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On Valentine’s Day: Strike! Dance! Rise! Be Idle No More!

725ab2e5536ce3eac0a8dd17d083ff4e_LMedia Release:

“Idle No More is inviting people to join in creating an inclusive Valentines and organize community events to coincide with The Women’s Memorial March ( A national campaign for missing and murdered Indigenous women) One Billion Rising (an international campaign to stop violence against women and girls) and Have a Heart Day (an initiative to support Indigenous children). Candle light vigils, teach-ins, rallies, round dances, marches and other creative acts of awareness, resistance and solidarity are being encouraged.” 

? Women’s Memorial March ?

The Women’s Memorial March is an opportunity to come together to grieve the loss of our beloved sisters, remember the women who are still missing, and to dedicate ourselves to justice. Twenty two years ago, in response to a Coast Salish woman’s murder in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, an annual march began on Valentine’s Day to express compassion, community, and caring. Decades later, the march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women. To find a march near you, please visit:

? V-DAY and One Billion Rising ?

Idle No More is organizing in solidarity with V-Day, which is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. This Valentine’s Day, an international event is taking place known as One Billion Rising. It is an attempt to get One Billion Men and Women to rise against violence towards women and girls. More information can be found here:

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, celebrate Have a Heart Day by supporting Indigenous children to grow up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy, and proud of their cultures. Have a Heart Day is about caring Canadians working together to ensure Indigenous children have proper services that make them feel proud of who they are. Explore the Have a Heart Day website for more information.

My. Fdl’s Kit OConnell is encouraging us to ‘Show a Revolutionary Love’, and shows us how easy it is:

Valentine’s Day: some people love the romance, others decry it as an obligatory expression of love or lament the misery of being single on a day devoted to coupledom. If being single on February 14 seems unbearable, imagine if you were not just alone but locked away from everything — your family, your friends, the outside world.

Such is the plight of our nation’s political prisoners. Some, like Leonard Peltier, have spent decades behind bars. Others, like the NATO 5 are victims of a new wave of political repression. To bring comfort to these victims of the system, Anonymous, occupiers, Anarchist Black Cross groups and other activists have come together to create Operation Valentine (#OpValentine).

It’s a great idea, and thank you, Kit OConnell.  Remember that three of the now NATO 5 were arrested with FDL’s TarheelDem in Chicago, and are still in jail, and their treatment has been nothing short of ugly.

Some excerpts from The Guardian on Rise Up:

Since Eve Ensler launched the One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women she has been repeatedly asked: is it a dance movement or overtly political? A protest or a giant global celebration? Just a few weeks before 14 February, the date that Ensler, activist and author of The Vagina Monologues, designated the “day to rise”, she says: “I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime.”

One in three women around the world are subject to violence at some point in their life, a statistic that prompted Ensler, who wrote the Monologues in 1996, to set up One Billion Rising. With such violence encompassing domestic abuse, gang rape, female genital mutilation and war, it is perhaps unsurprising that the campaign has taken on a different hue in each of the 190 countries where events to mark 14 February are planned.

“It is something that has gone across class, social group and religion. It’s like a huge feminist tsunami,” she said on a stopover in Paris.

Local protests range from the first ever flashmob in Mogadishu, Somalia, to the town square in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute and encompass Maori women in New Zealand and an estimated 25m protesters in Bangladesh.

Campaigners are already wondering what will happen after V-day. “The dancing will be amazing but more important is what’s happening to move violence against women to the forefront of the agenda,” says Ensler. “It will never be a marginalised issue again … At this point it really feels like a wave with a life of its own.”

Males, of course, are invaluable participants in all the movements and actions, and often more feminist than some females.  ;~)

Choreographer Debby Allen has a video up that teaches people the ‘official’ dance to the at least ‘semi-official’ movement song.  I don’t care for ‘official’ “Break the Chain” pop music or dance much, and am elated to see that the ‘One Billion Rising’ (short film) indicates that all dance, all music will celebrate the events maginificently.  As Alice Walker notes, ‘Dance is love’.  This is the ‘GABRIELA One Billion Rising Philippines.flv’ (disturbing content).  Your eyes may brim over with tears at the transition displayed.

 This is the Rise Up! Toolkit page for creating your own Rise Up!, or find and join an event near you.  Eve Ensler’s newest monologue ‘Rising’ is here.  From the website’s ‘The Time Has Come’ page:

‘Appealing to men and women ahead of the One Billion Rising event, she said she was “hopeful” the action would finally end violence against women.

By bringing about “global outcry”, she said, right-thinking human beings would “up the stakes” to proclaim: “We’re not tolerating it any more”.

Ensler, who has spent 15 years working on the annual V-Day charity event, said women affected by issues ranging from the horrific gang rape in India to the US election now had a new “energy” to fight back.

She added it was just as important for men to “rise up” than women, as both are affected by the issue of violence.

Her event aims to encourage people to “strike, dance, shake the world”, in a series of artistic events and flashmobs on February 14.

Emma Goldman: If I can’t dance, – I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”  Here are more Rising songs.

Remember that Indigenous issues are our issues, and we’re becoming increasingly aware of that fact.

 When the earth is dying there shall arise a new tribe of all colours and all creeds. This tribe shall be called The Warriors of the Rainbow and it will put its faith in actions not words.

~ Hopi prophecy


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