Petition at Change.ORG: Demand that the employees on duty at McDonald’s be held responsible in the beating of a trans woman

After an unidentified transgender woman tried to use the bathroom at a Baltimore McDonald’s, two patrons started attacking her in full view of other customers and employees. These employees can be heard on the video shouting words of encouragement to the attackers. It’s time we DEMAND that justice be served and that EVERY McDonald’s employee involved in this brutal hate crime be held accountable.

The April 18 assault took place at a McDonald’s location in the 6300 block of  Kenwood Avenue in Rosedale, Maryland, a Baltimore suburb, according to the Baltimore County Police Department. A 14-year-old girl has been charged as a juvenile in connection with the assault, charges are still pending against an 18-year-old woman. “The incident remains under investigation and the State’s Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case,” added investigators.

Not surprisingly, McDonald’s lacks standard policies for protecting transgender individuals, despite a decent record of workplace discrimination protections for gays and lesbians. And while the company has pledged to “take appropriate action” against all employees involved in this heinous event, just one has been punished.

This is not enough! If McDonald’s employees stood by and encouraged this attack, they should be fired. Please sign this petition in hopes that justice can and will prevail for this transgender woman.

Also please contact the Maryland States Attorney’s Office —  Violent Crimes Division at 410-887-6610 and express your concerns about this matter.
Read Petition Letter

Please Sign this Petition

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Petition at Change.ORG: Demand that the employees on duty at McDonald’s be held responsible in the beating of a trans woman

Chrissy Lee Polis, transsexual woman attacked at Baltimore McDonald’s, calls assault a ‘hate crime’

From The New York Daily News:

By Michael Sheridan

The transsexual victim of a brutal beat-down at a Maryland McDonald’s broke her silence to call the attack a “hate crime,” and says it’s not the first time she’s been assaulted.

Chrissy Lee Polis told the Baltimore Sun on Saturday the incident, which was captured on video and posted online, has left her “afraid to go outside.”

“I want to cry, but I need to hold my head up,” she said, adding that she’s been beaten and sexually assaulted in the past because of her sexual identity.

The 22-year-old said she entered the McDonald’s in Rosedale, a suburb of Baltimore, to use the bathroom on April 18. When she came out, she claims one of the women who attacked her accused her of trying to talk to “her man.”

“The other girl came up and spit in my face,” Polis said in a video interview posted on the Baltimore Sun website. “They started ripping my hair, throwing me on the floor, kicking me in my face.”

The online video captures the brutal assault. It also shows a McDonald’s employee coming to Polis’ aid, but the women eventually set upon their victim again.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Chrissy Lee Polis, transsexual woman attacked at Baltimore McDonald’s, calls assault a ‘hate crime’

New York City: Bill would bag phony-purse buyers

From The New York Post:

April 26, 2011

Pretty soon, it could be more than just the fashion police who have a problem with your shoddy knockoff bag, like this bogus Louis Vuitton.

Buyers could face a year in jail or a $,1000 fine under a proposed bill by a city councilwoman fed up with cheapskate tourists and Big Apple residents flooding her district in search of fake designer merchandise.

“We don’t want to be known as the place to come to get counterfeit goods,” said Councilwoman Margaret Chin, whose Chinatown district is ground zero for counterfeiters.

Under Chin’s bill, which is being introduced Thursday, shoppers caught buying any counterfeit product could be jailed or slapped with a fine of $1,000 — a little less than the price of Marc Jacobs’ frequently copied Baroque Quilting Mini Stam bag, which retails for $1,250.

“It’s a very big problem,” Chin said of the counterfeit market. “People are still coming, and the industry is growing, and we have to stop the demand. We need people to know that they are feeding this demand.”

Several of Chin’s colleagues have expressed support for the bill, and she already has five co-sponsors.

The punishment might seem draconian, but it’s necessary to curb the growing problem, she said.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on New York City: Bill would bag phony-purse buyers

Appeals court orders new sentencing hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal

From Reuters:

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that high profile death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal should get a new sentencing hearing.

Tue Apr 26, 2011

Abu-Jamal, convicted of shooting and killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in December 1981, was sentenced to death and has since become subject of wide debate over his guilt and conviction.

The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the sentencing form the jury used in 1982, as well as instructions it received, could have inaccurately led jurors to believe they needed to be unanimous in deciding if there were mitigating circumstances that would spare Abu-Jamal’s life.

The court let stand the first degree murder verdict.

Abu-Jamal’s supporters argue he did not get a fair trial and say the evidence does not support his conviction. Those who maintain his guilt also have been vocal, and a major Philadelphia boulevard is named in Faulkner’s honor.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Appeals court orders new sentencing hearing for Mumia Abu-Jamal

Goodbye… Singer and Punk Pioneer Poly Styrene Dies

From The LA Weekly:

By Liz Ohanesian,
Tue., Apr. 26 2011

Early this morning, NME confirmed that Poly Styrene, also known as Marian Joan Elliott-Said, has died. Shortly thereafter, the following message was sent via the singer’s Twitter.

Poly Styrene Twitter.png

Poly Styrene, whose work with X-Ray Spex made her a punk rock legend, was 53 years old. She had been battling cancer.

From E-on-line:

Punk Pioneer Poly Styrene Dead at 53

by Josh Grossberg

She lived the punk ethos every day of her life and in doing so changed the face of music.

Poly Styrene, aka Marianne Elliot Said, the British punk rock icon whose dissonant rebellious yelp as the lead singer of ’70s outfit X-Ray Spex cut through an era of conformity and influenced countless musicians, has died. She was 53.

According to a statement on the Spex website, Styrene passed away peacefully in her sleep after a battle with breast cancer on Monday evening.

Born on July 3, 1957, in the London borough of Bromley to a British legal secretary and a Somali-born aristocrat, this biracial girl ran away from home at age 15 and hitchhiked around various music festivals.

After stumbling upon an early gig by the Sex Pistols, she formed the punk band X-Ray Spex, which released its first album, Germ Free Adolescents, in November 1978 to critical acclaim. Fans hailed Poly for her brash, distinctive voice, trademark braces and Day-Glo clothes, which rejected any attempt to mold her into a sex symbol and instead fashioned her as a feminist punk pioneer.

With anthems like “Oh Bondage Up Yours!” the Spex tackled anticonsumer and anticapitalist themes as well as the subject of racism, all with a wit that won them many admirers. They also helped spark the underground feminist movement in the U.S. known as Riot Grrrl, which gave the world such bands as Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill. But after a three-year run that included numerous festival performances and a residency at New York’s CBGB’s, the group split up after a fight over money and Poly went solo.

Read more:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Goodbye… Singer and Punk Pioneer Poly Styrene Dies

From In The Life: Injustice at Every Turn

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on From In The Life: Injustice at Every Turn

‘The Stonewall Uprising’

From The New York Daily News:

PBS documentary ‘The Stonewall Uprising’ chronicles public’s discrimination against 1960s gay scene

David Hinckley
Monday, April 25th 2011

A near-perfect documentary always has a couple of near-perfect moments.

In “The Stonewall Uprising,” which revisits the seminal 1969 showdown between New York police and the gay community over a raid on a gay bar, a veteran of the 1960s gay scene talks about the legal ban on “Masquerading.”

This law was not the worst attempt to suppress gays, but it was one of the meanest and silliest, because it forbade anyone from dressing up in public without at least three articles of “gender-appropriate” clothing.

“Socks didn’t count,” this veteran explains, pausing for emphasis. “So you had underwear and an undershirt – and that third item ruined the outfit.”

It’s a marvelous moment, funny and sad and most of all triumphant, because it conquers the foolishness of law by tucking it into the more timeless business of fashion.

It also reflects the understatement that helps make “The Stonewall Uprising” such an exceptional look at an event that helped trigger the modern American gay revolution.

It never feels like it has to shout. It trusts its story and its narrators, meaning it also trusts its audience.

Along the way, interestingly, it spends more time on the conditions and social climate that made the Stonewall Uprising necessary and inevitable than on the event itself.

It’s almost impossible to watch the first half of this documentary without shaking your head.

Filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner start by digging out “educational” films that reflect the conventional wisdom of the day. Gays in these films are insidious, promiscuous and predatory, out only to seduce innocent young boys.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on ‘The Stonewall Uprising’