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UPDATE: Organized Thugs Attack Kosovo 2.0 Magazine Launch of Sexuality Edition

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Last night in Pristina, Kosovo, an organized group of thugs, two times in one evening, violently disrupted the launch of a magazine edition dedicated to examining heterosexual and same sex sexuality in the Western Balkans

UPDATE:  Kosovo 2.0 has issued a letter to the public about Friday evening’s events that confirm that the organized violence was predicated on the mob’s intolerance for the LGBT community.  We urge the appropriate human rights organizations and freedom of media organizations to investigate this gross breach of justice as soon as possible.

 In great anticipation, the KOSOVO 2.0‘s magazine staff in Pristina, Kosovo had planned the launch of a ground breaking edition that set out to examine heterosexual and homosexual sexuality and the lives of how people experience the most intimate aspect of their lives in the Western Balkans.

But throughout the day on Thursday and Friday, the magazine received a number of threats from a group of extremist Muslim men, referred to as “Lumpy”, according to a Kosovo News report. The magazine notified the police, who sent over two police to the Youth Center, known as “Red Hall” where the magazine planned its launch with readings by contributing writers.

Around 6 p.m. CET, according to Besa Luci, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, a group of approximately 20 men, brandishing clubs, entered the Center in Pristina and destroyed the set, breaking television monitors, projectors and DVD players.  The mob also beat up a male magazine staff member. His condition is unknown at press time.

“I saw him being beaten,” said Luci.  “But we were running for safety, while the thugs were screaming and breaking up the televisions and projectors.”

This launch, planned since mid-summer was the culmination of considerable work led by Luci and her staff, along with a slew of guest editors, copy editors and freelance writers who joined in the effort.  Indeed, this reporter was the guest editor for the LGBT portion of the magazine.

Although there were about three to four police officers on the scene, they were outmanned, as the mob was able to destroy most of the set.  A video capturing the mob in action was shown on Kosovo television news last night.  View the video below which shows the mob entering the Youth Center and destroying property as an unidentified brave woman who confronts them by continually screaming “stop”.  They fortunately did not physically attack her.

According to Luci, the police were very supportive through most of the day.  Luci said the police used a crowd control agent to disperse the men.  She did not know if there were any arrests.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=zjcJBm1jRxc

Despite the violence, Luci and her team continued with the planned readings, amid the destroyed set, attended by about 200 people, who bravely stood witness.  Among the luminaries attending were Sami Kurteshi, the director of the Kosovo Ombudsman Office, as well as an unnamed U.S. Embassy official.

“This is about freedom of expression. We are not going to stop and we are going to keep pushing on discussing sexuality and LGBT issues, ” Luci said.  “We are more committed than ever before.”

The readings featured an exchange of letters between internationally renowned lesbian feminist peace activists Igballe Rogova, founder and director of the Kosovo Women’s Network, based in Prishtina and Lepa Mladjenovic, a founder of Belgrade’s Women in Black and the Autonomous Women’s Center, based in Belgrade.  Rogova read her personal letter, “Love beyond borders:  A letter to Lepa, my feminist mentor” and Mladjenovic read her letter to Igballe, “Notes about lesbian bodies in our different hetero nation states.” Both essays were published in the LGBT section of the magazine, which will be cross-posted here later in an agreement between Kosovo 2.0 and The New Civil Rights Movement.

Following the readings, the magazine planned a dance party that was scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. But it never took place.  A Kosovo 2.0 staff member informed this reporter late last night that “our extremist friends had promised to return at 10:45 p.m. to prevent the party from happening. Special police forces came to the venue to protect us. At 10: 30, over 100 angry men came to protest, and there was only [the special forces], and a small group of us [were present] at the venue. We ultimately ended up cancelling the party and the police evacuated us in groups of four and six [persons]. Now we’re all safe and home, and completely exhausted”.

The region has been wracked by anti-gay violence during the past 12 years, which began in Belgrade in 2000 when the first attempts to hold a gay pride parade there was disrupted in violence.  The 2010 Belgrade gay pride parade has been the only pride march held without  violence in Serbia in the past decade.  Violence has erupted against the LGBT community from Split, Croatia to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the past few years.  Just recently in Skopje, Macedonia, a leader of  the advocacy organization LGBT United Macedonia was badly beaten, requiring hospital treatment.

Images courtesy of Kosovo 2.0

Tanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement blog.  She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia.  Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues.  She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL.  Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.

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COMMENTARY

McCarthy Sat for an Interview With Trump Jr. – One Bragged About an ‘Illegal’ Act, One Wished His Dad Would ‘Show Some’ Love

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), sat down for a freewheeling hour-long interview with Donald Trump Jr., the son of the one-term twice-impeached ex-president currently under multiple criminal investigations including for absconding with hundreds of classified intelligence documents.

McCarthy, who had to battle his own Republican caucus 15 times before finally being granted the Speaker’s gavel, is now tied even more to Donald Trump. Trump reportedly was “working the phones,” making calls to House Republicans for days – and even hours before the final vote – strong-arming them to support the weakened McCarthy.

In one segment of the interview, McCarthy tells Trump Jr., “you know what? I’ve been around you guys privately. It is a real family that has real love for one another. And really, it stems of what [Donald Trump] did as a father.”

READ MORE: Watch: Nancy Pelosi Says ‘I Have Absolutely No Intention of Seeing the Deadly Assault on My Husband’s Life’

Don Jr., a bit choked up, comes out and says point-blank he wishes his father would “show some of that” love.

“I appreciate that, ya know, I want him to show some of that.”

Just before those remarks, McCarthy, again praising Donald Trump, says he’s a great father and grandfather, claims none of the ex-president’s children are “into drugs,” “have problems,” or “laptops” – presumably a dig at Hunter Biden and his father, President Joe Biden.

“I’ve watched him too, the pride he has [in] his children – and this is what I’ll say to you: Look, raising a family is not easy. You know – you’re a great father. But they don’t see him as a grandfather – I see your kids walk up.”

READ MORE: ‘Deliberately Deceived the Nation’: Legal Experts Stunned by ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report on How Barr and Durham Protected Trump

“But you know what? You think of your life, okay? He was successful,” McCarthy continued, praising the disgraced ex-president. “He comes from a successful life. I’ve watched all you kids, as brothers and sisters love one another. You’re not into drugs. You don’t have problems. You don’t have laptops. You don’t have these other things,” McCarthy claimed.

Trump Jr. interjected, saying, “According to the press I’m really into drugs.”

Also in that interview, McCarthy admitted to “flipping cars” (buying for one price, quickly selling at a higher price) when he was in college, only to say it was illegal.

“I didn’t have the athletics to get a scholarship. I went to junior college, which was a great school,” McCarthy says. “But while I’m going there, I meet this guy that owns a liquor store but has a car dealer license – I’ll let you figure out how I met him,”

“But one day I say, ‘I’ll give you 100 bucks if you take me to L.A.,’ because L.A. has these car auctions – you got to be a dealer to get in there.”

READ MORE: ‘X-Rated’: Christian Nationalist Mastriano Promises Bill to Ban Public Drag Shows After High School’s ‘Queer Prom’

“So I started going down there, I start flipping cars, to pay my way through college. I find out later it’s illegal but I don’t know why I do it, I’ve been an entrepreneur, right?”

Don Jr. again interjects, telling the camera, “By the way, just just so you understand. We may have to cut this. Nancy Pelosi is gonna try to figure out how to impeach you for doing something like that.”

Trump Jr. also criticized most members of Congress who he said don’t have the same “hustle” as he does. He claimed his father made him work minimum wage jobs and he worked “for tips,” which both agreed was important.

“Like, no one’s ever had to make payroll. No one’s gonna sign the front of a check as opposed to the back,” Trump Jr. complains.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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BREAKING NEWS

DOJ Signals It Is Conducting a Criminal Investigation of George Santos

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice Friday signaled it is conducting a criminal investigation of U.S. Rep. George Santos‘ campaign finances when it asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to pause its probe into the embattled New York freshman GOP lawmaker.

“The request is the clearest sign to date of an active criminal investigation examining the congressman’s campaign finances,” The Washington Post reports.

But NBC News goes one step further.

“Federal prosecutors in New York have opened an investigation into Rep.-elect George Santos, two law enforcement sources confirmed Thursday,” NBC states. “The probe by federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York is at least the second investigation into Santos.”

READ MORE: Another Santos Financial Concern: GOP Lawmaker Claims Campaign Paid WinRed Triple the Fees It Should Have

“The two sources confirmed that prosecutors are examining Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign as he was running for Congress,” NBC adds.

The Santos campaign this week, according to The Daily Beast, amended FEC filings that originally claimed about $625,000 in “personal” loans from the candidate’s personal funds were actually not from the candidates personal funds. Santos has since refused to state where the money came from.

DOJ also asked the FEC for any “relevant documents” for the Santos’ campaign, The Post noted.

READ MORE: Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People

“Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday interviewed two people about Santos’s role in Harbor City Capital, an investment firm that was forced to shut down in 2021 after the SEC accused it of operating a ‘classic Ponzi scheme,'” according to The Post’s reporting.

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News

Watch: Nancy Pelosi Says ‘I Have Absolutely No Intention of Seeing the Deadly Assault on My Husband’s Life’

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U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the former Speaker of the House, told reporters she has no intention of watching just-released video of the almost fatal, brutal attack on her 82-year old husband, allegedly by a hammer-wielding, far-right conspiracy theory promoting extremist.

DePape had “posted antisemitic screeds and entries defending former President Donald Trump and Ye, the rapper formally known as Kayne West who recently made antisemitic comments,” CBS News reported one day after the attack.

Earlier Friday, before the video had been released by a judge’s order, Rep. Pelosi said did not know if she would watch the video.

Later, Friday afternoon, Pelosi said she would not.

READ MORE: Pelosi Attack Video Release Leads to Criticism of Musk, Right Wingers Who ‘Trafficked in Homophobic Conspiracy Nonsense’

“As you know, today there was a release of some information. I have not heard the 911 call. I have not heard the confession. I have not seen the break-in, and I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband’s life.”

Prosecutors have described the attack as “near-fatal.”

She also thanked “people for all of their prayers,” and for “asking about the progress my husband is making, and he is making progress, but it will take more time.”

Apparently choking up, she added that she would not be making any more statements about this case as it proceeds, except again to thank people and inform them of Paul’s progress.”

Watch below or at this link.

 

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