Sisters of the Yam

Although most of the issues brought to light here pertain to Africa(ns), this is a blog about culture and world issues.
Hopefully you see some interesting stuff and learn a thing or two.

Tornadoisland is my personal blog. It's not too serious

From a fandom and wondering what this politics blog is doing following you?
This is the reason why


My friend John and I recently decided that we wanted to start writing to our politicians to get them to see that we, as Canadians, do not condone Prime Minister Harper’s recent comments regarding Gaza. As Linda McQuaig put it:

"Certain minimal standards are expected of a national leader in what is known as the ‘civilized world’.

One of those standards would seem to be that, when massive numbers of defenceless civilians are being killed, a national leader should call for the killing to stop.

Questions about responsibility, blame, punishment, repercussions, etc., can always follow. But surely the first order of business — the one with moral urgency — is to halt the killing of innocent people.

So it’s quite extraordinary, as well as appalling, that our prime minister has steadfastly declined to join other world leaders in calling for a halt to Israel’s bombing of Gaza, which has killed more than 200 people and left more than 1,500 injured.”

If we ALL send our local representatives an email outlining the reality of the genocide that is ongoing in Palestine right now and if we collectively condemn Harper’s ignorant remarks about the people of Palestine, maybe we can spark some change. Even if it’s tiny.

I feel like we have a responsibility to speak up and I know some of you might feel unsure about this but please, re consider the situation from the perspective of the millions of civilians in Gaza. They are being killed and targeted on the daily by Israeli missiles. Their story is being diluted and mis-represented, their voices are being silenced and invalidated, they have no support. The international community is not only siding with Israel’s right to “defend itself (by killing hundreds and then cheering on from hill tops), but some people have also cut off borders so the Palestinians have nowhere to go either. We have to do something, anything.

Talking to our members of parliament might be a good start.

So here’s what to do:

1. Find your member of Parliament here:

It’s the middle column where it says “House of Commons”
You have to enter your postal code so for example, my local rep would be Rob Moore. Once you find your rep, take note of their email address AND their constituency office address.

2. Pick either template 1 or template 2 and email your rep.

3. Pick the template you didn’t pick and send this template by mail to your rep.

It will only take a few minutes and will definitely help in getting our politicians aware of the fact that we, the people, care about this issue and want to start an appropriate dialogue about it. GET SENDING GUYS AND THANK YOU! SPREAD THIS LIKE WILD FIRE! 

(via standwithpalestine)


This man is the only surviving Xylophone Maker in his village. He said getting the best wood that gives the best sound is becoming harder since most of the trees are gone and he’s getting too old to roam through forests looking for some. Photo by Nana Kofi Acquah @africashowboy (Copyright: 2014). #UpperWest #Ghana #Africa


Illegal Gold Miner. Tarkwa, Ghana.

I walked up to this guy and asked him if he lifts weights. He laughed so hard and said no.

Photo by Nana Kofi Acquah @africashowboy (Copyright: 2014).

(via aniomapikin)


Great Concern As Parents of Missing #Chibok Schoolgirls Tragically Pass Away.

This headline is so shocking and heartbreaking it’s almost unbelievable. 11 parents of the missing Chibok schoolgirls have died or have been killed in the three months since their abduction.

According to a report by AP, seven of the girls’ fathers were among over 50 bodies that were brought to a hospital in the area after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari this month. Four more parents are said to have died from heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses many blame on the trauma sustained from this incident.

Speaking out on this issue, community leader Pogo Bitrus has said, “one father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him.”

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been heavily criticized for his slow response and the ineffective manner in which he has been handling both this situation and the greater Boko Haram threat, met with some of the victim’s parents and their classmates on Tuesday where he promised to continue efforts to bring back the girls alive.

Meanwhile, the town of Chibok seems to be in more and more danger as Boko Haram continue to gain ground in the surrounding area. Over the weekend, the terrorist group launched several raids in northeastern Nigerian towns and villages where they also attacked an army base in the strategic town of Damboa. This particular attack saw as many as 15, 000 civilians fleeing the area as a result.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | PinterestSoundcloud | Mixcloud

(via womanistgamergirl)



France’s Socialist government provoked outrage today by becoming the first in the world to ban protests against Israeli action in Palestine.

In what is viewed as an outrageous attack on democracy, Socialist Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said mass demonstrations planned for the weekend should be halted.

Mr Cazeneuve said there was a ‘threat to public order’, while opponents said he was ‘criminalising’ popular support of the Palestinian people.

Read more


Unh unh now

My country fuckin up



Anas Qandeel, 17 years old Palestinian from Gaza wrote on his Facebook two days ago,”I can not sleep, when are you going to attack my home”. Today, he was killed by an Israeli airstrike. Rest In Peace, Anas.


Free Palestine. Rest in power, Anas.

Rally Against Israeli Brutality - Ottawa, Ontario

Nonviolence is an inherently privileged position in the modern context. Besides the fact that the typical pacifist is quite clearly white and middle class, pacifism as an ideology comes from a privileged context. It ignores that violence is already here; that violence is an unavoidable, structurally integral part of the current social hierarchy; and that it is people of color who are most affected by that violence. Pacifism assumes that white people who grew up in the suburbs with all their basic needs met can counsel oppressed people, many of whom are people of color, to suffer patiently under an inconceivably greater violence, until such time as the Great White Father is swayed by the movement’s demands or pacifists achieve that legendary “critical mass.”
Peter Gelderlos, Why Nonviolence Protects the State- Nonviolence is Racist (via fuckyeahradicalquotes)

Whoa, never thought of it that way. (via fuckyeahfeminists)

(via daintyfuck)






Such an inhumane act, this is disgusting. Mohammed Abu Khdeir, may your soul rest in peace.

holding his smile in my heart. you deserved more than this life gave you mijo 

Rest in Power Abu Khdeir

You didn’t deserve this.

Things the US supports

The murder of children

"but Israel isn’t a terrorist country"

(via thebluelip-blondie)


Jonglei, South Sudan

Kazuyoshi Nomachi

(via hopunk)


South African mine workers enter 5th month on strike
June 9, 2014

Seventy-five thousand platinum mine workers have entered their 21st week of strike action – the longest in South Africa since 1994. They are demanding a wage of US$1,250 per month. The mine bosses are offering $750.


In August 2012, mine workers employed at the Lonmin owned Marikana mine went on a wildcat strike. Neither the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) nor the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), the two largest unions, organised or agreed to the strike. It was organised by the rank and file membership.

While the leaders of both unions called on workers to end the strike, it was the leadership of AMCU that was much more sympathetic to the strikers. (It was this that led to most NUM members leaving to join the AMCU, the union that is leading the current strike.)

Realising that the wildcat strike showed no signs of a quick ending, the police, with help from mine security, opened fire on unarmed strikers. Thirty-four of them were killed.

After 4 weeks they won a small increase. Lonmin management agreed to raise the wages to $1,250 at a later date but subsequently reneged on the agreement.

After waiting 16 months for the promised wages, workers went on a union-backed strike in January this year. After three months, hungry and desperate mine-workers began arguing. Six hundred of them temporarily broke their strike and began working. It was this that galvanised comrades in the Democratic Left Front (DLF) into solidarity action.

We sent out appeals to a broad section of those likely to assist, including churches, mosques, non-governmental organisations, trade unions and universities. The response that we got was heart warming. Monetary and food collections came in as churches and mosques made appeals during their prayer sessions.

The Tide Turns

On 12 May, the mine bosses issued an ultimatum to the striking workers: return to work in 48 hours or get laid-off. Two days later, thousands of striking workers turned up and told the owners that they were not going back to work. By then workers had realised how much profit they make for the owners.

The corporate media, which had largely been ignoring the strike, now began reporting it – and in an almost sympathetic way. When a major relief organisation began sending supplies and doctors to assist striking workers and their families, many began sympathising with the strike.

Three mineworkers are currently on a tour of parts of the country. The tour is being organised by the Marikana Solidarity Campaign (MSC), of which the DLF is part. Hundreds have been coming to the miners speaking meetings. These actions have given the striking workers hope and strengthened their resolve to continue with the strike. As a mine-worker put it:

“If anyone says that workers are suffering – it’s not only about workers because there are billions, which means the whole nation is suffering. This matter is a matter of public interest. It does not concern the workers in mining alone.”

Another reason for the sympathy with the strike is that South Africa is the most unequal society in the world. In the mining industry, CEOs “earn” between 200 and 300 times what a mineworker is paid. This is a reflection of the income differentials in South Africa. The CEO of the largest retail chain, Shoprite, “earns” 725 times what a retail worker is paid!

This is the legacy of the so-called “rainbow nation”. It is because of the neoliberal policies of the ANC government. Labour laws have been “relaxed”, resulting in casualisation and attacks on workers’ wages. In 1993, wages accounted for almost half of the costs in mining. Today they account for a third. In the same period the profits of the mining companies have risen a staggering 300 percent.

Full article

(via disciplesofmalcolm)

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.

Samuel P. Huntington, cited on the ‘Where is Raed?’ website, a day-to-day journal of everyday life in Baghdad under bombardment.

Extract in Robert J. C. Young, Postcolonialism, A Very Short Introduction (UK: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 32.

(via literature-and-cats)

(via disciplesofmalcolm)

After spending three years in the Bronx, documenting the life of street addicts, and after countless frustrations – seeing friends relapse, friends beat-up, friends harassed by the police, friends thrown in jail for long stretches for minor offenses, and a friend die – I finally felt that I had done something unquestionably good.

Still, whenever my path detours into kittens, I get an uneasy feeling that helping animals can be a distraction from helping people.

In my time documenting the homeless, I run across stray cats and dogs regularly and, when I write about them or photograph them, I immediately get a flood of responses – one that almost always surpasses my stories and pictures of people.

I do get amazing offers to help people, including donations for blankets, books, socks, clothes and even just money, all of which is appreciated and all of which comes from a very good place. But I just get more interest, both in money and offers to help, when the subject is an animal.

Especially cats.

Why? Because helping animals is ethically easy, and because helping people – especially addicts – is complex and often filled with judgment.

It’s not just that people ask the question, “What if they use the money for drugs?”: it’s the unspoken subtext when people think (and say), “The kittens didn’t do anything wrong. They don’t deserve their plight – they are innocent.”

Implicit in that sentiment is that a homeless addict is not “innocent”, but an agent of his or her own mistakes. It feeds into the stereotype that all addicts are lazy, that they are all weak and that they all lack willpower. It plays into our belief as a society that their fates – addicted to drugs and living under a bridge, for instance – are somehow all their fault.

That narrative is appealing because it allows us to abdicate our collective responsibility for a society – and an underlying set of public policies – that accepts and even ensures that a portion of our society will live on the streets, that some of us will be addicted to drugs, and that some of us will just have to deal with grinding poverty – and the traumas that often follow from it.

It is uncomfortable for many people to contemplate that perhaps homeless addicts are just as smart and just as ethical as anyone else. It requires us to come to realize that maybe “success” (as society defines it) has to do with luck, with being born in the right place and at the right time, and with being subject to laws and law enforcement that are designed to help instead of hurt you.


Traditional Ghanian Wedding

#Ghana #Ashanti #Wedding

(via thebluelip-blondie)

White men make up approximately 36% of the population, but commit 75% of mass shootings. What would be called terrorism by any other skin tone is suddenly some mysterious unnamed disease. We as a society are perfectly happy to further stigmatize mentally ill people, who are far more likely to be victims of violence than commit violence, in the service of protecting white supremacy and male entitlement.