I started writing this on the 28th of Dec. now it's 14th of Jan.....now it looks as tho i'm finishing on Feb 4th
This past year Two significant life changing experiences have happened for me. One of which is that i was in a major automobile accident last earth day. Another is that the cause of the Palestinian people became near & dear to my heart. I think the accident happened first before my awakening to palestine but it all kinda blended for me. But now here it is Dec. 28th 2009 a year anniversary of the 22 day israeli assalt on the Palestinian people on the gaza strip. Over 1300 people have assembled in cairo egypt hoping to be able to continue a freedom march to be joined by 50,000 palestinians and i find it difficult to leave my computer because quite frankly i care about what going on. (okay maybe there's some isolation/computer addiction issues but at least i can put it to good use to help somehow).
I am on the other side of the world...a world and half away from cairo & the gaza strip....my physical body is in rural ga. in the southern US, but my heart is with those freedom marchers & the palestinians in gaza. Today multiple people took to the street to give a voice to a voiceless people & give hope to a hopeless cause. My heart is with them.
I hope the people trapped in gaza see as evident by the all of the peace activists world wide & palestinian activists , that there is hope, they do in fact have a voice and are being heard!
i started this blog 'femme*a*gandhi fire' a couple of weeks after my accident this year and right before I found out about the gaza freedom march. I even became the first Georgia contact during the early stages of organizing the march. I also found out about Norm Finkelstein. I saw his brilliant youtube vid about the march using/applying the non-violence tools of civil disobedience that both King & Gandhi used.
this blog was started specifically as a 'peace' blog. & what i mean by that is for peace activism. Also for exploring the concept of peace. like what is it anyway? What is this emblem mean that has been co-opted as a baby boomers/hippies and found it's self on cheap t-shirts at walmart made in sweatshop in india or china? What the fuck is peace any way? So that is why I have started this blog. In a way to reclaim Peace. To make it mine. To make it Punk. To make it for all of us. Not just some abstract sudo-sentimental idea on a shirt that someone in some sweatshop made. I am a queer musician, artist & sex-positive 3d wave feminist and that has been the main focus of most of my life work. i am a sexworker advocate, and i am still all these things, but recently i have been haunted by a huge desire to some how integrate my feelings about peace activism into my life. This has been challenging because i have previously identified as well...ummm a militant...yep!....
And also i have always & still do strongly feel that the causes (sex-positive feminism & queer politics) that i have advocated for ARE totally interrelated with peace activism. This is a form to make space for that kinda thing to happen.
there are a few cause that are near & dear to my heart and anyone who has know me through the years would say sex-positive politics specifically that of the cause of human right for sex industry workers. i myself spent 15 years as a full time sex-worker mostly a stripper, but i have a well rounded resume in other aspects of the sex industry. I've experienced being a public eye out sexworker/advocate had articles sent to my mom outing me. I have done many actions & interviews for either talking about my experiences as a sex-worker or advocating for sexworker human rights. I am well acquainted with 3-wave sex-positive feminist theory that shakes up many 2'd wave feminist, & fuax liberals and put's them in a tailspin.. Sex-positive feminist theory & progressive queer theory is gospel to me it is true. At first I didn't even even mean to shake up the status quo, thought that's what it has done and now i'm very glad i have always just spoken my mind because it was the right thing to do not because it was the trend. Now I know that shaking up the status quo IS important and that is what much of what I do is about.
i am no stranger to embracing & giving my heart to 'unpopular' causes. I have found many time it takes embracing what is 'not popular' to find what is true & ethical.[ also what appears to be 'unpopular' is only that way because it needs the right audience] We must see through the lies that tell us standing up for disenfranchised people is not 'popular'. as an american southerner and child of the civil rights movements. (my mother was a SNCC member in the 60's) i saw the fruits of standing up for disenfranchised people you just fucking feel better when u you do!!!! it just the right thing to do. Also we are all connected and we must stick up for each other. (i could write a book about that!....well it's actually a topic in lots of my music, esp my newer music) also see or google Gandhi, Carter, Mandela,King, Tutu, the band 'Crass' & the South African Umbuntu philosophy for more about how we are all connected & why it's sooo freaking important to stand for each other.
Oh yeah of course the riot grrrl/ queercore movement during the 90's!!!!!!! i mean jeeeeze there a nother 'unpopular' (as in the mainstream rock world at-the-time-in the SOUTH!!!) we met sooooooo much hostility. skin heads attacking us verbally & physically...i mean wow!!! it was an intense time too!.....we also had ppl that fiercely supported us which sustained us, that and the inner knowing that ALL WIMMIN REALLY DO MATTER & that our underground network was sharing this knowledge & hope thru our bands, shows, zines & diy festivals etc. At the time i was sporting more of a malcom x philosophy & it was a movement in which i was a native of as oppose to a movement where i am an outsider just trying to help the best that i can.
......15 days later i am writing again on a whole new human rights issue, but with many parallels.
The Earthquake in Haiti. WoW (Vid's for Haiti- The Welfare Poets: Sak Pasé ...'Sak Pasé From its monumental revolution and establishment as the first free Black nation in the Western Hemisphere, to its current crisis, Sak Pasé is a cry for liberty and freedom'
here's a vid of wyclef from haiti with his org. yele
an earthquake hit haiti this week and created a more hardship for a group of people that have already been dealing with extreme, coue, dictatorships & Bush. it's is horrible. an unfathomable amout of people have been killed, are still trapped in crumbling destroyed buildings. Millions have been displaced and further pushed deeper into extreme poverty.
it makes me want to screeeeeeaaaaaaammmm!!!!!! i HATE the US goverment for how it is making it difficult for doctors to land....i hate them...the military....i know this ins't really so peace ful of me.....i'm crying know....i just don't fucking get it....where is peoples humanity....i' mean WTFFFFFFFFUCK!!!!!!!
how can we sit by and let theses things happen.......HOW???? This is GOT to be what the people in germany felt like when Hitler was in power. NO i'm not trying to be a tea bagger ( i mean tea partier lol)... calling Obama Hitler. It's the same bullshit as with Bush, Clinton all of them ...It's the USA.....a horrible flawed country.........I will say this it is a human country because being flawed is a human quality. This is where a super duper ULTRA RADICAL forgiveness comes in.
there is a concept called RADICAL FORGIVENESS. that is the only thing that i know can help me, i can' t speak for everyone ...but it a spiritual tool designed to heal hatread & hatred is what I feel for the US gov. & it's poicies. I think, I now, in my heart only identify as a peopson from Turtle Island. (Turtle island is what the native americans called this land where i live) I feel the US is not my home or my country. I guess it seems like maybe i want to bail from thmy country i don't like the leadership....yep!
.....this earth quake has been like getting the air knock out of us....i know that is such a huge understatement. I feel like I did when I heard about Katrina in New Orleans. My family is from Mississippi in the middle of the state, they were effected a little by the Hurrican but not as bad as the coast of coarse. But time & time again I've watch the fucking South come in last, ignored, suffing human rights violations over & over & over....i whatched southern blacks deal with the most horrible forms violence of all, PoVerty!!!! Also i might add i've seen poor white southerners go thu the same shit....i've watch us all deal with this shit!!!!!!!....i currently do an art & music group with folks just coming out of an indigent mental hospital in the rurall south.....a radical peer advocy group using art & music.....a job i got because i've had expiernebnce on the inside of an indigent industirial health complex as an ex-pateint.......a job i managed to keep after my accident......they let me have a whole month off with out fireing me.........not w/ pay but i still kept the job......... & i seen soooooooooooooooo much of what life the contemporary amrerican rural south is like and how poverty/rsism/sexism/homophobia and all the thing that make up the south, how it has manidfested in these lives!!!!!!!!! (just for the record there are LOTS of wimin who have been sexworker also with experiences in indigent industruaila mental health complexes..... Also i want to acknowledge a HUMAN SPIRIT in the people in the south that is MORE THAN A BY PROUDUCT OF POVERTY . that is more than the illness's of racism , sexism & homophobia.
i guess the truth is i can relate to have felt invisable for various reasons........well, because i have been at different points in my life. For whatever the reasons wheather it is because of being queer, a southerner, sex worker vetran, an ex-patient for some reason i guess the truth is i can relate to having felt invisible
My life has really been an awakening to the fact that i am NOT invisiable, simply because i exist...this is what i was finding through riot grrrl ,,,,also to a degree throught the sex indiustry.....i think in the sex industrial i felt a sense of visability & freedom that i had never felt before. i felt seen & heard....all though there was still abit of a price......your seen & heard more if you bleach your hair blond & are white....can we say racism exists there too just like any other field.....i had pink hair, blue hair & mohwks & sometimes i bleached my hair & did the the bleach blond bombshell thing...for the money moneyyyyy for the hustle of it all....i finally got to a ppoint & said fuck it i'm going to keep my hair blue or just do what i want.........Some times it about creativity for me not politics.....just about expression......politics all the time will make anyone unbalenced and deeply unhappy....( but as a white person i must always be aware of the unfair 'privilege' that comes with it. & that treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity. (tho in the south even white ppl deal with sever poverty)
I am FOR #GAZA, but I’m really over the word Zionist. I feel that labeling people is too easy---- we can creat these term to aim our hurt and frustration at. but i think we need to seek other answers rather than labeling people.
When I hear the word Zionist used I think of the word’s nazi & redneck…it’s just way to easy, and ‘old school’. It’s not really effective in the long term. i realize that there is this distinction between zionism & the religion of Judaism. I also understand that the US is funding This military 'state of' whatever the fuck this ‘Israel’ is ( to me it is a puppet for the US to get it's foot in the door to the middle east for oil.) I AM FOR #GAZA but in NO WAY have I ever been against, nor am I now or will I ever be against the jewish people!!!!
I think of the john lennon song "imagine there are no countries it's easy if you try. no hell below us above us only sky" I feel both groups of ppl. have roots & ties there for sure. Maybe our whole world needs to be a one state solution.
YeS I feel quite frustrated (to put it mildy) at times with US apathy & at the US ‘s compliance through silence. I mean I heard 80% of Americans think the Gaza strip is a dance!!! Yes It’s is hailarious, but it show the actual ignorance….not really avarice or evil, just plain in the dark! Mmmmm could this be strikingly similar to what the German people must of been going through during WW2…...an apathetic & silent majority.......i think so….
incinerating 400 children with white phosphorus & PURPOSEFULLY bombing hospitals, mosques & ambulances ....is not part of a strip tease I know cause i was a stripper!!!!! (never part of my dance!!!)
Musical explanation by Lowkey of what happened in Gaza...
But what I think is essential to point out is that it appears that whenever there is lots of apathy & ignorance combined with an oppressive imperial military state wrecking havoc what has come first was POVERTY. A beaten down & ignored people that gravitate to the only game in town,,,,ya know the one actually feeding them . … I kno this be cause I’m from the American south & have spent time living in the rural south….we kno about poverty……we also know about controlling military police states and oppressive government, we kno about sexist racist & homophobic organization (i.e. the churches) that are the only game in town that help people. WE KnOw about this! I am only two generations away from being a southern dirt farmer from Mississippi. My great grandparents parents that I visited a lot as a child WERE rural farmers in Mississippi. By a few degress of separation I have not dealt with this kind of southern rural poverty myself being mostly a southern urban grrrl but it has always loomed very near.
So I guess what I’m saying is when I start hearing words thrown around like Zionist, Nazi, Redneck….we all kno what that means had how to player hate….but I think it would be far more effective to find out what's really causeing humans to get to a point of treating other humans so cruelly. In other words I think we need to look at the real problems behind the 'isms…PoVerty just about 100% of the time is the real culprit or plays a big part….
Dear readers you can help & here's how!!!!!
ok here I am again feeling passionate about hash tagging on twitter for #GAZA!!!! we have a campain this week and it is to keep @avinunu aka Ali Abunimah an irish-palestinian author & the co-founder of the electronic intifada in first place for the #PolItics catagory at the shorty awards. At an award ceremony all the winners will get to talk about there activism and i feel his voice needs to come out. here's some more links with info about the twitter campain & how it started.
Nadine Moawad's Blog
here's where you can vote tonight the blogs describe how to do it if yr new to twitter
votes close at noon 02/05/10.
here are some video's intended to inspire strength and that either directly relate to what I'm writing about or tangentially relates xxx
here's a ViD of a fabulous billy bragg song about the amazing & couragous rachael corrie 'Music Video of current condition in Palestine. A song about Racel Corrie, an American peace activist who was run over by an Israeli bulldozer in 2003'
Holocaust Survivor protests Israel's response to Hamas rocket attacks. She says it's not fair since Israel is so much stronger
Invincible- people not places feat. Abeer
words from the chorus...
my Ima misses people not places
has she seen the towns with names in Arabic the Hebrew replaces?
The policies are evil and racist, deceitful and heinous
You’ll never be a peaceful state with legal displacement
(Abeer- Arabic translation)
Remember the names of our cities before you came and replaced it
Remember and tell me how am i supposed not
to miss a nation living within us?