"Charity is commendable, everyone should be charitable. But Justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don't go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth, justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.
Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table"
~Bill Moyers

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Announcing a New Blog - Keeping faith for "The Illegal Extraterrestrial" - and a New Blogger, Marisa Loza.

As a result to my interest / desire to know where and when actions for May Day 2009 in the US would take place, as many of you know, I compiled a list of events, a post-action post and subsequently I posted a report of what I learned.

In carrying out the tasks for this project, I had the opportunity and privilege of talking with activists all across the Nation, got to talk to many people united in the worthwhile struggle for justice, equality or, saying it differently, just plain fairness and goodness.

My experiences were so inspirational, energizing and rewarding - I heard stories of what they were doing, I heard their optimism, energy, conviction and commitment - I was told how their Actions turned out, albeit the low turnouts everywhere, I didn't sense any dismay or other negative feelings normally associated to when our expectations are not fulfilled.

Of the many people I talked with, for details first and then updates, I also contacted our sister, comrade and friend Marisa Loza, of 'Latinos Unidos del Valle de Napa', who has helped organize many Actions in that area and who was again among the organizers for a May Day 2009 Vigil, which was eventually canceled, during one of our phone conversations, I learned that she had a story to tell about a day planned with high expectations but instead turned into 1. Disappointment, 2. Conviction, 3. Commitment and ended up being 4. Very Rewarding.

I asked to tell me about her experiences on May 1st '09, after she finished, the first thought that came to my mind was: This story has to be shared, I interrupted her to voice it.

Well, she had the same thing in mind and so it came to pass, she went ahead to setup a Blog and publish her first post and I decided to bestow upon myself the honor and pleasure to talk about it in a post of my own in my Blog.


Saturday, May 9, 2009
Keeping faith for "The Illegal Extraterrestrial"

Every year is a different experience, every year I learn something new. But this year, it was like I was dragged from one place to another to hear a message from God. The swine flu, the rain, the new president, the unemployment and bad economy, everything plays an important factor for people to come out and show support to "La Causa" or hide in the shadows and do nothing.

Everything started like any other event, looking for the perfect venue so we can have the greatest number of people involved. We thought that our local Church will be the perfect place. Have a spiritual vigil, community speakers and end it with a mass. Everything looked perfect! For reasons out of my reach, the father from the Church did not let us use the Church as our venue. OK, we started with plan B: a public park. We did all the arrangements, pay the city dues and on May 4, around 4:00 p.m., the majority of the board of directors decided to cancel our event "for safety reasons". What! After all the hard work, besides more people die crossing the border every year than from flu. What about all the people that called me to confirm the date, time and spot. The swine flu is a justified cause; on the other hand, my compromise with the people that called and I said I'll be there. I called the other organizers and said to them "llueva, truene o relampage, I'll be there" So I did.

On May 1st. at 5:00 p.m. I was standing at the Napa Veteran's Park in downtown Napa with my umbrella, a light blue sweater, jeans and sandals. Why sandals? I was positive hoping for a sunny day and something comfortable to walk. Two other members Marcos and Ricky, arrived with their umbrellas too. Their umbrellas were twice as big as mine and they were dressed accordingly to the rainy weather. We stayed there for an hour. Because it was raining so hard, nobody else showed. It was kind of a disappointment because we worked so hard all the month of April and have this canceled at the last minute.

I invited my two good friends to have a cup of hot coffee a few blocks away from the Park. They agreed with me, so we walked to this place that neither of us had ever been before. When we were ordering we noticed that they were setting a small stage with a camera, speakers and a microphone.

...he announced the first person: Julio Soriano Soriano. I believe that besides us three, he was the only Latino there. In the middle of different conversations among the people inside the coffee place, the espresso machine and the rainfall, he approached the crowd by introducing himself. He said something about a mix of Native Indian and Mexican, Illegal Immigrants, and he did not have a guitar with him. These three things got my attention. Then he started to read a poem of his own inspiration. The crowd started to quite down to the point that only his words and his breath were left in the room: “Just imagine! A human wannabe asking for fair wages? Asking for representation, opportunity and justice. Absurd!

In the less expected place, his words came and reminded me that I have to keep my faith and hope up high because sooner or later, there will be a change in this world where everyone will be treated equally regardless of race, religious beliefs, or gender. To me, he was like a messenger from God. Maybe I am simply doing my job too: Fulfilling and manifesting my destiny.

Marisa Loza
Immigration Consultant

Enjoy this young man poetry.

"The Illegal Extraterrestrial"

I was born here on earth.
Born from two human parents.
For as long as I can remember
I have lived among the human species.
I can see, touch, and taste.
I can hear and speak.
I have a family; I have emotions.
I’m able to love.
I’m able to hate.
I’m able to cry.
I’m able smile.

I have the same organs that everyone else has.
I have only one brain, only one heart, just two lungs.
Still don’t believe me?
Well, I have 46 chromosomes.
You can check my DNA if you want.
I promise I’m really the same as you.

I’m sorry undocumented immigrant, whoops,
Did I say undocumented immigrant? I meant illegal alien.
Lets not go and call you undocumented immigrant.
We don’t want you poking around thinking that
You have a chance to be like us humans.
Just imagine! A human wannabe asking for fair wages?
Asking for representation, opportunity and justice.

What about us you say, we’re immigrants too?
Well, you see,
We’re the GOOD kind of immigrants.
We were chosen by God.
When we came into these lands, we were simple doing our job:
Fulfilling our Manifest Destiny.
We came to civilize the savage beings of the Americas.
We actually brought goodness to these lands. We made it a better place.
See those great concrete cities spread across the nation? We made them.
See the millions and millions of great cars? We made those too.
See the vast fertile fields with grains, fruits and vegetables? We put those there and removed the savages.
This nation, in fact the whole world, should be grateful for our existence.
Unlike you, who brings nothing useful. You’re just an annoying pest...


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