Fifteen rape victims have formed martial arts movement and are prepared to confront abusers if no one listens to their complaints…A GROUP of women are fighting back against the sickening culture of rape which they say infects India. Fifteen determined females – all victims themselves – have trained in martial arts and are prepared to hand out rough justice if no one listens to their complaints. And the movement, called the Red Brigade, is growing rapidly following the gang rape and murder of medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey that horrified the world.In a nation where a woman is reportedly raped every 20 minutes, the group’s leader Usha Vishwakarma said: “We are fighting back – and the boot is now on the other foot.” Member Sufia Hashmi, 17, said: “We’ve caught a lot of men recently. I joined because men always used to pass comments on me and touch my body but now we beat them and they run.”Like the other members in the northern city of Lucknow, 25- year-old Usha has first-hand experience of the daily dangers women face in the huge nation – a teacher tried to rape her when she was 18. She said: “He grabbed me and tried to open my trousers. I kicked him in the crotch and ran.” Usha complained to staff but they told her to forget it and allowed her attacker to carry on teaching. She said: “Many parents tell girls to quit school so there will be no sexual violence. But we said no – this has to stop. We decided to form a group to fight for ourselves, not just complain.”MORE
Largest Strike (And Protest) In World History: 100 Million Strike In India Against Austerity And High Prices
A strike by millions of low-skilled workers in India has seen banks close and public transport disrupted across the sub continent in one of the biggest collective actions by workers in history.
Over 100 million Indian workers, angry about rising prices, low pay and poor working conditions, walked off their jobs on Wednesday, on the first day of a two-day strike organised by eleven major trade unions.
The strikers are demanding a legal minimum wage, fairer contracts and improved working conditions as well as redress for a multitude of other injustices.
“Workers are being totally ignored and this is reflected in the government’s anti-labour policies,” said Tapan Sen, general secretary of the umbrella Centre of Indian Trade Unions.
The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked for the strike to be called off. He wants all classes to pull together to tackle India’s slowing economy. But workers see this rhetoric as nothing but cover for the rich.
In many areas public transport was not running, banks were closed and most shops and offices kept their shutters down.
In Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha state in the east, protesters set fire to effigies of Singh and ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi.
Several trains were stranded at stations as protesters blocked railway tracks. In the western state of Gujarat, close to 8,000 state-owned buses were off the roads, officials said.
One labour leader was reportedly killed by scabs in the northern city of Ambala.
Another person is reported to have died in Noida, a city where workers earlier clashed with factory owners.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimated losses for the Indian bosses from the strike at more than $3.7bn.
The troubling viral trend of the “hilarious” Black poor person
May 7, 2013
Charles Ramsey, the man who helped rescue three Cleveland women presumed dead after going missing a decade ago, has become an instant Internet meme. It’s hardly surprising—the interviews he gave yesterday provide plenty of fodder for a viral video, including memorable soundbites (“I was eatin’ my McDonald’s”) and lots of enthusiastic gestures. But as Miles Klee and Connor Simpson have noted, Ramsey’s heroism is quickly being overshadowed by the public’s desire to laugh at and autotune his story, and that’s a shame. Ramsey has become the latest in a fairly recent trend of “hilarious” black neighbors, unwitting Internet celebrities whose appeal seems rooted in a “colorful” style that is always immediately recognizable as poor or working-class.
Before Ramsey, there was Antoine Dodson, who saved his younger sister from an intruder, only to wind up famous for his flamboyant recounting of the story to a reporter. Since Dodson’s rise to fame, there have been others: Sweet Brown, a woman who barely escaped her apartment complex during a fire last year, and Michelle Clarke, who couldn’t fathom the hailstorm that rained down in her hometown of Houston, and in turn became “the next Sweet Brown.”
Granted, the buzzworthy tactic of reporters interviewing the most loquacious witnesses to a crime or other event is nothing new, and YouTube has countless examples of people of all ethnicities saying ridiculous things. One woman, for instance, saw fit to casually mention her breasts while discussing a local accident, while another man described a car crash with theatrical flair. Earlier this year, a “hatchet-wielding hitchhiker” named Kai matched Dodson’s fame with his astonishing account of rescuing a woman from a racist attacker. But none of those people have been subjected to quite the same level of derisive memeification as Brown, Clark, and now, perhaps, Ramsey—the inescapable echoes of “Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife!” and “Kabooyaw,” the tens of millions of YouTube hits and cameos in other viral videos, even commercials.
It’s difficult to watch these videos and not sense that their popularity has something to do with a persistent, if unconscious, desire to see black people perform. Even before the genuinely heroic Ramsey came along, some viewers had expressed concern that the laughter directed at people like Sweet Brown plays into the most basic stereotyping of blacks as simple-minded ramblers living in the “ghetto,” socially out of step with the rest of educated America. Black or white, seeing Clark and Dodson merely as funny instances of random poor people talking nonsense is disrespectful at best. And shushing away the question of race seems like wishful thinking.
Ramsey is particularly striking in this regard, since, for a moment at least, he put the issue of race front and center himself. Describing the rescue of Amanda Berry and her fellow captives, he says, “I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway!”
The candid statement seems to catch the reporter off guard; he ends the interview shortly afterward. And it’s notable that among the many memorable things Ramsey said on camera, this one has gotten less meme-attention than most. Those who are simply having fun with the footage of Ramsey might pause for a second to actually listen to the man. He clearly knows a thing or two about the way racism prevents us from seeing each other as people.
Now that you know this is a thing, please stop sharing these memes. Poor Black people speaking candidly about various serious incidents isn’t a hilarious joke.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has introduced her first piece of legislation. It’s called the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act, and would reduce the rate students pay on federally-subsidized student loans for one year, from 3.4% to 0.75%.
Without congressional action, on July 1 the rate is set to double from 3.4% to 6.8%.
Warren brings up an interesting point – her bill simply asks students to pay the same rates that big banks pay for borrowing.
She’s literally just asking if college grads can get the same deal as bank CEOs. The exact same interest rate. Not even a bailout or anything fancy (pipe dreams!) - just the same interest rate.
“A few minutes ago Anderson Cooper asked [Charles Ramsey] if he would like a reward. Charles pulled his paycheck out of his pocket and said, ‘I get a Paycheck. Give the reward to the girls they rescued.’”
THAT’S what we should be talking about, not “how funny those quaint little black people are when they get on camera.”
This guy helps rescue three women, and people are making fun of him? Yeah, he used humor when he told the tale, and sure, it’s appropriate to chuckle when he does so. (Like when he said he “knew there was a problem when a young white girl ran into a black mans arms.”)
But to make fun of him? TO MAKE FUN OF HIM? TO DISRESPECT THIS MAN? THIS HERO?
Fucking shame on you. Dishonor on you, dishonor on your family, dishonor on your cow.
If you’re the kind of scumbag who makes fun of heroes, I suppose you can poke fun at him all you want, but if I’m ever in trouble and need someone to step up the the plate, I hope someone like Charles Ramsey is around.
This man is a hero, respect him.