Yes, politicize it.
Feminists in Mexico and Guatemala working on femicide also use the concept of ‘feminicide’ to draw attention to state complicity in the killings of women.
The word ‘feminicide’ was popularised over twenty years ago to denounce the killing of women due to their gender. The crime is called ‘feminicide’ (‘feminicidio’) in Mexico and ‘femicide’ (‘femicidio’) in Guatemala. Although there have been some attempts to differentiate the two concepts, both terms emerge as a form of resistance: to assert that women’s lives matter, and such crimes should not go unpunished. Impunity contributes to the normalisation of the feminicide machine. This ‘machine’ is supported by gender inequality as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights have suggested.
The struggle at Standing Rock, North Dakota grabbed the world’s attention for a time. It’s a fight which isn’t halting, even though signs of scale-back are beginning to surface. Among the many things Standing Rock’s resistance has reminded us of is Native American heritage, and its place in our country. It’s for these reasons that I’ve played the traditional game of lacrosse recently as a kind of symbolic support. Hoping to reach into the game’s old role as remote spiritual reinforcement, hundreds of miles away.
For those unfamiliar, lacrosse is a sport often compared to field hockey. It’s very different, however, and has been modified over the decades. It’s always required a lacrosse stick, which is a metal pole with a head and net on one end. Many players customize their sticks, and with endless marketed varieties each one is unique. Pads, helmets, and other things were added and evolved respectively as time went on. The original game, however, was bare skinned and gritty.
Authorities have only amplified an already ultra-militarized presence against water protectors at Standing Rock. Supporters and journalists are targeted, arrested, and charged with various crimes on a daily basis including renowned reporter Amy Goodman. Amy’s charges were recently dropped, but surveillance and abuse continue without halt by the government.
Democracy Now! has been on the forefront of Dakota Access coverage since construction of the pipeline began. The $3.8 billion dollar project has already destroyed sacred Native American lands and threatens water supplies. Although focus on water tainting revolves around native communities, they certainly aren’t the only one’s in danger. Dakota Access also flies in the face of pleas by climate scientists that literally no more oil or gas can be harvested from the earth, if we want to prevent climate catastrophic.
Last month, I was lucky enough to take part in the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) in Durban, South Africa. Though harm reduction, and the rights of people who use drugs were almost non-existent on the conference agenda, I managed to visit a harm reduction project working in Cape Town, South Africa and see what services are available in the country.
The Step Up project in Cape Town is run by the TB\HIV Care Association, an NGO with almost 1000 staff operating in 16 geographical areas in South Africa. The organisation focuses on prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and adherence support for people infected with, and affected by TB and HIV.