BIWOC Rising Eugene Holds Protest at Federal Courthouse
On the evening of Feb. 14, Erika Lincango, the founder of BIWOC Rising Eugene, hosted a protest at the Federal Courthouse on E. 8th Ave. against the patriarchal corrupt system.
The protest began at 5 p.m. and was attended by about 30 people. It began with speeches by Lincango, a Kitu-Panzaleo woman from Ecuador, and Dr. Luhui Whitebear, an assistant professor at Oregon State University, who is of Coastal Chumash with Huastec and Cochimi ancestry.
An art installation, titled “Dress Our Sacrament,” by Kat Borja, a local artist, stood in front of the courthouse steps. Borja said she “chose to use the wedding dress worn by her the day she married a Eugene man posing as a ‘good Catholic family man’ she didn’t know was a white supremacist.”
Further about “Dress Our Sacrament,” Borja said:
When we observe power and control dynamics of sexual, domestic, and intimate partner violence, these individual actions and sociopolitical events mirror the power and control dynamics driving the current “ecocidal” crisis that has been brought upon every living organism on this planet. Our individual and collective oppression, violation and destruction are rooted on Catholic and Christian supremacy, white supremacy, settler colonialism, capitalism and neoliberalism. The race and gender based violence that has been our daily experience for over 500 years and counting, is inextricably tied to the environmental crisis catapulting our world into a mass extinction. For we, the children and the Pachamama (mother earth in Kichwa) exist both in and because of our sacred symbiosis. 10 red candles along the “petroleum pipeline” poking through the dress represent 2 candles per century of white violence perpetrated upon indigenous women, girls, 2 spirit and trans folks. The 55 candles represent the trans people murdered during 2021 in the US: the overwhelming majority being Black women. This type of experiential or immersive art requires the audience to activate a space where the work exists, primarily in an installation or public space. The purpose is to provide a medium of expression for our individual and collective grief, and both our personal and ancestral trauma: an opportunity for our collective healing to be made visible, and not mocked or ignored.
After Lincango and Dr. Whitebear’s speeches about the effects of patriarchal oppression on Indigenous women, the microphone was opened up to anyone else who wished to speak about their experiences as Indigenous sexual assault survivors before the hosts led the crowd in dance.