kiwizzo:

(as featured on nbcbayarea.com)

Tuesday’s Occupy Oakland clash with the police has left ripples, not only through the local community, but worldwide. 

Pro-democracy protesters in Egypt took the streets and marched in solidarity from Tahrir Square to the U.S. Embassy. 

Many held signs encouraging the movement to stay strong, while others voiced disapproval of the police brutality against protesters.

Egyptian blogger and EgyTimes reporter, Mohammed Maree posted images and tweets from the march.

You can check them all out on his Twitter account.

2 years ago 12 notes

I Know I’ve Been Changed: Transforming Silence into Community The Revolution Starts at Home Interactive Panel at Columbia University Alexis Pauline Gumbs


I Know I’ve Been Changed: Transforming Silence into Community

The Revolution Starts at Home Interactive Panel at Columbia University

Tuesday, October 26, 2011

Alexis Pauline Gumbs

I know I’ve been changed

I know I’ve been changed

I know I’ve been changed

The angels in heaven done signed my name.

Tonight I am a witness to myself, when so many days and nights on this campus I was not.   Ten years ago I was a student here, and I worked for what was at that time called the Barnard-Columbia Rape Crisis Anti-Violence Support Center.   And I learned so much.  And I channeled my energy into making space for survivors of sexual violence to speak their truth, to be heard without judgment.  I answered the phone.   I spoke to the Spectator about how exciting and important it was that a program for men was just starting.  I was proud of the work that I did, organizing the resource library.  Posting flyers in bathrooms for trainings about sex positivity, and how consent is sexy and how there is always someone on call to listen, to walk with you, to believe you and support you.   I was proud because my mother also did Rape Crisis support work, because I knew with the power in my own heart and from the powerful people who raised my siblings and I that listening is love, and that at least, at the very least, those of us who have survived any of the many violences that are routine and common in a world based on domination, deserve to speak our truth and we deserve to be heard without judgment.

But I did not speak all of my truth and I judged myself worse than I would judge anyone.   Because ten years and six months ago I survived sexual assault on this campus from another student of color, a comrade, a partner with me in our activist community, and I couldn’t say anything.    I didn’t take time off.  I didn’t drop a class. I didn’t drop a letter grade.  I did lose ten pounds that I could not afford to lose.  Because as my body already knew: silence that is not listening, silence that is not love is only disappearance.   I judged myself.  I blamed myself because I associated my own experience of violence with my own decision to trust someone in my community.  My own decision to believe that shared political beliefs and shared understandings of some oppressions would mean that this person, who I had considered a friend and comrade would not harm me on purpose, would not sacrifice me to their need to feel powerful, would not use the domination that we were trying to fight against at our school against me, a friend, a comrade, someone who trusted him.   I blamed myself and I decided it was too dangerous to trust.  I decided that safety meant no trust for anyone.  Not even myself.

I certainly did not trust this institution which has not yet stopped being racist.  Which has not yet stopped exploiting Harlem.  Which has not yet stopped harassing men of color who walk through these gates.   I certainly ten years ago did not trust this institution to respond to my experience in a way that did not use it as part of the racist premise of Columbia, or that really honored the fact that I was more than a victim and that the person who betrayed my trust by attacking me was more than an attacker, more than a problem of the law.  I did not expect more than a gauntlet for me to prove that I did not deserve to be attacked for the studpidy of being a person who used to trust.   But what is worse is that I did not see anything in my own community of activists who hated the genocidal premise of Columbia, who hated the police targeting our communities experienced and who knew both of us to really support me either.  I didn’t see anything that would point to a structure or a precedent or even a capacity to challenge him and heal him in a way that would give him the power to not coerce, dominate or force other people to do anything, and I did not dream that there would be a process, in my own community on this campus that could rebuild my trust.   I didn’t trust my community to address it and I didn’t give them the chance.  I just lost so much weight that I felt dizzy most days and I worked at the Center where at least, by osmosis I could hear over and over again that survivors are not wrong, that survival is sacred and that we deserve a world where trust is not punished.  And I sat there and I knew what I experienced was real and I even got up the courage to call the person who assaulted me and confront them about what happened and heard them acknowledge what they had done to me in the way that they could.   But I did not identify publically as a survivor of sexual violence ever while on this campus.  Not even while speaking on a panel after a pre-screening of Aishah Simmons groundbreaking film about Black Women and Rape, not even while watching talented feminists of color including Maura Bairley bring so much insight and intersectionality to the students and administrators on this campus, I never felt safe enough.

Ten years later, I realize what I would have needed in order to feel safe enough to speak my own whole name.   It would have taken being part of a community, explicitly, bravely and creatively committed to ending all forms of gendered violence.   And I am part of that community now where I live in Durham, North Carolina and in this book that we are activating here tonight I talk about the birth of that crucial form of community through our co-creation of UBUNTU a women of color survivor-led organization to end gendered violence and create sustaining transformative love forever.   We deserve to belong to communities that lovingly demonstrate their belief that our bodies are sacred and necessary and our spirits are even more than we can describe.   We deserve understandings of racial justice, economic justice, disability justice, that do not reproduce domination, or tolerate it when it is convenient for their organizations, or depend on the empty work of people like me, who will keep working forever and just lose ten pounds.  

In this book I talk about the fact that creating a community of trust in each other and faith in the possibility of a world free from gendered violence and all forms of domination means showing up, it means eating together, it means creating concrete relationships across institutions, it means being creative enough to create a world we deserve, it means politically educating ourselves and each other around the forms of domination our privileges allow us to ignore, it means being there, it means saying you will be there again tomorrow, it means asking when it seems awkward to ask, it means sharing what repeated betrayals of trust have scared us into not sharing.  And it is a real thing, and a possible thing and it is what makes me feel safe enough to say who I am and not leave anything out in any space.  Even here in Philosophy Hall.  I am a witness to myself.  Even here.  Finally.   And I am a witness for you, saying that you deserve to have a community that makes it safe enough to risk trust again.  You deserve the growth that will come from trying to create that community.  And this event is important to me because it is part of how you can have it, and be part making it.  The world that I already deserved ten years ago as a teenager here.  That my sister deserved when she followed me here to also graduate from this university not even knowing what I had been through.   The world that you deserve based on the faith that brought you into this room.

When I was here at Columbia I did not think about the fact that my loss of ten pounds and equilibrium was also a loss for my whole community.  I did not realize that my community deserved me whole.  That a whole me was what my community would need to be whole itself.   But it has been ten years, and I know right now that your community, convening in this place, or elsewhere deserves you whole, deserves the you that believes in people anyway and deserves to hear your name unedited and blocked.    And I used to not trust that it could happen.  Especially not here.   But I’ve been changed.

2 years ago 13 notes

my friend annah's excellent soundscape of the decolonize oakland GA

2 years ago 1 note

curate:

Alexis Marie speaking at Times Square during an #OccupyWallstreet protest. The  sign reads “13% of the population (Black people) have always known how fucked up the system is, 86% just learned this… together we are the 99%”   jonubian:msalexismarie

3 years ago 1,017 notes

"i feel myself struggling to stay centered on what i really believe in: transformative justice, liberatory approaches to violence, not throwing anyone away, people are not their behavior and they can change, blah blah blah. all of the things that deep down i truly believe. and then there’s that part of me… that just wants revenge, doesn’t forgive easily, and never forgets. part of what drives my desire for revenge is not seeing any negative impact on the person that did the harm. while at the same time still very much feeling and navigating the tremendous impact that what they did had on me. i don’t see that they’ve lost anything, that their life has really changed , or that they’ve had any real consequences for what they did."

-

—  —Micah Hobbes Frazier (via theredtree)

i feel this every day.

(via robinpark)

(via dakotagoestoguam)

3 years ago 19 notes

Revolution Starts At Home interview on KPFA!

3 years ago 8 notes

Bitch magazine interview with Ching-In and Leah!

The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities is an incredible anthology (that started as a zine) out from South End Press providing essays, accounts, and testimonials about challenging assumptions of interpersonal violence while constructing and sharing new paths to healing and accountability.

In the intro to the roundtable “It Takes Ass to Whip Ass,” Juliet November notes how “often the very ways we sex workers might protect ourselves…are criminalized by the state.”  Peggy Munson details being in the incredibly unjust position of staying with an abuser who takes care of your needs better than an ableist society in “Seeking Asylum: on Intimate Partner Violence and Disability.” And several of the pieces address abuse experience in activist and anti-oppression groups. But the book isn’t just about how social services and state intervention can leave already vulnerable communities more at risk when it comes to addressing interpersonal violence; the personal essays, real-world testaments, and tools provided by the book are about taking transformative justice to the next level and creating community and self-accountability.

Ching-In Chen and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, two of the three intrepid co-editors of the book, took some time from their busy schedules to answer some questions about the book, and shared some incredible organizations and resources that inspire them, including several mentioned in the book. Read on!

3 years ago 3 notes

Alexis Pauline Gumbs getting ready for yesterday’s Rev at Home launch at Charis Books in Atlanta!   

To quote Alexis, “My brightly colored powerstance for our brightly colored book. This outfit is dedicated to you Leah!!!!!”

3 years ago 3 notes

Vancouver and Seattle launches of Revolution Starts At Home!

Vancouver:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

7-10 PM

FREE

Rhizome Cafe

317 East Broadway

Vancouver, BC
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=186050731448032


Come join us for the long-awaited launch of this beloved book! Co-editors Ching-In Chen and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will be in attendance to read, talk story, answer questions and sign books.

With opening performance by Cynthia Dewi Oka
Come join us for the long-awaited launch of this beloved book! Co-editors Ching-In Chen and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will be in attendance to read, talk story and answer questions and sign books.

With opening performance by Cynthia Dewi Oka

ACCESS INFO:

We’d like to acknowledge that this event is taking place on stolen, unceeded Coast Salish territory, and that it is at Indigenous people’s expense that we occupy this land. Community accountability is work that Indigenous communities have been doing outside of and in resistance to systems of state power since before the arrival of colonial settlers and continue to do. We thank the Coast Salish Nation for letting us be on their land.

While the main space is wheelchair accessible
throughout, the washrooms are on the same level and only semi-accessible. There are two gender neutral washrooms, and the larger of the two may accommodate some but not all folks who use electric or manual wheelchairs; the door swings inward, there is minimal clearance once inside, and there
is little space between the toilet and the sink to transfer.

We will have scent-free seating and maintain clear laneways for folks who use wheelchairs and other access devices to get into the event.

Please do not take flash photography so that folks with epilepsy don’t have seizures; please do not wear perfumes, colognes or essential oils so that chemically injured community members can attend. We will have scent free soaps in the washrooms.

The event is FREE!!! We’ll have some bus tickets available.

Rhizome has a delicious menu including the”Lentils are Everything” Stew with french green lentils, potatoes, spinach
and sundried tomatoes in a mint and lemon-scented stew. Pay as you feel for this dish (including nada).

Here’s a detailed access audit of the space:
http://buildingradicalacce​ssiblecommunities.blogspot​.com/2011/07/rhizome-cafe-​access-audit.html?zx=47fc3​94773486b8f

Seattle launch, The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities
Saturday, July 23, 2011
7-10 PM
FREE
Location: The Vera Project (on the corner of Warren and Republican in the NW corner Seattle Center, just north of Key Arena, please note we don’t have a numbered street address because we are on Seattle Center) .
 
Co-Sponsored by the Capacity Project and For Crying Out Loud.
Books sold by Left Bank Books (http://www.leftbankbooks.c​om/)
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108244072604465
About the book:

"Was/is your abusive partner a high-profile activist? Does your abusive girlfriend’s best friend staff the domestic violence hotline? Have you successfully kicked an abuser out of your group? Did your anti-police brutality group fear retaliation if you went to the cops about another organizer’s assault? Have you found solutions where accountability didn’t mean isolation for either of you? Was the ‘healing circle’ a bunch of bullshit? Is the local trans community so small that you don’t want you or your partner to lose it?

"We wanted to hear about what worked and what didn’t, what survivors and their supporters learned, what they wish folks had done, what they never want to have happen again. We wanted to hear about folks’ experiences confronting abusers, both with cops and courts and with methods outside the criminal justice system."

— The Revolution Starts at Home collective

Long demanded and urgently needed, The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities finally breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the secret of intimate violence within social justice circles. This watershed collection of stories and strategies tackles the multiple forms of violence encountered right where we live, love, and work for social change — and delves into the nitty-gritty on how we might create safety from abuse without relying on the state. Drawing on over a decade of community accountability work, along with its many hard lessons and unanswered questions, The Revolution Starts at Home offers potentially life-saving alternatives for creating survivor safety while building a movement where no one is left behind.

For more information:
http://southendpress.org/2​010/items/87941
http://revolutionathome.tu​mblr.com/
revathome@gmail.com

ACCESS INFO:

The main space is wheelchair accessible throughout. There are two gender neutral and wheelchair accessible bathrooms. There is a lift, parking (Mercer Lot, or Street Parking) and the space is close to transit (Bus Lines 1, 2, 8, 13, 15, 18, 20, 45 & monorail).

We will have scent-free seating and maintain clear laneways for folks who use wheelchairs and other access devices to get into the event.

Please do not take flash photography so that folks with epilepsy don’t have seizures; please do not wear perfumes, colognes or essential oils so that chemically injured community members can attend. We will have scent free soaps in the washrooms.

The event is FREE!!!

More info about childcare and other access coming soon.

3 years ago 4 notes

we got an AMAZING review in Ms. Magazine!

‎”“Like [This Bridge Called My Back], the editors of The Revolution Starts at Home have provided a landmark resource.”~Ms. Magazin

3 years ago 2 notes