Feb 28, 2009

self defense

I noticed yesterday at my gym that they're offering new self defense courses. My mind wandered back to the awesomeness that is self-defense training. I took classes about 15 years ago, before some solo traveling, at Brooklyn Women's Martial Arts (now the Center for Anti-Violence Education). Empowered is an overused word, but it was amazing to understand the power of your body and connect with it in a practical way. Parts of the training were terrifying, like learning to break out of a choke-hold, but the instructors and students were gentle with women who had strong reactions to some of the simulated attacks. For "graduation" we broke planks of wood with a karate chop. It made me feel very strong, and safer, and proud to have made an effort to learn how to protect myself.

But of course, self defense can be criminalized, as with the seven New Jersey lesbians charged with "gang assault" and attempted murder for fighting back when attacked. There's a demo this Monday in NYC demanding that the D.A. drop all remaining charges (some indictments been overturned by the appeals court).
Stop persecuting Renata, Patreese and Venice. They fought back to defend each other. Had they not fought back successfully, one or more of them might have been killed or raped. Are rape, death, or prison the only three options open to lesbians who are attacked on the street?

Protest Monday, March 2
noon - 1 p.m.
1 Hogan Place
Manhattan, NY
(corner Leonard and Centre Streets) (A, C, E & 6 trains to Canal St.)

For more info, e-mail: freenj4@yahoo.com
Related "defense" is that abovegroundpool friend and merit badge winner Susan Tipograph is Renata Hill's attorney.

Support this group of women on Monday; support women's safety every day!

1 comment:

abovegroundpool said...

Anybody who goes to this demo gets extra good karma credit! Protesting in a blizzard and a foot of snow takes a very special committed person.