Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
23 October 2009

Same-sex hand holding (Sshh) day – 31 October 2009

A Day In Hand (Same-sex hand holding) Sshh! Saturday Saturday 31st October 2009 Halloween

A Day In Hand announces the second ever international same-sex hand holding (Sshh!) Saturday on October 31st 2009. On this day, same-sex couples and friends all over the world are encouraged to hold hands in public to support the visibility of Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans (LGBT) people. This is a revolutionary way of encouraging and inspiring LGBT people to take responsibility for their equality and live their lives without fear or restraint.

David Watkins, A Day In Founder was recently recognised by Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister as an award winning activist in his field, with the Sheila Mckechnie Foundation

http://www.smk.org.uk/social-inclusion-2009/

Where? The World

When? The first international Same-sex hand holding (Sshh) Saturday will be Saturday October 31st

What? On Saturday October 31st we are asking people to find someone of the same gender, and hold their hand in public. It may be for only 1 min or for the whole day!

We would love people to have their photo taken holding hands and upload it to our website by sending to yourstories@adayinhand.com. Last months Sshh! is detailed here http://www.adayinhand.com/custompages/allcustompages/sshhworldsightingsonsshhsaturday26th Who? The population (gay or straight, all faiths, genders, races, abilities, single or in a relationship). Celebrities: 4 Poofs And A Piano, Brian Paddick and Boy George, author Paul Burston, MEP Michael Cashman, Mayor Boris Johnson and activists Peter Tatchell & Cleve Jones (Harvey Milk’s aide) have already endorsed the A Day In Hand campaign and many more will be holding hands on the Sshh! Saturday in October.

Why? ‘Sshh! Saturday 31st October will be in memoriam of Ian Baynham who was beaten to death in October, in a homophobia attack in Trafalgar Square, London. A Day In Hand founder, David Watkins says, “Sshh! Saturdays aim to ultimately create safer spaces for LGBT people. The last Saturday of every month should become a day of support for LGBT people who want to show their commitment in public.

Many years ago in the UK, LGBT people knew that the last carriage of every train would be populated by members of the queer community. Today, A Day In Hand wants people to feel the same sense of support in public spaces on the last Saturday of every month.” Sshh! Saturdays are easily organised wherever you are. They are not prides or rallies. It only requires 2 people of the same sex to hold hands to make a Sshh! Saturday.

The images sent to yourstories@adayinhand.com will be spread throughout the world via our website www.adayinhand.com. Visibility of same-sex love is particularly important so that LGBT people become part of the cultural fabric of people’s lives. Watkins adds “Same-sex hand holding (Sshh!) is a silent revolution for LGBT people, because nothing needs to be said: no bold speeches, no reactive arguments, no war of words. Each LGBT person has the power to change the hearts and minds of people in their local community quietly, subtly, by simply holding hands publicly and owning their space. However, hand holding is a simple powerful gesture that can happen anywhere, at any time.”

In areas of the world where it is impossible for LGBT to hold hands publicly, we call on people to send messages of support to our website on Sshh! Saturdays, and send in their photos of them holding hands, in public or private to yourstories@adayinhand.com You expect me to hold hands in MY area? We’re not asking people to ignore survival instincts that say “this is not safe, I shouldn’t be doing this”. We are asking people to think about public displays of affection in more creative, less obtrusive ways. If you can’t hold hands in your immediate area, how about resting your head on your partner’s shoulder at the cinema, or kissing them good-bye in the car? We have to start expressing our love in the mainstream. If you find it difficult to hold hands down your local street, find a location or area where you can hold hands comfortably, perhaps in the aisle of your supermarket or in your local park.

Even for only a few minutes, the experience is liberating! So far the campaign has highlighted the positive reaction to same-sex hand holding in many major Western cities. See our recent relay walk through London http://www.adayinhand.com/news/greatlondonsamesexhandholdingrelay What is A Day In Hand? A Day in Hand heralds a revolutionary way of making the world a more liveable place: a revolution in which anybody, on any day, can be a part of.

The campaign is designed to promote equality of respect for people who wish to hold hands with someone of the same gender in public. It launched on May 17th this year and is now featured in over 20 countries worldwide. How? By holding hands we visibly challenge stereotypes and show we love and commit like everyone else. Anybody can take the day in hand. Events like Sshh! Saturdays remind people that each individual has the power to change the cultural zeitgeist. Holding hands with your partner or your friend, where you can, is about being true to yourself and to those you love.

How can I get involved? – (see contact info below) + useful links: Website: http://www.adayinhand.com (PLEASE REGISTER WITH OUR WEBSITE)

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=44558452324

Twitter: http://twitter.com/adayinhand

Send your public same-sex hand holding photos with a description to yourstories@adayinhand.com

Contact David Watkins (A Day In Hand founder) info@adayinhand.com

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