WHAT IS BANDS AGAINST BUSH?

As Seen On www.bandsagainstbush.org

February 8, 2003

WHAT IS BANDS AGAINST BUSH?
By emily stern

In late June/early July, I participated in a three week , 6 session anti-racism training. The in-depth exploration of the history of white supremacy in the US and group examination of how that history has influenced our core value systems and behaviors led to defining and practicing productive ways to address personal and institutional racism. I cannot articulate how deeply I’ve been affected by the workshops. One the many things that I took with me was a revived belief in the importance of group process. The training provided me with the desperately needed chance to be a part of a large group that was committed to an ongoing movement of learning, holding each other accountable, and acting as peer educators, while maintaining individuality and avoiding dogma. In this small group, I was constantly reminded that there’s a much bigger movement that I’m a part of. A movement of people who are working to be an active part of their community. a movement of people that are learning to take responsibility for their actions by educating themselves and each other. A movement that is calling for change and is willing to create it.

I feel like Bands Against Bush is part of this movement.

Bands Against Bush has named October 11th as an international day of action. People around the world will be participating in rock shows, art shows and other kinds of performances as a formal act of resistance against the bush administration and as a call for change and honest and fair treatment of all people, especially by the hands of the united states.

What is Bands Against Bush?
Bands Against Bush (BAB) is the name of a new group of independent movements of artists, musicians, activists around the world. The local BAB chapter hails people from Olympia, and the outlying areas, including Shelton, Aberdeen, centrally, and chehalis. We’re are committed to educating ourselves and each other about the current state of America, and the world. BAB’s ongoing outreach will culminate as an international day of action on October 11th 2003, surrounded by an entire weekend of events October 9th through October 11th.

What does BAB want to do?
We are working to provide opportunities to network and inform each other about what we’re doing as individuals who are part of a larger community, as well any political information that that we want to share with each other. These opportunities will continue through the big weekend of action in October. Many members of BAB will maintain the base of community connections beyond October 11th to help and create other projects. As a group, We’re committed to finding and sharing information from as many sources as possible rather than depending on traditional and mainstream news sources. We’re celebrating and fighting and learning by way of music, rock shows, art shows, and grassroots organizing. We’re feeling empowered in the face of what many of us feel is a horrifying political climate by examining what our president is doing and using that knowledge to impact our local governments, and national movements of solidarity.

There will be lots of different kinds of benefits and shows happening before the big day. They’ll be in as many kinds of venues as we have access to. Houses, clubs, art spaces, YMCA’s, grange halls, parks. We use the show spaces to make announcements about local political issues, upcoming events, pass out flyers, zines, condoms, and to rally more participants. There are several people that hope to take the solidarity of the people in BAB and implement it into other pressing issues, like creating and maintaining an all ages space in Olympia, or having an ongoing community of people to organize with around local issues. Personally, as I said in an interview awhile back, I hope that we will be another movement/event working to provide the whole story. Working to break down dichotomies, challenge the mainstream ways of thinking, contribute to community based organizing and sustainability, research and supply information, and use art and music as well as other traditional forms of activism and celebration and hope.

MISSION STATEMENT

Bands Against Bush is an international resistance movement advocating the use of music, art and culture to create a more just and equitable world.

BAB is doing this by calling for an international day of action on October 11th 2003.

We do not want this event/group to be dominated by straight white men. We wish to include women, queers and trans-gendered people on stage as well as off and represent the racial and class diversity of our communities in our group and events.

We will work to recognize and reinforce the connection between our diverse communities through openness, outreach, friendship, trust and inclusion.

Knowledge is power and what we don’t know CAN hurt us. The right to obtain knowledge is political because the corporate and government controlled mainstream media is not always interested in accurate and balanced reporting. We will work to provide a space that encourages underrepresented perspectives. BAB feels that information sharing and informed dialogue are vital to this process. Please feel free to utilize and modify this statement in anyway, BAB is anti-copy right.

Who does BAB want to invite to the party?
Everybody. We have a diverse group of organizers. We hope that people will find something that speaks to them. we hope to have as many people coming to meetings and getting involved with the decision making as possible, so please, check the website for meeting information.

How does BAB work?
There’s a general meeting every other Tuesday at rotating locations. These meetings are to both plan for the October 11th events as well as listen to various committee updates. Most people are working on very specific aspects of organizing. Some people are making posters, some people are in 3 committees. Because BAB is what me make it, Everyone has an essential role, however large or small. For the people who choose to be a part of the meeting process, we’re consensus run and need a quorum in order to make decisions. The people who don’t like meetings but want to get involved can do events on their own and call them a BAB event and invite BAB people to come and speak and pass out info, or they can donate $ from the show toward BAB expenses. Some people want to work on shows leading up to October 11th, and others want to work on the big event.

The Big Event

Oct 10th TBA but a show of some kind and maybe a BBQ/picnic.
Oct 11th capitol steps and the theatre shows.
Oct 12th workshops, an outdoor show at night, and Art In The Streets Possible galleries, installations, film screenings and workshops through out all these days.

What you can do?
The bands against bush website, is an excellent resource for information about current events. You can find many up to date articles and links written by a plethora of sources, some traditional and some subversive. There’s also a listing of all of the other BAB chapters around the world, and their contact information, as well as bands that support BAB. Start a band, make a zine, write a poem and make copies and leave them all over the place. Make copies of articles that make you think. Write up a list of questions you have and make copies and leave them around town and at shows to get people’s minds going. One of the first questions I hear is “well, if you’re against bush, what are you FOR?” and that is a very good question, and I’m not sure that there’s a simple answer. We’re for freedom of expression, using art as activism, coalition building and community sustainability. Not everyone shares the same political ideology, but we do stand strong against the direction that this country is being steered in by the bush administration. We’re all very concerned about what will serve as the next distraction while things like abortion rights, voting rights, and civil rights, the prison system, and gay rights; human rights, are reduced to primitive levels by the federal government. So, come to a meeting and get involved, email and say that you’re an artist in support of BAB and want to be added to the list of available for a show, attend a BAB show and make an announcement about what you and your people are doing so we know how to support each other.

If you want to donate a space for a show, cold hard cash, free copies, or anything else that you want to see happening, please email emilyfstern@yahoo.com Also- check out www.bandsagainstbush.com