Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald Accepts Plea Agreement to Reduced Manslaughter Charge

From Free CeCe:  http://supportcece.wordpress.com

Press Release

by FreeCece Mcdonald on Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Racism Transphobia in Legal System, Continued Assault, McDonald Survived, Supporters Charge

Contact: Katie Burgess, Executive Director, Trans Youth Support Network,transyouthsupportnetwork@gmail.com, (612) 363-757 and Billy Navarro Jr, MN TransgenderHealth Coalition, mntranspr@gmail.com, (612) 823-1152

Minneapolis, MN — Earlier today, Ms. Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald accepted a plea agreement to a reduced charge of manslaughter in the second degree in the criminal case resulting from the racist, transphobic assault she survived last June that left one of her attackers dead. The prosecution had originally charged her with felony murder in the second degree. However, after entering into plea negotiations this morning, the defense and the prosecution settled on the reduced charge. McDonald will be sentenced on June 4th at 1:30pm under Hennepin County Judge Daniel Moreno to 41 months in prison. The executed sentence will be reduced by one third, for “good time” and credit for the time McDonald has served pending this resolution.

The plea agreement comes nearly a year after McDonald was arrested, interrogated, denied adequate medical care for a laceration she suffered during the attack and held in solitary confinement for a month for being a transgender person. During the pre-trial proceedings, supporters raised world-wide support for the charges against McDonald to be dropped. Last month, supporters delivered to Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman a petition for dropping the charges with over 15,000 signatures and dozens of letters of support for McDonald from organizations and prominent individuals from around the globe. Freeman consistently failed to exercise his professional discretion and take a stand against racism and transphobia by dropping the charges.

“Freeman’s aggressive prosecution of CeCe was a continuation of the racist, transphobic assault that led to her being charged and resulted in the tragic death of one of the assailants,” said Kris Gebhard of the CeCe McDonald Support Committee. “We’ve been proud to stand with CeCe as she fought this unjust prosecution and will continue to stand with her as she fights for justice as a trans woman of color within the prison system.”

In a press conference after the plea agreement was accepted in court, Katie Burgess of the Trans Youth Support Network addressed the crowd of supporters filling the steps outside the HennepinCounty Courthouse. Burgess said:

“Over the past 10 months I have witnessed the legal system isolating and attacking another young trans woman of color in our community, CeCe McDonald. And over the past 10 months, I have also witnessed our community say very clearly, ‘You are not alone, CeCe! And we have had enough!’

“With the whole world watching, Freeman’s office consistently chose not to take the opportunity to stand up against racism and transphobia. Freeman himself said, and I quote, ‘The criminal justice system is not built for, nor is it necessarily good at, solving a lot of society’s problems.’

“We know that this system is not designed to deliver justice to young trans women of color. We are going to continue to support CeCe as she goes through this process and continue to stand for justice for all trans people and people of color so that this is the last time a young trans woman ofcolor has to go through this.”

Supporters will pack the courtroom for the sentencing on June 4th and continue to rally support for McDonald and to demand justice for all trans people and people of color.

For further updates, visit http://supportcece.wordpress.com and follow @Free_CeCe.

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Transsexual woman cited after using woman’s restroom

Okay…

Do the HBS Sisters of Transsexual purity who side with the radical feminists and the ultra right wing Christo-Fascists want people in treatment, with Doctor’s letters stating they are on hormones and in transition to be denied restroom access.

Or is this a case of unintended consequences where supporting the bigotry of the Christo-Fascists/Radical Feminists hurts people who have actually done the “right thing with hormones and treatment letters.”

I used the women’s room for three years while I was a pre-op with only a card stating I was in treatment for transsexualism.  But we were a better country before the rise of the right wing/Christo-Fascist/radical feminist axis.

I have a hard time believing just how callous people are and how willing they are to join lynch mobs.

From Channel 9 News: http://www.9news.com/news/article/266136/188/Transsexual-woman-cited-after-using-womans-restroom

May 2, 2012

DALLAS – A transsexual woman was issued a ticket for using the women’s restroom at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

Parkland police cited Paula Witherspoon, whose legal name is Paul Witherspoon, for disorderly conduct on April 25.

“It was definitely humiliating, degrading,” she said. “I felt like I was being discriminated against.”

A Parkland representative said the hospital received a complaint from a concerned female patient about a man in the women’s restroom.

“This is 2012, and I’ve been transitioning since 2006, and I’ve never had a problem until I went to Parkland Hospital,” Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon said she doesn’t even remember seeing anyone else in the restroom until she walked out.

“There was a lady there that said, ‘That’s a man.’ I just ignored her and kept going,” Witherspoon said.

Snip

Witherspoon said she offered to show the officer a transition letter from her doctor that states, “She is expected to use facilities consistent with her external presentation, which is female.”

Complete article at:  http://www.9news.com/news/article/266136/188/Transsexual-woman-cited-after-using-womans-restroom

Addition information has come forth that cast some doubts on the veracity of this story

http://www.khou.com/news/texas-news/Transgender-woman-on-parole-for-child-sex-assault-149941805.html

‘Shame on You': Why I Interrupted Obama Counter-Terrorism Adviser John Brennan

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/01-10

by Medea Benjamin
Published on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 by Common Dreams

Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan spoke at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington DC on April 30 to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. It was the first time a high level member of the Obama Administration spoke at length about the U.S. drone strikes that the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command have been carrying out in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

“President Obama has instructed us to be more open with the American people about these efforts,” Brennan explained.

I had just co-organized a Drone Summit over the weekend, where Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar told us heart-wrenching stories about the hundreds of innocent victims of our drone attacks. We saw horrific photos of people whose bodies were blown apart by Hellfire missiles, with only a hand or a slab of flesh remaining. We saw poor children on the receiving end of our attacks—maimed for life, with no legs, no eyes, no future. And for all these innocents, there was no apology, no compensation, not even an acknowledgement of their losses. Nothing.

The U.S. government refuses to disclose who has been killed, for what reason, and with what collateral consequences. It deems the entire world a war zone, where it can operate at will, beyond the confines of international law.

So there I was at the Wilson Center, listening to Brennan describe our policies as ethical, “wise,” and in compliance with international law. He spoke as if the only people we kill with our drone strikes are militants bent on killing Americans. “It is unfortunate that to save innocent lives we are sometimes obliged to take lives – the lives of terrorists who seek to murder our fellow citizens.” The only mention of taking innocent lives referred to Al Qaeda. “Al Qaeda’s killing of innocent civilians, mostly Muslim men, women and children, has badly tarnished its image and appeal in the eyes of Muslims around the world.” This is true, but the same must be said of U.S. policies that fuel anti-American sentiments in the eyes of Muslims around the world.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/01-10

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Maryland Cardinal Mandates That Marriage Discrimination Letter Be Read Aloud at Mass

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-becker/cardinal-edwin-obrien-gay-marriage-letter_b_1459965.html


04/30/2012

Is it just me, or are these news items becoming a daily occurrence?

Here’s the latest, courtesy of popular LGBT blog Joe.My.God: The office of Baltimore Cardinal Edwin O’Brien required that a pro-marriage-discrimination letter authored by the cardinal himself be read aloud at Mass this past weekend as part of a petition drive to collect the signatures needed to ensure that a statewide referendum to overturn Maryland’s new marriage equality law makes it onto the ballot in November.

The cardinal addressed Catholics directly in the letter: “Today after Mass, you will have the opportunity to sign this petition, and I strongly encourage you to do so.” Later, he falls back on the anti-LGBT fear mongering that seems to have become a number-one priority for Catholic leaders, saying that the “Church’s understanding about marriage” is being “deeply threatened” by the specter of marriage equality. (Funny, I thought the only thing being threatened by marriage equality was the ability of churches to write their religious dogmas into civil law, but I must have missed something…)

Complete article at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-becker/cardinal-edwin-obrien-gay-marriage-letter_b_1459965.html

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Immortal Technique on May Day protests

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Occupy May Day protests across US as activists and unions link up

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/02/occupy-may-day-protests

Occupy Wall Street movement regroups for largely orderly demonstrations in New York and skirmishes elsewhere

in New York
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 1 May 2012

The Occupy Wall Street movement has attempted to breathe new life into its campaign against inequities in the global financial system with a series of May Day protests around the United States.

Thousands of people turned out in New York for a day of action that culminated in a confident march down Broadway in the evening sunshine towards Wall Street, the crucible of the protest that began last year with an angry backlash against banking excess.

The stated aim of bringing business in the commercial capital of the US to a standstill went unfulfilled, but as rain gave way to a bright spring afternoon, traffic ground to a halt around Lower Manhatttan as the Occupy movement‘s most anticipated day of action in months took hold.

There were some clashes with police as officers clamped down on perceived violations, and the NYPD confirmed were 30 arrests by the early evening. There were flashpoints also at protests elsewhere in the United States.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/02/occupy-may-day-protests

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Extremist Personhood Initiatives Prove To Be a Losing Strategy. Help Us Continue to Win the War on Women

From The ACLU:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/reproductive-freedom-womens-rights/extremist-personhood-initiatives-prove-be-losing-strategy

by Talcott Camp
May 1, 2012

In the midst of endless attacks on women’s health, there have been a few recent victories worth celebrating. Yesterday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a group calling itself “Personhood USA” cannot use the ballot initiative process to ban abortion (and contraception, in vitro fertilization, and miscarriage treatment as well). Intent on granting legal rights to fertilized eggs, these anti-choice activists sought to strip women of their right to determine when and whether to access those critical health care services. The court correctly reasoned that such a ban is “repugnant to the Constitution of the United States,” and that allowing it on the ballot would therefore result in nothing but “a costly and futile election.” The ACLU and the ACLU of Oklahoma, along with the Center for Reproductive Rights, challenged the initiative in March, and on behalf of the state’s women and families, we are enormously grateful and relieved that it won’t be on the ballot in November.

And just last week, a similar piece of legislation — S.B. 1433, the “Personhood Bill” — stalled in the Oklahoma House, and so cannot pass the Oklahoma legislature this year. It had passed in the Oklahoma Senate, but then the extremists overplayed their hand in the House. Asked repeatedly by representatives if the bill would ban abortion, they claimed it would not, but then refused to support amendments that would have protected women’s access to abortion care, showing the true purpose behind the bill. In a stunning loss last Wednesday, one of the sponsors sought just 15 other politicians to stand up with him — not to vote for the bill, but just to force the full House to vote on it. Even for that limited purpose, he couldn’t get 15 colleagues to stand up. That is an unprecedented victory in a state that has passed just about every other extreme, anti-woman bill imaginable. Did Oklahoma representatives feel lied to? Did they respond to the mass outrage the bill generated, summed up in the now celebrated poster, “If I wanted the Government in my womb, I’d f#%k a senator”?

Whatever the exact reason, something has shifted. Politicians are beginning to realize that extremist positions such as criminalizing abortion care will win them some votes, but will cost them more. As the “war on women” marches on, a critical mass of women and allies have stood up, spoken up, and changed the political winds.

Complete article at:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/reproductive-freedom-womens-rights/extremist-personhood-initiatives-prove-be-losing-strategy

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