Thursday, January 5, 2012

Audre Lorde Remembered

Audre Lorde in 1983.
Photograph: Robert Alexander/Getty Images.
Click *here* for where I found this photo

It startles me to write it: Audre Lorde left us twenty years ago this November. I had the great pleasure of meeting Audre Lorde at a conference a few years before her passing. I shall never forget it. I was nervous, the way people talk about being nervous about meeting a great leader or famous actor whose work they've admired. I held back, wanting to be sure the women in line had the opportunity to greet her and share their own moments. Finally when there was no one else in line, I moved towards the table where she sat and greeted her. We exchanged a few words. She was kind and strong. Beyond that meeting, both before it and since, my overall politics and understandings of "what's wrong with the world" have been profoundly shaped by her work and words; the deep insight and wisdom in each enriches me to this day.

I've come across the following article and am reposting just an excerpt linking you to the full story. This is an account by Jackie Kay of how Audre Lorde affected her life. The article may be linked to *here at The Guardian*.
Lorde was openly lesbian before the gay movement existed. Her wise words often seem eerily prescient. "Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time and the arena, and the manner of our revolutions, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing." Back in the 70s and 80s Lorde's was an important and singular voice: "I began to ask each time: 'What's the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?' Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, 'disappeared' or run off the road at night … our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered for ever."
For more with Jackie Kay, please see this (you may click on the title just below to link to the web page that has the podcast):
Jackie Kay Audio (7min 28sec), 29 Sep 2011: Jackie Kay talks to children's books site member Luke Shore about her half-Nigerian, half-Scottish upbringing and her creative process.

Indigenous Day of Resistance press release

What follows was found *here* at the Inteligenta Indigena Novajoservo™ (IIN). You may also click on the title below to link to this news at another website. With thanks to the activists at both sites and with support for all who attend.

INDIGENOUS DAY of Resistance, Friday, January 27, 2012, San Francisco, CA

INDIGENOUS DAY of Resistance, Friday, January 27, 2012, San Francisco, CA on Betty Tuininga's TwitWall: INDIGENOUS DAY OF RESISTANCE


January 27, 2012
Indigenous Unity March at 10:30 AM

Meet at the Human Rights Commission
25 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA

March to the United Nations Plaza
Indigenous Rights Forum & Rally 11:00 AM

An Indigenous led Movement to Decolonize and Occupy the United Nations to demand repatriations for the theft of Tribal Lands, gold & other natural resources; and address issues of Civil Rights Violations, Hate Crimes, Broken Treaties, and the Human Rights inherent to ALL Indigenous People.

For More Information Contact:

United Native Americans,Inc.
United Native Americans,

Censored News Honors Many Indigenous Women, selected by readers

poster image is from here

There are many groups of activists and heroes who are utterly ignored and willfully shut out of dominant society's cultural, economic, and political news. One such group is Indigenous women. In North America, there is a corporate media policy of not reporting news from an Indigenist perspective, or that is produced by Indigenous people. Anti-Indigenist white male supremacy works very hard to leave all of us with the idea that if Indigenous people exist and are activist, they must be men.

Leave it to Brenda Norrell at the very appropriately named "Censored News" website to publicly honor and make more widely visible the centuries-long reality of Indigenous women's activism. What follows is copied and re-posted with permissions granted by Brenda. She states:
Please feel free to repost this article and photo, with author and Censored News credits appearing at top of the article. Media, for contact info for interviews of the heroes:

Thank you to all the named and unnamed, recognised and unrecognised Indigenous women activists who fight battles unseen by most non-Indigenous people. And thank you, once again, to Brenda Norrell. Love and justice to you in 2012.

You may link back to the original site by clicking on the title just below. There are many more honored Indigenous activists named in that post beyond what I have re-posted here. I also provide at link back to the original site and article at the bottom of this post.

Censored News Person of the Year: The Indigenous Woman

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Who made a difference this year?

The Indigenous Person of the Year, selected by readers of Censored News, is the Indigenous Woman.

Debra White Plume, Morning Star Gali, Waziyata Win, Tantoo Cardinal, Kahentinetha Horn and her daughter Dr. Ojistoh Horn, Corrina Gould, Kandi Mossett, Louise Benally, Buffy St Marie, Rigoberta Menchu, Hacha C Norris, Cheyenne Bellecourt Eagleman and many more were selected by readers as the Person of the Year. Censored News focuses on Indigenous Peoples and human rights.

Debra White Plume, Lakota grandmother and longtime activist from Pine Ridge, S.D., received the most nominations. Shown in the top left photo, White Plume, grandmother and voice against uranium mining on Lakota lands, was among those arrested this year at the White House during the action to halt the Tarsands and Keystone XL dirty oil pipeline during September.

Gwen Caldwell said that Debra White Plume was her top choice. "I selected Debra, because she sets an excellent example of what we as women should be doing and how we should be living. She is humble courageous, speaks her truth with honor and integrity!"

CJ Christian said, "Debra White Plume has made herself visible before the UN, fighting to save the Black Hills and to stop the Keystone pipeline. She works tirelessly for the First Nations People with sincere devotion, dedication, spirituality and integrity."

Roxann Karonhiarokwas selected Kahentinetha Horn, publisher of Mohawk Nation News, and her daughter, Dr. Ojistoh Horn, the first female Mohawk medical doctor from Kahnawake. Roxann described the mother and daughter as, “An amazing duet and strong women."

Roxann said, “I nominated Ojistoh because she delivers our babies. Being a matrilineal society she is responsible and takes a hands on role in the delivery of the mothers of our nation." She added, "That woman does not sleep. She does house calls and even looks after people during family events on her time off! I love that beautiful woman. She’s an inspiration and deserves it!”

"Kahentinetha is a woman who always worked for our people! I am honored to say I know these lovely ladies personally.”

Ben Manuel selected four dynamic, tireless human rights warriors: "Waziyata Win, Jessica Yee, Morning Star Gali and Debra White Plume." Richard Flittie added another voice of recognition for Morning Star Gali and Corrina Gould, both longtime activists struggling to save sacred places and reclaim Indigenous lands in California.

Manuel was among many who selected Dakota activist Waziyata Win for her work to bring Indigenous perspectives to the Decolonize/Occupy movement. (Shown in top right photo. Click for Oakland video.)

Among the dynamic Native American youths honored was Kandi Mossett, who hosted the Indigenous Environmental Network annual gathering in her homeland this summer, was arrested at the White House protesting the Tarsands Keystone XL pipeline in September, and was featured as a voice to protect Mother Earth at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, in December.

Hahana Bear selected Kandi, shown in lower left photo at top of page. Kandi was compelled to speak out after the deaths of friends and family from the oil and gas trucks, and devastating pollution, on her homeland, the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations in North Dakota, also known as Three Affiliated Tribes and Fort Berthold.

Indigenous Women Honored

Ruth Nolan honored Cahuilla Indian Elder and Tribal Leader Dr. Katherine Siva Sauvel, Morongo/Cahuilla, who passed away this past November.

Nolan said, “I selected Dr. Katherine Siva Sauvel, Cahuilla elder. elder, teacher and Cahuilla culture bearer (1920-2011) because she has been instrumental in saving the endangered Cahuilla language and way of life, and dedicated her life to passing along the oral histories and language and culture of the Cahuilla into the modern world. She was the first American Indian inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, and is a co-founder of the Malki Museum, the first American Indian museum in the United States.

“I had the incredible honor and good fortune to have met and learned much from Dr. Sauvel through my California desert Indian scholarship and position at College of the Desert, and was and remain incredibly touched, professionally and personally, by her extreme generosity and gentle yet strong touch in all matters related to sharing with so many others her native culture, to which she dedicated her passion and life's work. She is deeply appreciated by people across the country and globe, and truly missed.”

Toni Reynolds selected Cheyenne Bellecourt Eagleman. “She tells it like it is. She doesn't care if people get upset with her or not. She fights for Native rights, works with young people, raises her own children as a single parent, and works with numerous other issues. She is very respected and well known.”
Richard Flittie honored Pte San Win. "She is a young Lakota woman who lives on the Pine Ridge Reservation and works hard to take care of all the people there who need help. She is raising money for propane and for firewood and continues in her fathers footsteps on the political front for the Lakota people.Things like the Keystone XL pipeline. And she is always supporting and encouraging the carrying on of tradition and ceremony for her people."

Jeanne Combo selected Wangari Muta Maathai, who passed away in September of this year. She started the Green Belt Movement in Africa in 1977. She was honored for working with women to improve their livelihoods by increasing their access to resources like firewood for cooking and clean water. "She became a great advocate for better management of natural resources and for sustainability, equity, and justice."

Becka Nan Amos selected Hacha C. Norris. “Hacha is a strong and fearless woman who has taken her own education seriously -- and by this I mean learning truths and concepts the overculture has tried to hide and/or eradicate. She understands deeply the wrongness of the overculture and speaks out about it regularly with her actions as well as her words. I have learned so much from her, especially concerning my own white privilege -- and that's what I respect the most about her -- she's not afraid to call out people on the ways of thinking that we so badly need to change but often cannot even see. She's got guts, and not the greedy kind.”

Hacha C Norris, said, “Debra White Plume, Bertha Gutierrez, Buffy St. Marie, Tom BK Goldtooth, Alex White Plume, Kris Barney, Evo Morales, Subcomandante Marcos, Rigoberta Menchú, and yes all the 'Protestors' (whose names are many) who fight for Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, truth, justice and an end to capitalist exploitation and plunder of Mother Earth, and those who fight for food, heat, housing, education, jobs, health care and a voice.”

Bertha Gutierrez thanked Hacha C. Norris for selecting her. "I am humbled. All the people you have mentioned are people who inspire me and in no way shape or form do I feel I could fit in their shoes. Thank you for also inspiring me. Mi respeto para ti."

The women of the Blood Reserve are honored who faced off with oil and gas trucks this year in Alberta, Canada. On the southern border, O'odham Ofelia Rivas, and O'odham struggling against border agents and repression are honored. Northern Paiute traditional gatherer Wesley Dick, Kwassuh, is honored for refusing to accept the charges of Nevada Fish and Wildlife, and demanding justice. The longstanding efforts of Western Shoshone Carrie and Mary Dann are also recognized for their decades of struggle for the land and people. Lakotas Kent Lebsock, Debra White Plume and Alex White Plume, are honored for the Owe Aku International Justice Project.

The Navajo and Hopi of Black Mesa are honored who work together in their struggle to protect the land, air and water. Navajo Louise Benally and Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, are honored for speaking out at protests in December against the corporate profiteers, now coopting Arizona legislators, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Phoenix.
Please click *here* for the rest of the post.

Yanar Mohammed on The War (Men's Against Women) In Iraq

photo of Yanar Mohammed with a male soldier is from here

What follows is an excerpt from an article I read at For the whole article, please go *here*.

... Yanar Mohammed , founding director of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), was interviewed on the state of Iraq as the American occupation ends.  She described Iraqi cities full of destroyed buildings and broken streets, with intermittent electricity and unsafe drinking water.  Iraq, she said, is now a country of 99% poor and 1% rich living in the Green Zone, burdened with the most corrupt government in the world that is giving control of oil resources to multinational oil companies.
Iraqi women "are the biggest losers" in this war, Mohammed asserted, ending up with extreme lack of freedom, lack of social security, lack of opportunity, and increased sexual terror.  Her organization has conducted extensive high-risk investigations into the prevalence and plight of Iraqi widows, women kidnapped and killed, and women trafficked into prostitution. Fifteen percent of Iraq's 1 to 2 million widows are seeking temporary marriages out of economic desperation and extreme insecurity in being a single woman. By 2006, OWFI had observed an "epidemic rise" in the number of women prostituted in brothels, workplaces, and hideouts in Baghdad. Through covert investigation, they learned of the trafficking of women within Iraq for Iraqi men in all regions and for US military, as well as to nearby countries.  Democracy in Iraq has been crushed for women. 
American women soldiers in Iraq were big losers, also.  Nearly 200,000 served there, in as dangerous situations as men.  Though barred from combat, they patrolled streets with machine guns, served as gunners on vehicles, dismantled explosives, driven trucks down bomb-ridden streets, and rescued the dead and injured in battle zones. These same women found themselves, concurrently, caught in a second, more damaging war - a private, preemptive one in the barracks.   As one female soldier put it, "They basically assume that because you are a girl in the Army, you're obligated to have sex with them."  Resisting sexual assault in the barracks spills over to battlefield, according to many women veterans, in the form of relentless verbal sexual harassment, punitive high-risk assignments, and the morbid sense that your back is not being watched. ...

Andrea Dworkin Quote on a T-shirt made by activists!

For more about what you see below, including how to purchase the t-shirt, please click *here*.

Feminist Political Patch -Feminism is hated because women are hated -Andrea Dworkin

Feminist Political Patch -Feminism is hated because women are hated -Andrea Dworkin
Black patch with print of Andrea Dworkin quote:

'Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.'

Patch measures approx 20cm x 10cm

Lovingly hand printed by friendly activist types.
 For more about the shop that produces this, please see:
Thank you to all the activists in Adelaide!

Feminist Action and Event Alert: The 12th AWID International Forum: "Transforming Economic Power to Advance Women's Rights and Justice", April 19-22, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey

[image is from here]

This was sent to me and I'm happy to post it here for all who are interested:
The 12th AWID International Forum: 
Transforming Economic Power to Advance Women's Rights and Justice
April 19-22, 2012 | Istanbul, Turkey
The deadline to register and take advantage of the Early Bird rates has been extended to January 20th, 2012.

Join us at the 2012 AWID International Forum where 2,000 women’s rights leaders and activists from around the world will come together to strategize, network, celebrate, and learn in a highly charged atmosphere that fosters deep discussions and sustained personal and professional growth.
Exhibit Hall and Marketplace: From publications and products to handicrafts and textiles, the Exhibit and Marketplace has something for everyone. Shop around and peruse the latest publications, tools and resources from publishers, funders and others. Or stock up on one-of-a-kind, handcrafted treasures from women-owned businesses and collectives in the region. If you are interested in being part of our exhibit or marketplace area please download the application form.
Campaigns Corner:  This is a space where organizations currently involved in campaigns can share information and literature about their campaign and how to take part. Campaign exhibitors should be present at their table for the duration of the display. If you are interested in being part of the campaign corner email us at
Hotels:  Hotel rooms have been blocked at various hotels in various locations and can be booked when you register for the forum here.
Free shuttles will be provided between Forum hotel areas and the AWID Forum 2012 venue twice daily. Meeting points will be announced closer to the date of the Forum.  Please make your hotel reservations early; bookings are on a first-come first-served basis.  Deadline for hotel reservations is April 10, 2012.
For any queries about hotel matters, please contact us via email:
Visit the 2012 Forum website and find out more  about the Forum theme, program, logistical information and answers to frequently asked questions.

If you have any questions on registration, please contact us at . Be sure to check the website regularly for frequent updates on Forum 2012 preparations including fundraising information.

Please help us spread the word and forward this message to all your relevant networks, colleagues and friends!

Warmest Regards,

AWID Forum Team