Solidarity at #wiscfi


You might have seen this FtB solidarity photo from Women In Secularism 2 floating around, where the members who were on-hand after Maryam’s talk got a group photo taken with our signs expressing solidarity with the atheists in Muslim countries who are being persecuted for daring to think freely — whose lives are made miserable, and in some cases made forfeit, because they dare disagree with the majority.

Stephanie Zvan, Ophelia Benson, Brianne Bilyeu, Maryam Namazie, Jason Thibeault, Kate Donovan, Miriam Mogilevski, PZ Myers, Ashley Miller. Photo by Brian D. Engler.

Stephanie Zvan, Ophelia Benson, Brianne Bilyeu, Maryam Namazie, Jason Thibeault, Kate Donovan, Miriam Mogilevski, PZ Myers, Ashley Miller. Photo by Brian D. Engler.

Left to right, signs say:

Free
Happy
Defiant
Ateist
– Stephanie Zvan

WE ARE ATHEIST
WE
ARE
WITH
YOU
– Ophelia Benson

Recognize The
WORTH of
Non Believers –
– Respect The
RIGHTS of
Non Believers
I stand in SOLIDARITY with
ATHEISTS!
– Brianne Bilyeu

THOUGHT
IS
NOT
A CRIME
– Jason Thibeault

We stand
with you
– Kate Donovan

Secularism for
ALL women –
NOT just Western!
– Miriam Mogilevski

ATHEISM
IS A VIRTUE
NOT A CRIME
– PZ Myers

Together
We are
Stronger
– Ashley Miller

(You might also have seen a photoshopped version of this photo stripping it of its important message and making it all about a certain self-promoting asshole. That’s, I’m sure, SLIGHTLY more important than decrying the human rights violations perpetrated on fellow atheists, right?)

But you may not have seen the full scope of this effort.

During Maryam’s talk, she encouraged people to jot down quick signs to make an instant protest against the barbarism that people like Alexander Aan and Imad Iddine Habib are experiencing. After the talk, we all brought our signs up and displayed them proudly. This is the result. Click to embiggen.

Women In Secularism 2: Solidarity with Maryam Namazie. Photo by Brian D. Engler.

Women In Secularism 2: Solidarity with Maryam Namazie. Photo by Brian D. Engler.

I haven’t tried to count how many people are in this picture. I also haven’t made a stab at transcribing any of the signs in this picture. What’s more, that was just everyone who could fit at the front of the room. There were at least twenty people behind the photographers holding their signs dejectedly as the effort by the photographers to cram a few more people into the shot started to wane.

This is solidarity. This flash mob, comprised of men and women who are tired of the injustices of this world.

I just have to say… be careful whom you’re willing to alienate.

Oh, and Protip: don’t ask a migraineur to write a sign ten seconds before a picture is to be taken, without spellchecking it for them as a courtesy. I knew she was migraining, and I still demanded that Stephanie write a sign and get in this photo. I can be a terribly unthoughtful human being when I get excited about doing something cool.

Comments

  1. Eristae says

    Oh! Thank you so much for posting a transcript of what the signs said. I could only read a couple of them and the rest were too fuzzy. I really love those photos and the sentiment behind them. They make me all happy, as they have since I first saw them.

  2. Pteryxx says

    I can’t read most of the signs in the giant photo either (nor have any clue who these people are, natch) but here goes: (roughly from left to right ish)

    I’m an Atheist Too
    HERESY & FREEDOM
    BLASPHEMY IS A VICTIMLESS CRIME
    FREEDOM IS EVERYONE’S RIGHT – PROUD ATHEIST
    Atheist Solidarity – WE STAND WITH YOU!
    Secularism for ALL women NOT just Western! [oh hey, that one looks familiar – hello Miriam]
    Free Thought! It does NOT belong behind bars!
    DON’T POLICE OUR NON-BELIEF
    FREE the FREE THINKERS
    Religion Kills
    ATHEIST SOLIDARITY
    I stand with my atheist brothers & sisters all over the world
    Proud Atheist
    STAND UP Be Heard and Be FREE!
    WE ARE HUMAN
    Your god has no right to my body
    SCIENCE LOGIC REASON NO RELIGION
    This is what an anti theist looks like Free Thought!
    Proud to be a free-thinking atheist
    WE STAND AND SUPPORT YOU ALL!
    Proud to be an ATHEIST in [unreadable] IRAN MOROCCO BANGLADESH TUNISIA [unreadable- probably INDIA]
    Feminist Atheist Skeptic Secular Queer Poly FUCK YOUR Religious OPPRESSION
    Soppy interfaith Atheist
    REALITY is my RELIGION!
    BREAK FREE ♥
    I fuck your God.
    I stand with brave and inspiring freethinkers in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and around the world
    blasphemy is a victimless crime!
    Let reason PREVAIL
    [like this only upright] (||:>(>
    You have our support sisters and brothers in REASON (A) Out Campaign
    I STAND FOR MY (A)theist BROTHERS & SISTERS WHO CAN’T IN THEIR COUNTRY
    ATHEISM – THINK FREE!
    ATHEISTS OF THE WORLD UNITE!
    [in tiny print] Proud to be an Atheist
    I support atheists worldwide!
    Proud to be an Atheist & to stand with Atheists WORLDWIDE!!
    Freedom of religion is a HUMAN RIGHT!

    [podium goes here…]

    Freedom FROM Religion
    FREE THOUGHT [doodle of a brain] FREE INQUIRY [doodle of a speaking mouth] FREE TITS [doodle of a pair of tits] [note: y’all know I had to write a transcript once I saw that one…]
    Saying what you think should NEVER be a crime
    [something obscured – atheism?] + FEMINISM = LOVE !
    [in huge text] NO GODS
    Atheism International
    We are all born atheists!
    Dissent IS the road to abolition – Support Human Rights – Support freedom from Religion
    FREEDOM FROM RELIGION
    I STAND WITH YOU [peace symbol]
    Women’s and Atheists’ Rights Are HUMAN Rights
    Question Everything – Worship Nothing
    FREE AMINA
    I STAND FOR – YOUR RIGHTS – REASON – SECULAR BEARDS [oh I hope I’m reading that one right <3 ]
    RELIGION IMPRISONS – ATHEISM LIBERATES
    Your body – your choice !!!11
    No Tolerance for the Intolerable
    [someone holding up a lit tablet screen which I can't read]
    Equal Rights for Everyone!
    Atheism should mean FREEDOM and SAFETY from Religious Violence [unreadable]
    LEVEL 12 ATHEIST WAVEFORM DETECTED [Zerg Swarm symbol (image link) ]

  3. smhll says

    That’s an excellent diversity and variety in the signs, especially since we are only supposed to echo the dictation of our evil overlord (or lady on even days).

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