FROM MIND TO MASSES

18 Apr

FROM MIND TO MASSES

All poems are broken poems, unless they are a kiss or a raised fist, For Something-Someone, A cause, So the slogan better be worth something, so poems can be worth something, But don’t worry I hear you and I love what you say, I love those words from the wise, to

Decolonize you mind,

But mind you that your mind isn’t separated from your body, and the bodies of others, Not separated from the material world,

Materialism,

not materialistic-don’t-get-it-twisted you missed it, When your mind didn’t see, the shadow of the

laborer,

In the products you buy, and the products that you walk by, Even this poem, underwritten by the labor time, The labor time that produces, the racial time, the gender time, the sexuality time, In the products you buy and the lifestyles that you buy into, from the consciousness that you craft, to the objects around you, laced with the voice of laborers, and the shadow of the wealthy few,

Only capital

is transnational,

we’re their tools, My identity and yours, supposedly free to float?  The multiple identities in you and me: a Body-moving-and-grooving-dancing-disOriently-disrupting-discourse?  Multiple identities free and in flux?

In that logic

we’re still fucked,

because the masters master that, multiple identities is fine by them, they love their glass ceilings and their multiculturalism, The fluid-self-diaspora-moving body doesn’t make you free

know the conditions of possibility,

So restart the engine or start where you’re at, because that rationale, ain’t happening now, When the echoes from overseas oversee who we are,

Echoes of the (neo)colonized,

Landless

and urban poor

that know the severing of ties and the severing of tongues, that know balikbayan box coffins, And the U.S. in us from hamleting and scorched-earth-tactics-water-board-trajectory-scorched our eyes and skin through time,

And now we come across when coming across oceans like conveyor-belted products, Readymade, Racialized-gendered-fetishized, Readymade-wealth-making-wealth becomes an upward gravity, Money hand-over-fist to the capitalist, trickle-down fist becoming a-downward strike, And your identity

manufactured

like this, has meaning, as it basks in the light, of an exploitive, working, day, But don’t fret-don’t fret, learn the contradictions emanating from the Basss…e, Fret, that structures your speech-expression-and-consciousness, Learn the contradictions, learn the many dimensions of you, and stay on that decolonizing mind-grind, Or better yet,

just decolonize,

From the mind,

to

matter,

Not an individual practice be called and call forth the masses, the decolonizing-mind-grind-in-service-of-

the-massline,

Unravel the stoppage in your speech to express yourself, so that we express ourselves, our grievances, our list of demands, So that this broken poem finds finality, so that a kiss, becomes upward gravity, so that this fist, becomes an upward gravity, And press it against your flaws and your privileges, bourgeois mind-traps of internalized-heteropatriarchy-and-white-supremacy,

Take inventory,

take aim,

remold,

And upsurge the insurgent heart and assert the brave mentality,

Learn, practice, learn, practice, learn, practice,

Rectify,

Internalize to the mind,

and

Seize the time

Seize the time

Seize the time!

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MLK: Fighting forms of racializing consciousness and the conditions of possibility

18 Jan

Continuing from my previous MLK rant…

In addition to being anti-racist, Dr. King was also anti-imperialist and anti-poverty.  His dream wasn’t simply changing racial consciousness: our ways of seeing, thinking and feeling on race.  He sought to change the conditions of possibility for racialization.  That is, he fought against structural conditions like unemployment and the imperialist war machine.

As I see it “I have Dream” speech is a broken record appropriated by liberal/conservative ruling forces.  I think we must understand that the dream is not simply electing one President, but collectively materializing that dream to change the social structures that allows racialization to take place.

I once saw Amiri Baraka speak and he told the crowd that he met Dr. King and Malcolm X on separate occasions just days/or weeks before their assassinations.  He said that both of them in their political development were beginning to understand the importance of united front work.  That the commonalities between progressive black activists needed to be accentuated and woven together over the minor differences.  Of course that applies for everyone as well.  Moreover, this is not a denial of social differences but a call to work through contradictions of those differences.

I think we should internalize and externalize this example of anti- racism, anti-poverty, anti-imperialism towards a united front of forces against the ideology of white supremacy which is fueled by structural conditions.

A kasama sister once called these things “Systems of Whiteness”.  In my mind I disagreed with that label but at the time I did not have the right language tools to respond to her accordingly.  But now I would probably say:

“You’re right, these structures produce white supremacy.  However, I think that’s one of its code words.  You’re talking about the articulation of what I am talking about.  You’re mentioning the surface appearance, the imagined concrete conditions.  What I am talking about is the concrete conditions that are the condition of possibility of for social difference.  I’m talking about class (not status), I’m talking about capitalism.”

Grasp reality at its roots.

Happy MLK Day

As MLK day approaches: take inventory of snapshots

14 Jan

I am contemplating how some folks I have come across in various circles idealize MLK.  This isn’t a post about his methods.  This is about leadership and collective work.  I have met many progressive folks calling for a new MLK type of leader.

I do not think it is productive to remember our leaders this way.  In fact this cult of “the one” can be quite dangerous.  It is as if we put all our hopes and investments in the labor of another.  That axis of change twists upon one person.

What about you?  Where are you at?  What is your contribution?  I contend that most people that do idealize leaders of our past is because they probably see part of themselves in those leaders.  They see a snapshot of what they hope they can be or are capable of becoming.

I think the present and the future does not need a new King, Malcolm, Rizal, Bonifacio, Sakay, C. Chavez, Itliong, Vera Cruz, Silang, Barros, Huey, TWLF – you get the picture.  The present and the future needs you.  It needs these histories of our folk heroes and sheroes to move beyond mere historical artifacts – they cannot be mere pride pieces.

Take inventory of those snapshots of your heroes and sheroes inside of you.  Birth new thoughts.  Give it speech.  Then to action.  More importantly I think you’ll find that you will be able to share these snapshots, these principles, inside of others.

We don’t need a new MLK.  Indeed the present and future is better served with committed people who recognize, express, and act upon the traces left in us by our heroes and sheroes.  Take stock of their failures (our heroes and sheroes got em) and their victories.  I think we commemorate their work/histories better by re-materializing it in our own lives.   Do all of that collectively.

Happy MLK Weekend

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT WE ARE (Remix-Response 2010)

9 Sep

“If you want to know what we are WE ARE REVOLUTION!” – Carlos Bulosan

And we still are kasama…

If you want to know what we are,

We are People Power beyond yellow shirts and U.S. sponsored dictators

and popular presidents,

the energy of beautiful short victories and the persistence in the day-to-day.

If you want to know what we are,

know the crack of tinikiling sticks, the footed dialogue with the floor,

trembling the spirits to an intentional sound that exits stage left

and reaches a new language from a bullhorn,

We are

the dreamers, dancers, lovers, artists exhausting their individuality,

B-boys becoming men, the storm of ones and twos, melodies yearning to be reawakened.

If you want to know what we are,

We are the hurt demanding release,

we are chest heaving, identity crisis bearing, and tippy toed against a vertigo fall,

running through an educational system

teaching us little

at high cost.

We are still students, sardined in your classrooms,

We carry the hazy memory, the subtext of your American History books,

The subtext that yells and screams on the way to your standardized tests.

You know us, the walking-breathing-flesh-archives of an unwanted history that incriminates you

with more blood,

the spirit that haunts your water board torture.

We are the shaky science that is enraged and tired-eyed.

If you want to know what we are,

We are hands domesticated, but not still.

We are the workers praised as modern day heroes,

but in the same breath

are the murdered, the disappeared, the illegally arrested when we labor to serve the people.

Only heroes in your eyes when we pay for the debt-foolishness,

when our work sustains your cycle.

Remember, the sister, taken, and, tortured,

her spirit is not broken

is not silenced.

She remains that deathless counterpart

untamed

and determined.

We are the voice that never died,

that is not pacified by the distance of the pacific.

We are surviving, but surviving isn’t enough.

We are Revolution, abducted into a fantasy world and sometimes abducted.

our voice co-opted, words of Hope and Change contested on auction blocks, on the presidential line.

We are the invisible blood stain on your tax dollar

We, speak, a, missing, silence,

And if so we will connect these silences

arm in arm,

language over language,

So that this silence never seems still, So that this silence never seems quiet, but waiting,

Waiting and calculating the time.

We are

Revolution,

Surface you 21st century Gabriela Silangs

Surface you young Bonifacios

Unravel that which is contained in your risen fist,

Unravel that

which is contained

in your risen fist,

a testament

dissident

song incomplete,

a song

incomplete

whose next note

shall be played by the person next to you,

and the next, next, next, next…

ANAKBAYAN SAN DIEGO PRESENTS: “DUKOT” (desaparecidos/disappeared): A Film Screening

25 Aug

ANAKBAYAN SAN DIEGO PRESENTS: “DUKOT” (desaparecidos/disappeared): A Film Screening

Date: Saturday, September 18, 2010
Time: 6-9pm
Location: Centro Cultural De La Raza

2004 Park Blvd.

San Diego, CA

From the director of “Mano Po” and “Pacquiao the Movie” comes a landmark film for independent Philippine cinema. Dukot dares to tell the story of families who have lost their loved ones to alleged military abductions under the Gloria Macapaga Arroyo regime. Directed by Joel Lamangan. Written by Bonifacio Illagan. Starring Allen Dizon, Iza Calzado, Snooky Serna and Gina Alajar.

Extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of militant activists, crusading journalists and government critics constitute one of the more disturbing phenomena in recent years in the Philippines.

Since 2001 when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo became president, over a thousand cases have been recorded by the human rights organization Karapatan. Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, indicted the government for the “culture of impunity” now reigning in the country after completing his own research.

The Philippine government has flatly rejected responsibility and denied complicity in these heinous crimes, professing adherence to the Bill of Rights and to all international protocols on human rights.

“Dukot” could very well be the first full-length film that gives the lie to the claim.

In this horrid sojourn in search of the missing, the story of Junix and Maricel – and the seething unrest and its consequent social movement in the Philippines – unravels, giving light to true stories and actual events to victims who have been silenced.

A panel discussion will follow the film screening with special guest speakers including Dukot filmmakers and human rights activist and torture survivor Melissa Roxas.

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For more info:

Website:

Dukot.com

DUKOT – U.S. PREMIERE TOUR Trailer:


Fil-Am Youth Against DepEd Violence

24 Aug
Fil-Am Youth Against DepEd Violence

August 23, 2010
Press Statement

Reference: Alex Montances, AB-LA, info@anakbayanla.org
Jessica Antonio, LFS-SFSU, lfs.sfsu@gmail.com

The
League of Filipino Students of San Francisco State University and
Anakbayan chapters of Seattle, East Bay, Los Angeles, New York/New
Jersey,and San Diego strongly condemn the violent dispersal, beatings
and mass arrest of students and youth protesting at the Philippine
Department of Education last Friday.  Over 50 youth and students, most
of them high school aged members, were arrested and violently dispersed
by the Philippine Department of Education security guards.  Five other
high school protesters Ronald Santos, Mark Gil Gamido, Raymond Ubero,
Ivan Bontorosto, and James Anajao, were also beaten by security guards
and were submitted into Rizal Medical center for their injuries.

In
it’s Vision and Mission Statement, the Philippine Department of
Education states that  “We are a people organization committed to
cultural excellence in public service.  Believing that the most
important resource of a country is its people, we make the task of
educating the Filipino child our single mission…We affirm the right
of every Filipino child especially the disadvantaged to benefit from
such a system.”

For
an organization so committed to the rights and welfare of Filipino
youth, it seems contradictory to their principles to beat and arrest
youth who were protesting illegal school fees.
Police
brutality and the suppression of free speech is not an example of
excellent public service.  Rather, it is an example of a fascist and
corrupt government that is more dedicated to silencing those who point
out corruption and injustice instead of helping its most important
resource- the Filipino people.

We
demand for there to be a full investigation as to the unnecessary
violence committed by the DepEd guards upon the youth causing them to
be sent to the hospital.  We challenge the Department of Education to
stay true to its Mission Statement making sure that education is
accessible and affordable for every Filipino child! We hold the larger
Philippine government responsible for the saddened state of education
across the nation and strongly encourage the government to reflect on
what the future holds for Filipino youth and students if education is
not an option and violence is all that they are given.

EDUCATION FOR ALL!
END POLICE BRUTALITY & ALL HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS!
JUSTICE FOR RONALD, MARK, IVAN, RAYMOND & JAMES!

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FREE THE MORONG 43!

25 Feb

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reference:  Kuusela Hilo, Vice Chair of BAYAN-USA
vc@bayanusa.org, (818) 395-9207

Los Angeles, California–Concerned leaders and human rights advocates representing various communities in Los Angeles sent a delegation to speak with California U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s office. They met with Senator Boxer’s office to deliver petitions signed by over 500 people and organizations to demand the immediate release of the 43 health workers who have been illegally arrested, detained, and tortured by the Philippine military since February 6, 2010.  Representatives of the delegation urged Senator Boxer to continue her commitment to human rights by supporting the demand for the immediate and unconditional release of the 43 and to stop human rights violations in the Philippines.

The delegation included community leaders Reverend David Farley and Reverend Sandra Richards of the United Methodist Church; Melissa Roxas, a survivor of abduction and torture in the Philippines; Chito Quijano of California Nurses’ Association and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS); Kuusela Hilo of BAYAN-USA and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA); representatives from the organizations AnakBayan Los Angeles; Habi Arts; Sisters of GABRIELA, Awaken!; International Action Center; Confederation of Iranians; and other concerned individuals.

ILPS representative Quijano stated, “We request Senator Barbara Boxer to support the release of the 43. As long as the 43 health workers are languishing in a ‘Guantanamo-like prison’ and the Philippine military continues violating human rights, no U.S. tax dollars should be given to the Philippine government.”

In 2008, following a hearing in the United States Senate on the human rights situation in the Philippines, convened by Sen. Boxer, the US Congress voted to withhold $2 million of 2009 military aid until the Philippine government complied with certain human rights conditions.  However, the Philippine government has not made any significant efforts to improve the human rights situation in their country. The Ampatuan Massacre in November 2009, which saw the slaying of 58 people, along with the illegal arrest and abuse of the 43 health workers at the hands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines only demonstrate the worsening human rights conditions in the country.

Rev. Richards, Rev. Farley, and Hilo took part in the United Methodist Church California Pacific Pastoral and Solidarity visit to the Philippines last week.  They also participated in a delegation that visited the 43 health workers illegally detained in the military Camp Capinpin. Rev. Richards shared her firsthand accounts with Senator Boxer’s office, including the conversations with the families of the 43 detained health workers and the forum with Commission on Human Rights Chair Leila de Lima.  Rev. Richards concluded, “Regardless of whether one believes that the 43 health workers are innocent of the charges, it is a fact beyond doubt that their civil and human rights have been violated. They were forced to sit handcuffed and blindfolded for 36 straight hours, were not told with what they were being charged, were not allowed to lie down or sleep, and were fed and toileted by strangers. This kind of torture is illegal in the Philippines. The military has shown extreme disregard for human rights and the law of the country they are meant to protect.”

Rev. Richards elaborated, “The global United Methodist Church has determined that two of its four goals are: global health and ministry with the poor. The 43 health workers were living out this call. It’s troubling that the Philippine government has criminalized the work on behalf of these goals. If these selfless acts of mercy are allowed to be categorized as criminal, then who can be safe?”

Rev. Richards highlighted, “The United States is widely seen as a partner in the Philippine Military, and is a funder. If the U.S. Government does not step in to free these health workers, the United States Government will have become a party to religious persecution of the Christians in the Philippines.”

On February 15, 2010, after the petitioning for writ of habeas corpus and mounting public pressure, the Philippine military presented the 43 health workers to the Court of Appeals.  The testimony from one of the victims, Dr. Alex Montes, shows proof of psychological torture, physical abuse and other inhumane and degrading treatment of the detainees.  The deadline for the court to make a decision on the writ of habeas corpus is Wednesday, February 24, 2010.

“All the 43 health workers did was to serve the poor and the most vulnerable in society and they filled a great need that the Philippine government was not able to provide,” stated Roxas. “I know what it feels like to be detained and tortured.  No human being should have to go through that.  The situation is critical.  Every day that the 43 health workers are not released, it is one more day they have to endure of pain, fear, and torture. We demand the immediate release of the 43 health workers.  We need to help stop human rights violations in the Philippines.”

An on-going petition http://www.petitiononline.com/Free43/petition.html has been launched online.  All supporters of human rights are invited to join the international effort to Free the 43. More information can be found at http://www.freethehealthworkers.blogspot.com

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