Tuesday, January 12

NB Rebelles 2009: Year in Review

In case you're wondering who these Rebelles are and what they get up to, here is a little recap of our activities in the past year.

We held the following events:

Thank-You Brunch (February)
We hosted a brunch for all the "second wave" women who sponsored us to attend the Rebelles Gathering in Montreal. We have many wonderful supporters and allies in Fredericton to whom we are very grateful!

RAWA Benefit (March)
For this event, which was put on by a collection of groups (organized by the Fredericton Peace Coalition), the NB Rebelles organized a silent auction to benefit the Revoluntionary Association of Women of Afghanistan. A total of $1900 was raised.

International Women's Day Potluck (March)
The NB Rebelles sent several representatives to a potluck brunch for International Women's Day, which was attended by many Fredericton- and New Brunswick-based womens' groups.

Waves of Resistance Evaluation and Planning Meeting (March)
The NB Rebelles sent a representative to the evaluation and planning meeting that followed the Rebelles Gathering.

Dialogue Session on Poverty (March)
We hosted a dialogue session on poverty and gender for a provincial government initiative on povery reduction.

Feminist Retreat (March)
Maybe our favourite event so far - the NB Rebelles hosted a one-day feminist retreat for Fredericton feminists to come together and discuss everything from body image to capitalism. We were so happy with the attendance and there were a lot of different perspectives to mull over. We even recruited new members!

Pay Equity Action (May)
The NB Rebelles, with the help of the NB Coalition on Pay Equity, arranged a May Day action on pay equity. We encouraged New Brunswickers to email the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women (Mary Schryer) demanding immediate action. We were very impressed with the number of people who took part!

Health Minister Resignation Action (May)
Flush with the success of our Pay Equity action, we arranged a similar email campaign demanding the resignation of then-Health Minister Michael Murphy, because of his unethical handling of reproductive rights for the women of New Brunswick.

Yard Sale (June)
The NB Rebelles held a fundraising yard sale to benefit the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre. We raised over $200.

Vigil for Dr. Tiller (June)
We organized a candlelight vigil for murder abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. A personal reflection on Dr. Tiller by Dr. Henry Morgentaler was read at the event.

Women's Festival (August)
Most of our time and energy over the summer went into organizing the Fredericton Women's Festival. We collected female artists, craftspeople, vendors and musicians to join us in putting on a free festival to celebrate women and the work they do. We were very pleased with the turnout and are hoping to make this an annual Fredericton event.

Cinema Politica: Abortion (October)
The NB Rebelles co-sponsored a Fredericton Cinema Politica event with the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, to present two documentaries on abortion. Rebelle and ARCC representative Peggy Cooke led the post-film discussion.

Andrea Gibson (November)
The NB Rebelles joined the Fredericton Peace Coalition, the Fredericton Sexual Assaul Crisis Centre, and many other groups to bring slam poet and activist Andrea Gibson to Fredericton to perform. The event had a sell-out crowd and Andrea donated her fee to RAWA.

We've been working on some cool side projects:

NB Rebelles Gumboot Troupe
We currently have a five-member gumboot troupe that has performed our self-taught routine at several different venues and events, from art openings to conferences, to a December 6th memorial service. The troupe has incorporated lines from the Manifesto into our routine to present a powerful anti-patriarchy message that has been surprisingly well-received. The gumbooters can be reached at gumbooters@gmail.com.

NB Rebelles - Fredericton Merchandise
The NB Rebelles hired a local artist, Angela Black, to design three logos for us. We then used these to create t-shirts which are on sale on our website. All the shirts are pre-worn, hand-screened and made with love. We are also selling feminist buttons (in ten different designs) and will soon have hand-screened tote bags as well. The sale of these items is an ongoing fundraiser for the NB Rebelles.

Book Exchange
We are working on a book exchange; unfortunately with no central location this has proven difficult, but the idea is still in the beginning stages and we are confident we can find a way to make it work. Suggestions are welcome!

One of the main goals of the NB Rebelles - Fredericton is to connect with other local groups who are working in feminism and social justice, and to donate our time, money and energy to causes that fit within our mandate. Over the last year we have joined the Fredericton Peace Coalition, the NB Coalition on Pay Equity and the Olympic Resistance Network. We have also worked with many groups including the Fredericton YMCA, Cinema Politica, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, and many others. We look forward to expanding our circle of allies in the following year.

And we've kept our web presence strong in the following ways:

Our website, which is updated regularly and features a weekly feminist reader, weekly feminist photo, updates on meeting times and locations, upcoming events, and much more.

You can follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/FtonRebelles

We have both a Facebook group and fan page, and we can always be reached by email at nbrebelles@gmail.com

What we have planned for 2010:

In January we are looking forward to hosting a screening of the Rebelles documentary, followed by a panel discussion featuring Joyce Arthur of ARCC, among other fabulous feminists. We have plans for another feminist retreat in the spring, and are in the early stages of planning a big feminist party in the spirit of the Rebelles conference in Montreal. We hope to start forming better connections with Rebelles across the country and building the movement together. Feminism lives!

No comments: