Tag Archives: women

Another Woman in Chennai Faced Death By Stalking and We’re Tired of Yelling Hoarse About How Serious It Is

Beyond sad – denial and self-delusion is killing too many.

By Shruti Sunderraman

Photo courtesy: Reuben Strayer via Flickr CC2.0

‘He’s not doing anything, let it be’ is the reaction women often have to hear when they confide that they’re being stalked by someone. It’s this assumption that keeps stalking from being taken seriously, isn’t it? That the stalker is simply looking at the woman, following her every move, but never making contact  – how is this thought reassuring? And what about cases where he does make contact and we still don’t take it seriously?

Look at what happened with 22-year-old Induja in Chennai. She was being stalked by an ex-classmate for a month, according to a report. When she spurned his advances, he turned up outside her home demanding to speak with her. When she let him enter her home to talk, he poured petrol over her and set her on fire on November 13. When her mother and younger sister rushed to help her, they caught fire too. Induja died due to burn injuries while her mother and sister are in critical condition.

According to the report, Induja’s mother and uncle were aware of Akash (the stalker) and that he was pestering Induja for a month. But they decided to not help Induja file a police complaint because they feared for her ‘reputation’.

This is generally a pattern of behaviour with us. We either don’t take cases of stalking seriously till it escalates severely or we turn it into a drama with blame-games and political muscle displays, like it happened with Varnika Kundu. As for the former, in April this year, Shobha, a Bangalore resident, was stabbed to death by her stalker Girish, who worked as a painter and was furious that Shobha had not only rejected him but was also planning to get married to someone. There was an entire ruckus in the media about how insensitively it was reported and dismissing media channels were about her murder, almost as though her murder was an unfortunate consequence and not a dangerous act of violence. It’s only been months since her murder and already her name has disappeared from the public sentiment, even with a campaign titled #JusticeForShobha trying to forcefully steer the conversation towards the seriousness of stalking. But she’s forgotten. Gone. Zap. The same thing happened with Induja. Akash learnt that Induja’s family was scouting for suitable grooms and Akash could wait no more to establish power over her by burning her to death. How long till we forget what happened to her too?

In earlier cases, another woman from Bangalore, Jyothi was murdered by her stalker in December last year. Pinki Devi, a beautician in Gurgaon was stabbed to death by her stalker at a metro station in Delhi in October 2016. S Swathi, an Infosys employee, was hacked to death by her stalker at Chennai’s Nungambakkam railway station in June 2016. In these cases, their deaths have occurred in public spaces where the perpetrator can easily escape in a crowd. But with Induja’s case, the gravity had descended more heavily with Akash murdering her in her own home.

News about Induja broke my heart, it really did. Women are told often to rush to the safety of their homes in scary situations. Imagine having that safety violated too? It’s terrifying to me, and to families of stalked victims. But clearly, this fear and sadness isn’t enough for stalking to be taken seriously for the violent crime it is.

The post Another Woman in Chennai Faced Death By Stalking and We’re Tired of Yelling Hoarse About How Serious It Is appeared first on The Ladies Finger.

Feminist Fuck Yeah: Philly Just Elected Top Prosecutor Who Believes #BlackLivesMatter

On Tuesday, among resounding electoral victories for the left  — including a trans candidate, Danica Roem and a socialist candidate, Lee Carter in Virginia — there was one that stood out especially to those interested in criminal justice, mass incarceration and police brutality: progressive civil rights and defense attorney Larry Krasner’s election as District Attorney in Philadelphia.

Krasner’s career so far has involved suing the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times, having recognized there is systemic racism in law enforcement. He has campaigned against mass incarceration and represented protesters, including those from Black Lives Matter, ACT UP, and DACA Dreamers pro bono. His priorities include ending the criminalization of poverty by keeping low-income community members out of prison and improving access to services for those with drug addiction and mental illness. He has promised to abolish money bail — a hot-button issue for those on the left — and not to seek the death penalty.

Krasner has a long way ahead and has noted this himself. Prosecutorial impunity, and the lack of accountability for prosecutors who misuse the already broken system, is well documented. Within such a broken system, many progressives argue that there is no way to be a “good” prosecutor and fix the system from within. As Professor and Criminal Justice Advocate Abbe Smith argues: “Prosecution is inherently political. It is impossible for prosecutors to avoid political and public pressure, and even the best sometimes cave in to it. It doesn’t matter how experienced or popular the chief prosecutor.”

Similarly, law professor and former prosecutor Paul Buttler has written, of his disillusionment with changing the criminal system from within: “You’re not really allowed to use the power that you have in a way that makes a big difference. Your main work, as a line prosecutor, is to put people in prison, and if you seem too uncool with that fact, you start to arouse suspicion.” Indeed, while so-called “progressive” prosecutors have been elected before, they have often been met with backlash from the criminal justice community, who point out that even the most reform-minded prosecutors continue to uphold the same patterns of racist mass incarceration, disproportionate sentencing and punishing marginalized communities.

Krasner, however, has the potential to stand out from this crowd: he is decidedly farther left of any of the other popular liberal prosecutors. And perhaps more importantly, he isn’t a career prosecutor but is rather a total outsider to the system: free of the burdens of career prosecution and the ways in which the system can subsume even its most diverse and progressive hopefuls into working for it. Krasner has been endorsed by progressives in a way that prosecutors don’t usually get endorsed, no matter how reform-oriented they are: he’s backed by the Democratic Socialists of America and unions and activist groups and campaigned for by Black Lives Matter Activists. There is a real belief and energy that Krasner could “structurally [destabilize] our carceral nightmares of white supremacy from within.”

The biggest takeaway from Krasner’s election, though — and Roem’s, and Carter’s — is that the country is desperate for progressive, left-leaning, and drastic change. Krasner was described as unelectable. Carter challenged Virginia’s House Whip, and Roem went up against the author of Virginia’s bathroom bill, despite centrists and conservatives decrying left commitment to trans rights as a losing cause politically. These victories are local, but they are also “proxy election of sorts for how we think about national politics.” Every single time Democrats have chosen to go left, rather than the center, they have triumphed against fascist, toxic right-wing and Trumpian politics. Every time they’ve pulled back to the center, they’ve failed energize and lost. The country is ready for fewer people in jail, the end of racist policies that lead to mass incarceration, the death of police brutality, the beginning of more progressive and even radical change in how we think about law and order, justice, welfare and social security. The country wants Democrats to ally less with the white upper middle class, and the interests of finance and Wall Street and moderate centrists, and more with Black Lives Matter activists, environmental and climate change campaigners, socialists, and trans and LGBT radical activists.  Anyone who wants to defeat Trump should take this hunger seriously and begin to embrace a progressive agenda for 2018 and 2020 as the only viable, pragmatic and just way forward.

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Mueller has enough evidence to charge Michael Flynn & Son


 NBC NEWS: WASHINGTON — Federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and his son as part of the probe into Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation.

Michael T. Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job, was one of the first Trump associates to come under scrutiny in the federal probe now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

NBC EXCLUSIVE: Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation #AMJoy http://pic.twitter.com/K4e4sVlyxq

— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) November 5, 2017

Mueller is applying renewed pressure on Flynn following his indictment of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, three sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News.

The investigators are speaking to multiple witnesses in coming days to gain more information surrounding Flynn’s lobbying work, including whether he laundered money or lied to federal agents about his overseas contacts, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.

Mueller’s team is also examining whether Flynn attempted to orchestrate the removal of a chief rival of Turkish President Recep Erdogan from the U.S. to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars, two officials said.

A spokesperson for the special counsel had no comment.

“Paper trail leads directly back to Mike Pence—proof Pence knew Michael Flynn was a Russian agent” @Funder on #AMJoy https://t.co/mK7L0yJI2Y

— Scott Dworkin (@funder) November 5, 2017

Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, who worked closely with his father, accompanied him during the campaign and briefly worked on the presidential transition, could be indicted separately or at the same time as his father, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.

If the elder Flynn is willing to cooperate with investigators in order to help his son, two of the sources said, it could also change his own fate, potentially limiting any legal consequences.

The pressure on Flynn is the latest signal that Mueller is moving at a rapid, and steady, pace in his investigation. Last week, investigators unsealed indictments of Manafort and Manafort’s business partner Rick Gates. They pleaded not guilty.

Investigators also revealed Monday that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials and had been cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.

If the senior Flynn is charged, he would be the first current or former Trump administration official formally accused of criminal wrongdoing by the Mueller team.

So far, the probe has only ensnared campaign officials, and the White House has argued that the connection to the president is minimal. An indictment of the president’s former national security adviser and his son would scramble that dynamic.

Saturday Open Thread | Bob Corker Rips Trump for pressuring DOJ

Washington (CNN) Republican Sen. Bob Corker continued his criticism of President Donald Trump on Friday, saying Trump is pressuring the Justice Department to “pursue cases against his adversaries and calling for punishment before trials take place.”

“Like me, most Americans hope that our justice system is independent and free of political interference,” Corker said in a statement Friday afternoon. “President Trump’s pressuring of the Justice Department and FBI to pursue cases against his adversaries and calling for punishment before trials take place are totally inappropriate and not only undermine our justice system but erode the American people’s confidence in our institutions.”

It is the third time in recent weeks Corker has been highly critical of the President. The Tennessee Republican announced in September that he’s not running for re-election.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker blasts Trump for pressuring DOJ: “Totally inappropriate” https://t.co/oDSV3DcZmE https://t.co/bjU6xJC29B

— CNN (@CNN) November 3, 2017

Trump has repeatedly in the past 24 hours criticized the Justice Department, including in a radio interview where the President described himself as “unhappy” with the department. On Friday morning, Trump told reporters that Justice should be investigating Democrats.

Friday Open Thread | A Twitter Employee deleted Trump’s account on last day of work

Not all heroes wear capes…..

On Thursday night around 7 p.m. ET, the unthinkable happened: The Tweeter-in-Chief disappeared from his beloved platform.

President Trump’s verified @realDonaldTrump account briefly went offline. Anyone who navigated to his feed was given a generic blue landing page that read, “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!”

And in a stunning plot twist, the world later learned it wasn’t a glitch — but the work of a Twitter employee on his or her last day at work.

Initially, one of the social media site’s verified accounts said Trump’s feed was “inadvertently deactivated due to a human error.” But a couple of hours later, Twitter announced further investigation revealed “a Twitter customer support employee … did this on the employee’s last day.”

The company said it’s conducting “a full internal review” of the incident.

Trump’s account was restored within minutes — 11 minutes to be exact.

But Twitter lit up with speculation, conspiracy theories, and plenty of sarcastic jokes about Trump’s brief exodus.

“In that moment, ‘Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!’ [Trump] truly became President,” one user wrote.

Wednesday Open Thread | Jeff Sessions is so very, very screwed

PalmerReport: On Monday it became clear that the only option left for Jeff Sessions would be to play the obliviousness defense. On Tuesday it became clear that even that defense won’t have any chance of working. Sessions now finds himself in cascading levels of trouble, thanks to the guilty plea and confession of his campaign subordinate George Papadopoulos, and the relationship Sessions had with Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos claimed in his confession that before he conspired with the Russian government to try to obtain emails stolen from Hillary Clinton, he got the explicit approval of Paul Manafort and Sam Clovis. Papadopoulos also claimed that Jeff Sessions was in the meeting and was fully aware of the discussion. Others were also in the room, so Sessions won’t be able to argue that he wasn’t there. His only defense would be to claim that he wasn’t following the discussion because he didn’t know who Papadopoulos was, or didn’t consider him important enough to be worth listening to. But that just went out the window.

When Jeff Sessions held a dinner for a number of Trump campaign advisers, he had George Papadopoulos sit right next to him, according to a Washington Post report (link). This makes clear that Sessions not only knew Papadopoulos, but considered him to be one of the most important Trump campaign advisers. It means Sessions would have been fully engaged during the meeting where Papadopoulos sought clearance for his Russian conspiracy meeting.

So there’s no question that Jeff Sessions knew full well that his campaign subordinate was seeking approval to conspire with the Russian government to procure stolen emails – and at the least, he tacitly let it happen by not objecting. This makes him guilty of conspiracy to receive stolen property, or some other similar variation of the law. That’s in addition to the perjury he committed by claiming under oath not to be aware of any Trump advisers meeting with Russia. Robert Mueller can – and will – indict Sessions on a smorgasbord of charges unless he flips on Trump first.