Posts Tagged ‘muslim’

 

 

Reem’s storefront bakery is usually closed Sundays, with most businesses in the Fruitvale BART plaza slower without the weekday bustle. But over the weekend about two dozen protesters gathered in front, saying the mural inside glorifies a terrorist.

The fairly new Arab bakery has been targeted by protesters before for its mural inside featuring Rasmeah Odeh, who was convicted in a 1969 Jerusalem grocery bombing that killed two and injured nine. She was released a decade later in a prisoner exchange, and said her confession came after torture including beatings and sexual abuse. In recent years she faced charges for not disclosing the information when she immigrated to the United States, and deported.

On Sunday, the cafe was hosting Sunaina Maira, a UC Davis professor and author of “Boycott! The Academy and Justice for Palestine.” Inside looked full, like 50 or so people, pretty good for a Sunday afternoon book reading anywhere. The bakery, which does a lot of business at farmers markets and other pop-ups, is also politically active in various social justice causes and held the event with the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. Supporters characterized the protesters as right-wing, Zionists and supporting the oppression of Palestinians. If you want to check out the bakery, they are at http://reemscalifornia.com/

The protesters, however, reject that, saying it is about hating Jews, and that killers should not be celebrated. Many made a point to say they are involved in liberal causes. They carried signs and tried getting into a conversation with the dozen or so bakery supporters standing as a buffer between the business during the author’s talk. Instead they were silent as the protesters aired their side, which included criticizing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel. After a half hour to hour they left, though as with anything related to this conflict, I’m sure it will not be the end. They have a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/boycottReemsCalifornia.

Advertisements

Usually, an “emergency” action in San Francisco concerning the military means a protest against an American act of war.

But Wednesday night, after President Trump’s morning announcement that transgenders would no longer be allowed, almost 1,000 people met in the Castro and marched for the right to serve. With chants including “Out of the bars and into the streets,” evoking Harvey Milk and 1970s gay rights, they blocked traffic on Market Street until reaching City Hall, which was lit in the light blue and pink colors of the transgender flag.

Speakers included those who have served, and a teen who wanted to continue the family tradition of military service. Of course, many others did point out their objection to the military on grounds such as oppression and better use of resources.

It made me wonder about the number of transgenders, which President Obama lifted the official ban on last year. A lot of media referenced last year’s RAND Corporation report titled “Assessing the Implications of Allowing Transgender Personnel to Serve Openly” that gave a “midrange estimate of around 2,450 transgender personnel in the active component (out of a total number of approximately 1.3 million active-component service members) and 1,510 in the selected reserve.” So, a small amount of the less than 1 percent of Americans active in the all-volunteer military.

It made me think of my interview with attendee Tayler Williams, who while not looking to join the military service, said transgender people should be given the opportunity.

“I thought he was crazy, ‘cause he’s going to start a war, and he’s going to need people to fight. And if they’re willing to fight, they should be able to.”

Here’s video from the protest.

 

 

Speaking of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender communities, last month was Pride. Some have criticized it for becoming too corporate instead of political as it has grown. But like many such events across the country this year, opposition to President Trump’s views including immigration, refugees, the Muslim registry, and Black Lives Matter took center stage. The first several contingents were dedicated to those causes. Some carried flags and signs, with a group of women taking a more militant stance with masks and bats. That was followed by hours more of politicians, corporate floats, school marching bands, and the like. I felt old when the younger folks in attendance got all excited when cast members of Internet shows “13 Reasons Why” and “Orange is the New Black” came through, and I was not starstruck nor in possession of a good cell phone to prepare a proper selfie.

In gathering interviews, I came across gay rights activists John Lewis and Stuart Gaffney in the crowd, who said all those at risk from Trump’s policies must come together.

“The new administration in Washington, once again, the LGBT community feels under threat,” Lewis said. “Stand up. Stand up for our lives. Stand up for the lives of so many people who are suffering of the new administration.”

Here is video from that.