FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

On V-Day, Justice Looks Like Love

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. 

More articles by:

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

April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail