Page 1

Building Blocs:

Building Blocs:

Parenting, Movement & Little Folk

parenting, movement and little folk

is a compilation zine of radical parenting* challenges, experiences and reflections. It's a desire to be less isolated and to build collective knowledge.

In this issue: Towards a Family-Friendly Radical Movement: Intergenerational Liberation for All Continuing the Struggle: Lessons to be Learned from Mothers and Children in Zapatista Communities "Firsts" - a comic Feature Project: Regeneracion Childcare Collective and more! ;

;

;

;

* Radical Parenting is an imperfect term and is meant here as inclusive and diverse - an exploration of parenting styles that value respect, trust, autonomy, difference, nonoppression, learning, love and revolution.

#1 "Firsts"


Call for Submissions

Building Blocs: Parenting, Movement & Little Folk

#1 "Firsts" Welcome to the first issue of Building Blocs! As I've been putting together this new compilation zine focused on the connections between parents, little folk and movement/s, the Egyption revolution has been underway. Whilst most media coverage made invisible the incredible self-organisation at work, instead trying to convince us of a state of "chaos", elsewhere I caught wind of a different on the ground reality. A reality where people organised not only to get out in the streets and sqaures, but to keep each other fed and safe. A reality far too dangerous to let out, as it might give us faith in our own capacities to organise and make change on a systemic scale. Hell, it might even let us believe we are capable of controlling our own lives! However, whilst glimpses of this alter-reality to the mainstream story were visible in some places, even harder to see were the parents and caregivers with kids in tow, who also make revolution. A great hope for this zine is that in some small way it contributes to making visible and supporting the parents/caregivers/kids and their lives, which are integral to building radical communities, movements and ultimately revolutions. Whilst the official theme for issue #1 is "Firsts", the unofficial theme that evolved is "Intergenerational movements", which is fitting to such hope. Thanks to all those who have taken time out of their lives and organising to share their experiences and reflections in Building Blocs. With your contributions I hope this zine will play a small part connecting with each other and building our collective knowledge.

Building Blocs is open to contributions from parents, caregivers, kids and allies. The theme for the next issue is "Home Makin'", but don't let that limit what you want to share. How is home makin' different with little folk? What is overcome to make your home? Who and what makes up your home? What are the struggles of home makin' in the current political moment & your context? What home do you have and what home do you want?

or contribute to one of the regular segments: Make a mix tape or review a book/zine/film! Put together this issue's feature project!

Submit art for the cover

!

Deadline for submissions is 30th May 201 1 . Please send contributions (of any length) to tricyclezinedistro@riseup.net with a bio and any pics/images.

Don't miss out! To order copies or to be notified as new issues of Building Blocs become available, email tricyclezinedistro@riseup.net

Enjoy, Lara. (Jan/Feb 201 1 ) Cover Art by Renata Field.

40


Contributors

Contents Articles 1

Towards a Family-Friendly Radical Movement: Intergenerational Liberation for All by Amy Hamilton

21

On Radical Childcare by Laurel Ripple Carpenter

12

Continuing the Struggle: Lessons to Be Learned from Mothers and Children in Zapatista Communities by Victoria Law with lots of input from Terry Rodriguez Adam Wolfenden is new to being a father and learning a lot in the process. He has worked on economic globalisation issues for a while now and sometimes makes zines, as well as comics, but mostly spends his time perfecting his terribly unfunny 'dad' jokes.

"Firsts"

Amy Hamilton is an anarchist mama and community organizer living in the Southern US. For more of her writing on community-based revolution check out her blog http://elevenoclockalchemy.wordpress.com/

Feature Project

Lara Daley is a parent among other things. She has a number of radical parenting related projects on the run, including Building Blocs, which you can check out at raisingrebellion.wordpress.com or tricyclezinedistro.org Laurel Ripple Carpenter deeply loves her uterus, her family, and her new farm. She is founder of www.FullSpectrumDoulaNetwork.org and publishes the CUNTastic Zine, which you can find at www.CUNTastic.org. Contact her at laurel@cuntastic.org. Renata Field is a community organiser from Sydney who is interested in creating sustainable radical communities. Victoria Law is a writer, photographer, prison abolitionist and mother of colour. She is also the editor of the zine Tenacious: Art & Writings by Women in Prison and the author of Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women(PM Press 2009).

39

19

24

Firsts - a comic by Adam Wolfenden

Regeneracion Childcare Collective by Lara Daley

Reviews 33 Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States by Adam Wolfenden

35

Fireweed: a zine of grassroots radical herbalism and wild foods connecting with kids and family life by Lara Daley

Mix Tape 32

Ruby's songs to sing to sleep by Adam Wolfenden

Miscellanea & Contributors 37 Call-outs/Notices/Announcements/Other


Towards a Family-Friendly Radical Movement: Intergenerational Liberation for All By Amy Hamilton

families in your movement or community, including: * Organizing from within an AnarchaFeminist Childrearing Collective * Mothers Among Us: The Prison Birth Project * On Fear & Commitments: A father’s reflects on his own childhood in England, Baghdad and the U.S. and the challenges of raising a biracial child in the antiMuslim and xenophobic climate of the United States today * Radical childrearing with a queer and sex-positive angle * Tips on supporting parents who have lost a newborn infant and much, much more ;

;

;

“Making children is the most anti-revolutionary thing you can do. We should not subsidize other people’s lifestyles. If you breeders want childcare, then organize it amongst yourselves.” – Anonymous comment on Infoshop.org

There’s more where that came from. While many revolutionary and radical communities embrace families, intolerance of parents and children is a stance that still has a foothold in many circles. Scorn towards mothers, children and families is hardly a revolutionary mentality. In fact, this position is a direct holdover from capitalist, authoritarian ideology. Unfortunately, instead of challenging this rhetoric as reactionary, anarchists and other radicals often accept it in our midst. (1 ) Mainstream culture generates a steady stream of contempt towards mamas and kids. Any parent can tell you how common it is to hear statements like, “Some people just

1

shouldn’t be allowed to procreate,” or complaints about how the Worst Thing Ever is to sit down for a flight next to a young child, or a baby. How strollers are forever in the way. How breastfeeding is disgusting and offensive. How the unruly child in the checkout line or the coffee shop is obviously the product of a lazy mother whose incompetence is assumed after only a few moments' familiarity. How mamas on welfare and teen mamas should, basically, eat shit and die (but have a Happy Mother’s Day!). This judgment, eye-rolling and hatred flows freely in our society. Interestingly, as it becomes less and less generally acceptable to express a blanket intolerance towards women,

;

Outlaw Midwives#1 Featuring visual art, poems, essays, and practical tips from women globally. About abortion, pregnancy, birth, and babyhood, colonialism, structural violence, antioppression work, and revolutionary love. Read online at: http://issuu.com/maiamedicine/docs/outla w_midwives

;

.

A pdf is available here: http://issuu.com/chinabodina/docs/zine_4_ with_cover Please note that the centerfold is a separate file: http://issuu.com/chinabodina/docs/centerf old.zine4 If you prefer a paper copy, go to tricyclezinedistro.org (Australia) & dontleaveyourfriendsbehind.blogspot.com (USA) Want to contribute? This exciting zine series is being turned into a book! Final Call for submissions: March 1 5, 201 1 . see dontleaveyourfriendsbehind.blogspot.com for details

The Life of an Anarchist Mormon "My hopes for putting my zine online as well as printing it is that it might help someone else not feel so lonely or guilty for not fulfilling a stereotype of an identity that they live in; be it an identity of popular culture or some random subculture; especially women". download or buy a copy here: http://mormonanarchisthousewife.wordpre ss.com/ Submit! call outs, announcements, letters, etc. to this section: email tricyclezinedistro@riseup.net with subject heading "miscellanea"

38


Miscellanea

mothers–and by association, their children–are still a “safe” repository for cultural scorn. Any m/other can tell you–it’s always open season on her and her sisters. (2)

Call for Birth Stories from LGBTQ Parents There are vast collections of birth stories written by heterosexual folks. It is time for your stories to be heard & recorded as a part of our queer history.   I am asking you to share your story with me because I am passionate about your story of the day you welcomed your child to the world being heard, in your own words. Send me your story whether you were the parent who gave birth or the co-parent who supported your partner when your baby was born. I am not certain about the direction this collection will take & I will respond to your e-mailed story to ask permission before posting/publishing it. Who’s asking? Hi. I’m Kristen. I’m a queer feminist birth doula and childbirth educator in Chicago. I am passionate about the power of queer voices in pregnancy & birth culture. You can learn more about me at  www.kaleidoscopedoula.com All submissions can be e-mailed to  kaleidoscopedoula@gmail.com

37

Call-out to parents/caregivers in Newcastle, Australia Hey! I'm interested in starting a parenting group for all kinds of parents/caregivers. For folk who share a desire to support each other and to talk about what it is like to be a parent/caregiver in this world where race, class, gender, ability, sexuality & age dramatically alter your parenting/caring experience. If this sounds like your kind of group email me! utopia@riseup.net

Free zines on the net Don't Leave Your Friends Behind #4 The latest issue of Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind is ready for your reading! Featuring over 70 pages of stories, experiences and tips on how to support

To offer an illustration of this dynamic: a couple of years ago. there was an incident on an Air Tran flight. The crew ejected a mother with a screaming 3-year-old child from the flight before the plane took off. Similar occurrences are relatively common and women often organize around them–mothers kicked out of restaurants for breastfeeding (its legality notwithstanding), cafes declared kid-free zones, et cetera.There is often media coverage, complete with the peanut gallery, which usually weighs in on the mothers in question as if witch burnings might be an option. If online comments are any measure, plenty of people were in agreement with the Air Tran decision. Here’s one:

“Good to see that at least some airlines throw out the inconsiderate parents with their brats. Seriously, that should happen more often. If your damn kid can’t shut up, stay off of airplanes. I don’t see why anyone else, be it crew or passengers, should have to put up with unruly brats. It’s about time that entitlement-ridden parents learn their lesson.”

Here’s another comment from a different website:

“Parents of small children should except [sic] the responsibilities[sic] of their [sic] decision to have these mewling brats and let those of us who were smart enough not to make the asinine [sic] mistake of parenthood, have the peace we so richly deserve.”(3)

The point should be made that this blanket intolerance of parents lands disproportionately, and squarely, on the backs of women. This is a value system clearly dictated by capitalism.While giving lip service to the sanctity of motherhood and putting social pressure on women to procreate –alas, soldiers and workers do not come from thin air – in actuality, a capitalist framework places a very low value on child-rearing and penalizes all women (some far more than others) economically and socially for becoming mothers. This is particularly true in the US version of capitalism. M/others on the low-end of this totem pole (whether single, of color, receiving government assistance, poor, young, or undocumented) are the recipients of increasingly complicated layers of discrimination, intolerance, and exploitation. Unpaid caregiving (for children, the disabled and the elderly) is not measured in the gross domestic product of the US, or any other nation-state. If unpaid

2


family-based labor were calculated as part of the world GDP, it would amount to over 1 /3 of the gross domestic product of the entire world. (4) One conclusion to be drawn from this information is that the exploitation of the unpaid work of women is a precondition for the success of global capitalism. Capitalism, as a system, depends on this uncompensated familycentered labor, meanwhile penalizing women – the very people whose labor makes the system possible – for doing this work. Put another way, we can say that global capitalism is erected on the backs of women (then, adding insult to injury, women are often scapegoated for capitalism’s woes: see “welfare mothers are ruining the fabric of our society” rhetoric). In the US, motherhood is the single biggest risk factor for poverty in old age. (5)  Though mothers are the most impacted, this effect is not confined to gender. Anyone choosing to devote her time to the unpaid caregiving of children, people with disabilities, or our elders is subject to economic and social hardship and isolation. This family work is simply invisible and uncompensated under capitalism. It’s also worth noting that children themselves embody much that capitalism discourages and devalues: they are not productive in the traditional sense. They are often disorderly, reluctant to be controlled, and naturally distrustful of

3

authority. A hyper-individualist society takes no collective responsibility for children. It says that your choice to become a parent is yours alone, therefore an expectation of help from non-parents is unreasonable. This idea gets plenty of play in radical and anarchist circles, as another comment on Infoshop.org, in response to an article (penned by myself), advocating for the inclusion of families in the anarchist community, demonstrates: “Get this homegirl – I’m a woman and I don’t care about your fucking kid. Clearly I must be internalizing patriarchy if I don’t drop everything I CARE ABOUT TO DEAL WITH YOUR CHILD. Does this mean I think you or your child should be treated badly? No. But I don’t want kids and I don’t want to help you take care of yours.” Milton Friedman would be proud.

familes are having out there-from wildcrafting stories, remedies for illness & how we share & grow everyone's plant knowledge.” I also love plant artwork, so Monkeypants' plant art makes the zine even more awesome! The only thing that would make this zine an even better read and resource would be reflections on the politics of wildcrafting and radical herbalism. Jess is currently pulling together the second issue of Fireweed and I am excited to see if in this issue people will meet her call out for “Thoughts on privilege, accessibility, racism, classism in the herbal community and how we relate these ideas to our kids or the general public. How have you challenged these oppressions and made herbs and herbal knowledge for everyone?”.

As with other ongoing zine projects I am sure Fireweed will continue to grow, take root and amaze, so I highly recommend following its evolution and spreading it round! For more info check out: http://www.fireweedherbalzine.blogspot.c om/ and www.tricyclezinedistro.org Plant Artwork from Fireweed by Monkeypants

***** Why do we allow anti-parent and kid rhetoric in spaces devoted to liberation? What are some of the various ways that anti-family attitudes manifest in anarchist/radical communities? First of all, the dominant practice in the US is to segregate people by age, so many of us raised unquestioningly in dominant, white, US culture are not socialized to spend time around children

36


Fireweed: A zine of grassroots radical herbalism and wild foods connecting with kids and family life edited by Jess

"Wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or "wild" habitat, for food or medicinal purposes. It applies to uncultivated plants wherever they may be found...When wildcrafting is done sustainably with proper respect, generally only the branches or flowers from plants are taken and the living plant is left, or if it is necessary to take the whole plant, seeds of the plant are placed in the empty hole from which the plant was taken. Care is taken to only remove a few plants, flowers, or branches, so plenty remains to continue the supply." (Wikipedia) "There is also a very radical reason I love being an herbalist. I am learning how to rely on nature as my medicine chest and breaking the American dependence on the pharmaceutical industrial complex." (ancestralapothecary.com)

Reviewed by Lara Fireweed is a fantastic zine overgrowing with info and ideas on many aspects of radical herbalism and wildcrafting! Anyone new to the subject will appreciate the practical stuff, which makes up a great portion of the zine. It has recipes and remedies; ideas for plant adventures with kids; as well as descriptions of different herbs and how they are useful at home. The interviews with herbal parents are also

35

or include them in conversations – much less consider their needs in a space, or provide a space explicitly devoted to children’s liberation. People unused to the company of kids are often wary of them because they can be painfully honest, direct and may not hide their disinterest in you. Elements of unfamiliarity and discomfort are often at play, and many of our gatherings, spaces and communities habitually take the default form of “adultonly”, indirectly (but repeatedly) excluding children and their caregivers. This is simple enough to solve, given awareness of the problem and a collective willingness to expand our comfort zones. But actively exclusionary attitudes towards families and caregivers are less easily remedied. When spaces are unwelcome to children and parents, over and over again, regardless of any attempts on the parts of parents and allies to create a space of

inclusion, we must assume that there is resistance to the presence of families. Or, as event organizers may have discovered, childcare is difficult work that requires tight planning, starting months beforehand, in order to come off without a hitch. Sometimes it’s easier to “forget” about it or claim that insurance won’t cover it. Word to the wise, event planners: two weeks before the conference, when interested parents start asking you about childcare arrangements, it is far too late to try to whip something up. At this tardy point, attempts to create childcare often fall short and may result in chaos and an unsafe atmosphere (not to mention that this last-minute responsibility often falls to burnt out women organizers or parents themselves). In my opinion it's better to chalk it up to experience, create a family hang-out spot, and put childcare on the list for the next event (starting on logistics

a great insight into how herbs and wildcrafting can be a wonderful part of family (in the very broadest sense) life. For those that are already wildcrafters and herbalists themselves, this zine is a wonderful opportunity to connect with and share in what others are doing. Zine editor Jess says: “I started Fireweed to connect radical-herbal families. Although there many herb zines & books I want "Fireweed" to focus on real experiences

4


from Day 1 of general planning). Good intentions are not enough–if you offer childcare, safety is a top concern, and you can’t afford to make big mistakes. (6)

welcoming the children there – both so the children feel welcome, and so the participants know that caregivers are not “out of place” for bringing a kid around. Yes, children can be disruptive or distracting–so it’s up to us as a revolutionary community to figure out the best ways of fitting them in, and empowering them, so that good work gets done and everyone goes home happy.

Perhaps I’m alone, but I believe that every event, unless inappropriate for children, should be accessible for kids of all ages (and their mothers, and fathers, and caregivers). Within many circles, this is often not the case. Saying a meeting is welcome to La Lubu, a labor activist, describes the children, and then tolerating eye rolls and “meeting culture” she has experienced as penetrating glances towards mothers and kids when little ones vocalize or run around a mother: “Why am I barred (because they have In our society, life as the from your feminist meeting, not perfected the art parent of a small child can your environmental of sitting still for a be socially isolating, and meeting, your political three-hour meeting) meetings, or your is not true accessibility. many public places slow/local food/support Caregivers often become “de facto” farmers gathering, leave these events inaccessible. or…whatever? Why are early, with the grim those spaces considered ‘inappropriate’ for frustration that comes from knowing that our world truly is children? And why do you sigh and complain about public apathy when you have this not set up with parents and young children arbitrary rule about ‘appropriateness’? Why is in mind, and being reminded of this, it so ‘inappropriate’ to raise a child with rudely and repeatedly. In our society, life political consciousness and knowledge of as the parent of a small child can be power dynamics? Especially when she is socially isolating, and many public places already encountering this stuff in her own life, become “de facto” inaccessible. Scenarios and needs a framework to put it in? It boggles such as these, in which children and my mind. It especially boggles my mind parents are treated as an intrusion, are part because I remember when it was not like this of the problem, not the solution. If you are hosting an event, it is helpful and kind to make a point of publicly

5

in the US. I grew up going to political gatherings of all stripes….and protests, and picket lines. When and why did left-leaning

involved it was also a cathartic process, where upon being given the invitation to write has also proved to be a beneficial excuse to stop and take the time to reflect on what is happening. This makes for great reading as you can see the self analysis in all it's brutal honesty and hope shine through. The stories mix both personal/organisational experience with theoretical analysis of the current political moment adding weight and meat to what could have just been a collection of experiences without any context for a future. The book has a strong undercurrent for 'activists/organisers/radicals' of inquiry into our current struggles and working with others who are also seeking liberation. You get the sense from some stories that people have learnt this lesson the hard way, seeing coalitions breakdown as differences between 'activists' and other folk become too big. The interviews at the end of the book provide some wonderful historical contexts from people who have been around long enough to see activist fads change.

reflection were buried under an avalanche of more info. This is a book that needs to be read and appreciated as a whole, with all four sections combining together to make it greater than the sum of it's parts. Whilst it is US focussed there were still some lessons for those of us not based there. One thing I will take away from the book is the role that organised resistance has played in crises and how we must keep that in mind when we're evaluating our histories and present moments. This will also help us in determining what futures lay ahead.

I read this whole book in about one and a half weeks whilst carrying my sleeping baby in a sling and I think this was a disservice to the book. There is a lot to digest in this collection and powering through it meant that some things that might have come to light upon further

34


people buy into right-wing ideas of parenting and the role of mothers? Why are left-leaning people participating in the backlash against women’s growing political strength?”

Reviews

One common assumption is that parents no longer have what it takes to be a successful activist. When Rahula became pregnant, she had this experience:

“A ‘comrade’ (someone I had done a lot of running in the streets and food-notbombing with) said, ‘Oh well, there go two good activists,’ as though surely my partner and I would no longer be active in any way, now that we were procreating.”

Uses of a Whirlwind: Movement, Movements, and Contemporary Radical Currents in the United States edited by Team Colors Collective

Reviewed by Adam Uses of a Whirlwind aims to be an inquiry into the current state of radical/anticapitalist organising in the US, and it does that rather well. It was written at a time in the US where the financial crisis is hitting hardest and the well of hope promised by Obama has dried up, leaving many on the broader Left displaced and unable to put their feet on solid ideological ground. In order to get a picture of what things are

33

like for organisers in the US at the moment the book is broken up into 4 sections: Organisational case studies; Movement strategies; Theoretical analysis; and Interviews. These four sections and the variety of authors manage to cover an incredible amount of ground and make for a diverse and interesting cross section of US radical politics. When reading this book you get the sense that for the organisations/individuals

The notion that parents have nothing of value to offer (and stale politics to boot) can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as many revolutionaries and radicals with children find spaces less and less tolerant of them and eventually tire of doing work or seeking community in an unwelcome and alienating atmosphere. Additionally, the expectation that a parent have the exact same level of activity as a childless activist is eerily similar to the capitalist boss expecting a mother of a newborn to come straight back to work to resume productivity. Parents may not be able to do as much as they could prior to having children (although some may do more) but being a parent often builds our resolve, focuses our commitment to change and makes us more valuable, accountable and responsible. In my case, becoming a

mother was the event that cemented my ties to anarchism and anti-capitalism. It’s best not to assume that parents are postradical or post-militant – we lose too many comrades this way. Some of the most effective militant activity that I am aware of is undertaken by mothers. Some of us mindfully continue the high-risk activity that we did before we had children. This is as it should be if we want to create a revolutionary trajectory. Anarchists often voice the opinion that all parents are capitalist sell-outs, as if parenting is just one more institution to be demolished. Those that make this assumption fail to have an appreciation for the culture of revolutionary, anti-authoritarian parenting. They don’t recognize that the problem is not parents themselves as a universal entity, but the cultural style of parenting that many of us have grown up in.

When and why did leftleaning people buy into right-wing ideas of parenting and the role of mothers? Possibly the most divisive issue in many communities is the question of population. The idea that humans should decrease our numbers or procreate less often can devolve into contempt for kids who are

6


already here, and their mothers, who then get slapped with the unfriendly label “breeders”. Anarchist parents and their allies have plenty of feedback about this: Brad says:

“The fact that hating on parents  has become so widespread and fashionable is troubling.  The fact that elderly folks are just about as ‘welcome’ as kids  is also problematic.  I don’t think anyone needs to hear that our industrial-civilization social structure is fucked, and I’d suggest that the fucked-ness wrapped up in calling someone a ‘breeder’ comes the detritus of an atomized human experience, as opposed to a reasoned ideal to be strived towards.”

Dave says:

“There may be ‘too many of us’, but what is far more significant is the consumption levels of the population. A far better tactic would be to massively reduce the average consumption level – which of course is already far lower than ‘average’ in many parts of the world. Activists condemning other people for having children are already on the wrong page. It’s an inherently anti-human standpoint, demonstrating incredible negativity about one’s own capability for positive impact. My advice: lead by example! Go and create sustainable communities, and learn the skills to help others make the transition to living in them.”

Adam says:

“It is very easy for a white male from

7

an industrialized country to say, ‘No one should have children’. When the main impact of a policy like this is on women and particularly women in non-industrialized countries…over population is just one of the things that is causing the destruction of the ecosystem. Consumption, particularly that of industrialized countries is another. These all have to be looked at and debated."

The 1 2 percent of the world’s population that lives in North America and Western Europe accounts for 60 percent of private consumption spending, while the onethird living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 3.2 percent. (7) This over-consumption is, in effect, forcefed to the population by the powers that be. Let’s stop needlessly targeting parents and kids as the “problem” and keep the heat on the enemy – the most egregious polluters and consumers by far – the military and corporate industrial complexes.

Ruby's Songs to Sing to Sleep Mix Tape

A

B

I Wish That I Was Beautiful For

The World Turned Upside Down -

You - Darren Hanlon

Billy Bragg

Virtue The Cat Explains Her

I Ain't Got No Home - Woody

Deperture - The Weakerthans

Guthrie

Hopeless and Fearless - Jamie Hay

And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda - Eric Bogle

Saint Patricks Battalion - David

Refusing To Be A Man -

Rovics

Propagandhi

I Was Only 19 (a walk in the light

We Now Know - Lia Rose

green) - Redgum A Song of Unapolgetic Optimism -

My Favourite Chords - The

Tom Frampton Dear Coaches Corner -

Weakerthans Behind Two Hills.... A

Propagandhi

Swimmingpool - Múm

32


part of movements for liberation and how have you dealt with this?

Yes, certainly, I think I covered that in the above question? We have conversations with folks where appropriate, and we certainly make note of the spaces that feel more participatory and mutually appreciative. If you could have any super power, which would it be and why?

As a collective, I think we would love to be able to shape shift or at least manifest imagery around us. I'm thinking of the story we concocted for CR1 0 – there was actual shape shifting, flying, travelling, manifestation of so many different symbols and we were using these different imageries to convey in the most authentic, playful, digestible way possible our vision of justice and truth, our politics around conflict resolution and healthy communication, our guiding wisdoms for human and systemic transformation. Is that the superpower of being god?

(1) PACHAMAMA: THE BUSHWICK CHILDCARE COOPERATIVE: Black and Latina mothers caring for each other and our children while organizing for collective liberation. Regeneracion was birthed through a process with Pachamama, and its mother organization Sista II Sista (a Brooklyn-wide collective of poor and working-class young and adult Black and Latina women building together to model a society based on liberation and love), as they envisioned a community of support for mothers and families in a movement for collective liberation. (2) From website http://www.childcarenyc.org

/

(3) Interview conducted over email in Jan/Feb of 2011.

Although I do not advocate for any ideology that advances population control as a realistic consideration, one point that may not be immediately apparent to zeropopulation growth promoters is: a culture that accepts and embraces families can have the indirect effect of lowering birth rates. A child-inclusive community helps us break away from the nuclear family expectation (those that wish to procreate must pair off and form a household unit in order to experience parenthood). The more we can raise our children in an accepting community where each child has many adults who commit to an ongoing caregiving role, the less every individual who wants a close relationship with a child will feel compelled to become a parent. When children find belonging in a larger, low-resource community, less people will feel the need to have their own biological children. The population control argument is tone deaf to freedom struggles around the world. Many communities and cultures identify a form of resistance as creating the next generation of fighters–their children. This includes tribal groups, Palestinians, and other cultures whose right to bear children/exist has been contested by the corporate state. “Breeder” is also a word with a continuous history of racist use, used (both historically, and to this day) by white supremacists to describe slaves and poor women of color. Population control

31

rhetoric (see the Sierra Club) often uses the same arguments that many ultra right wing groups/white power groups are making about the world’s oppressed populations. Let’s stop using the vocabulary of fascists. A community committed to revolutionary liberation can agree – we should be free to decide to procreate or not procreate. Women should not be under political pressure to get pregnant or stay childless, whether under the rubric of population reduction, in the name of God and Country, or by any other coercive ideology. Being a mother should not be viewed as a centrality for women, or the pinnacle of womanhood, but a choice to be freely made without experiencing political coercion. Finally, let’s speak pragmatically. In a revolutionary struggle that needs all the support we can get, why cut off the most powerful source of support possible–new generations? Taking the long view: in twenty years, you, me, and our comrades will be the older generation in the struggle (unless we’re living in a post-revolutionary society). If our liberation struggle has gained the reputation of being childhaters, why should youth feel any attachment to us, or choose to join our ranks as they grow older? If we insist on insulting parents and children, we will ensure that anarchism remains an insular, irrelevant movement of twenty-somethings

8


community members and runs laughing to hug them whenever we stop by or they stop by. At first it wasn’t quite this way and we did have to have a community meeting about the breeder/non-breeder divide, and now some friends of ours defend us parents really furiously when they hitch and travel around.”

who eventually drop out, rather than a multi-generational tidal wave of resistance that will meet our objectives. ***** This brings us to the question: what do intergenerational communities of resistance look like? Connie says:

“Everyone in our community is very supportive and has developed relationships with my children separate of me. I get to live vicariously through them in raising a girl, since I have two boys. I’d say this came out of necessity (financial, help in childcare) as well as a desire to share my life with folks. It’s a direct stand against the nuclear [family] situation I find so isolating. I’ve lived collectively for the last five years (2 with a baby) and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It helps that we’ve developed our relationships with each other and that our community is small and so we’re able to better support each other.”

Jacob says:

“Our 1 6 month old loves a lot of our

9

Jason says:

“Santa Cruz, CA has an enormously strong radical movement that is effective and beautiful, and they LOVE babies, they seriously love babies, you’ve never seen so many families at an infoshop. During the 2009 Santa Cruz Anarchist convergence which included a book fair and freeskool conference, they set up childcare through the entire 4 day event and prior to the event they did their best to help people get set up with places to stay, they had specific kid friendlier houses set up for incoming families. AND I went to multiple workshops that dealt with baby/family/youth AND older generation issues, every workshop I went to had babies in the crowd and never once did I see anyone be less than welcoming to families, it’s already part of the culture in the rad scene there.”

Roberto says:

“What people don’t realize about children is, in an indigenous world, they are our teachers and angels sent to straighten our li’l childish asses up. Children Are Important, they are the next generation they are US.”

Children are a joy to have around. Yes,

years of incredible, dedicated work, which inspired the birth of Regeneración, they transitioned out – this was after a conscious, caring, gentle process of attempting to transition out of dependence on non-profit funding. Organizations such as Sista II Sista (and others including Sisterfire – INCITE!: Women of Color Against Violence NYC Chapter) – that were Regeneracion’s primary commitments – were unable to sustain themselves, posing a challenge for us. How does the collective support kids being important to movements?

The dream of building a truly intergenerational movement, aka a movement that will sustain itself across generations - this means doing childcare to support ‘adults’ who work today to resist systemic oppression and to create alternatives, and to illuminate, integrate and celebrate the political vision behind this work in our childcare practice. One of our ultimate goals with this work is for groups to recognize kids as an integral part of movement building… creating every space to be intergenerational (for kids and elders). This could take the form of a vision for childcare being integrated into organizations themselves… and connecting across organizations to evolve that vision. We are also working to create curriculum for our childcare gigs – in practice with our partner organizations. We have a birthday party every December where we invite all the kids from all the orgs to play at the museum of natural history – its something people look forward to every

year. We were doing ‘political playtimes’ this summer in a similar vein – kids come and play, let folks have a day off, we presented the play we made at CR1 0 for one of the playtimes, we played games and hung out .

How does the collective encounter the city as a site for intergenerational movement building?

Its hard here because its such a huge, busy city – we usually find ourselves in a park or playground near to the event space, which works out well, but it is a bit stressful to move around with kids here. It would be lovely to have big open spaces everywhere to run around in. But honestly, the parks and playgrounds feel like a gift! There exist counterproductive and negative attitudes towards children within some activist and radical circles. What has been the response from activist and radical networks to your work and vision?

We haven’t received any overtly negative or disrespectful critique or attitude toward the work. It’s much more subtle … folks assign a space for childcare that is dark, stuffy, without windows, without light. Childcare is that hassle folks have to deal with, or that afterthought. That kind of thing happens. Many many spaces value and appreciate the work. There are those that pay lip service to the work, and that’s ok too. We’re all working together to stretch the boundaries of our imaginations and investments! Has the collective ever been treated as a service provider, rather than an integral

30


Interview 2010 has come to an end and it is a number of years since the collectives inception. What have been Regeneración's priorities for the year and why?

We actually celebrated our 5th birthday party in 201 0, so its been around 5 years. Regeneracion continued to do regular childcare over the year – we support groups such as Domestic Workers United (DWU), Families for Freedom (FFF) and Another Politics is Possible (APP) by hanging out with kids so that their families can participate in collective movement building work. We meet regularly to reflect on challenges, opportunities, and to prepare for special events. In 201 0, we journeyed to Detroit to participate in the second-ever United States Social Forum (USSF) where our goals were to build with other childcare collectives (from cities including the Bay Area, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, DC, Atlanta, Seattle, Montreal, Philadelphia, and Portland Oregon) by co-facilitating a workshop that we had been planning via conference calls for some months before the event. We also offered ourselves as a resource in planning the Children’s Social Forum, having created an interactive, immersive, political, educative, theatrical Kids Program for the Critical Resistance 1 0 Conference in 2008; participated in various Allied Media Conference (AMC) Kids Tracks, including the 201 0 convergence that occurred days before the USSF; and having participated in the first

29

Children’s Social Forum in Atlanta. What have been the challenges for Regeneración over the years?

One of the earliest struggles that was named by moms in Pachamama (1 ) is that folks are attracted to childcare as a form of ‘ally work’ – childcare and cooking being things people feel they can support with, having a different identity from core community members. One of the challenges to this, named by a mom, was that ‘we don’t want to send our kids the message that we need people from the outside [aka white folks] to come in and take care of our kids’. Capacity, in that this is a volunteer organization – we are all very politically, socially, culturally active New Yorkers living hectic lives – one of Regeneración’s values is, in fact, that this can’t be the only thing we do. So capacity for us is huge, and related to this is the challenge of growing the organization – it takes a lot of time, energy and investment to grow the organization in a way that feels in integrity with our guiding principles. New York makes commitment a challenge. And finally, and probably most importantly, Regeneracion exists primarily to serve organizations with whom we align in vision. This includes political commitments to self-reliance and sustainability in resistance to State dominance. Unfortunately, in this political/economic climate, it is very difficult for ‘off the grid’ organizations to survive. An example is Sista II Sista, a radical, visionary collective of women of color in Bushwick, Brooklyn. After 1 0

they’re also a pain in the ass, but so are adults. Children tend to lighten the atmosphere of any given event. I’ve been to meetings which were stuck in intransigent bickering and petty-minded back and forth fighting, and seen the presence of a child alone make people realize their shoddy behavior. Kids offer simple and straightforward ideas for change. They are solution-oriented people who are still young enough not to have been completely disempowered and brainwashed by our culture. A world where everyone is free is easily within the realm of a child’s imagination. Kids are powerful allies to have in your camp. They understand the logic of direct action

A world where everyone is free is easily within the realm of a child’s imagination. more than most adults. A child’s opinion can give you a fresh take on a problematic situation and often bring more wisdom than a whole roomful of adults put together. A mature and effective radical and revolutionary movement has nothing to lose and everything to gain by creating multigenerational communities of resistance. A powerful example of the strength that can come from a generation

raised in struggle and freedom is mentioned in the Zapatista’s Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona:

“It so happens that our insurgents, insurgentas, militants, local and regional responsables, as well as support bases, who were youngsters at the beginning of the uprising, are now mature men and women, combat veterans and natural leaders in their units and communities. And those who were children in that January of ’94 are now young people who have grown up in the resistance, and they have been trained in the rebel dignity lifted up by their elders throughout these 1 2 years of war. These young people have a political, technical and cultural training that we who began the zapatista movement did not have. This youth is now, more and more, sustaining our troops as well as leadership positions in the organization.”

A culture that does not embrace children, and our elders, is a culture of death. A revolutionary movement that is intolerant of children will always be stuck in an adolescent, easily co-opted phase, bubbling up and then fading into irrelevance. Whether you are a parent or an ally, helping to pass on our culture of resistance to the next generation is one of the most powerful ways of saying, “We’re here! Get ready, because soon it’s going to be OUR TURN!” _______________

10


Special thanks to Vikki, China, Rahula, Jen, Erik, Tomas, Talia, Sienna and everyone on the A-parenting list for the continuous collective discussion over the years that helped me to develop this work. Footnotes (1 ) This essay is generally intended for the predominantly white activist community, especially the anarchist community. This includes people that consider themselves postleft, autonomist, progressive, radical, insurrectionist, and revolutionary, as well as any formulation of ‘anarchist’. This is due to my observation (and gross generalization) that white communities and White Culture often have difficulty seeing the value of intergenerationality, although this is often less true of subsegments of white culture. I write from my perspective as a white,

Southern/Gaelic, queer, middle-class raised, poor-for-almost-two-decades, food-stampin’ mama. (2) M/others: (self-identified single, teen and welfare mamaz) definition from the Allied Media Conference 201 0 (3)  Comments after article: http://honeymoons.about.com/b/2007/01 /07/sc reaming-3-year-old-ejected-from-plane.htm (4)  1 995 UN Human Development Report, Ch. 4: hdr_1 995_en_chap4.pdf (5)  Crittenden, Ann; The Price of Motherhood, 2001 ; Henry Holt and Co.; p.6 (6) Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind zine is a great resource for allies and those who need help planning rad childcare. There’s a world beyond childcare, too–if you are planning a conference, you might consider a “kids track”. If you publicize it, chances are, a whole new group will come to partake of your event. (7)  http://www.worldwatch.org/node/81 0

We are a cultural catalyst.

We aren’t capable of organizing an entire intergenerational movement under our umbrella, nor do we want to. Our primary focus is not to grow our organization, but to grow our vision of an intergenerational movement for collective liberation.To do this we will model the movement we want to see, inspire other groups to transform themselves, and provide resources to help the process along. Our work is about more than just changing political positions, or having people adopt ours. It requires us to make anew our entire culture, and reshape our communities and movements.

We are on a journey, building the world we want as Our dreams are big, and we still have much to do. But after some we go. years of growing with kids and their communities, we see many more holes in the walls of the system than when we first started. They are all over the place, growing in size and connecting with one another. The small things we’re doing now will further these openings, and the world that awaits us will become bigger, stronger and more beautiful.

Drawings by Lara (when little), "love" by Sienna (age 5) & page 9 by Shizuki (age 3)

11

28


Childcare is a central element, but not the only one. From its inception, Regeneración has provided childcare to low-

income parents of color and queer parents, in order to facilitate their participation in movement groups. This ally role remains central to our work, but it’s situated within a larger vision. Regeneración also wants to change and deepen the way groups interact with children. We want to build connections between radical parents and caretakers, furthering their self-organization and nurturing movement that is relevant and accessible to folks with kids. Ultimately, we want to change how individuals and groups connect: not just through formal meetings and compartmentalized issues, but through all our various forms of life, including families, caretaking and personal relationships. Connecting in this way enriches our movement, and at the same time, changes its scope and vision.

Childcare is valuable, critical, beautiful labor. As a form of work, childcare has been feminized and devalued

in our society. All around us, women are expected to care for children in isolation and without support; schools and jails produce kids like commodities on an assembly line; and domestic workers are exploited while raising the children of the wealthy. Regeneración wants something better. We believe childcare is a central part of our creative activity as a people, a kind of labor that creates and molds subjectivity, producing human beings who can interact with others and cooperate with their peers. We believe childcare is the crucial labor that reproduces human community, generation after generation. We want to draw it into the open, recognize its true importance, and make it the collective labor of all.

27

Continuing the Struggle: Lessons to Be Learned from Mothers and Children in Zapatista Communities by Victoria Law with lots of input from Terry Rodriguez

(article has also appeared in the zines "Don't Leave Your Friends Behind #2" & "Raise Some Hell")

I had originally been inspired to go to the Women’s Encuentro by the call to volunteer at the Non-Conformist Cultural Center. Recognizing that an encounter of women required a safe (and fun!) place for them to leave their children while they attended meetings, plenaries and workshops, volunteers from a solidarity group put a call-out for people around the world to help put together not just childcare, but a Non-Conformist Cultural Center whose activities would reflect the plenaries and sessions that their mothers were participating in. As a mother who pushes for the social justice movement to support the parents and children in the struggle, I was excited. For the past year and a half, I had attended (predominantly white) anarchist and feminist events to present “Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind,” a workshop outlining the need for the radical

community to support the mothers and children in their midst. My daughter, at ages five and six, accompanied me and had a chance to experience each event’s childcare (or lack thereof). At some, such as the Children’s Social Forum at the United States Social Forum (USSF), she had participated in activities reflecting the social justice themes of the day, discussing concepts such as gentrification, war and gender in ways that she, and other children her age, could grasp. Reading about the plan for a NonConformist Cultural Center, I was intrigued. What would radical childcare in a zapatista community look like? Then I got a call from Terry, a mother I had roomed with at the USSF. She and her now-three-year-old daughter Pi were members of a delegation of women of color (and white allies) who were going to the encuentro. Was I interested in coming?

12


My answer was an unequivocal YES! I joined the delegation and really became excited about the adventure we were all about to embark upon. I didn’t find the Non-Cultural Conformist Center until the second day of the threeday encuentro. It was far from the center of the community where the plenary sessions and other activities were taking place. A woman and several boys were painting a mural on the cinderblock façade of the school. Other boys raced around hitting each other with empty plastic bottles, apparently a favorite game among children in the campo. There were eight childcare providers and eight little boys. The man I spoke to looked at Pi and said, “There aren’t any girls here.” “Why not?” we asked. He shrugged. “Maybe they are busy working.”

their children into the struggle, teaching not only with stories and words but also by example. After all, the children (and their children and their children’s children) is who the struggle is ultimately for. To emphasize this point, many of the t-shirts and gas sold during the encuentro depicted small children growing out of corn stalks. Throughout the plenary sessions, children ran in and out of the auditorium to see and sit with their mothers or to be hugged before dashing off to resume playing outside. Babies sometimes cried, but no one took much notice and, unlike meetings and events in the north, no one even dared suggest that the mother leave.

Intergenerational movements are powerful. Intergenerational movements sustain themselves through periods

of intense repression and regenerate over time. They develop a profound collective memory, which allows each generation to learn from the experiences of those that came before. They offer more than a scene, which one dips into and out of on a whim, or a phase, which one ultimately abandons for more serious responsibilities. Intergenerational movements create cultures of resistance that people use to understand themselves, their communities, and collective action in the world throughout their entire lives. Struggles that embody this vision continue to surge from the global south, and they remain a huge inspiration for Regeneración.

Kids change how we do Kids teach us that movement is a process–not a program– and politics. that this process is playful, imaginative and creative, not just

serious and rational. In turn, we teach kids that their play is a powerful tool they can and should cultivate throughout their lives, with serious implications for the world we inhabit. Interactions with kids produce another kind of politics, one that recognizes play as a crucial ingredient of any movement and demolishes the walls that sequester it in childhood or bar it from our adult lives.

Only much later did I begin to realize that the concept of organized childcare - of separating children from the adult activities - is a western capitalist concept. In other cultures, children are integrated into daily life, not shunted into a corner or separate room far from grown-up eyes and ears. The zapatistas didn’t need the kind of childcare usually expected by those of us north of the border. They incorporated

13

26


The Regeneración Childcare Collective is committed to growing an intergenerational movement for

collective liberation, in which people of all ages can participate, learn from each other, take care of each other, and dramatically reshape the conditions of their lives. Since 2006, Regeneración has built relationships with and between domestic workers, immigrant families, families facing detention, queer families organizing for racial and economic justice, and radical parents and caretakers; we’ve sent delegations to the U.S. Social Forum, facilitated a children’s program at the Critical Resistance 1 0 conference, and been in dialogue with radical childcare providers across the country; we’ve occupied cafeterias in New York City, swung on swingsets in Detroit, and played hide-andgo- seek in Oakland. As we did all this, we discovered an incredible secret: the walls that constrain our everyday lives are riven with fissures, tears and holes. The holes are hard to spot, but once we notice them, they nourish us with a powerful magic. We can peer through them and see realities that exist right now, inside this world and inside of ourselves– magical realities in which people fashion their world together, everyone feels respected and loved, and people are responsible to one another and to a collective vision. The more we practice our magic, the more we’re able to notice these holes, tug at their edges, and begin stepping through them into what awaits us. Here are some pieces of the magic we’ve practiced so far. Use them wisely.When movements provide people of all ages a way to participate in their own liberation–from the very young to the very old–they are capable of fantastic things.

Masked girls sat beside their mothers, listening to the stories of what their lives might have looked like had they not been born into the movement. “Before, only the men and boys could have fun,” Comandanta Rosalinda said on the first day. “Girls had to take care of the babies and never had time to go to school or even to play.” Having heard stories from their parents and grandparents, children, particularly the girls, understand the significance of what they now have. Marina stood before thousands of women from around the world and, in the clear words of a girl just about to turn nine, stated what the revolution means to her: "I want to tell you about my life. I study in an autonomous zapatista school because I have rights. My parents respect my right to dance, to sing,to have fun. In my autonomous school, sometimes we don’t have school supplies and we don’t ask the government because we are part of the resistance. My father works in his fields and sells his harvest so that we have money to buy my school supplies. We are zapatistas and we don’t take crumbs from the government. I am very proud to be a zapatista; we won’t be discouraged because we are used to resisting."

That evening, a woman from our delegation wondered aloud about the girl’s speech: Could a nine-year-old really

25

have come up with these words and sentiments on her own? Raising a child of my own in the struggle and having seen how her older peers talk and think, I defended the girl’s sincerity. When children are taught and included from an early age, they absorb these teachings. They ask questions about experiences and realities and, if their questions aren’t dismissed or silenced, their understanding and consciousness grows. Mothers both in and out of the zapatista movement are the primary teachers of their children. For many women, the zapatistas were the first to encourage them to think, question and learn:

"Before the EZLN, we [the mothers] didn’t have this education. We didn’t know that we could fight a just fight for the wellbeing of our children. We dedicated ourselves to working in our homes and in the homes of the landowners. Our children were raised like animals. We didn’t educate our children [before] because we didn’t know these things. The landowners didn’t teach us so that they could keep us as workers."

–Maribel, a zapatista mother

Integrating mothers has been crucial to continuing the struggle. This sentiment was repeated again and again as women

14


from the different caracoles spoke their experiences:

“As mothers, we set examples for our children,” stated Elizabeth, a mother from La Realidad. “We teach them that unless you fight, you are fucked. As mothers, we show by example, by taking on responsibilities and participation in the EZLN, in the region, in the CCRI. We teach our children not to contaminate the earth with chemicals so that it

Ladrones [light-skinned landowners] . We talk about the resistance and why we resist. We teach them why we don’t receive help from the bad government.”

Some women spoke about the difficulties of actively participating in the struggle. Some husbands do not understand the importance of women’s participation, fearing that if their wives are active in the

Feature Project:

Regeneración Childcare Collective

Each issue of Building Blocs will feature a political project that is either specifically focused on kids in movements, or is working on/supporting intergenerational movement building in their organising.

will continue to provide for us and for future generations.” “When our children are small, we talk to them about what they’d like to do when they are big,” stated Elena, a mother from Oventic. “We talk about options in the military, in the community, and in doing political work. We tell them that they have the same rights as the

15

community, the work at home is left undone. Other husbands agree to their wives’ public participation provided that they continue do all of the housework and childcare. Zapatista mothers are actively raising the next generation to combat these entrenched oppressions and gender

Hopefully one day all our projects will be doing this! This issue's feature project is Regeneración Childcare Collective. Regeneracion Childcare is a collective based in New York City, USA. Regeneración was born out of a process with Pachamama and Sista II Sista (1 ) in order to contribute to building an intergenerational movement for collective liberation. Regeneración participates in child-raising as a form of resistance that builds radical communities and relationships. They provide childcare at organizational meetings, events, and in collaboration with community based childcare collectives and cooperatives. Their partner organizations are those whose visions inspire them. (2) This issue's feature starts off with a reproduction of Regeneración's vision and artwork, followed by an interview with Radhika Singh, a founding/collective member of Regeneracion. (3)

24


Ideally, a radical childcare cooperative would be a fantastic option for us. We would be familiar with the people involved and their values, our child would be socializing with other kiddos in ways that we support, and our community would be drawn together and rooted like never before.   But the catch for us is that

23

we live in a rural, conservative area with a fairly isolated radical community. There just aren't enough of us to make this work well yet. Instead, we've spent the past few weeks patching together a temporary plan that involves help from grandparents and standby assistance from a family that we previously co-parented with.   Our child

spends her parentless days feeding Grandpa's chickens or wreaking havoc with her brothers-in-anarchy at the former Black Diaper Collective. There's no childcare bill, no time-out, and no imposition of a worldview that directly conflicts with ours.   It's by no means longterm solution, but neither is daycare.

expectations:

“We teach the boys housework so that when they are bigger they can help. This creates a sense of equality between boys and girls. We teach [all our children] to defend ourselves and our community when the army comes in to try to evict us,” said Elena.

women’s participation looks like and shows them how this is important.

“Sometimes mothers will say they can’t participate because they don’t understand the importance of their participation. Some women do not want to send their children to the autonomous school because there is so much responsibility at home and they don’t understand the concept of collectivism.”

The lessons for us visitors should not be that our communities are relieved of the responsibility of providing childcare or otherwise supporting the specific needs of mothers and children. Rather, we have witnessed how the zapatistas incorporate children into their struggle, how they include mothers and children rather than shunting them into a corner or onto the outskirts. And, fourteen years after the uprising, we see that those who were small children in 1 994, who grew up in the movement, now entering and continuing the struggle for dignity and liberty.

For the mothers who do participate in the struggle, their children - both boys and girls - learn from their examples. They teach their children by modeling what

Now, when we return home to organize ourselves, we need to find a way to do the same in our own communities and movements.

Gabriella, another mother from Oventic, explained that, without the participation of the mothers, the struggle falters:

Pics by Victoria Law

create a shared childcare arrangement that meets everyone's needs right their within the home. There are clearly less communal options also, where a community can informally swap babysitting hours between families, or a radical family could setup their own inhome daycare, infused with the values important to their radical community.

16


and their goal is to generate a profit. While I acknowledge that they're often run by very well meaning folks who've probably done a fantastic job raising their own kids, that doesn't mean that they should be raising mine. (1 )  

Tricycle Zine Distro was created to distribute and inspire the writing of radical parent/ing* zines and other zines/resources useful to parents, caregivers and allies.

It is a project that aims to challenge the norms of parenting (and other norms like gender, race, class, sexuality, age, ability and capitalism) and explore alternatives; inspire writing as an act of rebellion; support radical parenting, politics and action; value parents/ caregivers/ children as integral to building communities of resistance; create collective knowledge and networks of support and mutual aid amongst parents, caregivers and their allies in Australia. If you have a zine or resource which you would like to distro through Tricycle please email tricyclezinedistro@riseup.net For orders or more info go to tricyclezinedistro.org

Zines in stock CUNTastic is an exploration of all things cunt, and is meant to be a compilation of experiences, thoughts & research from the editor & others. It’s part personal, part educational, and all political.

* Radical Parenting is an imperfect term and is meant here as inclusive and diverse – an exploration of parenting styles that value respect, trust, autonomy, difference, non-oppression, learning, love and revolution.

17

At times, I feel like this attitude is condescending--as if I can really walk into a place and judge in 1 5 minutes the worthiness of a set of people to spend time with my daughter. But the sticking point is that as radical parents, we are committed to instilling a particular set of values and behaviors in our child, and these values are not necessarily (or even likely) prioritized by the majority of the childcare providers in the broader community.

feeling ok about preschool or daycare right now, until my little one's understanding of the world is more solid.

Radical Childcare Options There are other options that circumvent the capitalist-infused, gender binary, authoritarian models of childcare that the world confronts us with. Radical communities across the U.S. have created their own solutions in the form of radical childcare cooperatives and co-parenting collectives, among others. These options each have their advantages and disadvantages, but they generally meet the needs of egalitarian families better than commercial childcare. In  a

When I identify myself as a 'radical' parent, what I'm trying to communicate is that I hold the values of autonomy, respect, community, non-oppression, and non-hierarchy at the core of both my personal worldview and my parenting philosophy. That means that a preschool where the toys and play time are segregated by gender is totally inappropriate for the gender ideas that I'm trying to instill in my daughter.   It means that a daycare that uses time outs and candy rewards isn't teaching her how to act in the world as an autonomous human being motivated by her own good judgment.   It means I'm not

radical childcare cooperative, each family earns 'credits' for providing a certain number of hours of childcare, and is then able to redeem those credits with any other family in the cooperative for childcare in return. In a co-parenting collective, families live together and

22


Dadam is a personal and political zine about the experiences, observations and reflections of its writer’s journey as a Dad.

On Radical Childcare by Laurel Ripple Carpenter

Needing Childcare for the First Time After 29 months of insuring that my child has been with a trusted, emotionally bonded member of her personal community every hour of every day, I'm facing a choice. The choice of how she will spend her time now that both me and my partner are working 30-40 hours per week to support our new home, the Circle A Farm.    As two self-identified anarchist parents, the childcare options we face are almost always incongruent with our view of childraising in some serious way.   But the reality is that we have to work at our paid jobs right now, in the short term, in order to give our little one a place for  her chickens to roost, for her toys to be played with, for her drawings to hang on the fridge.

21

In the long term, once this little farm starts producing food, we can stop selling our time to our bosses and start selling our veggies to our community. But for now, the capitalist tradition of paying someone else to raise our child for several hours a day has finally entered our lives.  

As two self-identified anarchist parents, the childcare options we face are almost always incongruent with our view of childraising in some serious way. Daycare and preschool and nannies, oh my! The search for a childcare solution has been arduous and eye opening.   In the US daycares and preschools are businesses,

Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind is a series of work-inprogress zines toward a book geared to the non-parent radical community about how to be an ally to the parent(s) in their midst.

Fireweed: A zine of grassroots radical herbalism and wild foods connecting with kids and family life is a zine sharing remedies and ideas for all things kids, herbs, and wild foods. The zine includes recipies, remedies, interviews with herbal parents, suggested reading lists, book reviews and more. (See review on page 35)

Raising Rebellion is a cut-n-paste personal zine whose author puts as much work into the collage as the content. It deals with personal/political journey that is raising a little person and rebellion.

Tenacious: Art & Writings by Women in Prison is a zine filled with articles, essays, poetry and art by formerly and currently incarcerated women across the United States. The idea for Tenacious originated with several women incarcerated in Oregon in 2003 and The Mother's Day issues feature the writings of incarcerated mothers.

18


19

20

Building Blocs #1 "Firsts" (printable)  

a compilation zine of radical parenting challenges, experiences and reflections. It's a desire to be less isolated and to build collective k...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you