Below is a reflection I shared at the Athens’ Women’s March in 2019. Making waves of healing justice then, now, and always!
What do we want … equality! When do we want it … now!
It is cold, it is wet, and yet we persist and in the words of Rep. Maxine Waters, we are controversial.
I start with words from lesbian poet Mary Oliver… “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” She also writes, “SOMETIMES BREAKING THE RULES IS JUST EXTENDING THE RULES.”
Our feminism, our revolution, our rule breaking, our healing justice must be intersectionally fierce … if its not its BS and meaningless. We are in this together … we are not alone, even when we disagree, we must remain committed to making space with each other and for each other to not only survive but to thrive.
Today we demand answers, we demand that silences be broken … to quote Emma Gonzalez, bisexual Latinx student from Parkland…“So we are speaking up for those who don’t have anyone listening to them, for those who can’t talk about it just yet, and for those who will never speak again. We are grieving, we are furious, and we are using our words fiercely and desperately because that’s the only thing standing between us and [violence] happening again.”
We will not settle for silence whether it be from the President of the US, from the leadership of Ohio University, from our criminal justice system that privileges perpetrators of violence at the expense of victims and survivors, or from systems of power that hide in confusion rather than share the truth. We break the silence for
- All government employees who have been furloughed, struggling how to make ends meet due to one mans temper tantrum, or as we say in Spanish, perreta
- For immigrant families being broken apart
- For trans people who are being murdered
- For those figuring out how to overcome the challenges of accessing reproductive healthcare
- For American Indian and Indigenous Women who are missing
- For communities being poisoned by environmental negligence
- For all those left out of our task forces, committees, and social justice circles.
We break the silence now and we will break the silence always
The theme of this year’s march at the national level is #WomensWave … we ride the wave towards healing justice and when there is no wave, we will make waves and ripples and splashes, and we will be fabulous while doing so!
In our healing justice we lift up the groundbreaking number of women of all identities elected into office … we celebrate that communities are finding ways to shatter walls and build bridges … we celebrate that in our current political climate, folks like all of us today are being bold in speaking justice to hate and oppression, we celebrate that we join thousands around the country and around the world in lifting up the voices, bodies, and experiences of women of all genders, sexualities, races, ethnicities, abilities, religions, ages…raising awareness about the voices, bodies, and experiences of all who are minoritized for living and loving beyond the norm … today is a reminder to those who do not respect our existence, y’all should expect resistance and revolution. We will not be silenced, we will be not be erased. Our questions are acts of revolutionary healing…we will not settle for silence now or ever.
I close with a quote from Veronica Bayetti Flores, queer immigrant writer, activist, and rabble-rouser…”Your bodies are dangerous to the status quo. Your bodies bust through the armor of the gender binary and the patriarchy…Your bodies are ending white supremacy and heteropatriarchy. Your bodies are evidence that the colonial project has failed; you are here despite it all. We are here despite it all. For this our people are killed. Over and over and over. Killed by abusive partners. Killed for wearing hijab. Killed for wearing a hoodie. Killed for being mentally ill…Killed for existing. Killed for surviving…We were never meant to survive, And yet we are here. And yet we thrive. And yet those with power over us want to take pieces of our ceremonies, our religious practices, our artifacts, the ways we dress, our music, the ways we dance. For those whose bodies are dangerous, I’m here to tell you that the life in your body, your life, matters. That it is in the interest of the betterment of the human condition that you live. That despite what is of interest to the media, your names matter while your hearts are still beating. I’m here to tell you that you are the most beautiful creatures to [move about] this earth. That even though the world wants to kill you, so many of us are out here fighting for your life [with you and when you can’t fight]. Your bodies are how the revolution begins [continues and thrives].“
Allies, don’t just say your an ally … live it and be it, live allyship and be an accomplice. Be more than a hashtag.
All of us here, all those in solidarity who could not join us, people everywhere, do better and stop the bs, period.
We will not be erased or allow anyone to be erased…we will break and shatter silences. We will be the wave and we will make waves.
Muchas gracias! Si se puede … viva la raza!