Sunday, March 26, 2006

More Than 500,000 Rally in L.A. for Immigrants' Rights - Los Angeles Times

If the Democrats don't recruit these working class Latinos they are truely lost.

More Than 500,000 Rally in L.A. for Immigrants' Rights - Los Angeles Times: "More Than 500,000 Rally in L.A. for Immigrants' Rights
By Teresa Watanabe and Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
2:51 PM PST, March 25, 2006

Joining what some are calling the nation's largest mobilization of immigrants ever, hundreds of thousands of people boisterously marched in downtown Los Angeles Saturday to protest federal legislation that would crack down on undocumented immigrants, penalize those who help them and build a security wall on the U.S. southern border. Spirited crowds representing labor, religious groups, civil-rights advocates and ordinary immigrants stretched over 26 blocks of downtown Los Angeles from Adams Blvd. along Spring Street and Broadway to City Hall, tooting kazoos, waving American flags and chanting 'Si se puede!' (Yes we can!). The crowd, estimated by police at more than 500.000, represented one of the largest protest marches in Los Angeles history, surpassing Vietnam War demonstrations and the 70,000 who rallied downtown against Proposition 187, a 1994 state initiative that denied public benefits to undocumented migrants.

The marchers included both longtime residents and the newly arrived, bound by a desire for a better life and a love for this county.

Arbelica Lazo, 40, illegally immigrated from El Salvador two decades ago but said she now owns two business and pays $7,000 in taxes annually.

Jose Alberto Salvador, 33, came here illegally just four months ago to find work to support the wife and five children he left behind; in his native Guatemala, he said, what little work he could find paid only $10 a day. 'As much as we need this country, we love this country,' Salvador said, waving a stick with both the American and Guatemalan flag. 'This country gives us opportunities we don't get at home.'"

If only the antiwar movement could pull off a demonstration that big from out of the blue, we'd kick ass.

As Nick Miroff points out the Latin American left are doing by far the best job countering the influence of the Bushistas. Bush has truely united them. He is doing a better job of uniting them than Che ever dreamed of.

Has Latin America ever had such a unifying figure?

At political rallies, his visage is held aloft as a beacon to regional independence and self-determination. He's helped forge new trade partnerships to spur economic growth and alleviate poverty. And his leadership has fanned a gale-force electoral trend that's sweeping the hemisphere to topple one pro-Washington government after the next.

Who is this grand inductor of Latin American leftism? Venezuelan fireball Hugo Chavez? Blue-collar Brazilian Lula Ignacio da Silva? Bolivia's coca-farmer-cum-president, Evo Morales?

¡Epa! It's George W. Bush, the accidental revolutionary............

The macroeconomic proposals of the Washington consensus have not been working," says Guillermo Delgado, professor of Latin American Studies at UC Santa Cruz. "That model was supposed to create prosperity and, after so many years, such prosperity has not been seen and class polarization has grown deeper."

Sensing an opportunity, new social and political movements in the region began marshalling their forces. Then George W. Bush came along, combining Yankee hubris with a Che-worthy radicalizing touch.

Bush has since presided over one of the most significant political re-alignments in the history of the Western Hemisphere. By this summer, every major Latin American nation but Colombia is likely to be run by elected leaders with stronger backgrounds in Marx than free markets. If Cold War-era "domino theory" has been a bust in the Middle East, it's working with textbook precision in Latin America.

Of coarse the modern dlc democrats are perpetually antiworking class. Remember how they reacted to the transit strike? They will probably ignore this just as they willfully ignore the peace protesters, and marginalize antiwar candidates.

Those of us in the antiwar movement could throw a monkey wrench into the system by courting this energetic and vital immigrant group. I doubt Cegelis could have lost if we did that. What potential might Ned Lamont have if he appeals to this group.

Shia Death Squads Target Iraqi Gays

I am pretty sure that ordinary Americans didn't have this in mind, when they they attempted to install a Democracy in Iraq.

Shia Death Squads Target Iraqi Gays: "Shia Death Squads Target Iraqi Gays

Three Years On, Americans Ignore Pleas of Repression Even Worse than Saddam’s


Courtesy OutRage! London

Left, Ammar, aged 27, was abducted and shot in back of the head in Baghdad by suspected Badr militias in January 2006. Right, Haydar Faiek, aged 40, a transsexual Iraqi, was beaten and burned to death by Badr militias in September 2005.

Following a death-to-gays fatwa issued last October by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani,death squads of the Badr Corps have been systematically targeting gay Iraqis for persecution and execution, gay Iraqis say. But when they ask for help and protection from U.S. occupying authorities in the Green Zone, the secure area officialdom has carved out within Baghdad, gays Iraqis are met with indifference and derision.

The Badr Corps is committed to the sexual cleansing of Iraq,” said Ali Hili, a 33-year-old gay Iraqi exile in London who, with some 30 other gay Iraqis who have fled to the United Kingdom, five months ago founded the Abu Nawas Group there to support persecuted gay Iraqis. The group is named for a revered eighth-century classical poet of Arab and Persian descent known throughout Middle East cultures and famous for his poems in praise of same-sex love."

This apparently follows a fatwa given by the supposedly moderate Iranian cleric Ayatollah Sistani.

The Ayatollah Sistani, the 77-year-old Iranian-born cleric who is the supreme Shia authority in Iraq, is revered by SCIRI as its spiritual leader. His anti-gay fatwa—available on Sistani’s official Web site—says that “people involved” in homosexuality “should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.

Apparently Badr Corp, isn't just killing them when they find them either. They are actually entraping them, in what gay advocates are calling systematic "sexual cleansing"

“Badr Corps agents have a network of informers who, among other things, target alleged immoral behavior,” Hili continued. “They kill gays, unveiled women, prostitutes, people who sell or drink alcohol, and those who listen to Western music and wear Western fashions.”

“Badr militants are entrapping gay men via Internet chat rooms,” Hili said. “They arrange a date, and then beat and kill the victim
. Males who are unmarried by the age of 30 or 35 are placed under surveillance on suspicion of being gay, as are effeminate men. They will be investigated and warned to get married.

“Badr will typically give them a month to change their ways. If they don’t change their behavior, or if they fail to show evidence that they plan to get married, they will be arrested, disappear, and eventually be found dead. The bodies are usually discovered with their hands bound behind their back, blindfolds over their eyes, and bullet wounds to the back of the head.”

This result, of the Shia taking over, if we toppled Saddam, was both predictable and predicted. This is not worth any American life. Iraqis clearly do not want a "liberal democracy," at this point in time, and it is impossible for a foreign power to install one. Maybe one day they will want a liberal democracy, but we only put off that day when we associate Liberal Democracy with oil imperialism in the minds of the muslim world. Needless the say the christian fundamentalist, defence contractors, oil men, and other right wingers that pushed America into the war have no empathy for gays either. This callousness to the gays of Iraq, proves they weren't fundamentally motivated by a concern for Human Rights.