The Pride Report


The Power of Protest – Take Back the Night

“Protest changes nothing” people are saying today. This is our reply:

Violence happens when the conditions are right; change the conditions and you stand a hope of impact.

1. Violence happens amid silence, secrets, sanctioned stories, being too young to describe it, too afraid of being disbelieved.

Ceremony transforms SILENCE into one loud voice. I will never forget the people who gave me my first few words to start describing my experience – literally, 3 words. Then 5. Then 25. Ceremony lends courage to a fearful voice.

2. Violence happens when ISOLATION has been achieved. Geographic and social isolation. “Luring” to remote places. The isolation of an entire culture. Colonization. Or better yet, find someone who’s already alienated because of substance use, poverty, or mental illness.

Ceremony makes the invisible visible. Draws us out. Draws us together. Unlike Fb, ceremony transforms isolation into true community. Ceremony gathers around fire with costumes, make up, symbols, and procession. We drive our cars into the garage doors where the living room used to be; hanging out the laundry is a ceremony that makes neighbours visible.

3. Violence happens in CHAOS. Trump’s head-scratching chaos. The chaos made by gas-lighting and triangulation. The chaos of patriarchy and misogyny. The mental chaos of anxiety, depression, dependency, and desperation.

Ceremony transforms chaos into clarity, purpose, and power. Ceremony establishes a rule against which injustice can finally be measured. Once measured, ceremony shouts “it’s not okay!”

Will someone intending to do violence pause at the thought of prayer vigil? Not likely. But ceremonies will overturn the culture that has made violence against women so acceptable.

Karmen Krahn is a past board member for Moose Jaw Pride.

Join Moose Jaw Pride for our 2nd Annual Take Back the Night!
A Night March Against Gender-Based Violence.

Gather at Crescent Park (Cordova Street Entrance)
Oct 27 @ 7pm
A short rally to follow at St. Andrew’s United

For more information, visit:

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