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Social media firestorm over Tambourine Army

Published:Saturday | March 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Bitterness and cracks are emerging in sections of the local women's movement after activist Emma Lewis wrote a controversial blog questioning the strategies of the Tambourine Army, a newly formed hard line activist group.

"The campaign began with an assault, and has celebrated that action ever since. I don’t wish to be associated with that. The logo with the tambourine and the somewhat clichéd clenched fist is nice and well designed, but it heightens that tone. Fighting violence with violence? I think not," Lewis wrote yesterday in her post titled 'Why I Won’t Be Shaking a Tambourine'.

Image result for emma lewis
IN PHOTO: Emma Lewis

The "assault" to which Lewis referred is related to the admission to The Star by the co-founder of Tambourine Army,  Latoya Nugent that in January, she used a tambourine to hit on the head, Moravian pastor Dr Paul Gardner, while she and other women protested at the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester.

Nugent has also courted controversy by encouraging women to post on social media,  the names of men who they claim abused them, arguing that the justice system has 'failed' to do its job.

Tambourine Army has planned a march for this afternoon involving several other organisations to protest sexual violence against women.

This issue has garnered increased attention in recent months following the Moravian Sex Scandal.

Lewis' has come under racial and other forms of attack after claiming that the Tambourine Army, formed in January, is "without the experience of other women" and that she does not expect a revolution.

In a series of tweets, Nugent, said Lewis has 'misrepresented' the group.

IN PHOTO: Nadeen Spence

Meanwhile, Nadeen Spence, another co-founder and public commentator, criticised Lewis in a Facebook post in which she said "older women in the movement would like to insist that there is only one way to rebel and would hide behind a veil of reasonableness and maturity in an attempt to silence those who are willing to fight."

Added Spence: "Emma Caroline Lewis I used to respect you. I used to listen to you. I used to give you space to impact and teach. I now know you for who you are."

Responding, Lewis said: "Oh dear. More posturing. It's one blog post, for heaven's sake! And I am entitled to my opinion, as you are to yours."

IN PHOTO: Dr Marcia Forbes

Meanwhile, media scholar, Dr Marcia Forbes, said: "Emma has said what I've been afraid to say. Respect due!"

Several prominent women including Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith have supported the Tambourine march.