Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LoveSong: A Manifesto

This document was circulated at the Queer Collaborations Conference held at Curtin University July 4-10. The document was drafted by Tim Scriven. Hard copies can be down loaded from Tim's blog lovesongsingers

This is about the aims, goals and methods of the queer community. Queers, like everyone else, sometimes forget their roots. This manifesto was written because our community sometimes forgets itself; we become lost wanderers moving in anger. Activists are foremost lovers- they are moved and guided by love. Love gives birth to courage, thought, effort and sometimes necessary rage. We need to explain and articulate, within our community and within the larger community that our origins are in an ideology of love. It’s time to get serious about compassion. We are a radical alternative and our community can be frighteningly unfamiliar especially to newcomers. If we want to grow as a community, we need to communicate that we are about love and offer support.

We are the protectors, the liberators and the grievers. We are not immoral, amoral or degenerate; in a world of hate and fear, we care. We are political; our anger is made of love and our slogans are love letters to a heartbroken world. We contain the seeds of a better world. We are queer.

An activist community is a powerful tool. Sadly, one of it’s most exciting features is often overlooked. An activist space can and should be a showcase of a better, kinder world; a visible argument for hope. When we are lovely to one another, it nourishes trust that the world can be lovelier. Please be excellent to one another.

Don’t fear activism, don’t fear politics
Activism is refusing to accept that things are the way they are, and that’s that. Activism is fun and heartbreaking and irritating and elating. Anyone can be an activist ! Everyone craves to give their life some extended meaning. Being an activist is a way to become more, without buying more. Almost everyone thinks that the root of activism is anger, but the real root is love.

Political doesn’t mean bickering. Political doesn’t mean yelling (many of us never yell). Politics isn’t meaningless arguments about language- though sometimes there are important arguments about language. Politics is about trying to change the world you live in, so it better accommodates you and others. That doesn’t always mean arguing with the government, getting one person to change their behaviour can be a political outcome.

As conservatives have long realised, recruiting is part of the queer agenda. They get it wrong though because they assume we want to make people queer: maybe sometimes we do that, but that’s not the main point. Our real goal is to find people who are already queer, and make room for them in our community.

Let’s make our community bigger. Let’s make an effort to let people know we exist, and they can join us. Let’s make sure that engineers are just as welcome as gender studies students. Let’s tell the world that you can be queer without a rad fashion sense. Let’s make literature that explains what we’re about for people without a university education. Let’s invite all in.

P.S Practice radical love (PRL).

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Revitalising Labour attempts to reflect on efforts to rebuild the labour movement internationally, emphasising the role that left-wing political currents can play in this process. It welcomes contributions on union struggles, internal renewal processes within the labour movement and the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

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