Far-right Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia was rushed by her staff away from the protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday as angry pro-choice protesters yelled at her.
Greene, a dependable troll, has used the word “insurrection” to describe any angry gathering of left-wing protesters. Meanwhile, she considers the actual insurrectionists arrested for ransacking the U.S. Capitol and trying to overthrow the 2020 presidential election “political prisoners.”
Greene’s celebratory moment was punctuated, however, by her staff rushing her off to a protected spot as protesters angrily shouted, “You are a traitor!” and “Lock her up!” One woman, holding an American flag and facemask tried shoving her way toward Greene while screaming, “My body, my choice!”
The Supreme Court has voted 6-3 to overturn Roe v. Wade in the case of Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The decision wrote that there is nothing in the Constitution that implicitly protects the right and that the court was wrong to rule on it in its 1972 Roe v. Wade decision.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.
Chief Justice John Roberts didn’t sign on to the majority opinion. Instead, he said that he wouldn’t have overturned Roe but rather just allowed Mississippi’s law to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Justice Clarence Thomas said the court’s decision in this case could do away with the entire doctrine of “substantive due process” and quickly overrule Lawrence v Texas and Obergefell v Hodges, the two cases that invalidated anti-sodomy laws and legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
In their dissent, liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan wrote, “With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.”
“Either the majority does not really believe in its own reasoning. Or if it does, all rights that have no history stretching back to the mid19th century are insecure,” the dissenting opinion continued.
A total of 17 states have “trigger laws” that could immediately outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. If these states outlaw abortion, then women who live in these states will likely go to other states where abortion hasn’t been outlawed. This will cause the clinics to be overbooked with appointments for weeks or months out. This means that a woman may not even be able to access a legal abortion, even if she tries to book one within the time period legally allowed by her state.
The case decide by the court today involved Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, a law passed in 2018 which bans all abortions after 15 weeks since the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period. While the law allowed abortions beyond that time frame in the cases of medical emergencies and cases of severe fetal abnormality, it had no exceptions for rape or incest, essentially forcing women to birth their assailant’s child.
The Mississippi law directly challenged the legal precedent set by the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. That decision established the right for women to get an abortion anywhere before 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy.
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion provider in Mississippi, challenged the law. Both the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals both struck down the law as unconstitutional.
“For most of the tens of thousands of people each year who obtain an abortion after 15 weeks, however, accessing abortion care earlier is not possible. More than half of second-trimester abortion patients miss the window for a first-trimester abortion simply because of delays in recognizing or suspecting they are pregnant,” KFF wrote.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details emerge…
The self declared metaphysics expert took social media by storm
On June 19, a new episode of the TV show “Her Açıdan” (From all angles) show aired on Beyaz TV that normally airs pro-government content and interviews. Hürman went all in during the episode, gesturing grandly and muttering nonsense in order to cleanse the studio and all those inside, including the tv presenter, and probably the viewers too, of the demons in the room. Hürman boasted on the show that she can complete her cleansing ceremonies in a minute and a half to four minutes.
Actress Aslı Inandık, responded with a satirical take in a video she shared on Twitter:
Inandık, picked out one of the words, Hürman used in her ceremony, which was “donat.” The alleged metaphysics expert was likely referring to the term “equip,” but Inandık, by switching the ceremonial text, sprinkled it with humor referring to the actual pastry, “donut.”
The “donat” did cause some confusion:
When you say donat sister, do you mean chocolate donut or setting a table?
Other Twitter users chimed in as well:
The one-minute sequence you will experience after the 20th second will make you forget the sum of every nonsensical thing you have ever experienced in your life.
One user joked that the segment summed up the last 20 years of the Justice and Development party (AKP) rule.
Bunu hiç kimse böyle net yapamadı bugüne kadar.
#PelinHürman actually summed up the last 20 years of this madhouse. No one has ever been able to do this so clearly.
Selçuk Tekin said his wife had been suffering from psychological problems and was told by the family members that she might be “harmed by a djinn.”
It is not every day that one gets to watch an exorcism performed live on television.
While Mali's relations with France turn sour, pro-Russian narratives gain prominence in the region
Illustration by Global Voices.
Mali is going through an information war that puts anticolonialist narratives at the forefront. The country’s military junta — which deposed the increasingly unpopular president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in 2020 — blames all of Mali’s woes on its former colonial power, France. In the meantime, Russian mercenaries have gained power in the country’s narratives and territory.
For our Malian researchers, the military’s government’s emphasis on France’s presence and not on the country’s crumbling democracy “is a perversion of the decolonial discourse.”
#Mali: French army goes ahead and streams for the first time surveillance images recorded less than 24 hours ago showing “Russian mercenaries” burrying bodies near the #Gossi based recently evacuated by #Barkhane f24.my/8ZRX.T @FRANCE24
Amid this backdrop of competing narratives, some dissenting voices criticize Mali’s military junta. In particular, popular religious leaders have a large responsibility in weighing on public opinion.
Women writers are often literary translators and cross languages
Part of the cover of the Amanat anthology of Kazakhstani women's writing in English, from publishers, Used with permission.
Zaure Batayeva, photo used with permission.
Global Voices asked both of them how they navigated the relationship between Kazakh and Russian in their choices for pieces and own practice of translation into English. Fairweather-Vega explains one of the goals was to showcase the linguistic diversity of Kazakhstan, thus there was a careful selection of texts from seven authors who mostly write in Russian and six who mostly write in Kazakh, all translated directly into English to avoid bridge translations. Noting that most of the authors featured are themselves translators, she adds:
We tried to honor each author’s bilingualism in translating their work; we were sensitive to instances when a Russian word was being treated as a foreign word in a Kazakh text, for example, as opposed to when that Russian word was offered up as a more “normal” word.
Batayeva explains there is a clear separation between the two linguistic communities yet the border does not necessarily overlap with the ethnic divide:
The stories in our collection don’t mix the two languages because their characters don’t mix with characters from the other linguistic group — they live in two different worlds. This reflects the social reality of Kazakhstan very well. Kazakh speakers, who constitute almost 60 percent of the country’s citizens, have developed a culture that is profoundly different from Russian culture. Kazakh speakers with a higher level of education tend to know Russian because Russian is the language of the country’s so-called elite. You need to know Russian if you want a job that pays a living wage. Nonetheless, the vast majority of Kazakh speakers prefer to stay in their own cultural environment as much as possible.
On the other side of the sociolinguistic divide, there are the Russian speakers, who tend to know Kazakh poorly or not at all and who prefer to interact with the speakers of that language as little as possible. This lack of interest clearly shows in some of the stories in our collection. I don’t mean this as a critique, but as an observation. Writers are human beings. Besides, if writers became too aware of their own prejudices and blind spots, they would probably stop producing interesting stories.
Shelley Fairweather-Vega, used with permission.
One of the most interesting debates in literary translation is about the position of the translation: how far or close should it be from the original, and thus from the receiving audience? In other words, is the task of the translator to explain cultural and historical context or leave it to the reader to either ignore it or educate themselves about a culture they are not familiar with? In the case of “Amanat”, the publisher Gaudy Boy has a policy of not italicizing non-English words, thus words such as kolkhoze or dombyra (a musical instrument) are embedded in the text. Here is how Fairweather-Vega views this issue:
I am one of those into-English translators who is firmly opposed to adding explanatory footnotes in fiction. I much prefer inserting just a minimum of additional information, when absolutely necessary to keep readers from feeling completely lost in the cultural milieu. But even letting readers feel a little lost seems all right to me. It’s only fair to remind readers that they are the strangers here, in this environment, and they have something to learn. One decision we made easily was to translate many Kazakh idioms, sayings, and metaphors rather literally into English, to let common elements of imagery and attitude shine through in the English. I think Zaure did a great job of this in Aigul Kemelbayeva’s “Hunger,” which uses a lot of imagery that relies on plants, animals, and food that don’t often appear in English-language literature. The narrator tells us “My poverty was wrapping around me like a bindweed,” mentions that “a young wolf does not show its thinness, but lets it fur bloat instead”.
Fairwearther-Vega makes an interesting point when remarking that:
There also is probably some truth to the cliché that translation is, still, often “women’s work,” one of those nurturing professions, in which, many cultures seem to agree, women tend to excel. If translation is a nurturing activity, what are we nurturing when we translate? Better communication, I suppose, as a result of better understanding. I firmly believe that the more stories we hear or read, the more we’ll be able to exercise empathy for our fellow human beings of all genders and languages.
What if, by helping the women of Kazakhstan tell their stories around the world, they’re able to find more moral, practical, and political support when push comes to shove geopolitically? What if it helps prevent any dangerous ideas that Kazakhstan isn’t a real country anyway, or is too alien for us in the West to bother with? This might be overly optimistic of me, but these thoughts still run through my head constantly while I translate Central Asian literature. Increasing exposure for writers (of any gender, from any country in the region) simply has to help somehow.
As both curators remark, the stories also tell about economic changes, social unrest from the perspective of women who have to face corruption, sexual harassment, make difficult choices about migration and work
Many of the stories in our collection also show how foggy the past has become for us Kazakhs. Before Kazakh writers can begin to reflect on the challenges of today and tomorrow, they will first have to find the courage to reflect on the horrors and mysteries of their shared traumatic past. As long as we don’t recover our past, we won’t even know who we are.
Georgia election worker Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss’ safety and mental health were harmed after former President Donald Trump and his network of supporters spread lies about her rigging the 2020 presidential election, she said during the fourth public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack on Tuesday.
In the weeks following the election, Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed that Moss and her mother — both of whom are Black election workers — had passed one another USB drives containing doctored votes like they were “vials of heroin or cocaine.” Giuliani and numerous social media figures even said they had a video of the handoff. In actuality, the video showed the two women handing off a breath mint, Moss told the committee.
When Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to pressure him to “find” more votes to help him defeat Joe Biden in the state, Trump mentioned Moss 18 times as “proof” of voter fraud. No actual proof has substantiated Trump’s claims of voter fraud. Over 60 court cases alleging fraud, brought by Trump and the Republican Party, have all been thrown out due to lack of evidence.
As the right-wing news outlets Newsmax and One America News (OAN) repeated the lies about Moss, the attention made her and her mother the target of death threats. One threat said she should “be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920,” a likely reference to a time when anti-Black lynchings were more commonplace.
The experience made Moss and her mother fear for their lives. Moss now lives in hiding, has gained 60 pounds, and is afraid to reveal her identity to others or spend much time in public.
“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere,” she told the committee. “Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you? The President of the United States is supposed to represent every American. Not target one. But he targeted me: Lady Ruby, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen, who stood up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of the pandemic.”
Moss is now suing Giuliani for his role in spreading lies about her. In May, OAN issued a retraction stating that there’s no proof that voter fraud overturned the 2020 election.
Trump-endorsed Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker recently claimed that Black politicians have done “absolutely nothing” for the Black community.
“Now it’s up to our leaders who we’ve elected to office that are Black to take us even farther,” Walker said. “But yet they’ve done absolutely nothing but at least looked out for themselves. So we need leaders that advance us, not to take us back. Not looking in the rearview mirror.”
His comment could be seen as a dig at congressional Democrats. There are currently 63 Black Democratic congressmen compared to the 3 Black Republican congressmen. While the Black Democratic Caucus has sought to advance voting rights reform, police reforms, infrastructure reforms, and other programs that would benefit the Black community, those efforts have been unanimously blunted by the largely white Republican Congress members.
In short, Walker is blaming the wrong racial group for the lack of advancement in Black civil rights. He’s also ignoring the fact that his own party is against so-called “critical race theory”, diversity trainings, the Black Lives Matter racial justice movement, and other efforts to fight racist prejudice in society. In fact, Trump and other Republicans have referred to these as un-American and even “communist propaganda.”
So to think that his party will suddenly support Black civil rights if he gets elected is also a fantasy.
Right-wing Republicans are spreading an untrue conspiracy theory that Pete Arredondo — the school district police chief who has been criticized for not neutralizing the recent elementary school mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas — is a donor to President Joe Biden and deliberately allowed children to die in order to help secure federal firearm reforms.
Nevertheless, Starbuck’s lie has been shared by others on social media, including the massively influential right-wing social media figure DC Draino.
Draino has worsened the lie by implying that the police chief may have deliberately allowed the 19 children and two teachers killed in the shooting to die for “political purposes.”
“Arredondo… lied about trying to open the classroom door and told heavily armed officers to stand down while the shooter was in the classroom with kids for over an hour, [the police chief] previously made a small political donation to Beto O’Rourke in 2017. Now Beto is running around Texas calling for guns to be seized. This tragedy gets more evil by the day,” Draino wrote via Twitter.
“Arredondo needs to be fired, criminally investigated, and every phone record and financial record of his needs to be subpoenaed to see if there were other political motivations in play that day,” Draino added on Instagram.
While Arredondo and the police force’s actions may have done more to stop the shooter’s violence, it’s baseless and cruel to think that such a small-dollar donor would allow mass child murder to further a political agenda.
Also, O’Rourke isn’t “running around Texas calling for guns to be seized,” as Draino claims. He’s supporting bipartisan and common-sense gun reforms that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, violent offenders, and mentally ill people. Such reforms have been supported by Republican voters nationwide and by 14 Republicans in the Senate.
The conspiracy theory shouldn’t be surprising, though. Even before the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, right-wingers have claimed that mass shootings are either “false flag operations” orchestrated by Democrats to bolster gun reform efforts or hoaxes fabricated by “crisis actors” to do the same.
Either way, it’s a gross distortion of people who support efforts to protect children from gun violence.
Sexual violence is easily the oldest weapon of war
Content notice: this article contains mention of rape, sexual violence, violence against women, genocide, and other topics readers may find disturbing.
In armed conflict, women are deliberately targeted with the specific intention of harming the societies they belong to, or opportunistically harmed, outside of a campaign, with no fear of sanction because the breakdown of the security and justice sectors provides an enabling environment. The devastation caused by war means that women have fewer means to seek redress, if any. And yet, precious little seems to have been done to address this violence.
The absence of a dedicated, binding treaty specific to ending violence against women and girls at the global level is a huge issue. Today, women’s lived experiences of armed conflict continue to be erased, side-lined in peace processes, and buried under hasty attempts at peace through amnesty that sacrifices justice.
One way to address this is by establishing a global, binding treaty to end violence against women. Such a treaty would require the rollout of legal mechanisms at the domestic level, the provision of survivor services, and the facilitation of prevention education. A treaty would lay the foundation for a minimum standard for the protection of women and girls from violence. This standard would bind all states equally. Law reforms at the state level would bring individual legal systems up to par with the global norm, and translate standards of prevention and redress into action at the grassroots.
A treaty to end violence can pave the way for a future in which violence against any woman, anywhere in the world, is acknowledged as unacceptable and actionable. Ultimately, a feminist future is one that is bereft of any form of militarized exchange. As we chase that dream we must be clear-eyed about curbing violence against women during both peace and war. A global treaty would go a long way to ensure that they “Stop Raping Us!”
The lawsuit stems from the suspected commercialization of metro-user data
Image courtesy Laís Martins
At the beginning of March 2022, this group filed a civil public lawsuit against the São Paulo State Metro, demanding that they interrupt this data collection and pay compensation for collective moral damages of at least BRL 42 million (around USD 8.5 million).
But the group aspires to have a larger impact beyond the tracks of the São Paulo subway system. They strive to play a part in forming jurisprudence about facial recognition technologies in a country whose legal framework says little to nothing about such systems.
Carvalho explained that the core aim of the lawsuit is to spark the debate on how to handle personal data, the need for consent, and the discriminatory impact and social prejudices of these data collection methods.
“This lawsuit [including the arguments in it] opens the way for us to establish more protective parameters in regards to the use of personal data,” the lawyer told Global Voices during a video interview.
Two years later, that question has been answered. According to the organizations behind the lawsuit, the system repeatedly violates the LGPD and goes against other legal mechanisms, such as the Federal Constitution, the Statute for Children and Teenagers, and the Code for Consumer Rights.
The lawsuit claims that the São Paulo Metro company is using facial recognition technology on passengers and using their personal data without consent, without due transparency, and is not making information about the data available to users, such as what it will be used for and how it will be treated.
They also point that the company did not assess the risk of the program or mitigate the issues inherent to facial recognition technologies, as required by law. Moreover, its facial recognition practices violate fundamental human and consumer rights, which harms all public transportation users, particularly marginalized social groups, who would be affected by incorporated racial biases.
Despite having little evidence that such a system is successful for public security purposes, in July 2021, Bahia's government decided to expand the program by piloting a new system in the state's capital, Salvador.
Valued at BRL 18 million (USD 3.56 million), the new system is provided by Spanish firm Iecisa in partnership with Huawei. Cameras spread across the city will collect faces id and archive them in a system, grouping together images of the same person. The system, according to the Intercept, also uses artificial intelligence to cross the collected images with faces that are in the State Public Security Secretary's database for wanted individuals.
According to civil society actors, Brazil still lacks a legal framework that establishes limits and parameters for the use of facial recognition technologies.
The fact that Brazil does not have a consolidated legal framework, however, is not a hall pass for abuse and violations. The civil society groups who filed the lawsuit against the São Paulo Metro argue that the data being collected in subway stations and trains is illegally being commercialized.
At the time, the judge wrote that she had no doubts that passengers’ images were being captured without their consent for commercial purposes that benefit the company and other third-party firms involved.
“We are importing technology in a very non-conscious manner, simply reproducing what was being applied. And even a flawed reproduction, considering that most of these countries have abandoned these technologies. But these countries they need to sell this technology, which is extremely expensive, and use countries with a high inequality rate,” explained Carvalho.
She adds that Brazil operates under a logic of mass incarceration, of criminalization, without being able to use the criminal law parsimoniously for conflicts that truly require it.
“We use it as a first resource and not the last. So it is more permissive for mechanisms like these, which violate rights, to find space to bloom inside our country.”