links for 2010-07-02

  • "Today is the birthday of the mother of the trans rights movement as we call her, Sylvia Rae Rivera.

    "She was born in New York City on this date in 1951 to parents of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan extraction, and was a founding member of both the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance.

    "She also founded with her friend Marsha P. Johnson STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), a group focused on helping homeless young street transwomen.

    "Sylvia lost her battle with cancer in February 2002, but her memory will live on through the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and the MCC's Sylvia Rivera Food Pantry named in her honor."

  • "Speaking to my vecinos on the playground last night, I couldn’t find anyone in the immigrant community that was moved. There was a sense of appreciation that the issue was raised by the president and pushed into the mainstream media light for a brief moment, but was there any hope that soon there would be a bill? Not really."
  • "Because entrance to the best grandes écoles effectively guarantees top jobs for life, the government is prodding the schools to set a goal of increasing the percentage of scholarship students to 30 percent — more than three times the current ratio at the most selective schools. But the effort is being met with concerns from the grandes écoles, who fear it could dilute standards, and is stirring anger among the French at large, who fear it runs counter to a French ideal of a meritocracy blind to race, religion and ethnicity."
  • "Today, we call on our North American social movements unite with clarity that the root causes of joblessness and the housing crisis in our cities; the toxic contamination of our air, water, soil and climate, and ecosystems; and the displacement and criminalization of our communities are the same. These root causes—capitalism, imperialism, and the systems of oppression that uphold them– are the same root causes that put the earth’s ability to sustain human life in peril. We are forging a new movement of movements in which grassroots groups in frontline communities provide key leadership for a just resolve to our global crisis, working in concert with environmentalists, policy advocates, artists, healers, and more."
  • A global Protestant body representing 80 million Christians has issued an apology for the role played by churches in perpetrating abuse against Native Americans, First Nations and other Indigenous peoples.

    "We … repent of our history littered with ways in which we have betrayed Gospel values of justice, fairness, and love for our neighbour … by the confiscation of land, and mass killings," delegates at the founding meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches said in a June 26 statement.

  • "The city’s non-Hispanic white population is now 35 percent, because of an influx of nonwhite immigrants and other demographic changes in the past two decades.

    "But Mr. Bloomberg presides over an administration in which more than 70 percent of the senior jobs are held by whites, and he has failed to improve on the oft-criticized diversity record of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani."