Archive for December, 2011

We here at Furbirdsqueerly want to thank Jeri Marie for this excellent article, articulating what we have been thinking. We have to admit during the first demonstration in Hartford with Occupy Hartford we felt not only silly but disillusioned while chanting, “We are the 99%.” Looking out at some of the white middle class faces staring back at us I knew that I as a queer never have been a part of any 99%. More times than not movements suffer from a lack of a queer perspective, that something that sees and feels beyond the flatness of straight. we think over and over how many folks who are included in the 99% would look out at the “Occupy Wherever” and say, “Yes, you may well be th 99% financially but to us you are the 1%.

As publishers of Furbirdsqueerly we dedicate this posting to all of our brave queer freedom/liberation fighters who have been made fun of, harassed, beaten, bashed, or killed. To all of those who lives have been made miserable by the 99% We dedicate this to those who can read between the lines and who have escaped the “straight jackets,” and stand today to tell the truth. Fight on brothers and sisters and never forget the lessons of Stonewall.

The Myth of the 99%

As a gender queer anarchist engaged in community organizing and the Occupy movement I am obligated to challenge the unifying principle of the “99%”. Class is clearly a central theme in today’s society, however when challenging oppression by the state one must look at not just class but also other intersecting oppressions such as race, sexuality, gender, etc. When one looks at the Occupy movement through the lens of intersecting oppressions rather than simply class, I find it very hard to believe that there is true solidarity and sharing of oppression by 99% of the people. Nor do I believe there is a serious understanding of class oppression throughout the movement. This is not to say there is not value in the Occupy movement, though rather if a  successful revolutionary or even systemic fundamental change is to occur then there must be a deeper understanding and dialogue regarding the intersectionalities of class and social oppression ~ in addition to a full realization of our own personal (knowing or unknowing) participation in sustaining these oppressions! Otherwise, as with all prior attempts at movement change, we will only slightly reform the current State and it’s operators of oppression due to a lack of a common understanding of the commonalities within our struggles and the true unity of the masses against an oppressive State. Or to phrase it in the words of Martin Luther King, Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. So for me, if this is truly going to be a visionary and strategic movement, it is critical to challenge and test the basic principles of unity within the Occupy movement from both an economic and social perspective.  (more…)

Press Release:

Speakers at the press conference were Tim Simmons of Occupy Oakland; Boots Riley of Occupy Oakland, The Coup, and Street Sweeper Social Club; Betty Olson-Jones of the Oakland Education Association; Clarence Thomas of the ILWU and the Million Worker March; Mike King of Occupy Oakland; Jenna Woloshyn of Teamsters Local 70; Kimberly Rojas, Oakland Branch President of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union; Eddie Falcon of Iraq Veterans Against the War; Steve Zeltzer of the Committee to Defend the ILWU; and Bob Mandel of the Oakland Education Association.

Press Release issued after the morning press conference:

For Immediate release – Dec 9, 2011

Occupy Oakland & Organized Labor Plan to Shut Down Port . Blockades Planned at Every Major West Coast Port on Monday

Oakland, California — Today, rank-and-file workers from the ILWU and Teamsters, local union leaders, veterans, and occupy organizers explained plans for the upcoming West Coast Port Shut Down on December 12 called for by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly. (more…)

In today from Against Equality via Nobody Passes, (the wonderful blog of our dear comrade Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore). Everyone who reads this blog knows quite well we are against anything to do with the armies of Uncle Scam, and stand up as we have done for many years proudly against all forms of militarism.

From Against Equality:

Our newest anthology of archival writing and images critiquing gay and lesbian investments in overturning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and militarism more broadly is now available directly through our distributor here.  The wonderful folks at AK Press are once again supporting us with their amazing book distribution skills, so please support them before you go running off to other mega-corporations like amazon to buy the new pocket-sized book, Against Equality: Don’t Ask to Fight Their Wars!

Due to increased printing and shipping costs the new lil’ book will cost you ten bucks.  That’s a small increase since Against Equality: Queer Critiques of Gay Marriage hit the shelves, but we are doing all we can to keep costs low and our work financially accessible to most folks.  Also note, all the books we sell underwrite our policy of making all our published work available to queer and trans prisoners at no cost!

We hope readers of this posting will order this book. For ten bucks, not much to expand our minds in the correct direction.

quote of the week

Posted: December 10, 2011 in Call to Action, Fight Back, We fight on

“Left Colorblindness: “Left colorblindness is the belief that race is a “divisive” issue among the 99%, so we should instead focus on problems that “everyone” shares. According to this argument, the movement is for everyone, and people of color should join it rather than attack it. “Left colorblindness” claims to be inclusive, but it is actually just another way to keep whites’ interests at the forefront.”.. Johnny Hawke


Hand out December 8th, 2011 March in support of Local 32BJ.

And don’t let them fool you. They may be prettied all up, nice and handsome, smelling good, looking good in an expensive suit but they sure can make a mess in the restroom.  They sure are a nasty lot. Looking good on the outside but rotten to the core on the inside. I know I have cleaned up after enough of them in my years as a janitor.  One thing all of the cleaning ladies hate is when the  little bits all down the ladder put their half emptied coffee cup or soda can in their waste paper basket. Dump the basket without knowing and coffee or soda goes all over the place, on the cleaner, on the rug, in the basket, might splash on the chair and desk. Lazy folks, who could walk a few feet to the rest room and dump out the coffee or soda. But no, someone will come behind me and clean up my mess that’s the motto in the office. “Oh it’s so nice to feel like I have a maid for a few hours a day. I can shit all over the floor, (some have) and don’t have to worry about smelling my own shit as someone else will do that for me. “Hope they don’t gag and then they will be not only cleaning up my shit but their vomit.” Those who rub their snot on the wall are the most nasty, ick. Tim just reminded me that when he cleaned restrooms that most folks wouldn’t get in the same elevator as him. Just in case their germs tried to jump back on them we gather.

Our friend Adora called me last night and said, “Hey you forgot to tell the folks that we are not stupid.” They want to make us invisible but they are not going to think I am a dumb person. Adora is right so Tim and I got our heads together and recalled the workers who we have known over the years and what some of them did before they came here to the promise land. In our cleaning years we have met, 2 architects, an anthropologist, a botanist, several nurses, a news reporter from Vietnam, quite a number of teachers, and Mirko who was studying to be a doctor in  Bosnia and had to flee the country. One other thing that we have learned over the years is that many folks are learning English or have learnt English. I wonder how many officer workers or executives who look down their noses at the cleaners can say I can speak 2 languages?


When Fascism comes to America—-

Two important articles were received from Todd and are well worth a reading. So who can now tell me the Democrats are our friends? How about the police? But as Emma Furbird just said don’t even try it around here as we may come and haunt your sleep, M’ Fers.

Check out the article: We are all really Bradley Manning Now: Senate Passes Military Detention for American Citizens.

The new law providing for military detention of American citizens passed the Senate last night in a 93- 7 vote, allowing for the military detention of American citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism.  The language is so broad that it could include people sailing on humanitarian supply ships to Gaza, any street demonstrator who blocks traffic, or anyone accused of making a speech which provides “material support” to terrorism, such as Anwar Al-Awlaki.   Every Democratic senator except Jeff Merkley, Tom Harkin, and Ron Wyden voted for the bill which contains the provision, S. 1867 the National Defense Authorization Act.  That includes John Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, and Patrick Leahy.

And for any folks who are so blind to think that the police are our friends our working class brothers and sisters get ready for this.

The Pentagon Offers Free Military Hardware to Every Police Department in the U.S. by Robert Johnson who begins his article this way:

“The U.S. military has some of the most advanced killing equipment in the world that allows it to invade almost wherever it likes at will.

We produce so much military equipment that inventories of military robots, M-16 assault rifles, helicopters, armored vehicles, and grenade launchers eventually start to pile up and it turns out a lot of these weapons are going straight to American police forces to be used against US citizens.

This upswing coincides with an increasingly military-like style of law enforcement most recently seen in the Occupy Wall Street crackdowns.

Colt 1860 Army Revolver, Standard .44 Caliver, Civil War Era. This gun was used by both sides in the civil war and later was the gun that was used in the w

“The good people of this world are very far from being satisfied with each other and my arms are the best peacemakers.” Sam Colt, 1852

Just another part of a history book, a shameful part if one asks us, how can anyone ever glorify a man who was a merchant of death. Some folks  want us all to believe that art is life, that it is uplifting, that it is healthy, that it is the mirror of the soul. Well, then why glorify a merchant of death no matter what? Now some will say, “Look, Look at all the good that this money has done.” We shake our heads, and say, this dirty filthy money and turn away from such folks. Now this exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum isn’t as bad as it could be. In fact it has some good insight such as, all the elegant gowns worn by the upper class were made possible by either slave labor or children in the mills. Now that is a whole thought for another day.

Nice dresses are all around enough to make your head spin into thinking your playing softee amongst a terrible tragedy. We were happy to see only 2 examples of colt guns but we wonder when folks see a show called Colts & Quilts if they will hop on over to the Wadsworth just to see guns. Won’t those yahoos be surprised when the majority of items in the exhibition are women’s dresses. (put your peckers back in your pants boys, no hard guns today.) We were hesitant to publish this article  but said to ourselves the more we talk about it the better it becomes and more folks write to us and say why thank you.

“Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.”…Post civil war slogan. (more…)