Beyond the Protest: Rallying for Cognitive Liberation

Beyond the Protest: Rallying for Cognitive Liberation


On Sunday, May 6th Mad Folks / Survivors of Psychiatry and Cognitive Oppression are rallying to protest the American Psychiatric Association, which publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or the DSM-5). The main theme of the protest is from a tenant of the Hippocratic Oath: #FirstDoNoHarm . Icarus Project NYC is rallying May 2nd at Buestockings, not only to prepare for this protest, but to think about the long term strategy as Mad folks for our Cognitive Liberation. Organizer Nikomeh will share a bit of their preparation research for the speech they are giving at the protest about the harmfulness of the DSM, and their community-based project: Creating The Peoples DSM. We will be creating Posters (Organizers are providing some supplies from their own personal funds, so please bring any poster making/ art supplies for the collective to share), Chants and Movements for the protest. Then we will also be doing a Community Power Mapping exercise for Cognitive Liberation. Some questions to ponder and prepare for:

What does Cognitive Liberation mean to you? Who has the most control or power over Cognitive Liberty? What are the organizations / officials/ stakeholders / communities most affected by and influential in Cognitive Liberty?


General Breakdown:

  • our project introduction
  • shared reading of our Community Agreements
  • Introduction regarding APA Protest
  • Brainstorming actions
  • Creation of artwork and banners
  • Closing Activity
  • Check Out

TRANSPARENCY: Though we are committed to collective liberation and are a mixed race collective, our history has traditionally brought in white, middle class people. In order to protect Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC) from tokenization and psychic harm, we as a collective commit to prioritizing the needs of QTPOC in our public events and promoting QTPOC leadership in our collective. We acknowledge the emotional labor that QTPOC may perform in these spaces, which often go unrecognized. Therefore, we want white cisgender people to independently undo racism, gender binarism / sexism, while remaining accountable to QTPOC. We are currently engaging in an ongoing process of integrating these goals internally within our organization, among our mixed race organizers, and within the structuring of our external events. * ACCESS ISSUES: The space is accessible for wheelchair users but does not have a bathroom for wheelchair users. We use mics to support people who are hard of hearing.

Bluestockings is wheelchair accessible, with no steps or platforms, and wide aisles between shelves. Our bathroom is not wheelchair accessible. There is a Starbucks two short blocks down the street with an accessible bathroom (at Allen and Delancey). Metered street parking is readily available in the blocks surrounding Bluestockings. Bluestockings is not a scent-free space, but we encourage visitors to please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes or other scented products (including essential oils) and smoke far away from the entrance to the space. And then we’ll hang out for a little while and be gone until another month. Make sure to sign-up for the mailing list at the event or email

NYC Icarus FB event NYC Icarus website

DATE: May 2nd, 2018 TIME: 7pm LOCATION: Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St, Manhattan

Hope to see you there! Mad love, Icarus Project NYC