of you have shown, and all we can say is thank you and please, please don’t stop. Ask your friends to sign our petition:

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/south_africa_declare_corrective_rape_a_hate-crime?alert_id=WBYbWJShPN_oTuENpBIcM&me=aa

Bless you all and have a great Festive Season,
Ndumi Funda & the Lulekisizwe team

 

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Midnight tonight is the final FEC fundraising deadline


This is it!

Midnight tonight is the final FEC fundraising deadline of 2010 and we’re just $8,159 short of our $250,000 fundraising goal.

We need to have a strong showing. The world is watching to see how much we have in our bank account at the end of the year. They’ll view our fundraising total as an indication of our unity and strength and our ability to mount a strong campaign to take back our Majority next year.

Contribute $5, $10 or more before Midnight Tonight and help put us over the top. Beating this goal is so important a group of generous Democrats will match your contribution dollar-for-dollar.

Before they’re even sworn into office, Republican freshmen, including a half-dozen tea party supporters, are cashing in on their new corporate connections. They’re planning big fundraising events in the next couple of weeks where they’ll collect four and five figure checks from many of the same special interest lobbyists who funded vicious attack ads against Democratic candidates.

Democrats rely upon individuals like you for 75% of our fundraising revenue. It’s critical that we not fall behind in these final days of the year, or we’ll spend months playing catch up and Republicans will have a huge head start with their repeal agenda in 2011.

Contribute $5, $10 or more before Midnight Tonight and help put us over the top. Beating this goal is so important a group of generous Democrats will match your contribution dollar-for-dollar.

Thank you for your generous support and commitment to the DCCC. I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday and I look forward to working with you in the coming year.

Thank you.

Robby Mook
DCCC, Executive Director

ColorOfChange.org is 5 years old!


ColorOfChange.org is 5 years old!

To celebrate, we created a timeline chronicling our history and a beautiful new ColorOfChange t-shirt.

Check it out, and get yours for a donation of $30 or more.

ColorOfChange is finishing its 5th year — what we’ve accomplished together is nothing short of amazing. Read the highlights below or check out our interactive timeline to learn more.

And please consider making an investment in our work together. Our tiny staff ensures that your dollars go a long way. Every contribution, whether $3, $50 or more, makes a huge difference. You can contribute online now, by clicking here:

http://coc.actionkit.com/go/663?akid=1830.1174326.-KrJtF&t=6

Here are just a few examples of what we’ve accomplished together over the last five years:

  • In 2007, we stopped the Congressional Black Caucus from partnering with Fox News to host a presidential debate. The debate partnership would legitimized Fox as real news and helped the channel brush off efforts to hold it accountable for its race-baiting. Instead, the debate was canceled after all the major Presidential candidates pulled out, in response to our pressure.
  • Later that year, we drew national attention to Jim Crow justice in Jena, Louisiana. More than 325,000 ColorOfChange members called for justice for the Jena 6; we raised more than $200,000 to fund their legal defense; and 10,000 ColorOfChange members marched in Jena, Louisiana. In June 2009, all remaining charges against the young men were reduced.
  • In the summer of 2009, more than 90,000 ColorOfChange members called on the Justice Department to investigate the Valley Swim Club in Pennsylvania, which had kicked out Black and Latino children because of their “complexion.” The DOJ launched an investigation and filed a lawsuit against the club, and the club was eventually forced to shut down.
  • Starting in July 2009, in response to a consistent pattern of race-baiting from Glenn Beck, more than 285,000 ColorOfChange members asked advertisers to pull their ads from his Fox News TV show. Nearly 300 advertisers have abandoned his show, and more than a year later, all major advertisers continue to stay away. We achieved a public rebuke on a scale rarely seen, and helped to push Beck’s voice further to the extreme margins of public discourse — where it belongs.
  • This year, Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the racist 100:1 disparity between sentences for crack and powder cocaine offenses to 18:1. ColorOfChange members had been a major grassroots force in this fight, with 60,000 of us calling on Congress to eliminate the disparity entirely, and make sentences for crack cocaine offenses equal to those for powder cocaine.

This is just a small part of what we’ve accomplished together. Imagine what we could do in 2011.

Click here to view the interactive timeline of ColorOfChange’s first five years.

And click here to make a year-end gift of $5 or more.

We couldn’t do this work without your voice and those of the thousands of other ColorOfChange members who have joined you to take powerful collective action on the issues we care about. To continue doing this work the best we can, we also need whatever financial support you can give. We understand that times are tough and that not all ColorOfChange members can afford a donation. But if you can, please consider helping out — any donation, no matter how small, helps when combined with the donations of thousands of others.

If you donate $30 or more, we’ll send you a beautiful new t-shirt that we designed in honor of our 5-year anniversary.

To donate, just click the link below:

http://coc.actionkit.com/go/663?akid=1830.1174326.-KrJtF&t=11

Thanks and Peace,

— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Natasha, and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
December 31st, 2010

Al Gore’s message


With less than 15 hours until the end of the year, we wanted to give you one last chance to make a tax-deductible donation to support the work of Repower America.

Donate $25 or more by midnight tonight and receive a free Repower America T-shirt.

We’re forwarding a special year-end message from Vice President Al Gore below. Please take a moment to read it.  Your support in these last hours of 2010 can help move us closer to a clean energy future for our planet.

Thanks for all you do, and Happy New Year!

Repower America

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Al Gore
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 10:05 AM
Subject: Your gift

Donate Now 

This year was an important year for the climate movement.

This year we proved that when we work together, we can be a powerful force for change in this country. Although we did not achieve what we needed to at the federal level, cities and states across the country continue to take important actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When this progress was threatened in California with the Prop 23 ballot initiative, we stepped forward and said no. And together we succeeded.

This year people, businesses and institutions all over the United States stood up and demonstrated their commitment to a clean energy future. For some people this was as simple as making one everyday decision that was more climate-friendly. Other people stepped forward and became climate leaders in their communities and their businesses and their governments. All of this together has an important impact that should never be underestimated.

We must carry this momentum forward into 2011, and your support today can help us do this.

http://acp.repoweramerica.org/2011shirt

Make no mistake: We still have a lot of hard work ahead of us. Solving the climate crisis is not something we will do easily or overnight. But we have to do it. And we are doing it.

Whether its corporate action to adopt sustainable models of doing business, or a community initiative to make an elementary school more energy efficient, the change we need is happening all around us already. But we need to accelerate this change and bring it to scale.

At the end of the day, global-scale solutions will require us to change our laws and policies. But we should not lose sight of these small victories that create the roadmap to action at a much broader level.

Support Repower America with a donation of $25 or more before midnight on December 31 and help lay the foundation for continued successes in 2011.

Next year, each one of us needs to be a leader of the climate movement. Each one of us needs to demonstrate the courage and the commitment that it’s going to take to get this done.

And if we make this choice to do this work together, I have no doubt that we can and will succeed.

Best wishes in the New Year,

Al Gore

TGIF & end of 2010… hypocrisy or a change of mind


Featured picture is … Baby New Year 1905 chases old 1904 into the history books in this cartoon by John T. McCutcheon.

It is the end of 2010 and while it is snowing a bit all over the country, it is very cold. So, the voice of reason says everyone who is going to engage this New Year with something spiked to drink should stay put get cozy, watch movies, tv listen to some music; if the weather impacts you bundle up and or go to a bed/breakfast or hotel etc. and relax.

Hypocrisy and misinformation are two things of interest that should be beat back by those of us center and or left of center.

The only reliable product of an organized religion (replace w/Republican Tea Party) is a flock of hypocrites who feel that only *their* hypocrisy is divinely sanctioned. – Siddownshaddap

One of the biggest issues i hope the Democratic Party will jump on in 2011 is the overt Hypocrisy the Republican Tea Party has engaged in since electing President Obama into office.

My Urban Dictionary says a Hypocrite is…

(1) A person who engages in the same behaviors he condemns others for.

(2) A person who professes certain ideals, but fails to live up to them.

(3) A person who holds other people to higher standards than he holds himself.

The idea that what our President has engaged in anything that even resembles hypocrisy over the last two years compared to anything that most if not all Republicans and their comrades engage in without remorse is beyond me. I offer up as just one of hundreds of “pieces” of evidence Senator John McCain as one of the most well-known Hypocrisy Actor. I think most people at least respected McCain, the man who called himself a maverick but Senator McCain, having done a full 360 turn around on just about every piece of legislation that he was for while running for President. Senator McCain, the so-called maverick is now known to be a man of questionable choices by so many. In addition there are other Hypocrisy Actors like Mitt Romney who gets Government Health Care himself voted for TARP not only created but implemented Universal Health Care in his own State, voted NO on the floor of Congress that denied the rest of Americans from getting UHC or true government health-care like he gets paid for by you and me. The list of Hypocrisy Actors though long includes Republican Fox TV host Huckabee who not only spoke out against but ran on the pro-life campaign also had serious investments in embryonic stem cell research.

I have been a firm supporter of President Obama even when it looked as if legislation would sour or are voted down. It is slightly upsetting that given past histories of ”The People” or voters giving Presidents many chances some have gotten two terms and well you know where that got us. The next obvious thing one has to wonder and question is why so many would give previous Presidents so many opportunities even after a few years of seemingly falsehoods. Yet, turn on a new President so quickly, why would so many on the side of the issues have tantrums on such a regular basis and why make threats to take back your votes in what has been the worst economy since the depression? Those things on their own would be reason enough to give a new President time to find the correction let alone implement it. It is not lost on me why this President enlisted the like so of a larry summers, tim geithner and others … it is quite simple really -they know who what why where how when things got ugly, so far the fix is in though slow. In the hypocrisy or change of mind angle, it is obvious that for me every issue the President has talked about and or used during the pre-President election days are ones in which some information given underwent a change, which in turn changed Obama’s mind, his heart and warranted a change of direction. This for me is a change i welcome … for someone to have thought, selfless action, personal judgment and view for the many opposed to or for a select few right of center or even center think a change of mind is hypocrisy? Pish paw the very definition of hypocrisy since 2008 has the picture of Senator John McCain right by it –

This President has said right from the beginning that he had an open mind to solutions given by others from the Republican Party. However, they have spent two years obstructing, saying no, scaling down possible solutions, and hearing that Corporate America sent 1.4 Million jobs offshore in a time when it should be Country first – your own country. It makes me wonder just what will it take to see that those so-called people who hired folks or create jobs are doing so but outsourcing them to China and or Mexico etc. in the name of cost efficiency.

just sayin

Republican Hypocrite of the Week …by DCCC

There are so many outrageous Republican hypocrites that it’s hard to chose just one but this week – we think Rep-elect Joe Walsh of Illinois deserves a nomination!

New reports this weekend reveal that Representative-elect Joe Walsh (IL-08) believes government has done TOO MUCH for the middle class, YET he’s hired a financial services lobbyist to be his Chief of Staff and is welcoming contributions from Wall Street titan JP Morgan. Walsh ran as an anti-government outsider but is now embracing Wall Street’s agenda and argues that government takes “care of too many in the middle class.”

Voters are getting a crash course in how out-of-touch Representative-elect Joe Walsh really is after he hired a Wall Street lobbyist to run his office and said there are too many government programs, like Social Security and the Department of Education, that benefit the middle class. When Representative-elect Walsh says that government has done too much for the middle class it must warm the heart of his Wall Street staff and special interest donors – but it leaves Illinois families out in the cold. Hiring a Wall Street lobbyist as Chief of Staff is the best evidence yet that Walsh’s agenda will be driven by Wall Street’s needs, not the needs of the middle class.

Know another GOP Hypocrite?  Nominate them and let us know what you think the latest GOP hypocrite or outrage of the week should be!

below: hypocrisy over the stimulus bill

Other News …

Elizabeth Warren: Foreclosure Scams Show Need for New Consumer Agency

CSPAN …

Release of the 2011 Congressional calendar for the U.S. House of Representatives

Sen. John Kerry and (R) Sen. Richard Lugar remark on START treaty
December 21, 2010

The U.S. Senate has voted 67 to 28 to advance the nuclear arms treaty with Russia known as START.  That’s the exact number needed for ratification.  After this vote, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) said he has an informal agreement with Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) on amendments to the treaty.  He’s joined by Foreign Relations Ranking Member Dick Lugar (R-IN), who has worked on nuclear non-proliferation for a number of years.

More Info »

Senate Republicans remarks on START treaty

December 21, 2010

The Senate’s number three Republican Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has said he will vote to ratify the nuclear arms treaty with Russia known as START.  Treaty opponents, Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and others spoke with reporters at the Capitol about their concerns.

Senate Republicans Press Conference on START treaty

December 15, 2010

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) along with several of his Republican colleagues spoke to reporters about the nuclear arms treaty with Russia known as START.  Senate Democrats want to pass the START treaty as it’s known before the end of the year. Sixty-seven votes are required for ratification.

House Speaker Pelosi signs Post 9/11Veterans Education Assistance

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was joined by other Democratic members and veterans activists in the Capitol for a ceremony that will send a 9/11 veterans bill to President Obama.  The measure builds on the the so-called new G-I bill, extending education assistance to soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.