Tag: violence

Oct 11

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Violence. Without Which Not. by UnaSpenser

I set out here to write about capitalism and how it shapes our relationships to everything. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while. I had planned to write about how competition, individualism, and the insecurity of having to “earn a living” or be denied survival, defines how we approach one another and the way in which we interact with people in our lives. I started by examining the definition of capitalism. I turned to Wikipedia first and got this:

capitalism is “an economic system in which trade, industry, and the means of production are privately owned and operated via profit and loss calculation (price signals) through the price system.”

Most of my prior thinking had been focused on the profit and loss aspect and how the only valuation system capitalism uses is money. I had originally thought that I would want to discuss the lack of any ethics or social values in the definition and how that void gets filled by the profit imperative.

However, what I found myself focusing on first was the phrase “privately owned”. I was immediately writing about the concept of ownership. In the wake of three mass shootings in the US, this week, I found myself reaching the conclusion that any society which embraces the idea of private property is, at it’s core, violent. Violence is the very foundation that society. I found myself unable to focus on anything else. I realized that any system which includes any kind of ownership claim has to be violent. So, this isn’t a strictly anti-capitalist exploration. It’s an ownership exploration.

So, can we talk about how we are a fundamentally violent culture? How that’s a feature and not a bug? Can we talk about whether we want to be that? Whether we can change that?

I’ll walk you through my thoughts which led to “ownership = violence” and my not-yet-fully-formed ideas of alternatives and a vague sense of how to get there. My hope is that we spark the beginning of a growing dialogue.  

Oct 02

Real Fake News

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

The Onion NEWS IN BRIEF, October 1, 2015, Vol 51 Issue 39    News · Guns · Violence

ROSEBURG, OR-In the hours following a violent rampage in southwestern Oregon in which a lone attacker killed 10 individuals and seriously injured seven others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Thursday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place.

“This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Ohio resident Lindsay Bennett, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this guy from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what he really wanted.”

At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past six years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”

Sep 26

The Pump don’t work…

…cause the vandals stole the handle.

A group of graffiti artists (BlakCollectiv), led by Kalkidan Assefa, created an impressive, and legal, mural during Ottawa’s Pride Week honoring transgender women of color who had been murdered during the past year.

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On Wednesday night an unknown person or group who were offended by the memorial spray painted over much of the mural and added these sentiments:

RACIST BULLS–T

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ALL COLORS MATTER

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ALL LIVES/NO DOUBLE STANDARD/YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

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Sep 19

AIDS Conference Interruptus

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The 2015 US Conference on AIDS was held September 10-13 in Washington, DC.  On the opening day dozens of transgender and gender-nonconforming people seized the stage at the lunchtime plenary session to draw attention to HIV+ gender-variant people.

The group was chanting, We are not gay men! to protest the inclusion of trans women in gay male research and statistics.

Nov 19

Speaking for the Dead: Transgender Day of Remembrance


Doorway

Mort
At some instant

one day

the words will cease to flow

their creator (or vessel)

having passed through

the Door

between herenow

and therethen

The words left behind

the ideas they expressed

the actions they instigated

will be all

that remains

to weigh the meaning

of this particular existence

Regret is extinguished

if the words

have expressed

peacefulness

concern and care

and a life lived well

–Robyn Serven

–September 21, 2007

Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse!

–John Derek, Knock on Any Door (1949)

The quote is often erroneously attributed to James Dean.

Some of the murder victims whose stories are told after the break may have tried to live with that philosophy, but the violence visited upon them almost assuredly negated the last part.  Being set on fire, run over by a car, shot in the face, or stoned to death usually preclude a “good looking corpse.”

A few comments of note:  In Brazil, where most of the murders took place, those who would probably be regarded as transgender women here are referred to as travesti (transvestites) and so male pronouns are most often used.  I tried to correct that as much as possible.  It is also the case that the Police in Brazil are whole-heartedly in favor of blaming the victim, so revenge, drug involvement, “working the program” (prostituting), revenge, or “reckoning” are almost always given as the suspected motives.  Gay men in drag, on the other hand, are usually thought to be victims of homophobia.  Finally, an autopsy of a transgender woman in Brazil is usually called a necropsy…a word which we reserve for non-sentient animals.

All of those comments may shed light on why there are so many murders in Brazil (77 out of the 118).  The United States is second, with 10, (but we try harder…I’m sure we can catch up).  Mexico is third with 9.

The list I have generated os colated from several sources, including the Transgender Violence Portal  and Memorializing 2014 at the International Transgender Day of Remembrance site.

Nov 08

Transgender Awareness

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Hello!

It’s Transgender Awareness time.  In some locations it’s the entire month of November.  Some locales are celebrating for a week…generally around November 10-20…ending with Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 and/or Transgender Day of Celebration on November 21.

So I guess it is my job to help make you aware. 🙂

I’ve got some videos from the I Am project and some news bits which I hope fit that agenda.

Oct 04

Transgender Woman shot to death in East Hollywood

Some people refer to it as Thursday morning.  To others it was Wednesday night.  At 2:30 am in East Hollywood..a transgender woman was shot one time…in the head.

She did not survive.

During the robbery, there was a struggle, and there were shots fired, and the victim was struck one time.  It appears they were struck in the head.

–LAPD Lt. Joe Losorelli

It’s really, really frightening for all of us, especially out here in the streets and stuff because discrimination is still very high in our community,

–Karina Samala of the Transgender Advisory Board of West Hollywood

Feb 09

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: A Call to Violence by AoT

This is a call to violence.  Not in the ordinary sense. Instead in the sense that I want you to go out and tell people that they should support a violent policy.  What is that policy specifically?  I want the police to start pulling over and if necessary arresting people who are speeding.  You might think this isn’t a call to violence, you might think that this is simply a call for more police enforcement, but that obscures the real issue of what violence is.

Nov 23

Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2013


The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.  The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999.  Rita Hester’s murder – like most anti-transgender murder cases – has yet to be solved.

–Gwendolyn Ann Smith, founder

Normally TDoR is observed on November 20, but I am a worker.

The list is lengthy, as it seems to be every year.  And this list is incomplete.  I’d estimate that it represents about a quarter of those gender-variant people who were killed for being differently gendered since last November.  Transgender Europe will release a more complete number, for the calendar year of 2013, in the future.

We matter!

We shall strive not to forget.

Sep 21

Again and Again

 photo melony_zps5844d578.jpgOn the afternoon of September 9 Leticia Alvarado, cashier at a motel in the 13900 block of Francisquito Avenue in Baldwin Park CA, discovered the body of her friend Melony Smith in her motel room.  

Alvarado says that Smith had been staying in the motel on and off for three years.

We became very close.  She called me sister.  I was her sister.

Before I go to work, I always stop by her room and we have breakfast.  That day she wouldn’t answer her phone.

–Alvarado

So Alvarado went to the room and had the maid open the door and found Smith’s body lying on the floor.

She was all bruised up.  She had blood on her head.  She was lifeless.  I could tell she was dead.

–Alvarado

Sep 07

Deportees

Amy Lieberman has been covering the danger inherent in being a transgender woman for a few years now for women’s eNews.  Most recently she has been in Mexico, delving into the consequences when a transwoman is deported back to Mexico.

Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous places to be transgender.  But as lawmakers try to change that, transgender women who are deported confront a social backlash that makes their homeland more fearful than ever.

If you pass inside, you will likely find yourself decrying the way Mexican transgender women are treated.  But you should be aware that it is not all that much different than transwomen are treated in the US.

Aug 31

Vigil for Islan Nettles

The vigil for Islan Nettles, who died last week after being beaten into a coma and being declared brain dead, drew a crowd of hundreds to Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem.  Nettles was a 21-year-old transwoman who was pursuing a career in fashion.

On August 17 Islan was walking with a transwoman friend when they encountered a group of men outside a Harlem police precinct station.  One of the men, Paris Wilson, 20, had recently friended Islan on Facebook.  Wilson reportedly began flirting with Nettles, until one of his friends yelled that she had been born a man.  The friends began teasing Wilson until he attacked her.  As he was beating her, the “friends” shouted anti-trans and anti-gay epithets.  He continued to pound on her face after her head had been driven into the sidewalk.  Wilson was arrested after police finally arrived.  He was charged with misdemeanor assault and released on $2,000 bail.

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