Sunday, August 29, 2010
These people think they have the right to discriminate, to impose their 'white supremacy' views and their ways of life to others. They don't want a United States of diversity and coexistence with people who don't agree or look like them. They call it freedom, but they really mean oppression and privilege.
There was another rally in D.C. organized by African American civil rights groups to honor the extraordinary legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. [See the WaPo video here and photos here.] which I wanted to attend.
- A lady pushed me away from "her spot" saying that she has no patience "for people like you".
- An angry old man told me to "go back to Mexico" when I tried to interview him, adding that I don't "belong here".
- Another man pushed me really hard when I was interviewing someone and told me to "shut up" while her wife whispered "you better leave right now!"
I'm not making anything of this up.
While I was at the rally, I did not have a single minute of peace.
This wasn't a celebration of courage, charity nor honor. To me, this wasn't anything to be proud of. Since the moment I got in the Metro train early in the morning, to the time when I was on my way back home, I got their looks of distrust, me being the short Brown guy of indigenous heritage, I was pushed twice in the Metro train, and I overheard comments about "illegals" and things alike.
The worst part is, most of them have guns.
Note: I have more videos of this rally that I will post later on.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
This was before most of us were born. Forty years ago. Back then our Indigenous youth were wiser and courageous. This was before the FBI incarcerated or killed most of the leaders of this brave movement, there was hope.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I'm glad for my friends they have a reason to celebrate.
But I have the feeling this is bad for Mexican women and for Latinas in the United States. Personally I see beauty pageants as offensive shows of chauvinism, materialism and sexism, they place women as objects. They can be fun to watch, indeed but for many women they can send the wrong message.
|Jimena Navarrete. Photo by Miss Universe.|
Thus, beauty pageants may affect the self esteem of many women who are the pillars and foundations of our families, our communities, societies.
Here I need to mention that Mexico is a very racist society, a very discriminating and elitist nation controlled by European descendants, where the majority of people are of Indigenous and African heritage but where being White is an asset. This racism is result of hundreds of years of Hispanic colonialism, and it creates a bigger problem: self loathing discrimination of Brown people against their own.
Now please watch this other video I recorded a few months ago, during a community celebration of the Mexican immigrant community in a Washington, DC, suburb:
There you have it, people who ignore their roots are easy to be manipulated and controlled.
So as long as we let racist TV shows like Miss Universe -run by a racist and corrupted White man- our communities will fall into these messages of mental and spiritual manipulation. The people of Mexico, and other immigrant communities have to deal with this type of content in a daily basis.
Racism in Mexico against non-Whites is such, that even the official demographics deny the presence of Native peoples and classify them as European descendants or Mestizos, the same way we are called Hispanics in the U.S. As a result, most Natives peoples in Mexican urban areas won’t accept their heritage and they will honor their minimal European roots, instead.
This is exactly what happens in the United States among Indigenous and Black peoples who prefer being labeled as Latinos or Hispanics, something that is promoted from the U.S. government because of misinformation and White supremacist views. This way they force Indigenous communities (including mestizos or mixed Natives) to embrace the racist idea that we all descend from Spaniards, just because we speak Spanish.
I'm gay and I do enjoy the beauty of women, sometimes I do cross-dressing as well. But I care about people, especially peoples of Native heritage like myself. I dislike the way our communities are forced into poverty and being dependable.
This is how is being done for the past centuries by colonial European rulers. After failing in their genocidal plans of ethnic cleansing, they divided and brainwashed our Indigenous ancestors by telling them that our ancestors died completely. They forced them their languages, religion and ways of living with boarding schools and today through their media.
Indigenous peoples were told that by mixing with other races we become less Natives, that we can “improve our race” so that we become Latinos, Hispanics, they say that Mestizos are not longer Indigenous. We must try to “pass” as Whites in order to succeed in life.
Now it’s our duty to educate our children that our women are beautiful, that all of us are beautiful with all the things that make us who we are, that we are not just a body that allow us to be alive in this world but also spirits and minds that create the extraordinary individuals we grow to become.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce its 7th Annual Dance DC Festival: Experience Global Movement. The festival will highlight some of the city’s most talented folk and traditional dance and music performers from various cultures from August 20-22, 2010 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
Some genres include hand dance, African dancing and drumming, tap, tango, traditional Asian dance and many more! Performance as well as interactive workshops will be FREE to the public over this three-day event.
DAY ONE Friday | August 20, 2010
6:00pm | Carnaval Africana! - This night captures the festive essence of Carnaval fusing an array Afro-Brazillian dance and music expressions! Opening Night performance & reception. Pre-performance reception at 6:00pm. Performers include: Zezeh Brazil International, Capital Movement, Zomema Dance Ensemble, DC Casineros, Batala Washington DC.
DAY TWO Saturday | August 21, 2010
Ready. Set. Dance! - A series of interactive workshops in dance and expression of movement.
12:00pm | KidsFest - Explore African dance and music traditions through storytelling, music and movement. Performers include: Nubian Dance Theatre, Eric Maring
1:30pm | Hui O Ka Pua Ilima - Experience traditional and contemporary dances of Hawai`i in an informative and interactive format.
2:30pm | JOYISM - This liberating mobile dance laboratory will be sure get your hips moving.
3:30 | Ancient Rhythms Dance Company - Middle Eastern traditions come to life with traditional dances from Moracco, Algeria and Egypt.
5:00pm | Dance Asia 2010! - Dance Asia 2010 – “Asia in Reflection: Selected Works”. The 7th annual Dance Asia showcase is taking a step back through time and bringing to you the best of the best works. Themes range from Asia in Celebration, Asia in Legend, Asia in Nature, Asia in Thunder to Asia in Movie. Come join us on a trip down memory lane and ogle at the intricacy of Asian art of movement!
7:00pm | Rhythm Nation - A cultural fusion of percussive footwork. Performers include: On the Slide, Dr. Janaki Rangarajan, Furia Flamenca
DAY THREE Sunday | August 22, 2010
3:00pm | So Melodic - Experience a fusion of smooth melodic sounds. Performers include: L’Tanya Mari Quartet, Let’s Get Physical, Partner up for an array of interactive social dance workshops.
4:00pm | Grufolpawa - [Afro] Panamanian folk dance.
5:00pm | Sharna Fabiano Tango - Tango
7:00pm | Hand DanceMania -The Close Out Party!National Hand Dance Association. Join us as we close with a dance tradition native to Washington DC!
Friday, August 20, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
The game between the DC’s Nationals vs. the Arizona’s Diamondbacks continued after the protest. The activists carried a banner that said "Bud Selig Move The All-Star Game / Boycott SB1070" while two others were distracting the police.
The protest occurred around 3:00PM. I recorded this video with reactions of people at Nationals Park:
The activists who were arrested today are: Virginia Leavell, Rosa Lozano, Mackenzie Baris and Gustavo Andrade, all of them are DC-based human rights advocates. Gustavo was released an hour ago, and the rest are to be released tonight or tomorrow morning.
Update: all protesters have been freed tonight.
The activists speak out. This video includes images of the moment when the protesters were released from prison, and a good view of the moments of the protest itself at the Nationals Park field.
This action in DC is one of many that have been organized across the U.S. whenever the Arizona Diamondbacks team plays.
The protest is part of the national MoveTheGame.org campaign - a coalition of organizations led by Presente.org and MoveOn.org, which has coordinated several rallies, protests and other events across the country in reaction to Arizona's anti-immigrant law SB 1070.
Members of the campaign believe that Federal Judge Susan Bolton's recent partial injunction was not a victory in itself, but rather one of many steps in the right direction, and will continue to pressure MLB Commissioner Selig and MLB national teams until the game is moved to a different state.
The petitions were signed by community members and asked Selig to move the location of the 2011 All-Star Game. Five community advocates were arrested during this attempt
Protests against SB1070 will continue across the country, especially now that other states like Florida, Virginia, Utah and Texas are considering similar laws.
- We Love DC: Four Protestors Arrested at Nationals Park
- Dcist: Arizona Immigration Law Protesters Gather Outside of Nationals Park
- The Washington Post: Immigration protesters descend on Nationals Park
- Politico: Protesters hit D.C.-Ariz. game
- The Wall Street Journal: Take Me Out to the Protest
- AP: Group urges Selig to move 2011 All-Star Game
- Forbes: Group urges Selig to move 2011 All-Star Game
- Sports Illustrated: Anti-immigration law protesters disrupt Diamondbacks-Nats game
Gentrification continues in Washington, D.C.
This park is now fenced and closed, beautiful plants and fancy benches inside, while D.C. old time residents have to seat in the sidewalk.
All photos and videos by Carlos A. Quiroz
Friday, August 13, 2010
Vigil in Solidarity with Mapuche Indigenous Political Prisoners at the Embassy of Chile in Washington DC [VIDEO]
A symbolic vigil in solidarity with the Mapuche indigenous people was held yesterday August 12, 2010, in front of the Embassy of Chile in the United States.
A dozen people gathered at this protest, to demand the government of Salvador Pinera to respects the human rights of Indigenous Chileans and their imprisoned leaders, who begun a hunger strike a month ago and now several of them are in a delicate situation.
The government of Chile has jailed 31 Mapuche leaders who were arrested for demanding the rights of their communities. They are accused of terrorism based on an outdated law created during the bloody dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
The struggle of the Mapuche people is mostly against the invasion of their territories by private corporations, which cause pollution and other abuses. It also includes the demand for autonomy and self determination.
Campaign in Support of Mapuche Political Prisoners Gains Momentum
Press Release - August 11th, 2010
In a declaration of solidarity with 31 detained Mapuche hunger strikers whose current medical status is of grave concern, Mapuche International Link's (MIL) General Secretary, Reynaldo Mariqueo, will lead members of a delegation including Ms Jimena Castro and Mr Roberto Navarrete - both of whom are members of the Association of Ex Chilean Political Prisoners -to formally declare their opposition to the Chilean government's continued application of Pinochet-era anti-terrorism legislation against Mapuche democratic protest.
The event, which will involve the presentation of a letter to the Chilean Minister Counsellor at the Chilean embassy tomorrow and is timed to commemorate the ‘International Day of Solidarity with the Mapuche Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike’ on 12th August.[...]
The Mapuche struggle – of which the prisoners’ strike is only the most recent manifestation – is the latest chapter in a story which began with the campaign of genocide which was launched against the Indigenous population in 1863-1883 (in the form of the Araucanian Pacification). The Mapuche have since struggled against the results of a ‘settlement’ which was imposed upon them by force.The vigil was interrupted by a torrential rain. There was a presence of about six U.S. Secret Service agents.
We call upon both the Chilean government and the international community to instead work towards a settlement founded upon respect for basic and fundamental rights, whether human, political or cultural. For this reason we call upon the Chilean government to:
The Mapuche are an indigenous nation which straddles Southern/Central Chile and Argentina. Their population is estimated at two million. They are the only indigenous nation from South America whose sovereignty and autonomy were formally recognised during the Spanish [invasion] of the continent. To this day, the Mapuche continue to struggle against the repression of their legitimate cultural and territorial rights by the Argentinean and Chilean authorities.
- Repeal the anti-terrorism law.
- End the institutionalised violence.
- Ensure guarantees of due process for Mapuche political prisoners who are currently incarcerated.
- Repeal the method of ‘double simultaneous trial’ before a military tribunal and civilian court.
- Implement political and territorial rights of autonomy and self-determination.
Monday, August 9, 2010
US-Mexico Border Crime Rumors are Scare Tactics "Myth Spread by People Against Immigration Reform" said Linda Chavez-Thompson
Linda Chavez-Thompson responded to the rumors saying that undocumented immigrants are bringing drugs while destroying private property and increasing crime rates in the U.S.-Mexico border.
“They are scare tactics” said Chavez-Thompson, adding that those rumors are trying to scare people away from the border towns of Texas and Arizona, “it’s a myth spread by people who are against Immigration Reform”.
Linda Chavez-Thompson is the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Texas, the second most powerful political post in Texas which is elected separately from the Governor.
She said that Arizona’s [SB1070] “is a hateful law” that discriminates “people who look like me”. She added that “we already have enough protection in the border” to enforce national security and immigration.
I met Linda Chavez-Thompson briefly after her speech at the Netroots Nation 2010 conference. In this interview Linda Chavez-Thompson also talked about her experience as a farm worker which allowed her to see the abuses faced by immigrants.
She added that some people need to understand this country’s demographics are changing –which is the cause for racism in many cases. Finally she mentioned her values and background that gave her the reasons why she is running for Lieutenant Governor of Texas, to "bring government back to the people”.
Linda Chavez-Thompson is a second-generation Mexican-American, she was a farm worker while growing up in Texas, she has been a unionist and organizer for 48 years and she served as the elected Executive Vice-president of the AFL CIO –the biggest federation of unions in the country- from 1995 to 2007. Currently she is a Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee and a member of the board of trustees of United Way of America.
Watch the vibrant and inspiring speech of Linda Chavez-Thompson during the closing program of Netroots Nation 2010 conference.
Learn of ways how you can support
the Linda Chavez-Thompson campaign!.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Unsolved Russian Spy Scandal - Vicky Pelaez was Never a Spy for Russia: Journalist expelled by the US Prepares to Move to Peru or to Brazil
The details of that agreement haven't been released to the public yet, but the White House revealed that it knew of the spy swap -it allowed Russia to freed four spies working for the U.S.- back in February 2010. Actually, president Obama might have been only a witness of the decisions made by "the law enforcement community."
Most media and the public in the U.S. have accepted as true the official version that all 10 people expelled to Russia were spies. After all, that is what the accused declared themselves in Court.
However, it seems that some of accused were forced into the deal. This might be the case of Vicky Pelaez which still unsolved to many. The Peru-born journalist was involved in the case because she was married to "Mikhail Vasemkov", supposedly a Russian agent with a fake name.
I was in New York last weekend and I interviewed Carlos Moreno, the defense attorney of Vicky Pelaez during her 12-days trial. Attorney Moreno summarizes:
"Since Vicky Pelaez was removed from the United States to Moscow, she has remained in that city. She is living with Juan Lazaro in an apartment in Moscow. They continue to make arrangements to move to Peru. It's not clear whether they will remain in Peru or will go on to Brazil where she has family.The brief video of the interview (in Spanish) is posted in my blog Peruanista.
Support for Vicky Pelaez in the Latino and Peruvian community in New York remains strong. There are those who dislike her and who insist on defaming her, but she has a great deal of support in the Latino community in NY.
Vicky Pelaez is a journalist. That is all she is. She is not a spy for Russia or any other country."
Also, Moreno said that Vicky Pelaez is doing fine, "although she went overnight from being a renowned journalist to live in a country without friends or connections," and currently she lives with her husband continuing their marital relationship.
Several times during our interview, Carlos Moreno reassured that Vicky Pelaez is fully innocent of the charges imposed by the FBI, even if she declared herself guilty:
"Those who question why she pled guilty if she is innocent fail to understand that her plea was based on an agreement between the US and Russia, an agreement which was imposed on all defendants. Vicky Pelaez had no choice. She had no chance of getting a fair trial in the US. In my opinion, she chose wisely."About the case of the Russian agents, Moreno said, "It was a choreographed show that has nothing to do with the evidence, and it’s not clear to me about the reasons why it was done."
Most of the press in Peru and the U.S. have portrayed Vicky Pelaez as being a spy, and Moreno thinks that is about politics and the work of Pelaez as a progressive journalist.
"Comments from the media that never liked Vicky Pelaez, will continue. I still maintain that Vicky Pelaez is not, nor has never been a spy for Russia or any other country, and there isn’t any credibility to those comments which will continue to circulate in Peru and here in the U.S. "
Moreno said that although there are people who don’t like Vicky Pelaez but most of Latinos in New York city area continue to support Vicky Pelaez, regardless of the highly controversial comments made by Pelaez ex-colleagues who have "sentenced" her without evidence.
Vicky Pelaez was born in Peru but became a U.S. citizen after she moved to New York over 20 years ago. She was known for her articles in Spanish language, against the devastating effects of U.S. foreign policies, including the war in Iraq and the U.S. military, political and economical interventionism in Latin America.
Carlos Moreno said is not clear to him whether Vicky Pelaez knew of her husband's other identity, but he doubts that Juan Lazaro's guilty plea is legitimate.
However, this strange spy scandal has not destroyed Vicky Pelaez’ family. She and Juan Lazaro continue living together, despite the accusations saying that Lazaro involved her in the case. "They are a family and they will remain a family." said Moreno.
The sons of Vicky Pelaez, Waldo Mariscal and Juan Lazaro Jr., standing in front of their parents' house which has been confiscated by the U.S. government AP Photo
Both sons of ages 38 and 17, are living now in their Yonkers, NY parents house, but not for too long since it has been confiscated by the U.S. government. Currently unemployed, they are receiving assistance from friends and relatives. Even in their current situation "They are proud of their parents despite the allegations."
Carlos Moreno responded yes to my question if the defense of the Pelaez case will continue in the future. That will be defined once Vicky Pelaez arrives and gets settled in Peru. "For Vicky Pelaez, getting adjusted in Peru is going to be complicated, due to changing political situations in that country after 20 years." Perhaps Pelaez will try to return to the U.S. by legal means with the permission from the U.S. General Attorney, said Moreno.
But Vicky Pelaez' return to Peru might involve some complications, due to recent statements by Peruvian President Alan Garcia and his Foreign Minister Jose Garcia, implying that Pelaez had committed fraud on falsifying personal information, before she left Peru.
Vicky Pelaez will continue writing, either while living in Brazil or Peru, "because that's she does," said Moreno. When I asked him if there are chances that she will write a book on what really happened in this scandal, Moreno said that is possible. But "It is unlikely" that Pelaez will continue working for the newspaper El Diario La Prensa of New York, because "they showed so little solidarity with her."
Vicky Pelaez will overcome this crisis. "In 12 days her life and her family’s lives were destroyed, but Vicky Pelaez is a very strong woman, very determined and she is going to overcome this, she will survive this crisis." added Carlos Moreno.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Move the Game! Immigration Activists Protest SB1070 at Baseball Games in NYC and Phoenix by Dropping Signs and Storming into Field
Immigration activists continue a series of protests against the racist law SB-1070 of Arizona, by interrupting the games where the Arizona's team Diamondbacks are playing.
Protesters hang a banner against SB1070 and the Arizona Diamondbacks ownership asking the MBL to move the 2011 All-Star game from Phoenix. Photo APYesterday Monday August 2nd, 2010 the game of Diamondbacks vs. DC's Nationals was interrupted in Phoenix, by activists dropping signs in the stadium:
PHOENIX — The Nationals and Diamondbacks were delayed briefly Monday night when a fan draped a sign over the left-field wall protesting Arizona's immigration law.Last Sunday August 1st, 2010 two activists run into the field before the match of New York's Mets vs. Diamondbacks, while carrying Mexican flags. This happened at the Citifield stadium in Queens, New York. Watch this video:
Plate umpire Angel Hernandez halted the game in the first inning when he saw the large sign addressed to Diamondbacks owner Ken Hendrick.
The sign read: "Mr. Kendrick ... Don't feed hate. Say no to SB1070."
Nationals left-fielder Josh Willingham said something to the fans behind the sign, which was pulled down by a security guard after a delay of about a minute.
The immigration law was partially blocked by a judge last week, but it hasn't stopped protests around Phoenix. Numerous groups have asked baseball to move next year's all-star game from Arizona because of the law.
More protests are expected until the MLB takes action on the over 110,000 signatures of baseball fans demanding the MLB All-Star Game 2011 to be moved from Arizona.
Meanwhile, more activists and celebrities are joining the campaign asking to boycott the state of Arizona until it repeals SB-1070.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
This is the case of Earnest L. Williams, a dedicated father who decided to support children in his community, after knowing that his son Justin has ADHD. He also wrote a book about it.
Earnest L. Williams, Jr. a writer, publisher, organizer with a master’s degree from Towson University has helped creating SYO Chargers, a community group educating children and youth through sports.
The SYO Chargers need your support now, so that they can bring a group of 20 young athletes to the Amateur Athletic Union AAU Junior Olympics Track and Field Meet 2010 in Norfolk, Virginia.
Last Friday I was out in Chinatown when I spotted a group of kids selling books, in front of the movie theaters. There I met Earnest Williams, and we talked briefly:
How to help? Contact Ernest L. Williams (click here) or use this information:
Ernest L. WilliamsRemember, we all can change our communities, one person at a time. This is a good example, you can help by donating, spreading the word or just emailing and telling Mr. Edwards that his work is important!
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Washington, DC 20002