Patti Smith Tells It Like It Is In Riot Fest Rant, Continues To Be Our F*****g Hero
If anyone was wondering whether 67-year-old “godmother of punk” Patti Smith has lost her rebellious edge, this video should put any doubts to rest.
Capping off an emotional set at Riot Fest in Chicago’s Humboldt Park as the sun set Sunday evening, the legendary singer-songwriter, poet and artist launched into an epic rant on politics, corporate greed and war as she and her band finished “People Have the Power,” one of her best known songs.
"We do have the power! Our governments, our corporations would like us to feel defeated, but we have it with our numbers if we use it. Don’t forget it!" Smith exclaimed.
(Check out her speech, beginning at 6:30 in the video above.)
"People, you can change the f*****g world! Take heart, don’t give up!" she continued, beginning to shake with rage and vigor. "Globally unite for peace! It’s not f*****g corny; it’s what we f*****g need!"
Smith’s set felt particularly personal, as it took place not far from her Chicago birthplace, on the birthday of her late husband, former MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith. She dedicated both “Because the Night” and a cover of John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” to Fred Smith. Prior to her performance, she even snapped a few photographs of the crowd.
WASHINGTON — Kira Kazantsev has been Miss America for only two days, but she’s already taking a stand on issues that don’t usually make their way into the pageant. Kazantsev, who is from New York, made domestic violence the focus of her platform, speaking out about how she was in an abusive relationship in college.
"I want people to stop asking, ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’" Kazantsev said in an interview with NPR. “Every woman is an expert in her own case, and there are so many extenuating circumstances that lead to a woman staying with her abuser.” She said she felt incredibly “alone” in the relationship and wanted people to start talking about domestic violence more openly.
Now, Kazantsev is getting attention for something else. Many conservatives are criticizing her for the fact that she once interned at Planned Parenthood.
Kazantsev’s LinkedIn profile notes that for three months in 2013, she worked at Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, New York, assisting with education programs.
The pro-life site LifeNews.com wrote a piece Monday taking aim at Kazantsev’s work with a company they say “snuffs out of the lives of young baby girls.”
So the woman representing the nation as the new Miss America interned for the very organization that has killed millions of Americans in abortions.
Kazantsev worked for the abortion giant just outside New York City proper for three months, from February 2013-April 2013. One month later, one of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in New York City botched an abortion. The incident occurred at the Margaret Sanger Center Planned Parenthood in New York City, New York.
The criticism spread to Twitter:
Planned Parenthood, of course, does more than just provide abortions. In fact, abortion services account for only 3 percent of what the group does. It also estimates that it prevents about 216,000 abortions each year through its contraceptive services.
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood, said the organization was proud of Kazantsev:
Miss America Kira Kazantsev interned last year at her local Planned Parenthood affiliate, where she supported staff members who provide sex education in the community and at local schools. Several past Miss Americas have supported Planned Parenthood’s mission, and we’re thrilled and proud that one of our former interns is the new Miss America.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider of sex education. Every year, we provide more than one million people with accurate, nonjudgmental information about relationships, sexuality, and healthy decision-making. An overwhelming majority of the American public supports access to comprehensive sex education in middle and high schools — the type of sex education programming that Planned Parenthood provides and which gives parents tools to have conversations with their families, and helps keep young people safe and healthy.
Kazantsev, 23, has also interned for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) campaign and the political consulting firm Solidarity Strategies. In 2012, she helped set up the presidential debate at Hofstra University.
UPDATE: 6:21 p.m. — Kazantsev’s LinkedIn profile is no longer available.
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On the night of April 14, 2014, hundreds of schoolgirls at the Chibok boarding school in northeastern Nigeria awoke to the sound of gunfire. They saw men in camouflage approaching and thought soldiers were coming to save them from a militant attack, according to survivors’ accounts.
Instead, more than 270 of the schoolgirls found themselves in the clutches of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Their abduction sparked global outrage and a huge campaign calling for their rescue, partly propelled by the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.
Sunday marks five months since the girls were kidnapped. Here’s what has happened since.
Not one student has been rescued
In the first days after the abduction, 57 of the girls managed to escape from their captors. But not one has escaped or been rescued since then.
Even though they were reportedly located months ago
In May, a Nigerian military official claimed he knew where the girls were being held. A month later, U.S. surveillance planes also spotted a group that officials believed to be the girls.
Stephen Davis, an Australian cleric and mediator, said in June that a deal to free the girls had fallen apart three different times in one month. He says that powerful people with “vested interests” are working to sabotage a deal, and he has accusedNigerian politicians of funding Boko Haram. Nigeria’s government has defended its approach to the crisis and warned that a rescue effort might risk the girls’ lives.
Other countries have made little progress
According to the Associated Press, it took more than two weeks for Nigeria to accept offers of international assistance to find the schoolgirls.
When other countries did start to help, they didn’t get very far. The U.S. sent 80 troops in late May to coordinate an aerial search from neighboring Chad. Canada, France, Israel and the U.K. also sent special forces to Nigeria. But six weeks later, the Pentagon press secretary announced that the U.S. mission would be scaled back, saying: “We don’t have any better idea today than we did before about where these girls are.”
The troops are still in Chad and the U.S. has surveillance and reconnaissance flights looking for the girls each week. U.S. officials have expressed concern about sharing intelligence on Boko Haram given the Nigerian military’s poor human rights record.
Meanwhile, the girls’ hometown is still in danger
Residents in Chibok face the unrelenting threat of an attack by militants. In June, a Boko Haram offensive on nearby villages crept within three miles of the town where the girls were kidnapped.
Tragically, at least 11 parents of the kidnapped girls have been killed by militants or died of illness.
And Boko Haram violence rages on
Since April, Boko Haram claims to have taken over at least five towns in northeastern Nigeria, although the military says it has won some of these back. The militant group has also kidnapped at least three more smaller groups of girls as well as dozens of boys and young men — some of whom were later rescued.
More than 2,100 people are reported to have been killed by Boko Haram since April 14, according to data from the Council on Foreign Relations. And during a span of 10 days in August, some 10,000 people were displaced by fighting in northeastern Nigeria.
Nigeria’s military has buckled under pressure…
Nigeria’s military appears ill-equipped to deal with the challenge. Complaining of a lack of weapons, at least 40 Nigerian soldiers reportedly refused orders to fight Boko Haram in August. And during recent attacks by Boko Haram in border towns, at least 600 Nigerian soldiers reportedly fled to Cameroon. The army claimed that some of the troops were performing a tactical maneuver.
…And been accused of grave human rights abuses
Nigeria’s security forces and state-sponsored militias have long been accused of horrific abuses, including kidnappings, torture and extrajudicial killings. Following the government’s most recent crackdown on Boko Haram, evidence has emerged that authorities have tortured and killed countless civilians accused of being connected to the militant group.
While the country worries about its image problem
Nigeria’s government paid a Washington public relations firm more than $1.2 million to change the media narrative surrounding the schoolgirls’ abduction, according to a June report by The Hill. The country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, recently faced severe backlash after a group campaigning for his reelection started using the hashtag #BringBackGoodluck2015, sparking outrage among groups still campaigning for the girls’ return.