But I have hope that what happened to America may create a world where justice and democracy are not just words.
Maxine Waters, Congresswoman (D.-Calif.), Washington, D.C. I cannot stand the thought of the "collateral damage" of Bush's war on terrorism-babies, women, children, innocents. Though I voted to give Bush full use of armed forces, I thought this simply reaffirmed the powers he already has. I thought he would come back to Congress if he wanted to declare war. Bush was talking tough, saying things like "wanted dead or alive" and "no negotiations." I was hoping to see the rhetoric lowered. About 75 percent of everything I do now is related to terrorism. I voted against the Anti-Terrorism Act because I am extremely concerned. John Ashcroft is going to take advantage of our vulnerability to carry over new laws, not for fighting terrorism but for greater intrusion of the state into the regular justice system, such as detaining people and abusing their rights.
Pinar Ilkkaracan, coordinator of Women for Women's Human Rights, Istanbul, Turkey I was in my teens when armed conflict began in Turkey in the seventies. The government justified state violence as a way to "end terrorism," but violence from organizations such as the PKK [the Kurdistan Workers Party] has continued.
Terror justifies the desire to keep girls and women isolated, to curb their mobility. A culture of fear quickly springs up and women are pressured to disappear, stay home. Neither Turkish nor Kurdish women could start a women's movement because of the terrorism. Women have been pressured to set aside their own issues, and were threatened if they didn't. But after two and a half years of workshops, training, and discussions, Kurdish women have finally started their own organization. This was a big success.
Wartime violence leads to more crime. Rape and domestic violence increase in an atmosphere where all violence against women is tolerated. All over the world, wherever there is violence, people get more violent. Heated notions of masculinity perpetuate a culture of aggression and intolerance.
We are very, very afraid of the American response to September 11, although we sympathize. We are overcome with fear at what the United States can do in response and the violence it can unleash.
Yolanda Castro Apreza, activist and anthropologist, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
Since September 11, things have changed for every country in the world. The border between Chiapas and Guatemala, for example, is now much more militarized. Besides the Zapatistas in Chiapas, we have approximately 26 armed organizations. The Mexican government is not addressing the reasons for the existence of these groups. You have to see why someone wanted to shoot. We wouldn't have violence if it weren't for the political policies that engender poverty and inequality. In Mexico there are 70 million poor, the majority of the populace. Poverty can be a terrorist act just like a bomb.
The U.S. talks about attacking terrorism but generates violence by dropping ideological bombs on the rest of the world. September 11 comes from policies the U.S. follows, like those of the World Bank, which have repercussions around the world. In all of Latin America, we've suffered political and military intervention from the U.S. I think it's up to the villages, the poor, the indigenous, the disempowered to stand together and stop this violence.
We need to open up a dialogue among diverse groups around the world. And we need better information. The media was showing images of Osama bin Laden before it was even clear that he was involved. The control of information started almost immediately after the act. In Chiapas, we are fighting for our right to control our own information and to free ourselves from the terror of poverty.
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. . . .