Category Archives: Activism

Gallery

The Kids of Occupy Grand Junction – #OccupyGJ

This gallery contains 21 photos.

I spent two full days this weekend at Occupy Grand Junction, sharing childcare duties, facilitating meetings, and basking in the momentous dissent being voiced here in my small, conservative, western town.  Here are a few images of the kiddos who … Continue reading

The Revolution is Finally Showing Up on Your Computer Screen.

When I was taking to the streets on a regular basis from 2000-2004, there was no live feed streaming on the internet.  Indymedia did a fantastic job of covering the mass mobilizations from the protesters’ perspectives, and once in a while got a semi-live audio feed up online, but nothing like Global Revolution’s 24 hour live streaming coverage of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations this week.

This recent unprecedented level of accessibility–the opportunity to actual watch police repression happen live on your screen–has transformed the role of popular uprising in our culture, and has transformed our potential to create change.

Tonight I noticed the link to Peaceful Women Maced During NYC Protest appearing everywhere–on the front page of AOL News, in my Facebook feed, and in personal emails.  What was dramatically shocking about it wasn’t that these young sidewalk-standers were attacked with chemical weapons; that’s not a particularly unique event.  What was shocking was that I was reading about it in places I never had before.

Back when I was attending mass mobilizations, most of the time folks just had to take our word that crazy acts of violence were perpetrated by the police on a regular basis.  Or they could wait for video to eventually be posted to YouTube, or watch the mainstream media coverage that focused on the few acts of aggression by the protesters, rather than the mass volume of offensive & violent behavior by the cops.  Nowadays, it’s all right here at your fingertips, instantly.  And it looks like the media might even be paying attention at this point.

It’s 2am on a Friday night, so I’m not sure where I’m going with the analysis here.  But I know that I’ve personally seen many, many, many incidents like the young women above who were attacked without provocation.  This is not new, unique, or out of the ordinary.  But it is FINALLY showing up on the computer screens of normal people, who aren’t seeking out this kind of information.

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I know this post is a bit removed from this blog’s focus on reproductive justice–but for me, these movements are all tied in together, and direct action organizing is a core part of my personal history and who I am.  So please forgive the detour.

Public Breastfeeding Showdown at High Noon

This photo looks a bit like an old Wild West kind of situation.  Something along the lines of, “Let’s wrangle up some muscle & meet down at the corral at high noon.”  Except the ‘muscle’ is a group of nursing mamas, babies & toddlers, and the corral is the ‘No Strings Attached’ resale shop in downtown Dekalb, Illinois.

After a 21 year old new mom was accosted by the shop’s owner for nursing her 11 month old babe in the store, she turned to Facebook to rally the troops–or, shall we say, the gun-slingin’ posse.

Photo by Jennifer Moore Photography

I realize that this event happened back on June 2nd, but it’s by no means old news.  The issue of breastfeeding rights (have we coined that term yet?) is a hot topic, and it’s uber-relevant, as stories like this one pop up regularly from all over the U.S.

Hopefully, one day, a mom won’t have to get butterflies in her stomach every time she lifts her shirt to attach a baby, and we won’t need nurse-ins anymore.  Until then, though, the Wild West analogy that this photo conjures up works perfectly for me.

Asked to put your boob away? Call The Milk Truck!

Moms in Pittsburgh are about to have a new tool in their arsenal for combatting those judgmental stares and unreasonable requests to cover-up-or-leave.

Jill Miller, artist/mom/breastfeeding advocate, has hatched a plan to transform an ice cream truck into a combination guerrilla theater performance and public service project.

Check out Jen’s video on Kickstarter for details about her plans for the Milk Truck to serve as a lounge-style nursing space, and plans to tour it around to community events and art exhibitions.   Continue reading

Tiny Fists Tour: Santa Barbara to Tijuana this week!

“Two families full of radical queer riot-folk fury” are sharing their acoustic & string Riot Folk music this week.  So if you’re in Santa Barbara, LA, San Diego, Tijuana, or anywhere in between, check out Bonfire Madigan & Evan Greer  on the family-friendly Tiny Fists Tour this week.

Two dynamic activist musicians are hitting the road this spring with their babies on board, toting an arsenal of stringed instruments and a whole bunch of reusable diapers, hellbent on making folk a threat again. Continue reading

Robbie Davis-Floyd on Abortion Doulas

My recent interview with reproductive anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd appears in the current issue of SQUAT Birth Journal, and in it Robbie addresses the intersections of abortion, midwifery and doula work.

For pro-choice doulas and doulas doing abortion support work, hearing these words of encouragement from such a prominent figure in the birth world is validating in a way that is so needed.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

One of the features of the radical midwifery and doula movements is a tendency toward supporting the full spectrum of women’s choices in pregnancy, including abortion.  Do you think there’s a possibility that midwifery care will ever be able to encompass this full spectrum of choice?

The full spectrum of choice that I believe midwives should support ranges from home birth, to birth centers, to humanistic/holistic hospital birth, even to assisting at cesareans to provide continuity of care for the mother. And I believe that abortion is a woman’s right. It would probably be better for women if midwives were their abortion providers, but I have no information about whether or not midwives are willing to take on that task.

What are your thoughts on the growing segment of the doula community that is applying the doula model of care to the abortion experience?  Do you think the skill set of the doula can naturally transfer over to the abortion context in a useful way?

I think it’s marvelous! Every woman should have a doula at her birth, and at her abortion if that’s what she chooses. Abortions can be very traumatic for women—they would benefit tremendously by having a supportive doula at their sides.  They need both physical support—touch, caring, massage—and emotional support, which doulas are well-trained to provide.

Rolling Our Eyes Won’t Cut it this Time. Stand with Planned Parenthood.

I’m embarrassed.  By my country, my government, my fellow human folks.  I’ve sat here quietly while all this de-fund-Planned-Parenthood nonsense has gone on, hoping it was just one more instance of those crazy right-wingers unsuccessfully trying to make the world a worse place, and instead successfully just making themselves look ridiculous–again.

But that’s not what’s going on.  This is serious business.  When the House voted last week to revoke all federal funding of Planned Parenthood, they placed the health care and reproductive choices of millions of women in peril. 

AND THESE ARE NOT JUST WOMEN LOOKING FOR ABORTIONS.  They are grandmothers looking for breast cancer screenings; trans folks looking for respectful pap smears; teen girls looking for ways to not get pregnant; expectant couples suffering stillbirth and miscarriage.  They are you, your mom, your sister, your cousin.

It’s time to not be quiet anymore.  Rolling our eyes at the anti-choicers won’t cut it this time.  Sign the I Stand for Planned Parenthood Petition and tell the Congress not to destroy 3 million women’s access to quality, affordable health care.