Saturday, October 29, 2005

Taking Back The Night

Children, Witches, other women and those who support them gathered in Aotea Square in Auckland, new zealand at 7:00 pm, October 28th to Take Back the Night and reclaim the right to free movement for women. If you are wondering what "Take Back The Night" is all about, click HERE.

There are many reasons to hold a take back the night event in Auckland or anywhere else in Aotearoa/NZ and beyond. Did you know that domestic assaults in new zealand increase by 25% when the All Blacks (rugby) lose a game? Did you know that a woman in NZ is killed every 5 weeks by her "(ex)partner", out of a population of only 4.1 million?.

For all these reasons and more, women gathered in solidarity to resist what is arguably the oldest form of oppression; and drew the links between modern oppression of women, murder and torture of "witches" in europe, the united states and the african continent, and Halloween.

The rally lasted about an hour with a raffle for women empowering art-work, stirring speeches/poetry and lantern lighting. The rally was followed by a boisterous and rambunctious all women's march, with male supporters following in quiet solidarity behind them. Chants included:

"Riots, not Diets, no longer we stand quiet!"
"Yes means yes, No means no, What ever we wear, Where ever we go!"
"As women of the world we stand, equality is what we demand!"

Auckland's swinest showed up for a brief stint towards the end of the march. With lights on and the sirens blaring, the burly uniforms swerved their squad cars aggressively into the front of the march, narrowly missing at least one of the markers. Characteristically, they demanded to talk to...."The Leader" (democratic movements don't have leaders). The women, cunningly ignored them and filtering threw their squad cars and aggressive presence, continued on trick and treating them like the "just another obstacle on the march for women's rights" they were.

The march ended shortly thereafter, and organically transformed into a women's circle, and men's circle (to talk about violence against women in their own lives and what to do about it), complete with fire-spinning, lanterns and jack-o-lanterns.

All in all a very successful demonstration...but there is still much work to be done!

What is anarcho-feminism?
Anarcho-Feminist Manifesto Can Be Read HERE


A few other news items:

I mentioned censorship of academics in the last post. Here is another incident, where a young man was arrested for the content of his sign. Some people find the "f-word" offensive; but considering it used to stand for "Fornicate Under Command of the King"; is it really a word the state has a right to get worked up about? I found the article here.

I've always been interested in culture jamming as both an art-form, and as a political act. Here is a great site, I found both humorous and inspiring.

Here are some photos from iraq as seen by a social justice activist, whom often posts their photographs to an anarchist news site.


We're both really well. Eabha is saying several new words every day like "watch", "baboon", "Ruth", "My Dadad"/"My Mamma"... One of the art pieces that Emily composed for the "Take Back the Night" raffle, has been posted on her blog; which you can see HERE.

I'll leave you now with a quote I heard from my sister:

"Societies are like stews. If you don't keep them stirred up, you get scum forming at the top"

John D

Emily speaks to a reporter from the New Zealand Herald.. JD Posted by Picasa

Placard.. JD Posted by Picasa

At the rally.. JD Posted by Picasa

At the rally.. JD Posted by Picasa

Emily at the rally.. JD Posted by Picasa

Gathering at the rally.. JD Posted by Picasa

A good cause. There's no real women's liberation without revolution, but there's also no real revolution without women's liberation. JD Posted by Picasa

Smallest attendee.. JD Posted by Picasa

Karolina (Witch).. JD Posted by Picasa

Educate then agitate!.. JD Posted by Picasa

One could say, without fear of contradiction, that the message was clear indeed!.. JD Posted by Picasa

Rose (Witch).. JD Posted by Picasa

Speaking.. JD Posted by Picasa

Placards.. JD Posted by Picasa

Placards.. JD Posted by Picasa

Ruth (Witch) at the sound system.. JD Posted by Picasa

Emily speaking at the rally.. JD Posted by Picasa

Eabha up past her bedtime and at the microphone...I wasn't going to stop her, when she's wouldn't want to try either.. JD Posted by Picasa

Banner as the march concludes in the park.. Em
 Posted by Picasa

Banner as the march concludes in the park.. Em Posted by Picasa

Men's workshop to discuss "violence against women", there was a simultaneous women's meeting not far off.. JD Posted by Picasa

Fire spinning.. Em Posted by Picasa

Fire spinning.. Em Posted by Picasa