activism

All posts tagged activism

Rag Tag Army

Published June 27, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

On the 28 June 1969, a rag tag queer army of accidental heroes when confronted by the NYPD during a public morals raid at the Stonewall Inn, in New York City’s Greenwich Village struck back. The Stonewalls’ patrons at that time mostly drag queens, transgender community, effeminate young men, hustlers, and homeless youth, the most marginalised of us from within our community and without. This iconic battle known as the Stonewall Riots touted as the birth of the modern gay rights movement ironically was fought stiletto to billy club but not by the homophile organisations but the undesirables demanding the respect and dignity due them as human beings.

In the 1960s and 1970s a time of grassroot political action dominated by calls for liberation or ‘root and branch’ social reform, saw many confrontations between the people and authorities. Times were a changing fast, earlier movements included the homophile organisations whose aim was social respectability through integration and later through the Gay Liberation Movement we voiced demands for social reform.

Today

As we enter the 2nd decade of the 21st century, we see gay rights organisations inheritors of the homophile perspective campaign for marriage equality, while kids kill themselves because of homophobic bullying. It seems unclear how a trip to town hall will change the norms underpinning this discrimination and persecution experienced within and by our communities.  The question here does marriage equality represent for some the opportunity to reconcile with patriarchal institutions in providing them a sense of social acceptance, while us undesirables still suffer the reality of social sanctions.

Advertisements

The Arab Spring

Published April 25, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

It seems strange I have chosen at this time to write on what some call The Arab Spring, a series of protest in Africa and the Middle East nations against authoritarian rulers. A people’s movement featuring various forms of civil disobedience for example rallies, marches and strikes sometimes met with open violence by authorises. These events have seen increasing civil unrest across the region as the democratic tsunami rolled from Tunisia through Egypt and beyond. It has resulted in regime change, with the legislative/policy change, sacking of several governments, heads of state resigning, and even civil war. The people voice demands for political reform to end decades of authoritarian rule, which is unprecedented in the region.

Including

Tunisian Revolution , 2011 Egyptian Revolution , 2011 Libyan civil war

2010–2011 Algerian protests, 2011 Bahraini protests, 2011 Djiboutian protests

2011 Iranian protests, 2011 Iraqi protests, 2011 Jordanian protests

2011 Moroccan protests, 2011 Omani protests, 2011 Syrian protests

2011 Yemeni protests, and others

What inspires me about these events is the civil passion to challenge the violent authority of aging dictators and seek to reinvigorate their nations. While I see, the calls for democracy in simple terms as a people demanding change to improve their lives. Some have described this social change movement as a youth movement. However, in these protests I have seen people from across the lifespan standing up and demanding social justice.

It is not about

Debates based on competing political philosophiesAmerican Imperial, Capitalism  and Socialism

Islamist threats verse Western interests around securing oil supplies

The power of social mediaTwitter, Facebook and the blogger sphere theses are tools they are not feet on the ground

Traditional relations between the West & Arab people – as those being ousted are mainly Western puppets

However equally it may be about some and/or all of the above

All I can say is let the passions of the people reinforce their resolve in seeking to write their own destiny and defeat those who seek to expunge the flame of justice.

Drowning in the Shallow End: Third Wave Feminism

Published July 28, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Drowning in the Shallow End: Third Wave Feminism

by Heather Tirado Gilligan

In the 1990s, a new generation of women heralded the dawn of a new feminist era. But does declaring a “new wave” – particularly one that equates individual lifestyle choices with activism, consumer power with feminism, and diversity with racial equality – make for a feminist social movement?

Heather Tirado Gilligan explores this issue through interviews with feminist scholar Jane Elliott, Colorlines managing editor Daisy Hernandez, lesbian filmmaker Aishah Simmons, and Chicana feminist Cherrie Moraga. Gilligan proposes feminists drop the wave metaphor and organize around the less socially palatable but more pressing goal of addressing inequities.

This article comes to an interesting conclusion in that the author argues

“Our rights, such as they are, were won by the tireless work of earlier generations of feminists, and obligate us to correct the inequality that continues to structure women’s lives, starting right now.”

It’s Time For A National Smooch!

Published July 18, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

It’s Time For A Nationwide Kiss-In! | The New Civil Rights Movement

It seems everything old is new again, I wonder what John would think and somebody may want to ask Yoko. Besides all that, this came about in part due to a couple of lads having a smooch at a take away in the US. The event received the usual bemoaning from the community, look at this injustice, blah blah blah. Then they had a kiss-in in Utah after a second confrontation with the Law. Later the “The New Civil Rights Movement decided to buy in and organise a “National Smooch Day”

on August 15, 2009, at 2:00pm EST (4am 16/08/09 let us make it midday)

The Great Nationwide Kiss-In

Nelson Mandela: A Man

Published July 14, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Nelson Mandela: a man turned into statues in his own lifetime | World news | guardian.co.uk

Madiba is a man who has faced oppression and through his humanity developed resilience that beams from his every word and action. He is no superhero, but an activist who stood up against his oppressors to gain justice, at great personal risk. It is this quality, his resilience that singles him out in history as a great man of principle, a leader who embraced his humanity and showed respect to others that has given him authority. In our community we have many people through their lived experience have gained that quality of inner strength to bounce back or adapt.

In reality we all have that potential however it takes commitment to both principles and action.  It is in the word and deeds that say to our oppressors, that you can marginalise me, oppress me, deny my culture beat me, imprison me and even kill me but I will not be defeated.  I was here yesterday, I am here today and I will be here tomorrow demanding my rights to be treated as a human being.