22.5.16

Walking The Song . A Chant. A Reminder. A Hashtag. And More. May To June. Moving To September .Save The Date . #INeverAskForIt







Reach out if you would like to be on board in any of the following ways: 

i) Send your garment to the I Never Ask For It Clothes Project.
Blank Noise Team will be publishing a testimonial every Friday.

ii) Start the conversation on victim blame and I Never Ask For It Clothes Project where you live. Your start point informs the I Never Ask For It Action Heroes Network:  a community committed to end all excuses that justify sexual violence. Another way to take this forward would be to apply to volunteer or intern towards this five year campaign.

Shout out to Action Hero Sayali Patwardhan, Pune, for connecting friends, friends of friends towards the I Never Ask For It Action Heroes Network!  Sayali has been changing the scene, one Action Hero at a time.

iii) Are you in college or university ? /  ( Or know someone who is?)
If sexism, rape culture, victim blame/ shame, sexual violence concerns , affects, angers or outrages you, you are very invited to the Action Hero Campus Network: A Network Of Campus Allies Committed To Building Ending Sexism, Patriarchy and Victim Blame.This link is an invitation to build the network. Please give us three weeks of response time. Once again, specific internships offered for this position. 

iv)The campaign invites and mobilizes communities, organizations and groups. both in India and globally, to step in and co create this vision. This is the link to nominate or add your organization/ community to the Global Feminist Network to End Victim Blame. 

9.5.16

Justice For Jisha

Bangalore protest organised by Alternative Law Forum
 on May 6, 2016 at Town Hall, Bangalore.

Audio link






5.5.16

Protests Against - Rape and Murder of Jisha

Bangalore called by Alternative Law Forum


Delhi Protest called by BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students' Association) on 6th May at 11am outside Kerala Bhawan.



Justice For Jisha - Letter By Pinjra Tod

via Pinjra Tod

On 28th April'16, Rajeshwari a daily wage labourer and a single parent, returned home to her one-room house at Kuruppampady village in Kerela at night, to find the body of her younger daughter, raped, mutilated and murdered. Her daughter, who was a Dalit student, had to discontinue her BA degree within a year due to financial constrains. However, she was not one to give up and had been enrolled as an LLB student of Ernakulum Law College since 2010. “She wants to fight for people like us, poor people, those who have been discriminated against,” says Rajeswari as she lies in the hospital, in shock and trauma, unable to accept her daughter's sudden and tragic demise. Rajeshwari had rushed to the nearby police station on that fatal night, where not surprisingly, the police refused to file her case, “wait for the postmortem” they claimed, ensuring that any 'crucial evidence' would essentially be lost in the meantime. Five long days passed since the murder. There were no investigations, there were no arrests, there were no marches or media outrage. There was only a deafening silence and a disturbing apathy. This was not the first time Rajeswari had gone to the police station. She had lived in her one room state-allocated house for 40 years, and during that long period, all she and her family had faced was hostility and severe caste discrimination from their neighbours: their water pipes were destroyed and the women-only family was forced to draw water from a nearby canal, they were not allowed to build toilet in their house, stones were regularly pelted at their small home, they had received threats of murder and the two daughters were subject to constant sexual harassment from neighbourhood men. The police refused any action in all cases, despite repeated complaints.

After five days of silence, news of the rape and murder started to slowly appear in social media due to the efforts of Dalit Bahujan voices, forcing the mainstream media to respond. The mainstream media reports have been accompanied by sickening, voyeuristic and vivid descriptions of the 'brutality' of the rape, characteristic of the way in which Dalit bodies are denied respect and dignity even in death. “Kerala's Nirbhaya”, screamed the media, while the Malayali savarna middle class unable to imagine such 'barbarity' to their kind, claimed (in typical display of their xenophobia), that the perpetrators “must be migrant workers”. The 'merit' of the Dalit student had to be interrogated. 'She had three papers left to clear”, the savarna media hinted slyly, as suspicions on her 'character' were raised “why did she not scream? why she did she not call out for help? how could this have happened inside her own house?”. The name and photograph of the 'victim' was flashed without consent across media in violation of the law. The media insensitivity that characterises this problematic act of naming, has been subsequently challenged by the emerging movement demanding Justice for Jisha by fighting against the very shaming in anticipation of which the law forbids the name of a sexual violence 'victim' from being revealed. However, in a context of upcoming elections in Kerela, the rape and murder of a Dalit woman has now become an 'agenda' for the predatory parties to capitalise on, to appropriate. The matter 'shook' the Rajya Sabha yesterday, where PJ Kurein, one of the primary accused in the Suryanelli rape case in Kerela, had the audacity to express his condemnation of this 'heinous' and 'shameful' crime.

The violence that was inflicted on the body of Jisha and what has unfolded thereafter, is not an 'exception or an 'aberration' in Kerela's 'progressive' society  whose impressive HDI (Human Development Index) credentials we are constantly reminded of. In fact,  it is characteristic of the tremendous everyday violence and oppression that is inherent to that state, and this country where Dalit lives are crushed, humiliated, maimed, killed, murdered and destroyed everyday with impunity. Jisha's rape and murder, like Delta Meghwal's death, reaffirms how the bodies of Dalit women become sites for the most brutal forms of exercise of caste oppression accentuated by patriarchal power, where the control of and violence on women's bodies become powerful mechanisms for upholding a Brahminical patriarchal order.Patriarchal and caste oppression do not operate in isolation, but inherently reinforce each other. When located in the context/history of persistent castiest and patriarchal violence faced by Rajeshwari's family and the structural negligence of the police, the rape and murder of Jisha is not unimaginable or unanticipated, and almost constitutes the chronicles of a rape foretold. As some form of police investigation of this crime finally begins, we are met with the news of the rape of a 19yr old Dalit nursing student by three men in an auto in the coastal town of Varkala in Kerela. Our rage and anger is hence not to be limited to the 'atrocity' of the 'gruesome' nature of Jisha's murder, but has to lead to a persistent struggle towards a structural annihilation of this Brahminical society that violently denies through innumerable everyday acts and practices, a life of dignity and equality to Dalits.

Rajeswari's all-women household was a 'dangerous' entity, a collective of women struggling and surviving and  a Dalit working class woman seeking education and entry into a profession dominated by savarna men, was a direct threat to a Brahminical and patriarchal society. The 'outside' streets and the neighbourhood never belonged to Rajeswari, Jisha and Deepa. But even their 'home' that defied the dictates of a patriarchal world which mandates male control over families, was not to have any illusion of 'safety'. It was to be always vulnerable to stones, to abuse, to ostracisation and to attack by this disgusting casteist society, that all savarnas (including women) are complicit in perpetuating. This resistance, this deviation by Dalit women was an 'audacity' that was not to tolerated, it had to silenced, it had to be dismantled. 

Rise up in collective rage against caste oppression! Smash this Brahminical patriarchal order! Stand in solidarity with the struggles and resistance of Dalit women

 #JusticeforJisha #JusticeforDelta #pinjratod

* In Delhi, JOIN in large numbers in the protest called by BAPSA (Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students' Association) on 6th May (tomorrow) at 11am outside Kerala Bhawan.

4.5.16

Justice For Keenan And Reuben

 May 5th. 2016.

All four accused in the Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez murder have been charged guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. link

Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandez were murdered in October 2011,  by a gang of men armed with knives and sickles. Keenan and Reuben had stepped in to support their friend who had been harassed by the the gang members, just outside the Amboli Bar and Restaurant in Mumbai.
The four accused of murder are Jitendra Rana (25), Sunil Bote (20), Satish Dulgaj (35) and Deepak Tival (19) . They were arrested by the police the same night. 

The verdict on the Keenan and Reuben Case will be announced tomorrow, May 5, 2016.

Valerian Santos, father of Keenan Santos, has been in court rooms since 2011.
Mr. Valerian spoke of how enabling environment and processes after a crime, are part of what his idea of justice constitutes.

Q: What does justice mean to you?

"Justice is in not making the victim's family run around , wait so long, when they are already suffering. 

Justice is immediate. It should not take this long. A fast track case should be fast tracked. When justice is delayed, the victims family suffers. "

Keenan Santos, Reuben Fernandez case time line here





2.5.16

Build Testimonies Of Clothing To End Victim Blame. No Excuse For Sexual Violence. I Never Ask For It






Do you recall the clothes you wore when you experienced any form of sexual harassment, violence, threat or intimidation?

Most women and girls across geographies can recall. Why is that?

Send in the clothes you wore when you experienced any form of sexual violence, threat or intimidation. Your garment is memory, witness, voice. Each garment will form a large scale installation in sites of public significance.

Garments are being collected, sent, photographed too from across the globe.



28.4.16

Application Open : Action Hero Interns Wanted

Blank Noise is accepting applications for summer internships in Bangalore!! 

We are looking for coders, programmers, writers, researchers, film makers, sound editors, singers, photographers and community builders. 

If you are interested please fill up the form here





25.4.16

Shifting the environment of warnings, one Action Hero at a time.

"please don't mind me but what you are 

wearing is inappropriate" 

Action Hero Aishwarya Subramanian posts her experience on facebook. 

Source ( facebook) 
This man's name is Srikanth. About five minutes ago I got out of his auto. The Metre was 40 but I asked him to keep 50 as it was hot outside. And then he looks at me for a second and says - "please don't mind me but what you are wearing is inappropriate". I stand there shocked. And then I tell him clearly that as long as I am paying he has no right to tell me what I can or cannot wear. Then he gets out of the auto to tell me why I shouldn't be dressed like a slut (I am wearing a white summer dress that reaches my knee). A few men gather as I take pictures. One man who has gathered tells me that the auto driver is right. Apparently a girl who lives in a society like mine should be dressed more modestly and like a woman. I am about to start crying at this point. This is the first time I have been so publicly slut shamed. Thankfully two men who came from a junk food store I frequent and told the auto driver and the moral police that I get to wear what I want when I want. I walk away feeling shell shocked and ashamed. You want to know why we fight for our dignity? Because even the clothes we wear makes us sluts. What is the point in being a girl in this country anymore? I feel so embarrassed. My building's guard was standing right there as these men called me a slut for wearing the clothes I wore. This is who I am. These are the clothes I wear. Everyone else can fuck off. Anyone can share this post. I am done feeling ashamed for being me.
Edit: Since there are those who think I posted this without this man's consent (thereby insinuating that I am the one who's publicly shaming someone). Here's the real deal: I actually asked his permission before taking his picture and posting it on social media! He said that he wanted "his message" out because the country will agree with him and not me. I gave him far more respect than he did me. Please please don't think these pictures exist here without consent. I have it! And given how skewered the Indian mentality sometimes can be, I actually think he has a point when he says that there will be people agreeing with what he had to say.



Aishwarya Subramaniam's facebook post was shared X times . It was followed by more abuse through shaming, blaming, verbal assault, name calling and insults. This is rape culture.
I Never Ask For It.  




22.4.16

Step In : Action Hero Campus Network :






i)

Campus: St Stephens, Delhi University
New Delhi , India
2015


She reports an incident of sexual violence against her professor.
It is followed by her research being stolen, she is denied access to the lab, intimidated, forcefully confined, and later even questioned as to why she ‘delay’ filing a complaint. The principal, Thampu, asks her to withdraw the complaint, to not ‘harm the reputation of the college’.

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/st-stephens-college-sexual-harassment-phd-student-complaint-valson-thampu-delhi-university/story/1/5048.html


*


ii)
Campus: Brigam Young University
Utah , USA
2016


“Nothing a survivor does makes rape or any sexual assault OK,” she wrote. “By investigating victims for violations of the honor code, BYU is revictimizing those who come forward and blaming them for what happened.” -


iii)
Campus: Patna Women’s College
Patna, India
2015

"Bachelor of Mass Communication (BMC) Department students were locked up inside college classrooms and they were not allowed to join the protests and to say anything against the college administration."




Do you and your peers identify the need to end rape culture and victim blame on campus?


Call to end victim blame on campus via
Action Hero Campus Network
A global community of campus allies to end sexism, rape culture and victim blame. Co create this network. Join Now.

No Excuse For Sexual Violence   #INeverAskForIt #ReportingToRemember  





5.4.16

Call To Action: THE BOBS Award and Your Vote

Dear World Of Action Heroes,

We are thrilled to share that THE BOBS Awards has nominated Blank Noise as their Internet Hero in their Social Change category. This calls for voting and we are reaching out to you!

Link here

Thank you!

Yours truly,
Blank Noise Team