New Civilization News - Category: Activism    
 10 Reasons To Legalize All Drugs8 comments
2 May 2004 @ 23:08, by raypows. Activism
Comment from Transform: the campaign for effective drug policy

1 Address the real issues For too long policy makers have used prohibition as a smoke screen to avoid addressing the social and economic factors that lead people to use drugs. Most illegal and legal drug use is recreational. Poverty and despair are at the root of most problematic drug use and it is only by addressing these underlying causes that we can hope to significantly decrease the number of problematic users.

2 Eliminate the criminal market place The market for drugs is demand-led and millions of people demand illegal drugs. Making the production, supply and use of some drugs illegal creates a vacuum into which organised crime moves. The profits are worth billions of pounds. Legalisation forces organised crime from the drugs trade, starves them of income and enables us to regulate and control the market (i.e. prescription, licensing, laws on sales to minors, advertising regulations etc.)

3 Massively reduce crime The price of illegal drugs is determined by a demand-led, unregulated market. Using illegal drugs is very expensive. This means that some dependent users resort to stealing to raise funds (accounting for 50% of UK property crime - estimated at £2 billion a year). Most of the violence associated with illegal drug dealing is caused by its illegality

Legalisation would enable us to regulate the market, determine a much lower price and remove users need to raise funds through crime. Our legal system would be freed up and our prison population dramatically reduced, saving billions. Because of the low price, cigarette smokers do not have to steal to support their habits. There is also no violence associated with the legal tobacco market.

4 Drug users are a majority Recent research shows that nearly half of all 15-16 year olds have used an illegal drug. Up to one and a half million people use ecstasy every weekend. Amongst young people, illegal drug use is seen as normal. Intensifying the 'war on drugs' is not reducing demand. In Holland, where cannabis laws are far less harsh, drug usage is amongst the lowest in Europe.

Legalisation accepts that drug use is normal and that it is a social issue, not a criminal justice one. How we deal with it is up to all of us to decide.

In 1970 there were 9000 convictions or cautions for drug offences and 15% of young people had used an illegal drug. In 1995 the figures were 94 000 and 45%. Prohibition doesn't work.

5 Provide access to truthful information and education A wealth of disinformation about drugs and drug use is given to us by ignorant and prejudiced policy-makers and media who peddle myths upon lies for their own ends. This creates many of the risks and dangers associated with drug use.

Legalisation would help us to disseminate open, honest and truthful information to users and non-users to help them to make decisions about whether and how to use. We could begin research again on presently illicit drugs to discover all their uses and effects - both positive and negative.

6 Make all drug use safer Prohibition has led to the stigmatisation and marginalisation of drug users. Countries that operate ultra-prohibitionist policies have very high rates of HIV infection amongst injecting users. Hepatitis C rates amongst users in the UK are increasing substantially.

In the UK in the '80's clean needles for injecting users and safer sex education for young people were made available in response to fears of HIV. Harm reduction policies are in direct opposition to prohibitionist laws.

7 Restore our rights and responsibilities Prohibition unnecessarily criminalises millions of otherwise law-abiding people. It removes the responsibility for distribution of drugs from policy makers and hands it over to unregulated, sometimes violent dealers.

Legalisation restores our right to use drugs responsibly to change the way we think and feel. It enables controls and regulations to be put in place to protect the vulnerable.

8 Race and Drugs Black people are over ten times more likely to be imprisoned for drug offences than whites. Arrests for drug offences are notoriously discretionary allowing enforcement to easily target a particular ethnic group. Prohibition has fostered this stereotyping of black people.

Legalisation removes a whole set of laws that are used to disproportionately bring black people into contact with the criminal justice system. It would help to redress the over representation of black drug offenders in prison.

9 Global Implications The illegal drugs market makes up 8% of all world trade (around £300 billion a year). Whole countries are run under the corrupting influence of drug cartels. Prohibition also enables developed countries to wield vast political power over producer nations under the auspices of drug control programmes.

Legalisation returns lost revenue to the legitimate taxed economy and removes some of the high-level corruption. It also removes a tool of political interference by foreign countries against producer nations.

10 Prohibition doesn't work There is no evidence to show that prohibition is succeeding. The question we must ask ourselves is, "What are the benefits of criminalising any drug?" If, after examining all the available evidence, we find that the costs outweigh the benefits, then we must seek an alternative policy.

Legalisation is not a cure-all but it does allow us to address many of the problems associated with drug use, and those created by prohibition. The time has come for an effective and pragmatic drug policy.

"If the (drug) problem continues advancing as it is at the moment, we're going to be faced with some very frightening options. Either you have a massive reduction in civil rights or you have to look at some radical solutions. The issue has to be, can a criminal justice system solve this particular problem?" Commander John Grieve, Criminal Intelligence Unit, Scotland Yard, Channel 4 1997

Copyright Transform Campaign for effective drug policy Easton Business Centre Felix Road Easton Bristol BS1 0HE Telephone: +44 (0) 117 941 5810 Facsimile: +44 (0) 117 941 5809 Email: rae@transform-drugs.org.uk web:www.transform-drugs.org.uk  More >

 US self censorship7 comments
22 Mar 2004 @ 03:17, by fleer. Activism
Back in 1989, I was a UN-soldier in the Danish Contingent in Namibia. One thing that struck me was that at the time George Micheal had an album which in Denmark included the song ´I want your sex´  More >

 Rotten Denmark pt. 1 Danish Crown2 comments
picture18 Jan 2004 @ 09:38, by fleer. Activism
Shakespeare was right. There is something wrong in the state of Denmark. The biggest Danish producer of meat, Danish Crown , was under scrutiny after a home video was shown on TV2. The video was shot after ISS personel had finished cleaning. Or so they thought. The picture here is from that video.  More >

  Response To Ray Pow and His Sounding Circle Article...
4 Jun 2003 @ 11:12, by waalstraat. Activism
Are You an Orthodox Jew Ray Pow? How Much of Your Family were exterminated because of their religion Ray. I lost 80% of my Aunt's and Uncles and 1st cousins over 40 people, most of them children in the holocust Ray Pow...how about reading this excerpt from my novel "I Do Art, I Do Life, Life does Me!" Ray Pow...Oh by the way a few of the cousins I have left are orthodox Jews. When they by accident use a knife meant for dairy dishes on meat or vice versa in order to spiritually sanitize it they immerse it in earth and say special prayers over it...I respect their practices but does that mean we should all follow suit because very religious sincere orthodox Jews do that and advocated it.... HERE IS THE PERTINENT EXCERPT FROM MY NOVEL....  More >

 Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews Demonstrate13 comments
picture 4 Jun 2003 @ 09:39, by raypows. Activism
Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews Demonstrate at so-called Israel Day Parade
June 1, 2003

On Sunday, June 1, 2003 beginning at 11:15 am at 5th Ave. and 59th St. in Manhattan there will be a group of anti-Zionist Jews demonstrating against Zionism and the Zionist State that will be celebrated by marchers in their so-called Israel Day Parade.

The Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews will proclaim their loyalty to pure Judaism and their opposition to Zionist heresy, which violates every principle of the Jewish religion. These people shall proclaim that the idolatrous Zionist ideology has no role in the life of an Orthodox Jew, and that Jews are obligated by Judaism to live in peace and harmony with every other people throughout the world, including of course, the native Palestinian People.

Pure Judaism proclaims that we are to accept the decree of Exile of G-d and live among the nations in every corner of the Earth, and are not to establish a State and attempt to end the divinely ordained Exile.

Pure Judaism forbids the uprooting of the indigenous people of the Holy Land, it proclaims its principles of humanity and justice that demands the total restoration of all human, civil, economic and political rights of the Palestinians, including the right of return of all Palestinians to their homes in historic Palestine, thereby enabling Palestine to be governed by its original native inhabitants.

These principles are essential ingredients of Judaism, and no amount of Zionism brainwashing of many Jews throughout the world and Zionist media propaganda can ever do away with these eternal principles. We declare to all non-Jews who believe that support for Zionist idolatry and ethnic cleansing demonstrates sympathy for the Jewish People that this is a grave error!!

We beseech all well-meaning non-Jews to understand the truth of what Judaism teaches, and we encourage our fellow Jews to resist the incessant hysterical and paranoia-filled propaganda of the Zionists, their heresy and their xenophobia, and learn the truth of what Judaism is and what Zionism is.

Those of us who oppose Zionism express true compassion for the Jewish People because we address the ROOT CAUSE of the suffering in the Holy Land inasmuch as Zionism is the cause of bloodshed in the Middle East and hatred of Jews throughout the world.  More >

 Global Gratitude2 comments
14 May 2003 @ 18:11, by newdawn. Activism
The start of Global Gratitude program in Australia is on this Friday, 16 May. It would be wonderful if you are able to join us.

Just find a place where you can be quiet for 7 minutes (more if you wish).

Read the first inspirational message in the Global Gratitude book, read it out aloud, feeling it and then close your eyes and feel the meaning of your words. Feel them for yourself, your children and future generations. Then focus on the family you have chosen.
Go to [link] to select a family and feel the message for that mother and child/ren and send them love. That's all.
When you have finished, tick the box and go on with your day.
 More >

 International Women's Day6 comments
7 Mar 2003 @ 22:42, by newdawn. Activism
A thought for all women and men every where. Wow, I guess that includes all of us!  More >

 Women for Peace
picture 7 Mar 2003 @ 22:07, by letecia. Activism
Tomorrow is International Women's day. Around the globe women will be gathering to celebrate the day. Gather the Women

Beginning the week of March 3-8, 2003, linked globally by our interactive website, we are inviting women to demonstrate their courage to risk leaving old conformities by joining with millions of others throughout the world in thousands of unique events celebrating woman's true worth, expressing shared concern for our human family, and creating and supporting actions that will enable humanity to live together in a world based on life-affirming values.


Gather the Women is a project of Women of Vision and Action, a nonprofit, 501c3 organization established in 1994. Please click on the links below to learn more about the individuals and organizaitons who are working behind the scenes to make this initiative successful.

WOVA is a network of established and emerging women leaders who share the following beliefs:

We believe in the qualities of compassion and courage, and that spirit-based social action can change the world. We believe in the creative ability of all people as part of one human family, who are united in one global community. We believe in the positive uses of technology for peace, information services, communication and cooperation for all people. We believe in the right of all individuals to a healthy, safe and productive life. We believe in the methods of dialogue and mediation to resolve disputes both personal and global. We honor the sacredness of ALL life and the gifts of diversity in ethnic, racial, religious backgrounds, beliefs and ideologies. We embrace all children of the world and seek to create a world where they can thrive.


I first became aware of WOVA shortly after doing a project for the UN Conference of Women in 1995. Check here for more information.

Women around the world are gathering to celebrate Peace. Check these links to participate in actions near you:

Global Women's Strike
United for Peace
Code Pink
Women In Black
Peace Women
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Women's Action for New Direction
Grandmothers for Peace

 Parents Oppose Circumcision5 comments
picture4 Mar 2003 @ 14:07, by raypows. Activism
In line with cultural influences on males. I think this is an important topic. I'm glad this is being talked about. I wonder about the physical and psychological effects of circumscribed mutilation. What effect it had on me as well as with the effect of not being breast fed since it wasn't the trend in the 50's.

Maybe this is why I keep searching for the missing piece. :)

CIRCUMCISION OPPONENTS USE THE LEGAL SYSTEM AND LEGISLATURES
By Adam Liptak
New York Times
January 23, 2003

FARGO, N.D., Jan. 16 < Josiah Flatt, like about 60 percent of other newborn American boys, was circumcised soon after he was born here, in the spring of 1997. Two years later, his parents sued the doctor and the hospital.

They did not contend that the circumcision was botched or deny that Josiah's mother, Anita Flatt, had consented to the procedure in writing. They said,instead, that the doctor had failed to tell them enough about the pain,complications and consequences of circumcision, removing the foreskin of the
penis.

The suit will be heard by a jury next month. In declining to dismiss the case here before trial, Judge Cynthia Rothe-Seeger acknowledged that the case was unusual in that nothing "went `wrong' during the procedure." The
main harm Josiah seeks compensation for, Judge Rothe-Seeger noted, is "diminished sexual sensation injury."

The suit is but one effort by a small but energetic group of loosely affiliated advocates and lawyers to use the legal system to combat the practice < most American newborn boys undergo the operation when they are days old < which they liken to genital cutting in girls.

The advocates have been active in state legislatures, too. Ten states no longer allow Medicaid to pay for circumcision.

"They have reached the ears of legislators and insurance companies," Dr.Thomas Wiswell, a professor of pediatrics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a proponent of the procedure, said about the opponents. "They are far more vocal than proponents of circumcision."

J. Steven Svoboda, director of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, a group devoted to the issue, contends that circumcision is wrong as a matter of law, medicine and philosophy. Children of both sexes, Mr. Svoboda said,
should be entitled to "bodily integrity."

Josiah Flatt's case appears to be the first to go to trial based on the theory that the absence of an exhaustive medical briefing about the risks and benefits of circumcision is tantamount to a lack of informed consent.

Among the possible complications in the operation are excess bleeding,infection and ulceration and occasional permanent damage to the penis.

"This could be a very important test case," said Geoffrey P. Miller, a professor of law at New York University who has written about legal and cultural issues of circumcision.

Links and  More >

 Transforming Swords With Words - Poets and others for Peace
picture20 Feb 2003 @ 16:31, by letecia. Activism
My first Peace action was published in the Desert Sun April 4, 1964 in Tortise Tim's Times Poet Corner:

IF I HAD THREE WISHES
By Letecia Layson (10)

If I had three wishes
I'd wish the world to come to peace
And all our sister countries helping
Hand in hand.

If I had three wishes
I'd wishe for people to get well.

If I had three wishes
I'd wish for happiness for Everyone alike.

Just think of all that would happen
If I had three wishes.


Poets are lifting their pens and voices again to speak for peace. On February 17 Poets Agains War took out a 1/4 page ad in the New York Times stating "over 8,000 poets have submitted poems or personal statements to register their opposition to this war." Here is an snipet from an article about the movement:

Zen poet's voice of dissent heard by anti-war literati
By CHRIS McGANN SEATTLE POST -INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

PORT TOWNSEND -- Sam Hamill, a reclusive former Marine turned Zen Buddhist poet, is an unlikely spokesman for the anti-war poetry movement he started almost by accident.

Hamill triggered a nationwide artistic uprising when he declined a White House invitation to a literary symposium Feb. 12, instead asking fellow poets to write protest poems.


The article goes on to say:

Hamill says he expected 400 or 500 responses, not the national outpouring that followed. In the first week, more than 4,000 poets stepped forward with statements and poems denouncing the war. The contributions came from some of the most distinguished poets in the country, including Galway Kinnel, Hayden Carruth, Phillip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Adrienne Rich and Ursula Le Guin of Portland. By Saturday, submissions to his Web site (poetsagainstthewar.org) had exceeded 10,000... Check the link for the entire :full story.

For some, poetry is not just words, but living action as well, embodying their words:

From Baring Witness Pictured here from Byron Bay, NSW, Australia February 8, 2003
750 women shed their clothes to express their rage against the proposed war in Iraq.

A quote from the website:

These actions have brought unprecedented press to the Pro-Peace movement. Our goal is the creation by local groups of similar actions in every state, leading to a large event at the March 8th Gather the Women rally in Washington, D.C. We encourage everyone to get involved and let the world know that Americans are not marching in lockstep towards war.

I am a peace advocate from way back. I feel it essential/e-sensual to embody the principles we espouse. Peace  More >



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