Monday, May 01, 2006

No Somos Criminales
May 1, 2006 March in Portland, OR, USA

My legs are tired. My brain is tired. I'm laughing though.

I went with a neighbor from El Salvador and two other friends from Chile and her son. We caught athe 14 bus and then walked over to SW Mill and SW Park on the PSU campus. We arrived around noon just in time to hear the last speaker or two and then begin the march.

I had been at the April 10 march and this was probably ten times as large of a crowd. This time there were a lot more white people too. Anybody have an accurate count of how many were there today?

My friend had not gone to work today and she asked me where my husband was. We were on the bus and I said, "He's at work." She wasn't impressed.

They asked me if I brought snacks. Yes. Because I gathered they would have no part of me buying the cup of coffee I was craving. Hey, I organized this little trip! Oh well. I'll make some back at home. Smiles. (I actually didn't buy anything ALL DAY!)

I had a listening exchange session with my Latina counselor just before the rally. I highly recommend this. In fact that's WHY I decided to start teaching it. I think it helps prevent activist burnout as well as parenting burnout or just plain living burnout. I didn't start teaching this to become a billionaire--there's lottery tickets for that.

If the unexamined life is not worth living, certainly the listened-to life brings greater zest and personal power!

The march was over two hours long. We walked from SW Mill and SW Park down to SW 2nd and then north all the way to Jamison Square and then back again.

My friends had other friends and family we met up with from Chile who helped carry the baby.

Some thoughts: I think it was necessary to do this [march]. It's not like it was supposed to be fun. Even though it was. I think the spirit was. Something has got to change. Immigrants are not criminals for one thing. I thought about my Latina friend who pointed out, "It isn't easy to get into this country."

I thought several times. This is going to make a difference. This is a snapshot of what we can do. I thought about Maxjulian and how he said this makes it appear as though we have a free country. And I thought well, we can't let that stop us from getting together, seeing our own power and saying what we think!

He's right though. This is not the action. It is the inspiration, the support and the courage-making to take action.

I thought. This is bigger than the peace rallies. I thought, wow, these Latino folks can truly change this country for the better. I need to hookup with these folks. :-)

Those thoughts were, this is what it's going to take and these people are willing to do this. And by the way, it's about relationships, not the task. Relationships not the to-do list. We'll end racism and classism through getting close to eachother. Drop me a line.

Good to see you on the street!

Me hamming it up. A blonde with a China La Migra sign brought many chuckles and waves.


Blogger C said...

Awesome! I like the chinga la migra sign.

9:42 PM PDT  
Blogger Maxjulian said...

This isn't directed at YOU :) but rather, those of us who claim to want to change things and the issues that aren't dealt with:

Why is the focus "illegal immigration" when we have an illegal President, an illegal government, a warmongering, military? My objection is that implicit in the marches is that SOMEBODY else is going to step in and solve the problem. A protest is designed to "demonstrate." Demonstrate to who? Who is the object that is being appealed to?

I ask this because if you don't have a master or a superior, or a parent who will do it for you -- then you do it for yourself. You become the leader, the legislator, the police officer, the policy. And you arrest the "criminals" who are stealing your country blind.

The majority of folks - activists, lefties, progressives - are children who do not BELIEVE that they have the right to take their country back. Until WE believe, our marches will not be inspiration, but delusion, delusional. They will continue to raise then lower the spririts of people until even a march will be too much work. History is a good teacher of what real change means. Its unfortunate that so few have read and understood it.

3:58 PM PDT  
Anonymous Will said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:21 PM PDT  
Blogger brownfemipower said...

haha, great sign!!!


6:12 PM PDT  
Blogger Sea's Blog said...

Maxjulian, since it's blog for radical fun day I'll have to postpone my response, honey.

I'll give you a hint. You've got us tied up in pretzel knots here at LFC trying to respond intelligently to your ass. :-)

Hugs. Chocolate anyone?

7:43 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:27 PM PDT  
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