Sunday, April 09, 2006

Blog Spotlight: Kat on the protests

Kat had two entries we wanted to highlight and, out of a desire to finish this edition as quickly as possible, she agreed to let us.

Guns and Butter Wednesday on KPFA

Isaiah's take on Tom DeLay back in October of last year. If you missed it, DeLay announced he was stepping down today. He's out of Congress . . . the rest of the country should be very worried now that he'll be even more mobile.

I was thinking that I needed to get online and do a reminder for everybody that tomorrow on
KPFA, at one Pacific Time, Guns and Butter airs its latest episode. You can listen online and you can use the title's link to hear the archives.

I got home about a half hour ago. Maybe a little more because I caught more than a few seconds of the evening news on KPFA. I came in, turned on the radio and crashed face down on the sofa.
La Raza Chronicles came on right after and I thought, "I should get online and write something about this."

La Raza Chronicles provided voices from the activists fighting the psuedo-need, the false claim, that Congress has any legislation to offer that will improve the lives of immigrants. You should listen if you've only gotten news from the corporate media.

I was with C.I. today, trying to do my part (and thinking, "Do you have to have so much damn energy?" -- seriously, I was dragging within two hours and scoping around looking for the nearest place that had coffee). If you read the round-robin Friday, you know this is an issue C.I.'s been devoting a lot of personal time to. I read it and thought, "God, am I sloth!"

I really can be. So I told C.I. I'd help out on Tuesday. I feel like I've run a four-day, non-stop marathon. But I'll sleep without guilt tonight. About the corporate coverage, I don't watch it. I heard about it from the kids today who were really upset about the nonsense where corporate media tosses on someone saying, "Well, I think there may be some issue there but if they want me to listen to them, they need to stop waving a Mexican flag. This is America."

Two of the kids that were most bothered by this were listening while C.I. dictated the entry this morning. Let me grab it from the post. Okay, here's what C.I. said:

I'm not in the mood for nonsense today. That includes the gatekeepers who want to gripe at the young adults who bring flags of Mexico to a protest -- exactly where do they think many of the immigrants targeted are coming from? Ohio?

You should have heard the two kids when C.I. said that. They loved it. They were high-fiving and laughing while they kept repeating "Ohio" to one another.

If corporate media is picking on these kids, they need to back off. I was so impressed with their activism and their dedication. I was glad to lend my support in any way because nothing I did today comes close to what they've been doing for the last two weeks. They have made themselves heard. If corporate media's mocking them, it's because of the fact that they're scared of this activism. Anytime you can scare corporate media, you have their attention.

I get my broadcast news from KPFA so I don't know what bad media does. KPFA has done a great job covering it. If you've got some view of these kids as uninformed or not helping a cause, then you're getting your news from the wrong sources. Looking around, repeatedly today, I felt so much optimism for the future. If the United States is going to avoid going down the toilet, it's going to be because of passion and a willingness to fight and the kids have that.

I'll share one story. A young woman who was 15 was there for her parents and for her brother. He's just a little bit older. When her parents came here, her mother was pregnant with her. So she was born here and she's a citizen. And she is just devestated thinking how her brother and her parents, her family, are considered less than other people because they weren't born here. She explained how both of her parents worked, how her brother had a part-time job after school and she wanted to know why people keep saying things about how "those immigrants" just take from the system. She spoke about how she knew a young guy who is also a citizen but Latino and he was stopped on the bus by some government officials a few years back and asked if he was a citizen. He was on his way to school. She said if that can happen right now under the current laws, imagine how much worse the harrassment will be if the House or Senate bill passes?

She knew both bills and, while feeling the House bill was worse, felt like the Senate bill was only slightly better. She wondered why, with two supposedly opposing parties in Congress, no one was working to help the immigrants "Because everyone was an immigrant, even our governor, unless they were here before the pilgrims." She feels like the proposals tear families apart and that a lot of those families have children like her only older. "So you're talking about grandparents and like great-grandparents at risk of being thrown out of the country."

If I wasn't so tired, I know I'd be able to remember her word for word but I'm just too tired. (Again, I don't have C.I.'s energy levels. I don't think C.I. has them. I think C.I. just says, "Okay, this needs to be done, I'll do it and I won't complain" and then just pushes on through regardless of tired, hungry or whatever.) I'm going to try to do some more this week.

These kids need our support because they're teaching the country about democracy, they are fighting for a . . . I was going to say "a good cause" but that's really weak. For most of the ones who spoke to me today, this is for their family. It might be a parent or a grandparent or it might be an uncle or aunt or . . . We need to address the issue of immigration. Not in terms of fences or criminalization but in terms of finding a way to address a situation that our government has created via trade policies. We also need to find a way to value the contributions, the very real contributions, that are being made.

There are so many ways we could try to address that but instead we want to talk fences and criminalization and deportation. It's the fear-based nation that Bully Boy's stoked and encouraged.

Talk is cheap. Use Yahoo! Messenger to make PC-to-Phone calls. Great rates starting at 1¢/min.
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