Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

murder of police vs murder by police - to be continued


How come white people and the white media can talk about the murders of police using such sentiment and words as it is "an unspeakable tragedy, and a vile and cowardly act" yet police murders of Black people are justified and not even prosecutable?


How come white people and the white media can see that "Tragedies that involve our men and women in uniform affect our entire city and touch every member of our law enforcement community," and not that police murdering Black citizens is more than a tragedy but a travesty of justice in our land?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Devastated

I lost my computer bag & my 65th birthday celebration savings 2day on BART.

Someone else lost their life.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Nite 7: Middle of Texas

We leave El Paso later than what we had planned but so full of love, good food, inspiration, we feel like we can drive forever!

But first we stop for fuel. As I am fueling up, a white woman gas attendant worker comes running up to my truck, demanding if the credit card I'm using is mine.

This is interesting - I was expecting her to engage about Marissa or Black Womyn's Lives Matter, but instead she's challenging me about my credit card.

Now we do have 2 credit cards for our caravan account, one in my name and one in another womon's name - a womon who is not on the caravan. But both credit cards are ours. I happen to be using the card that is in my name.

I look at her in disbelief - and around at all the people standing by their cars, pumping gas. I haven't seen her ask anyone else about their credit card.

I ask her why she wants to know. Does she really expect me to say no, this is not my credit card? Hmmm

I tell her of course it's my card.

She wants to see my card. I look at her like she's lost her mind, because obviously she has. I tell her again, I am using my own card.

She tells me there's lots of people ripping off gas stations using other people's credit cards. I tell her the gas station doesn't pay for that, the credit card company pays.

She doesn't believe I am using my own card - or she just wants to harass this womon in that truck. She shouts at me the police would like to look at my credit card.

I ask her if they work here too or is she the only credit card police?

Then she orders me to stay put at the pump, stomps off toward the shop, claiming she's going to call the police.

Oy vey.

Like I'm going to stick around even if the police were interested. We leave, head to Target to get some hi-tech merch we need and off we go into the netherlands of Texas.

It is a beautiful day to drive thru western Texas. We have the rest of today and most of tomorrow to make it 550 miles to San Antonio for our 6:00pm report back!

We drive almost 300 miles so we can be closer to San Antonio. It is dark and fuckin freezing when we stop. Gas stations, rest stop, visible homes or towns are miles and miles away. We decide to hotel it tonite, if we can find a cheap hotel - our first for the trip.

Day 7: El Paso Press Conference to Texas...

Cemelli appears at our lovely house with her 5 year old lovely daughter before 8:00am - loaded down with tons of breakfast food. She begins to cook for us, even though we attempt to dissuade her, as we've planned to return to Cafe Mayapan for the press conference and to eat there once again! She insists, saying we can take whatever is left over on the road with us.

Once again, we are overwhelmed and touched deeply by her warmth and generosity. It gets closer and closer to press conference time. Womyn are trying to pack up, grab food, finish preparing for our press conference.

It is time to go and we can not find Jasi nor Amayalli. One minute they were chasing each other around the house, playing with the dog, laughing and screeching! The next, they're gone. Disappeared. No evidence - like the girls and womyn of Juarez...NOT!

Cemelli is stricken, panicked, thinking her child has disappeared - she's been to Juarez, she lives here, she knows the dangers of El Paso; but most of all, she knows where the pedophiles live in this neighborhood - how many houses down, what color the house is, how many steps to our front door.

She has had to walk children from the bus past his house to this house where we are staying, where there is a school for young children - blocks from where a convicted pedophile is allowed to live.

Her panic increases exponentially with the seconds that tick by. We search the house, we search outside, Cemelli is close to calling the police. I know it is impossible that Jasi would go out by himself in a neighborhood he doesn't know. I know that will not keep him safe.

After many harrowing moments, the children are discovered in the closet, hiding - first they say they were playing hide & seek. Amayalli sees how upset her mother is and she weeps sorry, sorry, sorry Mama. Jasi says they were just hiding, they didn't want to leave, they wanted to keep playing.

We have to leave - the press has arrived at Cafe Mayapan and is waiting for us. We rush into our vehicles and race off, children safe in their car seats.

This time, this press conference is very successful! These womyn with La Mujer Obrera know how to get out the press. Gina and Cemelli also speak. We have TV cameras, radio, and written press. 


Friday, January 16, 2015

Nite 6: El Paso

We are looking so forward with connecting with the womyn from Mujer Obrera and Cafe Mayapan!!!

Cemelli and Gina, and the community of womyn, greet us with such warmth and enthusiasm, we already feel so special! The cafe is a huge space with a wide stage facing tables that sit 60 or so folks, and a small counter in the back to the side where womyn are taking dinner orders.

We are invited to hang up our banners and set up a table with our handouts, t-shirts, and posters.

Jasi quickly joins the group of children running freely thru the room, scooting out a doorway into another room to circle around again to burst into the front room where we are all at. He is so happy to be running freely, joyously with other children mostly his age!

Then several First Nation dancers - all womyn and girls except for one man - begin a beautiful ceremony for us, drumming, singing and dancing! We are deeply honored. At the end, the elder dancer begins to smudge - and she doesn't stop with the room and people but smudges and blesses our banners as well!

We spread out and begin our presentation. The audience appears to be spellbound as we tell Marissa's story, and then appalled and incensed as we spell out the injustice system's response to her.

And the all too familiar sad and stricken looks, the nods, the breaths held, the tears flowing - the yes, I know this story, this happened to me, this is happening to me.

At the end of our presentation, one of the Mujer Obrera womyn activists and survivor of domestic and institutional violence, tells her story. We are all weeping by the time she is done.

Food and drink is spread out for us and we eat the most delicious indigenous food with yummy hibiscus tea. Gina sits with us and reveals what a fierce, amazing amazon warrior she is - we all want to be like Gina when we continue our journey!

We talk a lot about the womyn and girls that are STILL being murdered daily in Juarez - or at least their bodies are still being dumped around Ciuda Juarez and the prevalent belief that it is rich u.s. businessmen buying the bodies and lives of young girls and womyn to torture, rape, and destroy.

We think about how to acknowledge the violence perpetrated against Latina and First Nation womyn, here on this border and on our northern borders as well - we failed to do so directly in our presentation - and the lack of national and local concern (except from womyn and allies here) let alone real steps taken to protect womyn and girls.Brown: Womyn's Lives Matter!

When it is time to pack up and go, Cemelli leads us thru the streets of El Paso to the house the UU has provided for us! There are 4 empty bedrooms, all with beds or blow-up mattresses, sheets & blankets as well as 2 bathrooms with towels - we've landed in the lap of luxury! No one has to sleep on the floor or in a vehicle! YEAH!!!!

Cemelli asks us to join her in the living room for her Moon Dance ceremony, which is a womyn's ceremony of her people. The pipe and tobacco we smoke have been passed down to her thru generations and we are honored once again to be included as part of this ceremony.

We fall into our beds, saturated with womyn's energy, love, and inspiration!

Day 6: Las Cruces to El Paso

It's a left-overs morning today! We've made it thru another nite at a rest stop - freezing as it was outside our vehicles!

We're eating the remnants of trader joe's, spaghetti, and potatoes with turkey and without turkey! Plus strong Peet's coffee!

We hang out at the picnic table in the bright sunshine, debrief from yesterday's teach-in, sing a few songs while Lajuana begins to teach us a new song to add to our presentations!

Then we head off to Las Cruces, but not without a lot of prompting folks and certainly not in time to do any actions in Las Cruces - tearz...

But we do stop at the impressive Las Cruces rest stop overlooking the sprawling city. Jasi decides this is a war place, a place where soldiers have fought people. Kata decides we should do a video calling on the A people - those with $$$$, so we do.

Then we head out to El Paso! We will not have time to go to the house where we are staying first, but will have to head directly to the Cafe Mayapan where we are scheduled to do a teach-in!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nite 5: Tucson to Rest Stop

I wanted us to stop at the most beautiful rest stop in Arizona close to the New Mexico border so we can hike the trails there and take in the stunning beauty and quiet peace of this part of the country but once again we don't get out of Tucson until almost 9pm - too late, too dark, too cold to stop.

We continue driving several hours until we are about 100 miles from Las Cruces, which means we can sleep in tomorrow, cook breakfast, and have a leisurely drive to arrived in Las Cruces by 3:00pm so we can banner, flyer, make our presence known in that small collegiate town, and then head to El Paso to get there for our 6:00pm teach in. Las Cruces is less than an hour from El Paso.

We pull into an almost deserted rest stop and crash for the nite. It is another dazzling black night sky with diamonds in New Mexico, although we are too cold to spend much time appreciating the expansive view.


Day 5: Black Lives Matter Tucson to New Mexico

We try to make it early to the Black Lives Matter Conference which has started at 8:00 this morning but getting us up, packed up, fed, and out the house proves to be a VERY time consuming adventure.

We do make it to the University of Arizona with about 30 minutes to spare before our lunch-time presentation. The wonderful Matice is waiting for us to arrive and has set up large round tables for folks to eat lunch she is providing while our presentation is happening.

We get to use our awesome sound system for the first time that Carey donated. The food arrives and we eat first as we wait for participants to come when the BLM speakers finish for the morning. Matice is expecting over 80 folks who signed up for lunch!

We are getting better and better - our singing is wonderful, the improv so informative, and our spoken word and dialogue inspirational.

Womyn are profoundly stirred, speak up and share their stories, again, just like in Phoenix. We are also deeply moved to hear more and more of our stories, to connect so painfully with other womyn, and so intensely with other womyn, growing our determination to FREE MARISSA NOW - along with freeing ourselves.

Our t-shirts have been delivered and we sell or give away almost all of them! We are under time pressure to finish, as the afternoon part of the conference is about to continue. Everyone, but Jasi & I, leave to participate in the rest of the conference.

Jasi & I ride the train around Tucson after we go to the thrift store, find him a pair of slip-on shoes and a bag of wooden trains!

We stay in Tucson at the University until almost 8:00pm, when the conference is over. We hit the road running, as we have to drive thru the rest of Arizona, all of New Mexico to Las Cruces and then El Paso.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nite 4: Tucson and Mujasi!

Jasi & I leave Kat's house after everyone else goes to Trader Joes. The sky is ebony black and the temperature has dropped 40 degrees.

We pull into the main drag and park the truck outside the food coop where we're going to stock up on our special, organic food.

When we get out the truck, the street lights almost boom in the black nite. Before we slam the door, a white male runs up to us, exclaiming his love for the truck and wanting to know what we were all about.

Mujasi leans back against the light pole, lifts a foot to his knee in his flamingo stance and proceeds to explain the whole trip, much to my astonishment.

"We're the Black Womyn's Lives Matter:FREE MARISSA Caravan" he proudly declares. "Do you know who Marissa is?"

The man shakes his head no and Jasi continues: "Marissa Alexander is a Black womon and mother who fired a warning shot into the ceiling - injuring no one (here he lifts his chin, fiercely defiant) to make her husband stop beating her and threatening to kill her.

She had a 9 day old baby at the time and the police came & arrested her. She was sentenced to jail for 20 years. We're going to Jacksonville Florida to FREE MARISSA NOW!"

The man expresses his outrage and support of our caravan. Then he proceeds to want to come with us. Jasi holds up 1 finger declaring this caravan is for womyn and one kid.

I am almost speechless. The man still expresses his support but tries to give me his number in case we change our mind. Jasi informs him he can donate to the caravan or to Marissa if he wants.

Of course, the man is broke and has nothing to contribute.

I'm so proud of my grandchild!


Day 4: Phoenix Press Conference to Tucson!

Today at noon we have a press conference in front of the Phoenix Police Department. By 9:00 everyone is up and getting ready. We have yummy potatoes and onions - some veggie, some with ground turkey - and more bagels and fruit. And of course, thick black coffee from Peets!

Ben has gone to work but has offered us whatever food in her fridge that we want so we make some eggs to go with the bagels and potatoes!

We have to plan our press conference, as this will be our first press conference as a group.

We decide to begin first with Marissa's story and end with the caravan. We sit around the breakfast table outside on the back porch in the bright intense Arizona sunshine that has raised the temperature at least 30 degrees from last nite!

So this is our press conference:

Sound bites for Marissa's story:

Angela begins with talking in our sound bites re:who Marissa is: a Black womon, mother of a 9 day old baby, who fired a warning shot in the ceiling, injuring no one, to scare off the man who was beating and threatening to kill her. The police came and arrested her: she was tried, convicted by a jury in 12 minutes, and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Elizabeth continues with after being imprisoned for almost 3 years, Marissa files an appeal, her conviction is overturned, and she is free to go - for a minute. Angela Corey, the Florida State Attorney General who prosecuted Zimmerman and got him 0 time, has Marissa re-arrested and re-files charges against her, threatening her with 60 years in jail this time.

Davina then reports that Marissa is then placed under house arrest until her trial, which is supposed to be in a couple months, but keeps getting postponed. And during this time Angela Corey continues her harassment of Marissa by dragging her back into court claiming Marissa has violated her terms of house arrest. Corey loses.

Lajuana defines the terms of Marissa's house arrest: she has to wear an ankle bracelet and pay over $1000/month for the bracelet and to be monitored; she is only allowed to go to 2 or 3 places outside the home; if she wants to go anywhere else, she has to go before a judge and get his permission.

Xan concludes with the plea bargain Marissa was forced to accept that landed her back in jail a few dayz before thanksgiving, as she was facing a long and expensive trial and 60 years in prison - or offered instead 65 more days in prison and a hearing on January 27th where she will face yet another sentencing that could land her in jail for another 5 years or house arrest for 2 years. Which is why we are heading to Jacksonville for the 27th.

Sound bites for the Caravan:

Lajuana: We are the Black Womyn's Lives Matter:Free Marissa Caravan and we left the SF Bay Area January 11th and are heading to Jacksonville Florida for the 27th of January.

Angela: Our purpose is three fold: 1) We want Marissa Alexander to become a household name in this country & around the world

Davina: 2) We want Marissa's fight for freedom to be our Stand Up, Fight Back cause;

Elizabeth: and 3) We want all eyes on Florida January 27th

Lajuana: We demand a pardon for Marissa!

All: Self Defense is NOT a Crime: Marissa should NOT be doing time!!!

We're ready to hit the road for the press conference. We don't have the time to gather our things so we'll have to return after the press conference. We haven't heard yet if we have an engagement in Tucson this evening or just tomorrow at the Black Lives Matter Conference.

When we get to the police station, a handful of Phoenix activists are there waiting for us - but no press. We park, get out our banners, and march down the street singing our songs.

We hang banners in front of the police station and present our press conference to those folks standing there and passing by. The police send out a perky, impeccable Black womon community-police liaison along with the community/police internal affairs officer - also Black but male. She has just been working there a few days, he's been on the force 17 years.

We guess he's the first Black officer Phoenix hired. He has his sound bites all laid out for us, claiming Phoenix doesn't have the domestic violence 'issues' other cities have.When pressed to document training for police officers, services for victims, etc., he clams up and doesn't want to talk about it.

Jasi reaches a hand out to touch the so uniformly perfect he thinks they're fake cacti lining the front yard of the station and gets a couple fingers full of thorns - they're not fake!

After we operate and remove most of the tiny thorns from his fingers, he declares he's going to hold his own protest and proceeds to loudly chant: "I hate cactus, I love fairies!"

We fine tune our press conference after we practice several times until we feel like experts, even tho no press shows up, not even the friend of one of the candidates for city council that has arrived.

Finally, we gather our things and head back to Ben's, clean up, grab the last of our donated food that we can eat quickly and head out to Tucson at the height of rush hour traffic. Great exposure but slow going to Tucson.

We arrive in Tucson once again as the sun is setting - but we have the nite off so some womyn take off to Trader Joes while others cook a giant pot of spaghetti to add to the treats that they return with.

We are staying at Kat's little adobe home that is very cozy and has heat! Yeah!!! We spread sleeping bags on camping mats and call it a nite to relax & do our own things!




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 3: California Desert to Phoenix!

It's oatmeal, coffee, and bagels this morning at the rest stop as disengage ourselves from bunk beds, the floor, and top of the collapsed seats of the van. We calculate the miles we need to go to arrive in Phoenix in time to do our first indoor presentation and figure out we have enough time to head to our host Ben's house first.

Ben stands in her driveway and greets us as we drive up. She has a 2 bedroom house that she is graciously sharing with us. We pile in, select and set up our beds, wolf down the vegetarian chilli Ben has made before hopping back into the truck and expo to head to Puente, a lovely community center that works with undocumented folks as well as survivors of domestic violence.

Kim has bottom-lined this gathering and we sit in a circle and begin our presentation. We receive bucket loads of positive feedback and support from the wonderful Phoenix participants! They especially comment on how great the format worked for them.
And we sold one of the wonderful Marissa Caravan posters that Molly Jane created for us and collected $18 in cash donations!
We head back to Ben's home, exhausted but really happy!



Monday, January 12, 2015

Nite 2: Palm Springs to Rest Area

Even though we (I) had REALLY wanted to make it to Palm Springs in time to visit the First Nation sacred land there, we don't pull into the city until dusk. We drive down the main drag and park so everyone can see the truck.

We jump out our vehicles, grab banners, flyers, and song sheets and find a great corner by the plaza that crosses the main road, to set up. We hang our banners back-to-back so that people driving down the main drag can see one side and people walking on the sidewalk also have a great view of our bold, black messages: Black Womyn's Lives Matter: FREE MARISSA NOW.org!

Once our banners are secure, we begin singing and handing out flyers. Traffic is sparse but steady, pedestrians are few but this allows us to talk with everyone, the curious interested folks along with the extremely bored! Most people are not from Palm Springs and those few that stop to talk, promise to bring Marissa's name back to their town.

A gay white couple put three one dollar bills into out donation box while a straight white family of four listen carefully to Lajuana explaining Marissa's story.

A young creamy brown womon with a chubby wide-eyed baby perched on her hip, joins Jasi & I as we walk down the sidewalk on our way to the truck to get him additional toys. Jasi foists a little purple Free Marissa flyer into her child's flailing hands while I attempt to recall enough Spanish to explain Marissa's story to her.

The mother wide eyed and struggling to understand, grabs the flyer and intently studies the print as a tear slips down her cheek. "My mother, mi madre," she chokes out, "esta muerta.... asesinada." Oh no, I embrace her as I murmur how sorry I am, lo siento, lo siento - muy triste.

Mujasi puts his arms around both of us and tries to hand her baby one of his cars. 

Before we part, she fiercely promises me she will read more about Marissa and do what she can.

After a couple hours on the streets of Palm Springs, it starts getting too chilly to hang out, so we begin to close down. A realtor approaches us - a local white and gay boy - who points to his 2nd story office around the corner and tells us he came down because he heard us singing.

He promises to send an email out with Marissa's story to his list of 356 local realtors!

Another short white male speaking heavily accented English and decked out in a very expensive suit with an equally expensive camera on his shoulder begins filming us. He tells us about the international film festival that's happening now in Palm Springs - but we missed the 8pm opening and folks probably won't get out until 10:30 or 11 - we can't stay this long.

He claims to be a journalist and promises to send our pics far and wide, especially in the media outlets he works for. Kata has his info...we'll see!

We have donated salads, bagels, sandwiches we consume as we head out of town. The desert sky is blacker than 30 leagues under the sea and the stars brilliant pinpoints of crystal shimmering white, just stunningly beautiful.

We drive to the first rest stop and spend our second nite on the road snuggled in sleeping bags and blankets inside the camper and the expo, steaming up windows and breathing heavy to warm us up.

Day 2 January 12th: Los Angeles to Palm Springs



Our first morning arising on the road after spending the nite in Los Angeles at a lovely home provided for us by two film-maker activists who wish to remain unanimous! Jasi & I have a little one room cottage with a bathroom all to ourselves. Everyone else shares living room futon and floor space.

We arise, stumble around gathering sleeping bags, toiletries, and back packs. The wonderful caravaner Ann has left to return to the Bay Area, leaving us with the truck as our only mode of transportation until we pick up the van.

Our hosts make us yummy green smoothies as we hold our first debriefing and planning meeting over midnite black donated  Peets coffee and slightly toasted Noah's bagels plus abundant fresh fruit. We talk about what worked last nite at Black Lives Matter and what didn't. We discuss improvements for our presentation, honing our talking points, and logistics for picking up our 8 seater van.

Finally packed up and ready to go, four caravaner womyn head to public transport themselves on the train to Irvine, while two of us - and Mujasi - jump into the front of the truck (one - our relief driver - slithers into the back to sleep) and navigate thru Los Angeles traffic toward our Lake Forest rendezvous with not a van but an expedition (as the husband of the owner insists we call our vehicle!)

We get to Lake Forest a couple hours later than planned - not due to the infamous L.A. traffic but do to the time we need to gather all our things and head out. Picking up the van is easy, hooking up with the rest of our crew so simple - the train station is literally 2 miles away.

Our caravan complete - except without Zakyia and Toni and their special RV, tearz - late in the afternoon, we head to Palm Springs.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day 1: January 11th: Berkeley to Los Angeles



The alarm rang 4:30 this morning but we couldn't drag ourselves awake after going to sleep at 1:30! So we slept in another hour and then jumped into gear.

Rolling up sleeping bags, deflating camping pads, repacking backpacks, it took 6 womyn one hour and 15 minutes to get ourselves fed, coffee-ed & tea-ed, and into the truck and waiting prius - along with my 6 year old grandchild.

We are all so very excited and ready to hit the road for Marissa! As we roll down the highway through the occupied East Bay cities of Ohlone lands and onto the open land of Highway 5, several cars honk in support, passengers grinning while they wave or throw fists into the air, while drivers bend furiously over steering wheels trying to peer into the truck!

No one gives us the finger or tries to run us off the road!

Our first rest stop, we're still pumped up and sooooo thrilled to be on the road. We grab flyers and one of our most beautiful posters that Molly Jane so fiercely and lovingly created for Marissa, and stand in the path of the bathrooms singing our Marissa-mas carols that Becky brilliantly crafted for us.

It is our first public protest as our caravan group! Our two new compañeras, Davina and Kata, slide right into our piece of street theater, singing, handing out flyers, engaging with fellow travelers, and documenting our presence at this rest stop.

Approaching Los Angeles, a state trooper gleefully pulls the truck over to the shoulder of the highway. Blindingly pale and stocky, the officer towers over me as he points out I don't have my CA business number printed on the side of my truck.

When I tell him I'm not a business vehicle but a motor vehicle, he exclaims he's never seen one of these trucks converted into a camper before. I'm like well I bet you've never seen one painted "Black Womyn's Lives Matter: FREE MARISSA NOW either!

I point out the side door, windows, and vents that clearly indicate this is a camper. He tries to casually engage in conversation asking me where I'm going to, how my day is. I inform him I'm tired and need to get going. He hands me back my license, registration and insurance card while instructing me on how to pull back into traffic. Dah! I tell him I do know how to drive - while I do keep in mind Marissa and getting to Jacksonville without entangling further with this police.

Miraculously, we get to Los Angeles an hour early and the courageous and determined L.A. Black Lives Matters occupiers of the police department wave happily, some rushing down the stairs to greet the truck before we find a park a block away.

Our presentation is delayed until 8 and both drivers, Ann & myself, are too beat to participate so the rest of the Caravan sistahs give an awesome presentation, hand out flyers, and secure a renewed commitment to fight for Marissa's freedom with all eyes on Jacksonville January 27th.


Monday, January 05, 2015

www.gofundme.com/FreeMarissaCaravan

CARAVAN NEEDS as of 1/5/15

Our short list of needs, wants, and desires! Please spread far and wide!!!

Money Money Money!

We are struggling to raise the funds to bring 10 to 12 women on the caravan: thus far we've raised a little over $1000! And we have a $5000 commitment that we need matching funds for!!! email freemarissaeastbay@gmail.com or www.gofundme.com/FreeMarissaCaravan

Can you share???

We are seeking frequent flyer miles so that we can fly folks back from Jacksonville or Atlanta after Marissa's hearing!

Compañeras y documentarian!

We are still looking for about 4 or 5 more women to join us, including a high-tech media documentarian who can do the social media magic: live stream, youtube,instagram all that!

Short-term Caravaner!

We need someone to caravan at least as far as Irvine so we can pick up our 8 seater van!

Along the route...

We need contacts along the way that will host our presentation/teach-in, join us in direct actions, as well as those that might be able to feed, shower and/or put us up for a night!
Send-off party crew!

Save the date! Saturday, January 10th - join us in the streets and help send the caravan on our way!!!

Black Womyn's Lives Matter: FREE MARISSA Caravan!

We launched our Black Women's Lives Matter: FREE MARISSA NOW campaign in the East Bay on Dec 14th with a Teach-in and Direct Action Planning in Berkeley.

Since then, we've done two presentation fundraisers, bannered over freeways and at a Raiders game, flyered countless protests, events, businesses and markets, engaged in innumerable conversations spreading Marissa's name and info about challenges facing her.

And most notably, we have organized a 2 maybe 3 vehicle caravan that will be leaving the Bay Area January 10th, spreading FREE MARISSA awareness and garnering support for her fight for freedom through around 15 cities across the nation, to arrive in Jacksonville prior to her next hearing on January 27th.

We're inviting and urging you to endorse this important campaign.
Marissa Alexander is a Black woman who was outrageously & unjustly arrested, prosecuted, and incarcerated when she fired a warning shot - injuring no one - in her attempt to defend herself against a violent abuser, is once again in jail.

We need your help to make Marissa Alexander a household name and the fight for her freedom a STAND UP & FIGHT BACK cause for all of us!

National Free Marissa NOW, along with many chapters including ours, is organizing and developing strategies and direct actions to be implemented between now and January 27th, the date ALL need to be IN THE STREETS in support of Marissa.

Our (East Bay) major strategy is this cross-country caravan and we need your help!

We are struggling to raise the funds to bring 10 to 12 women on the caravan: www.gofundme.com/FreeMarissaCaravan

We are still looking for about 4 or 5 more women to join us, including a high-tech media documentarian who can do the social media magic: live stream, youtube,instagram all that!

We need someone to caravan at least as far as Irvine so we can pick up our 8 seater van!

We are seeking frequent flyer miles so that we can fly folks back from Jacksonville or Atlanta after Marissa's hearing!

We need contacts along the way that will host our presentation/teach-in, join us in direct actions, as well as those that might be able to feed, shower and/or put us up for a night!
In solidarity and Action:

Black Womyn's Lives Matter: Free Marissa Now East Bay Affiliate!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Dr. Breeze Harper

YEAH!!!

http://sistahvegan.com/2014/12/30/what-is-your-vegan-praxis-of-black-lives-matter-fighting-domestic-violence-and-dismantling-the-racist-misogynistic-legal-system/

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Caravan Oakland to Jacksonville!

We are joining with National Free Marissa NOW and ramping up the energy to organize the SF Bay Area around Marissa's upcoming hearing January 27th!

We need to make her name known in every household across the u.s.ofa., and her freedom a STAND UP, FIGHT BACK cause across the country too.

Which is why we have decided to caravan from Oakland to Jacksonville, spreading the word from city to city, town to town, as we banner, hand out flyers, engage in direct actions, teach-ins, whatever we can do as we travel across the country spreading the word of her freedom!

We have two vehicles that can carry up to 10 womyn - we still have space for 6 more - that will be leaving Oakland around the 11th of January to arrive in Jacksonville by the 26th!

If you have your own vehicle and want to join us, PLEASE do! The more vehicles, the larger the caravan, the more attention we bring to Marissa's fight for freedom!

If you want to join us for a few days or in a few cities or the entire trip, PLEASE DO!

But please seriously consider spending 2 1/2 weeks of your life working to get Marissa out from behind bars!

TOGETHER we WILL free Marissa and obtain a pardon for her!

And if you cannot come yourself, PLEASE seriously consider contributing to make sure another womon can join the caravan!

You can contribute at www.gofundme.com/FreeMarissaCaravan

We are also looking for contributions of miles so that folks can fly back from Jacksonville once Marissa's hearing is over!

Caravan needs and wants - youtube

Friday, December 26, 2014

New Paint Job and Fundraiser!


Potluck, Music, Spoken Word, Testimonials for our FREE Marissa NOW Caravan on Sunday, Dec 28th, 2:30-5pm at Harriet Tubman Terrace, Community Room, 2870 Adeline St, Berkeley - 2 blocks north from Ashby BART & across the street from the Berkeley Bowl!
 
Please bring an organic (if possible) dish to share, musical instruments, your voice! And your own plate & utensils - we go green!

And check out our donation site at www.gofundme.com/freemarissacaravan

See you Sunday!
Photo: Potluck, Music, Spoken Word, Testimonials for our FREE Marissa NOW Caravan on Sunday, Dec 28th, 2:30-5pm at Harriet Tubman Terrace, Community Room, 2870 Adeline St, Berkeley - 2 blocks north from Ashby BART & across the street from the Berkeley Bowl!

Please bring an organic (if possible) dish to share, musical instruments, your voice! And your own plate & utensils - we go green!

And check out our donation site at www.gofundme.com/freemarissacaravan 

See you Sunday!

130 people reached

Sunday, December 14, 2014

This is what you miss - to be continued

when you decide NOT to participate in protests: the fruition of our - and all the womyn who came before us - decades of hard work!

For it is YOUNG womyn front and center, loud and clear on the streets today! It is Black womyn, brown womyn, First Nation womyn, Asian womyn - and white womyn!

I've seen young womyn step up and lead. I've seen young womyn grab the megaphone out of men's hands & inform them they need to step back. I've seen young womyn with unamplified beautiful clear strong voices project over the shuffling, chanting, excited crowd.

And I've seen the crowds of womyn and men follow these womyn's lead: some reluctantly, some questioning, but most willingly and happily.

Furthermore to give yourself the blank check of inaction made out to "if only protestors made if comfortable and 'safe' for me", is to totally embrace your privilege and thru your lack of participation, you join the violent side that everyday proclaims Black lives do NOT matter.

To refuse to step out your door because you fear your life is in danger is indefensible to the people who's lives REALLY are in danger: Black men are 21 times more likely to be murdered by police than white men. I could not find the 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Another Perspective on Property Values and Smashing Windows

 It is very difficult to see "property" objectively when we live in a society and country that for at least 400 years has put the ownership of property over the lives people.

We have all internalized the glorification and pursuit of property, placing a much higher value on property than any other thing on this planet from human life, to clean water, to fresh air to breathe, to trees, soil, food, plants, insects - all the things Mother Earth provides for our survival. These ALL take a back seat at best - often they're not even in the vehicle - to the quest for the holiest grail of PROPERTY.

Before you claim you're not one of those, if we didn't value property over life, we would no longer be putting gas in our cars, using plastic or any chemical, only buying organic.


Furthermore, the value of the human being is in direct correlation to the value of the property that human has stolen, 'worked' for by exploiting the labor of others, horded for himself.

So human beings are not valued in our society because they are sacred life - or if you're religious, children of the creator.

But they are valued if they have extreme amounts of property - the more property they own, the more they are valued.


So we come to the destruction of property. We need a paradigm shift here. Is the destruction of property really violence?

I think not. I think it is the destruction of property. Why do we continue, in the light of knowing police are murdering Black people - women, children, and men - EVERY DAY as well as murdering mentally ill people, poor people, autistic people, deaf people, disabled people - all the 'weaker' members of our society, why do we continue to value property over everything else?

Police don't kill the 'stronger' people - or even people equally armed. There is no equality, no fairness in an encounter or fight with police. They are armed and dangerous.

But I digress - i don't want to talk about the police but it is the destruction of property and the definition of violence I'm talking about here.

Why do we continue to buy into the valuing of property so highly? Why do we have time to even think about property when lives are at stake, AND not just human lives here but the life of the planet is at stake.

We live in a society that values PROPERTY over ALL else.

PROPERTY is NOT important: LIVES are important.LIFE is important.

Furthermore, why does society - i.e. the wealthy - get to define "violence"? 

We need to define "violence" and wells farto is VIOLENT; crate & barrel is VIOLENT; all slave & child labor, all manufacturing practices, all banking practices that defile human life and cause irreparable damage to our planet and to human lives is VIOLENCE.

Tossing stones at property is a response to capitalism, racism, injustice. Who is to say that those of us who choose not to toss stones are responding correctly to the killing forces that prevail?

Have you ever walked around union square at night & seen destitute hungry people in rags hanging out on sidewalks in front of windows sporting a $300 vase and $4000 shoes and want to toss a brick thru that window? 

I certainly have been so enraged at the cruelty of depriving humans basic needs so someone can spend thousands on what, a pair of shoes??? that I've wanted to smash windows.

I have often wondered how people who have so little can be peaceful in the face of such wonton ugly 'luxury' and blatant deprivation of their ability to survive and thrive.

And lastly, it is the power of the media that forces us to address labeling smashing windows "violence" while ignoring and even circumventing our SHUT IT DOWN message from getting out to the broader public.

It is the power 'speaking' back to our uprising that focuses us on the smashing of windows and demands we spend our energy first agreeing with them that smashing windows is violent, and second dividing us from those who choose to smash windows as their response to the real violence of murder.

I am not advocating the smashing of windows. I am advocating awareness of divide and conquer tactics of those in power - they've had centuries to hone and sharpen this tactic that helps keep them in power - and of our never allowing these powers to move us off message.

And our message is BLACK LIVES MATTER & SHUT IT DOWN!



Salmon, Sacrifice or Murder



I want to share a story with you – a very important story that, for those who fully grasp the meaning, it will resolutely guide our work during these opportune times.

This story was told to us by an Indigenous person whose people live in Canada along the Pacific coast. She received the story from an elder, who told her that many many generations ago, her people were anticipating the return of the salmon – for it was that time of year.

The first day of salmon season, no fish appeared. The next day, they waited, and still no fish appeared. They waited day after day, the next week and the following week. Still no salmon.

On the very last day of salmon season, the salmon returned – but only a handful. The people got together and talked about what they would do. The group consensus was to not harvest the salmon this season so that they would have a chance to grow and return abundant the following year.

That winter, over half her people died of starvation. But the salmon returned the next season and her people survived.

These people were willing to sacrifice their very lives for the sake of the future life of the peoples.

She spoke of our present day need to find the willingness to make the short term sacrifice, to accept the present day loss, for the long term good, for the long term survival.

She told us how her people believed they MUST consider the next SEVEN generations when making any decision.

For us, living in this day, in this country, the question of “sacrifice” is not about going without salmon but is really moot: for look around us, look at our very lives. Very few of us are living a life that we love, that we are proud of, that brings honor and respect and kindness – let alone a clear conscience – to our beings and families and country.

And because of our true history of how this country was ‘cleared’ of First Nation people in order to make a country for white society, and then how Africans were stolen and enslaved to build wealth for white society, and how we’ve militarily attacked nearly every country in the world to grab even those resources, and how we destroy the Mother Earth in order to be the 2 largest consumers of fossil fuels on our Mother Earth (the u.s. military #1 consumer, our country #2) – because we are rooted and growing in these bloody, ugly truths of our nation, even if you THINK you’re happy, not hurting anyone, guilt-free, you are not.

For the life planted, nourished and grown from the amerikkkan nitemare is froth with destruction of a whole lotta someone’s lives, where valuing property and money over human life and life of the Mother Earth reigns and cannot be separated from the amerikkkan nitemare.

So when we ‘sacrifice’ that amerikkkan nitemare, we are merely gaining our humanity, liberating ourselves as we know liberation for the first time ever.

Freedom is not free to exploit or take advantage of historical exploitation of others but is the release from the clutches of the quest for amerikkkan nitemare, of extricating the internal damage of amerikkkan nitemare infused in our cells, and then we or our 7 future generations can stumble on the path to finding true meaning that is planted and grown from only one thing: the sacredness of all life.

Have you watched real footage from the Algerian Revolution when the people overthrew the French? We often say in this country there are many, many, many more individuals than police. When looking at the footage of these courageous people, hundreds of thousands of them clothed in civilian garb maybe with a stick in their hands or a stone, faced men in military gear hoisting rifles over their shoulders.

The people charged the soldiers knowing many were going to be killed. Row after row after row of civilians did fall, but the rest of the people broke thru the lines and lines of soldiers, eventually disarming them, and shouting their victorious freedom.

The willingness to sacrifice short term life for the long term good.

We know, those of us that see, we know that we are not just talking about our freedom from capitalism, racism, sexism, violence, wars, the amerikkkan nitemare but we are talking about the very survival of life on this planet.

200 species of life are eliminated EVERY DAY on our planet – not by “human beings”, not by the sheer numbers of us, but by OUR EMPIRE. We need to stop trying to “sustain” our lifestyles but work to dismantling OUR EMPIRE.

For we all know, those of us that are looking around, seeing, feeling, hearing, we all know, in our heart of hearts, if we do not make our short term sacrifices, there will be no long term life.

Right now, First Nation people, all over our planet, are putting their lives on the line to stop the exploitation by oil and mining companies that is killing the Mother Earth – so we in the U.S. can be the people of the world that have cheap gas, 24/7 electricity and 1,500 plastic water bottles a SECOND.

Right now, Black people are in leading uprising into the streets, working to SHUT IT DOWN!

I think we all need t ask ourselves, what short term ‘sacrifice’ are we willing to make to ensure the future of life on our planet? 

The other choice, which many u.s.ofa. people seem willing to choose for all life on this planet, is to be the murderers of Mother Earth.