Our stop in New Orleans was a great time. We were warmly welcomed by a large group of organizers and activists in the community. Our event was hosted by the New Orleans chapter of Critical Resistance at their office. Rosana Cruz of Women with a Vision and VOTE (Voice of the Ex-Offender), Hannah of Critical Resistance New Orleans, Ada McMahon of Bridge The Gulf, and Wesley Ware of BreakOUT! (who was unable to be there) all took much appreciated time and energy to organize our event. The potluck and discussion was filled up by a large group of people working on various other projects in New Orleans.
A very note worthy victory recently won in the community was the repeal of the Crimes Against Nature law, successfully combated by Women With A Vision as well as Andrea Ritchie, co-author Queer (In)Justice.
Thanks to the people who provided simultaneous translation. It was great to be joined by some members of the The Congress of Day Laborers.
We ended the presentation with break out groups focusing on questions surfacing more manifestations of borders in our lives and how identities and experiences of being made problematic or criminal are interlinked. After some time the small group re converged for brief report backs before wrapping up the event.
Outside the office we engaged in informal conversations and heard praise for the zine as well as critiques to consider for future revisions. And of course we took another fabulous picture together!
After the event we spent a few more days working and relaxing. Many thanks to our amazing hosts Ada, Gahiji, Huri, and Mayaba for opening their house for so many fun filled days and nights!
The day after our event we all attended a potluck for queer people of color and their friends where we ate a lot of great food, played some fun games, and socialized under an almost full moon.
Because we decided to stay in town for an extra day we were able to attended a film screening and discussion for the 40th anniversary of The Attica Rebellion at the Critical Resistance office. The films were one short video about George Jackson and one which highlighted some moments of The Attica Rebellion. After the films, the group broke into smaller groups to discuss questions such as “how can we support people on the inside.” Our group was facilitated by Kai Barrow who pushed the group to confront the prospect of armed struggle as part of our movement building. We all spent a lot of time grappling with this idea in a discussion that was both challenging and stimulating.
Thank you New Orleans, see you again soon!