Solidarity with Yugge Farrell: Regional Statement 

Solidarity with Yugge Farrell: Regional Statement 

Amend the Mental Health Act of St. Vincent and the Grenadines NOW 

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We the undersigned, condemn in the strongest possible terms, the persecution and mistreatment of Ms. Yugge Farrell by the legal, medical, and political authorities of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We are in full solidarity with Ms. Farrell and those Vincentians who stand with her.

Ms. Farrell was arrested on January 4th, 2018 and charged with the use of abusive language to Karen Duncan- Gonsalves, the wife of Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves and daughter-in-law of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. After pleading not guilty, an application was made by the prosecutor for Ms. Farrell to be confined to the Mental Health Centre for two weeks for psychiatric evaluation, as allowed under the nation’s Mental Health Act. However, according to a statement issued by the St. Vincent and Grenadines Human Rights Association (SVG HRA) – an independent Civil Society Organization – there was no apparent supporting evidence or behavior by Ms. Farrell which warranted the prosecutor and magistrate seeking and deciding to commit Ms. Farrell to the Mental Health Center. Furthermore, it appears that medication was administered to Ms. Farrell although the Mental Health Act only speaks to observation and evaluation of persons and does not include any mechanism to oversee involuntary admission and treatment practices. Also problematic is the fact that the Mental Health Center does not currently have trained psychiatrists or psychologists on staff. After the initial observation period passed, Ms. Farrell was detained for a third week and only released on bail on January 29th, 2018.

The mistreatment of Yugge Farrell raises several serious concerns about the probable abuse of the existing Mental Health Act of St Vincent and the Grenadines. We ask- is commitment to a mental institution for use of insulting language a regular occurrence in SVG? We join the SVG HRA in questioning the validity of the observation report and treatment administered to Ms. Farrell. We note the alleged romantic relationship that Ms. Farrell has publicly claimed with Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves and caution those who rush to dismiss this incident as simply a matter of ‘love gone bad’ to reflect on the fact that state entities can easily use the excuse of mental instability to vilify, discredit, and institutionalize any critic or person(s) deemed a threat or embarrassment to the established political order.

As human rights defenders, feminists, and persons who care about well-being and justice in the Caribbean and beyond, we condemn the actions of the judicial and medical authorities of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and their violation of the rights of Ms. Yugge Farrell. We deplore the misuse of mental health policies to oppress individuals and advance goals other than the safeguarding of wellness. Now that Ms. Farrell’s detention in the Mental Health Center has ended, we support calls for an investigation into the decision to detain and medicate her. We support her family members and demand independent medical and psychiatric care for her. We stand with the St. Vincent Human Rights Association who urge an immediate review and modification of the existing Mental Health Act so that it becomes compliant with international norms and standards to prevent abuses and protect human rights. Finally, we remind the government and authorities of St. Vincent and the Grenadines of their commitment to ensure their citizens’ right to free speech and protection from state persecution. The eyes of the world are watching you.

There must be no more violations of the rights of Yugge Farrell or any other Vincentian. Amend the Mental Health Act of St. Vincent and the Grenadines now.

In solidarity,

  1. Andaiye – Guyana
  2. Karen De Souza – Red Thread, Guyana
  3. Sherlina Nageer MPH – Guyana
  4. Alissa Trotz – Canada
  5. Jospehine Whitehead – Guyana
  6. Angelique V. Nixon – Trinidad and Tobago
  7. Gordon Forte – Guyana
  8. Delores Robinson – GROOTS, Trinidad and Tobago
  9. Tonya Haynes – Barbados
  10. Gina Singh-Trotz – USA
  11. Akola Thompson – Women’s Wednesdays, Guyana
  12. Anya Dover – Guyana
  13. Indera Persaud – Jamaica
  14. Maya Trotz – USA
  15. Ronelle King – Barbados
  16. Julio Thijs – Canada
  17. Verna St Rose Greaves – Trinidad and Tobago
  18. Dr Nastassia Rambarran – Barbados
  19. Mellissa Ifill – Guyana
  20. Salima Bacchus-Hinds – Guyana
  21. Fatimah Jackson-Best – Canada
  22. Charlene Wilkinson – Guyana
  23. Stephanie Leitch – Womantra, Trinidad and Tobago
  24. Krysta Bisnauth – Guyana
  25. David Khan – Canada
  26. Mosa Telford – Guyana
  27. Jessica Joseph – Trinidad/ St. Lucia
  28. Paige Jennan AndrewWE-Change, Jamaica
  29. Kimalee Phillip – Grenada/ Canada
  30. Lana Finikin – Jamaica
  31. Romola Lucas – USA
  32. Nailah John-Price – Leave Out Violence in SVG, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  33. Shanya Cordis – Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Spelman College, USA
  34. Marcus Day – St. Lucia
  35. Zina Edwards – Guyana
  36. Karen Philip – Trinidad and Tobago
  37. Savitri Persaud – Canada
  38. Roy Kingston – Guyana
  39. Simone Leid – The Women Speak Project, Trinidad and Tobago
  40. Ayesha Constable – Jamaica
  41. Kala Ramnath – UK
  42. Oluatoyin Alleyne – Guyana
  43. Naicelis Rozema Elkins – USA
  44. Maggie Schmeitz – Stichting Ultimate Purpose, Suriname
  45. Alicia Wallace – Equality Bahamas/Hollaback, Barbados
  46. Derwayne Willis – Guyana
  47. Gerhard Ramsaroop – Guyana
  48. Raquel Thomas- Caesar – Guyana
  49. Vidyaratha Kisson – Guyana
  50. Dawn Van Rossum – Antigua and Barbuda
  51. Shonnet Moore – Guyana
  52. Lauricia Akeisha Henry – Antigua
  53. Michelle Springer – Barbados
  54. Chantal Antoine – USA
  55. Holly Bynoe – ARC Magazine, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  56. Hilary Nicholson – Video for Change, Jamaica
  57. Vashty Maharaj – Central Beat magazine, Trinidad and Tobago
  58. Tandieka Johnson – USA
  59. Reine Joseph – St. Lucia
  60. Peggy Antrobus – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  61. Honor Ford Smith – Canada/ Jamaica
  62. Alexandrina Wong – Antigua
  63. Marlon Mills – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  64. Marguerite Allen – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  65. Vanessa Lumbley – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  66. Shaneka Allen – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  67. Althea Cohen – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  68. Olive Edwards – Jamaica Community of Positive Women, Jamaica
  69. Eunice Graham – Jamaica
  70. Beverly Bain – Canada/ Trinidad
  71. Jean Lowrie-Chin – Jamaica
  72. Erin Greene, CAFRA – Bahamas
  73. Ann Maria Diran – Suriname
  74. Jennifer Grant-Wilson – USA
  75. Marsha Hinds-Layne – NOW, Barbados
  76. Maria Fontenelle – ECADE, Eastern Caribbean
  77. Randall Theodule – St. Lucia
  78. Majhon John – Mental Health Provider, USA
  79. Maxine Allen – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  80. Cherrise Mcdowall – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  81. Jermain Ostiana – Curacao
  82. Diane Cummins – Conscious Exchanges, Barbados
  83. Nicole S. Hendrickson – Firecircle!, Trinidad and Tobago
  84. Judith Weederburn – Jamaica
  85. Keturah Cecelia Babb – Order of Nyahbinghi, Dominica/ Jamaica
  86. Sendy Brown – Canada
  87. Arielle Aska – Antigua
  88. Patricia Sheerettan-Bisnauth – Guyana
  89. Sharda Ganga – PROJECKTA Citizens’ Initiative for Participation and Good Governance, Suriname
  90. Mark Jacobs – Guyana
  91. Nadeen Spence – Jamaica
  92. Nesha Edwards – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  93. Catherine Sealys – Raise Your Voice, St. Lucia
  94. Jamela Khan – Trinidad and Tobago
  95. Carinya Sharples – Guyana
  96. Priscila Francisco Pascoal – Brazil
  97. Audrey Roberts – Bahamas
  98. Emma Lewis – Jamaica
  99. Ruth Osman Rose – Trinidad and Tobago
  100. Beverly Nelson – Grenada
  101. N’Delamiko Lord – Trinidad/ Barbados
  102. Melissa Matthews – Trinidad and Tobago
  103. Linnette Vassell – Jamaica
  104. Bridget Lewis – Canada
  105. Joan French – Jamaica
  106. Ulelli Verbeke – Guyana
  107. Jean La Rose – Guyana
  108. Robert Cuffy – USA
  109. Mark Moseley – Guyana
  110. Derek Gomes – Guyana
  111. Elton McRae – Guyana
  112. Andrew Campbell – Guyana
  113. John Shevrattan – Canada
  114. Shayla Murrell – Barbados
  115. Colin Robinson – CAISO, Trinidad and Tobago
  116. Sasha Robinson – USA
  117. Lisa Outar – USA
  118. Bianca Wagner – Bahamas
  119. Louby Georges – Rights Bahamas, Bahamas
  120. Stephanie Stfleur – Rights Bahamas, Bahamas
  121. Jackson Petit – Bahamas
  122. Granville Knight – Jamaica
  123. Jasmin Renee Wu – JRW Foundation, Trinidad and Tobago
  124. Huiming Wu – JRW Foundation, Trinidad and Tobago
  125. Celine Leid – JRW Foundation, Trinidad and Tobago
  126. Ava Turnquest – Bahamas
  127. Kevon Mc Kenna – Trinidad and Tobago
  128. Winy Marango – Vanutu
  129. Aroona Ramsahai – Trinidad and Tobago
  130. Kenene Senior – Jamaica
  131. Jean-Claude Cournand – 2 Cents Movement, Trinidad and Tobago
  132. Mavis Mainu – Ghana
  133. Soyini Ayanna Forde – Trinidad and Tobago
  134. Alysia Christiani – USA
  135. Namela Baynes-Henry – Rainbow House, Guyana
  136. Tamisha Lee – Jamaica
  137. Natalie Bennett – USA
  138. Jamal Gilbert – Guyana
  139. Rupa Singh – Guyana
  140. Henna Guicherit – Foundation Women’s Rights Center, Suriname
  141. Sandra Latibeaudiere – Jamaica
  142. Shirley Pryce – Jamaica Household Workers Union, Jamaica
  143. Marion Bethel – Bahamas
  144. Carol Narcisse – Jamaica
  145. Nadia Sagar – Guyana
  146. Peta- Anne Baker – UWI, Jamaica
  147. Ruel Johnson – Guyana
  148. Nan Peacocke – Guyana/ St. Vincent and the Grenadines/ Canada
  149. Roslyn John – St. Vincent and the Grenadines/ Canada
  150. Norwell Hinds – Guyana
  151. Thomas Eugene – St. Lucia
  152. Delven Adams – Guyana
  153. Halimah DeShong – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  154. Bianca Wagner – Equality Bahamas, Bahamas
  155. Ashlee Burnett – The 2 Cents Movement, Trinidad and Tobago
  156. Crystal Brizan – CAFRA, Trinidad and Tobago
  157. Danuta Radzik – Guyana
  158. Adriana Sandrine Isaac-Rattan – International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN), Trinidad and Tobago
  159. Jacqueline Hughes – Trinidad and Tobago
  160. Terrence Blackman – Guyana
  161. Japhet Jackman – Guyana
  162. Margo King – St. Vincent and the Grenadines/ Canada
  163. Alana Benjamin – Antigua & Barbuda
  164. Natasha Yhap – Guyana
  165. Clairmont Mali Chung – Stateless
  166. Dianne Madray – Let The Women Speak, Guyana
  167. Brenda Greaves – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  168. Sebastian Prescod – Canada
  169. Sally Erdle – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  170. Maxine Allen – Canada
  171. Sharon Watkis – USA
  172. Lilian Ferrier – Foundation for Human Development, Suriname
  173. Jacqui Alexander – Trinidad and Tobago
  174. Y Deane – Past Chairman Mental Health Commission of Barbados, Barbados
  175. Help and Shelter – Guyana
  176. Leith Dunn – Jamaica
  177. Vanda Radzik – Women’s Rights Advocate, Guyana
  178. Florence Goldson – Belize
  179. Indranie Deyal – Trinidad and Tobago
  180. Wintress White – Red Thread, Guyana
  181. Joy Marcus – Red Thread, Guyana
  182. Halima Khan – Red Thread, Guyana
  183. Vanessa Ross – Red Thread, Guyana
  184. Susan Collymore – Grassroots Women Across Race (GWAR), Guyana
  185. Paul Anthony Odell – USA
  186. Joel Simpson – SASOD, Guyana
  187. Ann Harvey – Guyana
  188. Andrea Weekes – Leave Out Violence Now St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Canada
  189. Dennis Atwell – Guyana
  190. Letitia Pratt – Bahamas
  191. Shorna James – Canada
  192. Amory Cumberbatch – USA
  193. Jeanette Campbell – Jamaica
  194. Sylvia Baker – Bahamas
  195. Kristina Hinds – Barbados
  196. Nicole Charles – Canada
  197. Kaneesha Parsard – USA
  198. Cassandra Lord – Canada
  199. Yusuf Hafejee – Barbados
  200. Gabrielle Hosein – Trinidad and Tobago
  201. Gralyn Frazier – The Bahamas
  202. Susan Mains – Grenada
  203. Leslieann Seegobin – Trinidad and Tobago
  204. Chelsea Foster – Girls of A Feather, St. Lucia
  205. Paul Anthony O’Dell – USA
  206. Roberta Clarke – Trinidad and Tobago
  207. Kaylorn Jones – USA
  208. Marijke Sonneveld – Projekta, Suriname
  209. Antonia Meinecke – Germany
  210. Jennifer Grant Wilson – USA
  211. Mark Dacosta – Guyana
  212. Marilyn Rice-Bowen – Past President, Caribbean Women’s Association
  213. Vanya Martha David – Dominica
  214. Peter Lyte – USA
  215. Nathilee Caldeira – USA
  216. Neish McLean – Jamaica
  217. Marisa Hutchinson – Barbados
  218. Neish McLean – Jamaica
  219. Antoinette Bacchus – USA
  220. Timmia Hearn – USA/ Trinidad and Tobago
  221. Ronald Daniels – Guyana/ Trinidad and Tobago
  222. Anandi A. Premlall – Guyana/ USA
  223. Rajanie Preity Kumar – Canada
  224. Foundation Womens’ Rights Center – Suriname
  225. Quality of Citizenship – Jamaica
  226. Kay Ann – SVU/ ANU
  227. Carla Dougan – UK
  228. Marlene Corbin – USA/ Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
  229. Faith Smith – USA
  230. Kadon Douglas – Grenada/ Canada
  231. Donna Joy Tai – Canada
  232. Karen Gordon – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  233. Natifa Yorke – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  234. Kester Thompson – Guyana
  235. Ashley John – Constructive Solutions Inc., St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  236. Ayesha Williams – Trinidad and Tobago
  237. Delroy Williams – Leve Domnik, Dominica
  238. Deirdre Hector – St. Kitts & Nevis / USA
  239. Cyntica Herbert-Fraser – UK
  240. Dale Medford – Barbados
  241. Bernadette Johnson – Bahamas
  242. Cathy Shepherd – Trinidad and Tobago
  243. Garfield Isles – USA
  244. Andrena Emin – St. Vincent/ UK
  245. Cyntica Herbert-Fraser – UK
  246. Khadija Moore – Youth Advocacy Movement, Dominica
  247. Calton Roper – Canada
  248. Shirley Watkis – UK
  249. Wil Campbell – Therapist, Huband, Father, Guyana
  250. Garfield Isles – USA
  251. Jemma John
  252. Rosie Descartes
  253. Coreen Irving
  254. Tamara J Savoury
  255. Cordelia Goodluck
  256. Joan Cuffie
  257. Ernestine Watson
  258. Malaika Slater
  259. Summer Lewis-Clarke
  260. Shanta Grant
  261. Kwame Nkosi Romeo
  262. Marcia Braveboy
  263. Jecliz Walker
  264. Adriana King
  265. Debra Providence
  266. Ajene Eustace
  267. Camille Bradshaw
  268. Beverley Sinclair
  269. Angus Steele
  270. Lorrette Duncan
  271. Joyce Lewis-Cordice
  272. Josette
  273. Winston Lewis
  274. Jamette Pisse
  275. The Bahamas Crisis Centre
  276. Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/ Ecocide Campaign – UK
 Please join us in co-signing this Statement in Solidarity with Yugge Farrell and against abuse of the Mental Health Act of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Although the gross human rights violation of Ms. Yugge Farrell ended this morning when she was finally released from the Mental Health Center of St. Vincent and the Grenadines  where she had been detained and medicated for three weeks, the potential for further abuses remains as long as the Mental Health Act of St Vincent and the Grenadines is not amended. If you would like to add your name as a signatory to this letter, please leave your name, any affiliation, and country in the comments below or email ssnageer [at] yahoo [dot] com.

 

image source: pinterest

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Caribbean Unity in support of Tambourine Army activist Latoya Nugent

Caribbean Unity in support of Tambourine Army activist Latoya Nugent

As concerned members of the Caribbean region and diaspora, we are outraged by the unreasonable and absurd charges of three counts of “malicious communication” under Section 9 (1) of the Cybercrimes Act of 2015 by the Jamaican state towards human rights defender and activist, Latoya Nugent. We are also outraged by the unfair treatment and hostility demonstrated during her arrest in which she was denied medical attention when needed. Further, we believe, as other activists across the region, that Latoya is being charged in direct response to her activism against sexual violence. Specifically, she is being targeted for calling out perpetrators of violence. We are relieved at the most recent news (22nd March) that Latoya’s bail has been extended, yet she still faces charges in court as the Jamaican state attempts to silence her work and the work of other human rights activists. We believe that Latoya is innocent of the charges, and we support her intention to fight them.

We stand with Latoya Nugent and the Tambourine Army. We hope that she will be vindicated by the court. The work of the Tambourine Army is critical to uprooting the scourge of sexual violence and securing the rights and freedom of women and children in Jamaica. This work reflects the recent movement building across the region to end gender based violence. The focus in Jamaica led by the Tambourine Army is on survivor empowerment and breaking silence around sexual abuse and violence against women and girls. This is necessary work in creating change in our communities across the region. The Jamaican state ought to be supporting these efforts instead of targeting activists who dare to speak out against violence.

What happened to Latoya is not specific to Jamaica. Across the Caribbean region, we see an increasing attempt to enact cyber crime and repressive legislation that fails to protect the most vulnerable and the most marginalized in our communities; and instead attempts to silence and criminalize dissent and human rights organizing. When inappropriate images and videos of young girls, boys and children are widely distributed across the internet, the state’s commitment to its own legislation and to human rights remains silent. When lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex people are bullied and harassed online, where is the state’s commitment to human rights and to its people? The state should not be able to pick and choose whose rights are worth protecting and whose lives are not.

We recognize that the internet is often used as a space for human rights defenders to disseminate information, organize, advocate and mobilize. Accordingly, what we need are digital security frameworks that not only centre, but that protect, human rights. The Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) in its “Our Right to Safety Report”, noted the numbers of “[…] cases in which human rights defenders have been charged with defamation and, in some cases, blasphemy because they have published articles, blog entries or tweets or expressed opinions in public.” Death threats, online stalking, image manipulation and harassment continue to be directed towards human rights defenders through the use of text messages, emails and other digital media platforms. This underscores the need to decriminalize online dissent; we don’t need to be criminalized, we must be protected!

We are all impacted by Latoya’s arrest. As democratic spaces across the Caribbean region continue to shrink, in addition to being accompanied by increasing police and state surveillance and repression, we recognize the urgency and necessity of maintaining spaces for civil disobedience and organizing. We demand that our fundamental human right to resist and mobilize be respected. And we call upon the government of Jamaica, specifically the Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn who has taken an interest in this case, to drop all charges against Latoya Nugent.

When the state becomes preoccupied with arresting human rights defenders instead of advocating for the welfare of its people, we the people, are no longer a priority. It is time that we all become a priority. We will not waiver in our support for Latoya. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to human rights and justice. Even when our voices break, we will not be silenced. As Assata Shakur reminds us:

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
In solidarity and support,

Kimalee Phillip, Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
Samantha Peters, advocate and educator
Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe, co-founder Groundation Grenada
Damarlie Antoine, educator and feminist
Ayisha John, Groundation Grenada
KizzyAnn Abraham, advocate for Key Populations
Maureen St.Clair, peace educator/activist/artist
Angelique V. Nixon, CAISO sex & gender justice; IGDS UWI Trinidad
Stephanie Leitch, Founder WOMANTRA
Beverly Bain, Lecturer, Feminist activist and educator, University of Toronto
Nicole Hendrickson, co-founder & lead organiser Firecircle
Attillah Springer, writer and activist; Say Something TT
Tonya Haynes, Code Red & Catchafyah Feminist Network; IGDS UWI Barbados
Peter Weller, Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN) Jamaica
Amina Doherty, Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
Caroline Allen, Researcher on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Alicia Wallace, Director, Equality Bahamas
Gabrielle Hosein, CAFRA; IGDS UWI Trinidad
Hazel Brown, Network of NGOs of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement of Women
Renuka Anandjit, IGDS UWI Trinidad
Sunity Maharaj, Side by Side, Trinidad and Tobago
Elysse Marcellin, independent activist
Tyrone Buckmire, Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN) Grenada
Abbas Mancey, Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN) Guyana/ Canada
Marlon Bascombe, Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN) Trinidad and Tobago
Vidyaratha Kissoon, Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN) Guyana

#lifeinleggings Call for feminist solidarity

lifeinleggings

This island has been cracked open and will never be the same again.

Women broke every silence.

We spoke of street harassment: girl, yuh pussy fat!

Principals who made no room for comprehensive sexuality education but slut-shamed girls who were themselves sexually abused.

Rape by current and former partners.

Years of sexual abuse by fathers, step-fathers, uncles, cousins.

Stories of men who told us that they’re waiting for our four-year-old daughters to grow up.

Men who offered jobs or rides or food or protection only to demand sex. Only to split our bodies open when we refused.

Men who raped us because we are lesbian, because we are women, because we are girls, because they could.

We exploded every myth about how good girls and good women are protected from this violence. That good men will protect us.  That all we have to do is call in our squad of brothers and and uncles and fathers. We asked, and who will women and girls call when our fathers and brothers and uncles assault them? We affirmed that asking men to protect us from male violence is not freedom. All men benefit from male privilege and unequal relations of gender which disadvantage and devalue women and girls. We demand autonomy not protection!

We split this island open for every woman and girl who has had her body split open.

We split this island open and let all the secrets fall out.

We put flesh and blood and tears to the bones of statistics like:

Every force-ripe gal, every slut, every walking cemetery, every girl sent to Summervale because she was difficult, delinquent, let wunna know wha wunna prefer to pretend not to know.  Now you know.  Girls that survive sexual abuse are more likely to get punishment than justice.

That hashtag #lifeinleggings has cost us family, friends, homes. Bajan women are not afraid to name names and nicknames and addresses. Families can’t deal. Won’t heal. Abusers can’t deal.  Rapists are having a hard time.  Men who would never yell, girl yuh pussy fat!, still feel that someone is looking to take a way a right from them that they would prefer to keep, thank you very much.

Who say Bajans passive never met a Bajan woman posting through tears on the #lifeinleggings hashtag? Deliberate and afraid of nothing.

Deliberate and afraid of nothing.

Deliberate and afraid of nothing.

The backlash has been swift and misogynist.  Here’s how you can help.  Read the #lifeinleggings hashtag on facebook and twitter.  Feel free to share your stories if you can.  Not everyone is in a place where they can and that’s OK.  Encourage women and girls in your community to participate.  Help us drown out the misogynist noise and raise women and girls’ voices higher and higher. 

We will not be silenced.

Press for #lifeinleggings:

BBC AUDIO: Caribbean women taking power back

VIDEO: She look fuh dat: a #lifeinleggings discussion

Yardie skeptics radio

#lifeinleggings impact monumental

A Weekend of Street Harassment, Mapped

The Bahamas: Interview with Founder of Life in Leggings

Life in Leggings Founders speak about mission

Video of #lifeinleggings discussion in Barbados

Anonymous #lifeinleggings submissions

Female politicians speak out about #lifeinleggings

Reggae Star Tanya Stephens Opens Up about Being Raped and Abused

Singer Tanya Stephens opens up about being raped twice

Caribbean Women Take Their Power Back

Minister shares her #lifeinleggings story

Trini women join lifeinleggings movement

The woke side of Bajan social media

Lifeinleggings sparking conversation across the Caribbean

Leve Dominik campaign allowing victims to share stories anonymously

Further reading from CODE RED for gender justice!

How Little Girls Get Crushed

The Facts of Life: Rape has been decriminalized in the Caribbean

Man caah run a rape joke again?

Rum and Rape Culture

Getting it wrong on rape or no sperm, no rape or why a two-year-old girl doesn’t need to be taught modesty

Help Haitians, not the Disaster Capitalists

Tillah Willah

Disaster time again, for our sisters and brothers in Haiti. Already the vultures circle, using this tragedy as another opportunity to take advantage or worse, to engage in the pornography of suffering black bodies.

Now is not the time for tears, hand-wringing, there are lots of organisations that are quietly doing good work in Haiti that does not line the pockets of multinational aid corporations,  or continue to fatten the Port au Prince elite.

The following is a list I’ve compiled thanks to friends in Haiti and its diaspora.  Please do your own research on the organisations listed below. I’ll keep updating it as more info emerges.

Donations in Trinidad 

A group of citizens are doing a non-organisational collection of items from Monday 10th October. Collection/Drop-off point will be at the Veni Mangé Restaurant 67A Ariapita Ave, Woodbrook.

ITNAC Trinidad based organisation sending volunteers soon to Haiti asking for donations…

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What is this black in #blackfeminisms?

Polish 800m runner, Joanna Jozwik is reported as saying she felt like a silver medalist even though she placed fifth:

“I’m glad I’m the first European, the second white.”

The top three places in the 800m went to African women: South Africa’s Caster Semenya, Burundi’s  Francine Niyonsaba and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui.

By Jozwik’s logic these three African women are not women. The only women are white women which is why she states that she is proud to be the second white to cross the finish line.

The category “woman” is saturated with whiteness, with white femininity.   Black women’s exclusion from this category also marks our exclusion from the human.

Radical black Caribbean intellectual, Sylvia Wynter argues that the project of Black Studies that emerged in the 1960s was NOT one of an ethnic studies a la multiculturalism but the undoing of the entire system of Western thought itself and the racist, ecological and anti-human violence which it supports.

That must be the goal of any feminism worth having. Not leaning in to an unsustainable lifestyle based on consumption on white, Western bourgeois terms.

Garinagu involvement in revolutionary movements in Honduras similarly identifies the confluence of white supremacy and global capitalist interests in ecological destruction, repressive violence against activists and threats to the livity of Indigenous and African peoples. As Miriam Miranda states:

We have to challenge this model of living, because it is a predatory one, a murderous one which dehumanises us.

Black feminisms ask:

How do we create a world where we value each other, all human and non-human animals and the environment of which we are a part?

How do we create a world where the most marginalized among us can learn to trust our own consciousness?

A world which recognises multiple ways of being and being human.

A world that makes rural living sustainable.

A world that recognises Black and Indigenous Peoples’ right to be.

A world without prisons, warfare, violence.

A world where gender is not a source of violence.

A world that is not disabling.

Black feminisms is not an ethnicized, separatist, compartmentalised standpoint. It is not a sedimented, essentialist, atavistic identity politics.  (Don’t let the white supremacists nor the black nationalists fool you.)

Black feminisms and the solidarity communities we make with the sources of our strength, these are the feminisms and movements that we need now.

View the #blackfeminisms blog carnival entries here and submit your own stories.

Learn more about AWID’s Black Feminisms Forum here.  CODE RED for gender justice is proud to be a Black Feminisms Forum content partner.