Archive | August, 2010

Genderqueer

18 Aug

I think that there are many misconceptions about the concept of gender queer. It has not been a particularly mainstream idea for very long. Arguably, it still is not mainstream.

Genderqueer is essentially a rejection of the binary gender system (male or female, boy or girl, man or woman). Claiming gender queer is basically saying, fuck a binary gender system, these gender roles that exist are too confining/limiting/inaccurate/fucked up etc.

Claiming genderqueer is not the same thing as saying you are trans. There is definitely overlap. Many radical trans people will also identify as genderqueer because they see the gender binary system as inherently oppressive. Some genderqueer people choose that identity because they see more than 2 genders. Others, because they don’t feel comfortable as either of the 2 genders. There are many reasons people choose genderqueer. It is a fairly fluid concept, with the main point of unity being a rejection of the binary gender system.

Claiming genderqueer is not oppressive. Claiming genderqueer does not cancel out other privileges that one may have. It is not a way to deflect those privileges. If a male bodied person says they are genderqueer, but they frequently pass as male, they still ought to acknowledge the way that male privilege plays a role in their lives. If a white person is genderqueer, that does not in any way eliminate their white skin privilege. And I have never personally encountered anyone trying to use genderqueer as a way of avoiding accountability for their other privileges. Continue reading

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Anti-Death Penalty sign making at craft night

18 Aug

Come on out to the Wingnut Anarchist Collective to make signs/banners for the anti-death penalty protest the next day.

Virginia is planning to execute Teresa Lewis on September 23rd. The Anarchist Black Cross is planning a protest on September 23rd from 4-6 at 1111 West Broad Street. We will also be going to the Greenville Correctional Facility where they execute people in order to have a presence there.

If you want to come to either part of the protest, this craft night the night before will be a good chance to make signs that have messages that you would feel comfortable holding. For instance, I personally have no interest in holding signs that advocate for longer prison sentences as alternatives to the death penalty. But there are certainly lots of people who are ok with that and will hold those signs. Making a custom sign helps ensure you will feel comfortable and confident with your message at a protest.

If you want to come and work on other crafts as usual with craft night, that is totally fine too!

Tea Party at the September Really Really Free Market

11 Aug

The September Really Really Free Market will be on Saturday September 25th from Noon to 3. To make it more festive, this event will feature a Tea Party at 2pm. If you want to, come to the Really Really Free Market dressed fancy or silly, or find clothes at the really really free market to dress up in, and then join us for a fun and silly tea party.

This is not the racist, conservative type of tea party, but the type with delicious tea beverages and snacks like cookies and scones! Please bring a snack to share if you can!

August Really Really Free Market

11 Aug

Richmond has had its very own Really Really Free Market for over 2 years now. And simply having been maintained on a monthly basis for over 2 years is quite the accomplishment.

However I think it is important to recognize that there is a lot of room for improvement with the Richmond Really Really Free Market. We have had a very hard time engaging more of the community in the event. It has had little success including things like food, workshops, music, games etc. Many months it ends up just being a place where people come to get free stuff. So it has not been very successful in building a community that helps each other in solidarity outside of the restrictions of a capitalist market.

This month’s event will be on Saturday August 28th. It starts at Noon and will go until 3pm. It happens in Monroe Park at the corner of Main and Laurel, near VCU.

At 2pm there will be an organizational meeting about the RRFM. Anyone is welcome to come. With originally just 1 person organizing it, and now just a small handful, it has been hard to maintain the energy necessary to build the RRFM into a vibrant community event. I hope that more people will want to get involved in terms of organizing for the RRFM.

Organizing it can mean making facebook events, making fliers, sending press releases, emailing your friends, facilitating a workshop, coming up with themes, volunteering to take the leftovers to Diversity Thrift at the end of the day, bringing games or sports to play during the event, getting people to come play music during the event, sharing a skill at the RRFM- giving massages, doing henna, reading tarot,  etc.

I’m excited to see what happens at this meeting!

Wingnut Food Distribution Program!

11 Aug

This Saturday is the second monthly event coordinated between the Wingnut Anarchist Collective and the Virginia Food Bank. The Wingnuts have been handing out food vouchers throughout the neighborhood over the past month.

So Saturday the 14th at 12noon the Wingnuts will begin setting up the food with the food bank at the parking lot at the corner of Graham and North Avenue in Southern Barton Heights. Then at 1 the distribution will begin. Folks with vouchers will get priority, just because that is the only method we have to keep it organized. The Food Bank only brings but so much food a month, but will hopefully continue to bring more each month.

This month the Wingnuts will also be tabling with fliers about the numerous events and programs they are involved with, as well as know your rights literature. Continue reading

Sexual Assault *Trigger Warning*

10 Aug

I am probably going to write more about this later, but I just really have to say that I think in many situations of calling out an accused perpetrator of sexual assault the people doing the calling out are more after the satisfaction of a witch hunt than the solution of an accountability process.

I find this problematic.

I am not talking about the survivor. I support the survivor’s right to feel any way they want to. I  am specifically talking about people who are NOT the survivor, but who might be friends of them or just somehow became involved in calling someone out.

I understand the satisfaction that comes with being mean, I think we all do. But I also understand that it is a short lived satisfaction that will not lead to positive results for our communities.

It is hard enough to get perpetrators to be involved in an accountability process. I believe immature behavior on the part of accusers and others makes it less than likely for a perpetrator to want to get involved. Ultimately, yes, of course it is always the perpetrator’s responsibility to take on accountability and work through their shit. But it is unnecessary and unhelpful to make that more difficult than it already is. And doing so creates more risk for our communities.

I think that if the demands for accountability are not genuine the odds of getting a perpetrator to be accountable are slim. You can’t expect someone to take a demand for accountability seriously when it comes wrapped up in insults.

ACLU success against FBI abuse of power

10 Aug

Just saw this article from the ACLU about one of the tactics the FBI has been using to secretly get information. These National Security LEtters apparently also frequently come with a gag order that prevents the person from being legally allowed to talk about the fact that the FBI is demanding whatever records from them.  The current administration is apparently trying to expand the authority of the FBI to be able to get information without oversight or probable cause.

Here is the article about one success story fighting the National Security LEtters.

http://www.aclu.org/national-security/national-security-letter-recipient-can-speak-out-first-time-fbi-demanded-customer-