New Poem: Without a Script

7-9-18a

Photo from Washington Post

 

I’m always down for some direct action. I’m always down to be heard. I’m down for stopping traffic and annoying the fuck out of people who cannot be bothered.
But I am only down for that if it is with purpose. Bitching just to bitch is fine, but wasting good movement energy because you as an individual want to be heard is bullshit. Most aren’t like this, some are, and this poem is for them. Continue reading

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Anchored In a Rising Tide

“A rising tide lifts all boats.” That was something a fiscally conservative (or what is called fiscally conservative these days, but I digress) professor of mine once said. He was quoting a favorite pundit of his, I cannot remember who at the moment. The idea is that it should not matter if the rich are getting richer, because if they are, then their wealth will push everyone up. The analogy fails of course, even as an analogy because it refuses to see that many boats are anchored, quite against their “captains'” wills and will sink in that rising tide. Continue reading

Time For A Little Reclamation

Protesting

Protesting (Photo credit: vpickering)

In my life there has been an ever-increasing catalog of once innocuous words that have become emotionally charged. They have been turned into weapons of mass destruction, targeted at those with little power to turn them into weapons against those who have none. These are good words with good intentions. Words that should be examples of the best mankind has to offer to one another, and yet in their zeal to grasp the privilege they have, the middle class lets the upper class poison their minds with them. I may be waxing Quixotic as I have been known to do, but I think it is time reclaim some of them. Continue reading

From Your Perch

Protesting CAPP

Protesting CAPP (Photo credit: Caelie_Frampton)

 

I really wonder about people sometimes. Some of the things I read on Facebook in the comments on posts and I just shake my head. For instance, I read under a photo of a protest of Chase bank that envy is what causes people to not like capitalism. This is funny because the photo was specifically of a sign that read: I don’t have a problem with capital, I have a problem with theft. Continue reading

Stuck in the Middle Again

Never examine equine homage by its orifice. This is advice I need to remember when I read news like this. Public spaces are a nightmare for those of us in the trans community to navigate to begin with. Public spaces where we don’t have a choice whether or not we are there, ie jail, are all nine rings of Dante’s hell. It was the main reason I did not even think about trying to pass while I was in NYC in October for OWS. Knowing I might get arrested was scary enough. Why risk humiliation or worse at the hands of the NYPD on top of that?

Overall I have to say I am glad that the LAPD are doing this. It is nice that we are being acknowledged as a group with very specific needs. When I first learned about this from Kate Bornstein’s tweet  I was skeptical. On the one hand, at the very least we need protection from the abuse that we often encounter in these situations. On the other it kind of felt like we are being segregated, that our chosen identities were being invalidated and that in a way we were being “othered” once again. I have to admit that was a knee jerk reaction. I had not read the HuffPo article yet.

After reading it I found myself not just relieved but overjoyed. Not only are transfolk in LA getting a separate facility, but new policies are being put in place for treating trans prisoners. Our preferred names and pronouns, a huge deal for us, are being recognized by public officials as being important. Our specific health needs in our transition are being addressed. We are simply being counted as human beings by the leadership in the LAPD.

The only gripe I have is “what took you so damn long?” It is not as though the trans community has been invisible these past twenty years. In the past we had been shoved deep in the closet, but we have been out, as a group, for a generation now, and only now are the basic needs of our community being recognized. Still, I don’t want to harp on that too much. It is happening and it has not before. It is a welcome change and I hope that other municipalities don’t take to long following LA’s lead. It would be nice to feel safe wearing heels to the next protest I attend.

Criminalizing Dissent With Criminal Behavior

I want to be an optimist, I really do. I want to believe that our leaders will always keep our best interests in mind even if they do lose their way with the influence of big money lobbyists all around them. I want to believe that our Representatives, Senators and the President will always respect the spirit of the US Constitution. I want to believe all that, but then I see this.

HR 347 will, among some things that make sense, make it illegal to protest anywhere where the Secret Service is on protection detail. Between that, and the already criminal treatment by many local police forces of the Occupy Movement we are headed for very dark times in this country. If the President signs this into law we have officially taken the first step into real authoritarian rule in the US. We have already seen the extremes that authority will go to in order to silence us.  Things are shortly to get much worse, if we let them.

Which we cannot do. For our sake. We cannot let this go unchallenged. We cannot sit silently any longer while they whittle away our rights. For eight years of Bush we suffered threats to our freedoms, threats that the Obama administration has done nothing to address. We have suffered warrantless wire tapping, indefinite detention of terror “suspects”, threats of indefinite detention of US citizens and more. We have watched peaceful young people assaulted with pepper spray and even beaten. We have watched the willful self-censorship of a compliant media. We are at a tipping point.

The day the President signs this into law, and I have no doubt he will, we have a choice to make. We can either sit back and treat it like just another day at the office. We can put our heads in the sand and hope for the best despite the fact that we know things are going to turn out for the worse. We can slouch in our dinner chairs and never speak up again, quietly accepting that our “leaders” in the halls of government and in corporate boardrooms know so much better than we do, or…

We can rise up, march and be heard. We can all walk, drive/ride/down to Washington, all of us. We can leave work and be heard, like the roar of a coming tidal wave. We can all be criminals and let them try to arrest us all, millions of us. We can show them that they didn’t have to be afraid of us, but now, they have left us no choice. We can do this without violence but with great strength. We can do this all together despite the divisions of politics, religion, race, gender, or sexual identity. We can show them just how strong the American People really are.

I have a proposal. The day after the President signs this, and again, I am certain he will, gas up your car if you have one (or buy a bus ticket, beg a ride, whatever if you do not, (pack everything you think you will need (food, clothes, etc) and make plans. Make plans for two days after, when you, and as many people as you can get to join you ride down to DC, all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania avenue and for however long we need to, we make a mighty noise. We force them to prove themselves to be the traitors they so obviously are.

If we don’t do this, if we do not stand up and fight, however peacefully, then we don’t deserve to live in a free country. If you meekly accept this, then you have spoken, loud and clear without uttering a word, that you do not want to live in a free society any longer. You are complicit in the downfall of the dream this country represented. I don’t want to be so harsh about it, but if you search your heart, you’ll know it to be true. Don’t be meek. If they are going to silence us, make them work for it. Organize, mobilize and watch their eyes!