Melbourne action days report-back

December 5, 2007 at 11:20 pm (day of action, melbourne action)

go here for full summary and pictures:

http://melbourneprotests.wordpress.com/2007/12/02/

international-day-of-action-for-community-responses-to-sexual- assault-saturday-1-december/

International Day of Action for Community Responses to Sexual Assault
Friday November 30
13 people participated in a street theatre action through the streets of Melbourne CBD.   Dressed in  white, protestors walked in a line slowly up and down Swanston street,
covered in quotes, statistics and statements focusing on sexual assault and myths of sexual assault.   Other protestors handed out newspapers made for the weekend,
with content on myths, consent, support, response and resources.

Saturday 1 December

Speakout at the State Library

A world without sexual assault

(These photos are frames from video footage, so not the best …)
Flanked by banners calling for “A world without sexual assault” and the
declaration “Consent is Asking & Listening, Verbally and Non-verbally”
people gathered in a large circle on the lawns outside the State Library
to share feelings and experiences.
Declaration regarding consent

The callout which brought them together, as well as much else, can be
found on the website:
https://communitiesresponsetosexualassault.wordpress.com/ - here is part of
it:

“We want a day of action calling for community response to sexual assault.
We are calling for support for survivors of sexual assault, and a process
of community response that prioritises their needs, safety and healing. We
are calling for processes that try to change the underlying myths and
power dynamics that lead to assault, before it happens. We want processes
that deal with perpetrators in a way that challenges their beliefs and
behaviours, and gets them to take responsibility for their actions and for
trying to change.

“This day is about healing and empowerment of survivors and supporters. It
is about saying that dealing with sexual assault is important, and that we
all need to work together in our communities to make that happen.”

Some of the participants …

Considering the importance of the issues the response of Melbourne’s
activist community woud have to be described as disappointing, though it
seemed from the words of one speaker at least that she was not surprised,
with hard words indeed for the ‘anarchist and punk’ community. Proceedings
began - after a lunch provided by the wonderful people from Food not Bombs
-
The Food not Bombs table

with some of the organisers reading a statement, followed by an open mic
for those who wished to share their stories or viewpoints:

At the open mic

and ended with a group reading based on Andrea Dworkin’s 1983 address “I
Want a Twenty-Four Hour-Truce During Which There Is No Rape,”
(www.icasa.org/uploads/dworkin.doc).
More later, hopefully with video.

Links:
http://www.worldwithout.org/
(contact via worldwithout@post.com)
https://communitiesresponsetosexualassault.wordpress.com/

In the days leading up to the actions, organisers ran stalls in the CBD handing  out free   newspapers, patches and zine resources.
Thanks to everyone that helped out, we handed out 1900 newspapers, went  on four radio   shows, and talked to heaps of people!

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