Santa Cruz Indymedia : http://santacruz.indymedia.org
Home
Santa Cruz Indymedia

In the Other Press

To alleviate the problem of articles from other press sources being reposted on this IMC site, this section allows users to link to articles published elsewhere, and to contribute and read comments on those pieces. Have something interesting to post?

 

News :: Civil & Human Rights

Girls Suspected Of Being Lesbians Expelled From School

Teens File Lawsuit Against School

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Two 16-year-olds who were expelled from a Lutheran high school because they were suspected of being lesbians have sued the school for invasion of privacy and discrimination.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Riverside County Superior Court, seeks the girls' re-enrollment at the small California Lutheran High School, unspecified damages and an injunction barring the school from excluding gays and lesbians.

Kirk D. Hanson, an attorney for the girls, said the expulsion traumatized and humiliated them.

"Their entire support network was pulled out from under them because of suspicions about their sexual orientation," said Hanson, who declined to say whether his clients are lesbians.

The school is on Christmas break until next week, and messages left for school officials Thursday were not immediately returned.

The lawsuit alleges that the school's principal, Gregory Bork, called the girls into his office, grilled them on their sexual orientation and "coerced" one girl into saying she loved the other.

The next day, the lawsuit says, Bork told the girls' parents they could not stay at the school with "those feelings." In a Sept. 12 letter to the parents, Bork acknowledged that officials had seen no physical contact between the girls but said their friendship was "uncharacteristic of normal girl relationships and more characteristic of a lesbian one."

"Such a relationship violates our Christian Code of Conduct," Bork wrote in his letter, which was included as an exhibit in the lawsuit. He called the girls' behavior "scandalous" and "immoral."

Hanson said the 142-student school in Wildomar, Calif., must comply with state civil rights laws because it functions as a business by collecting tuition.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on here," Hanson said. "The school is claiming the girls were expelled because their conduct wasn't within the Christian code. But at the same time, (the school) has students who aren't Christians and are even Jewish."

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

Commentary :: Resistance & Tactics

Converge on the Capital

In the recent past an American grandmother demonstrating against the tyrant Bush, held a placard as she marched on the Capital, it read, “The Road to Hell is lined with Bushes�. It is now evident that this grandmother (who puts younger Americans to shame) was exhibiting prophetic or intuitive insight. In that period Bush was relatively tame. This American woman and true patriot is an inspiration to us all.

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Media Criticism

Networking: Gigabyte battlefields

Researchers are developing sophisticated networking technologies that enable military commanders to share tactical information -- right from the battlefield, in real-time, experts tell United Press International.
As if out of a scene of the TV counter-terrorist drama "24," the networking software enables commanders to share -- or fuse -- information from an array of air and ground sensors. This will make the tracking of enemy ground troops, friendly troops and artillery and aircraft easier, experts said. By Gene Koprowski

http://www.washingtontimes.com/upi/20051226-112840-2889r.htm

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

Bush’s Xmas Tantrum

Bush is furious that patriots, who still hold the values and laws of the USA sacrosanct, leaked the story of illegal bugging and surveillance to the media. The American Fuhrer’s indignation equals that of his historical Nazi counterpart. How dare someone expose the ‘commander in chief’ for the criminal that he really is!

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Arts & Culture

About Last Night Again

About Last Night Again

This New Year's Eve at sunset, a parade of giant puppets, decorated bicyclists, stilt walkers and activists will march through the downtown mall stopping traffic--despite the fact that organizers have no event permit. This will be the inaugural Last Night DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Parade, combining two of the most popular pastimes in Santa Cruz: dressing in costume and resisting authority.

At the most recent planning meeting, Santa Cruzans discussed the logistics and goals of the event. Some participants wanted more whimsy in the community. Ultimately, organizers hope to create a child-friendly New Year's alternative to drinking bubbly at local bars.

The absence of a permit is partly due to the fact that special event permits cost a bundle. Yet without a permit, aspects of the parade will undoubtedly be tricky, such as having fire dancers and deflecting traffic by forming a protective ring of bicyclists around the marchers.

Rico Thunder, who helped host the meeting, said, "I'm reasonably confident that the police will find it's good even though it's outside of their official control. It's an opportunity to have the citizens of their own community doing their own thing."

However, Lt. Rudy Escalante, who patrols downtown, stressed that event permits are designed to ensure public safety and protect local businesses.

"We address those situations as they come up, and we have an open dialogue with those people," Escalante said. "But unfortunately [the paraders] have not contacted us yet."

Although paraders want a child-friendly environment, after discussing outreach the meeting shifted to preparations for police resistance--like avoiding police blockades and designating people as police liaisons or "cop-tamers," who will engage disgruntled officers in discussion while the festivities continue.

"If there are helicopters, then we run," said Jennifer Buschard, another organizer at the meeting.

"Well, you can't make that choice for everybody," Rico Thunder replied.

Hopefully it won't come to that, since stilt walkers and giant puppets would have a hard time running from the choppers.

For more information, check out www.lastnightdiy.org, or show up in your New Year's best at 5pm, New Year's Eve, in the parking lot outside the Saturn Café.

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Education & Youth : Government & Elections : Peace & War

Defense Department Labels Gay ‘Kiss-In’ Credible Threat to Terrorism

A gay ‘kiss-in’ on the UC Santa Cruz campus has been described by the Department of Defense as a “credible threat� of terrorism. It is but one of several instances of spying culled from Defense Department documents by Lisa Myers on NBC News. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director for the Servicemember Legal Defense Network, also noted the Department of Defense confirmed Air Force officials proposed developing a chemical weapon for turning the enemy gay. The Air Force report says development of a weapon to change people’s sexual orientation would “destabilize the enemy.� The Department of Defense database underscores the vast network of protesting organizations across America. It also identifies the serious compromise of basic rights constitutionally guaranteed all Americans.

Their database indicates spying activity gave them information regarding a planned protest at the Sacramento Military Entrance Processing Station on November 11, 2004. The proposed incident is called a “threat� and “credible.�

At New York University, the law school’s gay advocacy group, OUTlaw, was classified by the Pentagon as “possibly violent.� OUTlaw Co-chair Rebecca Fisher told the Washington Blade, a D.C. gay based publication, “I was shocked to read that OUTLaw was classified as a threat and investigated."

"Since we still don't know how the Pentagon went about investigating us, I'm wondering how far they went in invading our personal privacy to make their determination,� Fisher said. “Did they read our e-mail? Monitor our meetings?�

NBC News also reported Pentagon investigators had spied on groups at the State University of New York at Albany and William Patterson College in New Jersey. Their primary concern is opposition to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell� policy used against gay men and lesbians in the military.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group dedicated to helping military members affected by homophobic regulations, condemned the Pentagon surveillance and monitoring.

"The Pentagon is supposed to defend the Constitution, not turn it upside down," Osburn said in a statement released Dec. 20. "Students have a first amendment right to protest and Americans have a right to expect that their government will respect our constitutional right to privacy."

Of the Santa Cruz protest, Osburn said, "To suggest that a gay kiss-in is a 'credible threat' is absurd, homophobic and irrational." "To suggest the Constitution does not apply to groups with views differing with Pentagon policy is chilling."

The Air Force research into turning people gay was initially reported in 1994. The proposal, part of a plan from Wright Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was to develop “chemicals that effect (sic) human behavior so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely effected (sic). One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior.� Responding to criticism, Defense Department officials would later say they never intended to develop the program.

“The Pentagon seems to constantly find new and more offensive ways to demean lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,� said Osburn. “First, we were deemed unfit to serve our country, despite winning wars, medals and the praise of fellow service members.

Then, our sexual orientation was suggested as a means to destabilize the enemy. Now, our public displays of affection are equated with al Qaeda terrorist activity. It is time for new Pentagon policy consistent with the views of 21st century America.�

NBC News made portions of the Defense Department database public. It is located here.

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/DODAntiWarProtestDatabaseTracker.pdf

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network released Defense Department records regarding change of sexual orientation. It is located here.

http://www.sldn.org/templates/press/record.html?section=2&record=1832

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Education & Youth : Government & Elections : Peace & War

Pentagon Labels Gay Kiss-In A 'Credible Threat'

"The Pentagon is supposed to defend the Constitution, not turn it upside down."

WASHINGTON, DC – According to recent press reports, Pentagon officials have been spying on what they call “suspicious� meetings by civilian groups, including student groups opposed to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell� ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual military personnel. The story, first reported by Lisa Myers and NBC News last week, noted that Pentagon investigators had records pertaining to April protests at the State University of New York at Albany and William Patterson College in New Jersey. A February protest at NYU was also listed, along with the law school’s LGBT advocacy group OUTlaw, which was classified as “possibly violent� by the Pentagon. A UC-Santa Cruz “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell� protest, which included a gay kiss-in, was labeled as a “credible threat� of terrorism.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) condemned the Pentagon surveillance and monitoring. “The Pentagon is supposed to defend the Constitution, not turn it upside down,� said SLDN executive director C. Dixon Osburn. “Students have a first amendment right to protest and Americans have a right to expect that their government will respect our constitutional right to privacy. To suggest that a gay kiss-in is a ‘credible threat’ is absurd, homophobic and irrational. To suggest the Constitution does not apply to groups with views differing with Pentagon policy is chilling.�

In January, the Department of Defense confirmed a report that Air Force officials proposed developing a chemical weapon in 1994 that would turn enemies gay. The proposal, part of a plan from Wright Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was to develop “chemicals that effect (sic) human behavior so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely effected (sic). One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior.� SLDN also condemned that report, and the Pentagon later said it never intended to develop the program.

“The Pentagon seems to constantly find new and more offensive ways to demean lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,� said Osburn. “First, we were deemed unfit to serve our country, despite winning wars, medals and the praise of fellow service members. Then, our sexual orientation was suggested as a means to destabilize the enemy. Now, our public displays of affection are equated with al Qaeda terrorist activity. It is time for new Pentagon policy consistent with the views of 21st century America.�

SLDN announced it plans to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to learn if it or other LGBT organizations have also been monitored by the Pentagon. To date, only a small portion of DoD’s total database of information has been made public.

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Civil & Human Rights : Peace & War

Air Force Colonel Accused of Defacing 'W' Cars

Officer Accused of Damaging Pro - Bush Cars

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: December 16, 2005
Filed at 11:13 p.m. ET

DENVER (AP) -- The Air Force Reserve is discharging a lieutenant colonel accused of causing thousands of dollars in damage by defacing cars bearing pro-Bush bumper stickers, his lawyer and military officials confirmed Friday.

Lt. Col. Alexis Fecteau, a pilot with 500 combat hours in the first Persian Gulf war and the Balkans, was charged earlier by Denver prosecutors with felony criminal mischief.

He is accused of using paint stripper and grease to write a profanity about President Bush in 18-inch-high letters on cars at Denver International Airport that had bumper stickers supporting Bush and conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh.

Jim Miller, a spokesman for the Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., said the command plans to begin the process of giving Fecteau an administrative discharge. He said Fecteau does not face any military punishment.

Fecteau is charged with 13 counts of criminal mischief, five of them felonies because the damage to five vehicles was estimated at more than $500 each.

Police said the vehicles were damaged between January and July 2005 and that a ''bait car'' rigged with a video camera recorded Fecteau damaging a vehicle at the airport.

Fecteau's lawyer, Patrick Mulligan, gave a hint of what his defense might be, noting that post traumatic stress disorder could appear years after extremely stressful experiences, like flying in combat.

''There are millions of Americans who object to the war ... most of those millions of Americans didn't have, in addition, some of the combat experiences that Lt. Col. Fecteau and others had,'' he said.

Larry Whittemore of Pueblo, who said his Ford Expedition suffered nearly $2,500 damage, welcomed the news that Fecteau faces discharge, saying: ''I don't think he is fit to be in the Air Force.''

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

Calendar

No events for this day.

view calendar week
add an event

Views

Media Centers

Syndication feeds

Account Login

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software