These tweets (and one retweet) are from my friend Ryan, a journalist who has been on the ground in Ferguson for the past few days. (His Twitter account is here, and it’s a great source of updates on the situation there [x]).
I just wanted to remind everybody that while spreading word about Michael Brown’s unjust murder and the horrifying events of the night of August 14, 2014, please do not oversimplify or ignore the complexities of the situation.
Some journalists in the town have been doing what journalists do: focusing on all the negative aspects about the community to try and make it look like a hell-hole in order to sell their own pictures and stories, and basically all many of them want to do is further their own careers. But focusing on all that negativity only paints the picture of one side of the story, ignoring a lot of other important things going on there.
Please do not fall prey to the media’s game. Anger at the actions of the police in Ferguson is totally justified, but in the midst of that we cannot allow the people who are living with the situation every day to be dehumanized. Despite all this tragedy and chaos going on around them, they’re still a community and in many ways they’re pulling through all of it together. They want peace. Anyone looting or burning things down is a very small portion of the community. The whole story is so much bigger.
A story doesn’t need tear gas to be interesting. We need to hear every side of this story, not just the horrific parts.
TL:DR: please don’t fall prey to media attempts to dehumanize and oversimplify the situation in ferguson!!
Uganda gay pride party after anti-homosexual law is overturned
Entebbe (Uganda) (AFP) - Dancing and waving rainbow-coloured flags, Ugandan activists held their first gay pride rally Saturday since the overturning of a tough anti-homosexuality law, which authorities have appealed. ”This event is to bring us together. Everyone was in hiding before because of the anti-homosexuality law,” organiser Sandra Ntebi told AFP. "It is a happy day for all of us, getting together,” Ntebi said, noting that police had granted permission for the invitation-only “Uganda Pride” rally. The overturned law, condemned as “abominable” by rights groups but popular among many Ugandans, called for proven homosexuals to be jailed for life.
The constitutional court threw it out on a technicality on August 1, six months after it took effect, and the government swiftly filed an appeal, while lawmakers have signed a petition for a new vote on the bill.
Homosexuality remains illegal in Uganda, punishable by a jail sentence. But it is no longer illegal to promote homosexuality, and Ugandans are no longer obliged to denounce gays to the authorities
Amid music and laughter, activists gathered at botanical gardens on the shores of Lake Victoria, barely a kilometre (half a mile) from the presidential palace at Entebbe, a key town some 35 kilometres from the capital Kampala. ”Some Ugandans are gay. Get over it,” read one sticker a man had pasted onto his face. - ‘Now I have the courage’ -
Ugandan Deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhinda said Saturday that state lawyers had lodged an appeal against the ruling at the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court.
"We are unsatisfied with the court ruling," Ruhinda told AFP. "The law was not intended to victimise gay people, it was for the common good." In their surprise ruling last week, judges said it had been passed without the necessary quorum of lawmakers in parliament. Rights groups said the law triggered a sharp increase in arrests and assaults on members of the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Homophobia is widespread in Uganda, where American-style evangelical Christianity is on the rise. Gay men and women face frequent harassment and threats of violence. On Saturday, however, activists celebrated openly.
"Since I discovered I was gay I feared coming out, but now I have the courage after the law was thrown out," Alex Musoke told AFP, one of more than 100 people at the event. One pair of activists waved a rainbow flag with a slogan appealing for people to “join hands” to end the “genocide” of homosexuals. Some wore masks for fear of being identified — Uganda’s tabloid newspapers have previously printed photographs of prominent activists — while others showed their faces openly and wore colourful fancy dress. But activist Pepe Onziema said he and his colleagues would not rest until they were sure the law was gone for good. ”Uganda is giving a bad example, not only to the region but to the world, by insisting on this law,” he said.
"We are Africans, we want to show an African struggle by civil society."
There was little police presence, and no one came to protest the celebration, even if many in the town said they did not approve."This is unbelievable, I can’t imagine being a gay," said motorbike taxi driver William Kamurasi in disgust."It’s a shame to Uganda. Police must stop these activities of the gays."
- Lawmakers demand new vote -
Critics said President Yoweri Museveni signed the law to win domestic support ahead of a presidential election set for 2016, which will be his 30th year in power. But it lost him friends abroad, with several international donors freezing or redirecting millions of dollars of government aid, saying the country had violated human rights and democratic principles.
US Secretary of State John Kerry likened the law to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany.
Analysts suggest that Museveni secretly encouraged last week’s court ruling as it provided a way to avoid the appearance of caving in to foreign pressure. But gay rights activists warn the battle is not over.
Lawmakers signed a petition calling for a new vote on the bill, and to bypass parliamentary rules that require it be formally reintroduced from scratch — a process that could take years.
this is good and all but can I just
this man is a brilliant actor
he don’t count… because we’re not entirely sure if he’s acting or if he’s seriously iron man….
reblogging for the last comment
As anger erupted again on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, a human rights team from Amnesty International worked on the ground in the US for the first time ever.
Confrontation flared up after an autopsy found that Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was fatally shot by an officer on 9 August, had suffered at six bullet wounds including one in the top of his head.
Eye-witnesses report seeing police, with no visible ID badges, hurling tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters and threatening members of the press in another night of demonstrations.
Amnesty International, said it would be observing police and protester activity and gathering testimonies as well as training local activists “on methods of non-violent protest” in an “unprecedented” move by the campaigners.
Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director, Steven W Hawkins said that the “people of Ferguson have the right to protest peacefully the lack of accountability for Michael Brown’s shooting”.
Jasmine Heiss, one of the 13-strong team sent by Amnesty, told Buzzfeed that the limits placed on the organisation’s access to post-curfew areas was indicative of “the overall lack of transparency in this investigation”.
Complex Magazine said that police had opened fire into the crowds without warning three hours before the midnight curfew began, causing some children and members of the media to be hit with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Two black journalists from Complex also said that they had been racially profiled, being refused re-entry into the press area whereas white members of the press had been.