“Where do you feel safe?” “Not in public, not in the temple, not a school, not at home,”
is what all girls at school respond to the first question in workshops.
They have the flair of a rockband. That’s in response to the hard turf of Uttar Pradesh where many people and hard and cruel to children and girls. Pools of blood, literally. “Who else has experienced sexual abuse,” one asked into the round. All raised their hand. No more, they said.
They trained themselves in martial arts, patrolled streets, and when men ridiculed them red brigade, they decided that’s a good name and adopted it. They changed laws, ended the taboo on women to use force, even in self-defense, and have since trained 30,000+ girls, also at schools, been on the country’s most popular talkshow and have launched various educational campaigns and programs. All this on one hundred percent volunteer energy.
During the pandemic, they used their meanwhile good status with authorities to activate their ecosystem of relations incl. Orange Café to defend their hard hit poor urban community by creating and handing out masks, passing out information, providing food packs to 100s of vulnerable families, to stranded workers passing through on their long way home.
girls and women
They are your incredible door into the real diverse India and making a relevant change.
Their story equips you to open a conversation on dramatic sexual violence with a firm response supported by most youth … giving opportunity to ask “what about harassment, rape and feeling safe in streets, at venues and parties after nightfall in our town and countryside?” on track to an equally firm No More.
Meet via video. Meet face to face.
Host them on the European Tour and use the occasion to activate your city and make changes on street harassment and make your schools and public spaces safe and welcoming for girls and women once again.
Pay a visit as tourist, class, company crew, volunteer, self-defense coach … or with YL on a Tour of Northern India to 5 YL project partner destinations.
Their dream: an Academy
with rooms for training, education, de-traumatiziation, guests, kitchen, a library and as a youth leadership centre (YL LearnSpace) serving the entire community and connected with youth and schools all over the planet. Estimated cost is $70,000€. Remember: Namaste Nepal score $40K€ with their epic sponsor run. You’re not alone. Other schools and companies will join. Make the experience of shaping the future on an entire region and get your free guest room! #bemoreawesome
One priority : crew income
As their volunteer crew grow twen, still live at home in tin covered tiny homes, they need to make a living. Tailor trainings are common and meaningful, and with master dyer Gaur (Ayursatwa) and Michaela (Kalima Design) we can create quality products for domestic and international markets and awesome people like you … how about your crew, school, company … shirts, saris, scarfs and skirts be of purest cotton and sport the Red Brigade logo, à la Frodo’s Mithril armor?
Search the internet for Red Brigade Lucknow articles and browse the Red Brigade Trust website and facebook page for what’s current.
Have a conversation ...
Boys and girls … do you feel safe
- at home?
- at school?
- in public?
- in the temple / church?
Know that whenever the Red Brigade asks girls at schools in Lucknow these questions all girls respond No – to all questions.
Boys and Girls ... have a conversation ...
Boys … how do you move through town
- at day
- in the dark
consider how you scan the street and people …
Girls … how do you move through town
- at day
- in the dark
consider how you scan the street and people …
- did you know how girls experience your town’s streets?
- do you think that’s proper?
- what feelings, ideas, impulses arise in you?
Boys and Girls …
In Europe and North America, up to 20% of girls age 13 have been sexually abused. And 10% of boys. In other societies the rate is up to 50% and even 80%. If we add FGM, it is up to 95%.
- What future do you wish for yourself?
- Who wants to get raped in life? Raise your hand.
- Who wants to rape someone in your life? Raise your hand.
- Who wants their future baby children to grow up with every 10th or 5th child to get sexually abused or raped?
We assume that the vast majority says No.
- Do you want to be the generation that ends sexual abuse and rape in your town, region and country?
- What if these questions, and this classroom experience is made by all students in your city?
- What steps need be taken?
If you achieve a life free from fear of attack, abuse and rape in public, at music clubs, at private parties, in relationships, in marriage — how does that make you feel?
- What if it is done in all classrooms in your country?
- What steps need be taken?
Help realize their Dream
The story of the faraway Red Brigade has helped spark this conversation and decision. They have been fighting tooth and nail to get where they are, so that their story rippled through global media and reached YL – and they keep going and seek to help good women and men in other countries also end the scourge of beastly sexual violence.
How do you feel about them?
At YL, we adore them, are very grateful, wish others to get inspired and empowered by their success story and we wish to give back to them and help them reach their dream – in their case, the big dream is to build the Red Brigade Academy.
International schools and citizens have enormous power to help local changemakers shape the future of their entire region.
The stellar example is student club Namaste Nepal from the small town of Freiberg, Germany who generate $40,000€ with their epic 48 hour sponsor run. Other crews scored $10,000€ in year one, $20,000€ in year two. The key is a magical story, a common cause, high impact and progress updates. You can translate this story to the Red Brigade Academy story. Will you? You can take it step by step.
Tip: Major components of successful FUNdraising campaigns and events are
put the FUN into FUNdraising like Lulu Cerone and LemonAID Warriors; adding a strong dose of fun, magic and adventure; you can do this with year-round weekly bake- and lemonaid sales at school, at farmers markets etc
fun activities for everyone to take part … this can also be sports activities
in this case, you can include quick self-defense trainings, also on the town square, by involving self-defense clubs; it generates specuacular fun scenes, screams, videos and photos!
This is definitely a stop being boring start being awesome moment – especially since it’s about an intense topic.
Tip: Have FUN! No doom and gloom!!! Don’t let for one second let the topic bring people down. Address the pain so people feel their strong NO! and shift to the YES! to the future they want.
- View your peers of Colli Crew address the topic of substance abuse and teen pregnancy. They are not doom and gloom! Youtube video: Colli Crew Talk Of Town
- View your peers of B-Town Warriors address the topic of invasion, genocide, colonization, child theft, sexual abuse resulting in today’s high rate of drug and alcohol abuse, violence in the home and B-Town being the “most criminal town on Earth” for some years. They are not doom and gloom! B-Town Warriors Rewrite Your Story
The Red Brigade childhood abuse and rape survivors are not doom and gloom!
KEEP THE SPIRIT UP!
A related campaign
The Stop Street Harassment Campaign initiated by genius Holly Kearl is a brilliant multifaceted campaign with many data, tools and good practice activities to use
to make our streets and public spaces safe and welcomeing for girls and women once again
because, frankly, if they are not, that’s some abominable shit society.
Find out more on the website http://stopstreetharassment.org/
Another related campaign, esp. for youth
has been launched by DJ Rebekah under the slogan “I am here #ForTheMusic and not to get drugged and raped”
and addresses music clubs and festivals which have increasingly been polluted by sleazy orkish males that harass, hurt and rape young women.
This is especially drastic, dramatic and sad since it takes place in the most adored place for enjoying oneself and letting oneself go. For many young people this is THE sacred space in their life and it should not get infested by demonically possessed monsters,
- not by musicians, DJs or producers
- not by dancers
The by far bigger healthy majority is called to keep their space loving, peaceful and safe for all girls and boys, young men and women; this requires
- strong public messaging
- zero tolerance
- strong enforcement, shaming and criminalization
whenever anyone sees harassment and violence occur.
You can find out more on the website https://www.metoo-music.com/
You can harness several United Nations Theme Days through the year. How many fit? Tip: include Peace and Habitat!
Common sense follow-up:
- boost their work through FUNdraising using tricks like those listed above under Help realize their Dream; view the BoostClub website for more, don’t be shy, contact us if you have any questions
- adress local issues, take local self-defense classes
- launch local Stop Street Harassment and metoomusic campaigns
- pay a visit to the Red Brigade, bring cool stuff for affiliated projects, vividly document, share with us and back home, grow the movement
This is a grand adventure with potential cultural and time zone differences. We are here to help!