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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"

Friday, November 26, 2010

shoulda/coulda

My new friend Yadira, whose home happens to be literally one house from where I am parking in front of Caffenia to get their free wireless all night long, greets me this evening and tells me that my friend Pati is really Sandra, not Pati! So much for communicating!

Yadira lives with her mother, Victoria, and her Aunt, Alicia. Victoria and Alicia are one of 8 children of a Chinese man and an Indigenous womon. When I ask her mom Victoria, if it was difficult for her growing up mixed race in Los Mochis, they tell me no because there are lots of mixed Chinese in Los Mochis.

I feel even more lucky. Yadira identifies as a feminist and tells me her mom is a hippie! Her mom traveled around Mexico when she was in her 20's on a motorcycle. I have not found out if her mom drove the motorcycle or not.

Every time I see them, Victoria or Yadira or Alicia are giving me presents. Mostly food because they know I am a vegetarian, but also trinkets. Both Victoria and Yadira are learning English so they like to practice with me.

Yadira has friends who write for the news paper. They come over this evening to interview me - in english, thank the goddesses.

I am comfortable speaking to the u.s. press about ending war; I am not so comfortable speaking with the Mexican press about my values and beliefs, and how we are to work for a better world.

Every time I'm interviewed or have a microphone dangling in my face, I think later of all the wonderful things I should/could have said.

Tonite is one of those times. I know those of you who know me will not believe this, but when I was asked for my opinion what people can do, I did not wax eternal but held back.

Perhaps because I am not convinced that people really want to do anything. As I say in the states, when people ask "what can I do" they are really only asking half the question.

The other half, left unstated, is what can I do "without changing my life, without it costing me anything or too much, without 'sacrifice' or hard work or failing".

Or perhaps I know that real COMMITMENT to change comes when people have figured it out for themselves and know it in every cell of their bodies. But our planet and the life on our planet may not have that much time left. Certainly the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., do not have time left.

The urgency for immediate change is so imperative. But maybe it's like racism or sexism: do I care if that racist, sexist person believes deep down I am sacred, or that he behaves towards me as if he believes I'm sacred. Change the behavior and the beliefs catch up.

So to make up I am going to develop a list for these people who really do want to change but need someone to tell them what to do - whether they do it or not, sometimes telling people what to do enables them to think for themselves and figure out what they want to do. I know it works for me at times.

My next post will be 10 things to do presently in our world to be the BEST human being during your time on earth.

12 things to do now & 2 paradigm changes! to be built upon

a work in progress - please add - and remember, change is a process - something to embrace and strive for, not something to list all the reasons you cannot change but to work towards all the things you must change.

The VERY FIRST thing that must happen in our world, is that womyn MUST step forward and lead us from our core female values; and simultaneously, men MUST step back to allow the space for womyn to lead. So EVERYONE, start steppin'!!!

1) NEVER spend your money, resources, support for CORPORATIONS. We MUST end our individual support for CORPORATIONS: which means we have to be super aware of what we buy, where we buy, how we buy. If our individuals support for corporations were eliminated, war would not be profitable; slave labor would not be profitable; exploitation of others land and resources would not be profitable (a step to Eliminate Violence)

2) 100% ORGANIC: commit to buying and putting into and on your body only 100% organic things. Start with eliminating the 3 crops that use the most pesticides in our world: cotton, coffee, and tobacco (a step toward Holding All Life Sacred, beginning with your own)

3) GROW your own food ORGANICALLY (which means you start with organic seed as well as use no pesticides or chemical fertilizers or destroy rain forests to grow) Share growing with your neighbors and friends. Start an organic seed bank. ( a step toward Holding All Life Sacred)

4) Raise your consciousness and work with others raising consciousness. Read Read Read Discuss Discuss Discuss Question Question Question. Prioritize your time so that critical thinking, learning, challenging, discussing ranks high, higher than everything else you do in life - EXCEPT the ACTIONS you take to allow your walk to come from your talk!

5) Heal yourself, your communities, your family, especially if you are the survivors of genocide, colonization, oppression. We have to be so aware especially of the values we have taken on and challenge ourselves, whether they are religious values, social values, daily values, possession values - whatever. Figure out why you value what you do and how much of your values, what you strive for, comes from your oppression, from the dominant society, from the perpetrators of genocide.

6) Heal yourself, your communities, your family, especially if you are the perpetuaters of genocide, colonization, oppression. We have to be so aware of how we are or have become instruments of genocide, oppression; the ways in which we accept and perpetuate oppression. For our society, our world is so sophisticated, the old ways of enslaving people, etc., are no longer necessary in most places. It is like the elephant that no longer has the chain attached but remains stationary, believing the chain is attached. I know men, white people, straight people, people with money want to believe, do often believe they are not instrumental in perpetuating oppression but each and everyone of them are, if 'only' merely by definition. But this is another 'discussion'.

7. Eliminate the use of drugs and/or alcohol: we MUST honor our bodies and our minds and commit to living a life under the influence of life and mind-altering substances. If only for the main reason that those in power use drugs and alcohol to oppress our communities and people. For example: 12% of the white population uses illegal drugs' 12% of the black population uses illegal drugs. 12% of white users are prosecuted and end up in jail; 69% of black people are prosecuted and end up in jail. So then we all think black people are druggies, criminals, and need to be jailed.

8. NEVER BUY NEW. There is enough junk in this world to keep everyone in stuff for a very very very long time - especially if we share. It is rarely necessary to buy new.

9. Be aware of the impact of everything you do, every thing you support, all your choices have on life and the living on this planet. Make wise, loving choices that support life.

10. Do NOT use petroleum products besides fuel, especially plastics: which means NO BUYING water, etc., in plastic bottles. Get yourself a filter if you're so worried you can't drink the water. Buying water is BAD for the planet, not to mention the people whose land the water comes from. Our corporations, like fuckin COKE, go to another country, pollute their water and then steal the water that is not polluted to sell to you. It's unconscionable. Plus the plastic bottles we use, after we kill Iraqis, etc., to get their petroleum, in one year surround the center of the earth at least 150 times. Just to mention a few reasons to NEVER buy plastic or use plastic INCLUDING fuckin' plastic bags.

11. Do NOT throw anything away! Before you go to toss whatever into the garbage, ask yourself, can this be reused for anything? Can this be recycled? Can this be composted? Is there something else I can do with this. Try to have NO weekly garbage. Which means you have to buy things consciously thinking of the container and packaging. Ask yourself will I be able to recycle/reuse/compost this? If not, do NOT buy it! Simple.

12. STOP thinking of cost in terms of money. Think of cost in terms of expense to life on this planet. We cannot think it is 'cheaper' to buy a t-shirt made in China, or gmo corn from Mexico because it might cost us less money. I know this is where people with access to more money start pointing to all the poor people in the world and huff how can we expect poor people with hugely limited resources spend more on food. Well, the fact is that our society, our world is set up to enable rich people to spend less and force poor people to spend more of their resources to survive. If you KNOW that poor people are struggling, then it is your obligation to eliminate that suffering. Instead of spending money on a new tv or computer, feed your neighbors, share your resources, which leads me to one of the two paradigm shifts we need:

1) We have to believe with every cell in our bodies that it is totally unacceptable to have more than any other human being on this planet. So instead of working in order to have more, we must work in order to share everything with everyone on this planet.

and

2) We have to believe with every cell in our bodies that human life is sacred and that the taking of another human being's life is NEVER acceptable. We have to believe that there is never a good reason for taking another's life. For if we believe our reason is 'good' and acceptable, then how can we say another's reason is not good or acceptable.

quote

I was asked my favorite quote tonite and of all the incredibly ufb* things a writer can do is forget all the inspiring, unforgettable quotes i know, ESPECIALLY one of my own!

So I have added it to my blog - it is on my email signature: Work For Peace; Hold All Life Sacred; Eliminate Violence

Simple.

*ufb: unfuckinbelievable

Espere - waiting...

So 9am has come and gone without my new friends showing up as promised... or I thought Pati promised! These seems to happen a lot to me here. I THINK someone has said something and then when I go there, it seems I'm mistaken...

oh well, off I go on my own to try to find oil.

I walk around the several city blocks here. I could walk forever, if my feet didn't get blisters. I forgot to get those socks before I left Berkeley that are supposed to keep your feel from sweating i.e. no blisters.

Everyone I meet here is so friendly. Almost everyone struggles to understand my poor Spanish, most likely more than I am struggling to speak.

But finally, SUCCESS!!!! A young man at a small Japanese restaurant smiles knowingly at me, nodding his head the whole time I am asking for veggie oil, speaking to me in rapid Spanish that I nod and smile back at, hoping hoping, hoping he understands more of my Spanish then I understand of his.

He motions me to follow him back into the tiny kitchen area, which I do. Then he points to a FULL 20 liter container of used veggie oil!!! YEAH!!! I think I clap and cheer as he picks it up and carries it outside to the sidewalk.

I cannot believe my luck! I am parked about 5 blocks from this restaurant, but I just haul that heavy sloshing container back to my truck, stopping every few feet to put it down and beam!

When I am almost there, a man who is apparently helping cars park on a busy side street (I wonder if he gets paid for this or works for tips?) grabs the container from me and hauls it a few feet down the street until he is called to help park someone.

Another Japanese restaurant has promised me oil and wants a container. I reach my truck and exchange the full container of oil for an empty one.

On my way back to the other Japanese restaurant, I stop at a little tortas place and ask for their used veggie oil. As I am carrying the container, they seem to understand faster and point me to the back yard. There, a womon is busy cooking over a 2 burner propane stove and in another corner of the yard are two large plastic jars of oil!

I cheer and get to work. I strain the oil before putting it into my container. The womon who was cooking comes over and immediately helps me. It is a slow, hard process but she sticks with me the whole time, keeping one eye on the fish she is frying.

I go to the next tortas place in the next block and get a grand welcome there too. The daughter is working hte front counter, and in the back, the mother is frying. The father shows me the container of oil, apologizing because it is so little. I am so happy! MORE OIL!

He tells me he is half Chinese (his father) and half Mexican (his mom). He tells me his father just died a couple of years ago at the age of 109!

I now have to return to the truck with my container that is almost full. Thank goodness it is only 1/2 a block away! Once again, I exchange this container for an empty one. This time I head straight for the Japanese Restaurant Kibu, I think, and give them the empty container.

I am going to go to Yadira's home and see what happened to Pati!

Violence in Mexico

Let's be clear about violence in Mexico.

I have posted several times how I do not feel the level of violence in Mexico that womyn live with daily - and nightly - in the u.s.

I do not. I think this is a MUCH MUCH MUCH less violent country than the u.s. on so many different levels.

But I am not naive or a stranger to violence.

Violence against womyn exists here, as it does in the u.s. I just do not know the statistics, as I know in the u.s. - as 4 to 5 womyn a DAY are murdered by their hubbies, ex-hubbies, boyfriends, fiancees, and ex-es - in the u.s.

I do not know if womyn are killed to such a rate here by those who claim to love them. I know that men do not need to daily beat a womon to keep her oppressed or in fear of her life - it takes only one time, and a womon will never forget.

I know that womyn - girls really - are being terribly tortured and killed by some strangers around the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez.

I know that Mexican drug cartels are killing each other, maybe their customers, maybe a few innocent bystanders.

I do not know about political activists here. In Central America, America Sud maybe things are different.

I also know about privilege - along with the privilege of not being esposa nor novia to any man here, i have the huge privilege of being estadounidense and a turista.

I will begin to ask those men who claim there is no violence here about the violence against womyn. I'm thinking they are speaking of the random and social violence existing on all levels in the u.s. and that is fueled in our country by our quests for and acceptance of wars.

And I will ask the womyn who tell me they are sola, single, if they have experienced violence. So I can stop acting naive as well.