Saturday, July 16, 2011

What's before 101?

Today I went to the Big Radical Left Fair. It was a fun day - lots of baking, lots of people, and some super cute kids.

If you could get yourself to the venue - the only access was up a flight of stairs.

This is not rare in Wellington. Many people who organise events seem to treat an accessibility as a 'nice to have' - given up when something a group deems more important is under threat.

Every political event is also political statement - over and above anything that is said - the medium is a message. And what organising an event up or down a flight of stairs says is this:

"We have chosen to exclude people from this event on the grounds of their mobility disabilities."

That's not just wrong, because excluding people is wrong, it also weakens the left. Any exclusion of marginalised classes of people make it harder for us to fight for our collective liberation.

So when you're part of a group that is deciding on a venue for something and your struggling (as you probably will in Wellington) and you think "hey what about this community hall/bar/art space that is up a flight of stairs?" Ask yourself "Would I prepared to print - we have chosen to exclude people from this event on the grounds of their mobility disabilities - on every piece of advertising for the event?" And if you wouldn't be prepared to name what you're doing, then don't do it.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

In Wellington next Tuesday? Come see Bob Kerr

One of the things that has given me great joy as an adult is discovering that some of my favourite children's authors were lefties. Bob Kerr is a New Zealand example, I read his awesome graphic novels as a child, and as an adult I am awed by his illustrations of labour struggles and conscientious objectors.

Next Tuesday he's giving a talk "Putting Visuals to History" illustrated with examples from his book “After the War” and from exhibitions on Archibald Baxter, Rua Kenana and others.

When: Tuesday 12 July, 6pm
Where: Sandwiches, corner of Kent and Marjoriebanks st*
There will be a cash-bar and refreshments will be provided.

After the War is one of my favourite books to read to kids. It doesn't have many words (and if you've said you're going to read three books that's a definate plus), but it is beautiful and meaningful in a very few pages. If you have never read it then check it out when you're next in the library(or buy it for a small child you know).

If you haven't seen any of his art since you read "Terry and the Gunrunners" you can check it out on his blog.

This is part of the Labour History Project's AGM (more info about them here)

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Women with boyfriends in jail can be raped.

Women with multiple cell phones can be raped.

Women who can't read or write the language of the country they are in can be raped.

Women who lie on their tax forms can be raped.

Women who launder money can be raped.

Women who have told that their actual oppression is not enough to get them asylum, and so have to learn a story that will can be raped.

Women who have many truths they cannot tell to authorities can be raped.