1992Twenty-five years ago I attended my first protest march. I was thirteen years old and told my parents I was going to town to hang out with some friends. Not because they were anti-my beliefs but because they were (rightfully) worried for my safety. I marched with the Anti-Nazi league in Leeds, a city which had a huge Combat 18 presence and where protests had previously turned into riots.
None of this phased me however and, in my 13 year old hubris I took a wrench from my fathers toolbox and tucked it into my belt, hidden by a t shirt. What I thought I was going to do with it I’ve no idea, but it made me feel safer and grown-up, like I’d planned ahead or something.
I went alone as I knew the majority of my friends would not be allowed to attend/ were too kind to lie to their parents. When I arrived on-site I grabbed a placard, took a deep breath and started a conversation with the first friendly-looking person I saw. He was a Nigerian man, joined soon after by his wife and baby who quickly realised I had no idea what I was doing and let me march with them.
There were protesters in their thousands that day. The noise was immense, the sense of camaraderie even greater. We shouted, sang and made our voices heard around the city. I realised that the microcosmic world I knew in school was nothing compared to the world I’d found there. In the throng I wasn’t a weirdo or a freak to be ridiculed, in the throng I was one more fighter and friends were made more easily than I’d ever realised was possible.
The march went unchallenged by the opposition and I arrived home unscathed, with a fresh sense of who I could be.
Last night I joined 400 other people in a static protest against the current POTUS. My banner hastily made, I joined a soggy rained-on rabble after work and watched as the crowd grew.
There were seasoned veterans who had been protesting since the 60s, trade unionists and teens at their first event. Some came to watch, others to speak and a few just for the experience, instagramming their hearts out. But the numbers and the message were what mattered and I feel that by then end of it, everyone left with a sense of triumph; that we can change our world for the better.
This is how the dictatorship began. People who were there would like you to believe that it crept up on us. That we were sneakily led down the garden path, believing there’d be flowers but only finding wasps.
But it was not.
From the start he told us who he was and what he planned to do. And we convinced ourselves that the senate wouldn’t let him, that the people he had to get approval from would put their feet down and say No.
And they will…to a point.
His entire campaign strategy was to be as cartoonish as possible in order to convince the public he would never actually go ahead with it. To convince a public, so used to their news coming in twitter-friendly snippets, that he was foolish. So inept at using the media he could not possibly know what he was talking about. And it worked.
One week in and he has shown his contempt for women, First Nations and political prisoners. His politics have more in common with Idi Amin than Lincoln. The America he’s striving to render “great” again, ceased existing in 1984. Destroyed by its own greed, the country he’s dragging his followers into is a wasteland of demolished promises.
So share the memes, draw the cartoons and quote the silly mans quotes. But be aware that the agenda is very real, very serious and completely terrifying.
Today I got out with the camera for the first time in ever. Low winter light made for some fun silhouette pics and dogs are always great subjects 🙂
Will endeavour to do more fun things with light/shade as it gets less frosty out!
I am done with swiping,
Hinting at changes.
Now is the time to be moving,
The sharing of memes and
Repeating of sound bites,
Is nothing compared to
The impact of action.
Informed and inflamed is
The right way to fight;
Impassioned with knowledge
To fight for your rights.
A click fix is never the answer.
So cleavage is officially “over”.
Not content with telling us what size and shape our bodies should be, Vogue have now progressed to telling us that breasts are out of style.
Apparently we won’t be “getting them out for the lads or anyone else”. Well shit, guess I’d better strap mine down lest the natural shape of a woman offend someone.
Seriously Vogue, where do I begin with this??
Never mind the blunt force stupidity of declaring random body parts out of fashion, my main concern here is your implication that breasts only exist to be flashed. Beacons to declare ‘look at me! I’m the girl you want!’ which I must now lock away to avoid offending the critical eye of high fashion.
Do your female writers really only see their bodies as vehicles for the promotion of designer goods? Are you being deliberately ignorant of your own humanity or have you worked there so long you’ve forgotten it?
Women the world over have enough people telling them what to be and how to be it. We do not need to be shamed for the physicality of femininity.
If you cannot see the problem in this article, Vogue, then I pity the pretty empty shell you have become.
Your football team.
Your good wholesome boys drawn in by Lilith’s drunken grasp.
Your mighty men who went willingly into the arms of temptation,
Only to find she had claws and teeth.
Poor, gentle boys who went out looking for a good time
And wound up vilified.
The boys you saw as heroes,
Now devastated villains,
As your decades old dream crumbled softly into ashes.
And I hear you say that She is responsible.
For being drunk,
For being out,
For being there and then and how
She called them up,
Agreed to party,
And passed out amid the wreckage.
She’s responsible for things they did,
When she was comatose,
Because you’re scared to say
Your hero’s just a rapist after all.
Last month we moved in. The wallpaper came down, paint went on and the place began to feel like ours. Today I investigated the loft. This is about 1/3 of what’s up there, mostly old toys and nonsense but a whole bag of children’s photos that left me feeling unsettled. Who leaves their children in the loft? What stories happened in this house before ours began?
Tonight I will be in the moment,
I will enjoy the mindless,
Celebrate the unworthy,
Tonight a tiny person will sleep
His hand wrapped around the finger of someone who cares.
Soon there will be a space in the world,
And a debt of suffering will be repaid in peace.
Silence will take the place of fearful cries,
And a lifetime of terror will be erased.
Tomorrow will come as it ever does
And we all
Will start again.
Last few nights in this little old place,Sheets of rain on the window,
Half-packed boxes in every corner
And your rolling snore beside me.
Gathering together the last few memories
Before we wrap them neatly in newspaper,
Stuff them into cases
And sit cross-legged,
Waiting for the next part of the story to begin.