POLITICAL CONSULTANT PETER DAOU DECLARED TODAY:
From day one, the principled critique of Obama has come from the left. From gay rights to civil liberties to secrecy to the environment to Afghanistan and national security, progressive opinion-makers have gone after the administration for failing to fulfill its overarching purpose of being the anti-Bush, to reverse America's near-fatal, turn-of-the-millennium mistake, to restore sanity to a nation that temporarily lost it, to reinstate fealty and respect for its greatest values.
FROM DAY ONE?
ON BEHALF OF THE FOLLOWING, WE GLADLY ACCEPT THE AWARD AND HONOR:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.
HILLARY IS 44
THE BLACK AGENDA REPORT
WOOH! CINDERELLA MADE IT LOOK SO EASY! BUT BACK TO OUR ACCEPTANCE SPEECH. WE DIDN'T TOM HAYDEN OUR CRITICISM WITH MEEK PLEAS OR THREATS TO REMOVE BUMPER STICKERS. WE DIDN'T ALEXANDER COCKBURN IT PRETENDING FROM ONE MOMENT TO THE NEXT. AND WE DIDN'T DAVID SWANSON IT BY PRAISING BARRY O IN PUBLIC WHILE TRASHING HIM IN E-MAILS.
WE SPOKE TRUTH TO POWER. WE HAVE MAINTAINED OUR STANDARDS AND CALLED OUT THE DEMOCRATIC WAR HAWK THE SAME WAY WE DID THE REPUBLICAN ONE BEFORE HIM. SO WE SAY THANK YOU TO EVERYONE. AND WE SAY THANK YOU, PETER DAOU, FOR THIS HONOR.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
In an article published today by Fleetwood Weekly News, Liz Fitzsimons states, "It's a nightmare. By August it will be virtually a year since the incident happened. We are quite worried about Danny now. It's a struggle for him. We already know that he's suffering from PTSD. He's on medication but it must be very difficult for him. The case has been adjourned so many times now but we hope on August 4 they'll actually start the trial. Even when it starts, it'll still be a long time..." He was supposed to go on trial last January. It was pushed back. Today it was pushed back again. BBC News reports the trial is now set for August 4th. Richard Spencer (Telegraph of London) adds that this is true barring any "further medical reports which contradict the assessment" that Danny's fit to stand trial.
Winding down, Ann notes that singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon is Terry Gross' guest on today's Fresh Air. Audio is up at the program's website. Wally asked me to note this press release Madre sent to him:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York: Yifat Susskind, Policy and Communications Director, MADRE (available through Diana Duarte, Media Coordinator, MADRE)
(212) 627-0444; email: email@example.com
Geneva: Malya Villard-Appolon (available through Lisa Davis, Human Rights Attorney, MADRE)
078 / 7991892; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Geneva: Blaine Bookey, Attorney, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
(415) 515-8956 (US number in Geneva); email: email@example.com
Haitian Women's Rights Activist Leaves Camp for Displaced People to Testify before the UN Human Rights Council
**Additional information will be presented at a press meeting on Tuesday, June 8 at 9:45 am, in the Library of Press Room 2, Palais des Nations (Main UN Building in Geneva, Avenue de la Paix)**
June 7, 2010- Geneva, Switzerland -Today, as the United Nations Human Rights Council gathers in Geneva, its representatives will hear testimony from Malya Villard-Appolon, a Haitian women's rights activist and MADRE partner who has lived in the camps for displaced people since the earthquake destroyed her home in January. Ms. Appolon, a leader of KOFAVIV, a Haitian grassroots women's organization, has witnessed the skyrocketing incidence of rape in the camps and the lack of a coordinated or effective response to these persistent threats.
Also testifying will be lawyers from MADRE, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and the law firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP, who recently returned from a delegation to Haiti and will be accompanying Ms. Appolon in Geneva.
Today, Malya Villard-Appolon of KOFAVIV said, "We want to tell the Human Rights Council that the systems for protecting women in the camps are broken. We get no protection from the police, or the peacekeepers. We feel we do not have access to the rooms where decisions about our safety are made. We need the support and commitment of the international community."
In her testimony, Ms. Appolon will call for increased security measures to prevent rape within the camps in repeated attacks against women sleeping in their tents, walking to the latrines, or otherwise left vulnerable. She will also demand that grassroots women's groups - often the only source of support for rape survivors and other women subsisting in the camps - be included in decision-making related to the United Nation's work in Haiti. Furthermore, she will insist that funding from UN member states for the response efforts be conditioned on meeting these basic requirements to uphold women's rights.
Lisa Davis, a human rights attorney with MADRE, said, "During our time in Haiti, we observed a troubling failure by Haitian and UN officials and large non-governmental organizations to adequately address the rampant levels of rape in the camps. Malya's testimony will force this issue into the spotlight, and the UN member states will face the necessary reminder of their responsibility to protect the human rights of women living in the camps."
"It is totally unacceptable for these rapes to continue to go unpunished and undeterred," asserted Blaine Bookey, an attorney with IJDH, and coordinator of the delegation. "Women in the camps have suffered enough. The organizations running the camps and the United Nations have raised enough money to provide basic protections to vulnerable women."
Erica J. Richards, an attorney with the law firm Morrison & Foerster added that "Not only do our findings from Haiti show that women face a grave lack of security necessary to prevent and respond to the sexual violence crisis, but medical services are overwhelmed and unable to meet women's healthcare needs stemming from the assaults."
Yifat Susskind, MADRE Policy and Communications Director, said today, "Malya's testimony has few precedents. Rarely are the voices of displaced women heard by those in the halls of power. The Human Rights Council must seize the opportunity to benefit from her expertise."
For more information about MADRE's work in Haiti, visit our website at http://www.madre.org/index/press-room-4/news/key/haiti.html
About the Organizations
Coordinated by the IJDH-organized Lawyers' Earthquake Response Network (LERN), the delegation to Haiti, met with grassroots women's organizations, including KOFAVIV and FAVILEK, and larger NGOs including Kay Fanm and SOFA. IJDH fights for human rights and justice in Haiti and for fair and just treatment of Haitians in the United States.
KOFAVIV, a MADRE sister organization established by and for rape survivors, has long served as a lifeline for countless women who face sexual violence in Haiti. Since the earthquake, they have organized emergency support services for people living in the camps, including medical aid for rape survivors, neighborhood watch patrols and human rights trainings.
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