In Solidarity – Resistance is Existence

Palestine

The constant bombardment and occupation, the arbitrary arrests and indefinite detention, the incessant killing – an entire family of 18 killed at once from an attack – the very real fear and reality of being bombed to non-existence – regardless if you’re an infant or an elder, a student or a fighter, the deliberate policy to suffocate existence and ability of people to live lives of dignity,  crushing any possibility for ‘loving thy neighbor’  for over half a century  – if that isn’t terrorism, I don’t know what is. We must join the BDS movement  –  we must boycott, divest and sanction Israel until it stops its systematic policies of state oppression, violence, destruction, apartheid and terror against the Palestinian people.

In Solidarity. Resistance Is Existence and Existence Is Resistance.

Further viewpoints:

Marwan Bishara – On Journalistic Responsibility: Media & Palestine

‘…a military occupation is a violence-based system managed through force; one that breeds more of the same. No act, terrible as it might be, could or should be seen separately from the larger system of violence governing an occupied territory. Separating individual cases of violence from the larger context of collective violence is morally irresponsible and journalistically misleading.

The occupation is not a theological or religious issue. Not a question of Muslim and Jew, Arab and Israeli. It’s about power, its pretexts and ramifications.’

Richard Falk – Tormenting Gaza

‘Granted that such indiscriminate rocket attacks are unlawful forms of resistance, but to single out this lesser type of violence and overlook the greater violence distorts the context in biased and unacceptable ways. Surely, the greater occasion of terror is that being inflicted on the hapless Gazans as disclosed by comparing the casualty figures, and surely the political condemnation by responsible governments and even more so by the UN should be directed at the aggressor, who also happens to be the only political actor with the means to end the escalating violence.

The international reaction to this latest crisis confirms for all with eyes to see that geopolitical alignments, not law or justice, dominate the diplomacy of leading western states and the UN, when it comes to the Middle East, and especially if it concerns Israel-Palestine, and never more so than in relation to Gaza.’

Here’s an interactive map that chronicles disproportionate attacks on Gaza since 2005 and 11 Infographs that break down the injustices.

Join the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement for justice, freedom and equality.

In Solidarity and Struggle,
The Lion’ Daughter

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Dear Man on the Bus

“Tell the 1 in 3 women of this world that you will not make pinatas of their bodies…..”
“Tell my 3rd grade student that he wanted it – that his beauty had him coming”
“Rape is a coward that hides its face in the makeup of silence….a murderous fruit that grows best in the shadows of taboo”

Updates – #JusticeForLiz

Many thanks for all the support, the love, the solidarity and outrage for #JusticeForLiz. Unbelievable how far a petition that had an initial target of 1000 could go – now at 1.3 million and counting.

This story has gone global – with vast media coverage from Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC, RFI, AFP, Reuters, and numerous other media platforms#JusticeForLiz has also trended globally. (Media Coverage Mapping)

Yesterday, we managed to mobilize at least 500 people including 100 FEMNET members – African women from across the continent –  to come to the streets to say “Enough is Enough” to demand Justice, Dignity and Respect – for Liz and all other survivors and victims of violence.

We presented the 1.3million+ petition to the Office of the Inspector General, along with a list of our key demands.  Although the Inspector General wasn’t there to receive us himself, the Chief of Staff received us, took his time, answered our questions and asked us to come back today for a private meeting.

The way we were received today – starting at the gate (with soldiers greetings us warmly with smiles, telling us “you’re the ones from yesterday!” and introducing themselves to us, taking us to the office) – the Chief of Staff and his fellow officers taking over 2 hours to sit down and discuss our concerns and demands and to be able to come up with a number of immediate and long-term strategies including; revising the police curriculum and service standards to ensure gender sensitivity across the board,  guidelines on how to handle gender crimes and the establishment of gender response units.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has also referred this case to the National Council for Administrative Justice, top-level oversight body which brings together the judiciary, the police, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General.

We’ll be following this up – we will not stop until there is a precedent set with this case and due diligence is followed through and Liz’s case becomes a turning point for the way such crimes are handled, in Kenya and across the region.

The culture of violence, impunity and lack of accountability must come to an end.

Are “Women’s Rights” Dirty Words?

I was talking to someone about what I do.  I told him I work for a women’s rights organization. He raised his hands and backed away. We began to discuss why.  He told me he has nothing against “women’s rights” but that sometimes we go overboard. We should take it slow, and go with culture.

But culture is dynamic I told him. It’s not static. Culture is learned, and so it can be unlearned.

You may have heard of Liz, a 16 year old who was gang-raped on her way back from her grandfather’s funeral in Busia, Kenya. She was dumped in a pit latrine. She is wheel-chair bound and has the worst case of fistula, a condition that doesn’t allow her to control her urine and feces. Though she recognized three of her rapists and reported to the police, the police caught them, ‘punished’ them by ordering them to cut grass and then let them go. A campaign to get #JusticeForLiz has been launched – to address the wider issues of patriarchy, impunity, lack of public accountability and the culture of violence that permeates. Please sign the petition and engage in the conversations. Liz is one case – there are countless more like her.

I see my world – and among all the beauty, I do see ugly. I see a culture of violence, a culture of impunity, a culture of disrespect, a culture of absolute injustice. So my question is, do we wait for culture to catch up or do we do whatever we can to make sure that the culture our kids and their kids grow up is a culture that encourages integrity, accountability, respect and justice that allows people to live dignified lives?

At the end of the day, I think we all want respect and we all want dignity. That’s it. And my struggle for women’s rights is to do that.

If this is crossing the line, then yes, watch out – we are crossing lines.

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