Italian Women Opposing Military Base Bring Fight to Washington
Women leaders of an Italian grassroots movement to protest construction of an American military base in Vicenza, Italy arrived in Washington this week to plead their case on Capitol Hill. Earlier this year, the group staged a protest that drew approximately 200,000 demonstrators to the city of Vicenza -- one of the single largest protests against the US military to date. The women spearheading the movement against the Dal Molin base led a four-mile march, chanting, "We who are women have no fear. We don't want the base, we don't want the base." funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
Dal Molin would be the second base in the city of Vicenza, and residents believe the increased military presence would strain the city's resources and threaten historic monuments. "It will destroy our community," said Cinzia Bottente, a housewife who has come to symbolize the movement, in a February interview with CODEPINK cofounder Medea Benjamin. Benjamin traveled to Italy to participate in the demonstration. Critics also fear the base will implicate Italy in the war on Iraq and Afghanistan, and make Vicenza a target for terrorist attacks.
The women of Vinceza have gathered thousands of signatures, blocked traffic, banged pots and pans at local city council meetings, and organized vigils and rallies to demonstrate their opposition to the base. This week, a delegation of movement leaders came to Washington in the hopes of engaging American support for their fight and to gather signatures on their online petition. On May 2, movement founder Thea Gardellin appeared on Democracy Now to say, "[We] decided to come to Washington, not only in representation of the entire city of Vicenza, but in representation of those more than 200,000 people that did come to Vicenza to say no to this new project."
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .