“The liberation of the earth, the liberation of women, the liberation of all humanity is the next step of freedom we need to work for, and it’s the next step of peace that we need to create.” – Vandana Shiva
To kick 2013 off right, we want to share with you this incredible and hilarious piece of performance poetry by the talented Charmira Nelson & Kai Davis of Team Philly at Brave New Voices 2011. Here’s to finding focus, developing discipline and having fun in your feminist practice this year!
“Femininjas – you won’t even know where we came from!”
It’s no surprise that these are turbulent times we are living in, but they are particularly so today. While a general strike and public protests sweep southern Europe in response to neoliberal “austerity” in this time of economic crisis, Israel has launched a fresh attack on the Gaza strip, killing and injuring civilians, a woman has died in Ireland after being denied an abortion due to religious reasons, and last month a teenage girl activist in Pakistan was shot in the head as a response to her campaigning for girls’ education.
We commend those who are taking collective action to protest being forced into more dire economic conditions due to austerity, taking on both the police and the state in hopes of ensuring a better future. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinians who are suffering yet another grave injustice at the hands of the IDF. We honor the deceased and keep the injured in our thoughts.
We are grateful for the survival of 14-year old Malala Yousafzai and support her courageous work to ensure girls in a misogynist society have access to education, and are overjoyed to hear of the passing of Pakistan’s Universal Education Bill, undoubtedly spurred by international attention on Malala. Yet at the same time, we mourn the loss of Savita Halappanavar, who died unnecessarily due to an archaic law and sexist medical and religious culture that refused her requests for a termination. Along with many other feminist activists, in her honor, we will continue to work for the rights of all women to authority over our own bodies and lives.
Many are resisting. In addition to the millions on strike, Spanish and Portuguese demonstrators are blocking roads and clashing with police, vigils have been held in Ireland and London to remember Savita and call for legalized abortion in Ireland, and a list of emergency global actions for Gaza to happen in the next few days is currently being compiled. Support actions in your area or add to it if you are able to help organize one.
For more detailed coverage on these topics, see the below articles and video compiled from media that we consider as reputable as possible. Underneath the headlines you will find the hashtags to follow on Twitter for more info and breaking updates.
EUROPEAN GENERAL STRIKE
GAZA UNDER ATTACK
Israel launches fresh strikes on Gaza [Al-Jazeera]
DEATH OF SAVITA HALAPPANAVAR
Vigils and protests over Savita held [Irish Times]
MALALA YOUSAFZAI SURVIVES SHOOTING, PAKISTAN PASSES BILL OF RIGHTS FOR GIRLS’ EDUCATION
In the wake of the 2012 London Olympics, we are cross-posting Ashok Kumar‘s radical analysis of the elite-serving “tradition”/distraction of the masses that is the Olympic Games. You can read the complete article at Ceasefire Magazine.
We close with links to a number of articles from various sources who don’t all agree with our stance on the Olympics, but provide critical insight into the ways women athletes of color are scrutinized rather than celebrated for their accomplishments, a particularly ignominious trend in light of such overwhelming successes this year.
Hosting the Olympics is often presented to us as an ideologically neutral opportunity to boost tourism and sports. In a thought-provoking piece Ceasefire Magazine’s Ashok Kumar outlines a clear and consistent, yet barely noticed, pattern of the Games being used to fundamentally restructure the host City to the purposeful exclusion of its working class and ethnic minority residents.
As London prepares to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, startlingly little critique has surfaced in the mainstream press. With the exception of the trivial issue of ticket prices, most of the city remains transfixed, internalising the dominant narrative. This process precedes each Olympic games, one that is written and distributed by and for the real Olympic profiteers; a nexus of powerful interests that sees both short and long term gains in each host city.
This highly profitable, publicly subsidised, sporting event always attracts the major, and wannabe major, cities of the world, using any and all methods to entice an unaccountable Olympic committee, each flexing their political muscle to ensure theirs is the next chosen location. The Olympics take billions of pounds, yen, dollars of their host countries’ tax revenue to build magnificent stadiums and housing facilities, militarise the city, trample civil liberties and construct elaborate installations with shelf lives of a few weeks.
The Gabby Douglas Hair Controversy…Unwrapped [Sporty Afros]
And to anyone seeking to belittle the great feats of athleticism these women have achieved, we got one thing for you:
A strong feminist practice must be based on a solid foundation. To that end, we present some of the key principles that inform and guide our day-to-day lived feminism. The overarching concept tying these principles together is a commitment to practicing a self-aware, intersectional sisterly solidarity that underpins our struggles to unlearn, address and correct the oppression present in ourselves, our circles, and our societies.
We note that the personal is political and no position is innocent. Thus, not only do we acknowledge the ways we ourselves are conditioned by the WMPS, but we also actively seek to 1) identify oppressive forces in ourselves and in our communities, 2) work to understand them with an anti-oppressive feminist analysis and re-visioning of each situation, and 3) actively re-figure our roles, responsibilities, and relationships so that they are honest, healthy and free from patriarchal oppression and other systems of domination.
Read these principles, digest and share them with fellow feminists and allies, and particularly with anybody who claims that they are feminist yet continues to cause suffering due to misogyny, sexism, or other oppressive practices. We hope they will be of use to you in your personal feminist praxis. In the comments, share with us and other readers the feminist principles you choose to live by, so we can continue to learn together. Continue reading