Rodeo Round-Up: General Strikes, Population Myths, & Poems, OH MY!

This has been a pretty big news week, y’all!

The Oklahoma Gazette had a great article about how the OKC gay scene gained visibility and organized around the AIDS epidemic.  It’s amazing how the actions of a few individuals can help shape an entire culture!  And boy are we ever thankful to them.

Senator Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii, the U. S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman has introduced a bill that would “provide Indian Country with jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit crimes on Indian lands, improve the Native programs under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and improve data gathering programs to better understand and respond to sex trafficking of Native women.” The Stand Against Violence and Empower Native Women Act could probably have a less paternalistic acronym (its referred to as the SAVE Native Women Act), but if it goes through Congress, it could make a huge impact on Native Women’s lives and tribal sovereignty, so we’re definitely rooting for it!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have heard that we hit the 7 billion mark this week.  Before you panic, let the wise ladies at Crunkfeminist Collective assuage any racialized fears you may have about the end of the world coming because of too many brown babies.  No, seriously, let them!  And while you’re at, read this population myth-debunker from our good friends at the Population & Development Program at Hampshire College (who bring us the awesome and amazing CLPP conference every year and served as the inspiration for OK4RJ!).  The world may or may not be ending, but it’s not because of population.  Obviously, it’ll be when the aliens come in 2012, right?

Well… that’s my pet theory, anyway.

Some of us at OK4RJ have mixed feelings about the Occupy movements, but I know quite a few of us were giddy with excitement about Oakland’s General Strike!  The last general strike in US was in 1946 in Oakland (its quite the happening place!) and it was actually sparked by female workers who were striking for fairer wages.  Remember y’all, economic justice is reproductive justice!

A little closer to home, early Wednesday morning police raided Occupy Tulsa’s encampment, arresting 10 protesters who were engaging peacefully in civil disobedience and pepper-spraying at least 5.  Thirteen additional protesters were arrested late Wednesday night, while 10 more were arrested Thursday night.  Whatever your opinions may be about the Occupy movement, I think we can all agree that freedom of speech is necessary to a functioning, transparent democracy and that police brutality is unacceptable.  Pepper spraying people who are breaking a park curfew hardly falls under “protect and serve.”

Trust Women, the badass organization that is opening a new clinic in Wichita (my Cleveland, y’all), is holding the Trust Women Summit in Tulsa on Saturday for people interested in reproductive justice organizing to make Oklahoma a better place for all of us to live.  Yeah, its pretty much right up our alley, not to mention the fact that Trust Women is run by Julie Burkhardt, a colleague and close friend of our hero, Dr. George Tiller.  I can’t think of a better organization to work with Oklahoma!  If you haven’t noticed, this round-up has been sadly fart joke free because I’m filling in for Molly, who’s interning for Trust Women and a huge part of the Summit!  I work with pretty much the best people ever.

Last but certainly not least, Oklahoma’s own Lauren Zuniga was featured in a very moving and funny piece in The Abortioneers this week!  It’s so great to read about how Lauren has touched someone’s life, because I know she’s touched many of ours with her words.
We’ll leave you with an oldie but a goodie from Ms. Zuniga, a poem that I’ve been lucky enough to see her perform a couple of times!

Sandra is covering for Molly, who is stuck in the terlet and will be returning for Round-Up Duty/Doody next week.  You can follow @sandraholla for more information about the 2012 apocalypse and @MollyJolene for hourly BM updates.


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