"I took my gang of several hundred women, all with leki sticks, we surrounded the police station, we beat the police officers sitting outside the station. Then other policemen came out with their leki sticks, our women then got very aggressive and starting beating the police...and then we tied them up."
It's not every morning there's a generally glowing NPR story about, well, militant grassroots uprisings against patriarchy and social injustice, but this morning's story about the Pink Sari Gang from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was certainly that...at least if you can get past the constant references to how "angry" and "vengeful" these women are.
Poking around a little bit on the web, I found an even better mini-documentary on the Gulabi (pink) Gang. Turns out that (surprise, surprise) they don't just beat up police, but have a range of programs encouraging women's empowerment and self-sufficiency, sustainability and jobs. Here's the video:
The Beehive Design Collective is wrapping up its national tour! Initially an all-women collective, this Maine-based group (they work in a renovated grange house!) fuses grassroots political activism with some unbelievablly intricately-rendered and conceived graphic posters meant to inspire awareness and change regarding global politics and dynamics, especially in the Americas.
The Grassroots Media Justice Tour is starting soon and might just be coming to your town. Check it out and spread the word! Bitch is proud to be a sponsor. In fact I was supposed to participate on the tour, but... well, as you all know, we need all hands on deck to sustain our beloved organization. I'm there in spirit...
* Performances, multimedia, and interactive presentations from grassroots media makers.
Alcohol is a depressant, right? And alcohol use and aggression/violence are related? But isn't it possible to use alcohol as a force of good, as a relaxant, as medicine? Don't we all deserve coping mechanisms?... And who are we to judge?
You can’t turn on the television or flip open a magazine these days without encountering an image of a star promoting his or her latest cause célèbre: Oprah handing out makeup kits at a women’s hospital in Ethiopia; Angelina Jolie visiting refugee camps (alone or with Brad Pitt); George Clooney zipping around in his tiny electric car and making speeches about Darfur; Jay-Z and Kofi Annan holding a press conference about global water issues; Madonna performing concerts against a backdrop image of aids orphans—and, more recently, bringing a motherless Malawian boy home with her after making a large donation to his orphanage.
When Damali Ayo was 12, her parents sent her to day camp with 20 white kids. The kids were fascinated by the way Ayo’s hair maintained its texture in the pool. Even after she deliberately dunked her head in the water, they were convinced that black hair doesn’t get wet.
This experience stuck with her as she launched her art career in the predominantly white city of Portland, Oregon. Ayo often felt she was the token black person relied upon for opinions and advice precisely because of her skin color.
When i was growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, it didn’t matter that my parents were some of the earliest feminist leaders on the East Coast, that I grew up watching their activism from up close, or that I saw them live (not just profess) equality between the sexes. It didn’t matter that I was a girl hooked on Ms. magazine from the very first year it was out, that I regularly flipped through my mom’s copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves, or that I ravenously collected Wonder Woman comic books.