Saturday, January 31, 2009
happy belated new year!
i am really behind already this year...obviously...and i am trying to catch up but oh well.
1. noemi created a beautiful brand spanking new site for revolutionary motherhood but i havent had time yet to figure it all out...we will be moving there soon...woohoo!
2. right now we are in cairo, egypt. after being denied entry to israel and spending a few days in israeli detention. ugh. you can read about our experiences here:
3. lex and i created this site: because we still are here
women of color globally
have written and stood
in solidarity with Palestinians for decades.
if there are any people on earth who understand how new york is
feeling right now, they are in the west bank and the gaza strip…
there is life here. anyone reading this is breathing, maybe hurting
but breathing for sure. and if there is any light to come, it will
shine from the eyes of those who look for peace and justice after
rubble and rhetoric are cleared and the phoenix has risen.
we got to carry each other now.
you are either with life, or against it.
you are invited to continue this tradition in the wake of israel’s current massacre of Gazans. to continue this tradition of transnational feminist solidarity with Palestinians. to find breaths, to find words, to co-create the phoenix in the midst of this rubble.
please leave in the comments your words, visions, rants, pictures.
5. this is not a hotel:
when in israeli prison i try to make a joke with the you monsters. but your english just isnt that good. the american accent sounds like a lazy fold in the heart.
but did you choose this job? or was this the only job left? you yell at me for not leaving the prison but you locked the door from the inside with you still in it.
you have to be ruthless to do this job. you have to be sandpaper. you have to push your eyes into your hands and refuse to admit that you are blind.
this is not a hotel. it is a cemetary. where you the dead guard living with threats and cocked fingers, with gutturral words. the bunk beds are rickety, rusted, rattling. a posada print where the the the prison guards smiles are skeletal papier mache puppets and no one is allowed to burst the pinata. poisoned candy. urine soaked blankets. plastic wrapped food. once a day you come to threaten us. this is a dance with the beloved. spinning. spinning. to find a center. a strain of human dna in the jungle where the monsters are. my daughter stares at you wide eyed.
instead you ask questions you wont let me answer. the heart is always a lonely hunter here. and my daughter and i refuse to be mute. like the tip of the knife, tip of the pen, tip of a bomb, the heart is dangerous in prison
this is a no man’s land. no laws govern us. no heart. no grace. just following orders.
this is a broken version of hell. but you wont break me. i am a witch. back up or get burnt. like a daughter in gaza you are bombing with phosphorous clouds of light billowing into the sky like laundry on the line.
no pens, knives, bags, phone calls, questions, answers, forgiveness, order
you close down gaza. then open a cease fire.
just me and my baby girl locked in a room. bright lights always on. i drape mattress covers around the bunk bed like thick mosquito netting. i tell you we need an angel in this hell. you come back with dead food.
the screams of an eight month pregnant african woman rocking on her hips. this blackness floats around my head–like stars pulling open the center of the sky. nothing here is breathing unless it has to. this heart, my hands are heavy pulling my head to the floor. there is no place to rest the ribcage. it folds into an origami swan and lies on its right wing, cock eyed, with sharp edges.
13 israelis dead
1300 palestinians dead
and a cease fire as stable as a childs paper plane in the wind
i cross my chest and mouth the hail mary.you only let us out of the room to show us how locked in we really are. baby girl spins between the bunk beds singing the alphabet to herself: a.b.r.q.s.z…
she climbs onto the bed. shuts her eyes. takes a couple of deep breaths. and then laughs hard into the belly of her stuffed doll. drags the to doll the floor . pats the doll’s back while whispering–shhh–then tucks the doll under the blankets.
its time to go to sleep.
6. i have had the incredible privilege of getting to know you awesome mamas...thank you...it has meant so much to me. provided sustenance and helped me to feel a little less alone in this world.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: a Handbook for Radical Parenting Allies
New deadline: July 1, 2009!
Don't Leave Your Friends Behind is a book geared toward the non-parent radical community about how to be an ally to the parent(s) in their midst.
This book is going to be a collection of some of the best minds out there. We're looking for activists, allies, and radical parents to submit the most kicking stuff to make this the best book ever for getting down to business: let's make a better world WITHOUT leaving out the mamas (and papas, partners, child-care providers) and children this time!
We are extending the deadline!! We realize that each place we go, we meet more people, hear their experiences, and are referred to even more people whose actions, thoughts and stories we should include. We realize that it is better to take the time for the project to evolve and grow before putting together a book.
Thus, we are restructuring our goals and deadlines while we keep learning, teaching and networking with this exciting work. We do not have a final deadline for the book, but will continue compiling our submissions into a half-yearly zine series.
That said—we have a new and exciting zine available for three dollars (see below for more details). We plan to do another “work in progress” zine—to share more of our submissions as the project evolves-- this summer. The deadline for submissions is July 1st, 2009.
We want to know how you do support children and their caretakers in your collectives, organizations or communities. We are especially interested in experiences that also take into account factors such as race, class, gender, single parenthood, and/or mental health issues.
Word limit is from one sentence suggestions to 5.000 word essays.
Deadline for Zine #3: July. 1, 2009
About the Editors:
Vikki Law is a writer, photographer and mother who has been working on a survey of anarchist mothers for the past two years. She also put out the zine "Mama Sez No War," a compilation of mothers' experiences and activism against the U.S. war on Iraq and is the co-editor of Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women in Prison. Her first book Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women (resistancebehindbars.org) will be out on PM Press in February 2009.
China Martens is the editor of the long-running zine The Future Generation, started in 1990, and mother of a 21-year-old. Her first book The Future Generation: a zine-book for subculture parents, kids, friends + others is an anthology of 16 years of her zine and is put out by Atomic Book Company. It is also available from AK PRESS
Jessica Mills writes a monthly column for Maximum Rock N Roll, "My Mother Wears Combat Boots" and her book came out on AK Press in November 2007 by the same title. She's a mother of two, sometimes plays sax with Citizen Fish, and is always all about organizing cooperative childcare.
Questions? Feel free to get in touch.
P.O. Box 4803 Baltimore MD 21211
PO Box 20388
Tompkins Square Station
New York, NY 10009
Monday, January 5, 2009
While amassing submissions for the handbook Don't Leave Your Friends Behind, co-editor China and I have made a work-in-progress zine of several contributions.
Zine #2 is 31 full-sized pages of stories, experiences and suggestions by both radical parents and their allies on building family-friendly movements, including:
*how theories on early childhood development support our arguments for anti-authoritarian parenting!
*organizing childcare at LadyFest Baltimore!
*providing childcare for children with special needs
*2 stories of parenting in collective households
*a children's crusade in Cambridge
*lessons learned from the mothers & children of the zapatista communities
Send $3 ($5 for two copies--you can give one to the ally in your life!) to:
PO Box 20388
Tompkins Square Station
NY, NY 10009
Let's keep spreading childcare goodness to the masses!!
For those of you who missed it, our call for submissions (deadline: Feb 1, 2009) is here: