67 Sueños Shows Love for an Undocumented Majority - COLORLINES

Wednesday, May 25 2011

Over at New America Media’s Youth Outlook, Josue Rojas and Ann Bassette bring us the tale of 67 Sueños, a youth-led collective based in Oakland that strives to tell the stories of everyday young people who are often left out of the national narrative on immigration reform.
The group’s name is a response to a recent report put out by the Migration Policy Institute, which estimates that 67 percent of undocumented youth and young adults wouldn’t qualify for the DREAM Act. Given that stark statistic, the collective’s working to give voice to folks who are neither criminals nor class valedictorians.
“Our young folks don’t want to be separated from their one cousin who did get a 4.0,” says one of the group’s founders. “The struggle is the same struggle, and one deportation in that family effects the entire family.”
please comment on page (link above)


Beijing police detain another prominent democracy advocate

China’s crackdown on free speech and political activists is getting worse. We’ve just learned that Beijing police have detained another prominent democracy advocate, the world-famous artist and nominee for Time Magazine’s 2011 List of Most Influential People, Ai Weiwei, as he tried to board a flight to Hong Kong yesterday.[1]

Fearing that any mention of the revolutions currently sweeping the Middle East might spark similar popular protests in China, the Chinese authorities are cracking down hard. In the past month, dozens of Chinese lawyers, bloggers, and dissidents have been detained or “disappeared” and in less than 24 hours after his arrest, Ai’s name was virtually erased from the Chinese internet.[2]

Today, the UK, Germany, France, and the US all publicly called for Ai’s release, and now it’s time for us to show that the world’s internet users stand with him and the countless number of his compatriots who have been similarly detained. Please sign this urgent petition urging the Chinese government to step up as the global leader it aspires to be, by ending its practice of detaining its critics and attempting to erase them from the internet.


Following an anonymous post on the US-based site Boxun.com in February calling for a Middle East-style “Jasmine Revolution” in China, Chinese authorities have been cracking down on activists of all stripes, even those who have traditionally been immune from censorship. Indeed, Ai Weiwei (who was not even involved in any of the calls for a Chinese Jasmine Revolution) is known as a Chinese hero and China's most famous artist – his Sunflower Seeds exhibit is at the Tate Modern in London right now and he helped to design the “bird’s nest” stadium used at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Now, the Chinese government is attempting to delete all mention of him from the internet, while restricting the movements of countless others.[3] We need to send a strong message to the Chinese government that security and stability comes from addressing the underlying causes of dissent, not censoring it. Ai and his art could be an international example of China’s growing leadership on the world stage, but instead they’ve decided to erase him from national cultural memory, and thereby diminished their stature in the international community.


The Chinese government has recently made strides in expanding access to the internet to its citizens, but this crackdown – the worst in at least a decade – is rapidly jeopardizing any progress that has been made. And now in Big Brother fashion, they’re trying to erase all mention of Ai and many others who have spoken out against the regime.

Ai is clear that human rights are not western values, they are universal values. Yet only the most circumspect posts about Ai, such as this one, remain uncensored:When a fat guy lost his freedom, you said, “It has nothing to do with me, because I’m skinny.” When someone with a beard lost his freedom, you said, “It has nothing to do with me, because I don’t have a beard.” When a man who sells sunflower seeds lost his freedom, you said, “It has nothing to do with me, because I don’t sell sunflower seeds.” When they are after everyone—even the skinny, beardless ones that don’t sell sunflower seeds—there will be no one left to speak for you anymore.”[4]

Please help us free Ai by signing this petition. If enough of us take action now, we can help release him, bring him back to life online, and make sure that Chinese voices of freedom aren’t lost forever.


With hope,
The Access Team

P.S. World renowned human rights advocate Bianca Jagger has teamed up with Access to help drive this campaign, and we look forward to working with her to deliver your petition to Chinese officials.

[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/31/china-disappeared-lawyers?CMP=twt_gu
[3] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/31/china-crackdown-on-activists-arrests-disappearances
[4] http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/evanosnos/2011/04/ai-weiwei-disturbing-the-peace.html#ixzz1IZXH2EyG

Conscientious objector Halil Savda sentenced to five months imprisonment for solidarity with Israeli conscientious objectors

 conscientious objectors need our support

Resisters' International,
London, 07 March 2011

TURKEY: Conscientious objector Halil Savda sentenced to five months imprisonment for solidarity with Israeli conscientious objectors

Halil Savda    
Turkish conscientious objector Halil Savda has been finally sentenced on 3 March 2011 to five months' imprisonment for a solidarity statement for Israeli conscientious objectors Itzik Shabbat and Amir Pastar on 1 August 2006.

Halil Savda was initially sentenced on 2 June 2008 by the Sultanahmet 1st Court of First Instance in Istanbul to five months' imprisonment for the press statement (see Bianet, 3 June 2008), but appealed against the sentence. This sentence was now
upheld and finalised by the Court of Appeals.

Various institutions and committees released a press statement to protest
the prison sentences handed down to Halil Savda and other conscientious
objectors. Savda's sentence was upheld and finalized by the Court of Appeals,
Bianet reported on 4 March 2011.

In June 2010, Halil Savda was sentenced in a similar case - a statement in support of then imprisoned
Turkish conscientious objector Enver Aydemir - to six months' imprisonment, together with three co-defendants (see Bianet 18 June 2010). An appeal against this sentence is still pending.

Article 318 of the Turkish Penal Code represents an unfair limitation of the right to freedom of expression in Turkey, and is considered to be in direct breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which protect the right to freedom of expression and to which Turkey is a state party.

More information on Article 318 is available at http://www.wri-irg.org/node/3554
War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Turkish authorities, and Turkish embassies abroad.

Presidency of the Turkish Republic: Fax +90-312-4271330, email cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr.

A protest email to the Turkish President Abdullah Gül can be sent at http://wri-irg.org/node/12315.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International

Archives of co-alert can be found at http://wri-irg.org/news/alerts

Support War Resisters' International! Donate today!


“Everywhere you look today there’s a story about Charley (effing) Sheen.”

“Everywhere you look today there’s a story about Charley (effing) Sheen.”

Yes, that is the the lead line in the story (Under the title of "community news") titled:

Charlie Sheen Doesn't Need 12 Step Recovery

And Says You Don't Either

Many people whose lives have been saved by twelve steps have taken offense to the distasteful way Mr. Sheen quoted (or should I say “misquoted”) out of one of the most recognizable recovery text available around the world. For some it may have felt as if their holiest books had been tossed aside.

But this wasn't the Talmud, the K'oran, or the Bible. It was the Big Book.

Why all the anger and confusion, you ask? I personally know many people whose lives are completely changed by following the twelve steps and twelve traditions of whatever fellowship we find fits us the best. So I get the idea that throwing a book away is really tough to see.

However, these are simply texts written many years ago to help the addict to stay clean.

I am unwilling to depart with my grey form - the precursor to the NA Basic Text. I have shared in many a study hours about the roots of our literature; and been involved with more engaging discussions than I care to mention. But the truth is that the words do make a difference in our lives.

However the actions of recovery speak louder than even Charlie Sheen in a manic state can destroy.

Threatened by someone trashing the steps? Then practice the spiritual principles that the steps and traditions should be teaching you.

Love thy neighbor. Know that there's always going to be a copy of your book available to you. And remember the cliche - there but for the grace of .....

love from this addict in Colorado

A few words shared about the disease of addiction; as well as money, property and prestige ...

in reply to a copyrighted newsletter that asked for feedback:

The "ridiculous" shows you talk about are the very ones that got me back on the right track after a relapse, and if I remember correctly ITR embraced the interventionists when they got involved with this website.

That said: When Rush Limbaugh admitted his addiction, it was a bit issue with me and the progressive community I am involved with. He is one of my family now. As is said about many situations in the free world "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to my death your right to say it."

This situation is much more critical than many others. He is dying before our very eyes. I pray that his family gets him on a course of intervention and pray that he finds recovery before he dies.

It's scary watching our own disease manifest itself so loudly and blatantly in front of us, but if you remember THAT IS THE DISEASE OF ADDICTION TALKING and if you think it's gone from your thinking, just look at how disgusted you are about it being everywhere. One finger pointing out leaves three pointing back at you.

Since you took the opportunity to put yourself first and list your accomplishments in the article, I might just say that the article appears to be filled with addictive thinking and that isn't just quoting Charlie Sheen. Who did the photoshopping of the picture? Would you do this with any other family member who desperately needs to get in the rooms of a twelve step fellowship?

When I pray for the sick and suffering addict, I pray for that addict without concern for their social status or wealth, their drug of choice or whether they are living under a bridge or have a bridge named after them.

Anonymity means (among other things) that we are all of one mind, we are all the same, there is no distinction. Principles before personalities comes to mind LOUDLY HERE. You are me and she is we and they are us and WE ARE ALL TOGETHER.

Prayer to all addicts who are still suffering and thank you Craig Ferguson who comes out and says "I won't tell any jokes about people struggling with addiction. It's life and death." Celebrity or not, left or right, regardless of age race creed sexual identity religion or lack of religion -- you are my family.

I live in a world where "when one of us is in pain, we all feel the ramifications of that pain" -- I might be a stranger to you but I will stand up for your right to do whatever it takes to find recovery. God bless family, friends, loved ones and most of all, the addict. Pray Them Up In These Rooms.

I personally keep them on my prayer list (even Limbaugh) cuz I know that tradition TWELVE is one of the most important ones in the book (besides the other eleven). love and respect,

lizzie from Colorado


A different kind of discussion about Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen is not a joke. His disease is fatal. The fact that the media has put him in the position of power is simply called "enabling" and it must stop. Only one article I've seen lately even hints at the enabling caused by the running-jokes about his demise.

The owners of a popular 12 Step Recovery Website have had their moment making a point of cashing in on Charlie Sheen's meltdown, making me wonder who ISN'T interested in watching this travesty occur before our very eyes.

My discussion on that forum was obviously so clearly stated that it was censored. Even other addicts seem to want to watch the meltdown. How telling the response is to the owners' dedication to free thought on the site.

Maybe America likes to watch melt-downs. Perhaps people with less money think it's interesting to watch a man who seemingly has everything go off the deep end in a spiral of drugs, alcohol, sex addiction and just plain mania. Whatever the reason, a clear word must be said about making fun of this tragedy.


Craig Ferguson has it right. Here's an example of socially-conscious reporting. On a Late-Night Talk Show.

A Casualty

Sheen is just one more casualty in the war on drugs and the media's fascination with celebrity and absurdity. Whatever the reason, this man is very very sick. As a person with the same disease (addiction) I cannot go on watching him become the butt of every one's jokes.

Absolutely — his words have been filled with self-centeredness and his actions show an obsessive and compulsive denial of even being an addict. That is the definition of addiction. Kissing it off to "no one can get help unless they want it" has proved to be a fallacy. Watch a few episodes of "Intervention" to know that the bottoming out process can be lovingly pointed out and orchestrated by those who truly love and care for the addict.

The man might have bi-polar disorder. He certainly looks as if he is close to death. The producer of the hit show that was just canceled as a result of Sheen's antics is one of the few people who have shown they will no longer stand by and watch him crash and burn. The intervention started at that very moment by a man who has obviously seen his share of enabling and co-dependence.

Thank you to the honesty of this Hollywood mover-and-shaker who realized his only chance at getting help for Sheen was to cut the cord.

Martin Sheen has been open about his own struggle with the disease and should know quite well that there is a road to death by this disease and there is a road back called recovery. What I ask now is "Where are the family members? When are they going to step in?" The shame of having an addict in the family can only be measured by how far the family will go to get the addict help. Sheens? Where are you? Do you feel the need to step away from Charlie as he goes through his own personal hell?

I remember reading about and watching Martin Sheen melt down in an early scene in "Apocalypse Now" when he was obviously very drunk and allowed to go the extreme lengths of self-destruction to shoot that scene and to show the horror of a man and his demons. At least M. Sheen was able to see on screen just exactly what meltdown looks like as the director and editor chose to leave the horrific drunken rage in the film, even after being physically attacked during the shooting.

There are no high priced directors and big money backers watching Charlie Sheen melt down. There are only people who will either cheer him on or walk away from him.

This addict embraces her brother in the fellowship of recovery just as much as I embraced Rush Limbaugh into the family. Was that hard to do? No. Did I get a ridiculous amount of flack for supporting him. You bet.

But had it not been for those who stood by me while I was going down and telling me they would not watch me kill myself I would not be here today to write about and for any person enduring this disease. Laugh if you want. But know that there were a great deal of people who enjoyed watching the beheading of Royalty in Britain and the Colosseum spectacles in Rome.

Question is, what does you heart tell you? If you care about your fellow human being, I pray you will stop all Sheen jokes as you hear them being told and remind the joke teller that life and death are no joking matter.

Getting Help

Praying for you Mr. Sheen. May that the next article I read about you not be an obituary. Here's a link you might be interested in... Get Help for Charie Sheen!

genderandmilitarism: The Trials of Pinar Selek

The Trials of Pinar Selek

by Cynthia Cockburn

Pinar Selek, Turkish feminist and antimilitarist writer and activist, framed on a charge of terrorism, has been the subject of an unresolved legal process for twelve years. On 9 February 2011 she was acquitted for the third time in an Istanbul court. Next day the prosecution appealed for the third time to the Supreme Court to over-rule the finding.This is not justice but judicial bullying.

The experiences of Pinar Selek at the hands of the Turkish judicial system defy understanding. I have just returned from the February 9 hearing of her case in the Istanbul Court. The charge against her is implication in a deadly bomb explosion. The sentence called for is a life term in solitary. I attended the hearing as a representative of War Resisters International, one of a score of international ‘observers’, including several Members of the European Parliament and a representative of Human Rights Watch.

We joined Pinar’s supporters, friends and relatives in the tightly packed public gallery. We watched as the presiding judge heard a cursory presentation of old evidence, retired to deliberate for fifteen minutes, and returned to pronounce the few words necessary to acquit Pinar. There was singing and dancing outside the court as we celebrated the removal of the threat hanging over Pinar. We phoned her in her exile in Germany and said “Come home and join the party tonight, Pinar!” Fortunately, wisely, she hesitated to do so. Twenty-four hours later we were confounded and dismayed to hear that the prosecution had appealed to the Supreme Court for a retrial.

So what is this all about? In 1998, Pinar, then a young feminist sociologist, seeking to understand the motivations of both sides in the enduring armed conflict between the Kurdish minority and the Turkish state, carried out a research project that involved interviewing members of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. On return she was apprehended by the Turkish security services and, when she refused to reveal the names of her informants, was severely tortured.

A little while before this, an explosion in the Istanbul Spice Bazaar had caused a number of deaths and injuries. Pinar, now conveniently in the hands of the state on account of her research, was a handy suspect ‘bomber’. In the twelve years since that fateful explosion she has been subject to continuous unresolved prosecution. She has been imprisoned for two and a half of those years. During periods of relative freedom, after acquittals and before re-prosecutions, she has founded and been active in a feminist antimilitarist organization, Amargi. Amargi women activists have in turn been at the core of her support group. Recently Pinar, aged 40, has been living the life of an exile in Germany, supported by a grant from International PEN, the worldwide assocation of writers. She is the editor of Amargi Journal and respected for her many analytical articles and books, the most recent of which is a critique of militarized masculinity.

In a succession of court hearings, no credible evidence has ever been produced to suggest that the explosion in the Spice Bazaar was caused by a bomb. On the contrary, the material facts point to a gas leak. The only link between Pinar and the explosion that, for a while, seemed credible, was a confession by a man who named her as his partner in this ‘crime’. At his trial, however, he retracted his statement, which had been obtained under torture. The truth was that he did not even know Pinar. He was acquitted. Pinar however continued to be suspect.

She has been tried twice in the Istanbul local court (in 2006 and 2008) and each time acquitted. On both occasions the prosecution has refused to accept this verdict and appealed to the Supreme Court which has found Pinar guilty of the charges against her and called on the Istanbul Court to re-open the case. The hearing of February 9 was the third occasion the matter has come before the Istanbul Court. February 10 was the third occasion the prosecution has batted the ball back to the higher judiciary in what has become a game of ping-pong that would be a joke were it not so malign. This is not any recognizable judicial process but rather a sustained harassment. In short - bullying.

Poignancy is added to this case by the fact that Pinar Selek’s leading advocate is her father, a respected lawyer. Besides, Pinar’s sister decided to study law in order to pursue justice in the case. She has had ample time in these years to qualify and practise law. I found it very moving to see both family members in court last week, not only reviewing the evidence for the defence but also telling the judge, from their own bitter knowledge, of the psychological trauma being inflicted on Pinar.

The media paid full attention to the court hearing. All the international observers including myself made short statements to the assembled journalists. The case was headlined in the Turkish evening TV news programmes and the newspapers the following day. For twenty-four hours we were hopeful that the knowledge that the world was watching them would be an added prompt to the Turkish judiciary to finally deliver the justice it purports to uphold. But no. The only explanation of its bizarre behaviour is that the trials of Pinar Selek, like several other recent and current cases before the Turkish courts, are in fact designed by the Turkish state for a political purpose - to be an object lesson to anyone who thinks of stepping out of line.

Cynthia Cockburn