Today we’re celebrating the International Women’s Day which is kinda odd to me, still in 2016. I’ve been asked to write down something about a woman that I admire, or impacted me in some ways… But I’d rather use this day, and platform of mine, to invite us all, men and women, to simply do something about those sexe inequalities STILL ongoing all around the world. What’s wrong with us men? What are we afraid of that much? I think fear is the real word to put on these inequalities, nothing else… fear. Why women had to fight to vote, to be educated, to hide their faces in some countries, to go through genital mutilations in others? I know I might sound 10 years oldish “Hey daddy, why is this going on in the world?” kinda questions, but still, this is what’s happening around us, and this is only because of one thing; fear.
I grew up weirdly until I discovered punk rock, where to me, everything made sense in life… where establishment of all kinds, whether it was to challenge the acceptance level of difference in high school, to my parents and their friends, the local authorities and so on… it all had to evolve according to me, using shocking methods as motto and motivations to get up in the morning! It’s with that same spirit that I’m here today, but with a greater purpose, since we, all together, have to, and can make a real difference in this world. Why not making of this 21st century the 1st in history where men and women lived as equal? I want to thank women like Rosa Parks today that stood up for what she believed in, which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I also want to thank Marie Curie for stating that nothing in life is to be feared, it’s only to be understood. I want to thank Emmeline Pankhurst working hand in hand with her husband to get rid of ignorance, leading women to vote, Audrey Hepburn for using her fame to become a UNICEF ambassador and seed hope for the ones in need. I could go on and on like this, since our world’s history wouldn’t be what it is like now, if it wasn’t for all these brave women, but what I really wanted to do also today, is to thank and honor you all, my precious female friends, sisters, for your guts and courage to go through everyday life facing those inequalities, facing the modern world pressure of what a woman “should” look like, should act like, should talk like and worst, should dream like…
I’ll end up with this, I think that equality and respect should be what really shines and what inspires each other to grow, to live and to dream as equal human beings. I want to walk with you all hand in hand, fearless, for future generations to read that we, together, ended those inequalities between men and women in our generation. You with me?
We’re all guilty of something in life. And the band members are no exception. But what if we could all be free? No judgement, but a pure and simple freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of being. This is what should prevail in our everyday life. In honor of those who do not have this freedom, we stand united.
Human Rights for all, no exception. This is a motto that the members of Your Favorite Enemies go by every day, and one for which they’ve fought for years.
Message d’Alex, suite aux attentats de Paris.
Je suis présentement à l’aéroport de Montréal en compagnie de Jeff. Nous quittons pour Tokyo dans moins de 2 heures. Nous n’avons pu fermer l’oeil de la nuit, inquiets pour nos êtres chers qui manquent toujours à l’appel et résolument déterminés à ne pas succomber aux extrêmes émotions que pareils actes de barbarie pourraient nous sembler raisonnable de vivre en pareille occasion.
La véritable victoire de la terreur s’avère sa propension à créer de nouveaux monstres, justes ou non. Ce matin, alors que je ne peux que penser à nos amis qui manquent toujours à l’appel, alors que rage, peine, incompréhension et consternation s’entremêlent dans mon coeur, dans mon âme, je pense à tous nos êtres chers… Et malgré la profonde souffrance qu’est la nôtre, je me refuse à faire surgir ce monstre vengeur. Je renonce à devenir l’ombre de ces abominables actes du mal. Car elle est là la victoire de ceux qui sèment la mort; le triomphe de la haine s’avère l’appel à nos instincts les plus primaires, à nos sentiments les plus insondés.
Ce matin, j’ai mal d’une blessure innommable puisqu’indescriptible, puisqu’insoutenable… Et je pense à ceux que j’aime, qui ont de justesse évité le courroux de l’injustifiable. Je pense à ceux qui, comme nous, ont perdu des êtres chers aux mains de la sauvagerie des uns devenue l’horreur des autres. Je pense à ceux qui ce matin ont la force de se lever avec la singulière détermination de continuer ce qui sera désormais considéré comme le combat de la compassion et de l’amour. Je pense à ceux qui, après avoir été fauchés par l’infamie de l’extrême abnégation de la valeur de l’autre, nous rappellent de vivre au-delà de la folie engendrée par l’abomination du désespoir. Ce matin, au-delà de la répulsion que mon coeur éprouve face aux images que les infos nous balancent en boucle, je veux simplement prendre le temps, en mon nom et au nom des membres de la grande famille de Your Favorite Enemies, pour vous dire ce que mon effréné quotidien m’y illusoirement contraint de vous partager trop souvent, c’est à dire à quel point vous êtes toutes et tous incroyablement précieux pour nous. Ce matin, après avoir été si majestueusement Charlie, le monde est amèrement Paris. Mais devant telle tragédie, et bien que j’aie peine à n’être bien plus que moi-même ce matin, je ne suis ni Charlie, ni Paris, pas plus que je ne me sens Amnistie Internationale. Mais malgré l’aberration de cette admission, je m’en vois néanmoins rassuré, car l’arme que nous avons tous face à la frayeur que sème la terreur est de se savoir plus que jamais humain, ce qui m’invite à vous dire humblement que je vous aime, bien que la profondeur de ce sentiment m’échappe si cruellement souvent. La plus petite lueur a le pouvoir de terrasser la plus profonde noirceur. À nous maintenant de briller de tous nos feux.
– Votre frère, votre ami, Alex.
On April 10th, via Rock N Rights, members of Your Favorite Enemies & crew have joined members of Amnesty International to demonstrate their desire to free Raif. Flogging has been avoided today again, but Raif still isn’t free. We urge you all to keep spreading the word around you, and to do anything possible, like signing petitions and sending letters to the official authorities requesting Raif’s release.
Last Friday, via their organism “Rock N Rights”, the members of Your Favorite Enemies went to meet with Ensaf Haidar and other members of Amnesty International. Here is a short thank you message from her to you regarding the letters that you have sent to her. Please, keep sending your letters, as they are true object of hope and encouragement to her and her family.
Rock N Rights
The first cause that really touched Alex and Jeff, and the reason why they have started acting as spokespeople for Amnesty International was freedom of speech. And since 2005, this is something that has always been very close to them. Today, what we ask of you is that you sign this petition, too! It takes a few seconds, costs you nothing, and while you may think it won’t change anything, it may mean the world for that person!
Raif Badawi is a Saudi Arabian writer and activist, whose family is established in Sherbrooke, Quebec, not far from where the YFE HQ is located. He was arrested in 2012 on a charge of insulting Islam through electronic channels and brought to court on several charges including apostasy. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes in 2013, then resentenced to 1000 lashes and ten years in prison plus a fine in 2014. The lashes are being carried out over 20 weeks. The first 50 were administered on January 9, 2015.
The sentence is right now being reviewed by Supreme Court, and Badawi has not been administered any lashes on January 16, 2015, for medical reasons, as the wounds from the previous weeks had not yet healed.
Let’s sign the petition now, and hope that this is not going to be only a postponement, but a cancellation of the sentence in its whole.
“Silence Is Murder” is a personal reflection on modern individualism and collective dissociation towards human condition…
In an era of communication, never have we noticed such self-assumed indifference and self-indulgent speechlessness. We believe that if it’s true that apathy kills… our silence is murder!!! Expose yourself and be the difference!!!
– Alex Foster
On March 11th, 2011, the Northeast coast of Japan had been hit by one of the most destructive earthquakes and tsunamis ever registered in the country’s modern history, leaving the whole population in fears and despairs. Assured that in the midst of desperation, the quietest whisper of hope can be enough of a sound to make life bloom out of despair, Your Favorite Enemies created the Hope Project. It consists of writing messages of hope to the victims in Japan, in order to seed hope amongst the people touched by the tragedy, to bring awareness on how significant a simple word or a supportive message can be for anyone going through moments of despair and to encourage people to turn compassion into action. The messages will contribute to bring a hopeful light in the mist of such dark time.
Your Favorite Enemies visited a shelter in Minami-Sanriku on May 25th, to give volunteers all the cards that had been signed and translated for the Hope Project so far. Thousands of cards were distributed on that day, and the Project is still going on.
CLICK HERE if you want to participate and write your message! Express yourself!