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From Anguished Appeal to Presidential Tweet: The Doctor Who Changed U.S. Policy - WSJ. Oct 18, 2018
Dr. Albezem and her group looked for a way to get to the president. Allies suggested they hire Trump fundraiser and lobbyist Brian Ballard.

When meeting him earlier this year, Dr. Albezem laid out in chilling terms what was happening in Syria. She vividly described the last seconds of a dying child’s life after a chemical attack.

Mr. Ballard says he was moved. But he didn’t think he could help them. Mr. Trump wasn’t an interventionist and was pushing to withdraw American troops from Syria as soon as possible.

Dr. Albezem persisted, and Mr. Ballard relented. He laid out various ways they could try to influence the president. If you want to make your case directly to Mr. Trump, Mr. Ballard told them, there are small roundtables where you can meet him. One such fundraiser happened to be coming up in a few weeks in Mar-a-Lago.

Dr. Albezem and her fellow activists raised the cash for two seats at an intimate roundtable at the president’s resort in Palm Beach, Fla. The price tag for two seats, according to activists, was $100,000. Dr. Albezem declined to comment on how much she raised for Mr. Trump and the Republican Party.

At the roundtable, the two women urged Mr. Trump to do more in Syria, and Mr. Trump asked aides to get him more information, Ms. Bouzo said.
Mar15  Idlib  Trump  lobby  Assad  activism  foreign_policy  decision_making 
yesterday by elizrael
Fracking protesters walk free after court quashes 'excessive' sentences | Environment | The Guardian
"Three protesters jailed for blocking access to a fracking site have walked free after the court of appeal quashed their sentences, calling them “manifestly excessive”."
uk  good  news  activism  fracking 
2 days ago by ssam
anja kanngieser on Twitter: "this is a long thread on #nauru, where i spent last week. nauru is currently most visible as a site for australia’s offshore detention of asylum seekers and refugees. it is also the location of a longstanding #phosphate mine
"this is a long thread on #nauru, where i spent last week. nauru is currently most visible as a site for australia’s offshore detention of asylum seekers and refugees. it is also the location of a longstanding #phosphate mine which covers over 2/3 of the island 1/22

#nauru is experiencing considerable #climatechange. im going to outline some of the social-environmental stresses i observed that nauruans, refugees and asylum seekers are facing, and why we need to talk about #colonialism and #environmental racism for #climatejustice 2/22

#nauru is a beautiful island. its main resource is #phosphate. germany colonised nauru in the late 1800s and in the early 1900s the british found phosphate and started to exploit it for fertiliser and munitions with australia and nz, who became nauru’s trustees in the 1920s 3/22

during both world wars #nauru was a strategic imperial site and was occupied by multiple nations. in the 1960s nauru gained independence and took over mining activities 4/22

these days its extremely hard to get onto #nauru. i was invited to do work on community #mitigation and #adaptation measures. my work involves speaking with community leaders, environment organisations, government workers, activists 5/22

it also involves making #bioacoustic recordings of environments - #nauru's mine, the reef, the lagoon. this means i spend a lot of time listening. this is some of what i was told: 6/22

#nauru is running out of land. there are too many people living on the coast, as topside (the mining site) has not been rehabilitated. its a moonscape up there - huge phosphate pinnacles segregated by steep drops. its hot - it feels like 50 degrees, and its super humid 7/22

no one really goes up there, except people working in the mine, ihms employees and the border force. and refugees and asylum seekers, because thats where the detention centres are. you cant play there or just hang out, its too hot, and if youre not in aircon its unbearable 8/22

#coastal erosion is bad around the north of #nauru. sea walls protect one area but then other areas get flooded. #kingtides flood the single road that runs around the island, meaning people cant get around to access services 9/22

houses on the coast side of the main road on #nauru get #inundated. because of a lack of land, people cant really move far 10/22

much of the ground water in #nauru is #contaminated, by waste, from overpopulated cemeteries leaking into the water lens, run off from the mine and sea water. there is a huge stress on water supplies 11/22

most of #nauru gets its water from the desalination plant, but it takes a long time to get water and if it breaks experts need to be flown in to fix it. not everyone has a water tank, so there are water shortages 12/22

its hard to grow food on #nauru so food is imported. there are long lines of people whenever a shipment of rice is due to arrive. cucumbers cost $13AUD, a punnet of cherry tomatoes $20AUD. people do not earn anywhere near enough money to be able to afford it 13/22

kitchen gardens have been established on #nauru, but they only feed the families that have them, a lot of people feel their soil is not adequate to growing food 14/22

reef fish stocks are depleted on #nauru, so there is a plan to build milkfish supplies in peoples home ponds. as the water is contaminated that means that the fish are contaminated. if people feed the fish to the pigs and eat the pigs, then that meat is also contaminated 15/22

the #phosphate dust from the mine causes respiratory issues in #nauru. it covers houses near the harbour and people refer to it as snow. while primary mining is almost complete, secondary mining is planned. this should last around 20 years, then the phosphate is gone 16/22

#nauru is getting hotter. its so hot that kids dont want to walk to school, which is not aircon. its so hot that no one is really outside during the day. the heat on the coast is not as bad as the heat on topside. but its still hot enough that you dont want to move 17/22

i was told that people remember it being 20 degrees cooler when they were kids. #nauru goes through extreme #droughts 18/22

there are issues with #biodiversity loss and strange movements of sea creatures. i recorded a dusk chorus at a mining site and heard only one bird. at the start of the year dead fish littered the reef. this happens periodically, no one could tell me why 19/22

the noddy birds, which people rely on for food, got a virus earlier this year and there were fallen noddy birds all over the roads. people have spotted orcas in #nauru’s waters. a dugong also washed up on shore. they are not known to inhabit that area 20/22

as i said, these issues affect everyone on #nauru. nauru is highly vulnerable to #climatechange. it is also hugely economically reliant on aid, on the money from the incarceration of refugees and asylum seekers and a rapidly diminishing natural resource: phosphate 21/22

this is why conversations about human rights and environmental justice in #nauru and the #pacific also need to include strong critiques of #neocolonialism, #racism and #paternalism. nauru wasnt always like this. these are ongoing impacts of colonisation 22/22"
nauru  climatechange  globalwarming  2018  anjakannigieser  environment  climatejustice  colonialism  islands  polynesia  australia  newzealand  activism  adaptability  oceans  fishing  health  biodiversity  multispecies  pacificocean  vulnerability  neocolonialism  racism  paternalism  colonization  birds  nature  animals  wildlife  water  waste 
2 days ago by robertogreco
Take the Pro-Truth Pledge!
Frustrated by misinformation and incivility in public discourse?

Take the Pro-Truth Pledge to encourage politicians – and everyone else – to commit to truth-oriented behaviors and protect facts and civility. Join 8967 signers, 90 organizations, 642 government officials, and 888 public figures and take the pledge, demand that your elected representatives do so, and encourage your friends to take it!
politics  organization  activism 
2 days ago by briangrimshaw
Cursed: witches are planning a public hexing of Brett Kavanaugh
A coven of witches will gather in an occult bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday to place a hex on the supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh. Tickets to the event, which cost $10, with half the proceeds going to women’s and LGBT charities, have already sold out.

The event is not out of the ordinary for Catland Books, which describes itself as “Brooklyn’s premier metaphysical boutique and event space”. They have previously held ceremonies to hex Donald Trump as well as a “hex your ex” ceremony on Valentine’s Day.
Bracciale says that the store also organises more traditional protests and voter registration drives, but using the language of occult has been more effective in riling up their opponents. “It strikes fear into the heart of Christian fundamentalists. That’s one of the reasons that we do it. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. We don’t subscribe to this bullshit, pacifist, love and light, everybody just get along thing. If you want to hijack the country, if you want to steal the election, if you want to overturn Roe v Wade, if you want to harm people who are queer, well guess what, we’re not doing civility. If you’re going to be these awful bullies, you have to understand someone is going to punch you back and it might as well be a bunch of witches from Brooklyn.”
Some have been critical of those declaring themselves witches, claiming that the subculture is based more on consumerism than spiritualism. But Bracciale differentiates what happens in the bookstore from more basic witches.

“I don’t recognise the supposed witchcraft of $80-Lulu-Lemon-Yoga-pant-wearing white women with chai lattes who rub crystals on themselves, read The Secret and send out good thoughts into the universe. To me that’s not witchcraft. Witchcraft has a deeply rooted history as a tool of resistance and resilience, to survive oppression, disenfranchisement, and being an outcast of society.”
NYC  Witches  Activism  Politics  Magic  Brooklyn 
3 days ago by dbourn
Opinion | What Civil Rights History Can Teach Kavanaugh’s Critics - The New York Times
All of these men and women were on the side of justice and lost. None of these people, who fought for full and equal public access as free citizens on trains and streetcars, stopped fighting. None abandoned what they knew was right. They all tried again. Most would not live to see things made right, but they continued.

Those who see Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation as a lost battle in the larger war for gender equality and dignity for women — and sexual assault survivors, specifically — should emulate the activists of generations past. They should keep organizing, connect with like-minded people, volunteer for organizations that advocate for survivors, consider running for office, and work on the campaigns of those they believe in. A week after his confirmation, a reminder is in order: Movements are about more than moments; they are about thoughtful networks of dissent built over time.

My scholarship has taught me that activism requires a certain resilience, and the willingness to be long-suffering in pursuit of the cause. I hope people remember this. I hope they keep going.
civilrights  metoo  politics  sexism  feminism  activism 
3 days ago by emmacarlson
I’m Dying. Here Is What I Refuse to Accept With Serenity. | The Nation
Sometimes, though, our struggle is not enough. ALS destroys my body, no matter how many medicines I take or exercises I do. Sometimes, oftentimes, white supremacy, violent misogyny, and rapacious capitalism rip apart our families and destroy lives, regardless of how well we organize. And sometimes, oftentimes, our stories are not powerful enough. Despite our best efforts, Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed, and will do lasting damage to America and its people.

Yet it is in these moments of defeat that hopeful, collective struggle retains its greatest power. I can transcend my dying body by hitching my future to yours. We can transcend the darkness of this moment by joining the struggles of past and future freedom fighters. That is how, when we reach the end of our lives and look back on these heady moments, we will find peace in the knowledge that we did our best.
politics  activism  illness  hope 
3 days ago by emmacarlson
Police spies infiltrated UK leftwing groups for decades
The police spies infiltrated the Socialist Workers party (SWP) almost continuously between 1970 and 2007, often with more than one undercover officer embedded within the party.

Four of them deceived women into sexual relationships while using their fake identities. One spy met one of his wives during his deployment and had a child with her.

About one-third of the total number of undercover officers embedded in political organisations that have so far been publicly identified infiltrated the SWP, a Trotskyite party of a few thousand members that advocates the abolition of capitalism through revolutionary means.

The scale of the infiltration of the SWP – far larger than any other political organisation – is revealed in a database compiled following investigations by the Guardian and the Undercover Research Group, a network of activists that scrutinises police espionage.
The database is incomplete as the full list of groups that were spied on has yet to be established.

The list so far compiled, however, suggests police spies overwhelmingly monitored leftwing and progressive groups that challenged the status quo, with only three far-right groups infiltrated – the British National party, Combat 18 and the United British Alliance.

Undercover officers spied on 22 leftwing groups, 10 environmental groups, nine anti-racist campaigns and nine anarchist groups, according to the database.

They also spied on campaigns against apartheid, the arms trade, nuclear weapons and the monarchy, as well as trade unions. Among those spied on were 16 campaigns run by families or their supporters seeking justice over alleged police misconduct.

According to the database, police spied on 12 animal rights groups and eight organisations related to the Irish conflict.
by:RobEvans  from:TheGuardian  police  activism 
3 days ago by owenblacker
Alice Walker - Reflections on Working Toward Peace
Whenever I experience evil, and it is not, unfortunately, uncommon to experience it in these times, my deepest feeling is disappointment. I have learned to accept the fact that we risk disappointment, disillusionment, even despair, every time we act. Every time we decide to believe the world can be better. Every time we decide to trust others to be as noble as we think they are. And that there might be years during which our grief is equal to, or even greater than, our hope. The alternative, however, not to act, and therefore to miss experiencing other people at their best, reaching toward their fullness, has never appeal
writing  art  darkness  activism 
4 days ago by jspad

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