At 35 years old, I can happily say I have a hero for the first time in my life. P!nk, keep doing you, you are an inspiration to us all. As someone with a tattoo on her right forearm, where the whole world can see it, of Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” I can safely say that you are changing the world for the better.Here’s to us. Here’s to us following your lead and realizing the world isn’t quite as black and white as gay vs straight or black vs white — may we all find the P!nk in the world.
The Fatwa Kiosks are not a harmless bit of nonsense. They are a manifestation of a deeper problem behind Egypt’s recent stagnation and social divisions. There is the widely held belief that religion, appropriately defined, is the solution to many, if not most, ills. The evidence for that belief is scant, and most of it points to the opposite. In his time in Parliament, former President Morsi, thundered against corruption and when running for president claimed that it can all be cured by appointing the pious to office. During his short term the men of his party came ready to grab with both fists in a time-honored, but hardly religious, attitude of “my turn now”. Preachers long urged women to cover up in order not to excite men’s passions. But a woman walking the hot streets of Cairo in the summer of 1967 in a flimsy sun dress could do so unmolested. Today her granddaughter, fully sealed in flowing garments, will all too often run a gauntlet of sexual harassment.
Alyokhina says she wants to tell the human story of Pussy Riot and correct some misconceptions: “In our case, the propaganda worked at full speed. They called us sacrilegious, whores and everything else.” But she also would like the book to be a call to action. “I want a 19-year-old girl from Argentina who doesn’t know anything about Putin, Russia, Pussy Riot or protest to be able to understand it,” she says. “Everyone has a choice, at every moment in their lives. This [book] is simply an example of how you make choices.”The Russian language version is being unofficially distributed in the same way that so-called “samizdat” literature – banned writing – circulated in the Soviet Union. But Alyokhina wants the English version to inspire an international audience. She makes regular visits to Europe and the US, and believes the election of Donald Trump as US president has made her experience more relevant than ever. “Political art is simply essential for life in the United States right now,” she says. “It’s not just about Trump. It’s about Nazi groups that are calling for people to be judged according to racial characteristics and so on. If you call someone dangerous then it means you are scared of them,” she argues. “You shouldn’t be scared, you need to act.”
But remember, she said: “This power, all this oppression is all based on fear. They are all afraid to lose this power and that’s why they oppress people who don’t agree with them.”So what to do? Stay involved, she said. Take risks, as she and her bandmates do.“Political acts are one of the strongest weapons,” Alyokhina said, “and so I really know and believe that political acts can change the world.”
The change in the Labour Party policy comes days before the next round of Brexit talks in Brussels. A deal for the same basic terms of the UK’s current membership beyond 2019 would be proposed by a Labour government.
One thing that bonds our extended family, besides our common ancestor, is that many have worked, often as clergy and as educators, for justice in their communities. While we do not purport to speak for all of Stonewall’s kin, our sense of justice leads us to believe that removing the Stonewall statue and other monuments should be part of a larger project of actively mending the racial disparities that hundreds of years of white supremacy have wrought. We hope other descendants of Confederate generals will stand with us.As cities all over the South are realizing now, we are not in need of added context. We are in need of a new context—one in which the statues have been taken down.Respectfully,William Jackson ChristianWarren Edmund ChristianGreat-great-grandsons of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson
These are volatile times, rife with both grave dangers and progressive possibilities. To help prepare for the long pro-democracy and antiracist struggle ahead of us, ChangeLab is sharing this small downloadable/printable discussion guide, written by Scot Nakagawa and Suzanne Pharr. We hope it’s useful.Stay tuned for more tools and resources, and please give us your feedback and thoughts in the comments. Hearts open, fists up!
East Harlem residents have long called for the statue’s removal.