Sunday, April 9, 2017

Day 40: Badass Women Protesting

The women are rising up! Have you noticed that the people most active in the resistance are women? It's not just the record-setting women's marches across the globe. Pantsuit Nation and countless other activist groups began the day after the election and now they are everywhere, especially on social media but also in living rooms and other meeting spaces. recently polled their active civic engagement users, receiving 28,320 responses, and the results were telling: 86% of respondents who are taking daily actions like contacting politicians were women, and 77% said they were likely to publicly protest an administrative policy in the future. In addition, 50% of those women were aged 46-65.

Sadly, white women failed to elect Hillary, either by not voting,  or worse: voting against their and their daughters' own interests by electing the fake tan oligarch. So it's fitting that white women are taking to the streets and writing letters, sending postcards, facilitating and attending workshops, community organizing and building, and standing up for those on the margins. It's on us! I belong to several local organizing and activism groups and have met some fascinating people through the resistance. I've also learned a great deal about how to be a co-conspirator, as NAACP president Jo Ann Hardesty puts it.

I truly can't keep quiet with the destruction going on in our midst. I have always felt compelled to speak up for what I believe in, but now more than ever. Doing something is good for my soul, and honestly it's the only hope we have right now to stem the tide and turn things around. Just as I've hardly ever used the "angry" emoji on Facebook until the election, I've also rarely called my congresspeople or sent emails--or attended a local organizing group--until now. I must speak up and raise the voices that need elevation. From conversations I've had with women friends--and also in my own home--although we women activists have supportive husbands, men do not seem to feel as compelled to resist or get involved. I'm not sure why.

Yesterday I joined my voice with hundreds of others around the world in #icantkeepquiet day. "I Can't Keep Quiet" is the anthem of the Women's March, and its composer MILCK urged women everywhere to sing the song in public places everywhere in resistance. I've joined the Badass
Women's Protest Choir, which grew out of a secret Facebook activism group (Badass Women PDX) and a vocal instructor/yoga teacher's desire to begin a protest choir.

I attended a rehearsal with 60+ other women last Sunday, where I was delighted to meet in person a few other online activists who I've been working with on Action Together Oregon and Pantsuit Nation Oregon! I wasn't sure if I could make it through the song without crying. But it wasn't until the Raging Grannies began to put our words into dance that the tears started flowing.

Within a few days, a team of us had created a choir Facebook group with 169 members, a press release, a public-facing Facebook page with 161 likes, and a mission statement. One of the volunteers blanketed the media with the press release, so we had TV coverage from two stations (see the KGW News at around minute 9, including a quick shot of me!) and an article in the Willamette Week before the event. The choir plans to sing at other events in the city (including Tax Day and March for Science) and continue to learn new songs for our repertoire. It feels so great to raise our voices together, united, in song! Thanks to the fake tan oligarch, I've met so many wonderful liberals!

Take a look at our performance below (thanks to Jeanine Flaton-Buckley for taking the video!). This Facebook live video (taken by Cameron Whitten) shows a much more thorough look, including both performances in Pioneer Square and Pioneer Place, and the protest chants in between.

With our Muslim, African-American, Latino, LGBTQ, and other friends; the disabled community; low-income people; refugees and immigrants; and other marginalized groups facing great risks and danger, and with the earth poised at the brink of climate collapse, HOW CAN WE KEEP QUIET? They are urging us to keep connected and keep resisting. I wish more men would join us!

Read more of my "I Was a Stranger" entries here.

No comments:

Post a Comment