Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark | Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ordinary People

Enrique Krauze, author of 'Redeemers: Ideas and Power in Latin America,' wrote for the New York Times last week on Javier Sicilia, Mexican poet and protester. The article, 'Can This Poet Save Mexico?' profiles Sicilia, who has created over the past five months a so-far peaceful movement in protest of the drug-related violence there. The Movement for Peace With Justice and Dignity is made up of 'ordinary citizens' affected by the violence and has hosted dozens of peaceful marches and panels throughout the country.  The movement's ideology demands more "thorough investigation into the connections between politicians and criminals" and the creation of a 'truth and reconciliation committee,' among other governmental changes.

After reading about Twitter users in Mexico murdered for posting pictures of the violence, it's humbling to see such this kind of a movement gain momentum and publicly disseminate important information. My thoughts remain with Mexico as this whole situation unfolds.

But, better for you to read the article than for me to summarize. It's finely written and will be well worth one of your twenty! 

I'll leave you with this: I couldn't help but notice the way the article's headline, 'Can This Poet Save Mexico,' piqued my interest not only because Sicilia is reinventing himself as a political revolutionary, but because there's another protest going on in NYC that seems to have gained even greater publicity. The NYTimes described it, in an article entitled 'Protesting Until Whenever,' as a hodgepodge that quickly gained momentum, and now people from all over have Occupied Wall Street. I read that the protestors have a health clinic and sanitation facilities and bottled water, and that people from around the country are calling in food, pizza and wings, to be delivered. And now hundreds have been arrested, but the Coors Light still seems to be flowing...

I've been living under a little Argentine rock for the last few...I don't know. Days? Months? Anyway, I felt like the Occupy movement kind of lost me back there, and I asked Stephanie S for help understanding what exactly these people's goals are. That's how I said it - "What are these people's goals, anyway?" All snobbish like that.
"Redistribution of wealth," she told me simply, then added that she's helping to organize next week's Occupy New Orleans. "Elimination of debt," she said. "Free slaves."

And so, okay, it's bigger than I thought. "It's not an end to anything," Stephanie S said, "but it's a start. Major cities across the US are occupying. Athens has been occupied for months, but you won't see anything about that on the news. It's a media war. And Tunisia? Kicking ass."

Indeed. And may both protests remain peaceful. Missing you all, and sending my love,

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