|THE 7 Ps|
THE 7 P's of the Pink Bloque Philosophy
Protest - Giving the look of protest a makeover!
When the Pink Bloque started up in Chicago, the palate of the protest scene was looking pretty bleak. Not only was every protest attended by the same relatively small group of people, those people were wearing the same olive drab outfit! They were also marching slowly up the same streets using the same chants we had all heard before. We wanted to make protests look different not only by infusing some vibrant colors and new participants, but also by showing that a political action that demonstrated a world we wanted to live in was as effective a protest as chanting about all the things that piss us off.
Public space - Should be for dancing and dialogue!
More and more, public spaces like streets, sidewalks and city buildings are being privatized or tightly controlled by the state or corporations. There are less and less spaces for people to gather, hang out, talk about politics, or even have spontaneous dance parties. Our "public" spaces are now places where we are compelled to shop or submit to the state. We wanted to remind ourselves and the world that the streets belong to all the people. We wanted to reclaim public space in the tradition of Reclaim the Streets and the Department of Space and Land Reclamation and open up the possibility for the streets to be places for engagement.
Performance - Making a spectacle to be heard!
Do you remember when rock bands would put on huge rock operas with giant props and fireworks? Those were the days. Now it seems like no one wants to put on a show anymore! The Pink Bloque realized that any time people gathered in the street to address the public and the state they were, in effect, putting on a show. Every public demonstration is a performance and we wanted to remind the left, as many creative resisters have done before us, that a great show, with great theatrics, does a lot to get people's attention. We knew that people would gravitate toward 10 women in hot pink dancing around to Nelly's "Hot in Herre". We wanted people to look, and listen to us ...and there was hardly a better way than giving them a good show!
Popular culture - We draw people in with familiar sights and sounds to open them up to the message of social justice!
Most US residents can probably identify Paris Hilton in a line up easier than they can spot their local Congressperson. Major media conglomerates have made sure that pop cultural products seep into our consciousnesses, whether we want them there or not; so we thought we could use this pervasive language to our advantage. We used popular hits and cultural references that a lot of people could recognize to make us and our message familiar and accessible. Pop culture was also useful for us to deploy our witty barbs and a great justification for seeing all the hot summer films in the theatre [research!]. When we couched political phenomena in a context that people were familiar with, audiences found it easier to visualize the depth of the wackness. It also helped people see that leftists were not all stodgy humorless newspaper sellers who did not have the same pop culture indulgences as they.
Pinkness and Femme-inism - We bring femme back to feminism and activism by exploring what it means to be pink and political.
A lot of work has been done around explaining how public protest and street activism has been masculinized meaning that for an action to be respected it had to be conducted by men or be aggressive and destructive or involve a specific type of physical risk. We wanted to create a space on the radical left where different performances of gender could be respected and the different actions women take on the street were given the same props. The notion of "femme" has many contested meanings depending on the context it is being discussed in. For our purposes, "femme" means cute in a girly sort of way; it doesn't mean lipstick and high heels in the streets. We also wanted to visibly and audibly insert a feminist analysis into social justice issues that often neglected to highlight how women specifically were affected by oppressions.
Party - Dance party, that is
the Pink Bloque fights for our right to party by partying while we fight - Pink Bloque tactics are about de-escalation, edu-tainment, and conflict resolution through the unifying force of radical booty shake!
The reason the Pink Bloque loves to party is because we know that parties are often the site where people get together to dance, to chat, and to build community. That is why we wanted to take the notion of the party to the street. Rather than advocate for a capital "P" Party [Democrat, Republican, Green...], we wanted to bring the "lower case 'p'" party where we would create an atmosphere where people were comfortable enough to dance, and chat about politics.
Partnership - Working in collaboration towards a better and cuter world.
Everyone, from George W. Bush to Jennifer Lopez has a whole team of people working with their - making their outfits, putting on their make up, choreographing their moves, telling them what to say to the paparazzi -- to make their show go off well. The Pink Bloque is no exception! We work collaboratively within the group on writing, presentations, and making the dance so that everyone gets a chance to put her two cents in and leave her mark on the final Pink Bloque product. We also live in a community of like-minded friends, neighbors, and activists who help us out by designing our flyers, videotaping our actions, even holding our purses while we dance. Our homies hook us up with goods, services, and moral support and inspiration and we do the same for them. We believe that the most radical thing to do is to build a community based on respect and mutual aid on and off the dance floor.
~Rachel Caidor and Dara Greenwald