I don’t get St. Patty’s Day :S

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So yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and many of my friends from various social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds were excitedly discussing the multiple ways to which we could celebrate St. Patty’s Day a.k.a get drunk. And I have never been one to refuse alcoholic splurges but I don’t get how and/or why drinking is automatically associated with the supposed celebration of a Catholic Saint. So I didn’t engage in the celebrations and continued asking myself….what’s the point of St. Patty’s Day until I came across this well written blog post that helped to shed some light on my state of confusion.

Thank you to the folks at RacismReview. Original post at

Workshop on Positive & Healthy Sexuality for Young Women

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In An Era Of Sexting

workshop on healthy sexuality

March 12th 2011

Graduate Students’ Association Lounge, 6th floor Unicentre, Carleton University
10am – 6pm (includes mocktail hour)
In An Era Of Sexting Poster

The goal of this project is to engage with and help empower young immigrant and racialized women to discuss sexuality in a feminist, sex-positive, queer-positive and non-judgemental way.

Sex negativity disallows young people from being able to critically engage in discussions around their bodies, emotions and ideas around sex and sexuality.

Discussions around sexual consent, sex positivity and safe sex need to occur and need to be led by young women. Without their full participation, the story loses its relevancy and only assists in misdirection and the misconceptions around sex and sexuality.

This project intends to provide a safer space for young racialized and immigrant women to deeply engage in discussions around sex and sexuality- their fears, their excitements and their experiences and to develop appropriate and effective ways of addressing these issues from a young woman centered perspective.

Only 25 spots available!

For women aged 16-25

Bus tickets and childcare provided

To register, email Kimalee at wocinsol@gmail.com by March 8th 2011.

Brought to you by
Insol: Womyn of Colour Collective &
Carleton Association of Women and the Law

Funding generously provided for by:
Girls Action Foundation

The International Women’s Alliance

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International Women’s Alliance (IWA) Statement on March 8 Centennial of International Women’s Day

Uphold the Militant Tradition of March 8 International Women’s Day!
Advance the Struggles of Women Against Imperialist Attacks On Our Rights and Freedom!

The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) joins the world in celebrating the centennial year of the International Women’s Day and in remembering and honoring the legacy of women’s militant struggles for full emancipation. Women the world over must continue this proud tradition of fighting for women’s liberation, and contribute in moving forward the people’s struggles for national and social liberation, sovereignty and self-determination.

The spirit of unity and solidarity demonstrated by the women of Egypt and Tunisia in rising up against corrupt, repressive and reactionary governments subservient to the interests of the United States and other imperialist powers resonates around the globe. These women, marrginalized in their male-dominated societies, marched to the streets in the thousands, led crowds in the protest actions and actively called on the people to join the actions to put an end to the decades-long rule of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and their ruling cliques.

This new level of participation meant for women not only a chance to see the end of these hated regimes, but also an opportunity to challenge the old system based on patriarchy and other reactionary values that bind women to abuse, exploitation and violence. For their courage, we congratulate and salute these women who have joined their Palestinian sisters in keeping the fires of resistance burning in that part of the globe and beyond.

We likewise congratulate and salute the women and men all over the world fighting off the deterioration of social welfare and justice by protesting against the reduction of government spending on social services to bail out banks, financial institutions and multinational companies and to reconcentrate wealth in the hands of the few. In Asia and the Oceania, Europe, Latin America and North America, people are taking to the streets against budget cuts in education, health, housing and other social services.

The conditions that drove the women in Egypt, Tunisia and other countries to rise up are the same conditions the majority of women around the world are suffering from as the result of the worst economic and financial crisis of the capitalist system since the 1930s. More than half of the hungry and poverty-stricken people are women. Women workers are laid off as companies shut down or cut costs and are the first to be subjected to insecure and harsh working conditions as companies take advantage of the cheapest flexible labor available. Peasant and indigenous women face landlessness, displacement and militarization as capitalists target the mineral and natural resources in their ancestral lands for capitalist expansion causing unmitigated destruction of the environment and the ecosystems.

Millions of women are forced to migrate to other countries in search of livelihood, making them vulnerable to slavery, trafficking and other forms of harassment and abuse, as well as discrimination, racism and xenophobia. Their governments push them to migrate to stave off high unemployment, earn revenues through their remittances and pay off local and foreign debt.

As we celebrate the 100th year of the International Women’s Day this March 8, we call on the women of the world to unite and organize ourselves to oppose the extreme conditions of exploitation and oppression amidst the world capitalist crisis.

Let us draw inspiration from our forebears who fought and won victories for our basic rights and fight the forces and institutions that threaten to reverse these victories. Let us resist reactionary currents of neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, fundamentalism, patriarchy, racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia.

Let us strengthen our local and grassroots campaigns against exploitative and repressive political, economic and social systems. Let us resist US-backed authoritarian regimes which plunder the public coffers and burden the people with ineffective governments. We must not be deceived by the desperate attempts of the local ruling classes in cahoots with imperialist powers to appease the oppressed people through shallow and deceptive “reforms”, which will only prolong their sufferings from the impact of bankrupt globalization policies. We must resist their efforts to preempt the inevitable social transformation that the people have been aspiring for.

Let us strengthen the global militant women’s movement against our common enemy – imperialism and its aggression, war, occupation and intervention.

The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) calls on all its members and the women of the world to issue statements, organize and mobilize rallies, marches and other forms of protest actions on March 8 to assert our basic rights and freedoms and to advance the people’s struggles for national and social liberation. Let us show that women will never be silenced.

Long live the women of the world!
Resist imperialist plunder and war!
Advance the struggle for women’s liberation on to the 21st century!
Persevere in the fight for justice, equality, democracy, freedom and peace!
Move forward the people’s struggle for social and national liberation, sovereignty and self-determination!

The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) is an anti-imperialist global alliance of grassroots-based women’s organizations, institutions, alliances, networks and individuals committed to advancing national and social liberation and gender equality.

Join IWA! Email us at internationalwomensalliance@gmail.com

Collective commitments:

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  1. Respect and adhere to mandate, basis of solidarity, and confidentiality agreement;
  2. Attend at least one meeting per month with the understanding that meetings are biweekly;
  3. Provide at least 24 hours’ notice when possible when you can’t attend a meeting (attendance can be done virtually, for example, through Skype or a telephone call);
  4. Respond to email within 24 hours;
  5. Take accountability for actions. If you take on a task, it is your responsibility to complete the task or find someone else to take it on. If the task is incomplete, it is your responsibility to own up to this. “If you take a shit on the street, go and stand by it.”

N.B.: We need to ensure that womyn adhere to an anti-oppressive framework. As a collective we shall refer back to documents when necessary.

 

What Does InSol Do? Support – Challenge – Education – Change – Self-care

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We aim to create a space of solidarity for womyn of colour, where we can learn and develop together. Our meetings provide a supportive space to speak about our experiences as womyn of colour, engage in constructive criticism, and challenge ourselves to expand our understanding of anti-oppression practices.

At the same time we also work to challenge the oppressive structures around us. We engage in this work through educational endeavours (for example, by attending conferences or organizing speakers’ events) and by acting more directly for change, such as through campaigns. We also identify as allies….

We also make sure to take time for fun self-care as a group. We believe in the importance of having fun while acting to make the world around us a better place and taking care of ourselves while we do it.

InSol: Womyn of Colour Collective Mandate and Basis of Solidarity

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Mandate

To challenge and resist the many forms of violence inflicted upon womyn of colour, while acting in critical solidarity.

Basis of Solidarity

The Basis of Solidarity acts as the foundation for the work we do. All collective members work towards ensuring that our actions and initiatives remain aligned with our Basis of Solidarity.

We are a united front of multiethnic women existing at multiple ends of the colonial difference. The colonial difference as coined by Walter Mignolo speaks to the sharing of colonial experiences that have been shaped by

We proudly identify as a dynamic fusion of critical womyn who stand in solidarity with the transnational struggle against all forms of oppression(s), including, but not limited to, colonialism, racism, capitalism, imperialism, sexism, classism, homophobia, heterosexism, elitism, ableism, and ageism.

We endeavour to do the following:

  • provide an alternate and safe space for womyn of colour to unlearn and re-learn;
  • oppose violence against womyn of colour in all its forms;
  • apply a critical, anti-oppression intersectional approach to our work;
  • recognize the multi-faceted and complex identities and lived situations of our sisters in the struggle, understanding that womyn of colour are not homogenous and are impacted differently by oppression and violence;
  • remain critical and aware of our locations of power, privilege(s), and oppression(s) and how they remain interconnected;
  • remain critical of “using the Master’s tools to destroy the Master’s house”;
  • respect the diversities within the feminist movement and know that equity and not equality is our ultimate goal;
  • stand in solidarity with indigenous struggles for dignity and self-determination.

We recognize that violence is systemic and widespread. Following INCITE! Women of Colour Against Violence, we recognize that violence not only occurs in the personal sphere but also manifests as state violence. We understand violence against womyn of colour “to be a combination of ‘violence directed at communities,’ such as police violence, war, and colonialism, and ‘violence within communities,’ such as rape and domestic violence.” We see that existing social and political structures maintain the systems of domination that impact our lives.

We are part of the womyn’s liberation and resistance movement. We believe that womyn have the right to make choices about their lives and their bodies. We recognize the historical contributions to feminism of womyn of colour, indigenous womyn, immigrant and refugee womyn, womyn with disabilities, queer womyn, womyn who believe in various religions or spiritual paths, womyn living in poverty, womyn whose first language is not English, and feminism’s male allies.

We are committed to a collective process that includes consensus decision making and the sharing of power, tasks, responsibilities, and information. We believe this creates a grassroots alternative to existing hierarchical structures of domination. We all take responsibility for the collective’s work and activism. We recognize that these are interconnected and inseparable, with each informing the other. We recognize that each of us brings our own power, privilege, and experiences of oppression(s) to our work. We recognize the prevalence and interconnections between all forms of violence and oppressions and that these cannot be separated from each other. We are committed to unlearning and challenging these systems of domination both personally and collectively.

We are all responsible and accountable to each other in the Collective

 

On Divestment, Supporting SAIA and “Seduction by Naive Activists”

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In the days both surrounding and immediately after the Carleton University Students Association (CUSA) council meeting on February 17th, where a divestment motion was to be debated, there was a plethora of articles both at Carleton and in the local press urging students not to support such a motion and to evade “ seduction by naive activists.” In addition, SAIA (Students Against Israeli Apartheid) was described as a “fringe group” or as “violent radicals”. We the InSol Womyn of Colour collective at Carleton University, one of the over twenty groups on the Carleton campus who support this motion, would like to contest this description of SAIA but above all to speak to why we support divestment at Carleton University. In addition, we would also like to tell those who describe the non SAIA supporters of the divestment motion as “misguided students,” that we would really appreciate not being spoken for.

InSol: Womyn of Colour collective is a united front of multi-ethnic women existing at many ends of the spectrum of colonial difference. We proudly identify as a dynamic fusion of critical, radical, anti-colonial, anti-racist, feminist women who stand in solidarity with the transnational struggle against ALL forms of oppression.

We support the divestment motion for the following reasons which are stated below in no particular order. Firstly, because we do not want our tuition money being used to support war profiteers, whose sinister “technologies” are used for harm around the world. In addition, we are in solidarity with all those who suffer under Israeli Apartheid (and yes we do believe it is Apartheid), be they Palestinian or Israeli Citizens. Furthermore, we believe that whether you are a Canadian, Palestinian or Israeli, your life has equal value, and thus, attention to the plight of Palestinians who live under Israeli occupation should not go unrecognized and discounted because Israel is supposedly the only democracy in the Middle East.

Around the world there is wide support for divestment and this is also illustrated more locally by the over two thousand students who sent letters to their CUSA “representatives” in support of the SAIA divestment motion. Could these students be described as “misguided”, supporters of a “fringe” group and “fringe” issue? We think not. Rather, they should be seen as informed, knowledgeable and outraged supporters of human rights who do not want their tuition fees supporting war profiteers and apartheid.

 

InSol Womyn of Colour Collective,

Ottawa