Friday, May 13, 2011

The Revolution Starts at Home

The greatly expanded version of a piece originally published in Left Turn describing the first phase of the Challenging Male Supremacy Project is hot off the presses and featured in this fantastic collection -> catch our reading tomorrow night in NYC! Here is an announcement for the book and tour from INCITE!...

After seven years of hard work, the anthology, The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities, edited by Ching-In Chen, Jai Dulani and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, is finally printed and out! And there are tour dates! Here’s more about the collection:

Was/is your abusive partner a high-profile activist? Does your abusive girlfriend’s best friend staff the domestic violence hotline? Have you successfully kicked an abuser out of your group? Did your anti-police brutality group fear retaliation if you went to the cops about another organizer’s assault? Have you found solutions where accountability didn’t mean isolation for either of you? Was the ‘healing circle’ a bunch of bullshit? Is the local trans community so small that you don’t want you or your partner to lose it?

We wanted to hear about what worked and what didn’t, what survivors and their supporters learned, what they wish folks had done, what they never want to have happen again. We wanted to hear about folks’ experiences confronting abusers, both with cops and courts and with methods outside the criminal justice system.

— The Revolution Starts at Home collective

Long demanded and urgently needed, The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities finally breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the secret of intimate violence within social justice circles. This watershed collection of stories and strategies tackles the multiple forms of violence encountered right where we live, love, and work for social change — and delves into the nitty-gritty on how we might create safety from abuse without relying on the state. Drawing on over a decade of community accountability work, along with its many hard lessons and unanswered questions, The Revolution Starts at Home offers potentially life-saving alternatives for creating survivor safety while building a movement where no one is left behind.

The Revolution Starts at Home authors and editors are taking these conversations on the road. Keep up with upcoming book events and author interviews at their blog.

More dates will be happening throughout the year – if you’re interested in organizing an event in your community, please email If you can’t make a book event, please buy the book direct from South End Press, through your local independent bookstore or through Powell’s Books.

~ Northeastern North American Leg of the Revolution Starts At Home Book Tour ~
Accessibility details listed under each event! Please come fragrance free — more deets below!

Saturday, May 14, 2011
7:30pm – 9:30pm
Bluestockings Bookstore, Café & Activist Center
172 Allen St. New York, NY 10002
RSVP to Facebook event here
Come to the launch party for this long-awaited, beloved book!
With co-editors Jai Dulani and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and contributors Gaurav Jashnani and RJ Maccani (Challenging Male Supremacy Project), Jessica Yee (Native Youth Sexual Health Network) and Timothy Colm (Philly’s Pissed, Philly Survivor Support Collective.)
Access: Wheelchair accessible space, tiny tiny bathroom. We’re reserving seats for folks who need to sit due to disability and chronic illness/pain.

Sunday, May 15, 2011
5-7 PM
Food For Thought Books
106 N. Pleasant St, Amherst, MA
Co-editors Ching-In Chen and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will be in attendance, read, sign books and answer questions.
Access: Fully wheelchair accessible, including bathrooms. We’re reserving seats for folks who need to sit due to disability and chronic illness/pain.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
7 PM
A Space
4722 Baltimore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA
Facebook event here
Contributor Timothy Colm, O.G. co-editor Sham-e-Ali Nayeem and co-editor Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will read, do Q and A and sign books.
Co sponsored by Philly Stands Up!
Access: Wheelchair accessible to get in. Non-accessible bathroom. We’re reserving seats for folks who need to sit due to disability and chronic illness/pain.

Thursday, May 26
6:30 PM, doors open 9 PM
Toronto Women’s Bookstore
73 Harbord St
Toronto ON
Facebook event here
Come to the launch party for this long-awaited, beloved book!
Featuring readings, snacks, discussion and book signings
DJ’d by Syrus Ware
Contributors Jessica Yee (Native Youth Sexual Health Network) and Juliet November, and co-editor Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha will attend and read.
Access: Wheelchair accessible to get in. Non accessible bathroom. Reserved seating for folks who need it. ASL interpretation and Livestream info forthcoming – watch this space!

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: We want to acknowledge that all these events take place on stolen Indigenous land and that it is at Indigenous people’s expense that we occupy this land. Community accountability is work that Indigenous communities have been doing outside of and in resistance to systems of state power since before the arrival of colonial settlers, and continue to do. We thank the Three Fires Confederacy, Mohawk, Anishnabe, Lenape, Nipmuc, Ohlone and Miwok Nations for allowing us to be on their land.

ACCESS IS LOVE & JUSTICE: See above for specific accessible notes about each venue. We were 90% successful at getting wheelchair accessible spaces and are reserving seating for folks who need it due to pain, disability or illness. It really, really sucks that we didn’t have funding for ASL interpretation for this tour, but we will post videos of some of the launches with text transcription on our tumblr. If you have access concerns or questions, please email

Fragrance free is hella love! So that beloved community members including some editors and contributors can be present without throwing up or having to leave, please come to this event fragrance free! This means no cologne, perfume, essential oil and also switching to unscented products. We know folks have a learning curve around this, but if you can ditch the scented (yup, even with ‘natural’ scents) detergent and fabric softener, it’ll go a long way. Awesome scent-free list here

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Zibechi on Bachajón & Zapatista Prisoners

Third video message from San Sebastián Bachajón

The struggle to free the five remaining political prisoners of the Other Campaign adherent community San Sebastián Bachajón continues, along with the struggle to free the recently dispossessed and imprisoned Zapatista support base Patricio Domínguez Vázquez. One of the most recent steps in this struggle was the "5 MORE Global Days of Action for the Bachajón 5", which took place from April 24-28, and the "Global Day of Action for the Zapatista Political Prisoner" on April 29, both convened by Movement for Justice in El Barrio. Leading up to the days of action, groups from India, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Slovenia, France, Austria, Canada, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Dorset and Glasgow, the United States and from throughout Mexico confirmed their participation. Hermann Bellinghausen reported yesterday in La Jornada that there were demonstrations in 33 cities in France alone (really?!), and in 20 other countries.

This struggle is taking place concurrently with rapidly rising civil resistance to that US-backed war against the Mexican people often referred to as the "War on Drugs." Convoked by poet
Javier Sicilia, whose son and six others were recently murdered and falsely tied to organized crime, a march from Cuernavaca to Mexico City began today and will be joined by actions throughout Mexico and the world in the days ahead. The Zapatistas, and many other members of the Other Campaign, are actively engaging the initiative. In this letter to Javier Sicilia, Subcomandante Marcos describes the action the Zapatistas will be taking in Chiapas. Here in NYC, Movement for Justice in El Barrio will be bringing the heat to the Mexican Consulate tomorrow followed by a march from the Consulate to the United Nations organized by other folks on March 8th.

It's all very exciting and necessary, yes, but to bring us back to the theme of this post -> here are some sage words from compañero
Raúl Zibechi...

Montevideo, May 2, 2011

Dear compas from Movement for Justice in El Barrio and The Other Campaign New York:

The only crime the people of the San Sebastián Bachajón ejido have committed is that of wanting to live in their lands—the lands of their grandparents, of their most distant ancestors—which now risk being appropriated by the multinationals of money and death. The five from Bachajón, imprisoned since February 3, like Patricio Domínguez Vázquez, who was detained in mid-April in the ejido Monte Redondo of Frontera Comalapa, are victims of the political class that works in the service of multinational corporations.

Today’s war is for the land: To appropriate the life that it provides for and reproduces, and for this reason, the indigenous peoples and campesinos are the primary obstacles that must be done away with. Ever since capital decided that everything is a commodity for doing business and accumulating more capital, no space on earth remains – not even the slightest corner – that can free itself from this ambition. In order to seize the land, they unleashed what the Zapatistas have termed the “Fourth World War.” In Latin America this war lies in the displacement of millions of people from roughly one hundred million hectares in dispute. The huge open-pit mining projects; the monocropping of sugarcane, maize, and soy to produce gasoline; and the planting of trees to create cellulose are all killing life and people from South to North.

In some cases, such as Patricio’s, where not only was he imprisoned, but his house was burned down and destroyed because, in reality, they wanted him to abandon his land. That is the war that has existed for 60 years in Colombia, which allowed more than four million hectares to pass from the hands of the farmers to those of the paramilitaries, since they are offered as a form of security by the multinationals. A war to expel farmers – over three million in the last twenty years – in order to free up territories so that they may be converted into spaces for the speculation of capital. In Colombia, the territories of the war coincide precisely with the territories that the big mines and infrastructure megaprojects desire.

The same thing is taking place throughout the entire continent. The Brazilian government is turning the Amazonian rivers into cheap energy sources for the big businesses from Brazil and the North. It is constructing enormous dams that require ten, fifteen, and even twenty thousand poorly paid and miserably housed workers: They are the new slaves for governments obedient to capital. When they rise up, as they did in Jirau (in the state of Roraima) last March, they become labeled as “bandits.”

What is most painful, and most revealing, is how the political class that once claimed to be of the Left unites with the perennial political class of the Right in the displacement and imprisonment of indigenous peoples and farmers, and in doing so, demonstrates that they are all the same in their attack against those from below to make businesses for those from above. And they use “ecological” arguments because they learned the politically correct excuses to downplay displacement.

From this corner of the continent, I join you all in New York who are carrying out the campaign to free the Bachajón 5 and Patricio. Movement for Justice in El Barrio, who I was able to meet in January 2009 at the Festival of Dignified Rage in San Cristobal de las Casas, shows that community solidarity and camaraderie know no borders, and that we cannot hope for anything from those from above or their institutions. We only depend on ourselves.

Raúl Zibechi

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