FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

On V-Day, Justice Looks Like Love

by LAURA FLANDERS

You often hear that progressive causes are trapped in competing “issue silos,” so it’s worth celebrating when those silo walls crack and people come together, as they did February 14th for VDay, a global day of action against violence against women.

For the last couple of years, the anti-violence movement VDay has called on people to rise and dance on February 14, Valentine’s Day. This year, the One Billion Rising campaign was dedicated to rising for justice.

In the lead up, I was invited to host a series of public events, talking about what justice, in fact, might look like. To our panels, we invited leaders from a range of movements. Among others, we heard from indigenous rights activist Sylvia McAdam, who said justice would look like respect for native women, and their land and water.  Richmond CA, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said that justice would be people holding corporations to account.  Anti-incarceration activist Susan Burton said justice would look like fewer people locked up and more living free from assault and addiction. Community organizer Ashley Franklin said her just world would include safe and affordable public transport. Actress Olivia Wilde imagined more movies with more kinds of smart women, leading.  You get the idea.

In terms of outcomes, on February 14, a whole lot of people rose and danced everywhere you can think of, at prisons and parliaments and toxic dumps. You can see the pictures from around the globe at OneBillionRising.org

I was particularly moved to hear that some of our panelists had linked up: Susan Burton held a rising at a women’s jail in South Los Angeles and Ashley Franklin and her colleagues came. In Richmond, Mayor McLaughlin marched with Sylvia MacAdam’s group, Idle No More, to a local refinery to demand respect from Chevron. Maybe Olivia’s got an idea for her next movie.

It made me think about connection. Our movements lose momentum when we fail to grasp the intersectional nature of oppression, says my friend the brilliant law professor Kimberle Crenshaw. To which I’d only add that we make progress when we connect, not our causes, but the conditions of our lives.

It reminds me of EM Forster’s book, Howards End in which the female heroine, Margaret Schlegel, takes issue with her businessman husband’s chilly, calculating  way of thinking. She is “fighting for women against men,” she thinks at the start, but mostly she’s just arguing for imagination enough to feel affection for others.

“Only connect,” says Schlegel in Forster’s novel; “live in fragments no longer.”

She’s not talking about making lists of bullet points but connecting as people. To see how our lives are related through pathways of power and place, and economics, environment and experience we first have to give one another a close look.

What happens next? VDay’s founder Eve Ensler says one word came up more than any other as people considered justice: Love.  Justice apparently looks like caring.  In order to care, we have to meet. And pay close attention. And maybe dance.

LAURA FLANDERS is the host and founder of GRITtv.org. Follow her on Twitter: @GRITlaura. 

Laura Flanders is the host of GRITtv now seen on the new, news channel TeleSUR English – for a new perspective. 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail