Lacy MacAuley

Icon

a home for my pen, projects, and passions

My experience of intimate partner violence, trapped in Turkey

Maybe I reached too high, and had too far to fall. It has been two months since my return to the US. Intimate partner violence, or domestic abuse, was something I never imagined that I would stumble into. But misogyny and patriarchy run deep, especially in Turkey, and I found myself in a bad situation.

12718234_10153923679656322_3447565576043698977_n

The first two weeks were quite the love story… Then came our first fight.

I am a radical activist based in Washington DC. I fell in love with an energetic, charismatic activist I met in November when I was present to write about resistance to the G20 Summit, a global event in Antalya, Turkey. After I came home to the US, we talked every day. He was lovely and charming, I thought at the time. He offered a ready smile, engaging kindness, and intelligent conversation. He said all the right things to convince me that he cared about women’s rights and activism. In February, I decided to return to Turkey with the promise of love driving me forward. I couldn’t have known things would turn sour.

I thought that even if this were not going to develop into a deeper relationship, it would be an opportunity to learn more about this Muslim country during an interesting political moment, and I could do some work around refugees. I also thought, hey, at least I would probably make a dear friend.

The first two weeks were quite the love story. I observed that he was drinking heavily, and called him an “alky,” but it was just a joke at first. We went to the beach and historic sites, and he introduced me to his friends. All seemed to be going well, and I felt that the romance was solidly moving forward.

Then came our first fight. I had wanted to interview a local woman for an article on Syrian refugees. He did not approve. He knew the woman and did not like her, so he strictly forbade me from speaking with her. After I questioned his rationale, he yelled and stormed out of the room to go smoke a cigarette. I just stood in the middle of the room not knowing what to do. Of course, as a Western woman, no one had ever forbidden me from speaking with anyone else. It was a strange feeling: Don’t I have a mouth to speak? Why can I not use it as I wish?

This is elementary feminism. No man has the power to silence a woman, just because he is a man. How far backwards things would slide in the coming weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, feminism, human welfare, intimate partner violence, lacy's life

riparian zones and clean rooms

This is a forgotten poem I scrawled on a page for a lover as I was packing up and moving from one city to another. That lover recently got back in touch with me, typed up the poem, and sent it. Here it is.

Why are you here?
So that, in a moment,
as you expressed a simple idea about cleaning
and empty rooms
I could look at your radiant eyes
the color of an aged mahogany tree
who has seen generations of people walk beneath it
but remains standing alone
in that moment I understood fully
exactly what I was letting go.
All the richness of your person
and the solidity of your comportment
the tapestry woven by your experience
and the will to survive
that is stored in the creases your eyes trace
as your smile spreads out across long-ago happy skies
the smoothness of cinnamon-colored rolling skin
and long graceful fingers that plucked the strings of my future
singing songs into the flesh-colored cavities of my hopes
accompanied by a wholly unwarranted humility.

And there are no clean lines in this world.
Did I love you?
I knew in that moment that I did.
But if you look closely at any line
the edges blur into ugly grayness
that transform into vagabond pigeons and escape
muttering things both true and insane
turning the ordered pragmatic life
into a circus of madness.

I try to catch them, calm them
smooth the lines back
but this is a riparian zone, a flood plain
A green-yellow edge of slash-and-burn
where machines scratch and tear at the earth
where wild creatures are exposed
and they get lost and die
in a world not their own.

And there is love between us still, despite him.
Despite my imminent migration.
Love to soften your rough voice
laid over delicate silken guitar
Love to forgive many missteps

Please don’t believe for one moment
that you are not unique, indeed cherished
regarded more highly than him in so many ways.
But I am not in a position now to receive you.
This is the edge of a wave
a changing zone of calculated destruction
as the mother ocean draws the sand into her depths
I will find waves to ride to solid ground.

This is cleaning
and this is my empty room

Filed under: lacy's life, poems

fluffed up into news: the royal wedding spectacle

So, two of my family members are certifiably anglophiles. They love all things British. Seriously.

Last night I was having drinks with said family members, which somehow spiraled into a plan to have a slumber party at one of their homes, and wake up at 6:00 AM in order to watch the British Royal Wedding in its entirety on network television. Just a little preface to explain why I am posting about this absurd public event.

ABC News, CBS News, and USA Today all headlined today with the royal wedding. It was hard to think about anything else this afternoon when viewing their news websites, as each site housed dozens of articles, features, videos, and photo slideshows were popping out from all directions. MSNBC at least shared their “above the fold” space with a feature about the storm damage in the southern US. “Faux News” (or Fox, which doesn’t really count since it’s not news,) had the wedding sharing headline space with some favorite right-wing topics: Donald Trump and stem-cell research. The New York Times was among the few news outlets this afternoon in headlining with the storm damage and President Obama’s visit to the US South, forcing the reader to pan down the page to find coverage of British royals.

The absurdity was overwhelming. I think it’s great that two people who like each other a whole lot want to strengthen their commitment. Love is beautiful. However, it’s not news. There is nothing about this wedding to merit so much time and resources of every major news network, yet it was somehow fluffed up into a major television event that had the play-by-play analysis of an event that none of us have any business caring about anyway. It made me think a lot about our news media’s culture of spectacle. Things that aren’t really news become news because the television networks tell us that we should care about them. It is news for news’ sake.

Which is tragic, especially when there are actually very important things happening all around us that actually do matter, and that we should be hearing about. There are hundreds of people dead due to the storms in the southern US, and thousands upon thousands of people displaced. There are people struggling for their independence in Bah’rain and Libya, not to mention Afghanistan and Iraq. Japan’s under-reported nuclear disaster still threatens to disseminate some of the deadliest toxins known to science.

News networks should cover real news. Not puffed up spectacles like the royal wedding.

Filed under: lacy's life, media, thoughts and philosophies

wild like me

A song by Lacy MacAuley, for a dear friend
(Working on a little recording with music. To be continued!)

Photo by Ernst Haas.

There I stood, as the sun and stars forgot to shine
There I stood, in a cloud of lust and red, red wine

I asked a sacred question: Am I lost?
And what could I do? I flew.
And now here you stand in front of me.
Are you wild like me?
Are you wild and ready?
Can you fly like me?
Can you leave today?
I’ll take you out, out, out and away,
but you have to be ready for me.

Feral hearts can house a thousand things.

Just listen now to the songs that they sing.
I can shelter you and still give you wings,
and I don’t need their papers or their diamond rings. 

You can’t hold the ground if you want to fly.

Take to our wings and who knows what we’ll find.
A hundred adventures I see in your eyes
share tomorrow’s secrets with the sunrise.

A winged creature, I cannot be caged.

No bars can hold a tempest, a sage.
The darkness of night will turn to the dawn.
And when it does I’ll be traveling on.

Still you stand in front of me.

Can you shake the cold

and step into the light?
Can you shake the oppression
of the long empty night?
Come with me and be one
in the journey. 

Are you wild like me?
Are you wild and ready?
Can you fly like me?
Can you leave today?
I’ll take you out, out, out and away,
but you have to be ready for me.

Filed under: lacy's life, poems

each word a stone to throw

A poem by Lacy MacAuley

Eliminating laws, opening trade, deregulating the market
has put us in a prison.

Cold austerity, chilling strictures
have ignited us and caused the streets to burn.

The largest sums of money paid by the hugest banks
have only caused more poverty.

The neoliberal world
is one in which the most basic sense is backwards, upside down.
It is as false as a mirror,
turning backwards all that is trusted, reversing that which is true.
A glass world of pomp and doublespeak.

And who is to say that a single strategic brick – red and sure as the hand on the drum, as the red human blood pumping through my raised fist, as red as the veins of the earth scratched raw by their bulldozers – who is to say that a single strategic brick could not bring down this house of mirrors? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, environmentalism, immigrant rights, lacy's life, poems, thoughts and philosophies

judy bonds: “fight harder”

Judy Bonds (center) was a fearless keeper of the mountains. I snapped this photo with fellow activists at Mountain Justice Spring Break 2010.

The fearless Judy Bonds, keeper of the mountains, passed yesterday.

I remember first meeting Judy way back in 2004, when I was a brand new activist accompanying a friend to the Heartwood forest conservation conference. With others from her team at Coal River Mountain Watch, Judy talked to me about coal mining in Appalachia, the harmful practice of mountaintop removal coal mining and what it was doing to the communities and the ecosystems of the region. As we stood under a pine tree on the conference grounds, she spoke about the destruction she saw in her own holler. I remember being astounded that industry could erase a whole mountain from the surface of the planet, mountains that had taken hundreds of millions of years to form. From that moment on I have been convinced of the urgent need to save the mountains from the coal companies.

In that conference of environmentalists six years ago, few had heard of mountaintop removal coal mining. But there was Judy, alerting people to the destructive coal mining in Appalachia. From the very beginning, Judy was there, igniting the movement to save the mountains.

She was a truly inspiring activist and organizer, a coal miner’s daughter who loved the mountains around her and did not want to see them sacrificed for greed. Her mountains were an inheritance for her grandchildren. Like all true crusaders, Judy would not want us to do anything but work harder to save the mountains.

Vernon Haltom, fellow mountain justice activist, said it best: “While we grieve, let’s remember what she said, ‘Fight harder.'”

Instead of mourning, I am taking this moment to renew my commitment to working to save the earth.

Filed under: activism, climate justice, environmentalism, lacy's life

red moon solstice ~ it’s been quite a year

From the streets of Wall Street, to the mountains of Appalachia, from New Orleans to Pittsburgh to Toronto, the moon has borne witness to an incredible year for me. As I watched this celestial body emerge from the eclipse on a red moon solstice, I saw myself entering a new phase.

I marked the red moon solstice from the top of a snowy mountaintop on the Appalachian Trail, bundled in blankets with three fellow adventurers. As the moon went from a silvery white orb, then passing into the accidental shadow of the earth, growing to the full red of a hawk’s eye, I saw the moon as a grandmother. She watches over the small comings and goings of all of us, from the great deeds we do to the moments we’re not as proud of.

The moon has borne witness to an incredible year for me.

January found me emceeing a rally in the cold streets of New York, just off of Wall Street, calling for a fair, effective carbon tax policy, shoulder to shoulder with the renowned climate scientist James Hansen.

In February I was giving voice to Egyptian workers, rising up against unfair working conditions and a global economy that has left them on the receiving end of unfair trade policy and crippling external debt to institutions like the IMF.

In the early March I was in the mountains of rural Appalachia offering media relations workshops at the movement-building Mountain Justice Spring Break to save the mountains from the harmful practice of mountaintop removal coal mining. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, human welfare, lacy's life, media, thoughts and philosophies

really really free market rocks the free world

Everyone found something to call theirs at the Really Really Free Market. Brian and Nicole display Brian's fabulous new-to-him powder blue blazer.

A statuette of Brahms. A purple leisure suit. A stylish Mariela folding bicycle. An oversized brasier. A silky powder blue blazer. Bike tires. An adventuring backpack. All of these things traded hands at last night’s Really Really Free Market without any money whatsoever, and many people got holiday gifts without ever having to look at a shopping mall.

“The holidays are a time when everyone is confronted with the ugly face of consumer capitalism,” said Drew Sherlock, one of the event’s organizers. “But people don’t see an alternative to the long lines and stampedes. We are providing that alternative with the free sharing of goods that can be used as gifts. No money, no barter, no trade – just our community taking care of each other.”

Radical carols sung had titles such as "The Twelve Days of Shopping."

Voices were raised in radical carols led by James Ploeser, a local organizer who had just returned from the Cancun climate summit. The twisted carols had titles such as “God Bless You Very Wealthy Men” and “The Twelve Days of Shopping,” with lyrics that called into question consumerism and capitalism.

Several pizzas were dropped off by an anonymous donor at some point in the night, joining candy and cookies. A classic folding Mariela bicycle was brought home by a local bike mechanic, and a Peugot beauty with a cracked derailer was brought home by a bike-loving activist. Books and bike parts, skirts and shirts, toasters and trinkets, cosmetics and cookbooks, dishes and dancing shoes, jackets and jangles all changed hands in a non-monetized atmosphere of open sharing. And the price couldn’t have been better.

Smiles abounded, and the question on everyone’s mind as they were leaving was, “When can we do this again?”

Friends showing off their Really Really Free Market booty!

Filed under: activism, consumerism, environmentalism, lacy's life, Washington DC

hey DC Council, tax the rich, don’t cut from the poor!

“No tax breaks for corporations! Tax the rich, don’t cut from the poor!”

This was my message upon disrupting Tuesday’s budget vote at the Washington DC Council (as shown in the video). As US Congress discussed their own tax cuts to the rich, Empower DC and other Washington DC advocacy organizations were calling for a one percent tax increase to the city’s rich, especially millionaires, rather than cutting vital social services to low-income Washingtonians.

Adams Morgan ANC Commissioner Chris Otten and I disrupted the vote by standing in front of Vince Gray, the Council chair, holding up a banner and saying our piece. Other brave activists stood up as well and stated their objections to the proposed cuts. Our disruption was noted in the Washington Post blog, as well as other local news outlets.

The DC Council wants to slash the budget for important services such as assistance for grandparents taking care of their grandchildren (there are many in this city), food subsidies for mothers taking care of their children, and valuable job training for residents. And this at a time when the city’s unemployment rate is nigh on 20%. A “millionaire’s tax” would raise enough revenue to pay for all of these services, but the DC Council is unwilling to tap this potentially vast source of revenue.

Filed under: activism, lacy's life, media, Washington DC

winter breathes

A stream-of-consciousness poem by Lacy MacAuley

Winter breathes down upon me
and for the first time, I face it without
a partner to warm my side.

You are a gift to the earth,
but are you a gift to me?
My body and the red blood that runs through my veins
wants to invite you in,
pull you into the dance,
to frolic, to run over hills
until we plunge sleepy into the sparkling creeks of the valley.

I want to walk shoulder to shoulder with you.

And especially, as the chill wind rolls
through the barren branches,
living but, for now, not growing,
as the plants pull their energy down into their roots,
I long to be near you in soft refuges in the night
to swim in your smile, and in the center of your love.

But I may as well swim across the ocean.

Filed under: lacy's life, poems

horrible cop shoots a dog named Parrot

Parrot, who did not have a history of fighting, and was shot by a cop in Adams Morgan. Photo: Supplied by owner Aaron Block.

I live in a neighborhood in DC, Adams Morgan, where the police are out of hand. They push. They taunt. They remember faces (like mine) and harass as you’re going about your daily activities. About a block from my home, I witnessed them beating a young black man right in the thick of a crowd while people looked on and told them to stop. Once the beating had stopped, I asked the young man what had happened and he said that a white guy had inexplicably thrown a punch at him, and then the police pounced on him. (A moment after I spoke to the man a cop told me that I had to leave or be arrested myself.)

And now, the Adams Morgan police have shot and killed a dog simply for being a dog. The dog was owned by solar energy professional Aaron Block, who works one office over from mine. I had met the dog, whose name was Parrot, a friendly dog who had come frolicking through the office.

Yesterday, Parrot was kneeled on by a cop, then thrown twelve feet down into a concrete stairwell, then shot with the officer’s service weapon. This happened in the midst of a festival with thousands of people, our annual Adams Morgan Day festival, about a block away from where I live.

The frothing-at-the-mouth cop who shot and killed Parrot in the midst of thousands of festival-goers. Photo: Anibal Apunte.

Apparently Parrot, who is a two-year-old Shar-Pei mix, got into a fight with a poodle. Many people might assume that the larger dog started the fight, but I don’t. My grandmother had a tiny little caramel-colored poodle for many years that weighed about twelve pounds. By the end of its life, the poor little thing was halfway toothless, with a bark that sounded more like a snarling bunny. But that didn’t stop it from attacking any dog that threatened its poodley manhood. I have vivid memories of the little guy lunging unprovoked at a friend’s giant black labrador, teeth bared (what teeth he had left). The black lab sort of just stood up and walked away.

Yesterday, the scene didn’t end quite so gracefully. Why? The police were involved.

Candidate for DC Council Bryan Weaver said that the dog had been playing with his young kids about fifteen minutes earlier. I understand that. Parrot was a friendly dog without a bite history.

After the two dogs had begun to fight, Aaron jumped in and pulled Parrot away from the poodle. According to observers, the poodle walked away seemingly unhurt. Aaron was holding the dog and calming him, and the situation seemed resolved. Then a cop decided he wanted to fight the dog, too.

A cop knocked Aaron off of Parrot, then kneeled on Parrot and held his skin. I’ve been kneeled on like this by a cop too, and it is horribly painful. Parrot was growling, but he did not bite anyone, according to Aaron. Parrot was moving his legs to try and get up. What else did that horrible cop man think would happen? People can understand that they’re (sadly) not allowed to move a muscle when the police hurt you. But Parrot is a dog and doesn’t understand that just because some man puts on a fancy blue uniform, he is entitled to hurt people and animals. Those fancy blue uniforms are a hierarchical, human invention. Not understanding that it’s illegal to fight back when cops attack, Parrot didn’t just go limp. He was trying to get up. He was trying to get free. We can learn something from Parrot about just how inequitable and ridiculous our current law enforcement actually is, that we accept mistreatment from cops that animals will not endure.

The cop didn’t stop there. He picked up the dog and threw it over a banister and down into a stairwell. The frothing-at-the-mouth cop then drew his weapon. And he shot Parrot dead. As festival-goers looked on.

So, who is the out-of-control animal in this situation??? Not Parrot.

My heart goes out to Parrot, who died because of his good instincts to struggle against police oppression. He will be remembered, by me and the people who loved him.

Filed under: activism, copwatchdc, lacy's life, police violence

I’m a free woman! My G20 case was withdrawn!

Some wonderful news! My case was withdrawn yesterday!

I came all the way from Washington DC to Toronto, Canada, where I’m checking in from a cute little coffee shop on Queen Street, to face the charge of “Assault of a Police Officer.” I was hit with this ridiculously false charge after I was arrested during the G20 summit weekend, manhandled, thrown into the back of an unmarked van, beaten and strangled.

Yesterday, the case was withdrawn after I stood in front of the judge for 30 seconds, just long enough for the prosecutor to say that they have no interest in pursuing my case. I am now a free woman. Now I’ll be able to pursue charges against the real criminals – the Toronto Police, starting with Officer Kevin Antoine, Toronto Police, Division 52, Badge #7880, who was one of the men who attacked me. Wish me luck!

Filed under: activism, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, lacy's life, media

Toronto Star article on my G20 case withdrawal!

A photo of my G20 arrest in Toronto, as re-published today by the Toronto Star.

In an article in the Toronto Star today, Betsy Powell writes about my charges being dropped:

Photographs of Toronto police throwing activist Lacy MacAuley to the ground were among the most unforgettable images capturing G20 summit protests.

On Monday, the Crown withdrew a charge of assault peace officer laid against the Washington woman.

“I’m a free woman,” she announced via Twitter. “Of course it’s no surprise — what evidence could they possible have had?”

Overall, more than 300 accused facing charges from G20 protests attended court Monday. It was described as one of the largest mass court appearances ever seen in Toronto. Ministry of Attorney General officials said they could not estimate how many people processed at the Finch Ave. W. courthouse had their charges dropped.

She goes on to write:

“All the cases that were withdrawn or were diverted are an indication they had a lot of false charges on a lot of us to begin with,” MacAuley, 31, said last night.

MacAuley said she came to Toronto in June to participate in peaceful protests against the G20, an organization whose policies are “making life worse for most people.”

I’d like to note here that I came not only to participate in peaceful protests, but to amplify the voices of all of those opposing the G20 through doing media work!

She was walking in a protest march along Pape Ave. near a temporary detention centre when anti-riot police moved in and scooped her up.*

“I didn’t assault anyone,” she said. The Crown withdrew the charge Monday with no explanation. “It was over in 30 seconds.”

MacAuley said she still thinks Toronto is a “lovely city,” and said she was extremely grateful Toronto lawyer Greg Lafontaine had agreed to handle her case pro bono — although his services will not be required.

*Small correction here: At the point at which the police snatched me, I had actually been standing in the crowd at the peaceful rally outside the temporary G20 jail on Eastern Avenue, Toronto. The police ran in and snatched a young man standing near the front of the crowd. I went forward to photograph the arrest with my iPhone. Then I looked over to see police officers running to snatch me! The rest is history.

Filed under: activism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, lacy's life, media

G20 update: heading to Toronto to face charges!

A little update on my G20 court case. I’m headed to Toronto tomorrow evening to face the charge “Assault of a Police Officer.”

I am leaving late, late, after-the-witching-hour on Friday night, boarding a train that will rumble through New York City and then up through the hills and plains of rural Canada before rolling into Toronto. (Train travel is the most environmentally-friendly way to travel, and it’s a bit cheaper than airfare, since I’m not quite sure when I’ll be able to make it back.)

Monday is my “case discovery” proceeding. Basically, the Toronto police will present whatever evidence they could possibly drudge up (or falsify?) that I may have assaulted someone. Or the judge could simply dismiss the case, effectively telling the Toronto Police and their shoddy evidence to take a hike. Of course, I’m hoping the case gets promptly and summarily dismissed!

Filed under: activism, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, lacy's life, media

Adams Morgan Romance

A (highly fictitious!) poem by Lacy MacAuley

Leaving Affinity Lab on a Saturday night
I hurried down the stairs
I stepped out on 18th Street baby
And I breathed in the Adams Morgan air

There you were locking up your bike
Right by the Diner line
Didn’t you work at City Bikes?
Did you repair my spoke that time?

I decided I would get you drunk
And see what happened then
There was something about that fixed-gear frame
That was a-making my tires spin Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: biking, humor, lacy's life, poems

G20 violence against women press conference

I stand with all the women who have been subjected to the violence of the G20, both in Toronto and in all parts of the world. The violence that I experienced at the hands of the police is only a tiny piece of the violence experienced by women who ecosystems are destroyed, whose family members are taken, or whose communities are uprooted by the corrupt policies of the G20. I was thrown into the back of an unmarked van, punched, strangled, and manhandled. How much more suffering have other women incurred at the hands of the G20?

I contributed this video to a press conference happening today in Toronto to address the violence against women that occurred in Toronto during the G2o Summit.

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, human welfare, international relations, lacy's life, media, thoughts and philosophies

the first G20, November 2008 in Washington DC

When the G20 came to my city, Washington DC, in November 2008, I helped to organize the people's response, marching to the World Bank building, near where the meetings were held. People like me, we won't stop voicing our opposition. We will overpower and deconstruct the G20's illegitimate authority.

The first G20 Summit was held in November 2008 in Washington DC, called by George W. Bush as a “response” to the global economic crisis (instead of the G8). I assisted in organizing the protests to the G20 in Washington DC, opposed to the idea that nineteen men and one woman could make earth-shaking decisions for the rest of us behind closed doors, without any public involvement at all. During that summit, the G20 would institutionalize some of the most harmful policies that they wield: bailouts for banks and corporations, and increased funding for corrupt development banks like the IMF.

The corrupt policies of the G20 have only worsened, and continue to harm people, especially workers and the poor in the United States and other rich countries, and pretty much everyone in poor countries. I intend to keep opposing these policies, and I know that I will be joined by brothers and sisters in my movement. Our voices will thunder together into a storm that will deconstruct the illegitimate authority of the G20.

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8/g20, global justice, human welfare, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, international relations, lacy's life

opposing G20? we’ve only just begun

Leading a few chants at G20 protests in Toronto, "G8, G20. They are few. We are many!" We need to continue to stand up for what is right, and give a megaphone to those working to make the world a better place.

There have been a lot of people, especially my brothers and sisters in Toronto, who have come out of the experience of protesting the G20 feeling oppressed and hurt, like they’ve been broken by the experience. Here is what I have to say.

Brothers and sisters, we need to continue to stand up for what is right! Do not let them break your will. Our wills are stronger than their guns, their handcuffs, or their prisons! Theirs is an illegitimate source of authority. Our authority is born of love and joy, oneness and respect for each other and future generations. Our power is stronger.

The oppression that we have been subjected to is only a fraction of the oppression felt by indigenous people of the Amazon in Peru, who were attacked and shot at last year by government forces for blockading a road to prevent oil corporations from killing their forest, by traditional farmers in Papua New Guinea whose rivers are being killed, who get murdered for opposing the Barrick gold mining company – or the everyday oppression suffered by farmers everywhere who are told they must pay land tax, disrupting more traditional, community-centered food distribution means.

It is for them and for us that we must keep standing up for what is right.

As long as we are speaking out against their hyper-capitalist corporate globalization, they’ll try to silence us. Don’t let their intimidation tactics and their attempts at disempowerment work. We need to keep working, and keep giving a megaphone to those working for liberation, all of us!

I was one of the over 900 people assaulted by the police and/or treated inhumanely. Now I am back here in Washington and organizing to oppose corporate globalization. Despite the fact that Washington DC is arguably the most powerful city in the world, few of my brothers and sisters truly understand why we must oppose the G20 and its allies like the IMF, the World Bank, the US Department of Treasury, the US Federal Reserve, corporations, etc – and why we must resist the intangible ideals of monied wealth that poison our minds.

We cannot lose heart. The real struggle has only just begun… not to sound melodramatic (but I’m sure I do), but it is seriously a struggle not just for what kind of civilization we’re going to have, but whether the human species, and species like us, are even going to survive. We have to keep our small piece of the opposition strong, and keep deconstructing their authority, their invisible fists and hands of control, not just for those alive now, but for future generations.

This is only the beginning!

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, human welfare, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, international relations, lacy's life, media

the story of my unjust arrest

This photo of me appeared in the New York Times on 06/27/2010.

I was thrown into an unmarked van, strangled, punched, and manhandled during my arrest.

The photos of my arrest during the Toronto G20 summit show a small blond lady with purple stockings getting thrown around by police as I was tossed head-first into an unmarked van. These photos have appeared on the front page of the Toronto Star, in the New York Times, and in other newspapers. Footage of the arrest has appeared on CNN and other news outlets such as CBC. My name is Lacy MacAuley, and this is the story of my arrest, including my being violently assaulted, strangled, and punched while riding into the police station in the back of the van.

I arrived at the site of the peaceful jail solidarity rally, just outside the Prisoner Processing Center (PCC) at about 11:30 AM, Sunday, June 27, with two friends from Washington DC, organizer Robby Diesu and Geoff Millard of Iraq Veterans Against the War. I smiled as we walked up to the rally: There under a breathtaking blue sky, a young man was strumming an electric bass and leading a musical chant, “So so so, solidarity!” People were smiling and cheering as two people were released from jail (I understand at least two were released before I arrived), and I used my iPhone to send messages to Twitter about the cheerful rally, with photos attached.

I had come to Toronto from Washington DC to protest the G20 by helping to write about and photograph events that question and deconstruct the G20’s authority. The G20 is a government superstructure with even more power than any individual country, which has been pursuing corrupt bailout policies for banks, corporations and the International Monetary Fund, while allowing citizens to starve. Its “open market” or “free trade” policies only help to concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands, and allow corporations to destroy the environment, subjugate civil liberties, and strip away a country’s national sovereignty. The G20 is bad for most of us on earth, not to mention our children and grandchildren. I have a BA in International Relations with a minor in World Development Studies, but it doesn’t take special expertise to realize that something is fundamentally wrong with a tiny cartel of wealthy leaders who are taking money from corporations for funding running the way our civilization is designed. It is all of our duty to resist oppression and make the world a better place. That’s why I was in Toronto, and I did not damage anyone or anything while there.

I was standing in the crowd about fifteen feet from the bass player when suddenly, with no warning and no provocation, police charged into the crowd and tackled a young man near the front. Some in the crowd at the rally began screaming and running backwards, while many remained calm and shouted to the police to let the young man go. I began taking photos with my iPhone of the violent arrest.

Then I looked up to see the police charging for me, closing in from only about seven feet away. I knew that to resist arrest would be a serious offense, thanks to years of training in nonviolence, so I did not resist. The police then tackled me and pushed me to the ground. I was able to put my left arm down to buffer my fall onto the pavement. Then one uniformed officer grabbed me around the waist, pulling me back to the dark blue side of the police line and throwing me face-down on the pavement. As he threw me my arms were being twisted behind my back. I was able to angle my right shoulder toward the pavement so that I did not hit the pavement with my face. Apparently my friend Robby was attempting to run forward through the crowd to perform a heroic act that would save me, but was being restrained by my friend Geoff, who feared that Robby would wind up arrested himself if he did anything.

As this was happening, I was shouting in a voice that was firm and loud but not frantic, “You have to let me go. Please, you have to let me go. I’ve done nothing wrong.” I had been focusing on holding onto my iPhone with a death grip because I knew that if I dropped it at this point, behind the police line, I might never see it again. Now, as I was laying face-down behind the line, my phone was aggressively pulled out of my hand. One officer kneeled on my head as another fumbled behind me with handcuffs. The officer was leaning hard with all his weight on the left side of my head as my right cheek was driven into the pavement. The pain was immense and overwhelming. I told him to take his knee off my head. A second officer on the other side was also kneeling on my back. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, consumerism, environmentalism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, human welfare, immigrant rights, indigenous rights, international relations, lacy's life, media

G20 arrest made front-page news

A photo of my arrest made it to the front page of the Toronto Star, the most significant daily newspaper in Canada, on Monday, June 28, 2010, and also the front page of MetroNews, a daily newspaper handed out to public transit riders in Toronto.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, g20, g8, g8/g20, global justice, international relations, lacy's life, media

Lacy MacAuley ~ International Relations ~ Radical Dreamer ~ Justice Lover ~ Thought Dancer ~ Heart Writer ~ Divine Dakini ~ based in Washington DC

Lacy Tweets

Building a better world starts with just raising your voice.

If you stand for something, then stand up. Join us. You are part of the solution. lacymacauley@gmail.com