The Ovas are Ridin’ the Radio Waves

CHECK IT OUT! Las Ovas had the amazing opportunity to be on Revolutionary Fitness Radio! Some of the things discussed on this episode:

– How and why was the Ovarian Psycos founded?
– Why did each member initially become attracted to the bicycle club
– Types of rides and events we organize
– How do we make the connections between bike riding and social justice
– Long term visions for our work and ways you can get involved.

revfit

So happy to get to connect to our fans, supporters, allies, and sistas across the country and around the world ❤

xo

OPC

Get Your Psyco on This Holiday Season with our Dope-Ass Merch

Check out our ETSY STORE to get your ova gear this season and simultaneously help us fundraise to keep our programming and autonomous space in the Eastside open. Our space, La Concha, is the only autonomous space in the Eastside run by and for womyn of of color cyclists. Help us keep our brave space open by purchasing a shirt made by yours truly.

javi

Thank you all for your loving support! ❤

Adelante,

OPC

Honoring our Past, Present, and Future: The Ova’s acceptance Speech at MCM’s 5th Annual Awards Dinner!

Ovas at MCM’s 5th Annual Awards Dinner

We are so grateful and blessed to be presented this award from an amazing organization that ties safety, education, advocacy, equity and community building in their work. We admire and commend Multicultural Communities for Mobility for being such an important asset in our ‘hoods – where, like the Ovarian Psycos, we are constantly told that our work is not needed.

As anti-imperialist feminists we firmly believe that Womyn of Color, our communities and the land are now and always have been interchangeable. Since colonization we continue to be simultaneously exploited, occupied and raped within patriarchal societies, specifically by foreign hegemonic power structures. We view government and their agencies acting on their behalf as actively engaging in strategies to annihilate, displace and enslave People of Color while progressively harming our people and Mother Earth in the process.  As a result of this history we have been forced to mobilize, to heal ourselves and our communities physically, mentally and spiritually

Similar to MCM, the Ovarian Psycos choose the bicycle as a tool not only to engage our communities in physical activity and to lower our impact on the Earth but also to create safe spaces. Our monthly “Luna” rides, which takes place every full moon of the month, was created due to a lack of sisterhood in our communities and serves as a means to spark discussions on gentrification, domestic violence, sexual health and many more topics that Womyn and People of Color face on a daily basis. Our new physical location, La Concha, continues to be a brave and safe zone for marginalized people to come together and build with one-another. Through classes and workshops, such as beginners bike mechanic class with MCM’s own, Rio Contreras, It serves as a space where womyn of color, queer, trans and gender nonconforming individuals can come share and learn with one-another.

In our 4 years of organizing we have found ourselves not only resisting the oppressive forces that plague our communities but also a bike culture dominated by middle and upper class white men.  We have been told time and again that our spaces are not necessary, that our spaces are problematic because they are not always inclusive of cis men, or because we choose to focus our energies on communities of color.  However in a society that constantly tells us that our struggles, our histories and our lives don’t matter these criticisms only push us to continue our work.

Our work is intrinsically tied to MCM’s mission of facilitating and enabling bicycling advocacy for low-income communities of color, neighborhoods that we come from. We believe that having reliable, safe, environmentally-sound,  and affordable mobility throughout the city is not a privilege, it is a right! At our core we believe that bicycling is a transformative tool of agency because we use it to move about the city autonomously, to help us promote health and mental well-being, to spiritually connect to our cultural roots and because we’re broke inner-city oppressed peoples and cycling is our only means of transportation. And we are proud to consider MCM an ally that is inclusive and encouraging of womyn of color to take part in the conversations regarding bicycling and transit where they have previously excluded and to voice our multifaceted perspectives as sisters, mothers, students, hustlers, immigrants, and radical womyn.

Over the years we have experienced barriers and challenges,  but also successes. Some of these successes, such as our now, annual bicycle ride, Clitoral Mass are easy to see and celebrate. However, the majority of success stories and lasting impacts we have on our communities, we may never see. One of these stories is that of a brigade member and organizer at Corazon Del Pueblo, Xochitl Palomera.  When she began riding with the Ovas 3 years ago, just making it to work on her bike was a challenge After riding with us for a few months she began riding to work regular and encouraged her mother to begin riding her bike as well. With the bike experience she gained, last year Xochitl rode all the way from LA to Tijuana, Mexico with her now partner.  When she came back she thanked us because she never thought she would see herself making such a trip on her bike. Stories like these serve as reminders that while we may never see the changes in our communities that we work day in and day out (without pay) For, we are planting the seeds for our communities to be more self sufficient and autonomous. Its these stories that keep us going.

clitoralmass2014
Clitoral Mass 2014

With that being said, we would like to acknowledge and thank the following groups, collectives and organizations for the continued support and community they have built with us:

Multicultural Communities for Mobility: where we continue to draw inspiration from and for the precedent they have set for other advocacy organizations in Los Angeles.

NELA Mural Ride 2014 - Photo by Erick Huerta
NELA Mural Ride 2014 – Photo by Erick Huerta

Corazon del Pueblo: our birth-place and original home.

Tour de le Heights at Corazon Del Pueblo
Tour de le Heights at Corazon Del Pueblo

The Eastside Café: where we gain our motivation of autonomy and Zapatismo.

Dialogue on the Zapatistas at the Eastside Cafe.
Dialogue on the Zapatistas at the Eastside Cafe.

El Hormiguero & Bikesan@s del Valle: A catalyst in making their home a safe and transformative space.

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Pacoima Mural Ride 2014

Comida No Bombas: For their continuous love and support and the solidarity work they continue to do by providing people with food, the most basic human right.

Comida No Bombas LA Handing out burritos at Clitoral Mass 2014
Comida No Bombas LA giving out burritos at Clitoral Mass 2014

Mujeres de Maiz & Af3irm: Our sisters and companeras in the struggle who value radically transformative local organizing and who make themselves accountable for the betterment of all marginalized peoples.

Artwork by Liliflor Art 2014
Artwork by Liliflor Art 2014

Proyecto Jardin: who, like their beautiful garden, have given the Ovas a place to grow and flourish.

pjyovas
Ovarian Psycos at Proyecto Jardin – “ResuWrenchin” 2012

To the Community of Boyle Heights: our home, the barrio where we have planted seeds and grown roots.

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Ovarian Psycos – Boyle Heights 2014

To our Brigade, Supporters, and Allies: thank you for your unwavering dedication and support since the very beginning. Your well wishes and cariños have carried us through these past four years. We would not be where we are at today if it were not for you keeping our Psyco spirit alive.

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Clitoral Mass 2012

To the womyn warriors that came before us. The organizers, the rebels & revolucionarias, las madres y las abuelitas, the artists, writers and poets, the cyclistas and founding members of the Ovarian Psycos who continue to inspire us and paved the way for us to be the Psycos that we are today.

Coyolxauhqui
Coyolxauhqui

To our families, and loved ones: Many of us do the work we do because of you. Because of everything you have given us, sacrificed for us, and instilled in us.

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And last but not least to our daughters and the next 7 generations for whom we continue to do this work.

Ovas posed, Mariachi Plaza
Photo by Michael Raines

Ovarian Psycos Presents: Cycling with the Spirits Luna Ride!

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In the spirit of Dia de los Muertos and in light of the police violence that continues to plague our communities and steal the lives of young people of color, The Ovarian Psycos asks you to join us in celebrating the lives of loved ones we have lost and those who have been taken from us.

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Meet up: 6PM
Belvedere Park (in front of the Virgen de Guadalupe mural, 4800 Cesar E. Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022)

Roll Out: 6:30PM

End Location: East LA Civic Center Park

**note if you are unable to make it to the ride feel free to meet up with us for the ceremony**

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Bring:
– A working bike
-Bike Lights
-Water to stay hydrated
-Comfortable clothes
– Helmet
-Pump/patches
-An open mind/heart

During the ceremony we will be building a community altar. Please feel free to bring photos of any loved ones, medicines, candles, flowers, food, toys, etc. to contribute to the altar
(you’ll get you contributions back at the end!)

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THIS RIDE IS OPEN TO MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES INCLUDING (BUT NOT LIMITED TO) WOMYN, WOMYN ID FOLX, TRANS, GENDER-NON CONFORMING & TWO SPIRIT FOLX. THIS RIDE IS NOT OPEN TO CIS MEN AND MALE ID FOLX. PLEASE RESPECT THE SPACE

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What is Dia de los Muertos?

No, its not the Mexican version of Halloween. Dia de los Muertos is a tradition that has been celebrated in Mexico for the last 3000+ years. Originally a month long celebration beginning in August, Pre-Colombian Meso-American cultures believed that their dead came back to visit the living during this time of year. Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, Meso-American peoples viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. However, the Spaniards considered the ritual to be sacrilegious. They perceived the indigenous people to be barbaric and pagan. In their attempts to convert them to Catholicism, the Spaniards tried to kill the ritual. To make it more Christian, the Spaniards moved it so it coincided with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 1 and 2), which is when it is celebrated today. Meso- American peoples refused to let their traditions die, and 500 years after colonization Mexicans, Mexican-Americans as well as many other cultures throughout the Americas continue to practice these traditions.

In Mexico, people often celebrate by visiting cemeteries where their loved ones are buried. They decorate gravesites with marigold flowers and candles. They bring toys for dead children and bottles of tequila to adults. They sit on picnic blankets next to gravesites and eat the favorite food of their loved ones. Here in the States families and communities build altars dedicating them to the dead. They surround these altars with flowers, food and pictures of the deceased. They light candles and place them next to the altar.

Check out the FB event page to stay updated on the event or for any changes!

https://www.facebook.com/events/641315612655495/

The Ovas Featured in Planetizen

Check out this dope interview with Planetizen about the Ovas, our founding, our grassroots organizing, La Conxa, and what you can expect next from us Thanks so much for the support ❤

The Ovas in 2014 at Mariachi Plaza.
The Ovas in 2014 at Mariachi Plaza. [Photo courtesy of Michael Raines]
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Here’s a short excerpt written by Ma’ayan Dembo:

What have been some of the significant changes the Ovarian Psycos have undergone that changed the way you operate and achieve your mission?

Last year, we acquired a space, named La Conxa, on the Eastside. La Conxa is not just for us to have meetings there and organize, but now we want to provide this space for the community. One of our goals is fundraising to keep it open. We are not an organization or non-profit; we are an autonomous group, so we’re making sure we keep the space autonomous and away from corporate money.

So, with this new space, you’re able to really solidify your roots within the community. What kinds of actions or ways are you engaging with the folks surrounding La Conxa?

Another way we provide this space for the community is through our programming. So far, we’ve been collaborating and sharing space with other collectives like Mujeres de Maiz, Comidas no Bombas, and ACRAS, to name a few. We’ve also organized movie nights, including post-screening discussions with the filmmakers, and we’ve hosted bands and held fundraisers.

One of the things we really push for as well is encouraging women to learn bicycle mechanics. In these mechanic nights, we invite women, trans, gender non-conforming, basically anyone who doesn’t identify as a man, to come in and learn bicycle mechanics. Because as women cyclists, bicycle mechanics are heavily needed for you to be autonomous and not rely on anyone else to fix your bike.

In addition, we’re trying to address some of the issues going on in our communities, like gentrification, displacement of residents, and militarized policing, through programming in space and also in the Luna Rides. Each of our monthly full-moon Luna Rides revolves around a different theme. Usually at the end of the ride, we share a circle. A lot of personal and deep-rooted things come up. For most women, that first ride is really scary. But afterwards we see women progress and feel more comfortable and trusting of the space, and they really open up. It encourages women to be change agents in their communities and share what is going on there with the other riders in the circle. The first step in becoming a change agent is knowing yourself as a person and having the courage to speak up about those kinds of things.

But we have limited capacity, nobody gets paid to be part of the collective, everyone is either a student, a mother, or working class. Many of us are from low-income communities and need to work full time. But nonetheless, we’re able to put on these bike mechanic training nights, safety trainings, and rides centered on issues in the neighborhood with elements of education.

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To read the rest of the article go here 😀

To buy some of our super dope merch go here ❤ 😀 ❤

Be kind to the environment and your wallet, take the train to Clitoral Mass!

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Clitoral Mass is only 5 days away and we can’t wait to see all your beautiful faces at the beginning of the ride @ Grand Park!!

As y’all know, parking downtown is limited (and expensive!!)

We suggest that all riders take some sort of public transportation, we’ll be meeting on the 2nd level of Grand Park near the Metro Civic Center/Grand Park stop (red & purple lines)

If y’all must drive, here’s some relatively near by metro stations you can try parking at….
-Union Station (all lines)
-Westlake/MacArthur Park (red/purple line)
-Chinatown (red line)
-Lincoln/Cypress (gold line)
-Mariachi Plaza (gold line)

Clitoral Mass 1st Time Riders Tips & Check List

For all y’all first time riders, check out this check list on how to prepare for the big day!

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Remember Clitoral Mass is taking place August 16th!

https://www.facebook.com/events/245137742341694/

 

If you’re interested in volunteering check out the forms below!

– http://bit.ly/1mhQcyH <— Non-Rider Volunteer Form
– http://bit.ly/1qOhcW5 <—Rider Volunteer Form
– http://bit.ly/1llqfIr <— PayPal Link to DONATE! 

Clitoral Mass 2014 Promo Video

 

Big thanks to the hermana Shireen (and a special thanks to El Haru Kuroi who provided the dope music) for creating this promo for Clitoral Mass 2014.  If this doesn’t get you pumped for the big day, we don’t know what will. 

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Don’t forget to mark your calendars for August 16th!!!!

check out all the deets here -> https://www.facebook.com/events/245137742341694/

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If you’re interested in volunteering check out the forms below!

– http://bit.ly/1mhQcyH <— Non-Rider Volunteer Form
– http://bit.ly/1qOhcW5 <—Rider Volunteer Form
– http://bit.ly/1llqfIr <— PayPal Link to DONATE!

OVARIAN PSYCOS Presents: Punk Funk & Social Justice Fundraiser

Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 12.40.30 PMWelcum to Las Ovas’ Conxa Fundraiser!
Saturday, July 19th!
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/events/344285195725233/
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Cum one, cum all and swing by our epacio (aka La Conxa) on SATURDAY, July 19th to help us raise monies to keep our space open. La Conxa is a community safe space run by womyn of color. The Ovas have acquired La Conxa since the beginning of 2014 and have run it as an autonomous space. It is maintained by donations from la comunidad from events like these and community solidarity. We hope to keep the space open for future community programming and grassroots organizing by las Ovas, other collectivxs and members of the community.

 Cum join us for a of night of musical, social justice consciousness!

(((We will be having)))
– Dranks to quench yo’ thirst!
*Please respect our wishes to maintain a sober space

(((Musical Guests)))
– All Is Well Son
https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Is-Well-Son/265298820201442

– Blind Owl
https://www.facebook.com/BlindOwlTheBand

– Xela De La RemiX: https://www.facebook.com/CihuatlCeMusic
… and dance tunes by DJ Val

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(((Where)))
La Conxa
1214 E. 1st Street, 90033 Boyle Heights
7:00 pm | $5- $10 donation
– No one turned away for lack of funds –

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FYI!!!!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER FOR Los Angeles’ 3rd Annual CLITORAL MASS! August 16th! SEE BELOW:

http://bit.ly/1mhQcyH <— Non-Rider Volunteer Form
http://bit.ly/1qOhcW5 <—Rider Volunteer Form
http://bit.ly/1llqfIr <— PayPal Link to DONATE!

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