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August 20 2011

02mydafsoup-01
Other entries to the 20th anniversary of the End of the Soviet Union on soup.io - oAnth - you find here

March 10 2011

Iran: Female Police for International Women's Day Protests

Written by Hamid Tehrani

On Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - International Women's Day - Iranian protesters (both men and women) went to the streets in defiance of their country's Islamic regime.

MetalBoys says [in Farsi] it was the first time he also saw female security forces with batons in their hands and masks on their faces in Tehran. They were in groups of five and six.

Peikazadi writes [in Farsi] that security forces around 18h in Azadi Street in Tehran attacked protesters, including Iranian women who were chanting slogans.

[Videos:]

Protesters scared in Tehran

Security forces in Tehran

Run do not stop

Security forces asked people not to stop in the street.

Reposted byiranelection iranelection

March 08 2011

New exhibition offers insight into women's experience of prison

Girls Behind Bars showcases the work of women prisoners, and offers the public a different view of the criminal justice system

See pictures of some of the artworks here

Eve McDougall has come a long way since 1979 when, at 15 years old, she was serving a two-year sentence in an adult prison for breaking a window. "I was hungry. I saw bread in a bakery so I broke in. I can't tell you the mental damage it did being in an adult jail. I was terrified. When I think how things have turned out I can't believe it."

Now 52, McDougall, who describes herself as a "self-taught" artist, is to show her artwork in an exhibition in London. From 9 March McDougall's work will be on display along with that of other women ex-prisoners and prisoners in a gallery run by the mental health charity, Together. "I've been drawing and painting since I was a kid," she explains. "I've always found it so therapeutic."

The free exhibition, Girls Behind Bars: Female Experiences of Justice, which McDougall helped organise, will include works ranging from video installation to sculpture to painting, as well as short stories and poetry. McDougall believes it will offer an insight into the often harsh experiences of women prisoners.

"The hope is that it will give members of the public and people who work in the justice system a different perspective of women who have been in jail. It's about opening minds."

Claire Monger, who co-manages the gallery for Together, says the idea for the exhibition came to her after meeting McDougall. She was so impressed she asked her to be a consultant on the project, working with experienced curators, Ronee Hui and Louise McDonnell. "Through the art and words of female prisoners, offenders and ex-offenders the exhibition aims to explore their life experiences, and what justice has been like, from their points of view," Monger explains. "We hope it will raise further awareness of the problems that can be caused by sending vulnerable women to prison, and the benefits of alternatives."

Timed to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Corston report – a landmark inquiry headed by Baroness Corston following the deaths of six women at Styal prison, which looked at the experiences of vulnerable women within the criminal justice system – the organisers hope the project will shed renewed light on the issue.

Women account for just 5% of the prison population but campaigners are concerned – borne out by Corston's original report – that most are incarcerated for non-violent offences, while around 70% have two or more mental health conditions. Women also account for more than half of all self-harm among the prison population. Advocates are also worried that pressure on funding could threaten many of the support initiatives established after Corston was published.

"I really hope we can have an impact," McDougall says. "I want there to be greater awareness of our experiences. They matter."

The exhibition runs until 10 June at the Together Our Space gallery, 12 Old Street, London, EC1V 9BE.


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Democracy Now! 2011-03-08 Tuesday

Democracy Now! 2011-03-08 Tuesday

  • Headlines for March 08, 2011
  • “Women’s Rights are Workers’ Rights:” Kavita Ramdas on History of International Women’s Day and Challenges Women Face 100 Years Later
  • Novelist Ahdaf Soueif on Egypt’s Revolution: “People Were Rediscovering Themselves”

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March 05 2011

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The end of the Cold War, the reunification of Germany, liberalism and Perestroyka. The USSR's first and last president, Mikhail Gorbachev celebrates his 80th birthday today, and his legacy includes being hailed as the father of Russia's democracy. Mikhail Gorbachev was born in a small village in the south of the country, and became leader of the USSR in 1985. With his economic and political reforms, he paved the way for democracy in Russia. His best known reform is dubbed "Perestroyka", which aimed to revamp the country without destroying the basis of socialism. His initiatives also led to the abolishment of state censorship and the creation of free speech in the country. Gorbachev received the Nobel peace prize in 1990. A year later, however, he was removed from power in a coup which saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and Boris Yeltsin become president. But Mikhail Gorbachev still says his reforms were timely and necessary. "We realized from experience that it was dangerous to wait much longer, that we had to take a risk," he told RT in an interview. "But we couldn't postpone it, we needed changes." Gorbachev does not agree when people say that Perestroyka failed: "It didn't fail. It was disrupted, derailed, stopped. But still, Perestroyka achieved a lot. Inside Russia, we had democracy, free elections, freedom of consciousness, private property, freedom to travel abroad --everything. Also, glasnost. There was so much openness -- the entire country was affected. People realized they had finally got some freedom, an opportunity to act." The first USSR president points out that the end of the Cold War was among key goals of his administration: "In foreign affairs, we put an end to the Cold War. We normalized our relationship with the US, we reunited Germany -- we didn't send our tanks or troops there. All our units in Eastern Europe stayed where they were. It wasn't always easy." However, many things did not work as planned, Gorbachev confessed. "At the beginning, when we made our first mistakes, we didn't really explain to people what was going on and didn't get them involved in all those processes -- we were self-confident," he said. "But in public politics, I don't think we ever lost a major battle," Mikhail Gorbachev concluded.
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