Jimmy Kimmel protesters march down Nicollet Mall

Categories: Activism

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Tatiana Craine
People gathered on Nicollet Mall to protest Jimmy Kimmel.
More than 50 people gathered on Nicollet Mall last Saturday afternoon to protest late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel and ABC for a skit about China that aired in October.

See also:
Jimmy Kimmel makes gay joke at Marcus Bachmann's expense

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Gallery 3325: Occupy Homes hosts art opening in vacant home

Categories: Activism, Art
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Photo courtesy Occupy Homes
Photo from the first Occupy Homes art event last spring
Since losing his home last month, 53-year-old Dennis Wounded Shield has slept under a bridge. The Lakota artist has struggled with homelessness for a number of years, and hopes that him participating in an art show will open people's eyes to homelessness. Opening at Gallery 3325, the second art show hosted by Occupy Homes, will take place in a vacant house in south Minneapolis. It will feature several artists, many of whom are homeless themselves.

See also:
Occupy Homes MN activists release children's book about the foreclosure crisis



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Eve Ensler on fighting cancer and writing her new memoir, In the Body of the World

Categories: Activism, Books
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photo by Brigitte Lacombe
Activist and author Eve Ensler will be in town on Wednesday, May 8.
"How to describe Rochester, Minnesota?" Eve Ensler asks in one chapter of her new memoir, In the Body of the World. "It is essentially cancer town."

Cancer is what brought Ensler, founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising and author of The Vagina Monologues, to Rochester. Hers struck in an ironic place for an internationally renowned feminist activist: her uterus.

Ensler says that prior to her diagnosis her body was a nuisance, something that required upkeep so that she could do her work. But as she fought cancer and infection, endured nine-hour surgery, lost weight, and shaved her head, Ensler reconnected with the physical. "By the end of chemo," she writes in In the Body of the World, "I felt like the darkness I had carried around most of my life had lifted."

Ensler will speak about her book and her work at Macalester College on Wednesday in an event co-sponsored by Common Good Books and the Minnesota Women's Press. We talked with Ensler the day that In the Body of the World hit shelves.

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Local writer wages #MYcultureNOToutfit campaign against Urban Outfitters

Categories: Activism, Fashion
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screenshot of Urban Outfitters website via Mohammed Nur's blog.
Two weeks ago, on March 17, local editor Lolla Mohammed Nur saw an image of a dress on Twitter. The dress was familiar to her, but not by this label.

There, in the photo, was an Urban Outfitters model wearing what Mohammed Nur knew as a traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean dress, known as a "hager lebs" or a "zuriya," and worn by women in those East African cultures on special occasions. But on Urban Outfitters' website, it was described only as "Vintage '90s Linen Dress," and marked with the price tag of $209.

See also:
- Tomahawk Tassels protested over Native-themed burlesque performance



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[UPDATED] Tomahawk Tassels protested over Native-themed burlesque performance

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Tomahawk Tassels poses for an event poster
Beware of the hipster headdress. With more frequent sightings extending beyond Halloween, it has become a mass-merchandised fashion faux pas. Big names like Victoria's Secret, No Doubt, and Paul Frank Industries have been under fire recently for their alleged racist, misappropriated, displays of Native-themed culture.

All three have issued public apologies and avoided lawsuits, but Urban Outfitters wasn't so lucky.

Shortly after Minneapolis resident Sasha Houston Brown (Santee Sioux Nation) wrote her open letter to Urban Outfitters' CEO Glen T. Senk, the Navajo Nation brought suit against the company for trademark infringement, citing the "Navajo Hipster Panty" and the "Navajo Print Wrapped Fabric Flask" were "derogatory and scandalous."  

The lawsuit is pending. Brown, an academic advisor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, continues to speak out about racism and violence against Indian women. When she saw that Shannon Edberg was organizing a protest this weekend of the "Cherokee Seductress" Tomahawk Tassels, there was no question-Brown had to show up and vocalize her support.

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To prepare for strike vote, SEIU teams up with Rogue Citizen to throw an art show

Categories: Activism, Art
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SEIU members marched through the skyways last week in protest.
The contracts for the 6,000 security officers and janitors who are members of SEIU Local 26 expired January 1. For nearly three months, the union has been bargaining over the terms of a new agreement, but talks have stalled to the point where on February 9, members will vote on whether to strike.

But first, they're rallying. Tonight, Local 26 members will team up with Rogue Citizen to host an art show and concert at Bedlam Community Center. The roster of artists showing is nearly 40 names long, and includes both familiar faces like DWITT -- who created an original piece for the event about his experience working as a custodian -- next to art from about 15 union members. The music lineup features a similar mix, with nine acts that switch between Local 26 member bands to Mankwe Ndosi and Toki Wright.

The event is free, but 50 percent of art sales will go into a strike fund (the other half goes to the artist), and guests will be able to donate to the cause. "It's snowballed into this exciting thing, which is equal parts art exhibition, folk concert, and fundraiser," says Matt Wells, aka Lizardman of Rogue Citizen. "When contracts expired and we started planning this event, it became clear to us that negotiations were not going smoothly or going at all in some cases, and that this had to be big."

See Also:
- SEIU protests Wells Fargo over political contributions, immigration [PHOTOS] 
- Rogue Citizen: 100 Creatives
- Back in 2010: SEIU janitors agree to new contract and avoid strike affecting Twin Cities office buildings


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Occupy Homes MN activists release children's book about the foreclosure crisis

Categories: Activism, Books
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courtesy Becky Z. Dernbach
Bumbling villains Freddie and Fannie loom over the residents of Homesville.
When the country's two major mortgage institutions are nicknamed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it was probably inevitable that at some point someone would personify them.

Local Occupy Homes activist Becky Z. Dernbach saw the opportunity. On Friday, Boneshaker Books is throwing Dernbach a release party for her new picture book, Fannie and Freddie, in which those mortgage giants are the two main characters -- specifically, the cartoonish villains.

See Also:
- Occupy Homes celebrates new victories with party and conference
- Brother Ali on Occupy Homes and the foreclosure crisis


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Local fashion photographer Amy Gee needs help replacing stolen camera

Categories: Activism, WTF
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Photo by Vox Efx

In a bizarre and gloomy turn of events, local photographer Amy Gee's rented Chevy Impala was stolen from the Lake Nokomis area at 1:30 a.m. last Saturday. Her Canon 5D Mark II, wallet, phone, and two lenses went along for the ride.



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Gloria Steinem visits Minnesota

Categories: Activism
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For over 40 years Gloria Steinem has fought for social justice and equality. As a leader in the women's movement the author, lecturer, and editor has changed the way women live their lives today.

Steinem recently spoke at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park as part of its Inspiring Minds Speakers Series.

"The purpose of the Speaker Series is really to appeal to the broader community," says Jill Hapler, co-chair of the event committee. "While we certainly advertise to our own membership within Beth El, we really are reaching out to the entire Twin Cities community to engage in an interesting conversation."

Previous speakers have included Deepak Chopra and Jane Goodall, and Beth El was eager to welcome Steinem to speak this year.

City Pages sat down with Steinem before her speaking engagement to discuss feminism, politics, and the future of the women's movement. More »

SlutWalk takes to the streets of Minneapolis

Categories: Activism
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Organizer and social network coordinator Kimberia Sherva with publicity coordinator Beth Johnson
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This Saturday is Minneapolis's first SlutWalk, an 1.8-mile march that protests the use of victim blaming to excuse rape. The walks are in reaction to an incident where a Toronto police officer suggested at a safety meeting at York University that women could avoid sexual assault by not dressing like "sluts."

SlutWalks have since taken place in Canada, Latin America, Australia, and the United States. We stopped by the upcoming event's fundraiser at the Acadia Cafe last night to meet up with the lively crew that brought the event to Minneapolis.

The benefit concert was scheduled to help raise funds for odds and ends for next year's event, and to be donated to charities that support assault victims. Before the bands started Beth Johnson, SlutWalk Minneapolis's press, public relations, and publicity coordinator, gave us the scoop on Saturday's walk.

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