Women’s Coalition Meetings, WED July 11th

Women’s Coalition Meeting

WED July 11th, 6PM

Modjeska Monteith Simkins House

2025 Marion St. Columbia, SC

The South Carolina Women’s Rights movement focuses on the current state of women’s reproductive rights, access to contraception, wages, and the like. We also included a legislative watch and lobbying when bills appear that affect women’s issues.  Gov. Nikki Haley’s recent budget vetos that radically cut off funding for 15 rape crisis centers across the state will undoubtedly be on the agenda.

RSVP/Share on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/332454266831784/

WLTX: “Haley Budget Vetos Worry Agencies, Anger Lawmakers”

Amnesty International, SC State-wide meeting, March 10-11


Amnesty International

South Carolina Statewide Meeting

SAT March 10th , 9AM-6PM

SUN March 11th , 9AM-12PM

USC, Russell House, Room 304

1400 Greene St. Columbia, SC 29225


Modeled in part after the Southern Regional Conference, this meeting will consist of workshop, panels, and information sessions. In particular, we will concentrate on AIUSA’s major campaigns (Demand Dignity, Security with Human Rights, Immigrant’s Rights, Death Penalty Abolition, and Individuals at Risk) as well as activist tactics and event planning. There will also be a demonstration advocating for the closure of Guantanamo at the South Carolina State House grounds. There is no registration fee for the event, and although lodging may be provided for college-age student groups, attendees in generally are expected to fund their own transportation, housing, and meals for the duration of the meeting.


RSVP/More Info: Kali Esancy, esancy@email.sc.edu

Web: http://www.amnestyusa.org/events/south-carolina-state-meeting


Protest of Indefinite Detention WED Jan 11th

Ten Years is Too Long: End Indefinite Detention & Close Guantanamo


WED Jan 11th, 1PM-5PM

The Statehouse (Main & Gervais)

Sponsored by USC Amnesty International.

Amnesty International’s Nationwide day of action is WED Jan 11th.  Please show up in support of USC Amnesty International who will be vigiling with orange jumpsuits and posters at the Statehouse. Drop in, wear orange or black in solidarity if possible.


Sign the Amnesty International Petition:

Ten Years is Too Long: End Indefinite Detention and Close Guantanamo




President Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) despite strong concerns over language in the omnibus defense bill that would allow indefinite extrajudicial detention of American citizens based on suspicion alone. Civil libertarians argue this is the slip down a slippery slope to American gulags.  However, that American gulag has already been in operation for the past ten years in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where “war on terror” detainees have been held without trial for ten years as of Jan 11th, 2011.  Indefinite detention without trial is a human rights abuse, whether here or abroad.  President Obama promised to close Guantanamo, but has not followed through.



Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 60

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”


    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

    Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

    Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

    Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

    Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

    (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

    (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

    (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

    (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

    (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

    (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

    (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

    (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

    (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

    (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

    (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

    (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

    (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

    (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

    (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

    (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

    (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

    (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

    (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

    (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

    (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

    (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

    (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

    (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

    (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

SOA Watch Founder Threatened with Excommunication

Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest, Vietnam veteran and founder of SOA Watch, which sponsors the annual Vigil to Close the School of the Americas has been threatened with excommonication from the Roman Catholic Church for his public condemnation and defiance of the Vatican’s refusal to ordain women to the priesthood. Fr. Bourgeois’s response to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican agency that notified him of his impending excommunication, appears in the online edition of National Catholic Reporter .  Excommunication is defined by the Catholic Encyclopedia as "a medicinal, spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation in the common blessings of ecclesiastical society." It is the most severe punishment available to the modern Catholic hierarchy for clergy and laity who openly defy church teaching or law.

Fr. Bourgeois is not the first Catholic priest to fall from grace with the Vatican over his social activism or disagreements with church teaching, but he will, if excommunicated, be subjected to a much more severe punishment than most, in the eyes of believing Catholics. Many Catholic priests and theologians have been silenced: forbidden to teach, write, or speak publicly on matters concerning Catholic doctrine, because of their variance from the Vatican’s official position. Some priests have even been stripped of their faculties, the authority granted by the Catholic church to administer sacraments in all but extreme circumstances. But exommunication is a complete severing of the relationship between the individual and the faith community.

The Catholic Encyclopedia goes on: "[t]he immediate effects of excommunication… are summed up in the two well known verses:

    "Res sacræ, ritus, communio, crypta, potestas,
    "prædia sacra, forum, civilia jura vetantur,

"i.e. loss of the sacraments, public services and prayers of the Church, ecclesiastical burial, jurisdiction, benefices, canonical rights, and social intercourse." Without explicitly stating that unrepentant excommunicants are denied peace and happiness in any supposed afterlife, it is implied in that, "the sentence pronounced on earth is ratified in heaven." Thus, according to Catholic belief, God is bound by the Vatican’s decree that a person, once excommunicated, is no longer one of the Faithful.

I do not contest the right of any pope, bishop, council, or agency of the Roman Catholic Church to say what they like concerning their beliefs. I do, however, object in the strongest terms possible, to their attempt to exploit the superstition of Catholic friends of Fr. Bourgeois, or of Fr. Bourgeois himself (which I doubt is one of his weaknesses), to deny him the ability to exercise his fundamental right of free expressiion fully and effectively. I should hope that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will come to Fr. Bourgeois’s defence and I call on all Catholics who believe their church should be above such bullying to demand no less of their spiritual leaders.

To Fr. Bourgeois, I offer my heartfelt gratitude for your struggle on behalf of all the oppressed. I hope you will take comfort and encouragement from the words of Shakespeare, here amplified:
"This above all: to thine own self be true/ and it must follow, as the night the day,/ thou canst not then be false to any man" or woman, nor excommunicated from any god or goddess. I shall be proud to stand with you at Ft. Benning next week.

Francis Cardinal George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has no published e-mail address. His postal address and telephone number are:

His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Archdiocese of Chicago
P.O. Box 1979
Chicago, IL 60690-1979
Ph: 312-751- 8200

N.B. Fr. Bourgeois is not alone. Members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, S.C. have also been subjected to threats by a priest based on their political activities. Read here .


South Carolina’s Only Statewide Ecumenical Agency Urges Restraint

Columbia, SC – November 10 – South Carolina Christian Action Council today issues call for Moratorium on Immigration Raids in South Carolina.

The human condition is built on justice and mercy. Justice promotes and protects the rights of all people with no stratification of privilege. Mercy acts to provide the requirements of life to those who, because of native ability or circumstance, cannot provide for themselves.

Immigrants and newcomers possess all the rights and corresponding responsibilities recognized by the Church. These do not derive from membership in a state or from immigration status, but from the inherent dignity of every person. Our understanding of scripture assures us that what confers rights is personhood—that we are created in the image of God—not citizenship.1

1.   Immigration raids are targeting workers, typically immigrants, based on racial and ethnic appearance, accent, or limited English skills. This is discrimination and violates both citizens and legally present non-citizen rights.
2.   During raids, U.S. citizen children are separated from their parents—sometimes for days. Children are stranded at day-care centers, schools, or homes of friends or relatives. The long-term impact on these children’s lives is unknown. Many times families may never be reunited.
3.   There is no readily accessible process to find a person in detention. Usually the assistance of an attorney is required.
4.   Raids reduce trust at all levels in law enforcement which results in immigrants fearful in calling police. This is especially true for domestic violence victims and immigrants who witness crimes.
5.   Immigration raids DO NOT solve the problem of undocumented immigration. Only comprehensive federal reform can do this.

Therefore, the South Carolina Christian Action Council Board of Directors calls upon:

·        The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to declare a moratorium on immigration raids in the State of South Carolina, until our nation implements a comprehensive and just reform of our immigration laws.

·        The faith communities of South Carolina to engage in educational and other activities that will inform and inspire more concern and love of all persons.

·        All persons to move beyond attitudes of fear, jealousy, distrust, and hate to restore an atmosphere of mutual concern towards all.

Adopted: SCCAC Board of Directors
November 7, 2008

About the South Carolina Christian Action Council: Living and working together as the Body of Christ, SC’s only statewide ecumenical agency, the South Carolina Christian Action Council is a partnership of 16 Denominations represented in 21 Regional Judicatories. Approximately 4,300 congregations are related to the Council with a total membership of nearly 1.1 million South Carolinians. The Council’s mission includes work for justice.