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(en) US, NYC, RAT #4 - (page 4) Yell!, Free space, The Street Harasment project.

Date Fri, 13 May 2005 10:00:23 +0300


YELL!
The Young Eclectic Liberation Leaders (YELL!) is a group of young activists working toward
youth empowerment and mobilization. Our goal is help youth get educated and involved with
issues that they care about. The group is completely organized by youth and our vision is based
in youth liberation.
Our first course of action is holding a New York City Youth Activist Conference on May 20th
It is being held at the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, Queens. The goal of the
conference is to bring together young activists with the same interests and passions. The theme
of the conference is "What does it mean to be a young activist in the Bush era? " The confer-
ence will include discussions, performances, workshops that focus on various issues that affect
us, and the chance for networking. We want to create a place where these young activists can
exchange ideas and information to motivate them to mobilize for change.
If you would like to help organize, conduct a workshop or attend the conference, con-
tact us at youthnyc@yahoo.com
----------------------------------------------------------
FREE SPACE - A Social Center ­ By the Kids, For the Kids

The Long Island Freespace arose from dialogues among Long Island's young artists and activ-
ists. After social events and meetings, groups of young people asked themselves: How can we
expand what we are doing? How can our work be made more accessible to the community?
How can we be more effective and active in our communities? Repeatedly, a consensus was
reached: We need space, a free space that could be utilized as a public place where people will
feel empowered to discuss issues which are important to them. We needed a space for culture,
politics, and to provide day-to-day support that people require too bring about positive change
in the local community.

Programs offered at the Freespace:

Alternative Media Library: The AML provides access to alternative publications including;
books, zines, videos, pamphlets, and more. The AML has a focus on youth based self publi-
cations and is dedicated to documenting this form of expression as well as encouraging free
expression and free speech.
Art Collective: The Art Collective has been structured to host art shows, skill sharing work-
shops, and communal mural projects. In addition the art collective is creating grounds for
various creative people to interact with one another. By hosting art shows we can showcase the
diverse talents of the diverse patrons within the Free Space community. And with the hard work
of skilled volunteers facilitating workshops the community will learn how to utilize various
mediums and media to express themselves.
Booking Collective: The Freespace Booking Collective is an informal group of around 10-25
people who meet biweekly to discuss and book shows at Freespace. Two people serve as coordi-
nators and coordinate the show calendar and scheduling and staffing of shows.
Freewheel Collective: The Freewheel Collective is a non-profit, non-hierarchal group of in-
dividuals who are dedicated to aiding the local community with issues pertaining to bicycles
and cyclists. Freewheel hopes to establish a working community bicycle shop which will repair
donated and found bicycles, offer free and/or low-cost repairs and bicycle education programs.
Freewheel also hopes to encourage and celebrate bike riding as an ecologically and economi-
cally sound form of transportation by organizing community rides and "Free Bike Repair" days.
Freewheel aspires to raise awareness of the benefits of bike riding to the local community, whilst
providing affordable or free bicycle maintenance.
Youth Worker Center: The Youth Worker Center is a group of young workers on Long Island
who are actively educating and organizing other youth to fight for their rights on the job. The
first phase of our campaign has been to develop a group of young leaders who give trainings to
high school and college age students.
Wowyn's Collective: The LI Womyn's Collective aspires to build a community of womyn and
girls, all with a focus on one thing, learning about, identifying, and combating the patriarchal
values that are embedded within our families, social scenes, jobs, schools, and artistic communi-
ties. The Womyn's Collective believes that this knowledge and power will come from educating
each other, artistic and musical efforts, and solidarity with other pro-womyn organizations.
16 E. 8th St. Huntington Station, NY 11746
info@lifreespace.org ~ www.lifreespace.org ~ 516.616.3151
----------------------------------
The Street Harasment project

OUR BELIEFS:
1. That street harassment, rape and assault are
connected issues; that all stem from attitudes of
dehumanization of women that are part of a bigger
social picture: the system of male supremacy and
sexism under which we still live.
2. We are feminists and see this struggle as an
aspect of the larger struggle for women to be equal
and have full human rights in every area of life.
3. Street harassment is a form of terrorization of women in which men
attempt to impose dominance and women are supposed to react with
subordination. The reinforcement of male supremacy is its effect as well
as its motivation. It is patriarchy flexing its muscles.
4. Street harassment is primarily about power and control; we do not
bring it on ourselves by what we wear or do.
5. That the streets are public space that men have for too long claimed as
their "turf," so that when women venture onto them we are defined by
men as being there for THEIR amusement and titillation. We challenge
their assumption of ownership of public space; these are our streets too!
6. We reject "boys will be boys" and other rationalizations for men's be-
havior. We do not believe that street harassment represents men's inher-
ent "nature," but is part of a socially constructed "masculinity," one that is
part of a male culture that has been passed on through generations. It is a
learned behavior that CAN be unlearned.
7. While all women are harassed, we are cognizant of the special forms
that harassment of some women may take, for instance, women of color,
very young women, perceived lesbians and women deemed "unattrac-
tive," to name a few.
8. We realize that some women do not consider to be harassment what
we consider to be harassment. While we recognize every woman's right
to define for herself what she considers "harassment," we are cognizant
of the fact that all women are continually being intimidated into "playing
along to get along," as well as being constantly pressured to prove--even
to ourselves--that we are "attractive." We do not forget that this is a game
in which men set the terms and women are punished if we do not comply.
9. We recognize that there are many forms of harassment going on in
public spaces. These may be based on race, class, immigrant status, sexual
orientation, gender expression, homelessness, police targeting--or have
other "causes." There are relationships and overlaps between these harass-
ments/abuses and what women experience because we are women--we
support all struggles on these issues.
We have, however, in THIS group,
chosen to focus on the harassment
of women by men because there is
no other group solely devoted to
this important work and because we
believe we must fight as FEMINISTS
against street harassment--and in the
OUR INTENTIONS
To fight street harassment of women
by men in all of its forms with our
ultimate goal of having a society
where women can go wherever we
want, when we want, dress the way
we choose and be able to express our-
selves, including sexually, in freedom
and in safety. We will work toward
this goal by:
1. Creating an atmosphere in which street harassment is completely so-
cially unacceptable,
2. Raising awareness about what street harassment actually is, the toll it
takes and how it shores up the system of male supremacy,
3. Creating a forum for our stories and in which we can share our experi-
ences, support each other, strategize, inspire each other and build our
courage through the knowledge that we are not alone,
4. Developing concrete ideas and strategies, particularly group strategies,
for handling harassment on the street,
5. Providing an outlet for our rage, a way to help us stay sane by engaging
in creative confrontation that allows us to feel OUR power,
6. Engaging in actions that make the harassment of women a NOT
PLEASANT and NOT REWARDING experience for the harasser,
7. Putting street harassment back on the map as an important feminist
issue--one we dont have to give up on
8. Challenging the men who claim to support us to ACTIVELY confront
other men on their harassing behavior,
9. Encouraging women everywhere to support each other on the street by
creating a culture of solidarity among women,
10. Experimenting and passing on the results of our experiments to other
women and groups of women so that we can be a "seed project," one that
women in other locations might want to model themselves after so that
street harassment projects might start up in many cities and countries
www.streetharassmentproject.org

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