greenie_breizh: (home scattered across the world)
[personal profile] greenie_breizh
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."

--

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.

--

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.

Date: 2011-11-22 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heikki-cheren.livejournal.com
I haven't read the articles yet. I suspect I know what I will find in them. Kind of.
* I've been told so many times "Huh, this is the women's bathroom here" - "Hmm, yeah, I know" that I lost count more than a decade ago.
* I've seen women about to enter the bathrooms, see me, back off, enter the men's bathroom, leave and enter the women's bathrooms again, looking terribly puzzled. (or men doing the opposite). I actually find these cases terribly funny.
* One day when I was helping for a cosplay I was forbidden the entrance to the room where girls could switch clothes. I told them I was indeed a girl. I was laughted at. I had to size my boobs with both hands and ask "So, what's that, then?" to get allowed to enter....
* I was given nasty looks so many times when entering a bathroom that I actually dread doing so in a public place. No matter where I am, no matter how many people there is, I somehow always expect someone to tell me to go away. It may be well hidden sometimes, but it's never too far from the surface...
I'm not even trans. That must hurt so much when it happens to them. Actually when I was younger I liked it when people got my gender wrong, but even then, the hostility is hard to handle.
The thing is, I never understood why there is such a need for separate bathrooms. Just get rid of the "urinoirs" and fuck that stupid idea. Why should someone care of the gender of the person peeing in the next stall????

Date: 2011-11-22 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heikki-cheren.livejournal.com
Great articles, by the way.

As for Occupy, I'm quite disappointed by the way it's handled in France. I happened to be at la Defense when they started occupying the place. I was going to see a movie. When the movie was over, they were still there, as long as 16 police vans. Three lines of CRS with shields, against young people sitting on the ground and singing "On est non-violent" and "Vos enfants vous regardent". Yep, that definitely required that many armed CRS !!!
I didn't go sit with them (I somehow NEED my glasses, and the CRS wheren't as peaceful as the newspapers pretended afterward, I couldn't risk getting hit), but I stayed with the crowd around, who was protesting loudly when the cops were taking action against the protesters, and clapping hands with irony when the cops would triomphally leave with a tent or a sleepingbag after having hit a few persons to grab their "trophy"... Yep. Hitting people to steal their folded tent. They must have felt so proud of themselves !!!
I didn't see it, and the journalists obviously didn't either, as they later pretented none was used, but the cops also sprayed some "gaz lacrymo" at a few persons. When I eventually left, I waited for the tramway near a 17 yo guy who had been sprayed in the face, and who was heading for the hospital to get news from a friend of him. She had been sprayed much more badly and had been taken away by the firemen.
There was very few articles about it the next day. Even less the day after. And then they stopped mentionning it. I wasn't in Paris anymore, so I couldn't have a look by myself. I just heard today that they've been there for 15 days. Why the hell did the news not mention them at all during all that time???

Date: 2011-11-24 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heikki-cheren.livejournal.com
Today's variation: two girls bursted into laughter when seeing me leaving the stall. Lovely.

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