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March 20th call for a Radical Queer/Pink Bloc at anti-war event in Pittsburgh
by RESYST Saturday, Feb. 21, 2004 at 11:39 AM

Resyst is sending this call out to all radical queers and queer sympathizers to join us in Pittsburgh for regional M20 events.

anti-war call for a Radical Queer/Pink Bloc March 20th Pittsburgh,

On the weekend of March 20th (M20) a regional convergence against wars and occupation will take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Primarily organized by the Thomas Merton Center and Pittsburgh Organizing Group, M20 aims to organize a permitted mass mobilization alongside direct action targeting the local war machine.

Resyst is sending this call out to all radical queers and queer sympathizers to join us in Pittsburgh. Those who see the interconnectedness of all oppressions and struggles and who wish to ensure that a radical queer perspective is heard in the ongoing anti-war movement must join together. We will not allow our movement to be divided based on class, race, nation of origin, language, perceived or chosen gender, sexuality, income, size, perceived "ability", age, etc.

Resyst is a radical queer group, working to radicalize the queer movement and queerize the radical movement. We see the need for queers to be intimately involved in the anti-war, anti-racist, anti-sexist, and class war movements. While many strands exist, there is one struggle for liberation, that of humanity against all those who seek to exploit, oppress, restrict and restrain for their personal power and gain the freedom of others, and it is as a part of this liberation movement that we fight. It is of the utmost importance that we work on a grassroots level and remain in touch and contact with the everyday lives of people both inside and outside the struggle. We feel that no group should be the scapegoat for the government’s racism, bigotry, or capitalistic greed, and by organizing a Queer Resistance we can speak to so many people by sharing our historic liberation.

A large number of us in the activist community have seen what happens when a movement loses its ties with the everyday reality in which people live. It is clear that "gay activists" are losing liberty through assimilation, marketing, addiction, and capitalism. We must not forget the struggles that got us here today and must not lose sight of the struggles that lie ahead.

While the country is distracted and abuzz with hopes that the state will finally validate a union between two people of the "same gender," the US government plows on ahead with the "War On Terrorism." And it continues to come at the expense of basic support service for lgbtq people. Community organizations that provide support for queer youth, HIV/AIDS counseling, and referrals have experienced extreme budget cutbacks, while government spending on the military has skyrocketed.

And some gay activists continue to fight for the right to be part of the killing overseas – without realizing that war and the entire concept of the military is oppressive to the core. Militarism continues to perpetuate rigid gender norms. At its most basic level, it’s rooted in traditional, heterosexist ideas of gender that define masculinity as physically powerful and aggressive, and femininity as meek and passive. These gender norms have historically been used to marginalize and criminalize queer people who often challenge the legitimacy of these norms. Increasing our dependence on the military and making war a priority strengthens the heterosexist, patriarchal culture that promotes war, intensifying the stigmatization of those who defy that culture.

As people struggling for liberation, we don’t consider it "equality" if we too can participate in the killing of thousands of innocent people for oil or any other reason; we don’t want to participate in the oppression of others for a misguided, assimilationist approach to freedom. We don’t want to be admitted into the military – we want to abolish it. And we demand an end to America’s imperialistic warmonger tactics.

And so we must begin our demands at home, where our struggles need to stay rooted. Right here in our own backyard, Carnegie Mellon University continues to receive contracts from the military to research and develop military applications. CMU's Robotics Institute is currently developing a remote controlled scout "tank," lovingly referred to as "gladiator," that has "offensive capabilities" to "neutralize threats" and the Software Engineering Institute develops the software testing and rating system that every military contractor using software must now pass to be eligible for Department of Defense contracts. This needs to end. We can make an impact to stop the war by calling for an end to the aid that schools and businesses in our own city are providing to keep the war going.

The POG plans to occupy part of CMU on March 20th to demand an end to these military contracts and to kick ROTC off the CMU campus. We’ll be there too - marching with the POG direct action contingent assembling at 1pm around 4 large flags in Flagstaff Hill, raising awareness with our presence, occupying the hallways and the streets. We will not be satisfied with challenging the surface issues that leave us behind, denying the intrinsic links between queer struggle and challenging power in its most basic forms. We struggle for the autonomy of all queers, gender defiant individuals, trannies, and all other marginalized groups that got expelled from the struggle during the quest for normalcy led by the reformists. We are not struggling for the equal rights of queers to kill people, rather for the equal right of all people to live in peace and without fear.

Love, kisses, and molotovs

RESYST and the Queer Resistance

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
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PS Why not protest at Pitt as well? Elaine Newton Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 1:02 PM
Don't be misled - CMU is not the problem! Elaine Newton Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 12:30 PM
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