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The National Women's Studies Association Backs Israeli Boycott

Natioanl Women's Studies AssociationThe National Women’s Studies Association is the newest scholarly group to back the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

In a vote that involved 35 percent of the association’s total membership, 88.4 percent, or 653 individuals, voted in favor of a boycott measure. Members of the NWSA’s executive committee then took their own vote on Friday to approve the membership’s recommendation that the association support BDS.


Immigrant Detainee Hunger Strike Grows As Men Plead To Be Released

Immigrant detainees hunger strikeMen in six immigrant detention centers have joined a hunger strike to demand they be released and granted asylum in the U.S. because they fear returning to their home countries, activists say.

The hunger strikes started on Wednesday in three detention facilities, and advocacy group Desis Rising Up and Moving, or DRUM, said Monday that men in three other facilities had begun refusing food as well. The number of men participating in what the organization calls the #FreedomGiving hunger strikes is now at more than 130, DRUM executive director Fahd Ahmed told The Huffington Post.


How history got the Rosa Parks story wrong

Rosa ParksSixty years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. Her courageous act is now American legend. She is a staple of elementary school curricula and was the second-most popular historical figure named by American students in a survey. When Republican presidential contenders were asked to pick a woman they wanted pictured on the $10 bill, the largest number of votes went to Parks.

Americans are convinced they know this civil rights hero. In textbooks and documentaries, she is the meek seamstress gazing quietly out of a bus window — a symbol of progress and how far we’ve come. When she died in 2005, the word “quiet” was used in most of her obituaries and eulogies. We have grown comfortable with the Parks who is often seen but rarely heard.


You won't believe why N.H.'s top paper endorsed Christie

Why Star Ledger endorsed ChristieIf you were doing anything that even closely resembled "having a life" over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, you might have missed the news that the New Hampshire Union Leader handed out a (relatively early) Republican primary endorsement to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

It's a pretty big deal. As Toby Harnden wrote -- so sagely! -- back in 2011, "It's easy to dismiss the importance of today's endorsement of Newt Gingrich by the New Hampshire Union-Leader." Indeed. So easy.


Chicago police head fired after officer charged with murder

Garry McCarthy firedChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired his police superintendent on Tuesday after it took 13 months to charge a white police officer with the shooting death of a black teenager, a media report said on Tuesday.

The Chicago Sun-Times, citing unnamed sources, reported that Emanuel had called Superintendent Garry McCarthy overnight to tell him he was out. The report could not immediately be confirmed by the mayor's office or Chicago police.

McCarthy appeared “shell-shocked” by the news, sources said.


Kern County, CA: the story of America's deadliest police

Kern County, CASeventy-five years after Kern County’s leaders banned The Grapes of Wrath from their schools and libraries, complaining that John Steinbeck’s new book portrayed their policemen as “divested of sympathy or human decency or understanding”, officer Aaron Stringer placed his hands on the body of James De La Rosa without permission.

De La Rosa had just been shot dead by police officers in Bakersfield, the biggest city in this central California county, after crashing his car when they tried to pull him over. He was unarmed. Now the 22-year-old oilfield worker lay on a gurney in the successor to the coroner’s office where Tom Joad’s granma awaited a pauper’s funeral in the 1939 novel.


Human Rights Watch to Obama: Prosecute Bush officials for torture

Try Bush for torture: Human Rights WatchHuman Rights Watch, in a new report out Tuesday, urged President Barack Obama to prosecute top officials from George W. Bush’s administration as well as CIA contractors or their roles in creating, approving and implementing so-called enhanced interrogation techniques against detainees in CIA custody.

"There is substantial evidence supporting charges of conspiracy to torture against senior US officials and CIA contractors, including evidence that some individuals joined the conspiracy after it was first established," the report, titled "No More Excuses: A Roadmap to Justice for CIA Torture" states, outlining the ways in which it says U.S. officials knowingly violated the federal Torture Statute and other laws in committing "torture, assault, sexual abuse, war crimes, and conspiracy to commit such crimes."


How the Extreme Christian Right Incited the Assault on the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado

abortion rightsAfter months of verbal assault against Planned Parenthood and against women more broadly, Republican Christianists have gotten what they were asking for: bloodshed.

On November 27, a mass shooting left three dead and nine wounded at a Planned Parenthood clinic just miles from the headquarters of the religious right flagship, Focus on the Family. Was the shooting exactly what conservative Christian presidential candidates and members of Congress wanted? Maybe; maybe not. But it is what they asked for. Republican members of the religious right incited violence as predictably as if they had issued a call for Christian abortion foes to take up arms.


Texas Seeks to Ban Refugee Aid Groups From Using Pro-Refugee Speech

AbbottTexas has a message for refugee aid organizations: Stop providing aid or we’ll sue.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced in November that he would not support the resettlement of Syrian refugees in his state. In a Wednesday letter to aid group International Rescue Committee, Texas health commissioner Chris Traylor took the state’s anti-immigrant rhetoric further.

According to Traylor, the IRC’s vocal support for resettling Syrian refugees in Texas is a violation of federal law.


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