as a student of the hixtory of movimientos that cause change, social-political-economic-personal transformations, me encuentro (i find myself) very excited, inspired, scared for mis herman@s en egypto, Tunisia, and all over the world that face violent repression/death, esos actos de YA BASTA- even the acts i may not understand completely but encourage me to think deeper about what causes movements and how we can think about movimiento in our own homes and countries, all this i see/hear, feel underneath mis pies, the earth rumbling, she too is excited and fearful for her struggling children.
often fear can overwhelm us to the point of stagnation, amnesia, disassociation, ignorance, apathy. i get it, i get why and how fear has this power over us- we feel overwhelmed, helpless, hopeless- how can there really be change of any kind when we are up against such violence? and we question the change-makers when they throw un huevo or use kitchen knives to defend themselves, their own and others’ human dignity. who/what are the violent ones? how do our media sources shift and turn our perspectives so that we take in information and not question, think critically about where the violence is rooted and who/what are the real perpetrators of violence?
even in our own smaller version uprisings here in los angeles- so often us common folks do not question, maybe because we do not know how to question or because questioning would cause us to act as well. instead we turn on the television and accept that the youth dressed in black, the immigrants that look like this or that “did it”, they threw the huevos at the “authorities”, they are the instigators, the ones we must “put away”. during the mlk celebrations in l.a. there was plenty of “authorities” to help “keep the peace”, a young brown man gets arrested in front of the mlk supporters/believers, and no one in the crowd questions or interrupts. instead we continue on our “permit” march, is that MLK’s idea of change? that we ask for permission to celebrate change and the possibilities of a better world for all of us?
i carry a fire inside me, makes me question, i am enraged at the level of “lack of movement” around me. i ask myself everyday, what would cause us, here, to stand up for our human dignity? seems as if we are dead, disconnected from our own humanidad, we deserve better, more…do we not know this?
i know we feel movement under our feet, even through the layers of amnesia, i believe we still feel with our hearts, see with our eyes.
this belief is challenged when things like…at my workplace i heard someone saying to another co-worker that they went out looking for good mexican food in the area, and as they drove around the surrounding neighborhoods, they asked out loud to a friend of theirs, “do people actually live here?”
south central, is not a trash dump, its a community, a vibrate, mixed, full of life community. yes, people leave here, we leave here and build love and talk about the movimiento we feel abajo de nuestros pies, we feel movement through our fingertips and out through the tip of our head, light shines out of this community as greedy developers shove us out and our own State sells off public land to private institutions and developers in order to get out of debt…yes, people do live here, and we are constantly asking ourselves how we can nurture health, green spaces/more public spaces, skill sharing, intentional living and co-sharing with the rest of the city/world, all of our neighbors and community- not just the hand chosen ones, but everyone who lives here is part of our community so how do we co-habitat better than we do now, because now, some of us (the ones who do not have the money to stay) end up being pushed out of our homes, some onto the streets of downtown los angeles, others into smaller apartments with other families…we know another world is possible, we are trying to show by example. yes, we feel the movement under our feet, we birth hope from those roots that ground us in our clear understanding that we are all interconnected and need each other, everyone of all walks of life. we that in order for change to happen everyone has to be at the bargaining table, and some of us need to learn to give a little more, shed ourselves of the greed that blinds us and badly hurts others.
there are movements everywhere, and yes, unfortunately violence is often coupled with greed, its the only tool some have in order to stay put, not change, not give, not shed themselves of greed and their power hungry bellies that never seem to get full. ramon ayala, a well known mexican banda musician sings in one of my favorite songs of his, that at the end, when we die, we do not take with us the material wealth we may or may not have in this life, he shares that when he dies, all he will take with him is a fistful of earth, soil. the soil in which if we take time to stop and re-connect to, she carries with her the stories of movimiento of the past and the present. we can use these stories, these often under-told or mis-represented stories as our base to nurture hope in ourselves and in others.
another world is not only possible but it is constantly being created in the present by many peoples’ small acts collected, by the communities all around the world who have and continue to say YA BASTA, we can no longer live this way.
here is some ramon ayala and a few other links to the happenings around the world for your insipiration:
Articles and audio:
i find these images of protesters kissing Egyptian soldiers inspiring and thought provoking.