Saturday, September 30, 2006

love and violence, the violence of love

Here's a piece from The Valve on the resurrection of an ancient tactic to curb violence:
Lysistrata live

Posted by Bill Benzon on 09/25/06 at 05:37 AM

As Satchmo used to say, it's one of those old time good ones.
Colombian sex strike forces gangsters to sheathe weapons

Sarah Baxter

A SEX strike organised by the girlfriends of gang members in one of Colombia's most violent cities to protest against a wave of murders has been hailed as a success by the local security chief.

The action became known in the Colombian media as the "crossed-leg strike" because of the women's refusal to have sex with their men until they promised to give up violence.

After 10 days of abstinence the women of Pereira were said by the security chief to have proved that they could win their battle with "very noble weapons".
For updates, search a news site for "cross legged strike." Here's a recent account from Ekklesia

I thought of this when I saw this image on The Wooster Collective. It suggests to me that the crossed-legged strike provides some comic relief but as a tactic for curbing violence it hasn't much promise.

The artist is Humeux and the wall art appears somewhere in the Netherlands.

This thought in turn brings to mind this book of homilies by Archbishop Romero. In it he spoke of opposition to violence by love of a different sort and his story is a heart-rending one. He lost his life condemning inequality, poverty, social injustice, and violent death in San Salvador. Reading about the period just before his assassination, it's painful to learn that Jimmy Carter, champion of human rights, ignored the archbishop's call for an end to US aid to the oppressive régime which had illegally seized power. Wikipedia says: 'In 1979, the Revolutionary Government Junta came to power amidst a wave of human rights abuses from paramilitary right-wing groups, from left-wing guerrillas and from the government. Romero spoke out against U.S. military aid to the new government and wrote to President Jimmy Carter in February 1980, warning that increased military aid would "undoubtedly sharpen the injustice and the repression inflicted on the organized people, whose struggle has often been for their most basic human rights". Carter, concerned that El Salvador would become "another Nicaragua", ignored the plea.'

One more turn of thought: This unforgettable image from the streets of Baghdad comes from an article in the Guardian on the level of violence in Iraq. The article quotes Bob Woodward as saying there is now an attack every 15 minutes.

The caption reads: "Pools of blood on the streets of central Baghdad after car bombs exploded. Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is in regards your Sept. 6th, 2006, update.

Notice how precipitiously gas prices have fallen lately? Instead of crying, just find a way to bet that gas will immediately go right back up following the Nov. elections.

Then expect gas to stay high 'til Jan. of '09 when the next prez is sworn in.

Great blog by the way; nice variety; I'm an ex-bicyclist because of where I now live (bad roads, no bike paths). You don't know how lucky you are that you have a nice 9 mile bikeable commute.

Cheers! BTW, email me here in a few weeks; I always seem to forget about cool blogs like yours. I'm herbie at herboverstreet dot com or