UNCAGING THE NJ4 & BUILDING A QUEER STRATEGY FOR SELF-DEFENSE, OAKLAND

28 08 2008

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*A Radical Strategizing Forum*

Dear friends and allies,

We have met one another because we intimately understand the experience of surviving violence.  It is unfortunate to have this be our common experience, and yet, it is what makes us so keenly aware of the circumstances that lead to violent outcome so that we can imagine solutions.  During the summer, we reclaimed as many gay PRIDE spaces as we could and exchanged information so that we could arrange a way to meet again to devise a way out.

It is still our belief that we must ready our stance for COLLECTIVE Defense against homophobic and transphobic attacks on our bodies; we are the targets of the sexist and racist imagination of the police and other militarized thugs who turn us into the enemy; we and our loved ones have our patience and dignity tried in the face of the senseless bureaucracy of the courts; we must accept the conditions made by heartnumbed automatons who  keep the rusty wheels of ‘justice’ churning, including forgetful clerks who forget to send your release papers and tired judges who can’t be bothered to hear your appeal; and ultimately, we live under the draconian will of the US criminal injustice system that would rather us be under lock and key in servitude than liberated and free to create autonomous community.  This is the reality of the NJ4.  This is the reality of you and I and the majority of everyday folks surviving oppression and violence in this country.

From those encounters in the summer, we determined that a space to strategize transformative justice is in order, as well as a place to network and collectivize our skills and talents.  This queer strategy forum is just one of many necessary steps towards loving one another better.  Beyond our experiences of violence, we are imaginative spirits, artists, communicators, writers, builders, printers, media producers, abolitionists,  teachers, healthcare providers, healers, organizers, technicians, and experts of our lives and futures.  So this forum is just one of many steps towards cooperative solutions and networks that empower us to address the challenges in our lives together on a community level, without the police, and without the State.

For folks in the Bay Area, we are working hard to find an accessible and free location in Oakland to host this forum. We imagine this forum taking place shortly after CR10, sometime in mid October, just before Venice and Patreese have their separate appeals heard. If you have resources in this department, and can host a gathering or want to find out how to get involved with the planning, please contact freenj4@yahoo.com.

More To Be Announced.  Stay up, Stay ready.

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