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We function on a "She who calls it sets the rules, but no one has to follow them" model.

Fr'example - we were asked to do PRIDE, so I contacted the folx and set the date. Then I contacted the cheer list and told them that we had an event. People who want to do the event show up for practice, and they show up at the event. People who don't want to - don't. I can be superpsyched about an event but the squad votes with their time and energy - so if no one shows for practice it's because it wasn't important to them. And that's okay. We're not an obligation, we're FUN.

If I come with a cheer and the peeps don't like it, it gets rewritten. If I come with moves, they might get changed. We can't get attached to 'our' stuff or angry if people aren't as enthusiastic as we are, because we're a squad - a community, and we only do it if it's fun. No obligations, everyone can lead.

The other day, Malice turned to me and said - "On reflection, that rhythm you thought up SUCKS" and everyone agreed. Dude, I thought it was RAD. Guess not. It is being redone.

In a model like ours where no one is obligated to show up if they don't like the event/groundrules you choose you are likely to get no one at 'your' practice. (Once again, this has happened to me more than once). And then you have to take a long look at yourself and talk to your sisters.

It's CHAOS, but it works. And it forces us to take all our needs into consideration or we end up standing alone - and that's no fun. I might be thoroughly convinced that that rhythm I wrote is the BEST EVER (it was, I swear!). But I'll be cheering it by myself.

Some people (including me sometimes, when I think 6 people are coming but only 1 shows) need more rules, more structure and designated 'leaders'. And I think that could totally work - with a different set of cheerleaders. Some people want a more performance-based squad with a required number of practices to be allowed to perform and a certain level of skill. And I think that could work - with a different set of cheerleaders.

We had a period where we tried some of those things and no one showed up for practice, I didn't show up for practice. It was a pretty clear message. And the squad nearly died over it. For a year we did nothing as tension mounted and some people felt hurt that their vision of the squad was not materializing, and others felt devalued because they were not allowed to change the rules to fit the group consciousness. Standoff = no one cheers. It sucked. So after a year of nothing, we just put out the call again to ALL the ladies who'd ever been involved and ALL the ladies we'd ever heard wanted to be and we started practicing again.

And it is anarchy, and it's working. And if it stops working we'll know, because we'll be at practice all alone. Again.

So in love....

With Radical Cheerleading.

Practice last night was fantastic. New people = new energy = a kick in the butt for those of us who are used to doing it how we do it = more fun = one asskicking squad.

funnydyke made cheerbooks with her new cheer in it:

QUEER

Q ----- Quick, look at me!
U ----- That's who I'm talking to
E ----- See us everywhere
E ----- Even on TeeVee
R ----- We want our rights
S ----- So we're gonna fight

WHAT'S THAT SPELL?

QUEERS!
We're proud to be

QUEERS!
In the streets

QUEERS!
Gee, we're neat

QUEERS!
Check us out

QUEERS
Hear us shout

QUEERS!
QUEERS!
QUEERS!

Two moms from the homeskool collective that The Kid and funnydyke's & Frass' kids attend showed up, making a serious homeskool bloc in the squad. Which I find both inspiring and funny.

We're plotting a Cheer Sleepover and Naming Ritual next weekend. Four new cheer names - Malevolent Cho (she's 9!), Lily St. Queer (omigod, so rad), Betty Rocker (she has an apron in cheer colors!), and funnydyke & I christened the Law Prof Glorious Hymen a name I actually covet.

I am beginning to feel like I need a better cheer name.... suggestions?

AND we ordered POMS! REAL POMS! I can't tell you how ec-fucking-static I am about this.

Now we need a T-shirt design, so if any graphically inclined folx want to try their hand at it, we'll send you a tee and make you a name!

Rad Cheers: Newslettery

CINDY SHEEHAN and CRAIG & CINDY CORRIE SATURDAY (TOMORROW!) May 12 in Tonasket, Wa.!

Tonasket Peace Festival. If you are going "wha?", so are we. Tonasket, for the non-natives, is a small (< 1,000 resident) town up near the northern border of Washington State. It is a place renowned for both its community of hippies, artists and folks living off the grid and for its conservative population. The yearly Peace Festival is a grass roots event meant to create community in our varying groups throughout the PNW.

The announcement that Sheehan and the Corries are keynote speakers was held back until yesterday because the organizers want to diminish any conservative backlash and counter demonstrations and keep the proceedings friendly and productive.

Tonasket is in the Okanagon - one of the most beautiful places on earth. The landscape alone is reason enough for the drive, but the event itself will be one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences and the notice and remote location make for an intimate and really community-oriented event.

Please respond here if you are going, would like to go or have room to drive others. My car is busted, but I may be able to cajole a borrowed vehicle and have one or two free seats from Spokane. So if someone is going and has room I will teach y'all cheers the whole way there and back!

Hit Reply if you need a ride or want one or if you just want to know who is in!


More Cheer News Under the ClickyCollapse )

Cheer Practice! Tonight!

Calling all spirited boys and girls

...cheer practice tonight, Wednesday April 11 at 6 p.m.
...cheer practice Friday, April 13 (wooo!) at 5

@ The Cheer House (Anne & Cass' House!)

For directions to the Cheer House please to email The Pom Squad at:

thepomsquad

@

g

mail

DOTT

COMM



All are welcome including newsters with no cheer experience at all.

We've been invited to some fantastic events!

Wednesday, We'll be planning logistics, meeting newsters, and talking about how we want to spend the summer! And cheering.

Friday we'll be cheering. And cheering!

NO TRYOUTS! We think ya'll are PERFECT!

Peace, Love and Pom Pons!

Susan B. Anarchy.

P.S. Will there never be a boy cheer? We're looking!
Hay Cheerleaders!

So glad to see you are alive and well. We were under the terrible impression that you had suffered an untimely demise.



The film fest is going to be the kick off event for Pride season this year with our annual “One Night Stand” on June 1st. We can’t think of anyone who would be a better at helping us to put some spark into the season then the Radical Cheerleaders! Any chance you could come and help us kick it off right?





Hope to hear from you soon!



Barb Lee, Programming Director

www.spokanefilmfest.org

Workshop Proposal

The Pom Squad is a street-theater style group of activists who join together in order to make protest fun and accessible to all people regardless of age, size, race, gender (or lack of gender), ability or experience.

The Pom Squad is explicitly feminist in nature, and has no leaders because in Utah Phillips’ words: “We are all (cheer)leaders here.”

Our mission is to take the grim struggle of politics and transform it into revolutionary joy. We believe every human being has a voice and that radical struggle should never silence any person or place the value of one body over another. We want to create a space in the public sphere where radical feminists are encouraged to be loud and proud, and to use our bodies in all their beauty and diversity as powerful tools of change.

We believe that politics and culture can be transformed through our mantra: “If it isn’t fun, don’t do it.”

For too long, public protest has been bogged down in fatalism and sorrow. We choose to see struggle as a source of joy and we communicate that joy by subverting a patriarchal display into an expression of revolt.

Please join us in learning how every voice and every body can change the world.

Format: Workshop style, The Pom Squad will create a space wherein every participant can be a cheerleader for a day.

Agenda will include:
• Opener: Everyone is Now A Cheerleader
• A Brief History of Radical Cheerleading,
• A Discussion of Rad Cheer Philosophy and Practice
• Cheer Practice
• How To Start a Cheer Squad

The Pom Squad would like to use a laptop and projector for Power Point presentation, and to be assigned a large room with space for movement and the ability to be LOUD without disturbing others.

Call For Cheerleaders!

Radical Cheerleaders:

The sun is out and it is time to cheer!

We've been invited by the Northwest Progressives Conference to give a workshop on Rad Cheer Saturday, April 21, 2007 at WSU in Pullman, Washington. They sent a special invite just for us! In addition it sounds like we're going to be invited to perform - date and time unknown - sometime during the 4 day conference.

In response Mary and Anne sent a proposal, which you can view a few posts back. We guesstimated that there would be 4 presenters. Anyone can attend! Lodging is provided for presenters and anyone else we can cram in (dorm room pile-up style) and gas will be reimbursed for one vehicle - Anne has offered up hers as it is truly garganutan and will fit as many people as possible.

We hear that Eastern now has a squad, so if any of you are on it or know anyone who is, please pass this message on. We'd love for there to be multiple squads present to represent!

Once and future cheerleaders, please email with the following - even if you aren't going:

thepomsquad ATTTT gmail DOTTTT com

For everyone:
1) your best contact email, phone and address - we need to update our email list!

For conference-goers:
2) which days you want to attend
3) would you need transportation?
4) can you provide someone else transportation?
5) would you need lodging?
6) would you want to present in the workshop?
7) would you like to perform at the conference?

If you want to present and can commit, we'll put your name in a hat and draw out 2 names to co-present with Mary and Anne.