Friday January 19, 2018
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Radicals call for 24 hour ‘public curfew’ in Manipur

Despite the sudden closure of schools, several girl students had turned up and they were locked in a face-off with the policewomen.

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Protesters vs Security forces, (representational Image) Wikimedia
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  • Notably, the schools and colleges are already closed for two days following a government order in view of anti-migrant agitations
  • On the other hand, for nearly a week women activists have been intercepting all Manipur-bound passenger buses to off-load migrant workers who come to the state without proper documents
  • However, the police have refused to file cases against them, contending that the migrants are all Indians

Protesting the police high-handedness, the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) has imposed a 24-hour public curfew in Manipur from Friday midnight.

Essential services and students have been exempted. Notably, the schools and colleges are already closed for two days following a government order in view of anti-migrant agitations.

BK Moirangcha (centre) leader of JCILPS. Image Source: www.thesangaiexpress.com
BK Moirangcha (centre) leader of JCILPS. Image Source: www.thesangaiexpress.com

B.K. Moirangcha, convener of the JCILPS, said, “After obtaining permission from the authorities, preparations were being made for a meeting to discuss the burning issues, including Khomdram Ratan, a former convener, being declared as absconder. However, a fresh order was issued banning the public meeting.”

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Despite the sudden closure of schools, several girl students had turned up and they were locked in a face-off with the policewomen.

Meanwhile, Justice N. Koteswor and Justgice Kh. Nobin of the Manipur High Court on Friday ruled that the plea of Ratan to review the government order declaring him absconder is “maintainable”.

24 hour public curfew in Manipur. Image Source: www.thestatesman.com
24 hour public curfew in Manipur. Image Source: www.thestatesman.com

On the other hand, for nearly a week women activists have been intercepting all Manipur-bound passenger buses to off-load migrant workers who come to the state without proper documents. So far, nearly 700 migrant workers have been handed over to authorities.

However, the police have refused to file cases against them, contending that the migrants are all Indians. On Friday, 71 migrant workers were caught without identity papers.

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State Home Minister Gaikhangam said, “Many persons are agitating against the migrants in public while privately they are letting out rooms in their homes.”

State Home Minister Gaikhangam. Image Source: www.nelive.in
State Home Minister Gaikhangam. Image Source: www.nelive.in

Hundreds of women are also launching sit-in protests in many parts of the valley districts against migrants. (IANS)

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Top Hollywood women unveiled a sexual harassment initiative

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Top Hollywood women unveiled a sexual harassment initiative
A combination photo shows some of the actresses who have made allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein. Listed in alphabetical order, top row from left, Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, Jessica Barth, Cara Delevingne, Romola Garai, Judith Godreche, Heather Graham, Angelina Jolie. VOA

USA, Jan 1, 2018: More than 300 top women in Hollywood — from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Thompson and Cate Blanchett — unveiled an initiative Monday to tackle pervasive sexual harassment in workplaces, calling special attention to their “sisters” in less than glamorous blue-collar jobs.

The initiative, dubbed Time’s Up, caps a year in which the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal touched off a deluge of allegations that brought down powerful men in entertainment, politics and the media, prompting companies, government agencies and even the U.S. federal court system to re-examine harassment policies.

But in an open letter printed in The New York Times, the new initiative lends the star power of its A-list members to the cause of women in less prominent fields, urging support and respect for farm workers and others whose humble positions leave them vulnerable and voiceless.

“We fervently urge the media covering the disclosures by people in Hollywood to spend equal time on the myriad experiences of individuals working in less glamorized and valorized trades,” the group says in its full-page ad.

“To every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss, every housekeeper who has tried to escape an assaultive guest, every janitor trapped nightly in a building with a predatory supervisor, every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile … we stand with you. We support you.”

$15 million goal

Last month, the head of Ford Motor Company apologized to employees at two factories in Chicago and promised changes, after a scathing expose by the Timesdetailed pervasive harassment and mistreatment of women at the plants dating back to the 1990s. It was one of the first major media investigations into sexual harassment in blue-collar workplaces.

Among the specific steps it announced, Time’s Up has established a legal defense fund that, in just 12 days, has raised $13.4 million toward a $15 million goal aimed at providing legal aid for women and men who were sexually harassed, assaulted or abused in the workplace.

It has vowed to push for legislation to strengthen laws on workplace harassment and discrimination.

The group insists that more women must be brought into positions of power and leadership, while every woman should have equal benefits, opportunities, pay and representation.

As for Hollywood, it wants “swift and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone.”

And it called on women to wear black at Sunday’s Golden Globes as a statement against gender and racial inequality, and to raise awareness about the group’s efforts.

‘Dear Sisters’ 

The open letter in the Times, which also appears in the Spanish-language La Opinion, opens with the words “Dear Sisters” in large, bold type, and closes with the words “in solidarity,” followed by the names of the 300 women.

Several of Weinstein’s accusers signed the open letter. They include Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale, as well as Salma Hayek, whose lengthy account of mistreatment by Weinstein — “my monster,” she called him — was widely circulated on social media after appearing last month in The New York Times.

Weinstein has denied some of the allegations, including Hayek’s assertion that he pressured her to do a nude sex scene in one movie.

Other prominent women lending their names to the Time’s Up cause are actresses Natalie Portman, America Ferrera, Amy Schumer, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Susan Sarandon, Uma Thurman and Viola Davis; producer Shonda Rhimes; Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley; feminist activist Gloria Steinem; lawyer and ex-Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen and Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel. (VOA)