#BlackLivesMatter activists are monitored by U.S. Homeland Security and cybersecurity firms

Image: Wikipedia.
In a Reddit AMA, activists DeRay McKesson, Johnetta Elzie and ACLU’s Nus Choudhury talked policing and police reform in America, and surveillance of activists.

Singer Alysha Brilla and sisters argue with police over right to ride bikes while shirtless


Indo-Tanzanian-Canadian musician singer Alysha Brilla and her two sisters, Tameera and Nadia, said that a police officer pulled them over because they were riding bikes at night without wearing shirts. The officer told them to put their tops on and the three women argued with the officer.

CTV News of Kitchener reports:

"We passed by a cop in an SUV and he immediately makes a U-turn after seeing us from the front," she told CTV Kitchener over the weekend.

"He says, 'Ladies, you're going to need to put shirts on.'"

As the sisters began to argue with the officer, Brilla pulled out her cellphone and recorded the interaction. She said the conversation changed when she began recording.

"What are you stopping us for?" she can be heard asking. The officer asked her whether she had lights on her bike.

"He would have seen our lights shining on him and our helmets and everything," she told CTV.

According to a city clerk in Vancouver, it is perfectly legal for any human being to go topless. The sisters are planning a top freedom ralley in Waterloo this weekend. Read the rest

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Ellen Pao: “The trolls are winning.”


“I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history,” writes Reddit's recently-departed interim CEO Ellen Pao in a Washington Post op-ed today. “And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.” Read the rest

Stop telling women to smile


Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is a Brooklyn artist who tried something new to speak up for herself—and address street harassment—through art. Read the rest

"Pee buddy" helps Indian women stand up for their own hygiene—literally

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India's often-unsanitary public toilets are breeding grounds for disease, leading many women pay to access toilets in places like McDonald's and KFC. The new "pee-buddy" is providing local women with urine liberation, reports the BBC. Read the rest

Here's what official Islamic State “wear a hijab, or else, ladies” paperwork looks like

“The beauty of women can hurt her and attract evil,” it reads.

I survived an illegal abortion

Fran Moreland Johns sought an abortion in 1956 following a workplace rape. Now the author of Perilous Times: An Inside Look at Abortion Before and After Roe v. Wade, she survived a back-alley procedure in the days before legalization, and warns that with women's rights under renewed assault, those grim days are returning.
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Where are the stolen girls of Nigeria? And why don't we care more?

Maybe if the more than 200 Nigerian girls abducted from their school weeks ago were on a ferry in Korea, a jet liner in the Indian Ocean, or were white, the world would pay more attention. Xeni Jardin on why it took so long for America to notice an intractable tragedy unfolding abroad.

Hobby Lobby, IUDs, and the facts

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide later this year whether a corporation can have religious beliefs. Maggie Koerth-Baker looks at the science of birth control, and how it might inform the debate.

Unaccompanied women banned from Saudi hospitals

Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has banned women from visiting hospitals without male guardians, reports Arab News. Read the rest

The story of the rapist's wife

The rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student last December drew worldwide attention to India's struggles with tradition, women's rights, and street harassment. In a piece for the Wall Street Journal, Krishna Pokharel and Aditi Malhotra add another layer to that onion, following the story of Punita Devi, the wife of one of the convicted rapists. She, too, is suffering from the fallout of her husband's choices — and in ways that come back to those issues of tradition and equality. Living in a rural area where widows lose both their honor and any viable means of financial support, Devi is facing a future where she expects to be turned out of her in-laws' home, cannot return to her parents, and is judged and punished ... not for being the wife of a rapist, but for being nobody's wife. Read the rest

Texas passes draconian law limiting women's health care options

Earlier this week on Facebook, Senate Democratic caucus chairman Kirk Watson posted this photo.

The NYT's John Schwartz, who is himself from Texas, live-tweeted the dramatic proceedings yesterday in the Texas Senate surrounding one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country. The law was pushed forward by governor Rick “The louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done” Perry.

No surprise: it passed. Read John's coverage today, and weep. Read the rest

For Anonymous: an ode to the Delhi rape victim, by Nilanjana Roy

"Let there be an end to this epidemic of violence, this culture where if we can’t kill off our girls before they are born, we ensure that they live these lives of constant fear. Like many women in India, I rely on a layer of privilege, a network of friends, paranoid security measures and a huge dose of amnesia just to get around the city, just to travel in this country. So many more women have neither the privilege, nor the luxury of amnesia, and this week, perhaps we all stood up to say, 'Enough,' no matter how incoherently or angrily we said it." For Anonymous, by Nilanjana Roy. Read the rest

Amazons with a Cause

Why are women first to pay for every crisis? In every society, capitalist, socialist, or transition? It's because the bodies of women are expendable.

I always noticed how women over eighty in Turin looked incredibly well, beautiful and loved and taken care of: desirable, because old and valuable. I connected this to Italy's long-established and sophisticated health care system. Italian hospitals were famous for methods which preserved the dignity of the patients, in tumor cures, especially breast cancer: the "invisible mastectomy" was invented in Milan. Rather than simply intervening in crisis, they were good at illness prevention and attentive follow-ups.

The economic crisis and financial harassment of Italy has reached this safe haven of health and dignity. In Turin, one of the best clinics for cure and prevention of breast cancer is about to be closed. The patients are on the streets, their appointments cannot be scheduled, they are paying for their urgent operations because their doctors cannot help them. The doctors are on the streets too. Read the rest

A is For: All of Us - Standing Up for Reproductive Rights

People are wearing the scarlet A, standing up for reproductive rights, and telling the world what their A stands for.

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