Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Thanks for everything, your emails and comments of support are well appreciated.
Friday, July 17, 2009
This censorship was a challenge for me, as hundreds of videos I worked for almost two years were deleted, without previous notice. However, I saved most of them and will re post them in my new video channel.
In the meantime, I thought about leaving Google all together, since they now own Youtube. However I will only move my blog Carlos in DC which now will become Double Spirited.
Thanks for the few of you who followed this blog for over a year. Please come with me to my new adventure. Do you want to find out why the name? Here is a video where I explain everything...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Where are the U.S. "Hispanic Latino" Congress members standing in Honduras? Their silencio says a lot
Why should the U.S. say something about the coup in Honduras? Well, for once the small Central American country was created by American gangsters and its economy is basically 70% dependent in the U.S. economy, exports, imports, rules and military assistance (money, money) and many say that the CIA was behind the coup.
This is what LAWG says:
The situation in Honduras has only escalated since last week. Civilians in the streets of Tegucigalpa and throughout the country side continue to face brutal repression by military officials. Civil liberties remain gravely affected, including freedom of the press. We need you to contact your elected officials, and urge them to send the right message to the coup government currently in Honduras: Coups will not be tolerated.You can use this LAGW here to contact the U.S. Congress.
Join us today in sending this message to your representative:
Reps. Delahunt (D-MA), Serrano (D-NY), and McGovern (D-MA) recently introduced a resolution calling for ousted President Zelaya's return to office. The Delahunt-Serrano-McGovern Resolution supporting democracy in Honduras has now been introduced as House Resolution 630. So far, it has 15 members of Congress supporting it as co-sponsors, but it will take a lot more than that to move it through.
The current co-sponsors of HRes 630, the resolution condemning the June 28, 2009, coup d'etat in Honduras are: *William Delahunt (D-MA) Primary Sponsor
*Jose Serrano (D-NY) Primary Sponsor
*James McGovern (D-MA) Primary Sponsor
*Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
*John Conyers (D-MI)
*Sam Farr (D-CA)
*Bob Filner (D-CA)
*Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
*Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
*Barbara Lee (D-CA)
*Edward Markey (D-MA)
*Eric Massa (D-NY)
*James Oberstar (D-MN)
*Bobby Rush (D-IL)
*Janice Schakowsky (D-IL)
Have you called your congressional representative yet? If you haven't, we need your voice!
Meanwhile, I wonder why the rest of the so-called "Hispanic-Latino" Congress members are silent about Honduras? Only Raul Grijalva and Jose Serrano have co-sponsored this resolution, God bless their souls.
Why the silence?
Democracy in the Americas is crucial for all peoples of the American continent who are now living in the U.S. If the coup is not ended, we could see more violence in Honduras, and that would mean more wars, undocumented imigration , poverty and all that could spread across the region. This should be a first priority for those who pretend to represent us in the U.S.
This is another reason why I usually don't trust those Hispanics leaders. They talk a lot but they do so little, and some of them sometimes act like true fascists and right-wing dictators they don't care about real issues that affect most of the Indigenous and Afro descendant peoples.
This was shared by a Press contact of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a group of 24 Congress members who identify themselves as part of such community:
July 7, 2009
CHC Statement on Coup in Honduras
(Washington, DC) - The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) released the following joint statement in response to the current situation in Honduras:
"The Congressional Hispanic Caucus calls on Roberto Micheletti and those responsible for the removal of President Zelaya to respect the rule of law and restore the constitutional order. While there may be honest differences of opinion on how to govern, the constitution of Honduras must not be disregarded. We fully support the efforts made by the Organization of American States, and we encourage our government to take the necessary diplomatic steps to ensure a peaceful restoration of the democratically elected government in Honduras."
This statement however doesn't represent individual point of views nor is an official resolution. It doesn't show what Cuban American legislators feel about this for instance -most likely they favor Michellini. What it matters politically is if the U.S. Congress approves a legislative resolution where each Congress member stamps their personal signature. So far, only 2 "Hispanic" legislators have done it and the rest are silent. Unbelievable.
Update: my article published by GroupReport:Censorship in Youtube: if you think independent media is possible please read this
I am a video blogger. Last Wednesday July15 morning, as I started my daily task of blogging while at work –a great benefit I get by working with progressive people- I decided to upload a video that I prepared the previous night, but when I tried to open my Youtube channel, a message on my screen crushed me in disbelief: “This account is suspended.”
Blogs, internet videos, independent online radio, instant messaging websites and other online tools for social media have become already essential and necessary ways for people to learn about world news, current topics, and to organize themselves in order to take action on issues that affect all of us directly.
Although the United States ranks15th among industrialized nations in broadband access, and is the only industrialized country without a national high-speed Internet policy –according to the AFL CIO- but during the 2008 presidential elections blogs changed politics and helped the election of Barack Obama. That same phenomenon is seeing in some other countries in the world.
Youtube has become a big part of such change and innovation in mass media communication, and it has been an outstanding and important tool for bloggers around the world to expose crimes, denounce injustice, promote ideas, share knowledge, change the world or just to share a joke, learn how to dance or watch a missed TV show. So I joined Youtube in January 2007 but I wasn’t aware of the exciting journey that awaited me ahead. Since I speak two languages and I write about two countries: United States and Peru, I created two channels. CarlosQC and Peruanista became my personal hubs to show the world what I saw.
My first videos posted in Youtube were made to help local community events in Washington, DC, and to promote Peruvian traditions among the Peruvian American community in this city. However, I started making videos where I spoke my mind on current issues, arts, politics and topics especially related to social justice in Peru, immigrants’ rights in the U.S. and human rights in Latin America. I am passionate about fighting against racism, discrimination, injustice and human exploitation everywhere. I am a believer, you can say that.
Hundreds of hours were spent to film, edit and publish hundreds of videos, and all of them were made by me alone and without any kind of support, with some exceptions where friends pitched in. This tow-year process required a lot of effort and sacrifice, as I spent my time and money without any kind of financial support. I did this without breaking the law even when I used music and photos from few artists, there were always notified previously or after. However I only received one formal complain: the embassy of Peru in Washington, DC, about a video on free trade policies.
Because of my blogs I met and interviewed hundreds of politicians, artists, writers, Congress members, national political figures, community activists, dancers, workers, students, journalists, foreign ministers, actors, bloggers, thinkers, and regular folks who always had something interesting to say. They are people from the U.S., Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Belgium, Congo, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Spain, Japan, Puerto Rico, Canada.
I am not completely sure exactly how many videos I produced –perhaps 200 or more- and many of them became very popular, especially among people who are also into media and politics. An average of 5,000 people watched each of my videos, some got over 40,000 hits and others just as low as 500 views. I was glad to see that they were making an impact, especially when I posted dozens of videos related to a tragic massacre in Peru.
Last June 5, a horrendous crime was committed by the current government of Peru when it sent police forces to the Bagua region and attacked a pacific protest of Amazonian Indigenous peoples who opposed its economic policies. Hundreds of people were killed, including civilians and policemen.
Since 2007 I wrote in my blog Peruanista about the possibility of these violent attacks, as the government of Peru signed free trade agreements that allow for multinational corporations to extract natural resources in protected areas of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon regions. The Bagua genocide is directly related to the U.S.-Peru FTA, and my videos helped to inform about a tragedy that most media in Peru and the U.S. initially ignored. Over 25 protests were organized worldwide in front of Peruvian embassies, and online websites posted news about this. Eventually the Peruvian government had to revoke free trade decrees and stop violence against Native peoples.
Because of my work as a video blogger and writer I feel that I am making a difference. I have been invited to a private panel on citizen media and the Obama administration, also to a couple of national bloggers conferences in the United States, and my work was praised by non-profit organizations and newspapers both in the U.S. and Peru. My videos have been used as a reference by TV stations and newspapers, international forums like the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, also by official websites of politicians, organizations, community groups, activists and online newspapers in the U.S., Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Spain and El Salvador.
All of this work has been deleted by Youtube, without previous notice, nothing. It took two days for Youtube to respond to my complaining emails:
from Copyright Service to email@example.com
date Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 1:39 PM
The YouTube Team
That’s it. Sounds to me like “Sorry Carlos, your videos are nothing, we owe your work, we rule and you obey, sincerely.”
Why would Youtube do something like this? Since Google corporation bought Youtube in 2006, things have changed in that website. Many think is not always for the best. I like the technology improvements but I dislike the for-profit attitude it got, including the manipulation of hits per videos and how they promote certain videos and almost hide others.
What used to be a powerful independent website is now a window for corporate and government advertising, and little by little, they are becoming almost like a regulated traditional media. During the 2008 U.S. presidential elections and important events alike, Youtube opened special channels for political bloggers to submit their videos. Then Time Warner Inc. launched iReport, a webpage dedicated to citizen journalism where people can send videos, pictures and stories through its CNN news site. MSNBC and Fox have copied the idea somehow and many more are following the example. President Obama has a Youtube channel where the White House posts videos of his speeches, also.
But during the Bagua massacre in Peru - which again involved the U.S.-Peru free trade agreement with president Obama defended as a candidate- Youtube looked the other way around. Who cares you might think, but we are talking about the people who live in the Amazon forest, the last lungs of the planet and where Indigenous peoples still live with their own traditions, respecting our environment.
Somehow my videos helped to create awareness about such a horrendous crime taking place in Peru. A Facebook group with over 6,000 people was born and hundreds of email messages of support arrived to my inbox. Youtube not only ignored the protests in Peru that many in the world watched online, but now it has deleted those videos.
A week after the current Peru crisis exploded, Youtube created the channel CitizenTube dedicated almost exclusively to the Iran elections riots. They pretend to care about democracy and freedom, as long as they are for people who follow the U.S. government rule. That explains why Youtube ignores many other world humanitarian crises like the current genocides and the struggles of the displaced peoples in Congo, Sudan, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, China, Colombia, Nigeria, Yemen, Haiti, Chechnya, India, Peru and places in the world where democracy is almost non existent and where human rights are dangerous things to demand.
In the name of freedom of speech, Youtube allows hateful groups like neo Nazis, anti immigrant Minutemen, racist KKK and alike, to post disgusting videos with violent messages. Apparently there are not enough complains against those. At the same time Youtube has created channels like Youtube Reporters’ Center, All for Good, Youtube Volunteers, where regular citizens can post videos –so they say. Also Youtube has become more like the official online video site for the U.S. government with special channels for the White House and the U.S. Congress who get special treatment and features that regular members never get, like longer than 10 minutes videos, for instance.
After my videos were deleted by Youtube, I have received hate email messages and comments from people celebrating such censorship. “We did it, you big mouth faggot won’t spread lies anymore” they say while accusing me of being a terrorist because I care about human rights, they call me a communist because I believe in human equality, they call me a dirty faggot because I post videos about gay marriage and LGBT rights, they call me a nigger and a cholo –racist insult for Indigenous peoples- because I promote the end of racism. They say I’m a wetback cockroach because I care about immigration reform in the U.S. Some even made fun of the killing of my father in Peru, adding that they are watching me everywhere and will do anything to stop me again. My cellular phone service was cut for one day mysteriously and at this point I think anything can happen to me. I am aware but not afraid.
Who is behind the censorship complains sent to Youtube? I don’t know for sure but I am aware of some groups of people who dislike my work very much. I can mention racist people in the U.S. and Peru, like the Minutemen, the racist media in Lima, anti Indigenous groups including the government of Peru, right-wing politicians in Peru and other countries like Colombia, Venezuela and the U.S. because I posted videos supporting leftist governments and social movements in those countries. Also there are some eccentric Youtube members who even have created hateful videos against me.
I am not just a video blogger, also I am an artist and an activist. I do paintings for a living among other things like blogging and creating videos that can help people in some way, That is me, truly, and to me, each video is a personal creation. I don’t upload videos before making sure they have a message and substance. I wish not to compare my work with other disgusting videos that you allow in your website just because they pay for the service –and according to many you give them more views hits in return.
Today I just want to testify and make it clear that each of my videos was made without intention of breaking any laws, or to infringe the rights of anyone. Youtube has made a mistake deleting my videos. They are part of me, my creation, my life in some way. You have taken away part of me, literally. I feel robbed.
You also have cut important friendships and alliances I had developed with hundreds of subscribers from all over the world, and you deleted important messages and comments they sent me and posted in my videos, with personal testimonies on their sufferings, their struggles, their hopes. All of that is gone for the moment, but I am fighting to get them back.
Please give me the chance to keep the videos I created with my own work and effort. I have created a temporary channel called PeruanistaBlog and I am creating a Facebook page for supporters. I hope you reconsider and correct your mistake, let me know and help me believe again that independent media is possible under your watch.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Favianna and Taller Tupac Amaru need to register the patent for this great idea before Chipotle or any other California Texas Mexican fast food chain gets it!"The Great Tortilla Conspiracy (Rene Yanez, Rio Yanez, Jos) in action at the Taller Tupac Amaru Art Collective's (Jesus Barraza, Melanie Cervantes, Favianna Rodriguez) bi-annual open studio event, INK & PAPER. The Conspirators have applied the screen-printing technique to their special Quesadilla Suprema emblazoned with Favi's rendering of (future) Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor."
And for those of you who don't know yet Favianna Rodriguez is also the creator of the famous Sotomayor poster that is circulating all over the internet.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The worst thing about this movie is that it makes gay people look really bad, as if we all are sex addicts and dildo-obsessed drag queens, with a thirst for money and fame so extreme that we would do anything to get them. To be that way, one doesn't need to be gay.
And of course the film is racist as it can be. Mexican men are used as chairs and furniture, and a Black kid is used as a toy, an Asian gay man is portrayed as a submissive sex slave. Darn.
What a disappointment to see singers Bono, Sting and Elton John (what the fuck) appear at the end singing a retarded song along Bruno and Snoopy Dog, who to me represents the worst stereotype of a Black man: dumb, sexist, addicted, and an asshole.
The movie starts showing Bruno as the comical acting guy who represents all what homophobes think of a white gay man: queeny, slutty, fashion obsessed and extremely mannered. Ok. for 10 minutes it kind of looked funny and it reminded me of Youtube star Chris Crocker -perhaps the inspiration for Sacha Baron Cohen?
The room wasn't as full as I thought, in a nice summer Sunday that is what I expected at the Georgetown movie theater. The people that laughed the most behind my seat were mostly white men who I guess were homophobes in some way. You have to be.
The film script is very basic and predictable: the foreign guy -a gay guy in this case- coming to America trying to become famous and rich. The most ridiculous adventures follow, with lots of dildos, penises and bare asses being showed - to the point that it made me wanted to throw up the chocolate-covered raisins I had just eaten.
Do not waste your money and your time. If you like this film, you are either a really ignorant person with a bad taste, a gay man with really low self esteem, a racist individual who think is Ok. to make fun of Mexican immigrants -they refer to that nationality at least 3 times- or a homophobic person who think gay men are only about getting anything in our butt holes, the bigger the better.
As a gay man I am really offended by this movie, and as a person against racism I think this film should be condemned by everyone who knows the disgraces that racism -even in a form of a bad joke- can cause. Anyone with sense of the power that media has over people should denounce this type of films. This went really wrong.
Update in response of emails I received
Those of us are somewhat familiar with the images shown in this movie -being gay has exposed me to see them in real life for better or worse- we may be able to digest some of what this film shows, hardly.
What I am mostly concerned about is what straight people think of us afterward. Especially kids who see this film and will take it as the only reference they will ever get about gay life, especially white males - even if this is meant to be a joke. The reactions I heard last night for instance where devastating: 'gay people are nasty'... and alike.
Personally I think that being a LGBT person is not just about sex, let alone sex addiction or dildo/dick obsession. Some say this movie tries to fight homophobia but hello? It is actually reinforcing a really bad stereotype about white gay men - which at the end of the day affects all gays anyways.
Those who don't know anything about gay people might take this joke as something more serious. We gay men are supposed to be a joke? ha, ha not funny to me.
Meanwhile Sacha Baron Cohen and the people behind this movie are savoring bigger bank accounts. Do they care about anything else? I don't think so.
Where does our humanity go? How can you celebrate seeing Indigenous immigrants being used as chairs, while thousands of families are being incarcerated by the U.S. government because they can't access work documents.
Who thinks is Ok. to use a Black child as the baby trophy of a white gay couple, in times when most African American boys grow without fathers, because 1 of 4 Black men in the U.S. are incarcerated at some point of their lives? Is this film a mockery of a Jewish comedian towards the disgrace of others?
Think about the consequences when this film goes to other countries where people REALLY follow the patterns set by movies -I come from one of those- and where the line between comedy and reality is really hard to define. This is worrisome, not funny.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thank you Cynthia McKinney!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Last evening I had the honor of meeting activist and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who is in Washington, DC, after being deported by the Israel government who detained her for seven days, along with 21 other activists from 11 countries who were trying to deliver humanitarian donations to the children of Gaza, in Palestine.
Photo Carlos A. Quiroz
McKinney gave a brief report on her whereabouts during this second expedition that was organized to protest the humanitarian crisis in Palestine, where Israel is killing and expelling Palestinian civilians, with the support of the U.S. government. McKinney's expedition was organized by Viva Palestina and had a departure from Cyprus and she said her trip was known by the U.S. government before it even started.
Cynthia McKinney is from Atlanta, Georgia, and her family is being involved in African American politics and the civil rights movement for generations. Cynthia McKinley was a presidential candidate for the Green Party in the 2008 elections; she has been a member of the U.S. Congress for 12 years with the Democratic Party, and she is known for her strong opposition against the funding of Israel military machine by the U.S. government, and she denounced that the Bush administration knew in advance about the September 11 attacks.
McKinney has fought for the impeachment of Bush, Cheney and Rice before she was defeated with the support of the “Zionist lobby” as she mentioned last night. In 2006 she was racially harassed by a Capitol police officer who tried to prevent her from entering the building. Also she has asked for investigations on the hurricane Katrina response, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and Tupac Shakur, the involvement of the U.S. government in the Congo war and also she has showed solidarity with leftist governments in Latin America as well.
During yesterday's presentation of McKinney, several attendants praised her for the courage and example she is leading for many. She spoke about her feelings on Israel, the Obama administration foreign policy, the Democratic party current leadership, the struggle of Black people in the U.S. and future plans in her political career.
She said that many Americans are afraid to speak out just because they fear losing their jobs and getting one less zero in their paychecks. A friend of mine in DC stated to me later that MOST African Americans like McKinney but they are afraid of speaking out.
I recorded a video of McKinney’s presentation, which I will post later in this blog. Meanwhile here is a video made by the Council of American-Islamic Relations on McKinney’s return to the U.S. at Washington, DC's National Airport two days ago:
On June 16 and eleven days after the June 5 horrendous attacks of the Peruvian government against the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon forest in Bagua, I interviewed one of the two Belgian Flemish volunteers and photographers who showed the shocking images of the attacks and were seeing worldwide.
Thomas Quirynen and Marijke Deleu are volunteers of CATAPA, a Flemish organisation supporting local communities affected by mining in Peru, Bolivia and Guatemala. Last weekend Survival International released this exclusive interview with both of them:
As an Indigenous man from Peru, I am deeply saddened by the injustice and violence my people are facing. I am also very disappointed after volunteering for the Obama presidential campaign in 2008.
So I am asking you to please to share this video with your contacts, and to contact and ask the Obama administration and secretary Hillary Clinton to take a stand for justice and human rights in Peru, and to help protect the Amazon forest from oil, mining and logging.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Exclusive VIDEO and PHOTOS of Chuck Brown's concert at BBQ Battle Safeway Festival 2009 in downtown DC
Good music, the true culture of Washington, DC.
Check out Chuck Brown's website here
Chuck Brown's Facebook, MySpace and Imeen
Friday, July 3, 2009
VIDEOS of the Puerto Rican Day Parade 2009 in Chicago: or Why PRicans are so proud of being PRicans?
For many people, especially us people from Latin America, is hard to understand such a big pride that PRicans show everywhere. Ok. we know, you love your country a lot and that is beautiful -and perhaps the reason why such a small island with 3 million people (and other 3 million in the U.S. mainland) is so famous all around the world.
But is PR really a country? For many it's a colony, an American invaded island that provides with U.S. citizenship to its population but a second class citizenship never the less: PRicans can't vote for U.S. president, at least not yet. So what is this pride all about then? Is it perhaps a desire to be free but a consciousness of the advantage that being part of the U.S. gives them? Listen to what PRicans have to say anyways:
What about stereotypes? Since I was pleased to hear these answers about their pride, I went on and started asking about what people think -stereotypes- about PRicans, told by PRicans and others. This is what they said:
Now if you want to know why I ask these type of questions to people... I am not sure. But I know I enjoy talking to people, getting to know their ideas, perceptions, ways of life and how others look at the world. I think this brief experience was fascinating. Gotta love them PRicans, not only cool people but sexy and friendly too!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Blogging live from OAS: president Zelaya gets unanimous support but won't travel to Honduras yet - OAS gives Micheletti 3 days deadline or expulsion
President Zelaya said he won't travel to Honduras until after the 72 hours deadline that the OAS decided tonight for the government of Ricardo Micheletti to leave power.
Zelaya will travel to Panama to attend the possession of the new president this weekend, where has been invited officially as the president of Honduras.
This evening all foreign ministers of the 34 countries member of the OAS issued a resolution rejecting the coup in Honduras, stressing that they will "never" recognize Micheletti as president of Honduras, and demanding that power must be returned to Zelaya.
The OAS resolution comdemns the coup d'etat against Manuel Zelaya, his detention and expulsion. It reaffirms that Zelaya is the constitutional president of Honduras and demands the return of his functions. Also it declares that only representatives designated by Zelaya represent Honduras at the OAS, which will take diplomatic initiatives to restore democracy in Honduras.
The meeting which lasted over 12 hours, ended with a heartfelt speech of gratitude from Zelaya, who described how he was expelled from his home in Tegucigalpa, as he was gun pointed by soldiers from his own country. He mentioned that he can't communicate with his children yet, who are assailed in various foreign embassies in Honduras.
Zelaya said that history will "judge" the brave defense that the OAS has taken on behalf of the rights and the lives of the people of Honduras, he said that as a Christian man he is asking the Honduran people to pursuit a peaceful and nonviolent resistance. Zelaya strongly denied having links to drug trafficking charges posted today by the de facto government in Honduras.
The secretary general of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza from Chile, showed his strong support to president Zelaya at all times, and along with the representative of Argentina, gave a speech in support of democracy and the civil rights of the Honduran people. He called for another special session on July 6, 2009.
The OAS joint statement of support for Zelaya was unanimous. Around 4:30 in the morning the press conference has just finished, and the Honduran president said that he is "not afraid to get killed" and that he will return to Honduras sooner or later.
I will post some videos of the events tonight at the OAS, once I get home. I was able to interview the foreign minister of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, who strongly condemned "the media coup d'etat" sponsored by what he called the oligarchic sectors of the Americas. Madero criticized the way CNN has provided support to the illegitimate president Roberto Micheletti and said that there are social movements in all the Americas that can't be detained now, and that the OAS has acted expressing the voices of the less powerful people.
That is all for now, what a great experience to be here. Photos and videos coming up in a few hours. Thanks to Monserrat Nicolas from the blog Curvas Politicas for your support!