Human Rights

A fire-breathing Christian

Patriot Ledger Editorial, August 26, 2005

Why should anyone care what Pat Robertson says?

Because we also care about what fire-breathing Muslim clerics say.

It's not about being tit for tat. It's a recognition of how damaging hateful speech is, especially when it is being broadcast around the world.

Robertson, a religious broadcaster and host of “The 700 Club”, has a large following among Christian conservatives but is ignored by most of this country. ... A fire-breathing

Robertson's wrong

Boston Globe Editorial, August 26, 2005

Not content with blaming gays for the Sept. 11 attacks and feminists for destroying capitalism, the televangelical preacher Pat Robertson this week decided to blunder into foreign policy. His suggestion Monday that the US government should consider assassinating Venezuela's democratically elected president, Hugo Chavez, would be too buffoonish to mention were it not for the troubled history of US interference in that region. ... Robertson's

Calif. mom's vigil touches S. Shore

One woman's fight galvanizes war foes
Dan DeLeo, The Patriot Ledger, August 18, 2005

Quincy - It has been nearly three weeks since Jayne Chellman spoke to her daughter, a member of the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment serving in Iraq.

With near-daily reports of car bombings and insurgent attacks on US forces, Chellman lives in constant fear that harm could come to Ashley as the 21-year-old patrols roads between Tikrit and Mosul.

“I'm proud of her,” said Chellman, who lives in Canton. “She's a good soldier. She never complains. But I'm worried. I want her home.” ... Calif. mom's vigil

She reopened debate about war, and, boy, is she hearing about it

Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, August 18, 2005

Vacaville resident Cindy Sheehan camped out near President Bush's vacation ranch in Crawford, Texas, in the hope of inspiring a national conversation about the war.

Her plea for Bush to explain what "noble cause" her son Casey died for in Iraq last year also has inspired a national conversation about Sheehan. And her name has become shorthand for what people think of the war.

Sheehan has been called everything from a "kook" to an anti-Semite by conservative bloggers and pundits over the past few days. ... She reopened

Vigil Supports Protester In Texas

Hartford Courant, August 18 2005

West Hartford - Candles carried by 250 people illuminated a heavily traveled intersection in support of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq who has maintained a vigil for nearly two weeks outside President Bush's ranch in Texas.

Many motorists honked their horns in support of the protesters Wednesday night at the vigil at the intersection of Main Street and Farmington Avenue. ... Vigil

Vigils across state, nation back mother of dead soldier

Thousands support woman at Bush ranch
Ralph Ranalli, Boston Globe, August 18, 2005

With twilight and candlelight playing across solemn faces, thousands of antiwar protesters gathered at more than 50 vigils at sites from Northampton to Quincy last night, in solidarity with a mother of four from California who has camped outside President Bush's ranch in Texas for 10 days and who vows to remain until he explains why her soldier son had to die. ... Vigils

Vigils calling for end to Iraq war begin

Angela K. Brown, Associated Press, August 18, 2005

Crawford, Texas - Hundreds of candlelight vigils calling for an end to the war in Iraq lit up the night Wednesday, part of a national effort spurred by one mother's anti-war demonstration near President Bush's ranch.

The vigils were urged by Cindy Sheehan, who has become the icon of the anti-war movement since she started a protest Aug. 6 in memory of her son Casey, who died in Iraq last year. ... Vigils

The Religious Left Fights Back

Van Jones, AlterNet, July 28, 2005

Rabbi Michael Lerner is stirring up trouble again - thank God.

Earlier this week, Lerner was the main organizer of a national gathering in Berkeley, California, for the religious Left. His "Spiritual Activism" conference was intended to help launch a much-needed new initiative: the Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP).

Lerner has been the spark-plug for many progressive, faith-based undertakings over the years, including Tikkun magazine. But this latest effort is an order of magnitude more challenging than anything he has attempted thus far. ... The Religious Left

The March of the Orange Shirts

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom, July 23, 2005

For some weeks now, a red light has been flickering in my mind, illuminating a word in large Gothic letters: Weimar.

As a 9-year old I saw with my own eyes the collapse of the German republic that came into being after World War I. It was generally referred to as the Weimar Republic, because its constitution was written in the town of the two towering figures of German Kultur, Goethe and Schiller. Some months after its breakdown, we fled Germany and thus our lives were saved.

Since then, the sights and sounds of the collapse of the republic are engraved in my mind. ... The March

'The rich man's war and the poor man's fight'

'Bitter Fruits of Bondage: The Demise of Slavery and the Collapse of the Confederacy, 1861-1865,' By Armstead Robinson, University of Virginia Press, 2005.
Reviewed by Charles Idelson, Portside, July 2, 2005

The Civil War is one of the few conflicts in world history where the losers have effectively written the history and dominated the post-war interpretations of the event.

Historical memory is not in this case a mere academic exercise. Glorification of the 'Lost Cause' and an orchestrated push for 'reunion' on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line helped restore the hegemony of the former planter class and subvert a genuine reconstruction needed to guarantee political, economic, and social justice. ...

Why Ridley Scott’s story of the Crusades struck such a chord in a Lebanese cinema

Having lived in Lebanon 29 years, I too found tears of laughter running down my face
Robert Fisk, The Independent, June 4, 2005

Long live Ridley Scott. I never thought I’d say this. Gladiator had a screenplay that might have come from the Boy’s Own Paper. Black Hawk Down showed the Arabs of Somalia as generically violent animals. But when I left the cinema after seeing Scott’s extraordinary sand-and-sandals epic on the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven, I was deeply moved - not so much by the film, but by the Muslim audience among whom I watched it in Beirut. ... Crusades

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join with you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." ... Beyond Vietnam

South Shore Coalition for Human Rights Opposition to Invasion

March 3, 2003

Editor, The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Massachusetts

The South Shore Coalition for Human Rights firmly opposes the threatened invasion of Iraq. As an organization committed to human rights, we call upon all elected and non-elected officials in all countries to break the cycle of violence that destroys nations.

The federal budget for this war is eating up resources once earmarked for vital social programs, such as subsidized affordable housing and veterans’ health care. Instead of funding the transition to a just healthcare system, one billion dollars is shunted into a distracting campaign of vaccination against a nonexistent smallpox threat.

Under the Homeland Security Act our basic civil rights are threatened, people of Middle Eastern descent or birth are accosted and a deadly chill is cast over dissent.

South Shore Coalition for Human Rights Constitution & Bylaws (1998 Edition)

Article I: Name

The name of this organization shall be the South Shore Coalition for Human Rights.

Article II: Mission Statement

The mission of this organization is:

to promote equality of opportunity in the South Shore area, regardless of race, color, creed or national origin, with specific emphasis on housing, education and employment;

to assist in providing a climate of multicultural understanding.

Article III: Membership

Any person who has demonstrated a genuine interest in the South Shore Coalition for Human Rights, and who subscribes to its purpose and programs, and who pays membership dues as voted by the organization shall be eligible for membership. No person shall be denied membership because of race, creed, color, sex, age, sexual orientation or physically challenged status. There is a minimum requirement of ten members and there is no upper limit for South Shore Coalition for Human Rights membership.

Massachusetts: History of the South Shore Coalition for Human Rights

The South Shore Coalition for Human Rights is a grassroots membership-based civil rights organization. It was founded in the spring of 1977 by a group of concerned people who were seeking affirmatively to assure fair practices to all, while working to create a positive racial consciousness. A “coalition” took shape, proud of its rich diversity in terms of backgrounds and beliefs, and united to work tirelessly for equality and multicultural understanding in our community.

The organization’s statement of purpose sums up its goals: ‘To promote equality of opportunity regardless of race, color, creed or national origin in the South Shore area, with specific emphasis on housing, education, and employment; and to assist in providing a climate for multicultural understanding.’

Our program evolved on two levels. We felt a special responsibility for developing understanding among our white neighbors and coworkers as to the vital importance of unity for all of us. At the same time, we grew to understand that actual equality could only be achieved through the vigorous application of affirmative action in such areas as housing, education and employment. Projecting the aims of the Coalition to the South Shore community was accomplished in a variety of ways: statements to the press that dealt with current racial issues, presenting educational forums and films, and conducting workshops on racism and affirmative action.

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