Right to freedom of assembly and association in the UK

The UN Special Rapporteur on rights to freedom of assembly and association, Mr. Maina Kiai, has criticised the UK authorities use of spy cops, such as Mark Kennedy; the practice of ‘kettling’ peaceful protesters – where they are trapped (sometimes along with members of the public who had nothing to do with the protest) within a circle of police officers, often for hours at a time with no access to water or sanitary facilities; the categorisation of protest as ‘domestic extremism’; and the gathering of intelligence about peaceful protesters. His preliminary findings can be found here. The full report is to follow.

But, of course, no need to worry about these pesky human rights types. Theresa May has promised to scrap the Human Rights Act, and perhaps pull the UK out of its European obligations on human rights altogether if the Tories win the next election. So that’s alright then.

Interview with Silvia Federici

Interesting interview with Silvia Federici who was in London at the end of last year. Long, but well worth the read.

Silvia Federici is a scholar, teacher, and activist from the radical autonomist feminist Marxist tradition. She is a professor emerita and Teaching Fellow at Hofstra University, where she was a social science professor. She worked as a teacher in Nigeria for many years, is also the co-founder of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, and is a member of the Midnight Notes Collective.

More from wikipedia.

Guess who

gay marriage
gay adoption
Women priests (no doubt)

Sometimes people become radicalized when they enter the upper positions in an extremely conservative institution. The US Supreme Court demonstrates some instances of this transition. So let’s hope that Pope Francis can do the same.

A new pope is thought to choose his name to signal the tradition he will align himself with. Francis I is not situating himself in such a line. So let us hope.

No More

This is a new US campaign aimed at ending domestic violence and sexual assault, which is launched today, March 13th.

The next time you’re in a room with 6 people, think about this:

  • 1 in 4 women experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes.
  • 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year.
  • 1 in 6 women are survivors of sexual assault.
  • 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual victimization in their lives.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18.

These are not numbers.

They’re our mothers, girlfriends, brothers, sisters, children, co-workers and friends.

They’re the person you confide in most at work, the guy you play basketball with, the people in your book club, your poker buddy, your teenager’s best friend – or your teen, herself.

The silence and shame must end for good.

You can read more about the campaign here.

“Everyone Can Be a Philosopher”

Hey! Wanna feel happy about stuff for a few minutes? Feminist Philosophers reader Sophie Collins sent us the following remarks and image. So very awesome!

I’m a big fan of the blog, as a feminist philosophy undergrad, it’s great to see.

Just wanted to tell you a story that happened in my philosophy class today. I facilitate philosophy classes in primary schools, and today the kids were given the task to draw a symbolic picture which would represent what you need to be like, to be a philosopher. The picture was going to make part of an advert for a different school which needs a philosophy teacher.

Some kids drew speech bubbles, some drew thinking bubbles, some drew them very smartly dressed (because it is a job). Most drew stick people without a gender.

One drew herself, because she is a philosopher.   One drew a guy with a beard, for scratching.

We then brought the best bits of the pictures together to form one picture, for the advert.

I asked if the beard was needed. I said that I am a philosopher,and I don’t have a beard. We discussed it for a bit,and in the end decided to draw a person with pigtails and a beard, and a question mark next to their head to show that it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl, everyone can be a philosopher.