August 29th-September 3rd ~CASCADIA~
We are happy to announce the upcoming 4th Annual Cascadia Trans’ and Womyn’s Action Camp (TWAC) 2012!
Be sure to check out the RIDEBOARD here!
TWAC! = The lovely Sound of Smashing Patriarchy!
The Trans’ and Womyn’s Action Camp is a gathering of eco-activists, who are also working to bring down patriarchy. TWAC is for folks who identify as any variety of gender variant and marginalized genders. There will be space to share skills in a supportive, empowering and encouraging environment.
Greetings! The Trans and Womyn’s Action Camp (TWAC) collective is excited to announce the third annual campout in Cascadia! Comprised of trans and womyn organizers from various chapters of Rising Tide North America, TWAC aims to take space and create a safe(r) six day action camp nestled deep within the beautiful forests of the Cascadia bioregion in the Pacific Northwest. Stemming from the larger environmental movement, TWAC was formed out of a need to make space for marginalized identities that otherwise may not be represented within the broader push for environmental justice, which often occurs at the compromise of social justice.
In the past TWAC has consisted of workshops and trainings on things like strategic campaigning, non-violent direct action, tree climbing, security culture, trans 101, botany, how to prevent burnout/mental health and self-care, theatre of the oppressed and more (another make out workshop perhaps? Yes, please, but only if you wanna)! The days were filled with workshops, swimming, hiking and communally prepared meals while the nights sang with beautiful conversation and story telling around a campfire, reclaiming space making room for comradery, support, and safety (enough for some consensually wild truth or dare).
Why does TWAC exist? Because being of a marginalized identity can be dangerous and because this truth exists, TWAC exists. The camp aims to seek an end to oppression of all varieties. TWAC keeps it real and sees the intersections between the killing of the planet and the killing of trans, womyn, and gender outlaws from all backgrounds and all experience levels.
What would a world without patriarchy look like? However the fuck we want to make it. For six days in the nourishing, lush green forests of Cascadia come explore this possibility with us and bring what you can! As we try to synthesis a world without patriarchy, we also try to synthesis a world without capitalism and therefore this camp is entirely produced by volunteer effort! It’s not too late to get down with the get down and lend your energy to making TWAC amazing for the third consecutive year!
Who is TWAC for? TWAC supports the deconstruction of patriarchy, sexism, heteronormativity, speciesism, and overall bullshit. That being said, this camp has been created and maintained by and for *womyn, trans, gender benders, blenders and fuckers. TWAC is a special place where people of oppressed identities can teach one another, learn, share, connect and heal together in a safe(r) space. While the camp is not meant for *cisgender men (folks who were born and socialized as male and identify as male) there are plenty of outside support roles (fundraising, organizing a parallel and completely separate cis-men camp in which you’d provide anti-oppression workshops, trainings, etc.) that can be filled by allies. Actively deconstructing male privilege for example, is one of them. It is not the responsibility of people of marginalized identity to educate folks with male privilege about allyship or identity politics, and therefore it is up to cis men and allies to teach themselves. TWAC is one of few spaces in general where trans people, womyn, and all gender variants alike are in a safe(r) space to be whoever they are or want to be within this loving, supporting, flourishing, and not to mention fun environment.
Because TWAC runs on little to no budget we are making an open call to action to everyone who wishes to help us raise money to cover general camp expenses (this can look like benefit shows, bake sales, secret cafes, house parties, dance parties- anything, we encourage creativity!!!), or help out with procuring food, camping supplies, and donations of all kinds to make camp as fabulous as humynly possible.
What we need for maximum camp fierceness: workshop trainers of all types, SO much food (taking various dietary choices and allergies into account- think vegetarian/vegan- contact us with questions, we want as much communal food for everyone to enjoy as possible!), camping supplies (see list below), climbing gear (for all lovely shapes and sizes of bodies), discussion facilitators, medics, childcare volunteers, musicians, poets, storytellers, performers of all persuasions, forest defenders, warriors against patriarchy and industrial civilization, reproductive freedom fighters, namely YOU!
Feel free to contact TWAC organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org about anything and everything concerning this year’s Trans and Womyn’s Action Camp, we look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in the forest!
For a glossary of terms, click here
MAKING CONNECTIONS: WHY GENDER INCLUSION MATTERS
Oppression and control of the environment stems from social hierarchy and social control. Challenging sexism and racism is just starting to become a focus for many radical environmental groups. Understanding the links and commonalities of similar oppression within different social justice movements is key in fighting injustice and building larger communities.
Most radical environmental groups have left Gender Issues far behind in the quest for liberation. It is crucial to look critically at gender issues in the radical environmental movement, just as it is to look at racism, sexism, classism. Just like any other social grouping, gender variants span racial, sexual, economic and political backgrounds. If we are to expand our allies and build an inclusive movement that works against the roots of oppression, challenging social hierarchy in all its forms, then a gender revolution will only be meaningful if it truly and individually empowers everyone.
For many radical environmentalists and anti-authoritarians, in general, there may be the temptation to “smash gender,” or reject gender differences or pronouns all together. This may seem logical to some. However, this leads to an alternate form of authoritarianism, rooted in oppression. First, it denounces all experiences- good or bad- of people fighting for personal gender identity and liberation. Second, it is just reinforcing the oppressive constructs in which people are not free to choose their own identity. If one is constantly fighting oppression like people do who experience sexism, racism, classism, transphobia, homophobia, etc.- it’s safe to say that that fighting that type of oppression will most likely come first in activism priorities. If we, as radical environmentalists want an inclusive, ever expanding movement to help the Earth, we must create that- safer, inclusive communities that acknowledge the diversity that comes forth and not perpetuate the oppressive natures that under-represented folks fighting for liberation endure.
Gender must be liberated, but we all must have a voice in what that means, not from an abstract pre-determined theory, but a synthesis of real people’s experiences. Any strategy toward liberation must maintain the integrity of all our experiences and be willing to question how different communities can accept divergent and opposing needs without creating an atmosphere of punishing silences and real violence. We have a long way to go; our power is in drawing on our collective weaknesses and strengths.
A part of any revolutionary process involves listening to oppressed communities without assumptions. Questions and criticisms are a part of this, as well as continually questioning and criticizing ourselves.