Josh Shahryar (they/them) #BLM
Sat Jan 23 23:37:21 +0000 2021

This is the most important thing I've ever written.

My friend and family Lauren @Wolfe321 was just fired by the @NYTimes after the NYT was pressured by fascists, Trumpkins and hypocrites on the right for tweeting she had "chills" after witnessing Biden's landing on the 20th.

Let me tell you who Lauren is.

How this has impacted her personally.

And finally, how this is impacting her and her doggo right now.

First, some personal stuff.

Lauren has been like family to me for over 10 years now. How amazing is Lauren? She once gave several hundred dollars to someone she barely knew because he needed it while she herself had NO job, no health insurance, with very little savings.

If you ever in the future read a story about a woman who literally takes their clothes off in public so they can cover someone else's body because they're cold, rest assured. That woman is Lauren.

She has a heart so big that it's making me fucking cry to think this happened!

Why did Lauren send that tweet?


We had a peaceful transfer of power after a coup attempt by the president of the United States that resulted in 6 people dying, the capitol being overrun and our democracy under direct threat for months!

If you're "ANGRY" that someone had chills because fascism lost in this country, then you're most likely a fascist.

And they went after Lauren with a vengeance. And I mean vengeance. You can search for @wolfe321 on Twitter and see.

But it wasn't just the faceless, nameless Russian bots and fascists who went after Lauren.

They physically stalked Lauren. They took pictures of her with her doggo Moose. They published those pictures on the @NYPost. THEY. WENT. AFTER. HER.

That's my friend Lauren.

On the side of the street. Huddled with her doggo. Her lip is red because she had just been to the hospital to get stitches after an accident. They followed her with cameras. They cornered her and took pictures of her. For expressing relief.

But this isn't the worst. You think I'm just a writer mad that my writer friend was fired.

But let me tell you who my writer friend is and what she has been through and done in the past few years.

Lauren wrote about rape. In war. For years. YEARS.

After working for years as a senior editor at Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Lauren helped launch and was the director of the Women Under Siege project @WomenUndrSiege.

The project's sole aim was to cover sexualized violence against women - especially in conflict.

Two important projects she worked on were projects literally no one else was interested in doing.

The first project she started and ran for years was documenting sexual violence against women in the Syrian conflict:

For years, Lauren and I would talk on the phone and most of it would be consumed with how she basically lived her life around talking to women who had been violently raped in Syria that few people were seriously covering.

She was dedicated to the point of harming her health.

There were times when we spoke on the phone where I was torn between admiring the only journalist seriously pursuing the larger picture of thousands of women who were violently raped in Syria...

And begging my friend to stop because she was exposing herself to extreme trauma.

I can't tell you how many times I called Lauren and heard the voice of a tired, heartbroken and besieged journalist who refused to stop seeking justice.

Then, watched as report after report by NGOs used her work to highlight mass sexual violence in Syria.

You'd think that after years of covering rape in the Syrian conflict, Lauren would be like, "This is too much. I should stop."

But you don't know Lauren.

Instead, Lauren started working on a story that will give you nightmares just reading about it. Strong trigger warning!

CW systematic Rape of babies and toddler

As she was working on Syria, Lauren started a new project. She took on the coverage of a story in Eastern DR Congo about a militia that raped babies and toddlers. En masse.

I want to talk about this, but I can't. It's beyond me to type it. And it will be beyond you to read it.

But wasn't beyond the brave heart that is Lauren Wolfe.

She not only went on the ground to cover the story. She had the perpetrators arrested!

This is her.

This is Lauren.

This is the woman who put her life on the line metaphorically and literally to fight for justice for women and children survivors of mass rape.

This is the Lauren the @NYTimes fired because she was relieved fascists didn't win in America.

I keep posting pictures of Lauren with her doggo Moose not because there aren't any other pictures of her available.

But because A, Moose is all she has.

And B, the @NYTimes firing Lauren could mean a death sentence for Moose.

This is Moose. Lauren adopted her as a stray when he was 3. He's now 11.

He has bits of skin missing and scars. Indicative of abuse and hurt. He's like Lauren's shadow. And she would freaking die for him. He's aging and his care is getting more and more expensive.

Without her job at the @NYTimes, Lauren will be basically making no money in an economy where finding a job is already impossible.

If @NYTimes doesn't hire Lauren back, she has little money to pay for rent right now. Moose's meds and therapy and such... forget it.

Did I mention that Lauren is queer? Did I mention that she is Jewish with few family members because... the Holocaust?

I don't understand how anyone at @NYTimes sat down and said, "Oh yeah, let's just cut her. Would look "good" to the fascists who want her fired."

But I'm bringing up Moose especially because just LOOK AT THIS FUCKING ATROCITY!

This is a woman who has spent her life bringing truth to light. Putting her life at risk. Putting her mental health at risk. And she has to hug her doggo on the street, as she's stalked by fiends.


As a friend, I'm outraged. As a journalist, I'm outraged. As someone living in America who was and is a target of fascists, I'm outraged.

But I'm speechless as to how anyone with a conscience see this picture and think she should be fired.

Meanwhile, the fascists fucks have found Lauren's phone number. They have found her email.

And as you can expect, she is being inundated with threats to her life, to her safety and to the life and safety of Moose. And her recourse is to listen to @NYTimes tell her she's fired.

I just want to ask this, @NYTimes. How did you see this picture... of a woman with stitches on her lips. On her way home from the hospital with her only support in this critical time. Being stalked about fascist scum.

And thought, "Firing her is a good idea."

We talked earlier about everything. From bills to now having no money because she was fired, to Moose's health....

You know when I asked her what she thinks about me creating a gofundme for her? She said she doesn't want to ask people for money even though she needs it.

And you know what? I don't want to make a gofundme. I want @NYTimes to hire Lauren back immediately. She needs her job back. She belongs in that news room. If anyone belongs there, it is her.

Me and her other friends might ask you for financial support for her later, but...

But right now, more than anything, I want her to have her job back. I want @NYTimes to rehire Lauren Wolfe immediately.

Lauren's entire career is a testament to how amazing of a journalist she is and where her moral compass stands. She must have her source of income back.

I don't know what else to say, @NYTimes. As a journalist. A human being. A friend.

Really, I just don't know what else to say. You are punishing someone who should be idealized because she said something that pissed off fascists? Please. Please. PLEASE.

Hire Lauren Wolfe back.

.@NYTimes I am scared for her life. I am scared for Moose's life. I'm scared of fascists hurting her now that they know her personal info because they are TELLING her they will hurt her.

She can't be worrying about a job while she is a target of fascists. You can't do that.

I'm hardly ever scared despite a tragic life that could be a multi-volume tear-jerker.

But I'm scared. I'm scared for Lauren. I'm scared for Moose. I'm scared for my friend, hugging her dog, in quarantine with no job, getting death threats from fascists who know where she lives

So I'm asking you to ask @NYTimes and I'm asking @NYTimes myself.

Please hire Lauren Wolfe back.

Sun Jan 24 00:53:59 +0000 2021