Sunday, 28 February 2010

Another successful meeting of SLLU Feminist Network

SLLU Feminist Network had another successful regular weekly meeting tonight. Notes to follow.

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Video-report of the SLLU Party

A video-report of the party we had last sunday, the 21st of februari.
The party was a celebration of the 3rd anniversary of SLLU, the 1st anniversary of the SLLU Feminist Network and the newly created SLLU LGBT network and was organised by the Feminist Network this year.

[bear with me, I am still a noob at creating of video's :)]

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Advice for activists

If Linden Lab ban you for reasons unknow, there are steps you can take.

Plot Tracer explains what you can do if the private company puts profit before your personal rights.

Article HERE

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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Who Says Leftists Can't Party? The SLLU Birthday Party, V 3.0

Well, so it's over. And what a wonderful time it was. Nearly six hours of partying, live music by three terrific acts, wonderful poetry, and great chat with friends. How successful was the party? Well, all of the events, from the beginning of the party to its conclusion five and three quarters hours later, were very well attended. The numbers of people enjoying the celebrations seldom fell below 30, and for much of the time, the sim was in fact full to capacity.

And no wonder. The party began with a Radical Poetry reading, hosted by Zoe Parness, and focussing upon poetry by women. I am biased, but in some ways, this was my favourite part of the evening: the readings, particularly of a number of poems by Margaret Atwood, were wonderful, and were well recieved by a gratifyingly large crowd. Thanks go out to Zoe for organizing and running this!

And then came the music. We began with the rough-edged and exciting rock of Zaphod Theas, who set the tone for much of what was to follow. As the sim began to reach capacity, the dance floor in front of the stage filled to overflowing. Zaphod has not, I think, played for SLLU before. My guess is that he will again, and is destined to become a favourite.
The Virtual Live Band followed, with Zaphod staying on stage as a guest performer. The VLB are old favourites of SLLU, and it's not hard to understand why: driving rock tunes powered by the playing of BlueTom Haller and Mambo Welles, and the soaring bluesy vocals of Foxyflwr Cure were the main reason that the sim was soon so full that it was inaccessible to latecomers. By this time, it was hard to move on the dance floor; strangely, no one seemed to mind very much!

The party ended with another perennial favourite of SLLU: Wildo Hofmann's sometimes eerie but always compellingly beautiful soundscapes worked wonderfully with her particle light show to bring a new and more meditative ambiance to the event. It was, really, a perfect way to end a party celebrating the anniversaries of two groups that are all about a thoughtful and imaginative contemplation of a future and more just world.

I say "two groups," because, of course, this party celebrated (belatedly) not merely the third birthday of the SLLU, but also the first anniversary of the SLLU Feminist Network, which was hosting the event in honour of its parent organization. I'd like to say something a bit more about both of these groups, and in particular about the generosity of the way in which they relate to each other because, for me, this is what this double-handled birthday party represented.

That we were celebrating both birthdays together was entirely appropriate, for the Feminist Network of course grew entirely out of the SLLU. It was a suggestion by Plot Tracer that led the SLLUFN's Ledoof Constantineau to form the feminist group; drawing on the membership of the SLLU, the Network's first meeting was held here almost exactly a year ago.

In that time, the SLLU Feminist Network has grown, in membership, and in maturity. From a small group of dedicated feminists who gathered to discuss women's issues as they pertained both to SL and to RL, the Feminist Network has developed into, I think it is safe to say, one of the most active of the many activist groups in Second Life.

From protesting at rape sims, providing online guidance for new women in SL, and documenting representations of violence against women in SL, all the way to the group's central role in last year's enormously successful 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence -- the Feminist Network has grown into a real force for positive change.

Although I was a member of the SLLU for some time before the founding of the Feminist Network, it was as a member of the latter that I really cut my teeth as an SLactivist. I owe a great deal to the women and men of the SLLUFN for helping to nurture that side of me, and I am even more grateful to them for the many strong friendships and collegial relations that I have developed with them over the past year. The Feminist Network is an activist group, but it is also much more than that: it is a group of remarkable and warmly supportive people whom I cherish as friends as well as comrades and colleagues.

I am also enormously grateful to the SLLU itself, which has never wavered in its strong support of what the Feminist Network has done, and that has also provided a broader context of Left activism that helps inform our own feminist work. I am immensely proud to be a member of both groups: proud of the way that both fight for social justice, and for inclusiveness.

The ongoing concern for both to these is apparent in the recent creation of the SLLU LGBTI Network, a new "child" of the SLLU whose birth we are also celebrating today, and which will grow strong and influential, I am sure, with the support of both SLLU and the SLLU Feminist Network.

Finally, it is only remains to me to thank the many people who have contributed their invaluable assistance to this party today: in particular, to Plot Tracer, Smoke Wijaya, Zoe Parness, Teachergirl Razor, Maggy Portello, LolaRennt Blanco, and Aeris Betsen. Most especially, however, I want to thank the musicians and poets who have donated their time to be there with us, showing their support for the causes the SLLU represents. I very much hope that they will all soon again celebrate with us the twin causes of socialism, and social justice.

And this time ... let's not wait a whole year before we party together again!

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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Photos from party at FLAGG



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SLLU & SLLUFN Birthday Party today!

SLLU and SLLU Feminist Network Birthday Party!
starting at noon, 12 pm SLT

12.05 pm SLT - Radical Poetry

1.00 pm - Zaphod Theas

2.00 pm - Virtual Live Band

3.00 pm - Wildo Hoffman

at Flagg:

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Results of poll

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Friday, 19 February 2010

Exclusion, the Art of Arrogance, and Conservative Dogma

On the surface, being denied marriage or civil partnership rights seems absent justice; however, the true face of exclusion is much more than this, it is inhuman.  It's true face prevents an unmarried partner into the critical care unit to sit with the love of their life who is dying simply because of a lack of marriage certificate.  The true face has an ugly voice which would perpetuate the idea that love which cannot be understood through strait pretense is an abomination.  It is this monstrous face which although hideous does not come close to illustrating possible death penalties in Uganda, lack of civil rights in the United States, and a movement in the Philippines which would disallow groups representing the LGBTI from the political process.  This face has two key elements in its construction that being arrogance and a complete lack of empathy towards others. 

What is that ingredient mixing within our psychological make-up which prevents listening and condones intrusion into the lives of others? One of the key influences here is fire and brimstone, that powerful tool which goes well beyond man to a higher power. It is the idea that God may hate an individual or send someone to the deepest pits of hell if one shows even a mere ounce of respect towards the LGBTI community.   It is this Dogma of hate, intolerance, and ignorance for which is all to common in an ideology which seems to have less to do with religion and more to do with power differentials which create minorities and subgroups the likes of which can be ignored or silenced.  It is the saddest sort of irony when a group of people so often self-labeled as supporters of social justice often fall short of such a task when it is something that makes them uncomfortable.

Just a disclaimer here, there are several churches who do indeed fight for the rights of the LGBTI community such as some Lutheran Churches, Congregational, and Universal Unitarian.  If any have been forgotten, it is strongly encouraged to post this as a comment. And although I cannot speak for the entire LGBTI community, my personal thank you goes out to these Churches and organizations who do support Queer Human Rights.  

Next Monday, at 12 Noon SL time the LGBTI SLLU will be meeting at the Flagg.  As a group, our goal is to actively work towards human rights and safety issues for the Queer community world wide.  Please consider joining us.  You do not have to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, inter-sexed or transgendered.  Really, all you need is to be a supporter of this community with the desire to make change.

One of the first tasks we have been charged with is to find an event or activity for which we could raise awareness about LGBTI issues around the world as well as to have a little fun.  What we have proposed is a mass gay wedding. We are seeking groups and individuals who would like to be involved in this event, musicians, artists, and of course anyone who would like to help and support.  

Those who would like to be married during this even please send a note card to UndoneChaos Enoch.  Please note that your reasons for getting married during this event may be either political or general love.  This is an awareness event, and your reasons as well as your ideology are your own, and will not be questioned.  We do ask that all participants be respectful after all, that is kinda the point.  

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Thursday, 18 February 2010

SLLU General Membership Meeting - 18 February, 2010

Today's meeting dealt primarily with two issues.

-- We discussed the importance of having more premium members donate tier to the SLLU Hub group, so as to ensure the security of our current land holdings in SL. One problem, it was suggested, is that many premium members of the group may not realize that there is really no "cost" to them to do so, and may, additionally, not be very clear on how tier works.

It was decided that a notecard, briefly explaining the tier system, the importance of these donations to the SLLU, and the means by which tier can be donated, should be written and circulated among the general membership as a way of addressing this problem.

-- We discussed, briefly, the upcoming SLLU Birthday Party on Sunday. The key theme of this discussion was "get the word out!" Bring friends, family, and anyone who isn't actually bolted down to the terrain: this is going to be an enormously fun occasion, and we want to share it with as many of our members, and friends of the SLLU, as possible!

The schedule for the party is posted below and on the SLLU Feminist Network blog; individual events are also listed in the SL Events page.

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Tuesday, 16 February 2010

SLLU and SLLUFN Birthday Party this Sunday!!

Sunday, 21 February
12 Noon SLT to 6 pm SLT

Oh, how quickly a year . . . or three . . . passes!

Yes, it’s a little belated. But the Third Birthday Party for the SLLU is fast approaching, this Sunday at the SLLU land on Flagg! This year the SLLU will be sharing birthday honours with the SLLU Feminist Network, which is one year old this February! As well, we will be highlighting the newest member of the family, the SLLU LGBTI Network.

The festivities will kick off at 12 Noon SLT with some brief (we promise!) opening remarks. Then we have a schedule of poetic and musical talent that should keep everyone happily engaged for hours to come:

12:05 SLT: Radical Poetry

1:00 SLT: Zaphod Theas

2:00 SLT: The Virtual Live Band

3:00 SLT: Wildo Hofmann

There will be dancing, and a skating rink has been set up for those who wish to showcase their Olympic-quality stylings on the ice. The LGBT Network will be featuring an art exhibit, and we have a giant birthday cake that dispenses SLLU-flavoured freebies to lucky winners!

Keep an eye out on this space for further additions to the schedule.

And don’t forget to bring friends, families, and fellow travelers: this event is open to all!

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Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Equality Gap

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Friday, 12 February 2010

SLLU Charter, Aims and Principles

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Tuesday, 2 February 2010

SLLU LGBT Be there or be Square!

We are getting together on Wednesday at 11am at the SLLU.  If you cannot make you can also send your ideas for the group. It would be fun to have you there!

You do not have to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or even transgendered.  Advocates, friends, and family members are also welcome. Advocates for the community are always needed and welcome. 

5 Quick things you can do to help.

1.  This week do not laugh at that horrible joke the homophobic jerk at work tells that joke that makes you sick. Instead, call his butt out!  Tell him how much damage that joke causes and how you are not going to listen to his humor anymore.  But, feel sympathy for him.  Chances are the reasons he is so angry is because he has not come to terms with his own sexuality.  Perhaps that joke is the way for him to cover up the pain of never being able to be with the man he loves. 

2.  When someone is about to say something homophobic they often prelude the statement by saying "some of my best friends are gay..but I have to tell you."  Stop them before they finish that thought and say something terribly sad...Debbie Downer sad such "you know, in the time it took you to say that two children died of hunger."  Soon, they will be trained on a subconscious level when they start to say something homophobic they will get a sad response. 

3. Put a rainbow bumper sticker on your car or if you are a supporter how about a PFLAG sticker on your car.  This seems like something insignificant, but it lets people know the GLBT and PFLAG community is not ashamed because there is no reason to be.  But remember there is a difference between tasteful decor and just all and out tacky.  Do not wear your Gay Pride Parade clothing to work and do not paint your entire car with rainbow stripes. 

4.  Come out.  I say this BUT there are exceptions to this and everyone has their own personal time line.  If you truly feel that your life will be in danger from doing this, not a good idea.  For instance, not a good idea if you live in Uganda where you are in serous danger from announcing you like to date those of the same sex.  The thing is, the more of us that are out and proud the better.  This does not mean you have to have a full on Gay Pride parade in your back ally or that you have to fly a rainbow flag from your front porch.  Sometimes, it is good to be out there and just to be. 

5.  Spread the word!  If individuals are not tolerant or hate the GLBT community find ways to talk to them, to reason with them, and to humanize those within the community to them. If they are tolerant of the GLBT community ask them to go further, ask them to be accepting.  If they are on the boarder line then get them drunk and bring them to your local GLBT bar and show them a good time.  KIDDING!  The point is to always push ourselves and those around us to understand, empathize, and work towards being better people to ourselves and others.

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