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The first Pan-Canadian Young Feminist Conference, Toujours Rebelles, has issues a manifesto – it’s damned impressive…

Feminists Unite!

DOWN WITH the colonial legacy of genocide and assimilation of Aboriginal peoples, particularly of Aboriginal women

DOWN WITH the sexism and racism of the Indian Act

DOWN WITH dishonoured treaties

DOWN WITH assimilation

DOWN WITH racial profiling

DOWN WITH Canada’s fake multicultural policy

DOWN WITH warmongers & military power

DOWN WITH racist child welfare policies

DOWN WITH stereotypes in the media

DOWN WITH genocide and femicide

DOWN WITH stealing women and children

DOWN WITH COLONIALISM

RebELLEs AGAINST banks for hijacking the world

RebELLEs AGAINST drug companies for institutionalizing women’s health

RebELLEs AGAINST public spaces that don’t accommodate all bodies

RebELLEs AGAINST development that destroys nature

RebELLEs AGAINST the class system that keeps us impoverished and deprives us of safe, affordable housing

RebELLEs AGAINST the state that forces other countries to adopt the capitalist system

RebELLEs AGAINST the devaluation of women’s paid and unpaid work

RebELLEs AGAINST corporations for making money off our backs

RebELLEs AGAINST the advertisers who destroy our self- esteem and then sell it back to us

RebELLEs AGAINST CAPITALISM

RISE AGAINST the industries that cause us to hate our bodies and our sexuality

RISE AGAINST heterosexism that makes it seem that there is only one way of living, loving and being sexual

RISE AGAINST the socialization of children in gender binaries, race categories and colonial erasures

RISE AGAINST the education that reinforces the heteronormative nuclear family

RISE AGAINST the religious Right and its influence on State policy and legislation

RISE AGAINST rape and violence against women

RISE AGAINST the objectification and control of women’s bodies

RISE AGAINST all anti-choice bills, laws and strategies

RISE AGAINST the sexual division of labour

RISE AGAINST poverty and women’s economic disadvantage and dependency

RISE AGAINST income support programs based on family status instead of individual status

RISE AGAINST masculinists, their false claims and demagogic arguments

RISE AGAINST sexual exploitation

RISE AGAINST PATRIARCHY

We envision communities committed to:

  • Eradicating all forms of violence – including sexual, institutional, emotional, economic, physical, cultural, racial, colonial, ageist and ableist
  • Challenging all forms of oppression, power and privilege
  • Recognizing that others’ struggles against oppression cannot be separated from one’s own, because all people are intrinsically; and being conscious of how one fits into the different structures of oppression while fighting to eliminate them all
  • Freeing our children and ourselves from the gender binary
  • Building institutions and structures that promote the principles of Justice, Peace & Equality
  • Eliminating economic inequality
  • Funding and supporting affordable, accessible childcare, and the economic freedom to mother in the way we choose
  • Learning and teaching true herstory and histories of our victories and struggles, especially those of women of colour and Aboriginal women
  • Fighting the stigma and shame of mental health and psychiatric survivors and supporting their struggles

We will: Change our attitude: get pissed off, refuse, resist, walk out, speak up!

We will: Transform our daily lives and relationships: actions can take place in small interactions

We will: Encourage people to learn about, care for and love themselves and their bodies

We will: Support safe and accessible space for individuals to define and express themselves without fear of judgement

We will: Create alternatives, write poetry, articles, letters, make art

We will: Join with others, find common ground, build community, create feminist spaces and gatherings, raise awareness, educate, spread the word

We will: Believe that a better world is possible and work to achieve it

We will: Organize and struggle: build alliances with existing feminist groups and create new ones, fight together in solidarity, be seen and be heard, disrupt, trouble, destabilize established powers, become culture jammers

We will: Build solidarity based on the commonality of our diverse struggles and perspectives

We will: Value people rather than profits

We will: Demand massive State reinvestment in social programs and the end of privatization

We will: Organize pan-Canadian decentralized days of feminist action against the rise of the Right

We will: Protest and resist sexist bills and laws that threaten our reproductive rights, racist immigration laws, war, free trade, repression, the criminalization of political movements, corporate exploitation and plunder of the earth, and violence against women

We will: Champion safety, respect, justice, freedom, equality and SOLIDARITY!