(at Town Biz Oakland)
(at Town Biz Oakland)
The streets of Los Angeles
A long scar running down my chest
Has a story
Happy militant pride to the queer, trans, and gender non-conforming familia in my life, all of whom have had a revolutionary and transformative impact on the ways that I view and function in the world. Especially thankful for all the LGBTQ kasamas who make up the leadership of the various orgs that I am connected to.
(Photo via Gabriela San Francisco)
Whuddup my beloved California! I’m back for a lil. Let’s play!
It is in these times in these airports in this America where my otherness feels more pronounced. As if I am an exhibit in a museum. Or an animal in a zoo. Or a threat to be suspicious of.
America likes to remind me that I don’t belong. This is why my homies formed a gang. Why my community organizes. Why we gravitate towards the ocean. The water always seems to embrace us the tightest.
In this time in this airport waiting for this three hour delayed flight. Even this America, with its walls and its guns, cannot control the wind.
My father left us when I was barely a few months old. Took my mom’s spousal immigration sponsorship and bounced. Left behind his name and his dimples. Years later my mom decided to get married to a carpenter; a working class stone of a man who liked to wield his hand on his tools and, as we would find out, on his own household. I mostly remember a blank void from those few long years; staying outside to avoid what waited for me at home. We endured all this so I could have a “father figure” in my life. Little did my mother know that she was the best father I could’ve ever asked for. Much love to all the dads out there, the good, the imperfect, the accidental, the surrogates.
What my folks back home are saying…
1) No to Martial Law. It is not the answer and never in history has it led to anything asides from heightened state repression. .
2) The Maute Group, Abu Sayaaf, and pseudo-ISIS groups must be stopped. Folks support that. Martial Law is not needed to do this. .
3) Intensified and indiscriminate military actions. These have displaced people in areas like North Cotabato, not to mention the tens of thousands that have evacuated Marawi City. .
4) Harassment and State Repression. A few hundred people were arrested in Davao City simply for not having ID. My organizer folks there have also noticed possible surveillance by undercover agents. True or not, the new conditions are creating a heightened sense of paranoia and stress for people doing social justice work on the ground. .
5) Peace talks. Super important but seems to get little play outside the PI. The demands by the reds for a just and lasting peace are less about laying down arms and primarily about improving the social and economic conditions of the toiling masses; to address poverty, landlessness, imperialism, and the other root causes of things like extremism and drug abuse (which, by the way, Duterte’s drug war will not resolve). .
6) Martial law will only serve to embolden a military force that is already notorious for human rights abuses, kidnappings, and extrajudicial killings. These actions almost always come at the expense of the poor, women/children/elderly, and indigenous communities. .