Yasha Levine Released From Jail, Exposes LAPD’s Appalling Treatment of Detained Occupy LA Protesters…

From The Exiled: http://exiledonline.com/yasha-levine-released-from-jail-exposes-lapds-appalling-treatment-of-detained-occupy-la-protesters/

By Yasha Levine
December 2, 2011

I finally got home Thursday afternoon after spending two nights in jail, and have had a hard time getting my bearings. On top of severe dehydration and sleep deprivation, I’ve got one hell of pounding migraine. So I’ll have to keep this brief for now. But I wanted to write down a few things that I witnessed and heard while locked up by LA’s finest…

First off, don’t believe the PR bullshit. There was nothing peaceful or professional about the LAPD’s attack on Occupy LA–not unless you think that people peacefully protesting against the power of the financial oligarchy deserve to be treated the way I saw Russian cops treating the protesters in Moscow and St. Petersburg who were demonstrating against the oligarchy under Putin and Yeltsin, before we at The eXiled all got tossed out in 2008. Back then, everyone in the West protested and criticized the way the Russian cops brutally snuffed out dissent, myself included. Now I’m in America, at a demonstration, watching exactly the same brutal crackdown…

While people are now beginning to learn that the police attack on Occupy LA was much more violent than previously reported, few actually realize that much—if not most—of the abuse happened while the protesters were in police custody, completely outside the range of the press and news media. And the disgraceful truth is that a lot of the abuse was police sadism, pure and simple:

* I heard from two different sources that at least one busload of protesters (around 40 people) was forced to spend seven excruciating hours locked in tiny cages on a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. prison bus, denied food, water and access to bathroom facilities. Both men and women were forced to urinate in their seats. Meanwhile, the cops in charge of the bus took an extended Starbucks coffee break.

* The bus that I was shoved into didn’t move for at least an hour. The whole time we listened to the screams and crying from a young woman whom the cops locked into a tiny cage at the front of the bus. She was in agony, begging and pleading for one of the policemen to loosen her plastic handcuffs. A police officer sat a couple of feet away the entire time that she screamed–but wouldn’t lift a finger.

Continue reading at:  http://exiledonline.com/yasha-levine-released-from-jail-exposes-lapds-appalling-treatment-of-detained-occupy-la-protesters/

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Street survivor looks out for homeless LGBT youths

I found this article earlier this week through one of my news feeds.

I have long been bothered by how activism today seems so focused on “Big Goals” that require professional lobbyists in Washington DC.  This has become endemic to the activism practiced in the name of all sorts of movements, so I am not just picking on the TS/TG Movement or even the LGBT/T Movements.

One of the things I said about the Transgender Day of Remembrance was that it seemed as though the people who were murdered were being used as martyrs to further the “Big Causes” that the lobbyists are working for rather than to establish local street level resources that might keep people from losing their lives.

In San Francisco, Mia Tu Mutch is working with a program of the type I mentioned as being important.

In some ways this is like the program that was put together by the transsexual women in the late 1960s, the one that grew out of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot.  Peer to peer, paying someone who has been there to do outreach to others who need help in dealing with homelessness, being a runaway or throwaway kid.

We need more programs like this across the country.  Giving kids alternatives to street prostitution and help with the issues of homelessness and substance abuse will save lives.

These are not big goals, nor is the work glamorous but there is something to be said for saving kids lives even if it is only one life at a time.

From SF Gate:   http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2011%2F11%2F24%2FDDJ11LVJ5G.DTL

David Wagner, Special to The Chronicle
Friday, November 25, 2011

Despite being a star student, Mia Tu Mutch is amazed she survived high school.

Facing bullying from her classmates, constant thoughts of suicide, rejection from her Southern Baptist parents, and the very real prospect of ending up permanently homeless, she clung to any reason to keep living.

“Every day I would say, ‘I’m not going to kill myself today. I have a test tomorrow,’ ” Mia says.

Mia is transgender. She became homeless at a young age, but unlike most teens in her position, she was able to pull herself out of it.

Considering that she spent the better part of two years without reliable shelter, 20-year-old Mia has built a resume to make any trust-funded Ivy Leaguer blush.

She has toured the country to raise awareness of homophobic policies on college campuses. After being severely beaten near the 16th Street BART Station, she spearheaded a rally to reclaim the area as safe space for transgender people.

Now that she has secured an apartment, a steady income and a seat on the San Francisco Youth Commission, she is redoubling her efforts to battle the issue that affected her so deeply – LGBT youth homelessness.

<snip>

Finding work proved incredibly difficult during her transitioning process. After six months of job hunting, Mia finally found employment at a Goodwill pop-up in the Castro, the first store of its kind to be staffed entirely by transgender employees.

Through this position and persistent volunteering, Mia forged connections within San Francisco’s LGBT service provider community. She then landed a job as a program assistant at the San Francisco LGBT Center, where she organized a weekly meal night for local homeless people age 24 and under. Now she works at Lyric, a queer youth center in the Castro.

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NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly Receives 2011 Bull Connor Award

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We are not occupying America — they are

From St. Louis Today:  http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/guest-commentary-we-are-not-occupying-america—/article_424b85cc-8b4a-5240-89e5-6213938dcec8.html

By Eric Garland
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011

Americans generally are unused to images from the Occupy protests being domestic ones. Grandmothers and unarmed college students pepper-sprayed with alarming casualness. Reporters singled out and beaten. Veterans returning from war in Iraq only to be gravely injured trying to exercise the precious liberties for which they supposedly risked life and limb.

Perhaps, we hoped, that these things were only possible in clearly authoritarian regimes such as Syria, Burma and Iran, but they are now home-grown creations, sharing both technique and intention to keep people from peacefully assembling and asking for a redress of grievances, the most precious right enshrined by the Founding Fathers.

New revelations show complicit activity between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and local police forces to repress the Occupy protests, a collaboration that violates a host of regulations, laws and the very Constitution. Given the pattern of violence in the coordinated response to peaceful demonstrations, it is clear that those in elite positions of government are at the very least guilty of overreaction fueled by anxiety and confusion, or are at worst behind a conspiracy to repress the free speech of Americans asking for political reforms that are entirely reasonable within a functioning democracy. Once again, as it seems to happen so often these days, America’s leadership fails.

The United States has been careening into catastrophe after crisis after scandal for more than a decade under the current crop of leaders in the public and private sector. From the frivolous Dot Com bubble to the financial scandals of the Enron era to a disastrous war of choice in Iraq to the creation of a global torture regime spanning from Virginia to Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib to a housing bubble based on pure fraud ending in a trillion-dollar bailout to propping up a debt ‘supercommittee” that couldn’t agree on how to manage a bake sale. America’s leaders seem chronically incapable of doing the right thing.

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Dominionist “Historian” David Barton: Nature Proves Abortion and Homosexuality Are Wrong

From Right Wing Watch: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/barton-nature-proves-abortion-and-homosexuality-are-wrong

Submitted by Kyle Mantyla
on December 2, 2011

David Barton has become a regular guest on Kenneth Copeland’s “Believer’s Voice Of Victory” program, having made yet another week-long appearance last month for a series of shows entitled “Renew Your Mind With the Word of God.”

On the November 1 episode, Barton explained that he did not need to use the Bible to prove that things like abortion and homosexuality are wrong because all one has to do is look at the natural world to see that such practices are not normal and only occur as aberrations:

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Meet the Secessionist Group Waiting for the Collapse of US Empire So the “South Can Rise Again”

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/story/153275/meet_the_secessionist_group_waiting_for_the_collapse_of_us_empire_so_the_%22south_can_rise_again%22/

The League of the South (LOS) pines for the independence denied the region by federal troops 150 years ago.

Southern Poverty Law Center / By Janet Smith and Ryan Lenz
November 30, 2011

 Since its bookish beginnings as a group dominated by academics in 1994, the League of the South (LOS) has been obsessively driven to glorify Southern history and culture, pining for the independence denied the region by federal troops 150 years ago.

But over the years, the neo-Confederate group’s platform grew to be distinctly racist, with the goal of building a theocratic South defined by “the cultural dominance of the Anglo-Celtic people and their institutions,” as its president, former Stillman College professor Michael Hill, once put it. At the same time, its early rhetoric angrily demanding that the rest of the country treat the South with more respect was replaced with explicit calls for a second secession from the “ungodly” North.

Now, the LOS agenda appears to be evolving even further, this time away from the ivory tower. Beginning in 2007, when its national conference was titled “Southern Secession: Antidote to Empire and Tyranny,” each year has seen further and more militant dedication to that idea. The theme in 2008 was “Surviving the Empire’s Collapse” — an idea of survivalist resistance that similarly has since been echoed each year with increasing enthusiasm.

During its national conference this July in Abbeville, S.C. — the self-proclaimed “birthplace and deathbed of the Confederacy” — the LOS continued in the same vein of preparing for the day the federal government collapses and the South rises again. “The mantra [that] violence, or the serious threat thereof, never settles anything is patently false,” Hill said in a prepared speech that was later posted on the group’s website. “History shows that it indeed does settle many things. Please don’t forget this — your enemy hasn’t.”

For two days at the conference, more than 100 members sat through workshops delivered with end-of-days flair and focused on surviving the unrest to come. Pastor John Weaver, former “chaplain-in-chief” for the Southern heritage group Sons of Confederate Veterans and a member of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, gave lessons on basic gun safety. Franklin Sanders, considered the LOS’s No. 2 man, encouraged members to invest in silver and gold — the idea being that when the government collapses, so will the Federal Reserve. There were also training sessions on how to stock and maintain a home pantry, lessons on how to hunt and track, and calls for members to buy shortwave radios and begin using them instead of telephones.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/story/153275/meet_the_secessionist_group_waiting_for_the_collapse_of_us_empire_so_the_%22south_can_rise_again%22/

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Is the Klan the Tea Party’s Distant Cousin?

From The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/blog/164865/tea-partys-distant-cousin

The Tea Party’s Distant Cousin

Jamelle Bouie
on November 30, 2011 – 12:42pm ET

Writing at the New York Times, historian Kevin Boyle has created something of a stir with his review of two recent books on the Ku Klux Klan. Here is the lede of the piece, which also doubles as the offending passage:

Imagine a political movement created in a moment of terrible anxiety, its origins shrouded in a peculiar combination of manipulation and grass-roots mobilization, its ranks dominated by Christian conservatives and self-proclaimed patriots, its agenda driven by its members’ fervent embrace of nationalism, nativism and moral regeneration, with more than a whiff of racism wafting through it.

No, not that movement.

Naturally, this inspired a torrent of criticism from right-wing blogs and pundits. National Review’s Jonah Goldberg attacks the review as “lame” and complains that Boyle failed to mention the Klan’s ties to Democrats and Progressives (as if either group was the same in the 1920s), while the right-wing Media Research Center described the review as offensive. The Weekly Standard takes Goldberg’s approach, and points its readers toward proof that Democrats and Progressives were the real allies of the Klan.

A few things. Any honest historian will readily acknowledge the extent to which the Klan was entwined with the Democratic politicians in the early part of the twentieth century. Although both parties had largely abandoned civil rights by the beginning of the twentieth century, it’s fair to say that up until the 1940s, the Democratic Party was the unambiguous party of white supremacy in the United States, particularly in the South. That the Klan was involved with the Democratic Party through the 1920s isn’t a shock, given the degree to which both groups dominated border states like Kentucky in the early part of the century.

More importantly, Boyle says nothing about the Klan as an organ of Republican politics. Instead, he makes the (correct) point that the forces that animated the Klan—conservative Christianity, nativism, white populism, hyper-patriotism and racial prejudice—have manifested themselves throughout American history, including the present day. And while the Tea Party isn’t an anti-black terrorist group, it’s hard to deny the extent to which the movement is motivated by the same constellation of reactionary forces.

Continue reading at:   http://www.thenation.com/blog/164865/tea-partys-distant-cousin

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