RebELLEs Feminists Fighting with Love and Rage
Legault, Barbara, Canadian Dimension
JN OCTOBER 2008, under the theme of Toujours RebELLES--Waves of Resistance, 500 young feminists, aged fourteen to thirty-five, from all regions of Canada and Quebec gathered in Montreal. What motivated a group of young Quebec feminists to invest incommensurable energy and political courage in this J adventure and organize what became the RebELLEs Movement? At the root of our feminist fever to organize collectively was the conviction that the Canadian feminist movement was greatly weakened by years of. attacks and cutbacks and needed new energy, fresh ideas and, mostly, was in dire need of the activist commitment of thousands of young feminists to fight the rise of the right that pervades the state and our minds, and to organize to defend womyn's rights for. the coming years and decades.
"Toujours RebELLES": The 2008 Gathering
By opening a brand new space, the 2008 RebELLEs Gathering broke new ground, allowing young feminists from all corners of Canada to meet, discuss our realities, our feminist and personal victories, our struggles, our fierce transformative anger and our feminist spirit. The atmosphere at the gathering was, at times, charged and electric, at other moments, more introspective.
One central aspect of the gathering was the quick transition from analysis to action. After having analyzed and discussed specific issues in one of the thirty workshops offered, participants collectively organized an action with the other participants of their workshop. Twenty creative resistance actions took place the same afternoon in the streets of Montreal. Actions included everything from radical cheerleading, to feminist batucadas in the middle of the streets, to theatre of the oppressed inspired pieces in the metro, interactive banners denouncing womyn's poverty ... and much more.
Another central objective of the gathering was to share and deepen our analysis on the current rise of the right-wing fundamentalist ideology and policy, in order to develop strategies to fight back. It was mostly through the discussions, debates and finally the adoption of the RebELLEs Manifesto that we materialized this goal. The Manifesto acts as our political platform and basis of unity, supporting identification with the movement and the very organization of our struggles.
The RebELLEs movement mobilizes and brings together young feminists from all over Canada, in a way that builds on the plurality of our ages, backgrounds, cuLtural identities, contexts of life, political trends and analyses. It serves as an entry point into feminism or activism and gives everyone a space to experiment on many levels, make mistakes and organize with feminist sisters. It is an extremely creative movement in the way that we organize and overcome major obstacles. We create alternative anti-hierarchical practices, democratic processes of organization and of pan Canadian coordination. …