F 2012: you may remember us from such actions as…
A quick post to wish you a happy new year.
Someone asked me last night to describe the year in a sentence, and I said “A year of big highs and big lows.”
While I wasn’t speaking exclusively about feminism, I think it still applies.
F has had startling highs this year: occupying the NSW Right to Life Conference. David Bereit, of 40 Days for Life was forced off the stage. His organisation has shut down over 20 abortion clinics in the States. We said no, not ever, are those politics welcome here.
We followed up with a public action that made me smile for months.
There was the community services campaign. We stopped the shutdown of the Liverpool Women’s Resource Centre, amongst others. This was the highlight of my year.
There’s been some little victories as well: a germ of a street art project and coalition work with Say No to Income Management and WEL; a fundraiser for Reclaim the Night that raised hell and a whole lotta money; this website. All of these things are a labour of love and time, a labour of hope and (lack of) time.
Perhaps it’s the emotion of a ridiculously tame hangover talking, but if you’ll indulge me, F operates on the energy that sparks when smart and committed women get together and decide to have some hope and take action.
Action is hard. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’ve feared of doing it wrong, hurting or offending people, making matters worse and not living up to my own desire to balance class, race, gender and queer political ideals and goals. There’s the problem of time, and skill, and imagination, and the fact that in a world that runs on money, activism is usually a cost that not everyone can afford.
This year our part in the income management campaign was put on hold by F, in a conscious decision to focus on community service cuts. I realised we couldn’t do it all and hit a low. This was just one of many decisions we made to get where we got.
Despite these difficulties, in 2012 we did it anyway.