Speech written and recited by Bee at the RRR 2012
In response to the out-reaching participants of the Challenging Male Supremacy Workshop at this year’s Round River Rendezvous, I’m echoing appreciation of well-intended cis-males who stand in solidarity with anti-oppression in the EF! movement.
Despite the best intentions of the group, things got heated and the attempt to end patriarchal silencing ended up doing exactly that.
After speaking with attendants of both the workshop for cis-males and the workshop for women/trans/gender queer, one clear sentiment is that this dialogue is vital and should have happened earlier in the week. Preferably for next year, we need a mandatory orientation highlighting how we must treat each other in this great social struggle and within the EF! Movement.
As many have expressed after the workshops, what we discuss and learn from workshops carry with us outside of those intentional spaces and in to our every day interactions. This is the point. Anti-oppression work is relevant to our everyday interactions, which inevitably effect how we work together as a movement.
If this is indeed a movement and not just another campaign, we need to prioritize the direction and strength of how we move together.
There is not one solution to these complex and compounding issues, and it takes lifetime commitments of vigilant challenging and unlearning of oppressive behaviors. Earth First!ers are particularly good at challenging dominant paradigms and we know direct action is effective. We can do this.
What I hope is that the questions stirred up in all of us will serve as a compass for some serious self evaluation and homework. We need to support each other. Anyone opposing anti-oppression work within the movement is standing on the toes of revolution.