Facebook suppurts CISPA

Yet another reason why ‘gender’ is becoming irrelevant as a legal designator

If something is a variable, it ought not be treated as a constant.

‘In a 95-page decision issued April 11, Sheri Price, a vice-chair with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, gave the Ontario government 180 days to “revise the criteria for changing sex designation on a birth registration.” Unless provincial authorities mount an appeal, Ontario will become the first Canadian jurisdiction to toss out genital surgery as a pre-requisite for a legal sex change.’

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What is ‘GlobaLeaks’?

Just came accross this:  I wonder what it’ll become.

‘GlobaLeaks is the first open-source whistleblowing framework. It empowers anyone to easily set up and maintain a whistleblowing platform. GlobaLeaks can help many different types of users: media organizations, activist groups, corporations and public agencies.’

A quick guide to current online privacy threats

Europe’s Last Dictator

From the Free Thinking Film Society:

You won’t want to miss our event this week – the Canadian premiere of the film, “Europe’s Last Dictator”.

April 25, 2012, 7:00 PM
Library & Archives Canada
395 Wellington
Admission $15 ($10 for students).Tickets available at the door or at selected retailers (Compact Music, 190 Bank, 785 Bank; Collected Works, 1242 Wellington; Ottawa Festivals, 47 William)

Irina is the sister of imprisoned Belarusian presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov. Through her eyes this doc charts the violent crackdown that followed the 2010 rigged elections and its dreadful aftermath. Powerful, award-winning photography captures Orwellian images of brute force used against unarmed men and women. We see the state-sponsored torture, murder and kidnap that defines Belarus today. A rare glimpse into Europe’s most repressive state.

“We formed a group to lead negotiations with the government, but the troops were called”, Iryna Khalip, journalist and wife of presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, says over the phone. “My husband was badly beaten, we’re on the way to the hospital.” Suddenly her voice becomes raised with panic. “Looks like we’re being arrested. We’re on the ground…They’re hitting my face!” She screams and then the phone cuts out. This episode is part of Lukashenko’s promise to “wring the necks” of all those who joined the opposition during the elections.

Iryna Khalip and Andrei Sannikov were imprisoned after this arrest. Irina Bogdanova, Andrei’s sister, has lived in England for 18 years. The other side of Europe, she has turned her house into a refugee camp for all those who have escaped Lukashenko’s violent crackdown that night. A crackdown that it appears Lukashenko may have premeditated. Staggering images of the protest show riot police beating their shields in unison, and bloodied, disorientated protestors. “There was no resistance, people were not armed. It’s just despicable what happened.” Police charged the crowds with their batons striking the defenseless protestors repeatedly. “Human beings don’t behave like that, animals don’t behave like that”, Irina says, her voice tremulous with emotion.

Hundreds of others like Sannikov, including the other presidential candidate Alexander Neklayev, were also brutally beaten and imprisoned that night. With virtually the entire opposition behind bars, it fell to family members to campaign for their release. So Irina and Eva, the daugther of Alexander Neklayev, have now taken to the road to meet world leaders in an attempt to secure the release of their loved ones. While they lobby world politicians to put pressure on Belarus their relatives are brutally tortured. “If I think about how he is doing I just fall apart.” In fact, as Lukashenko’s popularity wains his violence against the opposition has increased.

From Irina’s defiant perpective this doc gets right inside the prison that Lukashenko has turned Belarus into, exposing the true extent of the crisis. “People are so isolated in terms of information in Belarus, especially now that 10 million people live in jail”. As the opposition continues to languish in custody, how long will the people of Belarus have to wait before they are set free?

I hope to see everybody at this important event.  David Kilgour will be on hand to say a few words as well as Ivonka J. Survilla President , Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile.On May 28th, we’ll be showing a film, “When China Met Africa” which we will follow with a panel discussion on China in Canada with Terry Glavin, David Kilgour, David Harris and Scott Simon.

And, on June 18th, we will be bringing in Irish Filmmaker Nicky Larkin to show his new film on the Middle East, “Forty Shades of Grey.”

Frederick Litwin
Free Thinking Film Society