ieTV’s coverage of a bold and historic protest in Port of Spain, Trinidad calling for the Equal Opportunity Act to include age, sexual orientation and HIV status to its anti-discrimination protections. The reporter, like most of those who covered the event, included same sex marriage though that was not one of the calls that CAISO was making at this time.
Crystal has never been on TV before and has never been an activist – that was until a proposed highway was planned to go right through her home and her small rural community.
Our mission is to re-route the proposed highway from Debe to Mon Desir.
This re-routing will:
Save Our Homes
Save Our Wetlands
Save Our Schools
Save Our Communities
Save Our Ameridian Heritage Site
Save Our Halfway Home
One of the greatest examples of people power in my lifetime.
Slut Walk took over the streets of Toronto today as large numbers of people turned out to protest a remark made by a Toronto Police Officer which suggested that women could avoid rape by not dressing like “sluts“. That the statement was made during a safety briefing at York University is even more stunning.
The remark prompted activists to organize Slut Walk on April 3, 2011 to demand greater sensitivity from the Toronto Police. While I am a supporter of the Toronto Police Service (my brother has been an officer in it for almost two decades and I even worked for them briefly) there is always room for improvement. Very proud that the people of Toronto always demand better.
From the Slut Walk site:
As the city’s major protective service, the Toronto Police have perpetuated the myth and stereotype of ‘the slut’, and in doing so have failed us. With sexual assault already a significantly under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the Police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim.
Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.
We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.
We are a movement demanding that our voices be heard. We are here to call foul on our Police Force and demand change. We want Toronto Police Services to take serious steps to regain our trust. We want to feel that we will be respected and protected should we ever need them, but more importantly be certain that those charged with our safety have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise.
We are tired of speeches filled with lip service and the apologies that accompany them. What we want is meaningful dialogue and we are doing something about it: WE ARE COMING TOGETHER. As people from all gender expressions and orientations, all walks of life, levels of employment and education, all races, ages, abilities, and backgrounds, from all points of this city and elsewhere.
Visit the site here.
There is another picture gallery on Flickr here.
As thousands if not millions of people in the Arab world struggle for their rights in the face of repressive regimes it is becoming clear that the protesters are braver than most of us. In Libya, Bahrain and throughout the region people are losing their lives just asking for their rights to have a voice in their country.
Puts your weekend in perspective.
Russia Today looks at the spread of protests in the Middle East and events in Iran .
“The events in Egypt are reverberating throughout the Middle East. On Monday, anti-government demonstrators clashed with police in Tehran. Police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, who were throwing stones at the officers. It’s the first such clash in the country for over a year. The day before the protest, the U.S. State Department began sending Twitter messages to Iranians in their native tongue. Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi, from the University of Tehran, says Washington is losing ground in the region…
“So there were some religious right wing people protesting about how we’re all going to Hell. So I called my friend Ben, and we decided to show them how fun sinning can be. We got lots of approval from the crowd, and even ran into people a few blocks away who told us that we were awesome :)”
This interview with Brendon aired today on ieTV Channel 1 on the FLOW cable network. The group CAISO ( Coalition Advocating for the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation) is the one that held the t-shirt protest against a visiting ex-gay minister on October 20, 2010 – the first such protest in the country. I guess as Bob Dylan famously sang – The Times They Are a-Changin‘
For those puzzled by the first list item, “Crix” is a cracker made in Trinidad & Tobago and is widely considered a food staple.
(NEW) on Vimeo as one high quality video
or on YouTube in two parts
CAISO has just posted an entry on their blog about the issue. Read it here.