Below is a joint statement from a collection of U.N. experts on the rights of migrants worldwide. The word "states" refers primarily to nation states.
On a day like today, we unite our voices to recognize the invaluable contributions that millions of migrants across the world make daily to create better living conditions for everyone. Even though participating in our societies, the other side of the story is that simply for being migrants, millions are victims of discrimination, xenophobia and a myriad of violations against their human rights. It is because of this that today, on International Migrants Day, we reaffirm that human rights are rights for all persons. In this sense, a real commitment by States regarding the human rights of migrants requires the full recognition of migrants as rights holders. Human rights are derived from human dignity and not from national origin or migratory status.
In the current context, we reiterate our concern regarding the tendency of some states to criminalize irregular migration. Crossing a border without the required documentation or overstaying a visa is not per se a crime, but rather at most, an administrative offence.
Measures that criminalize irregular migration include the enactment of laws that penalize migrants in an irregular situation and persons that assist migrants; the use of excessive and disproportionate force during migration control operations; the detention of migrants in an irregular situation; deportations without procedural guarantees; and also xenophobic statements in which authorities and the media encourage the stigmatization of migrants. In addition to being contrary to human rights and increasing the vulnerability of migrants, these measures have not been proven effective in deterring irregular migration.
In this sense, we express our deep concern for the increasing use of detention of migrants by some states. This situation is of even greater concern because detention is often applied to children. Respect for the right to liberty and security of person implies that liberty is the rule and detention, the exception. States have the obligation to establish a presumption in favor of liberty in domestic law. The automatic, mandatory or punitive use of migrant detention not only violates migrants' right to liberty, but also affects others of their human rights. The exceptionality of administrative detention of migrants also applies to asylum seekers, refugees, stateless persons and other persons in need of international protection. We call on States to gradually abolish the administrative detention of migrants and establish alternative measures to detention, applying a human rights based approach.
By celebrating International Migrants Day, we reaffirm that the protection of the human rights of migrants requires the adoption of various measures by states. In this context, we call on states to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, as well as other international and regional human rights treaties. In parallel to ratifying these instruments, States should guarantee that their policies, laws and practices on migration conform to their international human rights obligations.”
This joint statement has been subscribed on Dec. 18, 2012, on International Migrants Day by François Crépeau, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants; Abdelhamid El Jamri, chair of the U.N. Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW); Felipe Gonzalez, Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrants of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS); Maya Sahli Fadel, Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) of the African Union (AU).
If you missed punk rock Massachusetts-Irish band Dropkick Murphys at the McDonald Theatre last month then you missed the live performance of what is my favorite Christmas song this year: "The Season's Upon Us."
The Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza was ordered closed Dec. 11 by Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson after Occupy Eugene offshoot, Eugene SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep), which has been campaigning for safe places for the homeless to sleep, staged a protest there. Eugene SLEEPS is asking people to write letters in response to statements from Richardson that indicate her belief the homeless protesters created a need for the plaza to be "disinfected." In a recent press release, SLEEPS said: "Ms. Richardson grossly misled the public with her untrue allegations that SLEEPS campers had destroyed the lobby desk and bathrooms so that she could justify shutting down the plaza to protests."
SLEEPS is asking that Richardson apologize and the Free Speech Plaza reopened:
Ms. Richardson has stooped to a new low in perpetuating stereotypes and hate mongering toward the unhoused. Her allegations that SLEEPS damaged the lobby and bathrooms of the County Building and pooped in the planters are ridiculous and insulting and have been contradicted by county employees and SLEEPS date and time stamped photos.
These comments represent a phobic response to those who are unhoused, and the closure of the plaza has violated their (and everyone else in Lane County) constitutional right to gather and address their grievances at this landmark protest site.
Richardson made the statement about feces in planters to a gathering of protesters and news media on Dec. 13. The R-G reports "The plaza’s surface did not appear to have been fouled or littered during the demonstration earlier this week."
Eugene activist Alley Valkyrie was among those who returned to the plaza after the closure and elected to be arrested to assert her First Amendment rights. According to SLEEPS, Valkyrie has twice sucessfully challenged the city in free speech and rights issues related to the unhoused. The group thanked Eugene police for their professionalism.
The emails from Richardson are below. For more information on Eugene SLEEPS go to http://eugenesleeps.org
Tuesday Dec. 11
Commissioners, I wanted to let you know what we are doing with the Free Speech Plaza and the campers who are present.EPD officers are sharing with the campers our Administrative rules, which prohibit camping or camping-like activities in the plaza, as well as the expectation that speech activities will not occur between 11pm and 6am. They are informing the campers and others present that they are in violation of our rules regarding the use of that area. The area has rules for usage so that all people are free to use the plaza, and to ensure the health and safety of all of our residents and guests. We are hoping that by informing the campers of these rules, they will voluntarily comply with our requests to cease and desist from prohibited behavior. We are in close contact with Eugene staff as well as our own staff, who have reported damage to the Volunteer booth downstairs, theft from and damage to our restrooms, and complaints from visitors to the courthouse and PSB that they do not feel safe. The sanitary conditions of the restrooms are of great concern, as we do not have the staff to keep up with the mess that is being created. I have begun the process of temporarily closing the plaza if health and safety concerns remain after these contacts and requests for voluntary compliance. I will keep you updated.
Wednesday, Dec. 12
At this time, all campers are gone from the Plaza. We have one individual sitting there with a sign saying he won’t eat until there is housing for the homeless, but otherwise the Plaza is empty. We will be barricading off the lower area until we can get a cleanup crew in to clean and disinfect the area; most likely through the end of this week and possibly into the weekend.
The Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep (SLEEPS) folks are challenging the closure of free speech plaza — a fence is now closing off the free speech plaza to prevent more protesting. (Would you like some paprika to sprinkle on that irony?) At least one protester has been cited. Here is the latest SLEEPS press release we've received; we'll be updating if we hear more:
12:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 13:
SLEEPS will return to FREE SPEECH PLAZA at 1PM today, Thursday, to challenge the unconstitutional closing of the plaza in response to the SLEEPS protest there December 10-12. County Administrator Liann Richardson ordered the plaza closed Tuesday Dec. 11 at 11 PM citing that it was for the purpose of public safety, closing it to everyone in the public. "This is preposterous. The county is denying every single Eugenian access to this protest site, a blatant affront of every single individual's First Amendment Rights. Suggesting that because unhoused people have been in the area that there is a "biohazard" is the most atrocious stereotypical hatemongering possible," said one of the protestors.Hippies and others hang out in this area all the time. Across the street Saturday market has potties and food sales every weekend. Have we ever seen those areas closed down as a public safety issue? The unhoused at Free Speech Plaza used public toilets, cooked no food and both maintained and left the space immaculate as numerous television and print media photos and videos document."It is clear that the county will use any excuse to keep those who are unhoused from being able to have their voices herd. I feel like I'm back in the sixties when people who are black were blocked from public spaces and denied their civil rights. Hopefully EDP will not allow themselves to be used as a tool in the preposterous closing of Free Speech Plaza on public safety issue. It is obvious this is a disengenious attempt to deny us our first amendment rights, said another protestor."
4:01 pm Thursday, Dec. 13:
Here's a press release from EPD:
A group of about 50 people moved illegally into the closed Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza, 125 E. 8th Avenue. The plaza had been closed by the Lane County Administrator on December 11, 2012 at 11 p.m. and was still closed for cleaning.Today, the group that was trespassing was advised by the county administrator that if they did not leave the closed area, they would be subject to arrest. Time was provided for those who wished to leave. All but one person voluntarily left. Cited in lieu of custody and released at around 2:15 p.m. was Alley Valkyrie, age 30, of Eugene. She has been charged with Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree.Over the past few days, the City of Eugene has been proactively reaching out to organizers of this group, to help them safely engage in constitutionally-protected free speech while also enforcing laws, protecting the safety and freedom of others, and minimizing community disruption and the impact to public resources.
Cottage Theatre will be hosting open auditions for their musical adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, The Secret Garden, at 1pm Saturday, Jan. 12, and and callbacks will be at 6 pm Sunday, Jan. 13. Auditions will be held at the theatre (700 Village Dr., Cottage Grove)
The theatre is looking for large cast: two children (ages 10-14), two teens/young adults (one male, one female) and 15-20 adults (all ages and genders). Bring your singing voice, director Peg Major is looking for a stellar adult chorus to play a large part in the production, which will run for four weekends from April 12 to May 5, 2013.
Actors are expected to prepare a short song from any musical for the auditions. Accompanist provided. For more information, visit www.cottagetheatre.com or call 541-942-8001.
Hey walkers, bikers and drivers: Tomorrow you get a chance to practice some perfection in commuting. EPD's "downtown team" is "educating the public" tomorrow by focusing on traffic violations in the Broadway and Willamette and Broadway and Olive areas between noon and 5 pm. From the press release:
The officers will be focusing on a variety of traffic violations that seem to contribute the most to crashes or other conflicts between road users. These violations include traffic control device violations, failure to yield right-of-way violations, speeding, improper turns, failing to signal lane changes or turns, improper lane usage, failing to obey one-way designations, and pedestrians suddenly leaving the curb.
If you need a refresher on Oregon's crosswalk law, know these things: Every street intersection is technically a crosswalk, marked or not; at a traffic signal, drivers can't turn until pedestrians are at least 6 feet into the next lane; at other crosswalks, drivers must wait until pedestrians are out of their lane, the lane they're turning into and the next lane. More details on the law here.
Bikers: Unlike Idaho, in Oregon you CAN'T legally treat a stop sign as a yield sign.
Edit (12:23 pm): Sounds like biking on the sidewalk (also illegal) got a lot of people in trouble last time around.
Eugene Contemporary Art (ECA)'s Public Process artist residency is the only artist residency of its kind (it accepts artists of any medium) in the Eugene-Springfield area and if it doesn't reach it's $8,500 goal on Kickstarter by 10:33 pm PST Dec. 13, the residency will come to an end. At press time, ECA had received $5,446 in pledges, which means ECA must still raise $3,054 before the Kickstarter campaign closes.
"We will close the space in January if don't meet our goal," says Courtney Stubbert, ECA executive director and owner of the WAVE Gallery in the Whit where the residency is hosted. "Or at least if someone else doesn't step forward before Jan. 1 with a sizable donation."
The residency program began this fall with Alida Bevirt, a visual artist, who formerly told EW about the residency: "It's a magnificent privilege to be given the key to use this fantastic space." UO MFA student Katherine Spinella's Shoddy Contructionsexhibition is now on view at the WAVE through Jan. 5 and features site-specific installations
Stubbert says he's disappointed that they haven't yet reached their goal because "We've received some great submissions for show proposals and the residency program."
The Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza has long been home to, well, free speech. But the R-G is reporting that Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson has signed an order putting the kibosh on free speech at the plaza for now in response to a protest.
Eugene SLEEPS, an offshoot of Occupy Eugene, set up tents in the plaza Dec. 10 after the Eugene City Council did not move on modifying the city's camping ban. SLEEPS, which stands for Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep, has been advocating to have the camping ban lifted before winter weather sets in. In 2008 a homeless veteran, Major Thomas Egan, froze to death on the street in Eugene during a cold spell.
The Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza is on indefinite closure, the R-G reports and it says:
There are rules about using the plaza in regard to health and safety,” county spokeswoman Jennifer Inman said. “This is really about the issue of camping, rather than the free-speech aspect” of the protest.
Back in September the R-G reported that Richardson was advocating to ban smoking in the plaza, which in addition to being a frequent protest site, is also a popular weekend hangout during Saturday Market.
If Lane County starts calling for a ban on drum circles, then we'll know it really has it in for the Free Speech Plaza.
The Eugene City Council heard public forum comments Monday, Dec. 10, on the three options for City Hall: move to EWEB’s riverfront building, stay at the same 7th and Pearl site and build a new building, or rebuild and beautify the existing city hall using parts of its skeleton. (See wkly.ws/1a9 for more information.) Most of the 17 speakers advocated keeping city hall downtown; two spoke in favor of the EWEB site.
As EW goes to press Wednesday, Dec. 12, council will sit down to a work session that Mayor Kitty Piercy said after the Dec. 10 meeting would include an attempt by council to decide on the future site. Piercy said that because of Councilor George Poling’s expected absence, there would not be a tie. But if Poling is able to phone into the Dec. 12 meeting and a tie results, Piercy says she supports remaining downtown for reasons including its connection to the county building and the city’s ownership of the 7th and Pearl property. “It just makes really good sense to me,” she said.
Red Agave is closing, and the last night to grab their grub is tomorrow, Dec. 8. From their press release:
This Saturday night will be Red Agave’s last. We wish it weren’t so…but alas here we are.There are three nights left to savor your favorites from the kitchen and the bar.(Unless, you’re looking for private party in the weeks to come, in which case you should call the restaurant, immediately)We’ll have the regular menu plus some specials.We’ll also be selling off our wine cellar (only on Saturday) at retail prices.We hope to see all of you who we’ve had the pleasure of serving over the years.If you can’t make it in, you’ll be missed.So with a tear in my eye, a whole in my wallet & fond memories of the last 10 years,We bid you gracias & good luck.Yours,Brian
The U.S. News and World Report is famous for their college rankings — did anyone else proudly show their parents the "dorms like dungeons" listing for UO when living in the residence halls? Anyhow, now they're publishing a list of "underperforming schools," which means the schools' reputations are better than U.S. News thinks they should be based on academic indicators. UO is on that list.
According to U.S. News, the academic peer assessment ranking for UO is 70, but the UO really deserves a 115. Fellow alums, should we make T-shirts or something? "I love my underperforming Ducks?"
Legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck has passed, just shy of his 92nd birthday. Bruebeck wrote such jazz standards like “Take Five” and “The Duke.” The Dave Brubeck Quartet played at the UO in 1957 for the Erb Memorial Union’s “Jazz a la Carte” series and Brubeck performed at the Hult Center in 2008 (pictured above).
On a brighter note, Fleetwood Mac is reuniting for a 34-city tour kicking off in April, their first tour since ... 2009. In preparation for the tour, Stevie Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie crafted two new songs in 2012, "Sad Angela" and "Miss Fantasy." They are also pulling out an old tune that was never recorded. Unfortunately the tour only gets as close as Tacoma. Check out the recent Q&A Rolling Stone did with Nicks and Buckingham. Stevie Nicks says they are still the drama queens (and kings) they always were:
"We're dramatic. Lindsey and I will always be dramatic. When you were almost married for seven years, and then you've been in a band for 30 years, it's never not going to be dramatic. We are who are are and we were dramatic kids going together. That never really goes away."
Meanwhile, Jimmy Fallon feels that the ubiquitous “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is not getting enough play, so he enlisted the help of The Roots, some cute kids and Mariah Carey to remake the song with toy instruments: