Oregon militia

Jan 7, 2016

Mass attitudes towards the other are influenced by the Media. In this day and age of information overload our brains are struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital age. Moreover, the Media is not a neutral player, but an instrument of the power elite.  Thus, we are ripe for the simplifying power of the sound bite and the Media is more than willing to provide us with a boogeyman .
The neat and sharp-focused World offered by the establishment  – where God is on our side, and The Others are evil Muslims and political correct Marxists conspiring to take away our freedom and wealth-  is compelling and comforting; we have the firepower to do what needs to be done.
While the political ideology of the Tea Party is not an exact match of the European fascism of the 1930´s, there are troubling parallels between the events that lead to the Second World War and the circumstances of the early Twenty-First Century. The Tea Party movement shares with Fascism an obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, and victim-hood, as well as compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants embrace a credo of violence and ideology-driven armed militias .
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants:
Thomas Jefferson.
Gun owners tend to be among the political right, and Second Amendment support is a common thread among Tea Party demonstrators. One of the fundamental mantra of them is guns as a mechanism of check and balance against tyranny.   It sounds like sedition.  There is a not only idle talk, there is a trail of actual terrorist activity. The Hutterite militia in Michigan was planning to kill police officers but they had not actually done anything violent before they were arrested, and their ultimate goal was to war against the anti-Christ.  Timothy McVeigh in 1995 blamed the US Government for attacks against American citizens at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
The gun crowd likes to wax eloquent about protecting our natural rights with our weapons when the government becomes unconstitutional, and all other avenues have failed. They see themselves as law abiding insurrects that do not use violence and have confidence in the ballot box, and that that ensure that the government can’t stray too far toward tyranny. Fools playing with fire; a fire that will get us all burned.
In the NRA’s world, we are only free to the extent that our guns allow us to impose our will on others.”
Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign,  “Gun Rights and Political Violence”
More guns were sold in December 2015 than almost any other month in nearly two decades, continuing a pattern of spikes in sales after terrorist attacks and calls for stricter gun-buying laws, according to federal data released on Monday.
The heaviest sales last month, driven primarily by handgun sales, followed a call from President Obama to make it harder to buy assault weapons after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.
Fear of gun-buying restrictions has been the main driver of spikes in gun sales, far surpassing the effects of mass shootings and terrorist attacks alone, according to an analysis of federal background check data by The New York Times.
During the previous record month, December 2012, President Obama called for new buying restrictions after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Several days ago a group of right wing militiamen stormed a building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The group is engaged in an armed occupation claiming to be opposing the U.S. government for perceived violations of their rights. They have also made the demand that two rancher brothers convicted of arson, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, be released from prison. The 150-man strong occupation force is being led by three of Cliven Bundy’s sons, specifically Ammon Bundy. As you may recall they were engaged in an armed standoff with the F.B.I. in 2014 over a dispute involving cattle grazing land.

The militia men are arguing that they should own public land simply because they feel the government hasn’t been kind to them. Their goal is to build private businesses on the protected land. They’re trying to take away land that is being held in common for their own exploitation of it.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and says it will work with local and state authorities to seek “a peaceful resolution to the situation.” The White House considers it “a local law enforcement matter,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report on that standoff that the militiamen and the federal land-return movement are part of the same spectrum.

“Anti-government extremists have long pushed, most fiercely during Democratic administrations, rabid conspiracy theories about a nefarious New World Order, a socialist, gun-grabbing federal government and the evils of federal law enforcement,” the center said.

Law enforcement officials said that the occupiers came to the region with a specific goal:

“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers,” Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward said in a statement Sunday. “When in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.”

Clownish as such stunts unquestionably are, it bears remembering that the activities of such violent abolitionists as John Brown looked just as pointless in their time; their importance was purely as a gauge of the pressures building toward civil war—and that’s exactly the same reading I give to the event just described. The era of rural and urban guerrilla warfare, roadside bombs, internment camps, horrific human rights violations by all sides, and millions of refugees fleeing in all directions, that will bring down the United States of America is still a little while off yet.

Jan 7, 2016

Mass attitudes towards the other are influenced by the Media. In this day and age of information overload our brains are struggling to keep up with the demands of the digital age. Moreover, the Media is not a neutral player, but an instrument of the power elite.  Thus, we are ripe for the simplifying power of the sound bite and the Media is more than willing to provide us with a boogeyman .
The neat and sharp-focused World offered by the establishment  – where God is on our side, and The Others are evil Muslims and political correct Marxists conspiring to take away our freedom and wealth-  is compelling and comforting; we have the firepower to do what needs to be done.
While the political ideology of the Tea Party is not an exact match of the European fascism of the 1930´s, there are troubling parallels between the events that lead to the Second World War and the circumstances of the early Twenty-First Century. The Tea Party movement shares with Fascism an obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, and victim-hood, as well as compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants embrace a credo of violence and ideology-driven armed militias .
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants:
Thomas Jefferson.
Gun owners tend to be among the political right, and Second Amendment support is a common thread among Tea Party demonstrators. One of the fundamental mantra of them is guns as a mechanism of check and balance against tyranny.   It sounds like sedition.  There is a not only idle talk, there is a trail of actual terrorist activity. The Hutterite militia in Michigan was planning to kill police officers but they had not actually done anything violent before they were arrested, and their ultimate goal was to war against the anti-Christ.  Timothy McVeigh in 1995 blamed the US Government for attacks against American citizens at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
The gun crowd likes to wax eloquent about protecting our natural rights with our weapons when the government becomes unconstitutional, and all other avenues have failed. They see themselves as law abiding insurrects that do not use violence and have confidence in the ballot box, and that that ensure that the government can’t stray too far toward tyranny. Fools playing with fire; a fire that will get us all burned.
In the NRA’s world, we are only free to the extent that our guns allow us to impose our will on others.”
Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign,  “Gun Rights and Political Violence”
More guns were sold in December 2015 than almost any other month in nearly two decades, continuing a pattern of spikes in sales after terrorist attacks and calls for stricter gun-buying laws, according to federal data released on Monday.
The heaviest sales last month, driven primarily by handgun sales, followed a call from President Obama to make it harder to buy assault weapons after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.
Fear of gun-buying restrictions has been the main driver of spikes in gun sales, far surpassing the effects of mass shootings and terrorist attacks alone, according to an analysis of federal background check data by The New York Times.
During the previous record month, December 2012, President Obama called for new buying restrictions after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Several days ago a group of right wing militiamen stormed a building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The group is engaged in an armed occupation claiming to be opposing the U.S. government for perceived violations of their rights. They have also made the demand that two rancher brothers convicted of arson, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, be released from prison. The 150-man strong occupation force is being led by three of Cliven Bundy’s sons, specifically Ammon Bundy. As you may recall they were engaged in an armed standoff with the F.B.I. in 2014 over a dispute involving cattle grazing land.

The militia men are arguing that they should own public land simply because they feel the government hasn’t been kind to them. Their goal is to build private businesses on the protected land. They’re trying to take away land that is being held in common for their own exploitation of it.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon and says it will work with local and state authorities to seek “a peaceful resolution to the situation.” The White House considers it “a local law enforcement matter,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said in a report on that standoff that the militiamen and the federal land-return movement are part of the same spectrum.

“Anti-government extremists have long pushed, most fiercely during Democratic administrations, rabid conspiracy theories about a nefarious New World Order, a socialist, gun-grabbing federal government and the evils of federal law enforcement,” the center said.

Law enforcement officials said that the occupiers came to the region with a specific goal:

“These men came to Harney County claiming to be part of militia groups supporting local ranchers,” Harney County Sheriff David M. Ward said in a statement Sunday. “When in reality these men had alternative motives, to attempt to overthrow the county and federal government in hopes to spark a movement across the United States.”

Clownish as such stunts unquestionably are, it bears remembering that the activities of such violent abolitionists as John Brown looked just as pointless in their time; their importance was purely as a gauge of the pressures building toward civil war—and that’s exactly the same reading I give to the event just described. The era of rural and urban guerrilla warfare, roadside bombs, internment camps, horrific human rights violations by all sides, and millions of refugees fleeing in all directions, that will bring down the United States of America is still a little while off yet.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

My plea to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for … Continue reading

My plea to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.

By Desmond Tutu
Published 21:56 14.08.14
The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we’d see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday’s turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens … as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.

I asked the crowd to chant with me: “We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews.”


Dear friends,

This is the first time an opinion piece has gone out to our community, but this one’s historic.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has just published a powerful call to conscience in an Israeli newspaper. In it, the Nobel Laureate and anti-apartheid legend stands with 1.7 million of us in calling on companies to boycott and divest from the Israeli occupation and repression of Palestine. His love shines through, as he urges Israelis (87% of whom supported the Gaza bombing) to liberate *themselves* from this terrible status quo. It’s a must-read:

His Op-Ed is here (free registration may be needed, or try this other link).

The piece is exclusively published in an Israeli newspaper, but it’s a powerful legitimizer of what some governments still see as a controversial position, and the rest of the world needs to see it. The only way that will happen is through people sharing it. Let’s share it with everyone!

This campaign is gathering real pace. Russell Brand has recorded this video backing our campaign, and the companies we’re targeting are starting to reach out to the Avaaz team and ask for meetings. Avaazers in the UK are campaigning to end arms sales to Israel as the government there initiates a review. And shockingly, even the US government cancelled a shipment of hellfire missiles to Israel!

The pressure is working – so let’s keep it up! If you haven’t yet, sign the petition here. Or click here to keep sending messages to our target companies. Let’s make sure they don’t think they can ride this out. And if you have a local campaign you could start to ensure that your town, or university, or community divests from the repression of Palestinians, start your own campaign here.

It’s a tremendous thing for us to once again stand alongside Archbishop Tutu – one of our truly great non-violent leaders. Because in a world torn apart by extremists who successfully demonise the ‘other’, non-violent strength is transformative – the strength to be firm, even tough, in standing up for justice, but out of a love for all people that refuses to fall victim to the fear and ignorance that is our universal enemy. A love that recognises that all our fates, and freedom, are intertwined. That’s the precious spirit that our greatest leaders, from Gandhi to Tutu, have taught us, and that our community strives to live up to with each and every campaign.

With hope,

Ricken, Alex, Fadi, Jeremy, Ana Sofia, Ari and the rest of the Avaaz team

PS – This campaign is about creating the conditions for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, and safe homes for Jews and Palestinians alike. Both anti-semitism and racism against Palestinians, like all hatred, are grotesque and should be fought. At the end of day, it is extremists on both sides that work together to threaten a peaceful future, and our work is to bring reasonable people together from all sides to take the action needed to save both Israel and Palestine. If anyone feels this campaign is one-sided, please check the Avaaz team’s response and explanation here.

Turn! Turn! Turn!

“Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)“, often abbreviated to “Turn! Turn! Turn!“, is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s. The lyrics, except for the title which is repeated throughout the song, and the … Continue reading

Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)“, often abbreviated to “Turn! Turn! Turn!“, is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s. The lyrics, except for the title which is repeated throughout the song, and the final verse of the song, are adapted word-for-word from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes, set to music and recorded in 1962. The song was originally released as “To Everything There Is a Season” on The Limeliters‘ album Folk Matinee and then some months later on Seeger’s own The Bitter and the Sweet.[1]

The song became an international hit in late 1965 when it was covered by the American folk rock band The Byrds, bowing at #80 on October 23, 1965, before reaching #1 on the Hot 100 chart on December 4, 1965, #3 in Canada (Nov. 29, 1965), and also peaking at #26 on the UK Singles Chart.

Lyrics and title

The lyrics are taken almost verbatim from the Book of Ecclesiastes, as found in the King James Version (1611) of the Bible[2] (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), though the sequence of the words was rearranged for the song. Ecclesiastes is traditionally ascribed to King Solomon.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The Biblical text posits there being a time and place for all things: laughter and sorrow, healing and killing, war and peace, and so on. The lines are open to myriad interpretations, but as a song they are commonly performed as a plea for world peace, with an emphasis on the closing line: “a time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” This line and the title phrase “Turn! Turn! Turn!” are the only parts of the lyric written by Seeger himself.[1]

The song is notable for being one of a few instances in popular music in which a large portion of scripture is set to music, other examples being The Melodians‘ “Rivers of Babylon“, Sister Janet Mead‘s “The Lord’s Prayer“, and U2‘s “40“.

The song was published in illustrated book form by Simon & Schuster in September 2003, with an accompanying CD which contained both Seeger and The Byrds recordings of the song (ISBN 978-0-689-85235-0). Wendy Anderson Halperin created a set of detailed illustrations for each set of opposites which are reminiscent of mandalas. The book also includes the Ecclesiastes text from the King James version of the Bible.

Handwritten lyrics to the song were among the documents donated to New York University by the Communist Party USA in March 2007.[3]

45% of the royalties for the song are donated to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions because, in Seeger’s own words, “[in addition to the music] I did write six words.”[4]

Cover versions

Early folk versions

The song was first released by the folk group The Limeliters on their 1962 album Folk Matinee, under the title “To Everything There Is a Season”.[1][5] The Limeliters’ version predated the release of Seeger’s own version by several months. One of The Limeliter’s backing musicians at this time was Jim McGuinn (aka Roger McGuinn), who would later work with folk singer Judy Collins, rearranging the song for her 1963 album, Judy Collins 3.[1] Collins’ recording of the song was retitled as “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)”, a title that would be used intermittently by McGuinn’s later band The Byrds, when they released a cover of the song in 1965. Australian folk singer Gary Shearston also recorded a version of the song for his 1964 album Songs of Our Time, under the title “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)”.[6]

The Byrds’ version

“Turn! Turn! Turn!” was the third single by the American folk rock band The Byrds and was released on October 1, 1965, by Columbia Records (see 1965 in music).[7] The song was also included on the band’s second album, Turn! Turn! Turn!, which was released on December 6, 1965.[7] The Byrds’ single (b/w “She Don’t Care About Time“) is the most successful recorded version of the song, having reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts and #26 on the UK Singles Chart.[8][9] The Byrds’ version distinguishes the song as the #1 pop hit with the oldest lyrics, dating back to the Book of Ecclesiastes.[10] Many biblical scholars believe Ecclesiastes 1:1 implies King Solomon as the book’s author; thus, if true, giving Solomon (born c. 1011 BC) lyrical credit for a number one hit.

The song had first been arranged by The Byrds’ lead guitarist Jim McGuinn in a chamber-folk style during sessions for Judy Collins’ 1963 album, Judy Collins 3.[11] The idea of reviving the song came to McGuinn during The Byrds’ July 1965 tour of the American Midwest, when his future wife, Dolores, requested the tune on the Byrds’ tour bus.[12][13] The rendering that McGuinn dutifully played came out sounding not like a folk song but more like a rock/folk hybrid, perfectly in keeping with The Byrds’ current status as pioneers of the folk rock genre.[13] McGuinn explained “It was a standard folk song by that time, but I played it and it came out rock ‘n’ roll because that’s what I was programmed to do like a computer. I couldn’t do it as it was traditionally. It came out with that samba beat, and we thought it would make a good single.”[13]

The master recording of the song reputedly took 78 takes, spread over five days of recording, to complete.[14][15] The song’s plea for peace and tolerance struck a nerve with the American record buying public as the Vietnam War continued to escalate.[1] The single also solidified folk rock as a chart trend and, like the band’s previous hits, continued The Byrds’ successful mix of vocal harmony and jangly twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar playing.[1] Pete Seeger expressed his approval of the Byrd’s rendering of the song.[16]

During 1965 and 1966, the band performed the song on the television programs Hollywood A Go-Go, Shindig!, The Ed Sullivan Show, and Where the Action Is, as well as in the concert film, The Big T.N.T. Show.[17] Additionally, the song would go on to become a staple of The Byrds’ live concert repertoire, until their final disbandment in 1973.[18] The song was also performed live by a reformed line-up of The Byrds featuring Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Chris Hillman in January 1989.[19] In addition to its appearance on the Turn! Turn! Turn! album, the song also appears on several Byrds’ compilations, including The Byrds’ Greatest Hits, History of The Byrds, The Original Singles: 1965–1967, Volume 1, The Byrds, 20 Essential Tracks From The Boxed Set: 1965-1990, The Very Best of The Byrds, The Essential Byrds and There Is a Season.[1]

shopping can kill

To inform people in boycotting Israeli products (made in Israel or made outside of Israel but directly or indirectly support Israel) send out an emails, tweets, share Facebook pages, post boycott information on forums and different blogs, send out text…

To inform people in boycotting Israeli products (made in Israel or made outside of Israel but directly or indirectly support Israel) send out an emails, tweets, share Facebook pages, post boycott information on forums and different blogs, send out text/SMS messages to people in your mobile phone book, call people and tell them.

Most consumers do not realize the extent of the penetration of Israeli goods in Europe, and in particular the UK market.

The purpose of this campaign is to draw awareness to this and to encourage people to join the boycott by starting with boycotting ‘made in Israel’ products.

Does the boycott work?

According to the Israeli Union of Industrialists, following the attack on Gaza, one in five Israeli exporters are having difficulty selling abroad due to the boycott. Yair Rotloi, chairman of the association’s foreign-trade committee revealed:

 “Twenty one percent of local exporters report that they are facing problems in selling Israeli goods because of an anti-Israel boycott, mainly from the UK and Scandinavian countries”. 

Peak Food

Peak food: The U.N.’s Food Price Index reached a new high in February 2011, exacerbating poverty in developing countries and creating potential for civil unrest. “Peak water” entered the popular lexicon in 2010, after two scientists classified threats to human use of rivers and underground aquifers, and to ecological stability. Peak coffee, peak chocolate, peak rare earth metals, peak travel have all followed suit. It’s “peak” season.
Two simple trends are driving these concerns. The world has more people than ever, and more of those people than ever are breaking out of abject poverty and competing in a global market for goods and resources.
The human population passed 7 billion last year, and the U.N. projects it will top 9.3 billion by 2050. Most of the growth is occurring in Asia, where the population is on track to balloon 40 percent, to 8 billion, by midcentury.
An even bigger human accomplishment, and cause for worry, is the rise of the middle class. It’s expected to nearly triple in the next two decades, to 4.9 billion people in 2030 from 1.8 billion today, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development. The Global Footprint Network, which developed a resource-accounting tool for countries, puts it this way: At current consumption rates, we’ll need two Earths by 2030.


Are We About to Hit Peak Fertilizer?

By Occupy Monsanto

This article, Are We About to Hit Peak Fertilizer?, is syndicated from http://www.occupymonsanto360.org and is reposted here with permission.

http://www.occupymonsanto360.org (http://s.tt/1w8r1)

Everyone knows about how the advent of artificial fertilizers and pest controls altered the face of agriculture around the world during the Green Revolution more than half a century ago. And while few people are fully ignorant of the damage done to the environment through the use of these synthetic pesticides (and fertilizers), not many people have given much any thought to what will happen when we run out of these vital resources; which is nearing much faster than you might have guessed.

If you’ve ever used fertilizers you have probably at least seen their N-P-K ratings on the bag, standing for the three main fertilizers: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is quite plentiful and renewable, despite being the most damaging environmentally and largely being synthesized from natural gas, but the same is not true for phosphorus (bone meal) and potassium (potash). These vital minerals exist in quite limited quantities and cannot currently be feasibly synthesized, which causes major problems. The world’s phosphorus supply comes almost exclusively out of relatively unstable Morocco, and potassium from Canada and the former states of the Soviet Union, potentially making them future sites for “fertilizer wars” similar to the last century in the Middle East when supplies can’t easily keep up with demand.

Nitrogen is easy, even your urine is and effective source for feeding it to plants (think ammonia), phosphorus could be recycled to some degree if we returned to a practice utilized in some societies in the past of using human and animal skeletons as the source (if that doesn’t bother you), but potassium isn’t something we can easily do much anything about and is an extremely important nutrient to our own bodies as well. If you’re curious at all about how fickle the world’s potassium supply just ask someone who tried to find some to protect themselves from possible nuclear fallout from Fukushima recently, and they’ll be happy to tell you about how purchases globally were immediately put under strict controls in case of emergency needs and to prevent stockpiling from disrupting the global market. This is not something we want to have to deal with, but at some point we’re not going to have a choice.

Think about these issues when you’re considering whether or not to go with small scale organic foods or extremely wasteful and disrupting industrial ones, or you may end up help flushing out our saving grace to the sea. Also of note is that Monsanto’s infamous Round Up (glyphosate) used so plentifully around the world on GMO staple crops is specifically designed to chelate or lock up vital nutrients such of these in the soil, almost permanently sealing them away from being absorbed for use in the future, as that’s how it kills plants so effectively.

http://www.occupymonsanto360.org (http://s.tt/1w8r1)


By Michael, on October 16th, 2012

For six of the last eleven years the world has consumed more food than it has produced.  This year, drought in the United States and elsewhere has put even more pressure on global food supplies than usual.  As a result, global food reserves have reached their lowest level in almost 40 years.  Experts are warning that if next summer is similar to this summer that it could be enough to trigger a major global food crisis.  At this point, the world is literally living from one year to the next.  There is simply not much of a buffer left.  In the western world, the first place where we are going to notice the impact of this crisis is in the price of food.  It is being projected that overall food prices will rise between 5 and 20 percent by the end of this year.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the world has reached a tipping point.  We aren’t producing enough food for everyone anymore, and food reserves will continue to get lower and lower.  Eventually they will be totally gone.

The United Nations has issued an unprecedented warning about the state of global food supplies.  According to the UN, global food reserves have not been this low since 1974

But the population of the globe is much larger than it was back in 1974.  So needless to say, we have a major league problem on our hands.

The United States exports more food than anyone else in the world, and so the devastating drought that the U.S. experienced this summer is putting a lot of stress on the entire global food system.

According to Reuters, the drought hit U.S. ranchers particularly hard.  Many of them had to kill off large portions of their herds because they couldn’t afford to feed them any longer.  So there was a short-term surge in the supply of meat, but because herds are smaller now in the long-term the supply of meat is going to become much tighter.  So expect meat prices to start to go up significantly…

Many Americans will be shocked by rising food prices, but at least for now we won’t have to deal with actual food shortages like many on the other side of the globe will be soon.
At the end of August, the World Bank issued a global hunger warning

How would you feel if you only got one meal per day?

In many parts of India and in many parts of Africa more than 40 percent of all children have stunted growth due to malnutrition and a lack of clean water.

So if your family has enough to eat and drink every day you should be thankful for your blessings.
What makes things even worse is that the big banks have turned betting on the price of food into a giant casino game.

Many are making huge amounts of money through commodity speculation, but by driving up prices they are severely hurting millions of families on the other side of the planet.  The following is from a recent article by Heather Stewart

The era of seemingly endless cheap food has come to an end.  In future years, there simply will not be enough food for everyone on the globe.  Some people are going to go hungry.  That is one reason why I am encouraging everyone to start preparing for the coming global food crisis.

Some experts are projecting the worst for the years ahead…


Global food prices sharply rebounded in July due to wild swings in weather conditions, a UN food and agricultural body has said.
The rise has fanned fresh fears of a repeat of the 2007-2008 food crisis which hurt the world’s poorest.
Untimely rains in Brazil, drought in the US and production difficulties in Russia drove the rally,said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Food prices jumped 6% in July from June after falling three months in a row.
The FAO food price index measures the monthly price changes for a basket of food commodities including cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar. The index reading in July was still well below the all-time high reached in February 2011.
The Rome-based organisation took the surprise step of publishing the index this month – which it usually does not – due to the exceptional market conditions affected by unusual weather patterns.
Peak food: The U.N.’s Food Price Index reached a new high in February 2011, exacerbating poverty in developing countries and creating potential for civil unrest. “Peak water” entered the popular lexicon in 2010, after two scientists classified threats to human use of rivers and underground aquifers, and to ecological stability. Peak coffee, peak chocolate, peak rare earth metals, peak travel have all followed suit. It’s “peak” season.
Two simple trends are driving these concerns. The world has more people than ever, and more of those people than ever are breaking out of abject poverty and competing in a global market for goods and resources.
The human population passed 7 billion last year, and the U.N. projects it will top 9.3 billion by 2050. Most of the growth is occurring in Asia, where the population is on track to balloon 40 percent, to 8 billion, by midcentury.
An even bigger human accomplishment, and cause for worry, is the rise of the middle class. It’s expected to nearly triple in the next two decades, to 4.9 billion people in 2030 from 1.8 billion today, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development. The Global Footprint Network, which developed a resource-accounting tool for countries, puts it this way: At current consumption rates, we’ll need two Earths by 2030.


Are We About to Hit Peak Fertilizer?

By Occupy Monsanto

This article, Are We About to Hit Peak Fertilizer?, is syndicated from http://www.occupymonsanto360.org and is reposted here with permission.

http://www.occupymonsanto360.org (http://s.tt/1w8r1)

Everyone knows about how the advent of artificial fertilizers and pest controls altered the face of agriculture around the world during the Green Revolution more than half a century ago. And while few people are fully ignorant of the damage done to the environment through the use of these synthetic pesticides (and fertilizers), not many people have given much any thought to what will happen when we run out of these vital resources; which is nearing much faster than you might have guessed.

If you’ve ever used fertilizers you have probably at least seen their N-P-K ratings on the bag, standing for the three main fertilizers: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is quite plentiful and renewable, despite being the most damaging environmentally and largely being synthesized from natural gas, but the same is not true for phosphorus (bone meal) and potassium (potash). These vital minerals exist in quite limited quantities and cannot currently be feasibly synthesized, which causes major problems. The world’s phosphorus supply comes almost exclusively out of relatively unstable Morocco, and potassium from Canada and the former states of the Soviet Union, potentially making them future sites for “fertilizer wars” similar to the last century in the Middle East when supplies can’t easily keep up with demand.

Nitrogen is easy, even your urine is and effective source for feeding it to plants (think ammonia), phosphorus could be recycled to some degree if we returned to a practice utilized in some societies in the past of using human and animal skeletons as the source (if that doesn’t bother you), but potassium isn’t something we can easily do much anything about and is an extremely important nutrient to our own bodies as well. If you’re curious at all about how fickle the world’s potassium supply just ask someone who tried to find some to protect themselves from possible nuclear fallout from Fukushima recently, and they’ll be happy to tell you about how purchases globally were immediately put under strict controls in case of emergency needs and to prevent stockpiling from disrupting the global market. This is not something we want to have to deal with, but at some point we’re not going to have a choice.

Think about these issues when you’re considering whether or not to go with small scale organic foods or extremely wasteful and disrupting industrial ones, or you may end up help flushing out our saving grace to the sea. Also of note is that Monsanto’s infamous Round Up (glyphosate) used so plentifully around the world on GMO staple crops is specifically designed to chelate or lock up vital nutrients such of these in the soil, almost permanently sealing them away from being absorbed for use in the future, as that’s how it kills plants so effectively.

http://www.occupymonsanto360.org (http://s.tt/1w8r1)


By Michael, on October 16th, 2012

For six of the last eleven years the world has consumed more food than it has produced.  This year, drought in the United States and elsewhere has put even more pressure on global food supplies than usual.  As a result, global food reserves have reached their lowest level in almost 40 years.  Experts are warning that if next summer is similar to this summer that it could be enough to trigger a major global food crisis.  At this point, the world is literally living from one year to the next.  There is simply not much of a buffer left.  In the western world, the first place where we are going to notice the impact of this crisis is in the price of food.  It is being projected that overall food prices will rise between 5 and 20 percent by the end of this year.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the world has reached a tipping point.  We aren’t producing enough food for everyone anymore, and food reserves will continue to get lower and lower.  Eventually they will be totally gone.

The United Nations has issued an unprecedented warning about the state of global food supplies.  According to the UN, global food reserves have not been this low since 1974

But the population of the globe is much larger than it was back in 1974.  So needless to say, we have a major league problem on our hands.

The United States exports more food than anyone else in the world, and so the devastating drought that the U.S. experienced this summer is putting a lot of stress on the entire global food system.

According to Reuters, the drought hit U.S. ranchers particularly hard.  Many of them had to kill off large portions of their herds because they couldn’t afford to feed them any longer.  So there was a short-term surge in the supply of meat, but because herds are smaller now in the long-term the supply of meat is going to become much tighter.  So expect meat prices to start to go up significantly…

Many Americans will be shocked by rising food prices, but at least for now we won’t have to deal with actual food shortages like many on the other side of the globe will be soon.
At the end of August, the World Bank issued a global hunger warning

How would you feel if you only got one meal per day?

In many parts of India and in many parts of Africa more than 40 percent of all children have stunted growth due to malnutrition and a lack of clean water.

So if your family has enough to eat and drink every day you should be thankful for your blessings.
What makes things even worse is that the big banks have turned betting on the price of food into a giant casino game.

Many are making huge amounts of money through commodity speculation, but by driving up prices they are severely hurting millions of families on the other side of the planet.  The following is from a recent article by Heather Stewart

The era of seemingly endless cheap food has come to an end.  In future years, there simply will not be enough food for everyone on the globe.  Some people are going to go hungry.  That is one reason why I am encouraging everyone to start preparing for the coming global food crisis.

Some experts are projecting the worst for the years ahead…


Global food prices sharply rebounded in July due to wild swings in weather conditions, a UN food and agricultural body has said.
The rise has fanned fresh fears of a repeat of the 2007-2008 food crisis which hurt the world’s poorest.
Untimely rains in Brazil, drought in the US and production difficulties in Russia drove the rally,said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Food prices jumped 6% in July from June after falling three months in a row.
The FAO food price index measures the monthly price changes for a basket of food commodities including cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar. The index reading in July was still well below the all-time high reached in February 2011.
The Rome-based organisation took the surprise step of publishing the index this month – which it usually does not – due to the exceptional market conditions affected by unusual weather patterns.

She is Malala

In a young age, Malala had earned the respect and support of the world. On October 09, 2012, the taliban shot her in the head while she rode home on a bus. In attempting to obliterate Malala’s words, the Taliban instead, just amplified her message far beyond the Swat Valley, calling attention to the justice of her cause in every corner of the world. During that incident, when Malala was about to be shot, the Taliban asked “Which one is Malala?” Now the whole world knows which one is Malala.

Born on the 12th of July 1997, Malala was given her first name after a famous Pashtun poet and warrior woman from southern Afghanistan, Malalai of Maiwand. Her last name, Yousafzai, is that of a large Pashtun tribal confederation that is predominant in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, where she grew up. At her house in Mingora, she lived with her two younger brothers, her parents, and two pet chickens.

Malala was educated in large part by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who is a poet, school owner, and an educational activist himself, running a chain of schools known as the Khushal Public School. She once stated to an interviewer that she would like to become a doctor, though later her father encouraged her to become a politician instead. Ziauddin referred to his daughter as something entirely special, permitting her to stay up at night and talk about politics after her two brothers had been sent to bed.

Malala started speaking about education rights as early as September 2008, when her father took her to Peshawar to speak at the local press club.

“How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” Malala asked her audience in a speech covered by newspapers and television channels throughout the region.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban is a thought provoking book.

Malala spoke with telling affection about her home country, and about the Pakistani people’s desire for prosperity, dignity and peace. Of the Taliban, whose threats against her continue, she expressed only the prayer that their children, all of their children, will have access to a real education as well. Mixed with the courage in her words, there is both personal humility and profound confidence; with passion in her voice, she summons everyone to unleash the power of young minds; to fight back against illiteracy, poverty, and terrorism; and to know in our hearts that – again, in her words – “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.”

“Education is the only solution,” she declares, adding that, with sufficient bravery and respect for one another “No one can stop us.”

The first thing that impressed me was the universality of the story. The specifics are different but there is a parallel between Pakistan, The US, and the Taliban, and Mexico, The US, and the drug cartels.

The origin of the Taliban can be traced to the CIA, The grandfather of the modern Mexican drug cartels was Nassar Haro, a director of the Dirección Federal de Seguridad.  According to Peter Dale Scott, the Dirección Federal de Seguridad was in part a CIA creation, and “the CIA’s closest government allies were for years in the DFS”. DFS badges, “handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers, have been labelled by DEA agents a virtual ‘license to traffic.’” Scott says that “The Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s, prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nassar (or Nazar) Haro, a CIA asset.

The Pakistani government makes a show of fighting the Taliban, harassing the populace, while high ranking generals regularly have  lunch with the Taliban leadership. The Mexican government makes a show of fighting the Drug Cartels while high ranking government officials regularly have lunch with the Cartles leadership.

But the main message is that Malala is just a regular, tough hard driven, teenage girl. She describes how when in Abu Dabi, she started to panic  just at the look of Arabic men filling the street, and how she calmed herself by recalling that she already came back from the dead. If she can fight for her rights, could we?

In a young age, Malala had earned the respect and support of the world. On October 09, 2012, the taliban shot her in the head while she rode home on a bus. In attempting to obliterate Malala’s words, the Taliban instead, just amplified her message far beyond the Swat Valley, calling attention to the justice of her cause in every corner of the world. During that incident, when Malala was about to be shot, the Taliban asked “Which one is Malala?” Now the whole world knows which one is Malala.

Born on the 12th of July 1997, Malala was given her first name after a famous Pashtun poet and warrior woman from southern Afghanistan, Malalai of Maiwand. Her last name, Yousafzai, is that of a large Pashtun tribal confederation that is predominant in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, where she grew up. At her house in Mingora, she lived with her two younger brothers, her parents, and two pet chickens.

Malala was educated in large part by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who is a poet, school owner, and an educational activist himself, running a chain of schools known as the Khushal Public School. She once stated to an interviewer that she would like to become a doctor, though later her father encouraged her to become a politician instead. Ziauddin referred to his daughter as something entirely special, permitting her to stay up at night and talk about politics after her two brothers had been sent to bed.

Malala started speaking about education rights as early as September 2008, when her father took her to Peshawar to speak at the local press club.

“How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” Malala asked her audience in a speech covered by newspapers and television channels throughout the region.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban is a thought provoking book.

Malala spoke with telling affection about her home country, and about the Pakistani people’s desire for prosperity, dignity and peace. Of the Taliban, whose threats against her continue, she expressed only the prayer that their children, all of their children, will have access to a real education as well. Mixed with the courage in her words, there is both personal humility and profound confidence; with passion in her voice, she summons everyone to unleash the power of young minds; to fight back against illiteracy, poverty, and terrorism; and to know in our hearts that – again, in her words – “One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.”

“Education is the only solution,” she declares, adding that, with sufficient bravery and respect for one another “No one can stop us.”

The first thing that impressed me was the universality of the story. The specifics are different but there is a parallel between Pakistan, The US, and the Taliban, and Mexico, The US, and the drug cartels.

The origin of the Taliban can be traced to the CIA, The grandfather of the modern Mexican drug cartels was Nassar Haro, a director of the Dirección Federal de Seguridad.  According to Peter Dale Scott, the Dirección Federal de Seguridad was in part a CIA creation, and “the CIA’s closest government allies were for years in the DFS”. DFS badges, “handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers, have been labelled by DEA agents a virtual ‘license to traffic.’” Scott says that “The Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s, prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nassar (or Nazar) Haro, a CIA asset.

The Pakistani government makes a show of fighting the Taliban, harassing the populace, while high ranking generals regularly have  lunch with the Taliban leadership. The Mexican government makes a show of fighting the Drug Cartels while high ranking government officials regularly have lunch with the Cartles leadership.

But the main message is that Malala is just a regular, tough hard driven, teenage girl. She describes how when in Abu Dabi, she started to panic  just at the look of Arabic men filling the street, and how she calmed herself by recalling that she already came back from the dead. If she can fight for her rights, could we?

Nakusa

Jan. 26, 2014 9:12 AM EST

NEW DELHI (AP) — In the hours after her 6-year-old daughter was kidnapped, screaming in terror as she was dragged away from home, Rimaila Awungshi appealed for help from the most powerful authority she knew — the council of elders in her rural Indian village.

In her anguish, Awungshi told the village leaders what happened. She was a single mother to a beloved little girl named Yinring, whose name translates as “living in God’s shelter.” Her ex-boyfriend had refused to marry her or care for their child. But as the years passed and he never found a wife, his family demanded custody.

“But I am poor, and I have no brothers, and the village authority doesn’t care,” Awungshi said in a telephone interview from her home in remote northeast India.

Across much of rural India, these powerful and deeply conservative local councils are the law of the land. They serve as judge and jury, dictating everything from custody cases to how women should dress to whether young lovers deserve to live or die.

They often enforce strict social norms about marriage and gender roles.

These unelected and unregulated courts now are coming under fresh scrutiny after police say a council of elders in West Bengal ordered the gang rape of a 20-year-old woman as punishment for falling in love with the man from a different community.

“We are going back to the 16th century,” Pradip Bhattacharya, a politician in West Bengal, said this week as news of the gang rape began to spread in a country already reeling from a string of high-profile cases of sexual violence against women.

Village councils are common in India with vast rural communities, serving as the only practical means of delivering justice in areas where local governments are either too far away or too ineffective to mediate disputes. Often, the elders try to halt the march of the modern world, enforcing strict social norms about marriage and gender roles.

In some of the most extreme cases, the councils have sanctioned so-called honor killings, usually against women suspected of out-of-wedlock sex. Known as khap panchayats in northern India, the councils act with impunity because villagers risk being ostracized if they flout the rulings.

The courts can be especially harsh toward women, enforcing the most conservative aspects a patriarchal system that is deeply entrenched in Indian society.


5 January 2013 Last updated at 01:07 GMT

Violence against women is deeply entrenched in the feudal, patriarchal Indian society, where for the rapist, every woman is fair game.

In 2003, the country was shamed when a 28-year-old Swiss diplomat was forced into her own car by two men in south Delhi’s posh Siri Fort area and raped by one of them. The rapist, whom she described as being fluent in English, spoke to her about Switzerland and is believed to have even lectured her on Indian culture.

Ms Jaisingh says that just drafting a better law will not be enough, it is society which has to change.

“There is no magic formula to deal with the problem of rape. There’s a bias that operates in the mind of decision makers – stereotyping women, blaming the victim, trying to find out if she invited the rape.”

But every once in a while, an incident happens which ignites a spark.

The first such incident in India occurred in 1972 when Mathura, a 16-year-old tribal girl, was raped by two policemen inside a police station.

The courts set free the accused – they said she did not raise an alarm, she was not injured, and since she was sexually active, she would have “voluntarily” consented to sex.

Howls of angry protests from activists led to the government amending the anti-rape law in 1983 to accommodate the provision that if a victim says that she did not consent to sex, the court will believe her.

The outpouring of anger and grief after the recent Delhi incident has also given rise to hopes that things are about to change in India.

The government has formed a committee under retired Supreme Court Justice JS Verma to take a fresh look at the anti-rape law.

Justice Verma has invited suggestion from the public and his inbox is reported to be full of demands for the death penalty and chemical castration for rapists. Many are also calling for longer jail sentences of up to 30 years or even life in jail.

But campaigners say laws alone may not be able to solve the problem in a society which treats its women as “second-class citizens” and regards them inferior to men.

They say until social attitudes change and women are respected and treated as equals, the gains from the protests will be shortlived.


She was 23, with dreams of being a doctor. But two weeks ago, she was gang raped by six men, savagely beaten and thrown out of a moving bus in Delhi. The still unnamed woman who has become “India’s daughter” just died of her injuries in hospital. 
Namita Bhandare knows the constant fear that goes with living in Delhi, nicknamed India’s “rape capital”. Like others, she long believed that nothing would change. But the outpouring of anger and sadness now hasconvinced her that this could be a turning point for women like her.
The tragedy has sparked vigils and protests, and over 100,000 Indians have already signed Namita’s petition to the Prime Minister. As the story reverberates around the world, being covered by every major news outlet, there’s a chance for Americans to help show the Indian Prime Minister that their international reputation is on the line if they fail to act.
The story of “India’s daughter” has sparked deep grief and fury across India. Grief for her horrifying ordeal, and fury that politicians have ignored the huge problem of rape and sexual violence against women for so long. 
According to crime statistics, a woman is raped every 22 minutes, and most rapists are never prosecuted. Women are often blamed for their own rapes, police refuse to hear reports from victims, and some women report being harassed by the very authorities they hope will protect them. 
Politicians are being faced with some uncomfortable truths. But Namita says that unless people seize this moment of national consciousness, the chance to change anything will slip away. That’s why she’s asking for global support to show the world is watching.
Thanks for being a part of this,
Kristiane and the Change.org team


Prawesh Lama & Bhuvan Bagga

Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/a-woman-is-raped-every-18-hrs-in-delhi/1/125779.html

This is what you feared but hoped was not true – crime-prone Delhi has turned against women, making them the target of assault each day. There are hard facts to prove this.

New figures released by the Delhi Police reveal that a woman is raped every 18 hours or molested every 14 hours in the Capital. Shockingly, the majority of the attackers are below 25 years.
The crime graph is heading north. Expect it to rise further in 2011, says Delhi Police commissioner Brijesh Kumar Gupta.

Girl molested every 14 hrs in Delhi.
A girl is molested every 14 hours in Delhi.

The number of rape cases in the city increased in 2010 over the previous year. In 2009 there were 459 cases of rape reported across the city, while in 2010 the figure was 489. This roughly translates to one rape case every 18 hours.

Provocation for murders.
Provocation for murders.

The cases of molestation of women have also increased in 2010. While there were 528 cases of molestation in 2009, such cases went up to 585 in 2010 – or once every 14 hours. Police investigations have established that the attackers were overwhelmingly from within the circle of family and acquaintances of the victims. Of the persons arrested for rape, only 4 per cent were strangers and 96 per cent were known to victim or her family.
A staggering 56 per cent accused in rape cases were below the age of 25. Similarly in molestation cases, 92 per cent accused were known to the victims. Of the 765 accused arrested, 58 per cent were below the age of 25, the police figures show.
Police chief Gupta said the rise in crime figures in the coming months will also be the result of higher registration of cases to make sure that criminals are pursued and caught.
Acknowledging how the non-registration of cases has played a key role in suppressing the crime rate in the city, the police commissioner felt this also allowed criminals to go scot free.
“The Delhi Police have a detection rate of 87.86 per cent in heinous crimes,” Gupta said, adding that the registration of cases will mean that the police would have to investigate and bring criminals to task. This would go a long way in making Delhi a safer place for women.


29 December 2012 Last updated at 12:39 GMT

Thousands of people have joined peaceful protests in India’s capital, Delhi, following the death of a woman who was gang-raped in the city.

The 23-year old woman, who has not been identified, died of her injuries on Saturday in Singapore, where she had been taken for specialist treatment.

Six men arrested in connection with the rape have now been charged with murder.

The attack on 16 December triggered violent public protests over attitudes towards women in India.

Two police officers have already been suspended.

There has also been an angry reaction in the Indian media, with one editorial in the Times of India calling for wider changes in society and an awareness that as well as attacks on the street, there are “a thousand unheard voices” of women who face sexual violence at home.

Our correspondent says that over the past two weeks, the anonymous woman has became a symbol of a much larger cause than her own, with protesters focusing on the wider issue of how women are treated in India.

Even after her funeral, the sentiment will continue, he adds, with the public pushing the government to take steps to make people feel more confident about the way women are treated.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was “very saddened” by the woman’s death, and that the angry public reaction was “perfectly understandable”.

“It would be a true homage to her memory if we are able to channel these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action,” he said in a statement.

He called on politicians and the public to set aside “narrow sectional interest” and work together to make India “a demonstrably better and safer place for women to live in”.

The woman – a medical student – and her friend had been to see a film when they boarded the bus in the Munirka area of Delhi, intending to travel to Dwarka in the south-west of the city.

Police said she was raped for nearly an hour, and both she and her companion were beaten with iron bars, then thrown out of the moving bus into the street.

The assault sparked angry protests about the general conditions for women in India, and about what is seen as an inadequate police response to rape allegations.


MUMBAI, India (AP) — More than 200 Indian girls whose names mean “unwanted” in Hindi have chosen new names for a fresh start in life.
A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony Saturday that it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespreadgender discrimination that gives India a skewed gender ratio, with far more boys than girls.
The 285 girls — wearing their best outfits with barrettes, braids and bows in their hair — lined up to receive certificates with their new names along with small flower bouquets from Satara district officials in Maharashtra state.
In shedding names like “Nakusa” or “Nakushi,” which mean “unwanted” in Hindi, some girls chose to name themselves after Bollywood stars such as “Aishwarya” or Hindu goddesses like “Savitri.” Some just wanted traditional names with happier meanings, such as “Vaishali,” or “prosperous, beautiful and good.”
“Now in school, my classmates and friends will be calling me this new name, and that makes me very happy,” said a 15-year-old girl who had been named Nakusa by a grandfather disappointed by her birth. She chose the new name “Ashmita,” which means “very tough” or “rock hard” in Hindi.
The plight of girls in India came to a focus after this year’s census showed the nation’s sex ratio had dropped over the past decade from 927 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of 6 to 914.
Maharashtra state’s ratio is well below that, with just 883 girls for every 1,000 boys — down from 913 a decade ago. In the district of Satara, it is even lower, at 881.
Such ratios are the result of abortions of female fetuses, or just sheer neglect leading to a higher death rate among girls. The problem is so serious in India that hospitals are legally banned from revealing the gender of an unborn fetus in order to prevent sex-selective abortions, though evidence suggests the information gets out.
Part of the reason Indians favor sons is the enormous expense of marrying off girls. Families often go into debt arranging marriages and paying for elaborate dowries. A boy, on the other hand, will one day bring home a bride and dowry. Hindu custom also dictates that only sons can light their parents’ funeral pyres.
Over the years, and again now, efforts have been made to fight the discrimination.
“Nakusa is a very negative name as far as female discrimination is concerned,” said Satara district health officer Dr. Bhagwan Pawar, who came up with the idea for the renaming ceremony.
Other incentives, announced by federal or state governments every few years, include free meals and free education to encourage people to take care of their girls, and even cash bonuses for families with girls who graduate from high school.
Activists say the name “unwanted,” which is widely given to girls across India, gives them the feeling they are worthless and a burden.
“When the child thinks about it, you know, ‘My mom, my dad, and all my relatives and society call me unwanted,’ she will feel very bad and depressed,” said Sudha Kankaria of the organization Save the Girl Child. But giving these girls new names is only the beginning, she said.
“We have to take care of the girls, their education and even financial and social security, or again the cycle is going to repeat,” she said.

Jan. 26, 2014 9:12 AM EST

NEW DELHI (AP) — In the hours after her 6-year-old daughter was kidnapped, screaming in terror as she was dragged away from home, Rimaila Awungshi appealed for help from the most powerful authority she knew — the council of elders in her rural Indian village.

In her anguish, Awungshi told the village leaders what happened. She was a single mother to a beloved little girl named Yinring, whose name translates as “living in God’s shelter.” Her ex-boyfriend had refused to marry her or care for their child. But as the years passed and he never found a wife, his family demanded custody.

“But I am poor, and I have no brothers, and the village authority doesn’t care,” Awungshi said in a telephone interview from her home in remote northeast India.

Across much of rural India, these powerful and deeply conservative local councils are the law of the land. They serve as judge and jury, dictating everything from custody cases to how women should dress to whether young lovers deserve to live or die.

They often enforce strict social norms about marriage and gender roles.

These unelected and unregulated courts now are coming under fresh scrutiny after police say a council of elders in West Bengal ordered the gang rape of a 20-year-old woman as punishment for falling in love with the man from a different community.

“We are going back to the 16th century,” Pradip Bhattacharya, a politician in West Bengal, said this week as news of the gang rape began to spread in a country already reeling from a string of high-profile cases of sexual violence against women.

Village councils are common in India with vast rural communities, serving as the only practical means of delivering justice in areas where local governments are either too far away or too ineffective to mediate disputes. Often, the elders try to halt the march of the modern world, enforcing strict social norms about marriage and gender roles.

In some of the most extreme cases, the councils have sanctioned so-called honor killings, usually against women suspected of out-of-wedlock sex. Known as khap panchayats in northern India, the councils act with impunity because villagers risk being ostracized if they flout the rulings.

The courts can be especially harsh toward women, enforcing the most conservative aspects a patriarchal system that is deeply entrenched in Indian society.


5 January 2013 Last updated at 01:07 GMT

Violence against women is deeply entrenched in the feudal, patriarchal Indian society, where for the rapist, every woman is fair game.

In 2003, the country was shamed when a 28-year-old Swiss diplomat was forced into her own car by two men in south Delhi’s posh Siri Fort area and raped by one of them. The rapist, whom she described as being fluent in English, spoke to her about Switzerland and is believed to have even lectured her on Indian culture.

Ms Jaisingh says that just drafting a better law will not be enough, it is society which has to change.

“There is no magic formula to deal with the problem of rape. There’s a bias that operates in the mind of decision makers – stereotyping women, blaming the victim, trying to find out if she invited the rape.”

But every once in a while, an incident happens which ignites a spark.

The first such incident in India occurred in 1972 when Mathura, a 16-year-old tribal girl, was raped by two policemen inside a police station.

The courts set free the accused – they said she did not raise an alarm, she was not injured, and since she was sexually active, she would have “voluntarily” consented to sex.

Howls of angry protests from activists led to the government amending the anti-rape law in 1983 to accommodate the provision that if a victim says that she did not consent to sex, the court will believe her.

The outpouring of anger and grief after the recent Delhi incident has also given rise to hopes that things are about to change in India.

The government has formed a committee under retired Supreme Court Justice JS Verma to take a fresh look at the anti-rape law.

Justice Verma has invited suggestion from the public and his inbox is reported to be full of demands for the death penalty and chemical castration for rapists. Many are also calling for longer jail sentences of up to 30 years or even life in jail.

But campaigners say laws alone may not be able to solve the problem in a society which treats its women as “second-class citizens” and regards them inferior to men.

They say until social attitudes change and women are respected and treated as equals, the gains from the protests will be shortlived.


She was 23, with dreams of being a doctor. But two weeks ago, she was gang raped by six men, savagely beaten and thrown out of a moving bus in Delhi. The still unnamed woman who has become “India’s daughter” just died of her injuries in hospital. 
Namita Bhandare knows the constant fear that goes with living in Delhi, nicknamed India’s “rape capital”. Like others, she long believed that nothing would change. But the outpouring of anger and sadness now hasconvinced her that this could be a turning point for women like her.
The tragedy has sparked vigils and protests, and over 100,000 Indians have already signed Namita’s petition to the Prime Minister. As the story reverberates around the world, being covered by every major news outlet, there’s a chance for Americans to help show the Indian Prime Minister that their international reputation is on the line if they fail to act.
The story of “India’s daughter” has sparked deep grief and fury across India. Grief for her horrifying ordeal, and fury that politicians have ignored the huge problem of rape and sexual violence against women for so long. 
According to crime statistics, a woman is raped every 22 minutes, and most rapists are never prosecuted. Women are often blamed for their own rapes, police refuse to hear reports from victims, and some women report being harassed by the very authorities they hope will protect them. 
Politicians are being faced with some uncomfortable truths. But Namita says that unless people seize this moment of national consciousness, the chance to change anything will slip away. That’s why she’s asking for global support to show the world is watching.
Thanks for being a part of this,
Kristiane and the Change.org team


Prawesh Lama & Bhuvan Bagga

Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/a-woman-is-raped-every-18-hrs-in-delhi/1/125779.html

This is what you feared but hoped was not true – crime-prone Delhi has turned against women, making them the target of assault each day. There are hard facts to prove this.

New figures released by the Delhi Police reveal that a woman is raped every 18 hours or molested every 14 hours in the Capital. Shockingly, the majority of the attackers are below 25 years.
The crime graph is heading north. Expect it to rise further in 2011, says Delhi Police commissioner Brijesh Kumar Gupta.

Girl molested every 14 hrs in Delhi.
A girl is molested every 14 hours in Delhi.

The number of rape cases in the city increased in 2010 over the previous year. In 2009 there were 459 cases of rape reported across the city, while in 2010 the figure was 489. This roughly translates to one rape case every 18 hours.

Provocation for murders.
Provocation for murders.

The cases of molestation of women have also increased in 2010. While there were 528 cases of molestation in 2009, such cases went up to 585 in 2010 – or once every 14 hours. Police investigations have established that the attackers were overwhelmingly from within the circle of family and acquaintances of the victims. Of the persons arrested for rape, only 4 per cent were strangers and 96 per cent were known to victim or her family.
A staggering 56 per cent accused in rape cases were below the age of 25. Similarly in molestation cases, 92 per cent accused were known to the victims. Of the 765 accused arrested, 58 per cent were below the age of 25, the police figures show.
Police chief Gupta said the rise in crime figures in the coming months will also be the result of higher registration of cases to make sure that criminals are pursued and caught.
Acknowledging how the non-registration of cases has played a key role in suppressing the crime rate in the city, the police commissioner felt this also allowed criminals to go scot free.
“The Delhi Police have a detection rate of 87.86 per cent in heinous crimes,” Gupta said, adding that the registration of cases will mean that the police would have to investigate and bring criminals to task. This would go a long way in making Delhi a safer place for women.


29 December 2012 Last updated at 12:39 GMT

Thousands of people have joined peaceful protests in India’s capital, Delhi, following the death of a woman who was gang-raped in the city.

The 23-year old woman, who has not been identified, died of her injuries on Saturday in Singapore, where she had been taken for specialist treatment.

Six men arrested in connection with the rape have now been charged with murder.

The attack on 16 December triggered violent public protests over attitudes towards women in India.

Two police officers have already been suspended.

There has also been an angry reaction in the Indian media, with one editorial in the Times of India calling for wider changes in society and an awareness that as well as attacks on the street, there are “a thousand unheard voices” of women who face sexual violence at home.

Our correspondent says that over the past two weeks, the anonymous woman has became a symbol of a much larger cause than her own, with protesters focusing on the wider issue of how women are treated in India.

Even after her funeral, the sentiment will continue, he adds, with the public pushing the government to take steps to make people feel more confident about the way women are treated.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he was “very saddened” by the woman’s death, and that the angry public reaction was “perfectly understandable”.

“It would be a true homage to her memory if we are able to channel these emotions and energies into a constructive course of action,” he said in a statement.

He called on politicians and the public to set aside “narrow sectional interest” and work together to make India “a demonstrably better and safer place for women to live in”.

The woman – a medical student – and her friend had been to see a film when they boarded the bus in the Munirka area of Delhi, intending to travel to Dwarka in the south-west of the city.

Police said she was raped for nearly an hour, and both she and her companion were beaten with iron bars, then thrown out of the moving bus into the street.

The assault sparked angry protests about the general conditions for women in India, and about what is seen as an inadequate police response to rape allegations.


MUMBAI, India (AP) — More than 200 Indian girls whose names mean “unwanted” in Hindi have chosen new names for a fresh start in life.
A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony Saturday that it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespreadgender discrimination that gives India a skewed gender ratio, with far more boys than girls.
The 285 girls — wearing their best outfits with barrettes, braids and bows in their hair — lined up to receive certificates with their new names along with small flower bouquets from Satara district officials in Maharashtra state.
In shedding names like “Nakusa” or “Nakushi,” which mean “unwanted” in Hindi, some girls chose to name themselves after Bollywood stars such as “Aishwarya” or Hindu goddesses like “Savitri.” Some just wanted traditional names with happier meanings, such as “Vaishali,” or “prosperous, beautiful and good.”
“Now in school, my classmates and friends will be calling me this new name, and that makes me very happy,” said a 15-year-old girl who had been named Nakusa by a grandfather disappointed by her birth. She chose the new name “Ashmita,” which means “very tough” or “rock hard” in Hindi.
The plight of girls in India came to a focus after this year’s census showed the nation’s sex ratio had dropped over the past decade from 927 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of 6 to 914.
Maharashtra state’s ratio is well below that, with just 883 girls for every 1,000 boys — down from 913 a decade ago. In the district of Satara, it is even lower, at 881.
Such ratios are the result of abortions of female fetuses, or just sheer neglect leading to a higher death rate among girls. The problem is so serious in India that hospitals are legally banned from revealing the gender of an unborn fetus in order to prevent sex-selective abortions, though evidence suggests the information gets out.
Part of the reason Indians favor sons is the enormous expense of marrying off girls. Families often go into debt arranging marriages and paying for elaborate dowries. A boy, on the other hand, will one day bring home a bride and dowry. Hindu custom also dictates that only sons can light their parents’ funeral pyres.
Over the years, and again now, efforts have been made to fight the discrimination.
“Nakusa is a very negative name as far as female discrimination is concerned,” said Satara district health officer Dr. Bhagwan Pawar, who came up with the idea for the renaming ceremony.
Other incentives, announced by federal or state governments every few years, include free meals and free education to encourage people to take care of their girls, and even cash bonuses for families with girls who graduate from high school.
Activists say the name “unwanted,” which is widely given to girls across India, gives them the feeling they are worthless and a burden.
“When the child thinks about it, you know, ‘My mom, my dad, and all my relatives and society call me unwanted,’ she will feel very bad and depressed,” said Sudha Kankaria of the organization Save the Girl Child. But giving these girls new names is only the beginning, she said.
“We have to take care of the girls, their education and even financial and social security, or again the cycle is going to repeat,” she said.

women in Islam

The Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise Forced Child Marriage1.
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:

  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old girl;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal on her behalf; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.

It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.

The law was sent to the Council of Representatives yesterday, and the vote could happen any time now. To prevent Iraq’s girls from becoming vulnerable to forced child marriage it is crucial that we act now.

Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage2.

Any minute now, the Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise forced child marriage. 1
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:
  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.
It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.
Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage.2
Brave Iraqi women have been fighting against removing the minimum age for marriage, for their sake and for the sake of their daughters. Last month on International Women’s Day, countless women attended demonstrations in Baghdad protesting the Jaafari Personal Status Law. They called it the “Day of Mourning”.3
We may not have much time to stop Iraq from legalising forced child marriage and a lifetime of domestic and sexual slavery for girls and women. Call on the the Iraqi Council of Representatives to vote “no” to the Jaafari Personal Status Law today.


PUBLISHED: 14:41 GMT, 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 14:42 GMT, 24 January 2013

Saudi Arabia’s feared morality police say they will not punish men who walk around in their underwear – but women still face harsh punishments if they violate strict laws on women’s dress codes.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has denied reports of a ban to counter the controversial trend of young men frequenting shopping malls in their undershirts and long pyjamas.

Women, however, are still expected to cover their body with a cloak, head covering and a veil according to the country’s strict Islamic laws.


Friday, 15 March, 2002, 12:19 GMT  

Saudi police ‘stopped’ fire rescue
 
Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom’s powerful “mutaween” police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

An inquiry was launched by the Saudi government in wake of the deaths. The investigation was led by Abdul Majeed, the governor of Makkah. The Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, promised that those responsible for the deaths would be held accountable.[7] Nayef, at the time, stated that the deaths didn’t happen as a result of the fire, but rather the stampede caused by the panic. He acknowledged the presence of two mutaween and that they went there to prevent “mistreatment” of the girls. He asserted that they didn’t interfere with the rescue efforts and only arrived after everyone had left the building.[7]
On March 25, the inquiry concluded that while the fire had been caused by a stray cigarette, the religious educational authorities responsible for the school had neglected the safety of the pupils.[3] The inquiry found that the clerics had ignored warnings that overcrowding of the school could cause a fatal stampede. It also found that there was a lack of fire extinguishers and alarms in the building. Accordingly, the cleric in charge of the school was fired, and his office was merged with the Ministry of Education. The report dismissed allegations that the mutaween (of CPVPV) had prevented the girls from fleeing or made the death toll worse.[3]
Many newspapers welcomed the merger of the agency responsible for girls’ education with the Ministry of Education. Previously, the agencies had been separate and girls’ education had been in the hands of the religious establishment. The newspapers saw the merger as a step towards “reform”.


Elham Asghari is an Iranian swimmer who began swimming at the age of five. She holds several national open-water swimming records. Elham swims wearing a full-body swimsuit she designed that fully adheres to Iran’s Islamic dress code for women. She says the suit hinders her performance and causes her pain, adding a hefty six kilograms to her weight in water. Still she wears it in order to pursue her lifelong dream of being an open-water swimmer.
Achieving that dream has not been without its challenges for Elham. In Iran women are only allowed to swim in gender-segregated pools and are banned from participating in international swimming competitions. During a previous open-water record-attempt, Iranian police chased Elham in a boat in order to stop her from swimming. The propellers on the police boat sliced her legs and hip.
Elham broke her previous 20km open-water record, in June of 2013, by completing a swim in the Caspian Sea in just over eight hours. She swam in a private, women-only beach to avoid another run in with the police. Yet, Iranian officials have refused to recognize her record, stating that her swimming costume, which she had worn when setting her previous records, was illegal because “the feminine characteristics of her body were visible when she came out of the water.

As an Iranian-American woman living in the United States, I feel it is my duty to raise the publics’ awareness on the issue at hand. I’m asking the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to require the Iranian Swimming Federation to register the record Elham Asghari rightfully earned.
Elham Asghari is a talented, accomplished athlete who has worked tirelessly as an open-water swimmer. She continues to face obstacles and challenges that most athletes would never have to deal with on a daily basis. Like any other athlete she deserves to be recognized for her accomplishments. Please join me in asking FINA to help get Elham’s record recognized.


(CNN) — Women stood at the forefront of the Arab Spring, taking to the streets shoulder to shoulder with men in an effort to overturn oppressive old orders.

But while their efforts have seen dictators ousted and reforms introduced, the greater rights for women many hoped would emerge from the upheaval have not materialized.

Indeed, says Lebanese activist Diala Haidar, the rise of political Islam throughout the region in the wake of the uprising has raised the specter of hard-won gains for women being lost.

Haidar and four other women’s rights activists across the region started a campaign, The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, on Facebook in October 2011, to highlight injustices against women throughout the region.

“The Arab Spring took place under the banner of freedom, dignity and equality, and the three can’t be established if women are left behind,” said Haidar, 28, a laboratory supervisor.

“At every stage of history we have been given the excuse, ‘It’s not the time to discuss women’s issues — we are at war, it’s a revolution,’ or whatever. It’s our time to say ‘We need our rights,'” she added.


RIYADH — Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.


International Olympic Committee rules require that countries allow both men and women to compete as a prerequisite for their participation in the Olympic Games. Saudia Arabia, a country that has never sent a female athlete to the games, has been warned of this, promised to correct the situation, and then sort of did nothing for awhile and hoped that no one would notice.

Now, one human rights group says enough is enough and is encouraging the IOC to bar the Middle Eastern Kingdom from the Games, on account of the fact that they’re clearly dragging their feet on this. In a letter to the IOC on Wednesday, the organization demanded Saudi Arabia be barred from the upcoming London Olympic Games if they fail to send a lady to compete.

For awhile, it looked as though Saudi Arabia would actually comply with the IOC’s warning. Equestrian Dalma Rushdi Malhas competed for the kingdom in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, where she took home a bronze medal. Some analysts believed that she had the best chance to qualify for the Olympics, but now, it seems that the country’s all-male equestrian team is deep into training in Europe— without her.

Further, Olympic rules have bent over backward to allow countries with fewer highly trained athletes to send participants to the games by offering universality slots in many track and field and swimming events. The slots are reserved for countries that can’t produce any athletes that meet the qualifying standards. Saudi Arabia has not opted to fill any of those slots with female athletes.

A spokesperson from the IOC rejected the call for a Saudi ban, saying that the Games don’t issue ultimatums or deadlines to countries who wish to participate, that Malhas’s participation in the Youth Olympic Games was a positive sign that Saudi Arabia was serious about including ladies.

But Human Rights Watch isn’t not so sure this is the case. Girls and boys are strictly segregated in the country, and all girls schools do not offer any sort of physical education, exercise, or sports teams. For a Saudi woman to have any hope of training, she’d have to do it in another country. Saudi Arabia was never serious about including women in sport, and may never be.

Ban Urged on Saudi Arabia over Discrimination [NYT]

The Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise Forced Child Marriage1.
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:

  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old girl;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal on her behalf; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.

It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.

The law was sent to the Council of Representatives yesterday, and the vote could happen any time now. To prevent Iraq’s girls from becoming vulnerable to forced child marriage it is crucial that we act now.

Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage2.

Any minute now, the Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise forced child marriage. 1
The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:
  • There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old;
  • A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal; and
  • The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.
It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery.
Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East — setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage.2
Brave Iraqi women have been fighting against removing the minimum age for marriage, for their sake and for the sake of their daughters. Last month on International Women’s Day, countless women attended demonstrations in Baghdad protesting the Jaafari Personal Status Law. They called it the “Day of Mourning”.3
We may not have much time to stop Iraq from legalising forced child marriage and a lifetime of domestic and sexual slavery for girls and women. Call on the the Iraqi Council of Representatives to vote “no” to the Jaafari Personal Status Law today.


|

Saudi Arabia’s feared morality police say they will not punish men who walk around in their underwear – but women still face harsh punishments if they violate strict laws on women’s dress codes.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has denied reports of a ban to counter the controversial trend of young men frequenting shopping malls in their undershirts and long pyjamas.

Women, however, are still expected to cover their body with a cloak, head covering and a veil according to the country’s strict Islamic laws.


Friday, 15 March, 2002, 12:19 GMT  

Saudi police ‘stopped’ fire rescue
 
Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom’s powerful “mutaween” police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

An inquiry was launched by the Saudi government in wake of the deaths. The investigation was led by Abdul Majeed, the governor of Makkah. The Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, promised that those responsible for the deaths would be held accountable.[7] Nayef, at the time, stated that the deaths didn’t happen as a result of the fire, but rather the stampede caused by the panic. He acknowledged the presence of two mutaween and that they went there to prevent “mistreatment” of the girls. He asserted that they didn’t interfere with the rescue efforts and only arrived after everyone had left the building.[7]
On March 25, the inquiry concluded that while the fire had been caused by a stray cigarette, the religious educational authorities responsible for the school had neglected the safety of the pupils.[3] The inquiry found that the clerics had ignored warnings that overcrowding of the school could cause a fatal stampede. It also found that there was a lack of fire extinguishers and alarms in the building. Accordingly, the cleric in charge of the school was fired, and his office was merged with the Ministry of Education. The report dismissed allegations that the mutaween (of CPVPV) had prevented the girls from fleeing or made the death toll worse.[3]
Many newspapers welcomed the merger of the agency responsible for girls’ education with the Ministry of Education. Previously, the agencies had been separate and girls’ education had been in the hands of the religious establishment. The newspapers saw the merger as a step towards “reform”.


Elham Asghari is an Iranian swimmer who began swimming at the age of five. She holds several national open-water swimming records. Elham swims wearing a full-body swimsuit she designed that fully adheres to Iran’s Islamic dress code for women. She says the suit hinders her performance and causes her pain, adding a hefty six kilograms to her weight in water. Still she wears it in order to pursue her lifelong dream of being an open-water swimmer.
Achieving that dream has not been without its challenges for Elham. In Iran women are only allowed to swim in gender-segregated pools and are banned from participating in international swimming competitions. During a previous open-water record-attempt, Iranian police chased Elham in a boat in order to stop her from swimming. The propellers on the police boat sliced her legs and hip.
Elham broke her previous 20km open-water record, in June of 2013, by completing a swim in the Caspian Sea in just over eight hours. She swam in a private, women-only beach to avoid another run in with the police. Yet, Iranian officials have refused to recognize her record, stating that her swimming costume, which she had worn when setting her previous records, was illegal because “the feminine characteristics of her body were visible when she came out of the water.

As an Iranian-American woman living in the United States, I feel it is my duty to raise the publics’ awareness on the issue at hand. I’m asking the International Swimming Federation (FINA) to require the Iranian Swimming Federation to register the record Elham Asghari rightfully earned.
Elham Asghari is a talented, accomplished athlete who has worked tirelessly as an open-water swimmer. She continues to face obstacles and challenges that most athletes would never have to deal with on a daily basis. Like any other athlete she deserves to be recognized for her accomplishments. Please join me in asking FINA to help get Elham’s record recognized.


(CNN) — Women stood at the forefront of the Arab Spring, taking to the streets shoulder to shoulder with men in an effort to overturn oppressive old orders.

But while their efforts have seen dictators ousted and reforms introduced, the greater rights for women many hoped would emerge from the upheaval have not materialized.

Indeed, says Lebanese activist Diala Haidar, the rise of political Islam throughout the region in the wake of the uprising has raised the specter of hard-won gains for women being lost.

Haidar and four other women’s rights activists across the region started a campaign, The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, on Facebook in October 2011, to highlight injustices against women throughout the region.

“The Arab Spring took place under the banner of freedom, dignity and equality, and the three can’t be established if women are left behind,” said Haidar, 28, a laboratory supervisor.

“At every stage of history we have been given the excuse, ‘It’s not the time to discuss women’s issues — we are at war, it’s a revolution,’ or whatever. It’s our time to say ‘We need our rights,'” she added.


RIYADH — Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.


International Olympic Committee rules require that countries allow both men and women to compete as a prerequisite for their participation in the Olympic Games. Saudia Arabia, a country that has never sent a female athlete to the games, has been warned of this, promised to correct the situation, and then sort of did nothing for awhile and hoped that no one would notice.

Now, one human rights group says enough is enough and is encouraging the IOC to bar the Middle Eastern Kingdom from the Games, on account of the fact that they’re clearly dragging their feet on this. In a letter to the IOC on Wednesday, the organization demanded Saudi Arabia be barred from the upcoming London Olympic Games if they fail to send a lady to compete.

For awhile, it looked as though Saudi Arabia would actually comply with the IOC’s warning. Equestrian Dalma Rushdi Malhas competed for the kingdom in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, where she took home a bronze medal. Some analysts believed that she had the best chance to qualify for the Olympics, but now, it seems that the country’s all-male equestrian team is deep into training in Europe— without her.

Further, Olympic rules have bent over backward to allow countries with fewer highly trained athletes to send participants to the games by offering universality slots in many track and field and swimming events. The slots are reserved for countries that can’t produce any athletes that meet the qualifying standards. Saudi Arabia has not opted to fill any of those slots with female athletes.

A spokesperson from the IOC rejected the call for a Saudi ban, saying that the Games don’t issue ultimatums or deadlines to countries who wish to participate, that Malhas’s participation in the Youth Olympic Games was a positive sign that Saudi Arabia was serious about including ladies.

But Human Rights Watch isn’t not so sure this is the case. Girls and boys are strictly segregated in the country, and all girls schools do not offer any sort of physical education, exercise, or sports teams. For a Saudi woman to have any hope of training, she’d have to do it in another country. Saudi Arabia was never serious about including women in sport, and may never be.

Ban Urged on Saudi Arabia over Discrimination [NYT]

slavery and the Qatar 2022 World Cup

We are so excited to tell you that your campaigning over the last few days has well and truly paid off: Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev, the activists that disappeared in Qatar, have been released and will shortly be on their way home. We’ve heard from Krishna’s family in the last few hours and Krishna himself posted this status on Facebook last night: “Just released, will fly in two days’ time!”1

Your support was invaluable in bringing pressure to bear on the Qatari authorities and shining a light on the legitimate and important work of anti-slavery activists. Over 55,000 of you sent messages straight to the Qatari Minister of the Interior and Prime Minister to call on the authorities to investigate Krishna and Ghimire’s disappearance. 48 hours later we heard they were safe. Now we know they are coming home. This just goes to show what we can achieve when we speak out together with other anti-slavery activists and organisations around the world.

As someone that has taken action to end modern slavery in Qatar before, we know you know how important the work of researchers like Krishna and Ghimire is in uncovering the exploitation of migrant workers there. Thank you for continuing to support these efforts by calling for their release.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more from Krishna and Ghimire when they return home, but we wanted to let you know as soon as possible that your campaigning has made a big difference in the fight to end modern slavery, once again.

In solidarity,

Jayde, Joanna, Fleur, Olly and the whole Walk Free team

P.S. Although it’s incredible news that Krishna and Ghimire are on their way home, the exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar that they were investigating continues. We’re currently planning the next stages of the campaign to end modern slavery fuelling the Qatar 2022 World Cup and will let you know soon the next way you can take action. Thank you again for your continued support on this issue.

http://gnrd.net/seemore.php?id=876


hsi-email-logo-2013.jpg    

Dear Friend,

“I am being followed by the police here. Looks like they will give me troubles now.”1

This is one of the ominous final messages Krishna Upadhyaya sent before he and his colleague Ghimire Gundev disappeared in Qatar four days ago — they haven’t been heard from since.

Krishna and Ghimire are British campaigners, working in Qatar on behalf of the Norwegian human rights organisation Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD). They had been researching the plight of migrant labourers constructing facilities for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup, conducting interviews with Nepali labourers and investigating the terrible working conditions. 

On Sunday they vanished. Krishna was last in touch with a friend who has since said: “He was feeling unsafe to leave the hotel premises and according to him there were many police, most likely undercover ones, coming in very close to him every time he spoke to anyone on the phone. He expressed that he felt very insecure about what might happen when he left the hotel for the airport.”2

Krishna checked out of his hotel but did not board a planned flight back to Norway. Both are now feared to be detained by the Qatari security forces. Their whereabouts remain undisclosed by Qatari authorities despite repeated efforts by their families, and GNRD to obtain their location.3 In short — it’s feared that they may have been subjected to enforced disappearance.

Take action now: call for the immediate safe return of Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev.

As someone that has previously taken action to end modern slavery in Qatar fuelled by the Qatar 2022 World Cup, you know how vital the work of researchers like Krishna and Ghimire is. 

Krishna and Ghimire were working hard to keep the world’s attention on migrant workers trapped in conditions of modern slavery in Qatar. We cannot allow their mistreatment to continue. As fellow anti-slavery activists, we must take a stand and add to mounting pressure on the Qatari authorities to ensure Krishna and Ghimire are found. 

Please join us in calling on the Qatari authorities to act by:

  • Immediately investigating the whereabouts of Krishna and Ghimire and ensuring that they are allowed immediate access to their family members, a lawyer of their choice and to any medical treatment they may require. 
  • Ensuring that they are protected from all forms of torture or other ill-treatment.
  • Recognising that labour standards apply to all migrant workers, including the workers on Qatar 2022 World Cup infrastructure projects.

The next few hours are vital in finding and protecting Krishna and Ghimire — once you have taken action, please ask as many of your friends and family as possible to do the same.

In solidarity,

Jayde, Joanna, Fleur, Olly and the whole Walk Free team

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-human-rights-investigators-disappear-in-qatar-after-being-followed-by-plain-clothes-police-9709804.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-human-rights-investigators-disappear-in-qatar-after-being-followed-by-plain-clothes-police-9709804.html 
http://www.gnrd.net/seemore.php?id=855

Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world’s greatest evils: Modern slavery.


Today FIFA officials are meeting in Switzerland and we are running out of time to make our message heard. We need to act now to end the modern slavery trapping the people that are working to bring the world the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Send a message to FIFA President Sepp Blatter demanding immediate action to tackle Qatar 2022 World Cup slavery.

This is where we’d typically go into a lot more detail on the situation but we’re only hours away from being out of time (we’ve included the email we sent you on Monday below for more background).

But did we want to take a couple of minutes to share Narayan Nepali’s story. Narayan is a migrant worker from Nepal who has since returned home after working in Qatar.

Mostly Nepalese are despised and we’re treated like slaves. Our passports were confiscated the day that we arrived.

I’d like to tell the government of Qatar to realise that migrant workers have played a significant role in Qatar’s development. They should therefore pay migrant workers better and treat them with more respect.”1

No one should be treated this way, especially to bring us a sporting event. FIFA must take responsibility for awarding the 2022 World Cup to a country with historic issues of forced labour and worker exploitation.

Please stand with workers in Qatar and call on FIFA to help the end modern slavery that is fuelling the 2022 World Cup.

In solidarity,

Debra, Jayde, Mika, Joanna, Amy & the Walk Free team

P.S. We have a crucial window of opportunity to influence FIFA as they hold their Executive Committee meeting RIGHT NOW. Send President Sepp Blatter a message to let him know we expect action against modern slavery in Qatar.

—————————————————————————
On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 13:27 AM, Debra Rosen wrote:

At the end of last year, our community was celebrating. 172,407 of us sent messages to FIFA calling on the body to tackle the modern slavery fuelling the 2022 World Cup construction projects in Qatar – and FIFA listened. Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter pledged that FIFA would work with the International Trade Union Confederation to improve the unacceptable situation for workers there and we welcomed his declaration that “fair working conditions with a lasting effect must be introduced quickly in Qatar”.2

Unfortunately these words have not yet been followed by action.

Latest reports show that migrant workers from Nepal and India continue to die in record numbers on Qatari construction sites since the country won its World Cup bid.3 A new “Worker’s Charter” released by Qatar 2022 organising authorities last month has been acknowledged as a starting point, but falls short of the significant reforms needed to tackle the shocking conditions for migrant workers.4 And at a recent hearing at the European Parliament FIFA was far from reassuring, asking: “What do you expect of a football organisation? FIFA is not the lawmaker in Qatar.”5

We expect FIFA to take responsibility for its decision to award the 2022 World Cup to a country with historic issues of worker exploitation and forced labour. In just three days, top FIFA officials meet at their headquarters in Switzerland to discuss World Cup preparations: will you join us in demanding that ending modern slavery in Qatar be top of the agenda?

Call on FIFA President Sepp Blatter to take meaningful action against the modern slavery that is fuelling the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The Walk Free community helped push FIFA to commit to end worker exploitation; now we have the chance to put that commitment into action. FIFA’s Executive Committee is meeting on Thursday and Friday – top representatives from national football associations around the world will be there and the press will be reporting developments closely, with all eyes on FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter. This is a significant opportunity to get our message heard.

The time has come for FIFA to act – Sepp Blatter must use his influence over World Cup organisers to ensure all future FIFA World Cups are slavery free and that includes Qatar as a top priority.

FIFA should:

  • Call for an end to the exploitative kafala system in its current form in Qatar, specifically by allowing workers to freely change jobs and leave the country without their employer’s permission.
  • Demand that fundamental labour rights are protected as a requirement for countries to be selected to host World Cups.
  • Call on the Qatar 2022 organising authorities to establish a complaints mechanism that allows migrant workers to report abuses and secure justice.
It’s time for FIFA to play ball and help end modern slavery in Qatar – add your voice now.

If you agree that no one should die or be enslaved to bring us “the beautiful game”, please take action and help spread the word by asking three of your friends to do the same.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Debra, Jayde, Mika, Joanna, Amy & the Walk Free team

P.S. Right now, workers in Qatar are living, working and dying in modern slavery to bring us the 2022 World Cup. Please take action to help stop this.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3NElpB1_X4 
www.fifa.com/worldcup/qatar2022/media/newsid=2227055
www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/18/qatar-world-cup-india-migrant-worker-deaths
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/11/sport/football/qatar-2022-workers-charter-football
www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/13/fifa-labour-conditions-qatar-world-cup 

Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world’s greatest evils: Modern slavery.


This morning, at one end of Kathmandu’s international airport, proud parents will bid farewell to their sons leaving Nepal in search of better jobs. But for the last month, the scene has been very different at the arrival terminal where wailing parents are met with the bodies of construction workers who died working in Qatar. Three to four bodies arriving daily.1
Is this just the beginning? Experts estimate over 1 million migrant workers could be at risk of modern slavery in Qatar between now and the 2022 World Cup; an average of twelve workers could die per week2 unless action is taken at this critical stage in the construction process.
We might have an opportunity to stop this crisis before it gets any worse… but time is short. Recent media coverage has caught the attention of international leaders and the Qatari government and most importantly – FIFA.3
Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup by FIFA. With their formidable leverage, FIFA could help ensure slavery is not tolerated in Qatar or in any country FIFA seeks partnership.
Click here to call on FIFA to help ensure construction for the Qatar World Cup does not use slave labour.
Reports of modern slavery from World Cup 2022 construction in the Qatari desert are chilling:

  • In a matter of weeks, 44 construction workers have died.
  • Thousands of Nepalese workers are being forced to work in 50C/122F degree heat with no access to food or water, not paid, passports held to prevent them from leaving.4
  • And just last week, investigative journalists were detained and questioned by Qatari authorities.5

Historically, there have been serious challenges to protecting migrant workers from modern slavery in Qatar. But with the prestige of hosting the World Cup on the line, there has never been a better chance to push the Qatari government for change.
This is our moment. If FIFA takes advantage of this opportunity for policy reform, workers could be protected from falling into the nightmare of modern slavery in Qatar for generations to come. This could be the break we have been waiting for in the entire region.
It all comes down to us – ask FIFA to join our call to help end slavery in Qatar.
We’re asking FIFA to:

  1. Call on the Qatari Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022 to update contracts to meet international labour standards.
  2. Include audit requirements for all contracts affiliated with FIFA sporting events that include large-scale construction projects for cases of modern slavery with the initial bidding process. 
  3. Publicly report the findings of audits for cases of modern slavery.

The tagline of FIFA’s World Cup is “Expect Amazing”. Tell FIFA you expect them to help end slavery in Qatar.
Thank you in advance for your support. Once you have taken action, please forward this message on to everyone you know. Together we have helped changed policy all over the world; together we can help end slavery in Qatar.
In solidarity,
Debra, Mich, Jess, Kamini, Sarah, Nick, Kate, Kyle and the Walk Free Team
[1] http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/25/qatar-nepalese-workers-poverty-camps
[2] http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/26/qatar-world-cup-migrant-workers-dead[3] Fédération Internationale de Football Association 
[4] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/25/revealed-qatars-world-cup-slaves[5] http://www.policymic.com/articles/69343/qatar-world-cup-is-being-built-through-slave-labor-while-fifa-stays-silent

We are so excited to tell you that your campaigning over the last few days has well and truly paid off: Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev, the activists that disappeared in Qatar, have been released and will shortly be on their way home. We’ve heard from Krishna’s family in the last few hours and Krishna himself posted this status on Facebook last night: “Just released, will fly in two days’ time!”1

Your support was invaluable in bringing pressure to bear on the Qatari authorities and shining a light on the legitimate and important work of anti-slavery activists. Over 55,000 of you sent messages straight to the Qatari Minister of the Interior and Prime Minister to call on the authorities to investigate Krishna and Ghimire’s disappearance. 48 hours later we heard they were safe. Now we know they are coming home. This just goes to show what we can achieve when we speak out together with other anti-slavery activists and organisations around the world.

As someone that has taken action to end modern slavery in Qatar before, we know you know how important the work of researchers like Krishna and Ghimire is in uncovering the exploitation of migrant workers there. Thank you for continuing to support these efforts by calling for their release.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more from Krishna and Ghimire when they return home, but we wanted to let you know as soon as possible that your campaigning has made a big difference in the fight to end modern slavery, once again.

In solidarity,

Jayde, Joanna, Fleur, Olly and the whole Walk Free team

P.S. Although it’s incredible news that Krishna and Ghimire are on their way home, the exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar that they were investigating continues. We’re currently planning the next stages of the campaign to end modern slavery fuelling the Qatar 2022 World Cup and will let you know soon the next way you can take action. Thank you again for your continued support on this issue.

http://gnrd.net/seemore.php?id=876


hsi-email-logo-2013.jpg    

Dear Friend,

“I am being followed by the police here. Looks like they will give me troubles now.”1

This is one of the ominous final messages Krishna Upadhyaya sent before he and his colleague Ghimire Gundev disappeared in Qatar four days ago — they haven’t been heard from since.

Krishna and Ghimire are British campaigners, working in Qatar on behalf of the Norwegian human rights organisation Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD). They had been researching the plight of migrant labourers constructing facilities for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup, conducting interviews with Nepali labourers and investigating the terrible working conditions. 

On Sunday they vanished. Krishna was last in touch with a friend who has since said: “He was feeling unsafe to leave the hotel premises and according to him there were many police, most likely undercover ones, coming in very close to him every time he spoke to anyone on the phone. He expressed that he felt very insecure about what might happen when he left the hotel for the airport.”2

Krishna checked out of his hotel but did not board a planned flight back to Norway. Both are now feared to be detained by the Qatari security forces. Their whereabouts remain undisclosed by Qatari authorities despite repeated efforts by their families, and GNRD to obtain their location.3 In short — it’s feared that they may have been subjected to enforced disappearance.

Take action now: call for the immediate safe return of Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev.

As someone that has previously taken action to end modern slavery in Qatar fuelled by the Qatar 2022 World Cup, you know how vital the work of researchers like Krishna and Ghimire is. 

Krishna and Ghimire were working hard to keep the world’s attention on migrant workers trapped in conditions of modern slavery in Qatar. We cannot allow their mistreatment to continue. As fellow anti-slavery activists, we must take a stand and add to mounting pressure on the Qatari authorities to ensure Krishna and Ghimire are found. 

Please join us in calling on the Qatari authorities to act by:

  • Immediately investigating the whereabouts of Krishna and Ghimire and ensuring that they are allowed immediate access to their family members, a lawyer of their choice and to any medical treatment they may require. 
  • Ensuring that they are protected from all forms of torture or other ill-treatment.
  • Recognising that labour standards apply to all migrant workers, including the workers on Qatar 2022 World Cup infrastructure projects.

The next few hours are vital in finding and protecting Krishna and Ghimire — once you have taken action, please ask as many of your friends and family as possible to do the same.

In solidarity,

Jayde, Joanna, Fleur, Olly and the whole Walk Free team

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-human-rights-investigators-disappear-in-qatar-after-being-followed-by-plain-clothes-police-9709804.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/british-human-rights-investigators-disappear-in-qatar-after-being-followed-by-plain-clothes-police-9709804.html 
http://www.gnrd.net/seemore.php?id=855

Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world’s greatest evils: Modern slavery.


Today FIFA officials are meeting in Switzerland and we are running out of time to make our message heard. We need to act now to end the modern slavery trapping the people that are working to bring the world the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Send a message to FIFA President Sepp Blatter demanding immediate action to tackle Qatar 2022 World Cup slavery.

This is where we’d typically go into a lot more detail on the situation but we’re only hours away from being out of time (we’ve included the email we sent you on Monday below for more background).

But did we want to take a couple of minutes to share Narayan Nepali’s story. Narayan is a migrant worker from Nepal who has since returned home after working in Qatar.

Mostly Nepalese are despised and we’re treated like slaves. Our passports were confiscated the day that we arrived.

I’d like to tell the government of Qatar to realise that migrant workers have played a significant role in Qatar’s development. They should therefore pay migrant workers better and treat them with more respect.”1

No one should be treated this way, especially to bring us a sporting event. FIFA must take responsibility for awarding the 2022 World Cup to a country with historic issues of forced labour and worker exploitation.

Please stand with workers in Qatar and call on FIFA to help the end modern slavery that is fuelling the 2022 World Cup.

In solidarity,

Debra, Jayde, Mika, Joanna, Amy & the Walk Free team

P.S. We have a crucial window of opportunity to influence FIFA as they hold their Executive Committee meeting RIGHT NOW. Send President Sepp Blatter a message to let him know we expect action against modern slavery in Qatar.

—————————————————————————
On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 13:27 AM, Debra Rosen wrote:

At the end of last year, our community was celebrating. 172,407 of us sent messages to FIFA calling on the body to tackle the modern slavery fuelling the 2022 World Cup construction projects in Qatar – and FIFA listened. Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter pledged that FIFA would work with the International Trade Union Confederation to improve the unacceptable situation for workers there and we welcomed his declaration that “fair working conditions with a lasting effect must be introduced quickly in Qatar”.2

Unfortunately these words have not yet been followed by action.

Latest reports show that migrant workers from Nepal and India continue to die in record numbers on Qatari construction sites since the country won its World Cup bid.3 A new “Worker’s Charter” released by Qatar 2022 organising authorities last month has been acknowledged as a starting point, but falls short of the significant reforms needed to tackle the shocking conditions for migrant workers.4 And at a recent hearing at the European Parliament FIFA was far from reassuring, asking: “What do you expect of a football organisation? FIFA is not the lawmaker in Qatar.”5

We expect FIFA to take responsibility for its decision to award the 2022 World Cup to a country with historic issues of worker exploitation and forced labour. In just three days, top FIFA officials meet at their headquarters in Switzerland to discuss World Cup preparations: will you join us in demanding that ending modern slavery in Qatar be top of the agenda?

Call on FIFA President Sepp Blatter to take meaningful action against the modern slavery that is fuelling the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The Walk Free community helped push FIFA to commit to end worker exploitation; now we have the chance to put that commitment into action. FIFA’s Executive Committee is meeting on Thursday and Friday – top representatives from national football associations around the world will be there and the press will be reporting developments closely, with all eyes on FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter. This is a significant opportunity to get our message heard.

The time has come for FIFA to act – Sepp Blatter must use his influence over World Cup organisers to ensure all future FIFA World Cups are slavery free and that includes Qatar as a top priority.

FIFA should:

  • Call for an end to the exploitative kafala system in its current form in Qatar, specifically by allowing workers to freely change jobs and leave the country without their employer’s permission.
  • Demand that fundamental labour rights are protected as a requirement for countries to be selected to host World Cups.
  • Call on the Qatar 2022 organising authorities to establish a complaints mechanism that allows migrant workers to report abuses and secure justice.
It’s time for FIFA to play ball and help end modern slavery in Qatar – add your voice now.

If you agree that no one should die or be enslaved to bring us “the beautiful game”, please take action and help spread the word by asking three of your friends to do the same.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Debra, Jayde, Mika, Joanna, Amy & the Walk Free team

P.S. Right now, workers in Qatar are living, working and dying in modern slavery to bring us the 2022 World Cup. Please take action to help stop this.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3NElpB1_X4 
www.fifa.com/worldcup/qatar2022/media/newsid=2227055
www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/18/qatar-world-cup-india-migrant-worker-deaths
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/11/sport/football/qatar-2022-workers-charter-football
www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/13/fifa-labour-conditions-qatar-world-cup 

Walk Free is a movement of people everywhere, fighting to end one of the world’s greatest evils: Modern slavery.


This morning, at one end of Kathmandu’s international airport, proud parents will bid farewell to their sons leaving Nepal in search of better jobs. But for the last month, the scene has been very different at the arrival terminal where wailing parents are met with the bodies of construction workers who died working in Qatar. Three to four bodies arriving daily.1
Is this just the beginning? Experts estimate over 1 million migrant workers could be at risk of modern slavery in Qatar between now and the 2022 World Cup; an average of twelve workers could die per week2 unless action is taken at this critical stage in the construction process.
We might have an opportunity to stop this crisis before it gets any worse… but time is short. Recent media coverage has caught the attention of international leaders and the Qatari government and most importantly – FIFA.3
Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup by FIFA. With their formidable leverage, FIFA could help ensure slavery is not tolerated in Qatar or in any country FIFA seeks partnership.
Click here to call on FIFA to help ensure construction for the Qatar World Cup does not use slave labour.
Reports of modern slavery from World Cup 2022 construction in the Qatari desert are chilling:

  • In a matter of weeks, 44 construction workers have died.
  • Thousands of Nepalese workers are being forced to work in 50C/122F degree heat with no access to food or water, not paid, passports held to prevent them from leaving.4
  • And just last week, investigative journalists were detained and questioned by Qatari authorities.5

Historically, there have been serious challenges to protecting migrant workers from modern slavery in Qatar. But with the prestige of hosting the World Cup on the line, there has never been a better chance to push the Qatari government for change.
This is our moment. If FIFA takes advantage of this opportunity for policy reform, workers could be protected from falling into the nightmare of modern slavery in Qatar for generations to come. This could be the break we have been waiting for in the entire region.
It all comes down to us – ask FIFA to join our call to help end slavery in Qatar.
We’re asking FIFA to:

  1. Call on the Qatari Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022 to update contracts to meet international labour standards.
  2. Include audit requirements for all contracts affiliated with FIFA sporting events that include large-scale construction projects for cases of modern slavery with the initial bidding process. 
  3. Publicly report the findings of audits for cases of modern slavery.

The tagline of FIFA’s World Cup is “Expect Amazing”. Tell FIFA you expect them to help end slavery in Qatar.
Thank you in advance for your support. Once you have taken action, please forward this message on to everyone you know. Together we have helped changed policy all over the world; together we can help end slavery in Qatar.
In solidarity,
Debra, Mich, Jess, Kamini, Sarah, Nick, Kate, Kyle and the Walk Free Team
[1] http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/25/qatar-nepalese-workers-poverty-camps
[2] http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/26/qatar-world-cup-migrant-workers-dead[3] Fédération Internationale de Football Association 
[4] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/25/revealed-qatars-world-cup-slaves[5] http://www.policymic.com/articles/69343/qatar-world-cup-is-being-built-through-slave-labor-while-fifa-stays-silent

Zeitgeist

Submission Guidelines & Tips

All submissions should be your original work. Please do not simply copy/paste information (online articles, links, etc.) and submit it as-is. (Excerpts from, or links to, other material may be used within the article, and should be cited appropriately.)
Writing Guidelines (click to see examples):
Announcement — General announcements, major events, procedural or structural changes, etc. concerning the Movement as a whole.
Chapter Update — This should be used by Chapter Coordinators (or those whom they have designated) to submit status reports and announcements related to their specific chapter.
Editorial — An editorial is a written work that generally presents the opinion or view of the author or publishing entity. Technically, there is no minimum length for an Editorial, but it should be long enough to effectively communicate your position to the reader. Try not to make it so long that your readers lose interest before they even get through it. Most editorials are around 1-2 pages long, single-spaced.
Media Project — If you have a work of art such as a comic/ drawing, poem, song, etc. that you’d like to share, please submit it to The Zeitgeist Media Project. Material submitted to that site will be periodically published on the Blog, under this category.
Meeting Minutes — In addition to the recordings, at least one person per meeting should take Notes and post them here in a fairly neat and structured format, sometime after the meeting is over. The basic info should include:
-Date and time of the meeting
-The purpose of the meeting (Agenda)
-Meeting coordinator(s)
-Assigned action items and people assigned
-Any decisions and/or changes made
-A link to the audio and/or video recording (If there is no recording, please specify.)
News Article — A purely factual submission based on news reports and relevant events around the world, as opposed to an Editorial, which includes the opinion/view of the author.
Narrative — An original story based on relevant events, experiences, etc. that may be true or fictional.
Press Release — A general statement, typically in response to a major event, that is published on behalf of the entire Movement. Click here for detailed instructions on how to properly write and format a Press Release.
Project Update — This entry is pertinent for keeping members of the Movement updated on any new projects that are developing, as well as existing projects as they progress. Submit a Project Update any time you or your peers/ teammates begin a new project, or make any progress, breakthroughs, major changes, etc. to an existing one. Be sure to check these entries regularly before starting a new project to ensure that there is not already one in place that you can simply join. This will hopefully help alleviate any scattered or diluted efforts, and instead combine them into strong, streamlined projects and teams. (We may want to consider including an RSS feed that links to all the individual project team PMS sites. That way the people from those teams will only have to update one site, their PMS site, and it will feed onto the newsletter site automatically.)
Participation Guidelines:
Please remain courteous and constructive when posting content or comments.
For information on how your participation affects your karma, please read the Comment moderation FAQ.
—————–Helpful Tips for Getting Your Submission(s) Approved:——————-
Please note that these are by no means requirements, but your careful consideration of these factors will not only assist the Editors in sorting through boat loads of material, but will also give our readers, and ultimately the Movement as a whole, a greater sense of community and rapport, as well as improving the overall Blog experience.
Use your real name: We want to be able to share your content with the world, including third-party organizations when applicable, perhaps even for further publishing on other mediums. It’s more feasible to do that when we are recommending an article by John Smith, Dr. Jane Doe, or Betty Sue, than if we have to recommend an article by “Cupcake” or “JRider” with no background or reliable method to contact him or her, assuming it is a “him,” or assuming it is a “her.”
Update your profile information: It might give Editors (and your readers 😉 a better understanding of your material if they have even a minimal background on who you are. The general blog community might be eager to share an amazing piece of work written by Betty Sue the aquarist, or Bob Jones the carpenter… rather than a random article written by an anonymous stranger. Readers may be more likely to subscribe to your Blog’s RSS feed (found on the Site Map) and “follow” you or your activity. You can create a well-deserved presence for yourself and your material in the blog community.
Use your real photo: Same as above. We are trying to build a community and we can’t do that without building relationships. In fact, we’re striving for a social system that will one day facilitate global empathy, meaning the whole world is the community. People generally remember, or at least distinguish, names and faces better than icons and aliases. More importantly, people connect with names and faces better than generic visuals and inanimate labels. The next time someone has an idea for a project, they’ll probably remember to contact “Billy Johnson with the red hat, smiling kind of crooked” for help – much better than they’ll remember “Alex1988 with a sunflower, or was it a rainbow, or a Skittle, or… what was it again? Something with colors. I think twelve other people had the same icon…” (We don’t know anyone who has the same face as you. Do you? 😉
Provide sources: The members of the Newsletter Team, while extremely dedicated, only have but so much time on their hands to fact check everything so that we don’t get burned for publishing something that’s inaccurate. If you provide links and sources to back up whatever it is that you’re talking about, you’ve saved us a lot of work. Not to mention your article will be just plain awesome, and more enjoyable for the reader. People will be saving it in their favorites for future reference… just wait and see. You may also want to provide convenient hyperlinks to any organizations, events, etc. that you may be mentioning in your article. (When possible, don’t forget to use the ‘Insert/edit link’ tool to hyperlink the words themselves, so it looks nice and neat without all of that ugly URL formatting.) For example:
– You can learn more about this by viewing Peter Joseph’s lecture. – OR –
– You can learn more about this by viewing Where Are We Going, a great lecture by Peter Joseph.
…instead of…
– You can learn more about this by watching Peter Joseph’s lecture, Where Are We Going.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxPPnCW6sMo
(Once or twice is fine, but scattered randomly throughout the entire article, not so much…)
Take pride in your work: Comb through it for spelling and grammatical errors. Yes, we have a proof-reading team in place for that, but don’t be so sure it will even make it to proofing if we can’t understand it. If the content is unclear or the meaning is lost, due to poor spelling and/or grammar, it may get rejected by Editors beforehand. Most likely, if the content is excellent, but the spelling and grammar needs work, Editors may send it back to you for clarification or improvement. However, the bottom line is, with the amount of submissions that will be coming in, it’s far more productive to publish polished submissions that require the least amount of additional work, and perhaps get to the other stuff later.
Spice it up: Nobody likes a bland article. Don’t forget to upload a thumbnail image for your submission, and feel free to add any images throughout the body that may enhance the reader’s experience. (Okay, don’t get too crazy. Keep the images relevant, and placed neatly (resized if needed) so that we can still read your lovely submission without having a seizure.) You may also add a video if applicable. Granted, the written content itself may be as “colorful” as can be, but it’s usually the imagery that initially draws people in to read it in the first place. Get creative, and remember, images from The Zeitgeist Media Project are available for anyone to use for free. 🙂
(Ooh, look! See what we did there, with the hyperlink? 😉
Carefully categorize your content: When filling out the submission form, don’t ignore the drop-downs. (They’re there for a reason. 😉 Even if you’re stumped, please try your best to accurately choose the submission ‘Type’ that best describes your work, and the ‘Category’ that it most closely relates to. It’s much more difficult (and time-consuming) for Editors to sort through and approve a bunch of generic items submitted as “Other,” than it is for them to pinpoint content for what it is, and go from there. Similarly, if it is in fact an “Other” (something that’s not listed in the drop-down), go ahead and categorize it as “Other” and don’t fudge it to be a “Press Release” or “Project Update,” because if it isn’t one, Editors will probably assume that you don’t actually know how to write a Press Release, or that your so-called “Project” doesn’t make any sense, and reject it. Always choose a Location when applicable, and don’t forget to add tags.
That’s all for now, but we may add more Helpful Tips as they arise. Happy Blogging!
Sincerely,
The Zeitgeist Movement Newsletter/Blog Team

Be sure to check out this 220 page Source Guide below which sources virtually everything. As requested by Zeitgeist creator Peter Joseph, I have replaced the original Zeitgeist movie with well over 1.25 million views with this updated for 2010 version. The meat and potato’s of it are the same, there’s some new information and the quality of it is improved upon.

Link to source guide:

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/Zeitgeist,%20The%20Movie-%20Companion%20Guide%20PDF…

https://signup.netflix.com/Movie/Zeitgeist-Moving-Forward/70225009?country=1&..

Zeitgeist (German pronunciation: [ˈtsaɪtɡaɪst] ( listen)) is “the spirit of the times” or “the spirit of the age.” [1]Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.

The term is a loanword from German Zeit – “time” and Geist – “spirit” (cognate with English “ghost”).

The concept of Zeitgeist goes back to Johann Gottfried Herder and other German Romanticists, such as Cornelius Jagdmann, but is best known in relation to Hegel‘s philosophy of history. In 1769 Herder wrote a critique of the work Genius seculi by the philologist Christian Adolph Klotz and introduced the word Zeitgeist into German as a translation of genius seculi (Latin: genius – “guardian spirit” and saeculi – “of the age”).


-The Zeitgeist Movement, defined:

The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) is an explicitly nonviolent, global sustainability advocacy group currently working in over 1000 Regional Chapters across 70 countries. The basic structure of The Movement consists of Chapters, Teams, Projects & Events.

In short, the Chapters are essentially what define The Movement in operation. Each Chapter works to not only spread awareness about the roots of our social problems today but also to express the logical, rational, practical solutions we have at our disposal to update (and evolve) our current social system, enabling a truly responsible, sustainable, global society to emerge for the betterment of all the world’s people.

TZM’s education and community projects seek the intermediate goal of obtaining a unified, worldwide movement for social transformation, regardless of country, religion, political party or any such traditionally divisive distinction. TZM recognizes a common, logical value identification pertaining to our survival, sustainability and public health which inherently transcends such culturally divisive issues. Human unification, rationalized out our inalterable, shared “common ground”, is a foundational premise.

From that understanding, a self-organizing Train of Thought with respect to how we can technically (and culturally) accomplish a new social system unfolds. The various stages of this transformation (“Transition”) is not something that can be readily predicted given the uncertain state of the world today and it is not the scope of this document to expand upon the issue. What we do know is that we are experiencing great destabilization in the world due to the inherent flaws of our current social structure and the problems emerging appear to be only getting worse as time goes on. It is from this uncertainty and loss of confidence in the current model that support for a new social system might be achieved, in part.

Therefore, The Movement’s work is to expand upon this Train of Thought and publicly communicate the resulting ideas, structures and methods with the goal of establishing a new cultural “zeitgeist”; hence a new, workable social model and common value system that ensures our socio-evolutionary fitness, our safety, our freedom, our quality of life and our prosperity.

-Your Role:

To become involved in The Movement does not require any monetary contribution, submission of personal information, forms to complete or any such traditional notion of membership. Volunteer organizers and Coordinators keep no databases outside of our simple web-based mailing lists which one is certainly encouraged to register with for updates.

TZM is modeled as a “see through” entity which merely represents a Data Set & Train of Thought at its core. It is holographic and decentralized in structure to assure its effect and warrant against historically notable problems of group identification. TZM has no offices, no location, no leaders, no benefactors and no static affiliations. This Movement is really about your personal understanding of the world along with how much you identify with the observations, logical inferences and solution oriented Train of Thought denoted in The Movement’s materials. If you agree with this need to change our system, please join a Chapter, learn, educate and help contribute.

TZM currently has many community projects, events and publications, as will be explained in this document. There is also a great deal of flexibility and creativity in how a person, group or Chapter chooses to engage and develop new ideas. The Movement is emergent in form and while, again, a basic Train of Thought persists, the tactics and specifics of the Movement’s work will inevitably undergo change.

In summery, we all have the same role here: To educate ourselves; educate others; create an organized critical mass and establish tactics to enable a transition to a new social design – a design which is arrived at in form by way of The Scientific Method.

As will be mentioned later in this document, a public, open-source project known as the Global Redesign Institute will exist to create and promote direct technical design changes for social organization, building upon the most advanced understandings in the fields of Science and Technology we have at the time.

-Educational Resources:

Since 2009, a great deal of data has been generated and output through various communication mediums. Radio Shows, PDFs, Films Presentations, Articles & Lectures are the most common (our information is always free). For someone new to TZM, the following list contains suggested references for review:

2012 ORIENTATION GUIDE This is a detailed summation of virtually all relevant points for TZM. It exists in Video and expanded PDF form, the latter of which contains extensive sources and appendices.

[ http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/orientation ]

WEBSITE FAQ TZM Global’s FAQ answers various questions, including Movement Structure specifics.

[ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/faq#faq1 ]

LECTURES & “TOOL KIT” The Global Website’s ever emerging “Tool Kit” contains many video and text presentations, often with extended sources and references as well. While this content is predominantly in English at this time, many other Non-English presenters operate across the world can be found via the Internet. Please search for your local International Chapter’s Website and review their media as well. http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/tool-kit

Apart from these core sources, community development is large and there is always an ongoing flow of information occurring via the TZM Official Blog, Zeitnews and other participatory mediums that will be discussed in Part 3 of this guide.

-Movement Participation:

A “Member” is loosely defined as one who agrees with the tenets and approach of TZM and in turn participates in their local Chapter’s awareness actions, whether online or local. However, all Members of The Movement have their education about relevant issues as the number one requirement to proceed.

To reiterate, true “Membership” is really a subscription to the Train of Thought at hand. Hence, it is about understanding and supporting The Movement’s logical tenets and working in whatever way one can to bring about awareness and change in a responsible, strategic and nonviolent manner. More specifically, one’s communication and personal skills are important to consider here. Generally speaking, personal specialization of focus has a symbiotic social role as a characteristic of our “Group Mind”, if you will. In other words, some of us are good at some things and others are good at other things. It is the collaboration of our unique skills and interests that creates the larger order realizations. Finding your place in TZM is unique to you and your skill set.

For example, if you feel you have broad organisational skills, working with or becoming a Regional Coordinator for your Chapter might be of interest. If you are technically inclined with a background in Engineering or the like, The Global Redesign Institute might be a comfortable place. If you find your skills are more communicative and artistic, The Zeitgeist Media Project and/or Media Festival might be a good place to contribute. If you are a skilled writer and researcher, joining and contributing focused articles to TZM’s Blog might be of interest. If you are a good public speaker, give presentations at your Monthly Town Halls and/or ZDay in your region on relevant subjects. You get the idea. Focus on what you are good at.

*

2- Joining a Chapter

-Overview:

Very simply, TZM Chapters are regional Zeitgeist Movement Member Groups, organized in Tiers. From “Top to Bottom”, the current Chapter Tiers are:

International—[ Countries ]
State/Province—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given Country ]
City/Town—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given State or Province ]

As noted before, your involvement with your Regional Chapter is what essentially defines you as a Member of The Movement in form. You can go to the Global Website [ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/ ] to see the Current Top Tier Chapter list [ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/chapters ]. You can access the respective State (USA) or International Website and from there you should be able to locate the closest sub-chapter near you.

If you cannot find a Country, State or City Chapter for your region, it is then suggested you start one. Virtually all chapters have begun not by appointment, but by personal initiative. A simple review process to understand the seriousness and understanding of the applicant is assessed by existing Coordinators on a per case basis.

-Public Actions:

There are three reoccurring Public Actions for Chapters which are encouraged but naturally contingent upon the size and resources of the group: (1) Our annual “Zday” event; (2) our monthly “Town hall” event and (3) the annual Zeitgeist Media Festival. These will be discussed more in Part 4. However, each region also often has different community customs and possibilities. For example, in Los Angeles California, beach tent “vendor” posts are common on the boardwalk.

In Canada, many do street activism on a person to person basis. Some Chapters even host their own internet radio shows and produce their own media/newsletters based on custom research.

Part of working with your Chapter is being creative and explorative. In the end, the basic goal is still the same: Expose the root problems of our current system and then show the logic behind a new one.

-Meetings:

Chapters naturally need to have the ability to enable communication among its Members, along with other Chapters. As a Chapter grows, periodic Meetings should be conducted in live and/or virtual (online) settings.

TZM Global provides an Internet-Based Voice/Chat program which can be found here: http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/teamspeak

Chapter Meetings typically occur in Tiers with Chapter Coordinators on their respective level. For example, the North Carolina State Chapter, assuming no sub-chapters (city) within it, would have a meeting with all NC Members present. However, in the meetings of the next largest Tier, the Country level (USA in this case), there would only be Coordinators of each State, not all the USA Members. This narrowing is for the sake of comprehension as it would be too difficult to have Global Meetings with tens of thousands of Members at once.

-Questions: If you have a question relating to Chapter Organization which is not answered in the follow links: http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/faq http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/chapters

You may email directly via the Contact Form on this page: (select “Chapters” category): http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/contact-us

*

3- Websites, News & Project Contribution

Apart from signing up with the Global and Regional Mailing lists, there is a wealth of emerging information outlets and interactive mediums. These Websites and Projects are community driven, always free and have proven to be extremely effective. Most items noted below can be found via the Global Website’s home page as well.

-TZM Official Blog: http://blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com/

Member contribution via TZM Blog is a very effective way to give you, your chapter and important issues exposure. Many categories of interest from Economics, History, Science and Activism enable a tremendous platform for expression as an online newsletter and blog. Relevant articles that gain popularity also are highlighted via our Press Releases.

Please see the How-To Guide to start contributing: http://blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com/contribute

-TZM Global Radio: Started in 2009, TZM Global Radio is a Weekly Radio program presented by various coordinators/lecturers of The Zeitgeist Movement in a rotational fashion. It is here where ongoing public updates, news and announcements occur. Each Show occurs at 4pm Eastern Standard time every Wednesday via BlogTalkRadio.com: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zmglobal

Info and Archive Page: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/radio_shows

Older Archives: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zmglobal

*Note: While the Global Radio Show is the most conclusive, other programs of great merit also exist, including Programs via the “Zeitgeist Broadcasting Network” (ZBN): http://www.stickam.com/zbnlive

-Zeitgeist Media Project: http://zeitgeistmediaproject.com/ The Zeitgeist Media Project is an online hub for Artistic Media Content which can be uploaded and shared. The media types range from Video, Visual Art, Music/Audio, Literature and more. This content is mostly Creative Commons and is designed to be downloaded and used by other members in their work.

-ZeitNews: http://www.zeitnews.org/

Started in 2010. Zeitnews is an amazing source for advanced Scientific Research. Subjects of interest include Energy, Transportation, Biotechnology, Robotics and other important issues that relate science and technology to human prosperity.

Members may also contribute to the online publication: http://www.zeitnews.org/about/

-Global Redesign Institute: http://www.globalredesigninstitute.org/

The Global Redesign Institute is a Think Tank project currently in development. This advanced concept will create a virtual projection, region by region of what an accurate and up to date social infrastructure would comprise, sidestepping the traditionally inhibiting factors of money and establishment preservation. This project is about designing and expressing what is technically possible – not what is “affordable”. More on this project will be announced when it becomes operational.

-”Why I Advocate” Campaign: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/why-i-advocate

The Zeitgeist Movement’s “Why I Advocate TZM” Media Testimonial Campaign is a video blog project which gives personal perspectives and faces to The Zeitgeist Movement. This is very simple. Members simple make a public video about why they feel the need to change the world and identify with The Zeitgeist Movement. This is also a good way to show community support in general.

Current submissions can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=why+I+advocate+zeitgeist&aq=f

-Social Networks: TZM Global Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tzmglobal TZM Global Twitter: http://twitter.com/tzmglobal TZM Global Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TZMOfficialChannel

Apart from the traditional Social Networks listed above, a hybrid project known as “TZM Social” has also emerged: http://www.tzmnetwork.com/

All members are encourage to review and contribute to these social mediums considering how powerful they have become culturally as a whole. Also, Regional Chapters and Projects are encouraged to initiate their own Networks via these medium for their own promotional purposes. ( I.E. a Youtube account assigned to your local chapter for display of your Town Halls, Zday events and the like.)

*

4- TZM Events and Activism

As noted prior, Chapters and hence Members have a few core (Global) periodic actions which are encouraged. These include, ZDay, ZMedia Fest and Monthly Town halls. Paired with these actions is our ZDrive food bank support and similar resource charity programs to help those in need. (more below*)

-Zeitgeist Day (“ZDay”): http://zdayglobal.org/

“Zeitgeist Day”, or ZDay for short, is an annual, global event day which occurs in the middle of March, each year. The goal is to increase public awareness of The Zeitgeist Movement. A Zeitgeist Day event can take many forms, ranging from a simple showing of DVD media; to full lectures and interactive question-and-answer events with Chapter Organizers in various regions. The 2010 ZDay there were 330 sympathetic events occurred in over 70 countries worldwide.

Each year, there is a “Main Event” which serves as a highlight, with more publicly notable speakers and guests. In 2009 and 2010, the Main event was in NYC; In 2011 it was in London, UK & in 2012 – Vancouver BC.

Please review the Official ZDay Website for more information: http://zdayglobal.org/

-Town Halls: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/townhalls

The Zeitgeist Movement’s Town Hall Meetings are live, public events conducted by Official Regional Chapters. These localized events are similar in function to our annual global “Zeitgeist Day” (ZDAY) events but ideally occur monthly, rather than annually. Modelled after patterns proven effective by civil right’s movements historically, the goal is to inform the public of TZM’s understandings and goals and hence grow awareness and membership. To learn more; submit an event for your regions, please see: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/townhalls

-Zeitgeist Media Festival: http://zeitgeistmediafestival.org/

Recognizing the power of art and media to help change the world, “The Zeitgeist Media Festival” engages the artistic community and its power to change values. It proposes that needed changes in the structural/economic workings of society can only manifest in tandem with a personal/social transformation of values in each of us. While intellectual knowledge serves its role of showing the path, many in the world follow their feelings- not the knowledge. The Zeitgeist Media Festival hopes to bridge those levels, while also illuminating a focus where changing and improving the world is no longer considered a fringe or suspect pursuit.

Participating in The Media Festival does not mean each event must meet some strict requirement of focus. However, participation does require that each act understand and agree with a general train of thought with respect to human and social sustainability.

The Zeitgeist Media Festival occurs in the Summer of each year. More info: http://zeitgeistmediafestival.org/site/index-1.html

-*ZDrive: The Zeitgeist Movement’s Charity Drive or “ZDrive” is a program to engage local social service institutions in conjunction with ongoing awareness events. The most common have been our Food Drives and Clothes Drives. For example, the Zeitgeist Media Festival Globally raised via donation about 12,000 meals for the poor in 2011. Resource donations are encouraged more than monetary contributions to avoid corruption.

How you conduct your ZDrive is contingent upon your region and its needs. Typically, a suggested donation of resources is welcomed upon entry to your event, such as the bringing of canned food for your local Food Bank. Since each region has different programs, it is suggested you contact your local charities to see how your Chapter can help.

So, if possible, every time you have a ZDay, Town Hall or Media Event, please conduct a ZDrive as well and have attendees bring resources for local charity.

In turn, please keep track of the statistical results of your charity work and email it us so we can keep a running global total of its effect. This is not only a wonderful action to help the many communities now in desperate need of support, it gives TZM a layer of traditional identification for those who might otherwise see the social ideas as “too radical” to be practical.

Stats email: media@thezeitgeistmovement.com

*

5- Advice and Summary

The preceding data should give new Members a great deal to think about and work with. It is important to remind the reader that TZM is a movement of ideas and values at its core. It is also Social in its very nature. In many ways, those who understand, volunteer and work with this global community to help improve the world are a proxy of how our society could be if social responsibility and environmental respect finally rose to its needed place.

However, there is no denying that what is sought in this journey is likely the most difficult and controversial undertaking one can have. No one said this would be easy. Yet the level of difficulty at hand means nothing compared to the dire nature of its necessity. This Movement is not for the weak of heart or those without self-confidence. One factor that makes internal community support critical to our success is the reality that we are not likely to see much external support for sometime to come. Historically, those ahead of their time who have sought to change the world have always been deemed subversive, agitators or even terrorists. Society and its established values seems to not look well upon broad social changes regardless of how much it may be needed or the logic of its merit.

Regardless, this changes nothing for those of us who actually care and as time moves forward, the trends of social turmoil and destabilization seem to indicate that a larger and larger subculture is emerging which recognizes this need for this larger scale change and it is the role of TZM to help make sure a viable solution is put forward as this evolution continues.

-Mission Statement: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/mission-statement

Submission Guidelines & Tips

All submissions should be your original work. Please do not simply copy/paste information (online articles, links, etc.) and submit it as-is. (Excerpts from, or links to, other material may be used within the article, and should be cited appropriately.)
Writing Guidelines (click to see examples):
Announcement — General announcements, major events, procedural or structural changes, etc. concerning the Movement as a whole.
Chapter Update — This should be used by Chapter Coordinators (or those whom they have designated) to submit status reports and announcements related to their specific chapter.
Editorial — An editorial is a written work that generally presents the opinion or view of the author or publishing entity. Technically, there is no minimum length for an Editorial, but it should be long enough to effectively communicate your position to the reader. Try not to make it so long that your readers lose interest before they even get through it. Most editorials are around 1-2 pages long, single-spaced.
Media Project — If you have a work of art such as a comic/ drawing, poem, song, etc. that you’d like to share, please submit it to The Zeitgeist Media Project. Material submitted to that site will be periodically published on the Blog, under this category.
Meeting Minutes — In addition to the recordings, at least one person per meeting should take Notes and post them here in a fairly neat and structured format, sometime after the meeting is over. The basic info should include:
-Date and time of the meeting
-The purpose of the meeting (Agenda)
-Meeting coordinator(s)
-Assigned action items and people assigned
-Any decisions and/or changes made
-A link to the audio and/or video recording (If there is no recording, please specify.)
News Article — A purely factual submission based on news reports and relevant events around the world, as opposed to an Editorial, which includes the opinion/view of the author.
Narrative — An original story based on relevant events, experiences, etc. that may be true or fictional.
Press Release — A general statement, typically in response to a major event, that is published on behalf of the entire Movement. Click here for detailed instructions on how to properly write and format a Press Release.
Project Update — This entry is pertinent for keeping members of the Movement updated on any new projects that are developing, as well as existing projects as they progress. Submit a Project Update any time you or your peers/ teammates begin a new project, or make any progress, breakthroughs, major changes, etc. to an existing one. Be sure to check these entries regularly before starting a new project to ensure that there is not already one in place that you can simply join. This will hopefully help alleviate any scattered or diluted efforts, and instead combine them into strong, streamlined projects and teams. (We may want to consider including an RSS feed that links to all the individual project team PMS sites. That way the people from those teams will only have to update one site, their PMS site, and it will feed onto the newsletter site automatically.)
Participation Guidelines:
Please remain courteous and constructive when posting content or comments.
For information on how your participation affects your karma, please read the Comment moderation FAQ.
—————–Helpful Tips for Getting Your Submission(s) Approved:——————-
Please note that these are by no means requirements, but your careful consideration of these factors will not only assist the Editors in sorting through boat loads of material, but will also give our readers, and ultimately the Movement as a whole, a greater sense of community and rapport, as well as improving the overall Blog experience.
Use your real name: We want to be able to share your content with the world, including third-party organizations when applicable, perhaps even for further publishing on other mediums. It’s more feasible to do that when we are recommending an article by John Smith, Dr. Jane Doe, or Betty Sue, than if we have to recommend an article by “Cupcake” or “JRider” with no background or reliable method to contact him or her, assuming it is a “him,” or assuming it is a “her.”
Update your profile information: It might give Editors (and your readers 😉 a better understanding of your material if they have even a minimal background on who you are. The general blog community might be eager to share an amazing piece of work written by Betty Sue the aquarist, or Bob Jones the carpenter… rather than a random article written by an anonymous stranger. Readers may be more likely to subscribe to your Blog’s RSS feed (found on the Site Map) and “follow” you or your activity. You can create a well-deserved presence for yourself and your material in the blog community.
Use your real photo: Same as above. We are trying to build a community and we can’t do that without building relationships. In fact, we’re striving for a social system that will one day facilitate global empathy, meaning the whole world is the community. People generally remember, or at least distinguish, names and faces better than icons and aliases. More importantly, people connect with names and faces better than generic visuals and inanimate labels. The next time someone has an idea for a project, they’ll probably remember to contact “Billy Johnson with the red hat, smiling kind of crooked” for help – much better than they’ll remember “Alex1988 with a sunflower, or was it a rainbow, or a Skittle, or… what was it again? Something with colors. I think twelve other people had the same icon…” (We don’t know anyone who has the same face as you. Do you? 😉
Provide sources: The members of the Newsletter Team, while extremely dedicated, only have but so much time on their hands to fact check everything so that we don’t get burned for publishing something that’s inaccurate. If you provide links and sources to back up whatever it is that you’re talking about, you’ve saved us a lot of work. Not to mention your article will be just plain awesome, and more enjoyable for the reader. People will be saving it in their favorites for future reference… just wait and see. You may also want to provide convenient hyperlinks to any organizations, events, etc. that you may be mentioning in your article. (When possible, don’t forget to use the ‘Insert/edit link’ tool to hyperlink the words themselves, so it looks nice and neat without all of that ugly URL formatting.) For example:
– You can learn more about this by viewing Peter Joseph’s lecture. – OR –
– You can learn more about this by viewing Where Are We Going, a great lecture by Peter Joseph.
…instead of…
– You can learn more about this by watching Peter Joseph’s lecture, Where Are We Going.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxPPnCW6sMo
(Once or twice is fine, but scattered randomly throughout the entire article, not so much…)
Take pride in your work: Comb through it for spelling and grammatical errors. Yes, we have a proof-reading team in place for that, but don’t be so sure it will even make it to proofing if we can’t understand it. If the content is unclear or the meaning is lost, due to poor spelling and/or grammar, it may get rejected by Editors beforehand. Most likely, if the content is excellent, but the spelling and grammar needs work, Editors may send it back to you for clarification or improvement. However, the bottom line is, with the amount of submissions that will be coming in, it’s far more productive to publish polished submissions that require the least amount of additional work, and perhaps get to the other stuff later.
Spice it up: Nobody likes a bland article. Don’t forget to upload a thumbnail image for your submission, and feel free to add any images throughout the body that may enhance the reader’s experience. (Okay, don’t get too crazy. Keep the images relevant, and placed neatly (resized if needed) so that we can still read your lovely submission without having a seizure.) You may also add a video if applicable. Granted, the written content itself may be as “colorful” as can be, but it’s usually the imagery that initially draws people in to read it in the first place. Get creative, and remember, images from The Zeitgeist Media Project are available for anyone to use for free. 🙂
(Ooh, look! See what we did there, with the hyperlink? 😉
Carefully categorize your content: When filling out the submission form, don’t ignore the drop-downs. (They’re there for a reason. 😉 Even if you’re stumped, please try your best to accurately choose the submission ‘Type’ that best describes your work, and the ‘Category’ that it most closely relates to. It’s much more difficult (and time-consuming) for Editors to sort through and approve a bunch of generic items submitted as “Other,” than it is for them to pinpoint content for what it is, and go from there. Similarly, if it is in fact an “Other” (something that’s not listed in the drop-down), go ahead and categorize it as “Other” and don’t fudge it to be a “Press Release” or “Project Update,” because if it isn’t one, Editors will probably assume that you don’t actually know how to write a Press Release, or that your so-called “Project” doesn’t make any sense, and reject it. Always choose a Location when applicable, and don’t forget to add tags.
That’s all for now, but we may add more Helpful Tips as they arise. Happy Blogging!
Sincerely,
The Zeitgeist Movement Newsletter/Blog Team

Be sure to check out this 220 page Source Guide below which sources virtually everything. As requested by Zeitgeist creator Peter Joseph, I have replaced the original Zeitgeist movie with well over 1.25 million views with this updated for 2010 version. The meat and potato’s of it are the same, there’s some new information and the quality of it is improved upon.

Link to source guide:

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/Zeitgeist,%20The%20Movie-%20Companion%20Guide%20PDF…

https://signup.netflix.com/Movie/Zeitgeist-Moving-Forward/70225009?country=1&..

Zeitgeist (German pronunciation: [?tsa?t?a?st] ( listen)) is “the spirit of the times” or “the spirit of the age.” [1] Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.

The term is a loanword from German Zeit – “time” and Geist – “spirit” (cognate with English “ghost”).

The concept of Zeitgeist goes back to Johann Gottfried Herder and other German Romanticists, such as Cornelius Jagdmann, but is best known in relation to Hegel‘s philosophy of history. In 1769 Herder wrote a critique of the work Genius seculi by the philologist Christian Adolph Klotz and introduced the word Zeitgeist into German as a translation of genius seculi (Latin: genius – “guardian spirit” and saeculi – “of the age”).


-The Zeitgeist Movement, defined:

The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) is an explicitly nonviolent, global sustainability advocacy group currently working in over 1000 Regional Chapters across 70 countries. The basic structure of The Movement consists of Chapters, Teams, Projects & Events.

In short, the Chapters are essentially what define The Movement in operation. Each Chapter works to not only spread awareness about the roots of our social problems today but also to express the logical, rational, practical solutions we have at our disposal to update (and evolve) our current social system, enabling a truly responsible, sustainable, global society to emerge for the betterment of all the world’s people.

TZM’s education and community projects seek the intermediate goal of obtaining a unified, worldwide movement for social transformation, regardless of country, religion, political party or any such traditionally divisive distinction. TZM recognizes a common, logical value identification pertaining to our survival, sustainability and public health which inherently transcends such culturally divisive issues. Human unification, rationalized out our inalterable, shared “common ground”, is a foundational premise.

From that understanding, a self-organizing Train of Thought with respect to how we can technically (and culturally) accomplish a new social system unfolds. The various stages of this transformation (“Transition”) is not something that can be readily predicted given the uncertain state of the world today and it is not the scope of this document to expand upon the issue. What we do know is that we are experiencing great destabilization in the world due to the inherent flaws of our current social structure and the problems emerging appear to be only getting worse as time goes on. It is from this uncertainty and loss of confidence in the current model that support for a new social system might be achieved, in part.

Therefore, The Movement’s work is to expand upon this Train of Thought and publicly communicate the resulting ideas, structures and methods with the goal of establishing a new cultural “zeitgeist”; hence a new, workable social model and common value system that ensures our socio-evolutionary fitness, our safety, our freedom, our quality of life and our prosperity.

-Your Role:

To become involved in The Movement does not require any monetary contribution, submission of personal information, forms to complete or any such traditional notion of membership. Volunteer organizers and Coordinators keep no databases outside of our simple web-based mailing lists which one is certainly encouraged to register with for updates.

TZM is modeled as a “see through” entity which merely represents a Data Set & Train of Thought at its core. It is holographic and decentralized in structure to assure its effect and warrant against historically notable problems of group identification. TZM has no offices, no location, no leaders, no benefactors and no static affiliations. This Movement is really about your personal understanding of the world along with how much you identify with the observations, logical inferences and solution oriented Train of Thought denoted in The Movement’s materials. If you agree with this need to change our system, please join a Chapter, learn, educate and help contribute.

TZM currently has many community projects, events and publications, as will be explained in this document. There is also a great deal of flexibility and creativity in how a person, group or Chapter chooses to engage and develop new ideas. The Movement is emergent in form and while, again, a basic Train of Thought persists, the tactics and specifics of the Movement’s work will inevitably undergo change.

In summery, we all have the same role here: To educate ourselves; educate others; create an organized critical mass and establish tactics to enable a transition to a new social design – a design which is arrived at in form by way of The Scientific Method.

As will be mentioned later in this document, a public, open-source project known as the Global Redesign Institute will exist to create and promote direct technical design changes for social organization, building upon the most advanced understandings in the fields of Science and Technology we have at the time.

-Educational Resources:

Since 2009, a great deal of data has been generated and output through various communication mediums. Radio Shows, PDFs, Films Presentations, Articles & Lectures are the most common (our information is always free). For someone new to TZM, the following list contains suggested references for review:

2012 ORIENTATION GUIDE This is a detailed summation of virtually all relevant points for TZM. It exists in Video and expanded PDF form, the latter of which contains extensive sources and appendices.

[ http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/orientation ]

WEBSITE FAQ TZM Global’s FAQ answers various questions, including Movement Structure specifics.

[ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/faq#faq1 ]

LECTURES & “TOOL KIT” The Global Website’s ever emerging “Tool Kit” contains many video and text presentations, often with extended sources and references as well. While this content is predominantly in English at this time, many other Non-English presenters operate across the world can be found via the Internet. Please search for your local International Chapter’s Website and review their media as well. http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/tool-kit

Apart from these core sources, community development is large and there is always an ongoing flow of information occurring via the TZM Official Blog, Zeitnews and other participatory mediums that will be discussed in Part 3 of this guide.

-Movement Participation:

A “Member” is loosely defined as one who agrees with the tenets and approach of TZM and in turn participates in their local Chapter’s awareness actions, whether online or local. However, all Members of The Movement have their education about relevant issues as the number one requirement to proceed.

To reiterate, true “Membership” is really a subscription to the Train of Thought at hand. Hence, it is about understanding and supporting The Movement’s logical tenets and working in whatever way one can to bring about awareness and change in a responsible, strategic and nonviolent manner. More specifically, one’s communication and personal skills are important to consider here. Generally speaking, personal specialization of focus has a symbiotic social role as a characteristic of our “Group Mind”, if you will. In other words, some of us are good at some things and others are good at other things. It is the collaboration of our unique skills and interests that creates the larger order realizations. Finding your place in TZM is unique to you and your skill set.

For example, if you feel you have broad organisational skills, working with or becoming a Regional Coordinator for your Chapter might be of interest. If you are technically inclined with a background in Engineering or the like, The Global Redesign Institute might be a comfortable place. If you find your skills are more communicative and artistic, The Zeitgeist Media Project and/or Media Festival might be a good place to contribute. If you are a skilled writer and researcher, joining and contributing focused articles to TZM’s Blog might be of interest. If you are a good public speaker, give presentations at your Monthly Town Halls and/or ZDay in your region on relevant subjects. You get the idea. Focus on what you are good at.

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2- Joining a Chapter

-Overview:

Very simply, TZM Chapters are regional Zeitgeist Movement Member Groups, organized in Tiers. From “Top to Bottom”, the current Chapter Tiers are:

International—[ Countries ]
State/Province—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given Country ]
City/Town—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given State or Province ]

As noted before, your involvement with your Regional Chapter is what essentially defines you as a Member of The Movement in form. You can go to the Global Website [ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/ ] to see the Current Top Tier Chapter list [ http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/chapters ]. You can access the respective State (USA) or International Website and from there you should be able to locate the closest sub-chapter near you.

If you cannot find a Country, State or City Chapter for your region, it is then suggested you start one. Virtually all chapters have begun not by appointment, but by personal initiative. A simple review process to understand the seriousness and understanding of the applicant is assessed by existing Coordinators on a per case basis.

-Public Actions:

There are three reoccurring Public Actions for Chapters which are encouraged but naturally contingent upon the size and resources of the group: (1) Our annual “Zday” event; (2) our monthly “Town hall” event and (3) the annual Zeitgeist Media Festival. These will be discussed more in Part 4. However, each region also often has different community customs and possibilities. For example, in Los Angeles California, beach tent “vendor” posts are common on the boardwalk.

In Canada, many do street activism on a person to person basis. Some Chapters even host their own internet radio shows and produce their own media/newsletters based on custom research.

Part of working with your Chapter is being creative and explorative. In the end, the basic goal is still the same: Expose the root problems of our current system and then show the logic behind a new one.

-Meetings:

Chapters naturally need to have the ability to enable communication among its Members, along with other Chapters. As a Chapter grows, periodic Meetings should be conducted in live and/or virtual (online) settings.

TZM Global provides an Internet-Based Voice/Chat program which can be found here: http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/teamspeak

Chapter Meetings typically occur in Tiers with Chapter Coordinators on their respective level. For example, the North Carolina State Chapter, assuming no sub-chapters (city) within it, would have a meeting with all NC Members present. However, in the meetings of the next largest Tier, the Country level (USA in this case), there would only be Coordinators of each State, not all the USA Members. This narrowing is for the sake of comprehension as it would be too difficult to have Global Meetings with tens of thousands of Members at once.

-Questions: If you have a question relating to Chapter Organization which is not answered in the follow links: http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/faq http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/chapters

You may email directly via the Contact Form on this page: (select “Chapters” category): http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/contact-us

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3- Websites, News & Project Contribution

Apart from signing up with the Global and Regional Mailing lists, there is a wealth of emerging information outlets and interactive mediums. These Websites and Projects are community driven, always free and have proven to be extremely effective. Most items noted below can be found via the Global Website’s home page as well.

-TZM Official Blog: http://blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com/

Member contribution via TZM Blog is a very effective way to give you, your chapter and important issues exposure. Many categories of interest from Economics, History, Science and Activism enable a tremendous platform for expression as an online newsletter and blog. Relevant articles that gain popularity also are highlighted via our Press Releases.

Please see the How-To Guide to start contributing: http://blog.thezeitgeistmovement.com/contribute

-TZM Global Radio: Started in 2009, TZM Global Radio is a Weekly Radio program presented by various coordinators/lecturers of The Zeitgeist Movement in a rotational fashion. It is here where ongoing public updates, news and announcements occur. Each Show occurs at 4pm Eastern Standard time every Wednesday via BlogTalkRadio.com: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zmglobal

Info and Archive Page: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/radio_shows

Older Archives: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/zmglobal

*Note: While the Global Radio Show is the most conclusive, other programs of great merit also exist, including Programs via the “Zeitgeist Broadcasting Network” (ZBN): http://www.stickam.com/zbnlive

-Zeitgeist Media Project: http://zeitgeistmediaproject.com/ The Zeitgeist Media Project is an online hub for Artistic Media Content which can be uploaded and shared. The media types range from Video, Visual Art, Music/Audio, Literature and more. This content is mostly Creative Commons and is designed to be downloaded and used by other members in their work.

-ZeitNews: http://www.zeitnews.org/

Started in 2010. Zeitnews is an amazing source for advanced Scientific Research. Subjects of interest include Energy, Transportation, Biotechnology, Robotics and other important issues that relate science and technology to human prosperity.

Members may also contribute to the online publication: http://www.zeitnews.org/about/

-Global Redesign Institute: http://www.globalredesigninstitute.org/

The Global Redesign Institute is a Think Tank project currently in development. This advanced concept will create a virtual projection, region by region of what an accurate and up to date social infrastructure would comprise, sidestepping the traditionally inhibiting factors of money and establishment preservation. This project is about designing and expressing what is technically possible – not what is “affordable”. More on this project will be announced when it becomes operational.

-”Why I Advocate” Campaign: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/why-i-advocate

The Zeitgeist Movement’s “Why I Advocate TZM” Media Testimonial Campaign is a video blog project which gives personal perspectives and faces to The Zeitgeist Movement. This is very simple. Members simple make a public video about why they feel the need to change the world and identify with The Zeitgeist Movement. This is also a good way to show community support in general.

Current submissions can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=why+I+advocate+zeitgeist&aq=f

-Social Networks: TZM Global Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tzmglobal TZM Global Twitter: http://twitter.com/tzmglobal TZM Global Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TZMOfficialChannel

Apart from the traditional Social Networks listed above, a hybrid project known as “TZM Social” has also emerged: http://www.tzmnetwork.com/

All members are encourage to review and contribute to these social mediums considering how powerful they have become culturally as a whole. Also, Regional Chapters and Projects are encouraged to initiate their own Networks via these medium for their own promotional purposes. ( I.E. a Youtube account assigned to your local chapter for display of your Town Halls, Zday events and the like.)

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4- TZM Events and Activism

As noted prior, Chapters and hence Members have a few core (Global) periodic actions which are encouraged. These include, ZDay, ZMedia Fest and Monthly Town halls. Paired with these actions is our ZDrive food bank support and similar resource charity programs to help those in need. (more below*)

-Zeitgeist Day (“ZDay”): http://zdayglobal.org/

“Zeitgeist Day”, or ZDay for short, is an annual, global event day which occurs in the middle of March, each year. The goal is to increase public awareness of The Zeitgeist Movement. A Zeitgeist Day event can take many forms, ranging from a simple showing of DVD media; to full lectures and interactive question-and-answer events with Chapter Organizers in various regions. The 2010 ZDay there were 330 sympathetic events occurred in over 70 countries worldwide.

Each year, there is a “Main Event” which serves as a highlight, with more publicly notable speakers and guests. In 2009 and 2010, the Main event was in NYC; In 2011 it was in London, UK & in 2012 – Vancouver BC.

Please review the Official ZDay Website for more information: http://zdayglobal.org/

-Town Halls: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/townhalls

The Zeitgeist Movement’s Town Hall Meetings are live, public events conducted by Official Regional Chapters. These localized events are similar in function to our annual global “Zeitgeist Day” (ZDAY) events but ideally occur monthly, rather than annually. Modelled after patterns proven effective by civil right’s movements historically, the goal is to inform the public of TZM’s understandings and goals and hence grow awareness and membership. To learn more; submit an event for your regions, please see: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/townhalls

-Zeitgeist Media Festival: http://zeitgeistmediafestival.org/

Recognizing the power of art and media to help change the world, “The Zeitgeist Media Festival” engages the artistic community and its power to change values. It proposes that needed changes in the structural/economic workings of society can only manifest in tandem with a personal/social transformation of values in each of us. While intellectual knowledge serves its role of showing the path, many in the world follow their feelings- not the knowledge. The Zeitgeist Media Festival hopes to bridge those levels, while also illuminating a focus where changing and improving the world is no longer considered a fringe or suspect pursuit.

Participating in The Media Festival does not mean each event must meet some strict requirement of focus. However, participation does require that each act understand and agree with a general train of thought with respect to human and social sustainability.

The Zeitgeist Media Festival occurs in the Summer of each year. More info: http://zeitgeistmediafestival.org/site/index-1.html

-*ZDrive: The Zeitgeist Movement’s Charity Drive or “ZDrive” is a program to engage local social service institutions in conjunction with ongoing awareness events. The most common have been our Food Drives and Clothes Drives. For example, the Zeitgeist Media Festival Globally raised via donation about 12,000 meals for the poor in 2011. Resource donations are encouraged more than monetary contributions to avoid corruption.

How you conduct your ZDrive is contingent upon your region and its needs. Typically, a suggested donation of resources is welcomed upon entry to your event, such as the bringing of canned food for your local Food Bank. Since each region has different programs, it is suggested you contact your local charities to see how your Chapter can help.

So, if possible, every time you have a ZDay, Town Hall or Media Event, please conduct a ZDrive as well and have attendees bring resources for local charity.

In turn, please keep track of the statistical results of your charity work and email it us so we can keep a running global total of its effect. This is not only a wonderful action to help the many communities now in desperate need of support, it gives TZM a layer of traditional identification for those who might otherwise see the social ideas as “too radical” to be practical.

Stats email: media@thezeitgeistmovement.com

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5- Advice and Summary

The preceding data should give new Members a great deal to think about and work with. It is important to remind the reader that TZM is a movement of ideas and values at its core. It is also Social in its very nature. In many ways, those who understand, volunteer and work with this global community to help improve the world are a proxy of how our society could be if social responsibility and environmental respect finally rose to its needed place.

However, there is no denying that what is sought in this journey is likely the most difficult and controversial undertaking one can have. No one said this would be easy. Yet the level of difficulty at hand means nothing compared to the dire nature of its necessity. This Movement is not for the weak of heart or those without self-confidence. One factor that makes internal community support critical to our success is the reality that we are not likely to see much external support for sometime to come. Historically, those ahead of their time who have sought to change the world have always been deemed subversive, agitators or even terrorists. Society and its established values seems to not look well upon broad social changes regardless of how much it may be needed or the logic of its merit.

Regardless, this changes nothing for those of us who actually care and as time moves forward, the trends of social turmoil and destabilization seem to indicate that a larger and larger subculture is emerging which recognizes this need for this larger scale change and it is the role of TZM to help make sure a viable solution is put forward as this evolution continues.

-Mission Statement: http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/mission-statement