<\body> Stories in America: Grandmas Against War, Women Soldiers Maimed in Iraq

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Grandmas Against War, Women Soldiers Maimed in Iraq

"Oh hell! I would go to jail if I had to just to make the goddamn point! You've got to make a statement ... I thought it was a great idea to get the message through to that son of a bitch in the White House. Our men are dying and the Iraqi people are dying and for what--for that idiot Bush!"
-Marie Runyon, a 91-year-old member of Grandmothers Against the War. Runyon, who is legally blind and walks with two canes, was charged for disorderly conduct on October 17 after she and her 17 aging colleagues tried to enter the Times Square Recruitment Office in New York. The women are scheduled to go to trial this Thursday.

Reproductive Rights

'Roe v. Wade': The divided states of America - USA Today
Two hours after South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds signed an abortion ban last month, NARAL Pro-Choice America blasted an e-mail to its supporters: "Is your state next?" The South Dakota legislation and the abortion rights group's warning are early skirmishes in a battle over what states would do if the landmark Roe v. Wade decision were overturned -- though both sides concede that may never happen. If it does, a fight that for three decades has focused on nine members of the Supreme Court would be waged instead among more than 7,000 legislators in 50 state capitals. "Now is the time to get moving on this in Ohio," says Tom Brinkman, a state legislator who has introduced a bill to ban almost all abortions. Meanwhile, Kellie Copeland of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio is braced. "Our supporters feel the fight is coming back to the states," she says.

Conscience clause for pharmacists could be bitter pill - St. Paul Pioneers Press
There's another epidemic in health circles, less contagious but almost as troubling as avian flu. It concerns an apparent outbreak of pharmacists who don't care to dole out pills they disapprove of. Though the American Pharmacists Association has assured consumers that the cases have generally been contained, concern about the very delicate sensibilities of men and women in lab coats has prompted some states to consider "conscience clause" measures, allowing pharmacists to opt out of dispensing medications that are contraindicated by their own moral standards or religious convictions. While there is no state law preventing a pharmacist from refusing to dispense a drug, the Minnesota Legislature is now under some pressure to make one.

Napolitano vetoes two abortion bills - AP
Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano on Monday vetoed two more abortion bills passed by the Republican-led Legislature. Napolitano used her veto stamp to kill bills passed by lawmakers to prohibit state and local governments from using public dollars to provide health coverage for abortions and to require that parents' consent for a minor to get an abortion be notarized.

The world in their sights - Guardian
For many years, reproductive-rights activists in the US have predicted a series of events that would lead to the toppling of abortion rights. Currently, and with breathtaking speed, we have passed many of those benchmarks. The anti-abortion movement has become a powerful bully on our national political stage. Now, it plans to flex its muscle internationally. The UK may be its next stop. In fact, the US movement has already begun exporting its menacing brand of activism. And they're not even leaving home to do it.


Grandmothers of Invention - The Village Voice
The Granny Peace Brigade, as the 18 grannies now call themselves, has captured attention far beyond New York, generating buzz on the Internet, on progressive websites and political listservs. Media outlets have covered the grannies with fawning fascination, playing up the images of little old ladies clutching their walkers and hanging onto their flowered hats, flanked by beefy cops. Carol Huston, a veteran peace activist and granny brigade member, tried to enlist at the Times Square recruiting center to protest the Iraq war three years ago. Not one reporter showed up. This time, as she puts it, "the press went nuts over us like I've never seen before and all of a sudden—zoom!—this action takes off." Similar granny groups have popped up across the country, staging their own protests at military recruiting centers, fueling the larger anti-war movement. Now there are as many as 38 anti-war granny groups in the United States, from Pittsburgh to Detroit, Berkeley to Sarasota. Just last month, three of the New York grandmas flew to Berlin, where they gave speeches to hundreds of people on why they've hit the streets to protest the Iraq war.

Limbs Lost to Enemy Fire, Women Forge a New Reality - Washington Post
Her body had been maimed by war. Dawn Halfaker lay unconscious at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, her parents at her bedside and her future suddenly unsure. A rocket-propelled grenade had exploded in her Humvee, ravaging her arm and shoulder. In June 2004, she became the newest soldier to start down a path almost unknown in the United States: woman as combat amputee.

Duke Athletes Indicted for Rape Post Bond - LA Times
Two members of the Duke University lacrosse team surrendered today on charges of raping and kidnapping an exotic dancer, ensuring months of continued controversy in a school and city that have been consumed by issues of race, sex and privilege since details of the case emerged in March. Dist. Atty. Mike Nifong, who would not discuss the evidence, said he hoped to charge a third person shortly.

In the Courts

Female Forklifter Takes Her Case to High Court - Women's eNews
The high court on Monday heard the case of a female forklifter who says a sexual harassment complaint led to retaliation at work. The case is expected to clarify the legal protections for those who complain of harassment or discrimination on the job.

In the Workplace

Women shorted on federal contracts - Chicago Tribune
Nabbing a federal government contract helped put Carolyne Turner's financial software company on the map 25 years ago, but today the federal procurement process has led the $2 million firm to more dead ends than new deals. Turner isn't the only one who has noticed that large corporations continue to win the lion's share of federal government contracts. In fact, despite the federal government's pledge to award 5 percent of federal contracts to women-owned small businesses, it routinely falls short of that goal, said U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez of New York, the ranking Democratic member of the House Small Business Committee. It's not a new problem. Six years ago, Congress recognized it, enacting legislation that set aside contracts in certain male-dominated industries for competition by women-owned businesses, said Margot Dorfman, chief executive of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce. But the Small Business Administration has yet to implement the law, Dorfman said.


Report Shows Continued Violence and Discrimination Against Afghan Women - Feminist Wire
A new report on the current status of Afghan women and girls issued by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) demonstrates that Afghan women and girls continue to face extreme obstacles and discrimination as they seek to exercise their rights. The “Evaluation Report on General Situation of Women in Afghanistan” states that despite the Afghan government's constitutional obligation to “observe and respect women's rights' and the numerous human rights treaties Afghanistan has signed, women face many problems in all aspects of their lives.

Afghan women as teachers, an United Nations initiative - NewKerala
Afghan women related to former fighters will be trained as teachers under a new United Nations initiative aimed at educating women in the war-ravaged country while facilitating the reintegration of ex-combatants and their families into civilian life. Training will take place throughout Afghanistan under the five-month programme, which began Sunday following the signing of an agreement between the UN Development Programme and the the country's Ministry of Education.


At 4/18/2006 12:30 PM, Anonymous truthseeker said...

Anti-American grandmothers! Love it.


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