For those who believe Mother’s Day should be more than a Macy’s sale, check out this free festival organized by the radical chicks at MAMA (Mother’s Alliance for Militant Action). “We want to take back Mother’s Day from Hallmark,” says Jennifer Arsenault, one of the young moms who founded the collective two years ago to create a space for activists who have kids. In the United States, Arsenault notes, one of the first proponents of Mother’s Day was suffragist Julia Ward Howe, who promoted it as a day for women to “rise up” against war in all forms. Those rising up on Sunday include Katherine Arnoldi, author of The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Mom; WBAI producer Ayo Harrington, rapping about women in prison; Nermin Abdel-Wahab of SLAM (Student Liberation Action Movement), talking about student moms; the Colorado Sisters of NYC Zapatistas, addressing violence against women in Juarez; and members of Women in Black and Casa Atabex Ache. There will also be a kid-friendly Green Circus, puppetry by Argentinean autonomista Graciela Monteagudo, hip-hop freestyling by Tomasia “infiniTEE” Kestner, spoken word by the Mahina Movement, and a workshop on parents’ rights at protests by the People’s Law Collective. And don’t forget to enjoy the flowers in the garden, courtesy of Mother Earth.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 27, 2004