Nov. 21st, 2011

greenie_breizh: (home scattered across the world)
I really feel like I haven't given the Occupy movement enough attention here or even in life. Probably most of you will have read or seen the video of what happened at UC Davis with non-violent student protestors getting pepper-sprayed - this photo (and other versions of it) has been circulated around a lot, and you can see a video of the whole incident here. There's a lot of good articles that have been posted about OWS, but in the wake of the UC Davis incident, I particularly liked the analysis of Glenn Greenwald at Salon. I think he hits a particularly powerful note when he says that, "Rights are so much more effectively destroyed by bullying a citizenry out of wanting to exercise them than any other means." I would add that this is obviously more true of a democratic state, where people become attached to the idea of 'being free' and 'having rights'.

There's also this cool letter from someone in the Occupy Vancouver movement that I just shared with my Sociology 100 students: Why I Occupy. I like it most for the way that it handles the criticism that OWS doesn't have 'clear demands': "Many people wonder why we have not produced a list of demands yet. It is not necessary for Occupiers to come up with legislation or policy prescriptions. Many people have done excellent work drafting out how a fairer and more just society would function. [...] There is no political will to use these blueprints to benefit the people. Political will is mobilized to protect the wealthiest one per cent. We are generating that political will."

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Ivan Coyote, who's nothing short of awesome, wrote a note on being yelled at for using the women's bathroom a couple of months ago, and recently wrote a follow-up note on this bathroom bullshit. Both these posts are really fantastic, and I really encourage you to read both. An excerpt from the end of the second post:
"I am sick of hearing that my safety is not as important as other women’s. I resent the implication that butches and trans women and men are never survivors of male violence themselves, and thus do not also need a safe place to pee, and the suggestion that we should somehow be segregated in our own bathrooms so we don’t bother the rest of you normal people, is simply fucked beyond belief.
I also want to state again, for what seems like the one millionth time, that single-stall, lockable, gender-neutral washrooms would solve all of our problems. I refuse to be divided and conquered on this issue. I will not allow myself to be placed in opposing corners of the ring when it comes to all of our safety. I call bullshit."

I've also had another piece from Feministing bookmarked for sharing forever that actually makes for a nice companion piece to the bathroom discussion: There are no safe spaces. The idea of 'accountable space' is one that very much appeals to me, although I'm sure it has its limits as well.

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On a more shallow, but fun note, this interview of Joss Whedon by a high school student is really fantastic.

And to finish, the New York Times published recently a piece on my hometown, Rennes that made my heart ache with nostalgia and a longing to be back in Brittany.

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greenie_breizh

November 2011

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