first_imgColombia talks — in CubaVictoria Sandino, a leading FARC-EP representative.Peace talks between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the Colombian government, taking place in Havana, Cuba, are making some progress despite many challenges.From April 11 through 18, 33 United States and other international solidarity activists had the opportunity to meet in Havana with FARC-EP plenipotentiaries, as well as representatives of the Colombian government and the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, along with the FARC-EP legal advisors from Spain.One of the most illuminating sessions was our meeting with the “Sub-Commission on Gender.” This body was established to make sure that any agreements between the parties “advance the cause of women, make sure their position is advanced, recognize women’s central role and empower women to improve their position,” according to Victoria Sandino, a leading FARC-EP representative on the sub-commission.The women of FARC-EP took seriously the demands that were raised by Colombian women during many exchanges. As a consequence, the Sub-Commission on Gender was created.Many of these proposals from organizations of women and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were made through a process that includes a website set up by the FARC to submit suggestions, which are then presented to the “Table of Conversations” (that is what they call the arena of talks between the FARC-EP and the government). The process is a democratic one that allows the Colombian masses to make their concerns and suggestions heard. Over 100,000 suggestions have been received.Women suffer disproportionately from the consequences of the war, which the Colombian government, with Washington’s backing, wages against the people. Women have been made widows. They comprise 70 percent of the millions of displaced. They experience workplace discrimination. They see their children murdered. And to earn income, they become “mules” who smuggle illegal drugs out of Colombia. As political prisoners and prisoners of war, they are subject to torture and sexual violence.All of this came to light when both sides at the Table of Conversations listened to testimonies from victims of the conflict, a process the FARC-EP insisted on. Of the 60 witnesses, six were from women’s organizations and two from LGBT groups. Their proposals were integrated into the process of talks. Some 80 percent of Colombian women have been victimized some way or another by the war. “But,” Sandino stressed, “we aren’t only victims, we are actors, we are political agents. We have been fighting and making demands.”While the Colombian government also is represented on the sub-commission, it became clear to us that the FARC-EP women were its driving force. All of the seven women and one man who spoke to our delegation about the sub-commission were from the FARC-EP side of the table. “Women combatants want to achieve peace,” they explained.Speakers also dispelled some of the myths about the women in the guerrilla army. The capitalist media have portrayed FARC-EP women as sex slaves of male combatants, making false claims of forced abortions and innumerable other abuses. In fact, women have always played leading roles since the FARC’s founding in 1964 and comprise at least 30 percent of all combatants. Many play leading roles at the regional level.All women receive the same training as men — training that includes “learning the root causes of oppression, the ethical and moral values of being a revolutionary, and the humanitarian values we are fighting for.”The rights of women and children, including those who experience domestic abuse, are attended to in areas under FARC-EP control. When asked about the fact that the top leadership — the FARC Secretariat — is all men, the speakers stated that the goal is to improve, that “we are in a perpetual state of growing, becoming better than we were.”LGBT rights are respected and protectedThe Sub-Commission on Gender is also reviewing all agreements to make sure LGBT rights are respected and protected. “We have the utmost respect for people wherever they come from, sexually speaking,” a member of the group stated. “As a matter of principle we would never discriminate against anyone for their sexual orientation.”The delegation enjoyed this rare opportunity to learn how real peoples’ democracy — a process that makes an extra effort to make the most oppressed voices heard — can be conducted even under the most extreme conditions of war, repression and neoliberal austerity.Martha Grevatt represented the Inter­national Action Center on the delegation, sponsored by the Alliance for Global Justice. The delegation also included representatives of the National Lawyers Guild and several Latin American solidarity groups.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

first_img Community News Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy First Heatwave Expected Next Week Business News Make a comment Subscribe More Cool Stuff Top of the News HerbeautyAmazing Sparks Of On-Screen Chemistry From The 90-sHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Ways To Get Into Shape You’ve Never Tried BeforeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Signs That Your Ex May Still Want You BackHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyEase Up! Snake Massages Are Real And Do Wonders!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThese Lipsticks Are Designed To Make Your Teeth Appear Whiter!HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHere Are Indian Women’s Best Formulas For Eternal BeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty Community Newscenter_img EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Uncategorized Councilmember Gordo Hands Emails from Cannabis Collective to Authorities STAFF REPORT Published on Thursday, February 21, 2019 | 2:33 pm 3 recommendedShareShareTweetSharePin it Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Shaun Szameit, operator of the Golden State Collective dispensary, left, and Pasadena City Councilmember Victor Gordo, right.The unpleasant interactions between the City of Pasadena and Golden State Collective reached a new level of acrimony Feb. 21 when City Councilman Victor Gordo provided the city attorney with emails he received from the cannabis dispensary’s owner that he said “made me very, very uncomfortable.”“I believed that Mr. [Shaun] Szameit was asking me to do something that I will not do,” said Gordo who made portions of the emails cited public. “While I support the sale of legal cannabis, I will not allow the tentacles of marijuana operators who openly violate our laws to come into our City and our local government.”As far as the City is concerned, Golden State Collective was not operating legally in Pasadena prior to the passage of Measure CC legalizing the regulated sale of marijuana. Once the measure became law, Golden State’s history of illegal operations disqualified it from the licensing process.Gordo has released a chronology of events surrounding the drafting of the marijuana ordinance and the collective’s efforts to normalize its business status, interspersed with email contacts Szameit made at the time seeking recourse.The passages provided reveal a very persistent Szameit’s efforts to get a meeting with what was, for a time, his city councilman. He alternately expresses fealty to the community, a desire to help, and petulance at being ignored. In one missive he boasts of his contacts and influence in organized labor.Gordo said Szameit crossed a line when he pushed for a meeting, prior to a closed-door session of the city council, to discuss a lawsuit filed by the collective owner against Pasadena.That Jan. 19 email read, in part, “I urge you to be compelled to put aside 15 minutes to have a cup of coffee and discuss the future direction of the City of Pasadena. This is going too far and there is absolutely no excuse to completely ignore a request from your constituent to meet for years. This is unprofessional and condescending…”By Feb. 1, a petition was circulating in District 5 to recall Gordo. Szameit claimed responsibility on Feb 8, when his attorney filed paperwork necessary to launch the effort.On Feb. 13, Szameit, two other collective members, and the owner of the building which houses Golden State were cited for violations of the city code. Arraignment is set for March 22. Charges include possession of marijuana for sale, sale of cannabis without a license, and public nuisance.Szameit’s attorney, Bradley Hertz, could not be reached for comment. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday last_img read more