Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes News News RSF_en China’s Cyber Censorship Figures March 12, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific Reporters Without Borders today hailed the courage of the pro-democracy activists and lawyers who on 28 March dared to speak out publicly against violations of online free expression and launched a petition for the repeal of a six-month-old law that marked a much tougher government stance towards the Internet.They also demanded the reopening of websites closed under the law, which Reporters Without Borders dubbed the “11 Commandments of the Internet” when it took effect on 25 September.The petition says the law violates the Chinese constitution, in particular article 35 which “guarantees citizens free expression, press freedom, freedom of association and the freedom to demonstrate.” Under the constitution, Chinese Internet users should be able to express themselves on all subjects, including politics, the economy and social issues, it says.Among the many websites closed since the law’s promulgation by the Council of State’s information bureau and the ministry of industry and information are the “Chinese workers’ site”(www.zggr.org), the site of the “communist partisans” (www.gcdr.com.cn), and the “forum of soldiers, workers and peasants (www.gcdr.com.cn/bbs). The petition’s signatories include the people in charge of 11 websites or forums that have been the victims of censorship, and well-known Internet user Liu Di, who was jailed for a year in 2003 because of the messages she posted on online discussion forums under the pen name of “The Stainless Steel Mouse.”To sign the petition (in Chinese): http://www.qian-ming.org/gb/default.aspx?dir=scp&cid=75 ChinaAsia – Pacific to go further China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Receive email alerts April 27, 2021 Find out more News News June 2, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Related documents Press release in chinesePDF – 48.87 KB ————-Create your blog with Reporters without borders: www.rsfblog.org Follow the news on China Organisation March 31, 2006 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Chinese activists call for repeal of Internet “11 Commandments”
Faith in Indiana, which describes itself as a catalyst to seek racial and economic justice, was joined by members of the gun-control Moms Demand Action at the Statehouse to spur Holcomb to take steps in Indiana to prevent hate-inspired violence in the wake of recent mass shootings in California, Ohio, and Texas that left 34 people dead and more than 60 wounded.“These are not individual acts of bigotry but systemic acts that require systemic action,” said the Rev. Shonda Nicole Gladden, CEO and founder of Good to the Soul and a member of Faith in Indiana. “We are here because our governor does not have to wait for Congress to protect Indiana families.” By Abrahm HurtTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS– Faith leaders and gun-control activists are calling for Gov. Eric Holcomb to stand up against white supremacy and gun violence, including supporting a ban on assault weapons.“The dehumanizing rhetoric and speeches from our highest office have put us on a dangerous course toward the normalization of a renewed, open and more emboldened white nationalism,” the group Faith in Indiana said in a letter delivered to Holcomb’s Statehouse office Tuesday morning. “Coupled with easy access to guns, this ideology has created a white terrorism crisis.” FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail More than 30 attendees stood on the south steps of the Statehouse to pray and sing “This Land is Your Land” before entering the capital.Members of the group asked to meet with the governor but were told he was unavailable. They then left the letter, signed by more than 100 clergy members.The letter – which asks for a meeting with Holcomb within the next 60 days “so that together we can build a safer and more inclusive Indiana” — lays out three pieces of legislation the group would like to see.“We urge you promptly to condemn the weaponization of hate and the ideology of white supremacy and introduce gun safety legislation in the 2020 legislative session: ban assault weapons, mandate background checks and invest in public health approaches proven to curb gun violence,” the letter states.The group also called on U.S. Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun, both R-Indiana, to support House Resolution 8, a universal background check bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives but has not received a vote in the U.S. Senate.The Rev. David W. Greene Sr., a senior pastor at Purpose of Life Ministries and president of Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, said the faith-based community refuses to remain silent and called on leaders to act swiftly.“We must move beyond thoughts and prayers to action,” he said. Holcomb’s press secretary, Rachel Hoffmeyer, said the governor’s office will review the letter.“There is no higher priority than the safety and security of Hoosiers,” Hoffmeyer said. “Indiana works to prevent tragedies through efforts including our red flag law, school safety funding and legislation, and partnerships through local, state and federal law enforcement officials.”At a ceremonial bill signing last week at the Indiana State Fair on veterans’ benefits legislation, Holcomb denounced white supremacy.“This is counter-American. It’s counter-Hoosier,” he said. “It’s not what we stand for. Any supremacist groups that seek to terrorize or cause fear in our population needs to be held accountable for that.”In April, Holcomb went to the National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis to sign House Enrolled Act 1284, which allows guns on school property if the carrier is working at or attending a religious service there. The bill also expanded the “stand your ground law” by saying someone who uses a gun in what was deemed justifiable self-defense cannot be sued in civil court.FOOTNOTE: Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalists.
Frog trudges toward a mountain landscape.This weekend was a bit different. Frog and I departed by ourselves to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument for a bit of winter camping. Like all of Frog and I’s camping trips everything just seems to fall right into place.The morning of departure, Friday, Frog has work to finish and I have prepping to do. Obstacle number one: Frog’s winter sleeping bag is at the Rumford post office and we need to pick up. Without it the trip is a bust. Obstacle two: where are we going to sleep the first night? I do some calculating. With the amount of work Frog has she probably can’t leave until 1 or 2 p.m., which puts us up in the vicinity of the monument around 4 or 5 p.m., which doesn’t give us enough time to ski in anywhere to set up. So I call campground after campground looking for something roadside.Nothing, all closed till summer. I finally get through to a place called Shin Pond Village.“Hey, I noticed you guys have a campground and I was wondering if we could just set up a tent?”“Really? We’ve never had anyone ask to do that. Go for it. It’s not plowed or anything”Relief.Not only is she letting us do this, she’s excited for us.We grab the bag early in the morning and around 2 p.m. we’re on the road with 200 miles ahead of us to Shin Pond. Frog works in the passenger seat, typing, but not before updating Queen who has demanded from us a full itinerary. After our last camping trip, during which Queen mixed the days up, believing we were supposed to be back on Saturday night, not Sunday night, causing a whole lot of grief and worry that we had died on a mountainside, she decides to keep closer tabs on us. Frog sends Queen the plan and the timeline and gives permission for Queen to treat herself to a bath while we are gone. Queen’s own version of a perfect weekend.The miles pass quickly as the traffic on the highway disperses. The landscape becomes more dense the further we go on 95. The sun is setting as Katadhin, a lonely looking peak, emerges from a landscape that it dwarfs. Frog and I climbed Katahdin in the fall and spent three nights camping in the backccountry. We are already fantasizing and making plans to do it again.The sun drifts behind us as we make our way to the village. The towns are becoming increasingly more rural and we even pass through what appears to be a small Amish community. Upon reaching our destination though I am confronted with an even more bizarre subculture. Snowmobiling. Now, Frog and I have always been aware of snowmobiling, but not as a culture or in this scenario an ethnic group fit for anthropological study.Here are some observational notes on your average snowmobiler. Every single male snowmobiler exceeded 6ft in height and not so much walked as lumbered towards wherever they were heading. Their coats were large and protective appearing to me as winter armor that housed a giant within it. The Snowmobiler can travel alone, but prefers the company of small groups, or raiding parties. I was not quite aware that the campground we had chosen was a gathering ground for these giants. Hundreds of them. Frog and I are both in a car daze and are simply shocked by their numbers. Zipping in, refueling, racing back into the darkening forests looking for another thrill. At any given time, there are more snowmobiles than cars in The County.Frog and I look at each other and go inside. I think we both feel like hobbits (I’m 5’6 and she’s 5’4). I tell the woman behind the counter who we are and she is giddy with excitement, telling me that she’s never had anyone do this before. She hands me a map of the grounds which reveals a lean-to. My spirits soar. Frog and I race to check out. And find it 40ft back in waist deep snow. We throw on snow pants and pad down a trail. The small A-frame lean-to is perfect. We won’t even need to set up a tent and we are not even charged to use it.“It’s so cute.” Frog says.We unpack and lay everything out (after making a few trips back and forth from the car). Snowmobiles pass us in droves regarding us in a way that probably resembles the way we’re thinking about them. We do not share any greetings, though they greet one another as kindred spirits do, arms open and voices loud.Frog starts to gather wood for a fire, a passionate desire of hers. She always wants it to be bigger and so she always gathers more than enough wood and to date I’ve never met someone who can gather so much as she can. Example – when we were in Baxter State Park I had gathered what I had thought to be a sizable amount of firewood in a heavily picked over area only to return to her having already gathered three massive bundles that made mine look a simple pile of twigs (which it was). So this time around I just let her get the sticks while I start coals for the grill.We grill marinated steak and tinfoil pockets of vegetables. We eat with the growls of snowmobiles behind us and the glow of a full moon ahead of us. The night is cold, but our new bags keep us relatively warm. We sleep well and wake with the morning sun. We pack up and hit the road, only 25 minutes away from our destination.We park at the gate and gather our gear. I find a volunteer who grooms the trails and ask him about sites, and he informs me of an old generator shed five or so miles in. What luck do we have! We equip our packs and skis and head in.The trails appear to be nicely groomed, but the beautiful scenery is quickly obscured from us by the approaching storm. We glide easily enough, taking breaks to shed layers. I do good for a while, but soon the large flakes have me soaked through. I feel heavy and sluggish. Frog is fine, having worn proper ski pants. She gives me that “I don’t know what you were thinking not wearing ski pants” look. I think about Queen, drinking wine in a hot bath.The five-star A-Frame cabin.After a few hours we finally stumble upon the shed on an unbeaten path. I get inside and strip immediately. I’m not even cold, but the snow has melted on me, and my undershirt is a rag with sweat. Frog returns with good news, a clean outhouse borders us, and she’s decided that on our way back we’re going to stop at Denny’s for a milkshake. Sounds wonderful to me.Tonight we set up the tent inside for a little extra wind protection. We decorate the walls with our wet clothing and make hot toddies and a dehydrated black bean mixture for dinner. We don’t say much over dinner, we just simply enjoy the snow storm and complete silence. There is probably not another human being with 10 miles of us in any direction. I feel nothing but a great relief and a world away from every single point of stress in my life. I think both of us would stay here for a week if we could. The wind picks up during the night and we fall asleep to the light rustling of branches.The next morning greeted us with clear skies and warm air, which proved to be a trial of our endurance. Immediately after leaving the site we found the snow sticking to our skis. I can feel the sweat gathering and Frog looks like a snowman gathering mass in front of me. It takes us an hour and half to go two miles, and those miles are grueling. At times I just consider carrying my skis out. We take an extended break at the halfway point, shedding our layers.The ski may be exhausting, but the clear skies have revealed the lovely mountain ranges that were obscured from us the day before. Every mountain top I want to climb, and I make notes for next summer, or perhaps fall when I know the bugs will be better. The trail finally lights up a bit and we’re able to actually glide. The final stretch passes quickly. At the car we change into clean clothes, my god what a difference. I feel like I’ve taken a shower simply by putting on new underwear.It’s 2:30 and we begin south, but not before stopping at a raider outpost for a piece of pecan pie which is absolutely delicious. We share the piece while under the observation of four stuffed blacks bears all posing in aggressive stances. We leave hitting the road for real this time.The drive passes quickly (why does the way back always seem shorter? Lack of anticipation?). Frog returns to work on her laptop and I listen to music with a natural smile on my face (note* you should try this sometime. Just smile without a reason and soon enough you’ll find a reason to be smiling). I’m smiling now, because I’m reminded of how much fun I have with Frog. Fun in not so much what we’re doing, but in doing. We could be looking at moss on a rock and I would still be experiencing massive releases of serotonin (this has happened).We stop at Denny’s for a milkshake only to find the machine broken (that always seems to be the case). The drive lingers on and our exhaustion becomes evident on our faces. I’m sure Queen is feeling refreshed (I found out later that every luxury I imagined she was giving herself was in fact true, with Bossa nova to add).We pull into Waterville, our hankering for milkshakes still strong. I pull into a Five-Guys and we pick up a couple of shakes, which fuel us for the last hour. As we get close to home, Frog lights up.“I just realized something.”I’m startled and worried that something major has been forgotten.“I can just leave all this stuff in the car to unpack tomorrow.”My dread dissipates as I drink more of my milkshake. We feel alive now that we know we can just leave the hard stuff for another day. We continue home in darkness. The day hasn’t even ended yet and we’re already reminiscing. We leave everything in the car that night, a concern too far away for us to care.