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The struggle against patriarchy is a global one.  And the recent awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman reminds us that women’s activism is crucial. But as women in the Middle East who have participated so fearlessly in the uprisings of the Arab Spring have discovered, the success of progressive and revolutionary movements does not guarantee gains in women rights. And so women everywhere continue to rise up and to insist upon those rights and calls to occupy patriarchy are being heard around the globe.

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If Occupy protesters are wondering why they are not attracting enough minorities to their causes, this may help to explain things a little bit. Some of you may be reading this and might be tempted to call me chicken shit – and that’s fair. At least on the sidelines, while I warn people about the police, I feel a little bit like I am doing something rather than nothing at all.

In the meantime, one way to make an impact on American minority communities is for movements to engage with minority concerns by taking them out of fringe politics and universalising their concerns as Philip Brennan did in his recent piece suggesting Occupy create a civil rights angle as one of its central components.

As tempted as many white Occupy protesters are to proclaim “we are all one and the same!”, you cannot expect minorities, whose communities have been subjected to intimidation and abuse, to suddenly throw away the race card and jump on the bandwagon. These are critical times, and as such, it is important for Occupy to get it right. We are all part of the 99% – and the concerns of some should fast transform into the concern for all.

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A group of self-described “middle-class, middle-aged” women are taking the Occupy message about “economic justice” to San Diego malls filled with holiday shoppers.

The group, calling itself Women Occupy San Diego, is singing parodies of Christmas carols stressing the message that financial barons have rigged the game against 99% of Americans.

Included in the medley: “Jingle Bills, Jingle Coins,”  ”O Little Town of Occupy” and “You Better Watch Out, Occupy Is Here in Your Town.”

And to the tune of “Deck the Halls,” these lines: “Here’s a story about our nation / Fa la la la la la la la la / Congress bends for corporations / Fa la la la la la la la la.”

Last Sunday, the group was at Horton Plaza downtown. This Sunday, 2 p.m., it will be outside the Nordstrom Rack at the Fashion Valley shopping center. It plans to visit more locations in coming days.

What was the reaction from shoppers? Applause and encouragement, said Women Occupy’s Marilyn Driscoll.

Fear not shoppers, this is not a bunch of wild-eyed radicals.

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99faces99signs:

#146
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"We need a social and government reform. Our government should be back  to for the people and by the people. There can be no government, nation,  or world without the people." ~ Lex Myers
[This image and the accompanying caption is from a group of photos taken by Elizabeth Bland for her series, “Awesome Women of Occupy Philly.”]

"We need a social and government reform. Our government should be back to for the people and by the people. There can be no government, nation, or world without the people." ~ Lex Myers

[This image and the accompanying caption is from a group of photos taken by Elizabeth Bland for her series, “Awesome Women of Occupy Philly.”]

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A Occupy Portland protester is arrested by Portland Police officers after       protesters take over a Wells Fargo bank Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, in Portland,       Ore. Occupy Wall Street demonstrators held modestly sized, but energetic       rallies around the country Thursday to celebrate two months since the       movement’s birth and signal that they aren’t ready to quit yet,       despite police raids that have destroyed some of their encampments. (Rick       Bowmer)
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Awesome banners by Bronx art collective hung on clotheslines
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