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"We're teens, we're cute, we're radical to boot! [View All]

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peace4all Donating Member (428 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-25-03 11:24 PM
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"We're teens, we're cute, we're radical to boot!
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MSNBC reports on Radical Cheerleaders, never thought I'd see this,


"We're teens, we're cute, we're radical to boot! We're angry, we're tough and we have had enough!"

Radical cheerleaders might seem like an oxymoron, but in the last few years, teenage and twentysomething activists around the world have turned an American tradition into potent political theater. There are Radical Cheerleading squads from Burlington, Vt., and San Diego, as well as France, Poland and even Japan. Some squads carefully choreograph routines and wear matching outfits, complete with pompoms and megaphones. Others go for a more eccentric look.


It's a grass-roots movement, usually spread when someone sees a squad in actionat WTO protests, for example, or antiwar demonstrations. (Meredith Ryley, a history teacher, started Radical Teen Cheer after reading about a Minneapolis group.)

What unites them are causes, from protesting the Iraq war to fighting racism, sexism, homophobia and capitalist exploitation. Cheerleading is the ironic medium for their message. University of Alabama professor Natalie Adams, coauthor of "Cheerleader: An American Icon," includes Radicals in a class she teaches called "The Cheerleader in American Culture." She compares them to Twinkies, which, she says, were created when someone took conventional ingredients, sponge cake and icing, and made something new, just as activists have created something new out of traditional cheerleading. "I think it's brilliant," she says. "It's American ingenuity at its best."
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