poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Protesters, police clash in Santiago
By Francoise Kadri
Agence France-Presse

SANTIAGO, Chile -- Chilean anti-riot police Friday fired water-cannon and tear gas at bands of stone-throwing, masked protesters in a massive rally against an Asia-Pacific summit and star guest US President George W. Bush.

Tens of thousands of activists had marched peacefully in a police-authorized demonstration through Santiago ahead of a weekend Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

But as the procession culminated with a concert in a central park, small knots of masked protesters destroyed telephone cabins, smashed lamps and lobbed stones at police and through the windows of a closed McDonalds restaurant.

Military-style police in armored cars responded with water and tear gas, scattering people in the park. Organizers halted the concert


Now out of the spotlight, activist is still on the front lines
By Julie Muhlstein
Herald columnist

Adozen years ago, the attention of the world was fixed on Col. Margarethe "Grethe" Cammermeyer.

Today, the spotlight is gone. From her home on Whidbey Island, within "spitting distance from Langley," Cammermeyer has her attention fixed firmly on the world - but not only on the world.

There's local politics. Cammermeyer heads the Democratic Party in Island County. And mostly, there's love. In March, Cammermeyer married her partner, artist Diane Divelbess.

"I refuse to accept the fact that my relationship with my partner of 16 years is any less valued than those of my children, their relationships," Cammermeyer said last week


Singapore's gay sex prohibition slammed

A group that promotes AIDS awareness blasted a Singapore law that prohibits gay sex, saying it impedes efforts to educate homosexuals about the dangers of HIV transmission through unsafe sex.

Stuart Koe, head of the Fridae Asian gay and lesbian network, also rejected recent criticism by Singapore's minister of state for health, Balaji Sadasivan, who said the advocacy group Action for AIDS was "not doing enough" to fight the spread of the disease.

"Since gay sex is illegal, how then can any agency or organization in Singapore promote safe sex among men ... without being complicit in abetting illegal activity?" a statement on Fridae's Web site said Sunday.

Singapore, a country of 4 million people, bans gay sex, defining it as "an act of gross indecency" punishable by a maximum of two years in jail. There have been few prosecutions, however.


Ireland eyes civil partnerships
By Shawn Pogatchnik

DUBLIN — Ireland should legalize civil partnerships between unmarried couples, including homosexuals, but not pursue full-fledged same-sex "marriage," Justice Minister Michael McDowell said yesterday in his first major policy speech on the matter.

    Ireland has become one of Europe's most prominent legal battlegrounds on the matter after a lesbian couple filed a lawsuit this month against the country's tax-collection agency for refusing to recognize their 2003 "marriage" in Canada. Married couples can claim a special income-tax credit.

    An all-party committee of lawmakers this month also launched public hearings into possible reforms to family law in Ireland, a predominantly Roman Catholic country where homosexuality was outlawed until 1993.

    Mr. McDowell declared that the government today was "unequivocally in favor of treating gay people as fully equal citizens in our society." But he said the current heavy public focus on whether to extend full marriage rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples "is too narrow."


GOP Tells Gays To Stop Harassing Boy Scouts
by Jim Abrams, Associated Press

(Washington) The House on Saturday commended the Boy Scouts and condemned legal efforts to limit government ties to the group because of its requirement that members believe in God.

A nonbinding resolution, passed by a 391-3 vote, recognized the 3.2 million-member Boy Scouts for its public service efforts. But the main thrust of the debate was what the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said were the "strident legal attacks" on the group.

The Pentagon agreed last week to tell U.S. military bases around the world not to directly sponsor Boy Scout troops. The warning resulted from legal challenges to government relations with a group that bans openly gay leaders and compels members to swear an oath of duty to God.

The American Civil Liberties Union and others say that direct government sponsorship of such a program amounts to discrimination.


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