mother’s day proclamation!

05/08/2011 § Leave a comment

happy mother’s day to my mom, kimie tanaka, and to all the double-duty mommas that make our world go round.

and while mothers day has become a hallmark holiday (im down w flowers n treats), let’s also raise its history as a Civil War era call by women against war, for racial equity and for women’s leadership.   pieces feel particularly relevant today:

“..Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”

Mother’s Day Proclamation, 1870
-Julia Ward Howe 
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!                

Say firmly:

“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

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GJ is back

05/01/2011 § Leave a comment

“Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Dr. King

my heart is in the east

03/10/2011 § Leave a comment

mona eltahawy on palestinian self determination and the inspiration of egypt tunisia and non violent movements.  via justin mcintosh FB

qt on egypt

02/11/2011 § Leave a comment

after all the speculation, i was sad today that mubarak didnt step down

but then there’s the adorbi hapa japanese bebe w the historical materialism

liberation sq

02/06/2011 § 1 Comment

women of egypt tunisia position papers

youth spark egypt

02/02/2011 § Leave a comment

see this video of Asmaa Mahfouz of the April 6 Youth Movement – a dominant youth & young adult front calling for regime change, human rights and democracy.

Mahfouz goes hard on sideline spectators, calling them traitors for their unwillingness to stand for freedom.  this video went viral and apparently helped move major demonstrations in tahir square on january 25th that sparked the uprising in egypt since.

reflecting a 21st century internationalist consciousness, April 6 Youth Movement adopted the same symbol as Otpor, the Serbian student led uprising that helped oust Milošević in 2000.

Mahfouz is compelling, courageous and inspiring.  those of us in the US that allow our government to support dictators like mubarek should find a fraction of her grit and demand that president obama stand with the democratic aspirations of the egyptian people.

or there’s always this..

A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt

02/01/2011 § 1 Comment

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photos via justin mcintosh FB via

A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt

via mary j FB by blog Sarthanapalos

The past few days I have heard so many stupid things from friends, blogs, pundits, correspondents, politicians, experts, writers that I want to pull my hair.  So, I will not beat around the bush, I will be really blunt and give you a handy list to keep you from offending Egyptians, Arabs and the world when you discuss, blog or talk about Egypt.  Honestly, I would think most Progressives would know these things, but let’s get to it.

  • “I am so impressed at how articulate Egyptians are.”  Does this sound familiar?  Imagine saying this about a Latino or African American?  You don’t say it.  So don’t say it about Egyptians.   Gee, thank you oh great person who is of limited experience and human contact for recognizing that out of 80 million people some could be articulate, educated and speak many languages.  Not cool.  Don’t say it.  You may think it, but it makes you sound like a dumb ass. « Read the rest of this entry »

tunisia and AZ

01/17/2011 § Leave a comment

1) did u know that tunisia had a revolution this week?   mohammed bouazizi’s self immolation ignited national protests against mass unemployment and corruption in the 23 year rule of ben ali (recently highlighted by wikileaks).  ben ali flees the country, making this the first popular removal of an arab dictator in over 25.  not only have the tunisian people fought for and won the possibility of political transformation, they also demonstrate the power of a country’s native population to address their own political repression, without the so called intervention/invasion from western powers.  i dont want to oversimplify the situation and note that the subsequent struggle for power is volatile and shifting as we speak.  but yea.  wheres the mainstream media on this and wheres the US left consciousness on the implications of these events?

2) the arizona shooting is sad, scary and abhorrent- and i agree that palinesque discourse is a problem and they deserves a spanking.  but im also not totally feeling the democrats opportunism, attributing the whole thing to ‘cross hairs’ on a map without talking about broader cultures of violence, the availability of weapons in the US, and the lack mental health resources.  a secondary point.. if the shooter was brown, how would the discourse on this be different?  expect talk of a culture of terror amongst muslims or the threat of increased immigration, or some irrelevant nonsense that served dominant media narratives that fuel xenophobia and militarism without making us safer.

Seeking Work and Dignity King’s “Second Phase”

01/17/2011 § Leave a comment

[dr. king leading a march from roxbury to the state house]

i wrote this piece 3 years ago to commemorate 40 years since king’s assassination in PeaceWork Magazine:

The US would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men (sic) and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. — Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967

In his prophetic last volume, Where Do We Go From Here? Dr. King points towards the abolition of poverty as the critical “second phase” in the struggle for justice. Even after the Civil Rights Movement won so called “equality” in 1964, it became clear that the right to sit next to whites at a lunch counter was useless without the funds for a meal. In his 1967 speech “Beyond Vietnam,” King maintained that an economy dominated by military spending existed at the expense of underfunding the poor.

In 2003, Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner and a cadre of other seasoned community organizers known as the District 7 Roundtable launched the Fund the Dream Campaign. Rooted in King’s call to challenge the ë”evil triplets of…racism, materialism, and militarism,” Fund the Dream resurrected King’s framework to build economic peace by organizing the under- and unemployed.

At the time of his assassination, King was in Memphis, standing with unionizing sanitation workers and building towards a national Poor People’s Campaign for guaranteed jobs or income. Today, facing economic recession, 50 percent unemployment among young African American men and growing poverty amongst single mothers, organizing against joblessness in Boston’s poorest neighborhoods has become a matter of survival.

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Gaza Youth Breaks Out – Manifesto

01/06/2011 § Leave a comment

i came across this manifesto on FB yesterday, and was intrigued by the raw rhetorical rejection of zionist oppression, as well as the earnest critique of failing internal palestinian leadership.  8 young authors of the document met with a guardian reporter under conditions of anonymity, giving context to a manifesto that they never expected to galvanize such fast attention.

GYBO on FB and wordpress

Gaza Youth Break Out Manifesto

Fuck Israel. Fuck Hamas. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, Fatah, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.

There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalizing this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope. The final drop that made our hearts tremble with frustration and hopelessness happened 30th November, when Hamas’ officers came to Sharek Youth Forum, a leading youth organization ( with their guns, lies and aggressiveness, throwing everybody outside, incarcerating some and prohibiting Sharek from working. A few days later, demonstrators in front of Sharek were beaten and some incarcerated. We are really living a nightmare inside a nightmare. It is difficult to find words for the pressure we are under. We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. They did not get rid of Hamas, as they intended, but they sure scared us forever and distributed post traumatic stress syndrome to everybody, as there was nowhere to run.

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