ya llego ...
waiting in the airport to get back to SF.
CPA folks in Shen Zhen and guang zhou. B & E back in O'town. I wish I could have gone with them to the other side, but was grateful for the days with my cousins and the days with my CJWP crew. We needed time to process the challenges of API movement building and of the last several days, and some time to build with each other. To meet David Wong and kick it. Folks is family to me. Teasing, talking smack, eating, challenging each other. Aaaaahhhh
Movement building cannot be limited to the sphere of 501(c)3s, from an international perspective, froma functional / utilitarian perspective, from an ideological and from a community building & organizing perspective, from my experience.
This comes from a great love for all my people, our people.
This morning as we walked outside of our hostel in Jordan, some young folks from a local film school were shooting a film. W started walking backwards so as not to get in the way and the look on her face gave me a flashback to the night on the bridge. Later on, after jook, going to make copies of this letter, I have another flashback, this time of all the cameras the whole time we were in the streets, in the park, all the cameras, videos, mikes everywhere, the whole time ... yet what makes it out is so uniform ....
Long convo -- now it is a liability for any city to host the WTO. At least we did that, and I have a satisfactory answer for my cousin and auntie. But also, it is about all of us being able to build with each other. I had forgotten that people from outside the US don't know about our struggles on the inside. We have a lot to learn in general about struggle and discipline, though I forget that cuz I study so much in school and as a consultant I have to have the discipline to get my shit done, and aas someone new in the field, it can't be janky. it's too competitive all out there.
But also it's important to celebrate ourselves, our vitality, our creativity, in all its forms, to build -- the Indonesian journalist, the Honduran farmer I met, the Taiwanese cooperative organic farmers, the Chinese-British journalist, the workers in the various organizations, the HK student organizations. My cousin gets that I have a set of beliefs that they generally agree with, but I back it up in my actions, in my life choices, career choices. He backs me up to the uncles and aunties, and they pass it on to my parents. These long chains, unpredictable, also give me hope for movement building, becauase I see allies everywhere, unexpected. Queer family members who support and inspire. Capitalist famly members whose stories teach me humility in a same but different way than the farmers who are willing-to-die. My mother thinks I exaggerate when I say these policies have killed people.
When we ask the question, what are the police portecting? the answer is so unsatisfactory. they were there to protect the right of corporations to make rules about human rights, the environment, labor protection, to circumvent so-called state processes, as imperfect as they are. Marcos' Fourth World War, the Fourth World .. ah, my friends, our contradictions. For instance, one of our chants uses the Third World as a rubric. In honor of Third World Women's Movements in the US, who recognized international solidarity as a major foundational building block, for the Third World movement of the time, it was a major intervention in the otherwise US focused movements of the 1960s 1970s. Were those within it not critical of the term Third World? No, but the term also recognizes the reality in global politics of the Global South. Imperfect term, but we as movements have always reclaimed and reinvented terms to also become markers of resistance and pride. Why not again? Why not take terms with their dominant hegemonic meanings and turn them on their heads?
That is the creativity I wish for our people.