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Check Out Our Panel at the Left Forum this Weekend

June 5, 2013

left-forum2013This Sunday, June 9th at 10AM, one of our collective members will be on a panel entitled, “Addressing Sexual Violence While Opposing the Prison Industrial Complex” at the Left Forum.

This panel is bringing together a group of thought leaders on restorative justice practices, community response to sexual violence, why burnout happens in radical response projects, and how we can look for ways to end both sexual violence and the prison industrial complex. Moderated by Katy Otto, a consultant with over a decade of experience in violence prevention, women’s issues, youth development, survivor solidarity, and the arts who co-founded the national Visions in Feminism conference, this panel will feature:

Layne Mullett & Leon Tyer: members of Decarcerate PA, a grassroots campaign working to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. Decarcerate PA demands that PA stop building prisons, reduce the prison population, and reinvest money in our communities.

Quentin Walcott: Co-Executive Director of CONNECT NYC, which is pushing communities to redefine manhood and is building a society that embraces equality, mutuality and rejects violence in communities as the status quo. An anti-violence activist and educator, he has spent the last 18 years addressing a critical part of the equation to stopping violence against women: men. Quentin has developed and launched some of New York City’s only programs aimed at transforming bystanders, men and boys, and even batterers into allies and activists against all forms of violence.

and SNY’s very own Kat Randolph!

Free Marissa Alexander

September 29, 2012

cervantes-freemarissaMarissa Alexander is facing 20 years in prison for firing a gunshot into her ceiling to scare off her abusive husband.

Learn more about the case and donate to her legal fees here.

Sign a petition demanding her release here.

Cindy Crabb Interviewed Us for Maximum Rock & Roll

September 15, 2012

mrr_352_cvrMRR #352, September 2012 — Hafiz of Singaporean punkers VAARALLINEN talks to us about punk life and projects in Southeast Asia, Jaaka from punk band and family LUTA ARMADA discusses São Paulo punk and their rendition of raw punk, and we have the second part of the Noise-Core Roundtable Japanese punk symposium, featuring members of CONTROL, PEOPLE and STAGNATION, followed by an extensive current interview with Japanese noise-core punks STAGNATION.

Next, we catch up with Minneapolis pop punkers FROZEN TEENS, the DIPERS from NYC discuss the Yankees, among other things, and Bay Area queer punks ALABASTER CHOAD chat about their weirdo noisy perv punk. We find out what Chicago punks GRITOS DE RESISTENCIA have to say about punk and politics, and we talk to NYC’s newest old school ’80s hardcore band BRAIN SLUG, Swedish D-beat ragers KVOTERINGEN, and Seattle melodic crust punx KOHOSH.

We’ve also got a feature on the Support New York collective and a special piece on the crossover/thrash metal book Murder in the Front Row; never forgetting your usual array of favorite columnists, zine reviews and the most extensive punk record review section in the world!

Go to the MRR BACK ISSUES page to order this issue, or download a PDF of our interview.

Open Letter to Microcosm Publishing

June 30, 2012

brainscan21We signed on to this statement about Microcosm and Joe Biel after being informed about Joe’s behavior both in Brainscan 21 zine as well as from Cindy Crabb’s statement about no longer publishing her work with Microcosm.
June 29th, 2012

Dear Microcosm,

We write as zine distributors, zine-makers, library and infoshop collectives, community accountability supporters, and festival organizers from the DIY (queer, feminist, punk and/or anarcha-) community. We express our concern regarding your support of a perpetrator of abuse. The wide reach of Microcosm’s distribution can be intimidating for any individual to speak out against, so we write this together, in solidarity.

We refer to your statement from June 2011, regarding Joe Biel’s involvement in Microcosm. You ended with “We do sincerely hope to open the conversation” and “Expect to hear more from us soon!” We ask, was the conversation opened? And, what was the follow-up to this?

You wrote: “Joe stepped down from being a collective member, and Microcosm will be collectively owned by the remaining members by the end of this year [2011].” Yet in 2012, Joe is listed in your newsletters and homepage as a member of Microcosm. We think this to be insensitive, considering that people are emotionally invested in your real and genuine response to Joe’s lack of accountability. You mentioned transparency, but we ask, what has been done since June 2011? Why is there no visible communication, on your website, newsletter or annual report?

Restructuring is one thing, but our main point is the accountability of an individual who still works for Microcosm. His name was not added to your statement, and this appears as though he has other people speaking for – and protecting – him. A statement where he speaks for himself, and is clear about his role in Microcosm, is overdue. A statement about whether or not he wishes to take responsibility for his own behavior is long overdue. We are worried about the power that Microcosm gives to an individual who has been known to abuse his power. We are concerned that Joe is not working towards changing his behavior. Is Microcosm going to put into practice their rhetoric about supporting survivors, and reflect on their role in perpetuating abuser’s behavior?

We would like to support you, but cannot do so as long as you support a perpetrator of abuse, whilst being passive and/or unaccountable for it. We were surprised and left a little lost by the brevity of your statement/s. Your lack of action and communication has been frustrating, disappointing and puzzling to us – as anti-oppression, social justice, or anarchist collectives. Whether or not Joe continues to be a member of Microcosm, we feel that trust in the collective, in its ability and desire to respond and be supportive and to follow through, has been ruptured.

We don’t believe that boycotting Microcosm is an adequate response to abuse, but we are uncomfortable with having any kind of relationship with Microcosm without an acknowledgment of, and a response to, Microcosm’s continued work with and, through that, support of Joe Biel who has not been responsive to and responsible for his patterns of behaviour.

Hundreds of zinesters and collectives may not feel comfortable associating with someone who is not acting accountable for his abusive behavior. Has informed consent been given to all people that are being published or distributed by Microcosm?

These are some things you could do now: Read more…

Economic Recession and Women’s Shelters from Unbawse Life Advisory

June 4, 2012
The Economic Recession and Women’s Shelters

Don’t read another word of this post without clicking on the link above first. Sady Doyle is great and when she talks, you should listen. If you’re on this sentence only a couple seconds after reading the last one, that means you didn’t listen to me. Thanks to impatient folks like you, I’ll have to highlight the key statistics in Doyle’s article and force the people who followed my suggestion to see them again:- The Police Executive Research Forum states that 56% of police agencies reported an increase in calls pertaining to abuse this year, up from 40% reporting an increase in 2010. The Mary Kay Foundation reports a 78% increase in the same time period amongst domestic violence shelters that reported to the Foundation. According to Mary Kay, 56% of the shelters reporting also state that the abuse in question has become more violent.

These figures are disturbing enough in a vacuum, but the most ugly part about all of this is that while the need for women’s shelters in increasing due in part to the after effects of the recession, the funding for those very shelters has been decimated. At the same time, average stays at domestic violence shelters have increased by as much as 30% in some jurisdictions because many of the survivors cannot afford housing due to substance abuse, injury, job loss, and other factors that oftentimes become part and parcel of cycles of abuse. This attack on survivors is uncaring and unflinching. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Corbett wants to slash funding for domestic violence shelters by 20% – $40 million in all. This is after some Pennsylvania women’s shelters already saw their funds slashed by 20% between 2010 and 2011. Instead of maintaining preventative measures such as education, Corbett – and many others like him – would rather prop up an unsustainable prison system that has shown repeatedly that it is ill-equipped to deal with the unique challenges presented by domestic abuse. Seriously, think about the cyclical nature of most abusive relationships. Now think about the deliberately cyclical nature of incarceration. Even aberrations in the cycle of the latter eventually lead to even worse cycles, such as solitary confinement. This combination has “recidivism” written in letters the size of clouds; the more prisons take the place of shelters, the more likely that proactive solutions to abuse will wither away.

The reason I say all of that is to say this. I have worked with survivors of domestic abuse. I have worked side by side with court advocates. These folks work heart-wrenching, oftentimes thankless jobs for little pay simply because they are utterly dedicated to helping survivors survive. Court advocates and women’s shelters are already stretched beyond their limits and I think that as [insert pro-woman term of choice here]s, it’s imperative for us to help out however we can. Look into volunteering at or donating to your local women’s shelter. If you don’t have the financial/temporal privilege of doing either, then at least get people talking about this. Call your state representative. Chat up your friends even though this is just about the least fun conversation ever. Do something. You are not a windowless house. Helping survivors matters, and so do you.

Reposted from Unbawse Life Advisory, a tumblr worth following if you are interested in insightful feminist and anti-racist critiques of our culture seamlessly intertwined with Rick Ross references.

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s Annual Conference, May 9-10

May 8, 2012

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This Thursday two Support New Yorkers will be speaking at the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s Annual Conference in Albany.  This year’s theme, “Weaving A World Without Violence,” signifies all of the tremendous work so many of the various organizations and presenters are doing to address violence in their communities.  Topics will include bystanders’ work to prevent violence, mobilizing men and youth to prevent sexual assault, and the use of art therapy in healing.

Leah Todd and Sarah Hanks, a member of For the Birds, will present a panel about the work of the Support New York Collective entitled “Community Accountability and Transformative Justice: An Alternative Approach to Responding to Intimate Partner Violence”.

Find out more about NYSCASA, how to become a member, find a crisis center, or take action by visiting their website.

Church Puts Legal Pressure on Abuse Victims’ Group

March 13, 2012

From the New York Times. This is so fucked.

Turning the tables on an advocacy group that has long supported victims of pedophile priests, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Churchand priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have gone to court to compel the group to disclose more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.

The group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, is neither a plaintiff nor a defendant in the litigation. But the group has been subpoenaed five times in recent months in Kansas City and St. Louis, and its national director, David Clohessy, was questioned by a battery of lawyers for more than six hours this year. A judge in Kansas City ruled that the network must comply because it “almost certainly” had information relevant to the case.

Read more…