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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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'YOU GOT OWNED TODAY'

‘Squashed Like a Bug’: Gaetz Smacked Down After ‘Rage-Tweeting a Slander on America’s Entire Military History’

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“Buddy the only war you fought is against age of consent”

Congressman Matt Gaetz attacked the U.S. Armed Forces on Wednesday, suggesting America doesn’t win wars because of Generals like the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley. General Milley, who has worn an Army uniform since before the Florida Republican congressman was born, is being heralded for delivering a strong and intelligent rebuke of Gaetz’s attack on critical race theory and criticizing the U.S. Military for being “woke.”

Gen. Milley told Gaetz during a House committee hearing that he would like to better understand both critical race theory and “white rage,” which he implied was connected to Donald Trump’s January 6 insurrection.

“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers of being quote ‘woke,’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there,” Milley told Gaetz.

Gaetz, whose district has a huge military presence including one of the largest air bases in the world, did not wait long to strike back, attacking  General Milley:

Attacking Americans who believe systemic racism is real:

Attacking the U.S. Armed Forces:

And praising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP):

It did not go well for him:

 

 

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WHOA

Watch: Joint Chiefs Chairman Incinerates Matt Gaetz With Epic Lecture on Critical Race Theory

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley blasted U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz for mocking and  opposing critical race theory during what was supposed to be a budget hearing. He left the Florida Republican Congressman speechless and only able to shake his head.

Milley, a General in the U.S. Army who has been in uniform since 1980 decimated Rep. Gaetz, his supporters, and conservatives in general for mocking the idea that systemic racism exists, while adding that he would like to better understand both critical race theory and “white rage.”

“First of all, on the issue of critical race theory, etc,.” Milley began. “A lot of us have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is, but I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform, to be open minded and be widely read, and the United States Military Academy is a university, and it is important that we train, and we understand, and I want to understand white rage, and I’m white, and I want to understand it.”

“So, what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building, and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out,” Milley, who has degrees from Princeton, Columbia, and the Naval War College, declared. “I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it, it’s important that we understand that because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Guardians, they come from the American people. So it is important that the leaders, now and in the future, do understand it.”

“I’ve read Mao Tse Tung, I’ve read, I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin: that doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”

“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers of being quote ‘woke,’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there. That was started at Harvard Law School, years ago, and it proposed that there were laws in the United States, antebellum laws prior to the Civil War that led to a power differential with African Americans that were three-quarters of a human being, when this country was formed, and then we had a civil war and Emancipation Proclamation to change it, and we brought it up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – took another 100 years to change that. So look it I do want to know, and I respect your service and you and I both Green Berets, but I want to know. And it matters to our military in the discipline and cohesion of this military, and I thank you for the opportunity to make a comment on that.”

Watch:

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Pray for the Christians’: Graham Urges School Boards to Fight the ‘Godless Socialist Agenda’ of CRT

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Evangelical and anti-LGBTQ activist Franklin Graham is urging Americans to “pray for the Christians” who are fighting what he calls a “godless socialist agenda,” an agenda he says now includes critical race theory and “concerning transgender policies.”

Pointing to an article about Loudon County, Virginia, currently a hotbed of controversy over transgender students’ rights and the teaching of critical race theory (which is not actually being taught in public schools, only in colleges and universities,) Graham patted himself on the back for traveling to all 50 states in 2016 to urge Christians to run for office, especially school boards.

He says those local boards’ decisions “impact our children and our grandchildren’s lives, and they impact the future of our country, so it is vitally important. I’m thankful for the parents in Loudoun County, Virginia, who are speaking up and working to keep things like critical race theory and concerning transgender policies out of their schools.”

“We have to stand up against the godless socialist agenda trying to divide us and take over this country,” he claimed.

“Pray for the Christians in Loudoun County, that they would stand strong and speak the truth in love. And pray about how you can get involved in your city and make a real difference. Will you?” Graham urged.

Conservatives have been infiltrating local school boards, where they have the opportunity to indoctrinate children at a young age into far right wing extremism, the pro-Trump MAGA movement, white nationalism and white supremacism, and an anti-science agenda.

In April TIME reported, “QAnon Candidates Are Winning Local Elections,” and asked, “Can They Be Stopped?”

And earlier this month the National Education Association (NEA) asked: “Is QAnon Radicalizing Your School Board?

“Proponents of QAnon allege that Satan-worshipping pedophiles are secretly running the country, and they also have spread false information about COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, the recent election and more,” the NEA article revealed. “When they get elected to local offices, they endanger citizens because their potential decisions—around budget, safety, school curriculum and more—aren’t grounded in reality.”

And in 2017 Media Matters reported on “How The Hate Group Alliance Defending Freedom Is Infiltrating Public Schools.”

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