Angry ass Asian American with a camera.

Posts tagged Injustice.

Hesitation amdist the excitement

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m over-analytical. Maybe I’m jaded.

But bear with me (or keep scrolling down, your choice).

I’m excited for the 1,000 prisoners to be released, their families (and yes, also for Gilad Shalit and his family)- unjust incarceration is always wrong.

But I have to pause and wonder what kind of sick calculus is at play here. It’s nothing new, and its properties are shifting, but constant (if that makes sense, which I hope it will). What sort of value judgement does the occupying government of Israel impose on the value of Palestinian life and how does this release reinforce that. 1 Israeli for 1,000 Palestinians. Cast Lead saw somewhere around 1,400 dead Palestinians and 13 dead Israelis. There’s this. There are countless other examples of this macabre arithmetic….

And I’m left to wonder, how can the international community abide such blatant use of disproportionate force? How can people buy into the hasbara of Israeli victimhood?

This is where I get jaded- what sort of future can we expect when the Israeli arithmetic weighs the value of a Jewish life at a 1:100 or 1:1,000 ratio against the lives of Palestinians?

Sorry, that is not to detract from the excitement of people going home- just a thought that has been bothering me.


Captive student workers protest in… China, India, Mexico? NO! In Pennsylvania at the Hershey plant!

FOREIGN STUDENTS PAID UP TO $6,000 TO BE IN A U.S. SPONSORED CULTURAL-EXCHANGE PROGRAM, working at Hershey’s chocolate plant in Pennsylvania. Mandatory company housing costs left them with $40-$140 a week after 40 hours of work, and they were threatened with deportation if they complained. Yeah, that seem like a legit foreign cultural-exchange program IN AMERICA, doesn’t it? Corporations are people, too! From the LATimes

The National Guestworker Alliance filed a complaint Wednesday on behalf of 400 international students who had apparently paid $3,000 to $6,000 to participate in a U.S.-certified cultural exchange program. The complaint, sent to the U.S. Department of State, says the students were exploited by Hershey Co. and that the company takes unfair advantage of the program.

The students also launched a protest at the plant. Those protests were continuing Thursday, with the students, labor leaders and Pennsylvania workers who have joined the fight rallying in downtown Hershey, according to an email alert the alliance sent to The Times

The organization, which helped organize the protests, has dubbed their efforts the Justice at Hershey’s Campaign.

The students, who hail from countries such as China, Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova, Mongolia, Ghana and Thailand, were recruited at their universities to participate in the U.S. State Department J-1 visa program, described on a U.S. State Department website as an Exchange Visitor Program. The program leads to a three-month visa that allows students to work in the United States while learning about American culture and improving their English skills.

The goal of the program, according to the State Department’s site, is to foster “global understanding through educational and cultural exchange.”

Instead, says a representative of the National Guestworker Alliance, students who wound up at the Hershey’s plant were living in “economic captivity,” forced to pay for mandatory company housing that left them with $40 to $140 a week for 40 hours of work.

“They were desperate and feeling isolated,” the organization’s communications director, Stephen Boykewich, said in an interview with The Times.

According to the complaint, conveniently made available to media, when the students complained about the violations of U.S. law, “they were threatened with deportation and other long term immigration consequences to remain quiet about the violations.”

HERSHEY’S RESPONSE: it’s the subcontractor’s fault! (LA Times)

But surely, an expansive guest worker program could be the key to immigration reform- or so some conservatives would argue. SURELY, there would be no space for abuse… shh, don’t look behind the chocolate door…

Yet another fucked up, real life story from a country that thinks Corporations are people and immigrants/POC are just exploitable labor.

(via praxis-makesperfect-deactivated)


“The children walking over the bricks of their destroyed homes, their mother putting up a tent, their father in jail… in tears and confusion looking at the tanks coming down the street, the men holding metre-long machine guns… they stare… need I say more …just imagine how it would feel to be a Palestinian….”

This post needs to be up to contrast with the previous. For every picture of an excited settler colonist waving the Israeli flag over their new homes, remember the words above…


Israeli settlers wave their national flag as they stand outside their new house which they recently stole from the Palestinian al-Kurdi family, in east Jerusalem’s Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood on July 8, 2011. With the backing of the Israeli government, theft of Palestinian homes by Israeli settlers is a common occurrence in an effort to expel all Palestinians from the neighbourhood. (Getty Images)

This really disgusts me. Dispossessing a family of their home because you feel that because of your religion or ancestry entitles you to whatever you want is arrogant and unjust. This isn’t the time of Joshua, STOP. Just, STOP.


There is no such thing as “neutrality”; taking or not taking action is always in the advantage of one of the two (or more) parties.


(via dueces-amor)


Palestinian villagers and firefighters try to extinguish a fire started by Israeli settlers in a field in the Palestinian West Bank village of Burin near Nablus June 30, 2011. (Reuters/AP Photo) 

Israeli settlements (in which the aforementioned settlers reside) are built on stolen Palestinian land and violate international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention reads:

“The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”

There is clearly a force in the West Bank that does not want peace, security, brotherhood/sisterhood or justice. They’re these ideological settlers who violate human rights and attack dignity with impunity.

Israel (and the settlers participating in this colonial exploitation)- you do not represent/speak for me.



Israel continues to build illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian territory.

… While simultaneously decrying that they don’t have a partner for peace in seeking an agreement to create a “viable, contiguous” Palestinian state. This graphic should go to reinforce what absolute bullshit propaganda statements like that coming from the government of Israel are….

This also neglects to include the “Jewish only” roads and incursions of the Security Apartheid Wall.

(via syeda-deactivated20130423)

An Open Letter to the “Papers Please” Alabama Confederacy of Hate


Dear Alabama,
I am a person of few words so I’m going to keep this short.

I love it when bigotry and hatred come out in the open, parading as just laws upheld and sanctioned by our institutions and structures, because then, everyone can see that we don’t live in a “post-racial” society and an America that welcomes immigrants. And then, everyone fighting for racial justice and immigrant rights can hone in on you as a convenient target for structural and institutional oppression.

I have never been to Alabama. I was never going to come down there. It’s not like immigrants really want to live in your confederacy of hatred and racism. But I may change my mind now.

You’ve made it a criminal offense to provide transport or housing to any allegedly undocumented immigrant. I thank you kindly for this move because we are sure to send a large contingent of undocumented youth organizers to your state who shut down the streets and your Capitol with our message of courage and resistance.

And when your racist cops rise their batons to hit our friends and family members, when you call Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain and deport young people of color Americans who were raised in this country and done nothing wrong, the world will be watching. And we will win.

Finally, you are getting sued pretty soon since your new law is unconstitutional, so I hope you have several millions for litigation. But really, it’s the non-legal forces of resistance that you should worry about more.

Thank you for the incredible gift,
A queer brown allegedly “illegal” immigrant

P.S. All the best building your tornado-devastated state without the help of cheap undocumented labor

Originally posted here. Feel free to reblog.

100% support this.


During: A Palestinian Bedouin school girl cries as she watches her classroom being destroyed by Israeli army tractors in their camp located in the village of Dakeka, near the West Bank city of Hebron, on January 12, 2011. (Getty Images)

After: A Palestinian Bedouin man sits amidst desks and equipment from a classroom after the destruction. Israeli forces destroyed 17 structures that provided shelter to some 300 Bedouins, officials said. (AP Photo)

Woe to the country that resorts to the destruction of classrooms in pursuit of its “security needs” and continuing of its occupation. Israel, this is not what “Light to the Nations” looks like…


Otherwise Occupied / From Prague to Ofer | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

Israeli Knesset members might not care about shackled Palestinian teens in a West Bank military court, but their British counterparts do.

By Amira Hass

Monday, May 23, 2011

Half a year after the lower chamber of the British Parliament, the House of Commons, discussed the Israeli military court at Ofer, it was taken up by the upper chamber, the House of Lords. In both sessions, on December 7, 2010 and May 4, 2011, respectively, the court was specifically mentioned with regard to the detention and sentencing conditions for Palestinian minors by the Israeli military. In both sessions, the debates followed visits by members of Parliament.

Lord Alf Dubs made the following statement to the House of Lords on May 4: “My Lords, I recently visited the West Bank; it was my first time there. Of course any solution must acquire security for Israel, but also dignity, self-respect and justice for the Palestinians.

“As part of the visit I went to see the Israeli military courts in Ofer. I believe that the way in which these courts operate is an obstacle to achieving a just peace in the region. We went to see how children are treated by this system of military justice. Approximately 700 Palestinian children are prosecuted every year in these courts, and at the end of January this year some 222 were in jail. In the court we visited we saw a 14 year-old and a 15-year-old, one of them in tears, both looking absolutely bewildered. What shocked me as much as anything was to see that these young persons - children - had chains or shackles around their ankles while sitting in court. They were also handcuffed as they went into court. Although the handcuffs were taken off while they were in court, they were put on again as they left the court.

“When being interrogated these young people do not have the security of video recordings, lawyers or parents present. In fact, if parents want to visit, their permission might take 60 days to come through, by which time the young person might have served his or her sentence.

“The court proceedings are in Hebrew, with translations of a doubtful quality. The verdicts are mostly based on uncorroborated confession evidence. The evidence against one young person that we saw was of throwing stones at an Israeli armoured vehicle, for which he is likely to get 60 days in custody.

“I do not believe that this process of humiliation represents justice. I believe that the way in which these young people are treated is in itself an obstacle to the achievement by Israel of a peaceful relationship with the Palestinian people. I think that the Israelis should apply proper standards of human rights to the way in which they treat them.”

Dubs was not entirely precise. We recently learned of the interrogation of a minor that was recorded on video, that of a 14-year-old from the village of Nabi Salah, near Ramallah, identified by his initials, A.D. The video indeed made it easier for the defense attorneys (Gaby Lasky and Neri Ramati ) to prove that the interrogation of this minor, just a few hours after being pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, was filled with faults. A.D. was detained for 10 weeks. Had the defense not insisted on holding a trial within a trial (about the inappropriate interrogation ) and merely agreed to a plea bargain, including an admission of guilt (for throwing rocks at security vehicles 20 times “during a period unknown to the prosecution” ) without calling witnesses, A.D. would have been released sooner. That has been the case for many minors whose attorneys choose an earlier release over challenging the military judges using standard legal procedures. But in keeping with Nabi Salah’s rebellious spirit, principle was chosen instead.

A.D. was released to house arrest. The prosecution refused to withdraw charges. Last Monday, attorney Lymor Goldstein testified as to how he was prevented from meeting with his young client before his interrogation. (If the honorable lord expects the Israeli military judicial system to grant minors the right to have a lawyer present during their interrogation, then he is mistaken. ) The trial of a 14-year-old has to do with more than guilt or innocence. It is also a discussion about the legality of arresting children in nighttime raids and interrogating them in deliberately stressful conditions, while taking advantage of their childishness and wringing from them confessions that incriminate the leaders of the popular uprising.

The issues that are of interest to British MPs are not those that occupy Israeli Knesset members. But perhaps Lord Dubs himself, of Britain’s Labor Party, would interest our legislators. At the age of six he was one of 669 mostly Jewish children that British citizens evacuated from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.

With him on his visit to Israel was Lord Mohammed Sheikh, a businessman and philanthropist who was born in Kenya to parents from the Indian subcontinent. Unlike Lord Dub the Holocaust survivor, Lord Sheikh had visited Israel before, and also went to Gaza “with the consent of those on my Front Bench and the Conservative Party,” as he told the House of Lords.

He also told the upper chamber that during their April visit, “We also spent the best part of a day with an Israeli army officer and high officials in the Israeli Foreign Office to hear the Israelis’ point of view.”

If not for this column’s reticence about futuristic speculations and idle promises, the following sentence by Lord Sheikh might have become a headline: “[Palestinian] Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that, if and when the Palestinians get full independence, the half a million Israelis [in the settlements] would be welcome to stay in the West Bank.”

Lord Sheikh failed to mention that Palestinian leaders such as the late Faisal Husseini, former PA minister for Jerusalem, have said that settlers who agree to be citizens of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and who do not have a record of violent attacks against Palestinians, will be allowed to remain there. The settlements will not remain deluxe ghettos for Jews only, but will be open to all. And Jewish citizens of the Palestinian state will not retain the special privileges and separate legal status that characterize their present, illegal sojourn in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem ).

Photo: ‘A.D.’ Lord Dubs, a child evacuee from Nazi-occupied Prague, was horrified. (Amira Hass)

^required reading

(via kadalkavithaigal)


Palestinians killed in ‘Nakba’ clashes - Several killed and scores wounded in Gaza, Golan Heights, Ras Maroun and West Bank, as Palestinians mark Nakba Day.

Israel- you don’t speak for me. End the occupation, stop the violence, stop the injustice!

Another American Jew against the occupation….


Japanese Relocation During World War II

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared that the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, would live in infamy. The attack launched the United States fully into the two theaters of the world war. Prior to Pearl Harbor, the United States had been involved in the European war only by supplying England and other antifascist countries of Europe with the munitions of war.

The attack on Pearl Harbor also launched a rash of fear about national security, especially on the West Coast. In February 1942, just two months after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt as commander-in-chief, issued Executive Order 9066, which had the effect of relocating all persons of Japanese ancestry, both citizens and aliens, inland, outside of the Pacific military zone. The objectives of the order were to prevent espionage and to protect persons of Japanese descent from harm at the hands of Americans who had strong anti-Japanese attitudes.

In Washington and Oregon, the eastern boundary of the military zone was an imaginary line along the rim of the Cascade Mountains; this line continued down the spine of California from north to south. From that line to the Pacific coast, the military restricted zones in those three states were defined.

Roosevelt’s order affected 117,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were native-born citizens of the United States. The Issei were the first generation of Japanese in this country; the Nisei were the second generation, numbering 70,000 American citizens at the time of internment. Within weeks, all persons of Japanese ancestry—whether citizens or enemy aliens, young or old, rich or poor—were ordered to assembly centers near their homes. Soon they were sent to permanent relocation centers outside the restricted military zones.

For example, persons of Japanese ancestry in western Washington State were removed to the assembly center at the Puyallup Fairgrounds near Tacoma. From Puyallup to Pomona, internees found that a cowshed at a fairgrounds or a horse stall at a racetrack was home for several months before they were transported to a permanent wartime residence. Relocation centers were situated many miles inland, often in remote and desolate locales. Sites included Tule Lake, California; Minidoka, Idaho; Manzanar, California; Topaz, Utah; Jerome, Arkansas; Heart Mountain, Wyoming; Poston, Arizona; Granada, Colorado; and Rohwer, Arkansas.

As four or five families with their sparse collections of clothing and possessions squeezed into and shared tar-papered barracks, life took on some familiar routines of socializing and school. However, eating in common facilities and having limited opportunities for work interrupted other social and cultural patterns. Persons who became troublesome were sent to a special camp at Tule Lake, California, where dissidents were housed.

In 1943 and 1944 the government assembled a combat unit of Japanese Americans for the European theater. It became the 442d Regimental Combat Team and gained fame as the most highly decorated of World War II. Their military record bespoke their patriotism.

As the war drew to a close, the relocation centers were slowly evacuated. While some persons of Japanese ancestry returned to their home towns, others sought new surroundings. For example, the Japanese American community of Tacoma, Washington, had been sent to three different centers; only 30 percent returned to Tacoma after the war. Japanese Americans from Fresno had gone to Manzanar; 80 percent returned to their hometown.

The internment of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II sparked constitutional and political debate. In the 1940s, two men and one woman—Hirabayashi, Korematsu, and Endo—challenged the constitutionality of the relocation and curfew orders. While the men received negative judgments from the court, in the 1944 case ExParte Mitsuye Endo, the Supreme Court ruled that, “Mitsuye Endo is entitled to an unconditional release by the War Relocation Authority.” Some people refer to the relocation centers as concentration camps; others view internment as an unfortunate episode, but a military necessity. During the Reagan-Bush years Congress moved toward the passage of Public Law 100-383 in 1988 which acknowledged the injustice of the internment, apologized for it, and provided a $20,000 cash payment to each person who was interned.

One of the most stunning ironies in this episode of American civil liberties was articulated by an internee who, when told that the Japanese were put in those camps for their own protection, countered “If we were put there for our protection, why were the guns at the guard towers pointed inward, instead of outward?”

Hmmm, “others sought new surroundings”? My complaint about this lies in the omission of certain extenuating circumstances faced by the post internment community. Huge financial losses were suffered, often rendering return to a viable life in the former community impossible. $25 and a train ticket “home” was a continued slap in the face- particularly to the now-displaced tenant farmers from the Japanese American community. With $25, a train ticket and newly-acquired homelessness- I think that “sought new surroundings” should be clarified to include those who had no other option than to try to find new means of livelihood in “new surroundings” as a matter of necessity. The various reasons for the delay in closing the last of the camps should also be highlighted- including trying to figure out what to do with the Japanese that the US took from Peru as hostages.


The Ying and Yang of World Hunger

(via robinceleste)

The agents completed paperwork and told the parishioners to sign their names on forms written in English. When the men and women hesitated—not knowing what they were signing—the agents reportedly told them, in a mix of Spanish and English, that if they did not sign the forms, they would be sent to separate jails, and the children would be sent to orphanages and become property of the United States.

- The Independent Weekly

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting….

When some began praying and softly singing hymns, an agent, according to the testimony, laughed and told them, “Let’s see if your God will save you from this.”

Similar to some Mennonites and the Amish, the congregation’s women do not wear pants and always wear colorful head coverings that are netted and sometimes beaded. Two agents reportedly told the women they “looked stupid,” and another asked, “Do you wear those scarves so you don’t have to brush your hair?”

The Independent Weekly reports on alleged disrespect and mistreatment of a group of immigrants to North Carolina who were stopped by Customs and Border Patrol in Louisiana after visiting Texas for a religious event. These allegations, if/when confirmed, further illustrate the reality of immigration enforcement in many places across the country. When our dialogue and rhetoric paints immigrants and people as dangerous, different and criminal- is it any wonder that enforcement officials will behave in this utterly inappropriate manner?
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