Durham People’s Tribunal: the state ‘guilty as hell’

first_imgDurham anti-racist activists outside county courthouse on Jan. 11.Durham, N.C. — Following on the heels of the dropping of felony charges on Jan. 11 for eight Durham activists who tore down a Confederate statue in August, Durham community members and activists held a People’s Tribunal on Jan. 13 to put the state on trial. This dynamic and creative event allowed survivors of the state’s racist violence to speak their truth and be affirmed in it.  It also made a mockery of the state’s claim to be an arbiter of justice and bore witness to the severity of its crimes against people in Durham.The following charges were brought against former North Carolina Speaker of the House and current U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper, Durham Sheriff Mike Andrews, Durham District Attorney Roger Echols, and President Donald Trump:Conspiracy and Obstruction of Justice – to unjustly thwart the will of the people and uphold white supremacyCollusion with special interests to profit off the misery of communities of color and poor and working-class peopleNegligent and Serial Homicide – in public jails and detention centersReal Crimes Against the People – racism, poverty, homelessness, choosing profit over peopleLoan Tran, one of the day’s judges and a member of Workers World Party, opened the event stating: “We hold this tribunal not as an affirmation of the state nor its laws; we hold this tribunal to expose a system which considers borders to be legal, police killings to be legal, prisons and jails to be legal, but all of which are only legal because they enable this system to harm our people without having to answer to our people. We move through the People’s Tribunal today with the shared understanding that people’s power is what will get us free.”The event featured testimony from a range of area residents. George Roberson, a longtime Durham community member who moved to Durham after his grandfather was killed by the Ku Klux Klan, testified on how it felt as a kid to walk by the Confederate monument on his way to court. “My heart sunk when I looked at the statue,” Roberson declared.The Tribunal was held at CityWell, a church that has offered sanctuary to Samuel Oliver-Bruno, a Mexican immigrant who has been fighting a deportation order since December. Oliver-Bruno testified that he and his family came to the U.S. from Mexico to seek medical treatment for his wife, who has lupus. Judge Tran urged the audience to call N.C. Rep. G. K. Butterfield to demand that every space be a sanctuary space.Takiyah Thompson, one of the eleven people arrested in conjunction with the tearing down of the Confederate statue, noted that after World War II all symbols related to Nazism were removed in Europe. Similarly, she asserted, the monument that stood outside the old Durham courthouse was a symbol of hate.However, Thompson also called removing symbols of racism only a “first step.  The masses have to be reeducated, like in Germany; they have to relearn their education of Black people, Brown people, queer people and others. It is not only imperative from a moral standpoint, but it is tied to our own interests. We must reconceptualize what it means to be southern, and to be human. When symbols of white supremacy are removed, we must also work to remove the ideology that supports these institutions.”Vivid testimonyMuffin, an abolitionist, All of Us or None member and director of Participatory Defense in Durham, testified about her personal experiences with the corrupt court system. In 2014 Muffin was pulled over for a broken taillight, then arrested and given nine charges. Although she kept telling the officer they’d made a mistake, the bond was first set at $10,000 and then raised to $30,000. Muffin sat in a Durham jail for 61 days, causing her to lose her job and housing voucher. When the victim of the crime told officials that Muffin was not the culprit and she was finally released, Muffin and her kids found themselves homeless.“At that point I realized that I didn’t want to do the job I went to school for — being a probation officer, an overseer. There are people sitting in Durham county jail who have not committed a crime, who are only there because they can’t pay the ransom. The whole system is corrupt, from the police who arrest you to the judges that sentence you. The police hand out sentences like candy. They don’t care if you’re guilty or innocent; they just want a body to raise money,” Muffin declared.At the end of the first panel, Judge Helena Cragg, Director of the LGBT Center of Durham, thanked each witness for taking the time to give their testimony and experience. “Know your testimony is valuable,” Cragg said. Judge Tran invited folks to affirm the witnesses with the following chant: “We see you, we believe you, we love you.”During the community speak-back, a man discussed the horrific conditions he had experienced in the Durham jail, noting that he personally knew two people who died of diabetes as a result of negligent treatment there.Eva Panjwani, a Workers World Party member, raised President Donald Trump’s recent anti-black comments in relation to Haiti and African countries and noted that “when things like that happen, there is a knee-jerk reaction where people try to affirm their own dignity. … [But] when you walk in this room [today], it’s a given that people have dignity, that people’s lives matter. We’re not here to judge people.”Opening the second half of the event, Jose Romero of the Defend Durham crew presented a long list of names of those murdered by police just that week. He then read one of his own poems, entitled “Sanctuary,” and Martín Espada’s poem, “Imagine the Angels of Bread.”Mikisa Thompson asserted, as the child of Jamaican immigrants, that “we are not from shithole countries. America still doesn’t recognize it’s own borders; colonization and plantationism are still rampant, just with another name.” Regarding the Confederate statue, Thompson stated: “Laws came about during Reconstruction to say that statues are better than the value of your life. My values tell me that I’m worthy, you’re worthy, it doesn’t matter where you’re from. You’re valuable, no matter who’s in charge.”Speaking on behalf of Felicia Arriaga, a Ph.D candidate in sociology at Duke University, Raul Jimenez testified on collaboration between local police and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, without any transparency or accountability. Arriaga’s talk concluded by stressing, “Liberation can only be reached when Black, Brown, and undocumented immigrants are free.”Christopher Brazil, a security contractor for the Defend Durham crew, described his arrest for charges in relation to an Aug. 20 counterprotest on the day that the Ku Klux Klan announced they would march through Durham: “I’ve been served with charges … when I was there to protect the people from white supremacy.” Brazil urged: “It is important to continue fighting. I am willing to die for the proletarian working class; I will not stop until we win or I die. Fidel Castro said, ‘History will absolve us.’ After we win this war, this revolution, history will absolve us.”Elijah Pryor, a local Durham community member present at the Aug. 18 uprising, testified that defending Durham is “personal for me. I found a picture of my great-grandfather, who was a slave. … It gave me something to fight for — you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re coming from. I intend to defend Durham to the last breath.” Pryor was held in the Durham county jail on robbing and kidnapping charges for 90 days — including 14 days after the charges were dismissed.Rafiq Zaidi, a local community organizer with Inside-Outside alliance and a former political prisoner, told the arrestees: “What you have stood up for in pulling down that statue, those of us my age, 74, we have been waiting for you. The time is now for us to stand up. No matter how old you are, you still have enough energy to fight against this system.”After hearing all the testimony, Workers World Party member Qasima Wideman directed the audience to form groups to discuss the verdicts and plan actions to bring the guilty to justice: “We know these people in power are guilty for many heinous crimes. We don’t have the power they do, but we have people’s power, which is stronger; we can hold these people accountable.Some ideas that were discussed included a community demonstration at the home of Sheriff Andrews in the form of a people’s arrest warrant or subpoena, as well as a demand that Andrews spend 10 to 12 days in his own jail so that he can experience the conditions there. One group suggested building up alternatives to the state to deal with the fact that the roles that state officials occupy are inherently oppressive. Another proposed a divestment campaign targeting the big corporations that provide services at the jails.Finally, the jury, which had been given signs that read “guilty” on one side and “guilty as hell” on the other, were asked to cast their verdict by raising their signs. The crowd unanimously held up the “guilty as hell” signs, chanting, “The people have decided!” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Major decline in freedom of information since army takeover

first_img RSF_en Organisation May 21, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Major decline in freedom of information since army takeover Less press freedom than ever in Egypt, 10 years after revolution News Help by sharing this information EgyptMiddle East – North Africa January 22, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Egypt With an eye to Egypt’s 26-27 May presidential election and Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s probable victory, Reporters Without Borders has compiled the following overview of the impact of the past 11 months of Sisi-backed rule on the media, journalists and freedom of information in Egypt.Although the new constitution, adopted by referendum in January, guarantees freedom of information, the situation on the ground has been bad and the lists of journalists who have been arrested or killed and media that have been closed are long.“Respect for media freedom has declined considerably since the army seized power,” said Reporters Without Borders research director Lucie Morillon. “At least 65 journalists have been arrested and 17 are still in detention. We urge the authorities to respect the new constitution, which guarantees media freedom. All the journalists currently held must be released at once and all charges against them must be dismissed.”Six journalists killedA total of six journalists have been killed by live rounds since President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government was deposed on 3 July 2013. Most were killed while covering pro-Morsi demonstrations.The first victim was Ahmed Samir Assem El-Senoussi, a photographer for the newspaper Al-Horreya-Wal-Adalah (Freedom and Justice), who sustained a fatal gunshot injury while covering clashes outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo on 8 July.Sky News cameraman Mick Deane, Ahmed Abdel Gawad, a reporter for the Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar, and photojournalist Mosab Al-Shami were killed while covering clashes between police and pro-Morsi demonstrators in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square on 14 August, one of the darkest days for the media in modern Egyptian history.Tamer Abdel Raouf, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram’s regional bureau chief, was shot dead at an army checkpoint in Damanhur, in the northern governorate of Beheira, on the night of 19 August.Mayada Ashraf, a reporter for the Al-Dostour daily newspaper and the Masr Al-Arabiyya news website, was fatally shot in the head as she was covering a demonstration that Muslim Brotherhood supporters organized in the eastern Cairo district of Ain Shams on 28 March in response to the announcement that Field Marshal Sisi would be a presidential candidate.No independent and impartial investigations have so far been carried out with the aim of identifying those responsible for the deaths of these journalists.Many arrestsThe number of arrests of journalists during the past 11 months is particularly disturbing. According to the tally kept by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), more than 65 journalists were arrested for varying periods of time between 3 July and 30 April.The authorities systematically target media and journalists affiliated (or regarded as sympathetic) to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been banned again. This witch-hunt against suspected Brotherhood supporters, which affects Turkish, Palestinian and Syrian journalists as well as Egyptian ones, violates the new constitution. Trumped-up charges are used to keep journalists in detention.A total of 17 journalists are currently detained, according to the CPJ. They include three Al-Jazeera journalists who were arrested on 29 December: Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Adel Fahmy, Australian reporter Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed. Their trial, along with the trial of 17 other alleged Al-Jazeera journalists, began on 20 February and has been repeatedly adjourned ever since.A total of 20 people identified by the authorities as Al-Jazeera journalists (including four foreign journalists) are being prosecuted on charges of attacking national unity and social peace, spreading false reports and (in the case of those who are Egyptian) membership of a “terrorist organization.” Eight of these 20 defendants are detained while the other 12 are being tried in absentia. Al-Jazeera says only four of these defendants are its employees. The trial of the Al-Jazeera journalists is emblematic of the current situation of freedom of information in Egypt.Abdullah Al-Shami, one of the confirmed Al-Jazeera journalists being held, has been detained since 14 August although no formal charges have been brought against him. He has been on hunger strike since 21 January in protest against the arbitrary nature of his detention, which was extended for another 45 days on 3 May.He was secretly transferred to the Al-Aqrab (Scorpion) high-security wing of the Tora prison complex in southern Cairo on 12 May, although his lawyer says his state of health is now very worrying.Like Shami, Mahmoud Abu Zied, a photographer for the Demotix and Corbis agencies, has been held since his arrest in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square on 14 August and is also currently held in Tora prison. Yaqeen website reporters Saaid Shihata and Ahmed Gamal, arrested on 30 December while covering clashes between police and students at Cairo’s Al-Azhar university, are being held on charges of participating in an illegal demonstration and insulting a police officer.El-Masdr reporter Karim Shalaby, who was arrested while covering an anti-government demonstration on 25 January, is also charged with participating in an illegal demonstration. Abdel Rahman Shaheen, a correspondent for Al-Horreya-Wal-Adalah (Freedom and Justice), a website affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, is being held on a charge of inciting violence following his arrest on 3 April.Samah Ibrahim, a reporter for the same site who was arrested on 14 January while covering a pro-Morsi march, was sentenced on 17 March to a year of forced labour. This was reduced on appeal to six months in prison and a fine of 50,000 Egyptian pounds (5,300 euros).Detaining journalists arbitrarily in this manner violates the new constitution, especially article 71.The extreme polarization of the Egyptian media (into pro and anti-Morsi factions) is reinforcing the polarization of Egyptian society. As confirmed since the start of the election campaign, many media openly support the current government and, as a result, are not performing the watchdog role that the media are supposed to play in a democratic society. to go furthercenter_img News Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein back home after four years in prison February 6, 2021 Find out more February 1, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts EgyptMiddle East – North Africa News News Detained woman journalist pressured by interrogator, harassed by prison stafflast_img read more

The Latest: Iowa seeking $75 million loan for athletics

first_img August 24, 2020 ___Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski was one of the numerous COVID-19 false positive tests reported Sunday by the NFL’s lab partner.Stefanski was at home with his wife and three children when he got word that he may have the virus.“It wasn’t fun,” Stefanski said on a Zoom call. “I can laugh about it now, but truly it wasn’t fun to have that phone call very early in the morning and not get news that it was potentially an error until later.”Stefanski said he immediately left his house as not to put his family in any more danger. He went to a condominium near the team’s facility where he stayed before moving his family to Ohio from Minnesota in the offseason. He spent the previous 13 seasons on the Vikings’ staff. Associated Press It took four hours before Stefanski learned he was negative. He was not able to coach on Sunday, when the Browns initially called off their workout before holding it when they learned of the flawed lab results.Stefanski did not disclose how many false positives affected the Browns. He said 12 more players need to be cleared before they can practice Monday.The 38-year-old coach praised the Browns for the way they handled “a fire drill” with their virus protocols.— Tom Withers reporting from Cleveland.___ The Latest: Iowa seeking $75 million loan for athletics Army has finalized its football schedule and the Black Knights will play 11 games, eight at home. Navy and Air Force remain on the schedule.Attendance for the first two games in West Point, New York, is expected to be limited to the Corps of Cadets and exclude the general public.Decisions on fan attendance for the remaining home games at Michie Stadium will be decided later.The Black Knights will open the season Sept. 5 at home against Middle Tennessee State. The rest of the home slate includes Louisiana-Monroe, BYU, Abilene Christian, The Citadel, Mercer, Air Force and Georgia Southern.Road games are at UTSA, Tulane and Philadelphia for the 121st Army-Navy matchup. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Iowa’s athletic department is working to secure a $75 million loan to cushion the blow of losing a projected $100 million in revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 34-year-old retired sprinter who won gold in the 100 and 200 meters at the last three Olympics posted a video Monday on his official Instagram account to explain the situation.“Good morning everybody. Just waking up. Like everybody, checked social media and saw that social media says I’m confirmed of COVID-19,” he said. “I did a test Saturday, because I work. I’m trying to be responsible, so I’m going to stay in and stay here for my friends.”Bolt added he has no symptoms.“Just to be safe, I’ll quarantine myself and just take it easy,” he said.Bolt set the world records in the 100 and 200 meters at the 2009 world championships in Berlin. He retired after worlds in 2017.center_img The school says sales proceeds will go to Duke Athletics for student-athlete support.Athletics director Kevin White says it is “imperative to be both adaptable and compliant in anticipation of hosting fans in the near future.”___The Norwegian government says it will make an exception from its travel ban to accommodate a Nations League soccer game against Austria on Sept. 4 in Oslo.Culture and sports minister Abid Q. Raja says “we make this exception to ensure that both teams can field a full crew.” The team had outlined a plan to accommodate a crowd of 7,500, but decided against it “based on the recommendations of public health experts.”In a statement, the team said that “for the time being, it is in the best interest of the general public and our organization that fans not attend games.”The Ravens said they will continue to work with health officials about finding a way to eventually make the stadium safe for fans during home games.___Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt says on social media he is awaiting the result of a coronavirus test and is quarantining himself as a precaution. Athletic director Gary Barta said the Hawkeyes had built a strong financial foundation before the coronavirus forced cancellation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and led to the Big Ten’s postponement of football until after Jan. 1. Now the athletic department faces a $60-$75 million deficit.Iowa announced initial budget reductions in July, and after the Big Ten pulled the plug on fall football earlier this month the Hawkeyes announced Friday they would drop men’s gymnastics, men’s tennis, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving. Barta said there are no plans to eliminate other sports and figures it will take about 15 years for the athletic department to pay off the loan. He said he had a “guestimate” for how much money Iowa could bring in from post-Jan. 1 football, but he declined to disclose the figure.___The Baltimore Ravens won’t have any fans at home games for the first part of the upcoming season because of the coronavirus pandemic. ___Bundesliga team Schalke has reported a positive case of the coronavirus in an unidentified member of staff at its training camp in Austria.“The affected person is currently self-isolating after the test result. Contact tracing is already underway,” the club says on its website. Schalke was due to play Würzburger Kickers in a friendly game later Monday but that has been called off as the club conducts further tests. Team doctor Patrick Ingelfinger is liaising with local authorities on what the club should do next. “We will do everything we are told to do by the authorities. The health and safety of everyone involved is the most important thing,” sports director Jochen Schneider said. ___Duke will open its season for football and other fall sports with no fans at home games because of the coronavirus pandemic.Duke says traditional parking lots used by fans on gameday will be closed. The school will contact football fans who have purchased season or single-game tickets or have seating and suite contracts in Blue Devil Tower regarding potential options.The school will allow fans to purchase a fan cutout of a person or pet to be placed in seats for football games. The school will offer varied packages and stadium locations along with weekly prize drawings and the ability to have football coach David Cutcliffe autograph the cutout. Raja adds “this is not a general exception … this is an exception for this match.”Norway captain Omar Elabdellaoui and striker Alexander Soerloth both play in Turkey.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more

Warriors’ Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes, Clifford Ray share what made Oakland fanbase unique

first_imgOAKLAND – For a moment, Rick Barry feared for his life.The Warriors had won the 1975 NBA championship over the former Washington Bullets, and had landed in Oakland after an oversized crowd at San Francisco International Airport forced them to change their travel itinerary. When Barry and his teammates took a cab from Oakland to San Francisco to greet those fans, other Warriors fans almost prevented them from doing so.“They jumped up on top of the cabs. The roof of the cab I was in was …last_img

Eating, earning from city farms

first_imgEarning cash from garden vegetables at Siyazama Community Garden at Macassar in Khayelitsha, the vast township outside Cape Town in the Western Cape. (Image: Harvest of Hope) At Abalimi Bezekhaya’s packing centre in Philippi township vegetables are packed in boxes for sale to more affluent families in Cape Town as part of the Harvest of Hope project. (Image: Irin Photo)Nestled among shacks set on the sea-sand soil of the Cape Flats, an impoverished region of informal settlements and townships near Cape Town in the Western Cape, there is a life-saving 5 000-square-metre patch of green.“This garden has changed my life,” said Phillipina Ndamane, 74, a member of the Fezeka Community Garden (FCG) in Gugulethu township. “We were suffering; we had no food to eat so we tried to make a garden.”The FCG, beneath towering electricity pylons, is one of 800 community and home gardens nurtured into existence by Abalimi Bezekhaya, an urban agriculture and environmental action association.Since its inception in 1982 as a Catholic Church project, from which it separated in 1994, Abalimi Bezekhaya, meaning “farmers of home” in isiXhosa, has helped individuals, groups and community-based organisations develop permanent organic food-growing and conservation projects as the basis for sustainable livelihoods, job creation and poverty alleviation.Abalimi provides training and low-cost, subsidised gardening resources like manure, seeds, tools, and organic pest control at its two gardens in Nyanga and Khayelitsha townships, which are staffed by fieldworkers from those communities.Some 3 000 micro-farmers use of the gardens, but the benefits spill over into the wider target of roughly 1-million people who live in the vast informal sprawl on the outskirts of metropolitan Cape Town, where unemployment is around 40%.Growing self-sufficiencyAbalimi helps farmers develop their own organic vegetable gardens to supplement their diet, improve household food and nutritional security, and provide sustainable additional income. The personal satisfaction, community building, and heightened self-esteem that come from growing food are added benefits.“We didn’t know a lot of things like spinach, which is a healthy thing; we didn’t even know the green pepper! Now I eat green beans, and the children, they also like all these vegetables,” said Phillipina, who helps care for at least a dozen grandchildren.For some, the gardens are a better alternative to conventional employment. “If this garden had been here before, I wouldn’t have gone to work outside as a domestic worker,” said Shaba Esitang, 78. “As a domestic worker, you’re working for the money to pay for the vegetables. But in the garden, you grow your own veggies to eat or sell. You own it.”The advantages manifest not only on the dinner table: those who grow more than they need sell the surplus.“They employ themselves – we’re there only to motivate and help,” said Abalimi operations manager Christina Kaba.A hopeful harvestAt Abalimi’s packing centre in Philippi township, half a dozen women and one young man wash and sort piles of brightly coloured vegetables and pack them into “weekly boxes” of produce that are pre-ordered by families in well-off suburbs of Cape Town.With the assistance of the South African Institute of Entrepreneurship, Harvest of Hope was created in early 2008 to provide a new market for excess produce. As a result, nearly 10% of the farming groups now earn a secure monthly income.A box of vegetables sells for R95 (US$9.50), half of which goes directly to the farmer. Current output is around 120 boxes a week, according to Abalimi’s director, Rob Small, who maintains that the project could create one full-time job earning up to R3 000 ($300) a month on just 500 square meters of land.“But it’s a farming job, not a nine-to-five, so that’s the tricky part: to inspire people to work that hard, and that’s where the limiting factor comes in – most people are waiting for something easier.”“The biggest limiting factor is poor people not gaining quickly enough the skills and tools with which to supply the market. We’ve got enough farmers, but most are uneducated or semi-educated – some don’t know what a square meter is,” Small commented.“If they had those skills and tools, and the ability to work consistently at a disciplined level, we could be supplying 600 boxes and more in the next month. The demand is definitely there.”Despite the lack of alternative jobs, the youth have not shown any great enthusiasm. “Young people don’t want to even see the garden – they think gardens are done by poor and uneducated people. When I started, people laughed at me; they said, ‘How can you come to Cape Town to work in the soil like a rural area?’” Kaba said.Small agreed. “Probably there wouldn’t be an urban agricultural movement in Cape Town if there wasn’t 40% unemployment, but it’s starting to be the case that bigger rewards are coming, and lately a lot of young faces are checking in,” he commented. “They’ve heard, and smelled the money, and once they get involved, who knows? They might even find they love farming.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]: Irin NewsRelated articlesParprika farming boosts economy An infusion of innovation Sweet deal for cocoa farmers Natural fibre takes off Growing the organic business Useful linksAbalimi BezekhayaHarvest of Hopelast_img read more

Geocachers are the nicest people: My trip to the 12th Annual GCHR Picnic Mega-Event

first_imgShare with your Friends:More Can you spot the Geocaching HQ’er? (Hint: Look for the green sunglasses.)Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are  attending dozens of Mega-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching. Each person at Geocaching HQ brings their own unique talent to advancing the adventure. Some write code for the website, others design images for the apps, and some shoot videos explaining it all. Paige Edmiston is a Communications Specialist for Geocaching HQ. She recently traveled to Hampton Roads, Virginia to attend the 12th Annual GCHR Picnic Mega-Event. Here’s her story.I was the lucky Geocaching HQ staff member who attended the 12th Annual GCHR Picnic Mega-Event in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The event takes place at the crossroads of nature and early American history, where the best of both are highlighted through unique geocaching experiences. But that’s not what makes this event so special. This event is special because it has an extraordinary power to bring people together into community.At my first Geocaching Block Party, a geocacher gave me a pin that read “Geocachers are the nicest people.” I thought it was cute, so I’ve held onto it all these years. But now, for the first time, I think I fully understand the truth behind that statement. It only took 2400 miles, hundreds of geocachers, and a dance with Signal the Frog (more on that later) for me to finally “get it”.Geocachers really, truly are the nicest people you’ll ever meet.What I learned from the 12th Annual GCHR Picnic Mega-Event:My geocaching chauffeurs.You can show up knowing no one and leave with friends for life. In what world can you go to a party without knowing a single soul and immediately feel like part of the family? The geocaching world, that’s where. Heck, the geocachers at the 12th Annual GCHR Picnic made me feel welcome even before the event started. A lovely group of geocachers who had driven from Pennsylvania to Virginia for the event waited at the airport to greet me. Showing up at the farewell breakfast the morning after the big event felt like catching up with old friends.Geocachers are always prepared — and happy to share. Virginia has a few wonderful things Seattle doesn’t, and a few not-so-wonderful things: namely, chiggers and ticks. Luckily, a geocacher at the event had come prepared with enough bug spray to share with an unprepared Geocaching HQ’er. In addition to bug spray, the delightful event organizer Penguincacher equipped me with a yellow, trackable Jeep so that I could drive around in style. And yes, this Jeep was inspired by the Jeep Travel Bugs!Love is in the details. Sometimes, it’s the small things that reveal how kind, caring and, well, detail-oriented the people you meet along the geocaching trail can be. Just a few examples from Hampton Roads:A larger-than-life log book.The brains behind the log book. Think there’s enough room to sign your name?A contest filled with creative challenges designed to reveal the true “GeoSurvivors.” I’m happy to report my partner Maingray and I took second place. I think that means we would survive a Zombie Apocalypse. Maybe.The epic slow walk of GeoSurvivor (second place) champions. Photo by steve-n-kim.A special Lab Cache created to make me feel welcome.Note: Lackey, Virginia. Photo by Monkeybrad.And, of course, no portable toilet would be complete without a bouquet of flowers.An extra dose of geocaching love.And finally, being quirky is awesome. Geocaching is about exploration, adventure, and discovery, but it’s also about being a part of a community that challenges you to step outside your comfort zone and, at the same time, appreciates you just for being you. I never dreamed I would ever be in a position where I had the opportunity — and the support — to show the world my love of goofy dancing by tangoing with a giant Signal the Frog. Then again, I should have known: geocaching is always full of surprises. SharePrint RelatedFun with a Side of Mega-Event GeocachingSeptember 13, 2013In “Cache In Trash Out”14 Km Geocaching Hike Starting after 10pm – That’s PortugalJuly 15, 2014In “Local stories”What You’re Missing at a Mega-Event – The Brugse Beer IV Mega-Event VideoMay 13, 2014In “Française”last_img read more

Someone needs to take ownership of MMIWG inquiry NWAC

first_imgTodd Lamirande APTN NewsThe fallout from another resignation at the missing and murdered Indigenous women’s inquiry continued Friday.“We’re not quite two weeks into the New Year and to hear about this resignation, the (executive director) has only been there for less than three months,” said Francyne Joe, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.Debbie Reid resigned for personal reasons.She courted controversy during her short time with one former employee blaming her for creating a toxic work environment.For Joe, it doesn’t matter why she left, only that the inquiry gets strong leadership.“What we would like to see is a strong leader come in, preferably an Indigenous woman because we have many experienced women across this country who could do the job,” she said.“We need someone to take ownership of this national inquiry.”[email protected]last_img read more

LeSean McCoys 34Yard Run Dismantles Redskins Defense

It’s not hard to tell that  LeSean McCoy is a good player. The explosive Philadelphia Eagles running back showed the world on Monday night why it might even be safe to call him great.McCoy made nice moves during the Eagles game against the Washington Redskins, juking defenders off their feet en route to a 34-yard touchdown. With that amazing run, the Eagles’ lead swelled to 33-7 in the third quarter. The move that McCoy pulled off was so good it made former New York Giants star Michael Strahan tweet:McCoy just made me jump off the couch!! DAAAAAMMMMMNNNN!!!— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) September 10, 2013 McCoy ran for a total of 184 rushing yards on 31 carries in the Eagles’ 33-27 victory.Take another look at the ankle-breaking run in the video below.

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