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a publication of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

February 2012 | Vol. 25 Issue 1

San Antonio, Tejas

No somos mercancĂ­a en manos de banqueros y politicos We are not commodities in the hands of bankers and politicians

La Voz de Esperanza February 2012 vol. 25 issue 1

© 2012 Esperanza Peace & Justice Center All Rights Reserved.


Gloria A. Ramírez


Monica V. Velásquez


Tom Keene, B.V. Olguin, Daniela Riojas, Pancho Valdez, Rosalynn Warren

Cover Art

Muerte en la frontera by Liliana Wilson www.lilianawilson.com (Note: Slogan on cover widely used in Spain & Latin America in Occupy protests)

La Voz Collective Alice Canestaro, Laura Parra Codina, Sara DeTurk, Juan Diaz, Jo Flores, Grace Gonzáles, Gloria Hernández, Araceli Herrera, Davina Kaiser, Gina Lee, Angelita Merla, Ray McDonald, Dave Stokes, Lynn McWhite, Juana Hilda Ruiz, Argelia Soto, Inez Valdez

Esperanza Director Graciela I. Sánchez

Esperanza Staff

Imelda Arismendez, Verónica Castillo, Jessica O. Guerrero, Amanda Haas, Monica V. Velásquez

Conjunto de Nepantleras

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2012 Vol. 25 Issue 1•

-Esperanza Board of Directors-


Brenda Davis, Jessica O. Guerrero, Araceli Herrera, Rachel Jennings, Amy Kastely, Kamala Platt, Ana Ramírez, Gloria A. Ramírez, Rudy Rosales, Nadine Saliba, Graciela Sánchez • We advocate for a wide variety of social, economic & environmental justice issues. • Opinions expressed in La Voz are not necessarily those of the Esperanza Center.

La Voz de Esperanza

is a publication of The Esperanza Peace & Justice Center 922 San Pedro, San Antonio, TX 78212 (on the corner of Evergreen Street)

210.228.0201 • fax 210.228.0000 www.esperanzacenter.org Inquiries/Articles can be sent to:

lavoz@esperanzacenter.org Articles due by the 8th of each month Policy Statements

* We ask that articles be visionary, progressive, instructive & thoughtful. Submissions must be literate & critical; not sexist, racist, homophobic, violent, or oppressive & may be edited for length. * All letters in response to Esperanza activities or articles in La Voz will be considered for publication. Letters with intent to slander individuals or groups will not be published. The Esperanza Center is funded in part by the TCA, Alice Kleberg Reynolds Fdn, Astraea Lesbian Fdn for Justice, the NEA, theFund, The Kerry Lobel & Marta Drury Fund of Horizon’s Fdn, Coyote Phoenix, Movement Strategy Center Fund, Peggy Meyerhoff Pearlstone Foundation y nuestra buena gente.

Empire, Republic and War by Tom Keene

Editor’s note: Tom Keene, an Esperanza community elder, has agreed to use this editorial space to give La Voz readers a quick review of the difference between empire building and a democratic republic that has its people as its first consideration in development of a country. This is essential to understanding where we are today and where we are heading.


s Americans we have two heritages, each with different agendas, values and purposes, each in conflict and contradiction with the other. These different heritages are that of a democratic republic on the one hand, and that of empire on the other. Today we are caught between these two heritages as we explore and test the reasons for having gone war. Our question is which heritage does war serve? Empire or Republic? Let’s look at our democratic heritage: Our Declaration of Independence. All humans are created equal. Each with certain inalienable rights. Government derives its authority from the consent of the governed. When governments fail, the governed have the right to abolish these governments and institute new governments. In other words: People do not get power from the government, a the government gets power from the people. The Constitution. It sets out a “government of the people, by the people and for the people,” designed to invests “establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide in its citizens, their for the common defense, promote the general welfare liberation and their and secure the blessings of liberty.” In other words, government is here not to control well being. . . and use the people but to protect and serve the people. Like our system of free public education to all children. invests Like the WWII and Korean War GI Bills that provided its resources in low interest home loans and college education to millions of GI’s whose resulting economic prosperity domination of its produced more tax revenue than the government ever own people as well as spent on GI Bills. A democratic republic invests in its citizens, their liberation and their well being. other people. Here is what our heritage of empire looks like. By definition, empire invests its resources in domination of its own people as well as other people. Empire will tell its subjects that they must pay for the most expensive military in the world but that we can’t afford universal health insurance or publicly funded childcare for working parents. American empire began with the domination of Indian lands and people. It built its wealth on slave labor imported from Africa. It conquered and occupied half of Mexico’s land, then fought a Civil War over who would control the wealth producing labor in these new territories: the slave holders of the South or the factory owners of the North, who in turn paid their workers slave wages. After the Civil War American empire turned to dominate the Caribbean, taking Puerto Rico and making Cuba an economic satellite. In the Pacific, Empire took over Hawaii and the Philippines, calling that ocean an American lake. American Empire then fought Filipinos for three years, using concentration camps to quell their rebellion against our Empire. 200,000, mostly women and children, died in those camps for lack of food and sanitation.

democratic republic empire

ATTENTION VOZ READERS: If you have a correction you want to make on your mailing label please send it in to lavoz@esperanzacenter.org. If you do not wish to continue on the mailing list for whatever reason please notify us as well. La Voz is provided as a courtesy to people on the mailing list of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. The subscription rate is $35 per year. The cost of producing and mailing La Voz has substantially increased and we need your help to keep it afloat. To help, send in your subscriptions, sign up as a monthly donor, or send in a donation to the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. Thank you. -GAR VOZ VISION STATEMENT: La Voz de Esperanza speaks for many individual, progressive voices who are gente-based, multi-visioned and milagro-bound. We are diverse survivors of materialism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, classism, violence, earth-damage, speciesism and cultural and political oppression. We are recapturing the powers of alliance, activism and healthy conflict in order to achieve interdependent economic/ spiritual healing and fuerza. La Voz is a resource for peace, justice, and human rights, providing a forum for criticism, information, education, humor and other creative works. La Voz provokes bold actions in response to local and global problems, with the knowledge that the many risks we take for the earth, our body, and the dignity of all people will result in profound change for the seven generations to come.

Americans like Mark Twain formed the Anti-Emperialist League to protest. Twain summed up Empire’s mood, “And so by these Providences of God - and the phrase is the government’s not mine - we are a World Power.” American Empire took Panama, made the canal and sent in the Army and Marines to control whoever governed in the Caribbean and Central America. After WWII, our CIA overthrew democratic governments in Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954) and Chile (1973) when they dared to put control of their natural resources, oil, lands and minerals, in the hands of their people and out of the hands of American corporations. My old army division, the 82nd Airborne, was used to overthrow a democratic movement in the Dominican Republic in 1965. In the 1980s we intervened in Nicaragua and El Salvador to ensure American Empire. We invaded Grenada and Panama for the same reason. In all these cases, we violated international law. In 1986, Nicaragua went to the World Court and sued the American Empire for its intervention. The World Court found the United States guilty of international terrorism. The U.S. simply declared it did not recognize the authority of the World Court and continued its illegal campaign. Such is Empire when it comes to international law. We can see how different Empire is from a Democratic Republic. In an empire the members are thought of as subjects: subjects of the king or emperor, of the government, love it or leave it. Government secrecy is necessary because the people can’t be trusted. In a corporately driven empire, its members are thought of as consumers, to have is to be somebody. Corporations and their CEOs invest in the best government money can buy. In a democratic republic, its members are thought of as citizens who feel free to question authority, demand freedom of information, who participate in the decisions of government through voting and membership in a political party that is not owned by money. When it comes to war, republics and empires behave differently. A democratic republic distributes political power to all and requires a formal declaration of war from elected representatives of the people. An empire concentrates political power in the hands of the few, and it is the few who make the decisions that lead to war. American empire invaded Mexico in 1916 to occupy its oil

fields with no declaration of war. Wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, and then the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were fought without formal declaration of war by representatives of the people. An empire’s military will depend on mercenaries and economically stressed volunteers. A republic, when forced to defend itself, can rely on a draft of its own willing citizens. By its very nature, a democratic republic serves all its constituents equally. Empire, by its nature, serves wealth and power. In a republic, the military serves to protect the nation, the people and the Constitution. In our empire, the military along with CIA covert operations, serves wherever corporate interests require. So as we reflect on our dual heritage, empire and republic, as we think and talk about this ongoing war, let us consider three questions. Whose forces are making the decisions to go to war? The forces of empire or the heritage of our democratic republic? Which forces will benefit from the war? Empire or Republic? Who will pay the price? Empire or Republic? How shall we respond to this continuing challenge? We can respond with denial, “Empire is not really that dangerous to us.” We can respond with despair and cynicism, “Yes, it really is that bad and we can’t do anything about it.” We can respond with hope, recognizing that injustice and empire have two offspring: anger at the way things are, and courage to change the way things are. The choice is up to us. We can take on the heavy duties of citizenship or passively conform ourselves to be subjects of empire. If this struggle for democracy at home seems overwhelming in the face of empire, remember: we are not powerless. We can do something and that something will lead to other things we can do. At the end of our lives we will be responsible, not so much to have succeeded, but to have been faithful to our heritage of a democratic republic, faithful to our consciences and to ourselves.

. . . injustice and empire have two offspring: anger at the way things are, and courage to change the way things are.

John Joseph Murnin The Esperanza Center board, staff and community offer condolences to the family of John Joseph Murnin, 82 who passed into spirit with with his wife, Darlene Clements Murnin by his side. He experienced a long military career in the Air Force and was a dedicated peace activist after retirement. He was also politically active as a “yellow-dog democrat” acting as volunteer director of the Bexar County Democratic Party. May he rest in peace and his family find solace in a life well lived.

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Bio: Tom Keene did his military duty as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division during the Korean War. He served his community as a community organizer, teacher and as founding member of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese and the San Antonio Community Radio Corporation, one of the parent organizations of Texas Public Radio and station KSTX. He holds post-graduate degrees in Psychology, Theology and Applied Theology.


The following reflections on the Occupy Wall Street and related Occupy Movements is the first installment of a three-part series in La Voz. They will be followed by “Part 2—On the Ground With Occupy SA: Who We Are,” and “Part 3—Occupy Everywhere: The Potential and Future Challenges of the Occupy Movements.”

Inside & Outside

the Circle: Locating the Occupy Wall Street Movement in Local and Global Contexts Part 1: International Antecedents and Local Legacies by B. V. Olguín

This level of organization and dedication to democratic process, where everything is shared, and everyone is given a chance to participate, is a testament to the potential that humanity has to create a truly just society. —Los Indignados Alternative Economics Discussion Circle, Granada, Spain, July 12, 2011

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Where Did It All Begin?


On June 11, 2011, in the plaza facing the Ayuntamiento, or City Hall Building in Granada, Spain, the crowd went mad, forming a wall of sound with drums, whistles, and shouts of Fascista! Fascita! They were Los Indignados, or the Indignant Ones as they named themselves since the first group with mostly anarchists roots began occupying central plazas throughout the country on May 15th. The Indignados at the historic city of Granada were outraged at the appearance of a senior military officer during a swearing in ceremony for the newly elected right wing Partido Popular. Despite the discovery of another mass grave containing victims of the fascist regime of General Francisco Franco that ruled Spain from 1936 to 1975, this representative of the old order had the gall to wear the infamous black leather tricornered hat of the Guardia Civil that became synonymous with state terror during the military dictatorship. He barely escaped with his head. The appearance of this specter from the past at the conclusion of a movement that sought to imagine a future outside the free market predatory capitalism that Franco and other western societies have imposed upon nations of the world for the past century, became a chilling reminder of the salient issues and lethal stakes of the Indignado occupations. Their fight is against capitalism and fascism, which have become increasingly and unmistakably linked. Indeed, in the western world, profit is king, and warfare, with its organized mass killing and profit-producing cycle of destruction and replacement of battle material, has become the best way to increase the bottom line. Significantly, the Indignados resolved, through their various local affinity groups, to disband their occupations several days after their encounter with this ever-present ghost of their past. But it was not a surrender. On the contrary, the Indignados had succeeded at offering consciousness-raising sessions on the corrupt nature of capitalist economics, alternatives to banks, collective models of governance, egalitarian interpersonal relations, and the potentially revolutionary role of the cultural arts in transforming society. They had created a liberated zone reminiscent of the anarchist enclaves in various towns, cities, and regions of Spain during the early days of the Spanish Civil War, in which people from all over the world, including the U.S., fought to establish an alternative to capitalism. Now, the Indignados resolved to return to their local affinity groups

and continue the work that had begun decades before through various organizations, networks, workplaces, schools, plazas, parks, and streets. The significance of the Indignado voluntary disbanding of their occupation sites after enduring bloody battles with police, arrests, sabotage, and equally violent appearances of fascists, arises from the fact that the occupations were not their defining act. Rather, they were coordinated direct actions that exploited one of the many and recurring crises in capitalism. They used the growing and widespread disillusion with banking real estate scams, intensified upward transfer of wealth, and workplace exploitation to influence the subjective conditions, that is, the level of consciousness, or awareness, among the population about the true nature of their economic, political, and social conditions. While the occupations represented a dramatic and profound display of popular autonomy and organization, the

harder work occurred before the occupations, and continues afterward as more learning, imagining, planning, and organizing proceeds. So what does this all have to do with the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy San Antonio and allied Occupy Movements throughout the U.S.? Everything. And potentially nothing.

Occupy Wall Street The Occupy Wall Street manifestation ostensibly began on September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park in New York’s financial district that houses the Stock Exchange on Wall Street. This occupation was inspired by the Spanish Indignado occupations as well as the protests known as the Arab Spring. The Occupy Wall Street event ultimately spawned similar occupations throughout cities in the

of people who have been adversely affected by the profit paradigm. While many of the middle-class participants in various occupation sites have pointed to the subprime mortgage scam and resultant bank bailout as the principle crime, they have failed to address longstanding systemic homelessness. In contrast, at the legal meeting discussion circle on October 28 at Hemisphere Plaza where OSA is based, homeless people were active participants in the discussions and planning. Concerns such as how, in the event of mass arrests, one might protect their diabetic medications and insulin syringes, which they have no place to store except on their body, were taken seriously and addressed as part of the legal training offered to OSA participants. Homelessness, that is, is part of the many symptoms of the systemic ills of the class-based, for-profit capitalist system that the Occupy Movement ostensibly emerged to critique and challenge. Furthermore, the San Antonio Food Not Bombs group, which was formed nationally as an anti-nuclear organization and grew to become an egalitarian distributor of free vegetarian and reclaimed food, is instrumental in the OSA. (The unique nature of the Occupy SA will be the subject of the next installment of this series.) But what is missing from the OWS and broader Occupation Movement in the U.S. is a deeper awareness of local, national, and international legacies. In general, the Occupy Movement has emerged as a group, and singular act in its own accord. In this regard, it is different from APPO in Oaxaca, which is part of an actual take over of a city by a population that included populist sectors as well as vanguardist cadre, and Los Indignados in Spain, which is part of a deeper legacy of anarchist revolutionary struggles on a mass scale in whole regions of the country that continue to this day. The Occupy Movement in the U.S., for all its undeniable successes, appears to share more affinities with the Arab Spring in one key dimension: its ideologically tenuous footing. Indeed, the ease with which the Tahrir Square Occupation Movement in Cairo, Egypt, has been coopted by retrograde right wing “populism” and even the military, should serve as a warning to the Occupy Movement in the U.S. While the Occupy Movement in the U.S. is still evolving and galvanizing a new generation of committed activists who truly illustrate what Che Guevara meant when he spoke of the new human, the movement is susceptible to co-optation by the very

There are few comparable moments in U.S. history when a critique of class stratification has been so clearly disseminated on such a wide scale.

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U.S. These occupations have been duly celebrated by the U.S. left, which is desperate for some challenge to the status quo and yearning for a working class response to the obvious excesses of profiteers. Predictably, the OWS was excoriated by mainstream media and mainstream political parties, which alternately derided the occupiers as “rabble rousers,” “riff raff,” “drug addicts,” “trouble makers,” and a host of other epithets. After a brief attempt to marginalize and dismiss the occupiers by deriding them for having no leader and no coherent message, the official responses turned violent, bloody, and cruel. Occupiers were beaten, pepper sprayed, tasered, and one—a 24-year-old Iraq War veteran who joined the Marines because he could not afford college—was even shot in the head by the police with a tear gas projectile. The net effect of this assault, and the heroic resistance by occupiers was the introduction of a new term into the popular lexicon: “the 99%.” There are few comparable moments in U.S. history when a critique of class stratification has been so clearly disseminated on such a wide scale. Indeed, the occupiers gave voice to the salient subconscious awareness of many people, especially workers. The success of the Occupy Movement’s expansion of its consciousness-raising efforts was facilitated by access to first world technology and infrastructure. The widespread use of computers, websites, and related technology is at once democratizing but also could be part of a salient class divide just as it was in the Tahrir Square Occupation in Egypt. On one level, mass and hi-tech media has been— and must continue to be—harnessed by subaltern communities to broaden their appeal in an increasingly globalized world. This was evidenced in the radio station take over and effective web use in the Oaxaca City uprising by the Popular Assemblies of the People of Oaxaca (known by the Spanish Acronym APPO) in May 2006 that began as an annual protest by underpaid teachers. The APPO occupation, which was guided by the principle of direct democracy at the local, or base, level instead of relying on hierarchical boss leadership paradigms, immediately evolved into the establishment of a popular autonomous city where an already organized population provided its own services and security separate from, and in direct opposition to, the federal government for 5 months. The OWS and related Occupy Movement spreading throughout the U.S. is still in the process of working through difficult ideological issues arising from the wide range of discourses present at various occupation sites. Different from the Indignado and APPO occupations, the U.S. occupations include a problematic range of ideological perspectives that threaten to undermine the revolutionary potential of the movement. Occupiers range from anarchists to libertarians and everything in-between and beyond. The ideological immaturity of the Occupy movement was immediately illustrated in the different, and at times profoundly inhumane ways, that various occupation sites treated homeless people. Some occupy sites viewed the homeless as obstructions or opportunists seeking a safe place to sleep and free food to eat. The Occupy San Antonio community is one of many Occupy Movements that have embraced the homeless as part of the masses


capitalists that it ostensibly seeks to critique. A case in point is the mortgage anti-foreclosure movement that intersects with OWS. They are fighting for individual homes, not for government support of affordable housing for all. Few societies in the western hemisphere, with the exception of Cuba, have made affordable universal housing a right of all, and few U.S. Occupy Movement cadre in the U.S. have raised this issue in a substantive way. Before he was murdered by fascists who replaced a popular government with a free-market system in Spain by the barrel of a gun, the openly gay poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca lamented that the real tragedy of the 1929 stock market crash was not the pain and suffering that the wealthy capitalist class experienced. He wrote: I was lucky enough to see with my own eyes the recent stockmarket crash, where they lost several million dollars, a rabble



global history

is performed at a

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local level.


responded, “they get the other side everyday.” Regardless of where the Occupy Movement goes, to their credit, most of the Occupy Movement affinity groups have demonstrated and reiterated a valuable lesson: all of global history is performed at a local level. This is the resounding significance of the term “99%.” The population referred to as the 99% has been with us a long time and in many forms, and the challenge is to link the 99% discourse to the intersecting discourses from left political activists who are speaking of the same population when they refer to the “workers of the world,” “wretched of the earth,” “subalterns,” and “others.” The potential for this linkage is present as many occupy sites are infused with veteran activists alongside newly galvanized youth, workers, artists, disaffected members of the bourgeoisie, and people from various sites in the margins, queers, homeless, unemployed, ancianos, and the poor of all races. For many, the occupations are galvanizing experiences that have catalyzed a profound concientización, or political awakening. Many will join the ranks of existing organizations and also start new ones to respond to emerging exigencies not being addressed. The key to remember is that after the occupations—for they will end—there will still be the need to sweep floors, make phone calls, write articles, hang fliers, hit the streets to challenge the powers that be, and learn the necessary self-defense and survival skills that a revolution will require. Many organizations in San Antonio have been doing the hard work to raise consciousness for decades, and in some cases such as the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, this work has been ongoing for over a quarter century. In San Antonio, there are many more groups, organizations and political parties that have been providing alternatives to the twoheaded one-party capitalist system of electoral politics in the U.S. It is important to recognize that this country has the narrowest range of options than most industrialized countries of the world. Even the third party options—Tea Party, Libertarians, and Greens—are fundamentally capitalist. But there are anarchist organizations in San Antonio, and also a long history of Communist Party work that goes back to the heroic battles fought by Chicana/Indigenous communist Emma Tenayuca, who is renowned for standing beside pecan shellers and workers from other industries. The party is still here and regularly meets for consciousness raising activities. And there are many additional sites and alternative means of struggle. The Southwest Workers Union based in San Antonio is one of the few non-capitalist unions in the country, and has a robust youth outreach and educational apparatus. Arts activism by Esperanza and San Anto Cultural Arts remain grounded in local working class and marginalized communities; these two are among the few arts organizations that have not been co-opted by corporations. And the peace movement in San Antonio remains robust, with regular 4-5 p.m. peace vigils outside City Hall at the corner of Flores and Market Streets every Thursday still going strong for over a decade. If your interest in the occupy movements stems from a dissatisfaction with what the capitalist system has given you— rising health care costs in a for-profit system in which a single debilitating illness will bankrupt the family; endless wars that take the lives, health, and sanity of our loved ones; an environment where everyone’s worth is defined by what they have or don’t have—then you should know that there are alternatives. This is the gift, and challenge, that the Occupy Movements have offered us, and a legacy that local organizations have bequeathed…

of dead money that went sliding off into the sea. Never as then, amid suicides, hysteria, and groups of fainting people, have I felt the sensation of real death, death without hope, death that is nothing but rottenness, for the spectacle was terrifying but devoid of greatness... I felt something like a divine urge to bombard that whole canyon of shadow, where ambulances collected suicides whose hands were full of rings. The multitudes who live and die as paupers due to the excesses of the fat cats who have profited from other people’s hard work are the true victims. Unfortunately, the OWS movement appears to be approaching the type of hero worship (witness the rush to interview academics and Hollywood stars) and commodification that befalls most mass movements in the U.S. (remember what happened to environmentalism?).

Local Legacies: Before and After the Occupations Political theorist Dr. Rodolfo Rosales offers an apt summary of the issues at play in our attempts to gauge the ideological tenor of the Occupy Movement when he stated that it is “too freespirited for the Communists, too left for the Democrats, and too structuralist for the Anarchists.” Debates and discussions continue as the Occupy Movement moves into various other venues such as schools. The Radical Caucus of the Modern Language Association has called for a nationwide effort to “teach the crisis” in universities and colleges throughout the nation similar to the teach-ins that began during the Viet Nam War and continued with the outbreak of more recent wars. This real-world educational initiative has moved into the high schools as well by heroic teachers such as Alfred Porras in Houston, Texas. Despite a climate that is hostile to alternatives to test-based curriculum, Porras invited Occupy Houston participants to speak to his class about the economic crisis in the country. When asked by his principal if he was going to invite “the other side,” he

Bio: Ben, a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, can be contacted at: comradeurbano@yahoo.com.

Art Revolutionizing the


“The history of progress is written in the blood of men and women who have dared to espouse an unpopular cause.” - Emma Goldman

in Support of Occupy Wallstreet by Daniela Riojas

On September 17, 2011, a swarm of protestors flooded Wallstreet. Their signs expressed their rage and dissatisfaction with corporations, government, the private-for-profit media, and most of all greed. Despite the mainstream media’s hesitancy to cover the protests, they eventually interviewed the people who have been directly affected by the mess of our education systems, profit-driven and genetically-engineered agricultural systems, and those who have been entangled within the hardships of the American and global economic crisis. They are artists, college students, teachers, labor workers, immigrant workers, middle-class workers, the self-employed, the unemployed degree-holders, the ones riddled with debt, the ones slipping through the cracks of the capitalist, free-market system said to provide equal opportunity and sustainability to all. These are the people who find themselves in the same overcrowded, bottom-heavy boat waving a loud and now angry flag: “The 99%.” Chances are, you’re in the same boat, too.

The Covert War: Media, the Mental Environment, and Memes

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The grievances listed by the Occupy Wall Street protestors are not solely on the minds of occupiers. These are grievances that the general public is now slowly coming to understand. They, too, find themselves in the throes of societal destruction that has resulted from encouraged overconsumption. And the airwaves remain clogged with increasingly distorted information that encourages everyone to keep buying and wasting. While there are wars being waged thousands of miles away, the 99% have reminded us that there has been a war waging right here in our very homes. It is a war being waged on the poor by the rich. It’s an almost faceless war. Millions of Americans have unknowingly been struggling through a whirlwind of ad-saturated, jingle-plagued, greed-inciting commercialism led by a small but powerful elite of privately owned corporations who have usurped one-third of American wealth and who have monopolized almost every industry that sustains us on a daily basis. Alongside coerced consumerism, Americans are being fooled into accepting the deployment of their sons and daughters to fight wars overseas; accepting a bailout of the same banks that have slowly but surely robbed taxpayers of their hard-earned money; acquiescing to our education systems that continue to fail due to lack of equitable funding; surrendering our personal liberties for the false notion of homeland security; remaining complacent about a political environment infested with lobbyists, greed, and corporatized information which is essentially bought and manufactured just like any other commodity. This war has been waged through biased media outlets that have flooded our homes, ears, and eyes with the facade of providing an all-encompassing truth. Abbie Hoffman, the famed anarchist and leader of the 1960s Yippies, recognized this decades ago. “To talk of true freedom of the press, we must talk of the availability of the channels of communication that are designed to reach the entire

population, or at least that segment of the population that might participate in such a dialogue. Freedom of the press belongs to those that own the distribution system. Perhaps that has always been the case, but in a mass society where nearly everyone is instantaneously plugged into a variety of national communications systems, wide-spread dissemination of the information is the crux of the matter” (Hoffman p.7). Therefore, if we want to start sketching out a culprit, we can start with the sources that feed our communicative devices; and if we want to start dissecting the capitalist’s method of warfare, we can start by recognizing the presence of memes in our society. “Memes,” coined by evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, is described as a unit of cultural transmission or a unit of imitation and replication. They function similar to genes in that they survive through being copied and spread in the form of cultural artifacts: melodies, fashion, fads, internet sensations and sought-after products; they have the capacity to be filtered through culture and modified with every person they touch. Kalle Lasn is the creator and editor of Adbusters, a magazine that battles consumerism and corporatized media. He is also author of books Culture Jam and Design Anarchy. He proposes that retaliation against the establishment must be conducted through cultural jamming: “Culture jamming is an intriguing form of political communication that has emerged in response to the commercial isolation of public life. Practitioners of culture jamming argue that culture, politics, and social values have been bent by saturated commercial environments, from corporate logos on sports facilities, to television content designed solely to deliver targeted audiences to producers and sponsors” (CCCE p.3). To be precise, Lasn has called to order a legion of anarchist meme-warfarers to subvert the hegemonic system by using the tools they’ve created, turning them on their head, and taking a stab at hegemonic impunity while making waves of awareness. “The basic unit of communication in culture jamming is the meme: the core unit of cultural transmission. Memes are condensed


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images that stimulate visual, verbal, musical, or behavioral associations that people can easily imitate and transmit to others. Many culture Jams are simply aimed at exposing questionable political assumptions behind commercial culture so that people can momentarily consider the branded environment in which they live. Culture jams refigure logos, fashion statements, and product images to challenge the idea of ‘what’s cool,’ along with assumptions about the personal freedoms of consumption (CCCE p. 4, 5).” Culture jamming can also be used to start revolutions. Kalle Lasn, unsurprisingly, is also credited with initiating and branding the Occupy Wall Street movement. The photograph above, in Figure 1, utilizes the 3-dimensional work of Arturo Di Modica titled “Charging Bull.” “Charging Bull” is a bronze sculpture and popular tourist attraction situated on Wallstreet, and is meant to be demonstrative of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity. Its gait and position indicate a belligerent, almost violent moment before an attack, speculatively patriotic about Wallstreet’s girth and power. Though, in this poster, the bull is conquered and tamed by a ballerina; a sublime, artistic symbol for grace, control, and innocence. The photoshopped background depicts an ensuing charge of the people armed with primitive weaponry and armor, fixated amidst a gloom of fog and dark, unsaturated tones indicating the wake of battle. The ballerina could be interpreted as an anarchistic ideology; a throwback to Nature and its humbling ability to cleanse the man-made notions of supremacy. The text is minimal; the message is direct. The question at hand: What is our one demand? Calls for solidarity, but it still remains openended and all-inclusive. The hashtag “#occupy wallstreet” made its debut on this image and the result was a wide-spread Internet transmission through major networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Lasn himself didn’t create the anger of Occupy Wallstreet, he simply consolidated the already existing grievances into an appropriate and landmark area, and also set the mood for the movement’s conduct. Language, in this stead, did not facilitate itself in manifestos or books, but was formulated as a meme, instantaneously and momentous. “When a moment in cultural time arrives that such a mass is consciously identified with that grievance, the language in which it first expresses itself is, inevitably, that of primitive anarchism (Gornick p. 7).”

Anarchy is Society’s Own CreativeDestructive Power Contrary to some stereotypes promoted by mainstream media and capitalist political parties, anarchists are not proponents of physical violence. Emma Goldman reminds us that anarchism is a coherent political philosophy and practice. She writes: A practical scheme, says Oscar Wilde, is either one already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions; but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to, and any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish. The true criterion of the practical, therefore, is not whether the latter can keep intact the wrong or foolish; rather is it whether the scheme has vitality enough to leave the stagnant waters of the old, and build, as well as sustain, new life. In the light of this conception, Anarchism is indeed practical. More than any other idea, it is helping to do away with the wrong and foolish; more than any other idea, it is building and sustaining new life. The real violence that occupiers and anarchists talk about has

already been committed by the oligarchic forces in this nation. These forces set the place on fire; occupiers simply salvaged the blue prints, fled the burning building, and said out loud, “Let’s go back to square one.” As for violence demonstrated by brute police forces across the nation, a special thanks goes out to the capitalist pigs and their cop bulls for adding fuel to their own fire. Their greed has ensured an economic collapse and also demanded a popular response to begin assessing and rebuilding upon their ruins. Political theorist Richard Wagner notes: “In the man-destroying march of Culture, however, there looms before us this happy result: the heavy load with which she presses Nature down, will one day grow so ponderous that it lends at last to down-trod, never-dying Nature the necessary impetus to hurl the whole cramping burden from her, with one sole thrust; and this heaping up of Culture will thus have taught to Nature her own gigantic force. The releasing of this force is—Revolution (Wagner p. ).” The weapons wielded to fight this war would have to manifest as ideological extensions of individuals who feel empowered to communicate their grievances. By this I mean taking responsibility for promoting common decency and transparent, people-centered politics through m e d i u m s that surpass occupying parks and organizing rallies. Now that the message of Occupy Wall Street has been self-publicized on a global scale and has integrated itself into major conversations across the country, we must develop this space and conjunctural opportunity to theorize, plan, imagine and dream a new reality into existence. The Arts United San Antonio seeks to do precisely that.

The Arts United San Antonio Occupy Houston contacted me mid October about possibly having the Occupy movement utilize existing and new artistic frameworks to continue the mass awakening that is taking place throughout occupation movements throughout the nation. The artist-to-artist conversation I had with Houston occupiers involved

a torrent of enthusiasm and it took no effort to find commonalities in each others beliefs about art and its ability to revolutionize the revolution. With the help of Occupy San Antonio and a network of motivated activists, The Arts United San Antonio was created within a week and a half and hosted its first event on the 28th of October. For a 14 band and 4 to 6 poet line-up, the immediacy of results and willing participation was both breathtaking and inspiring. It proved that the power of collective spontaneous action was possible and powerful. The first event was billed as a consciousness raising confluence of the art of occupation and was positioned within the heart of the Occupy San Antonio movement at Hemisfair Park, creating a contact zone between community members, local artists, occupiers, and those who function within all worlds

The Revolution Is… Change for the world and America And every single person too scared To speak their mind for fear of losing their voice The revolution is for people who go to sleep starving Wondering when they’ll have their next meal The revolution is for all the “aliens” who are just Trying to find a safer place to live A place where they can walk outside Without the fear of being shot The revolution is for 18-year old boys Whose families push them to enroll in the military They say it’ll make you a man

The revolution is for everyone Everyone that believes in things such as hope Freedom and an open mind For everyone that is struggling just know Things will get better because the revolution is coming And we’re all a part of it The revolution is about equality The revolution is about change - Leanne Rodriguez

simultaneously. Many of the artists and community members had never seen, first hand, what the occupation site looked like nor had they fully understood the motivation behind it. Similarly, many of the occupiers were introduced to a new population of interested youth to potentially motivate and inspire into action. For the artists who were already knowledgeable and prepared to voice their emotive responses to the societal crisis at hand, Hemisfair Park became a humble auditorium, a place to amplify, unload, move and be moved, and essentially partake in a tradition of communal

continued on pg 13 . . .

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2012 Vol. 25 Issue 1•

...The revolution is for gays and lesbians And their rights which they fight for everyday We’re happily married, why can’t they be

discourse that for centuries has helped shape and sculpt the ideologies we find ourselves embedded in today. The second Arts United event on 11.11.11 took place in solidarity with Occupy Houston. This time, its home was in the Art Deco District, right on the shore of the west side, and made an 8-hour boom at Deco Pizzeria, filled with openly participatory youth, families, and artists alike. Deco Pizzeria’s motto: Community - Experience - Culture - has rendered it a breeding ground for philanthropy, art, poetry, and musical events. Under a strict “open-mindedness” policy, it has managed to centralize a multifarious assortment of aware citizens driven by a persistent willingness to improve and converse about their societal positionality. The owner and I had a frank talk and I shared my belief that artists, those endowed with the ability to synthesize, recreate, and project vision, must be the pioneers of what would take the preexisting action-based revolution and further revolutionize it into a theoretically and ideologically charged movement. With that said, The Arts United events are geared towards unifying artists from different fields of interests, genres, and political views in an arena where an open, peaceful dialogue through art, philosophy, music, and direct spoken-word poetry could safely take place. And in this environment, their ideological extensions as I previously referred to as weapons, can transform into constructive tools used not for destruction but as methods for analyzing, critiquing, imagining, reconstructing, and restructuring the foundation of American ethics; additionally, deploring the realities of life that hold greater truth than any media fed or political arena. To quote Harold Rosenberg on the fundamental utility of art: “The differences between revolution in art and revolution in politics are enormous. Revolution in art lies not in the will to destroy but in the revelation of what has already been destroyed.” And if we all agree with Shakespeare that “All the world’s stage” and that previous anarchist movements were generative because of their passionate connectedness to the bereaved, taking back our leading roles and declaring it loudly is a step towards repossessing agency. “The homeliness of their own small lives became invested with a sense of drama that acted as a catalyst for the wild, vagrant hope—especially vulnerable to meanspirited times—that things need not be as they were” (4). At the past two Arts United San Antonio events, the poets have been the conduits for visceral aesthetics, more so than musicians at this point, and have had the ability to incite “Occupy San Antonio! Occupy San Antonio!” chants within a group of strangers. Two powerful poets, Carolina Hinojosa and Julie Marin from TAPP, Teen Arts Puentes Project, a multidisciplinary arts and activism program for San Antonio youth ages 13-17, have contributed not only their own poetic input, but have brought the adolescent perspective as well. The program’s mission is to use the arts to nurture the growth of adolescents in a positive environment where they can build individual talents, develop social awareness, and attain critical life skills. Carolina, an instructor at TAPP, took the Arts United San Antonio’s objective and presented it to her class of budding poets. The results were astounding. She pointed to the crowd and with a haunting tone in her voice said, “This is proof that our youth can be wiser than adults. This is proof that our youth is not complacent! This was


Workers Struggle For Justice in Minnesota Indian Gaming Industry

by Frank “Pancho” Valdez

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The history of the American Indian Gaming Industry goes back over 20 years of being used as a “means of addressing” poverty, alcoholism, massive unemployment, poor educational opportunities, poor housing and lack of health care services, all very prevalent social problems on reservations where many Native Americans continue to reside. The casinos where over


funding from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association to the Minnesota Democratic Farm-Labor Party (known as DFL) that insures that the AFL-CIO will not do anything to “offend” the DFL. 3) Racism towards the Native American peoples from both the DFL, the AFL-CIO, organized crime and John McCarthy, the MIGA executive director. According to Maki, the Teamsters and AFT pension funds are among the largest investors in Indian Gaming operations. The Building & Construction Trades have a “sweetheart agreement” with the Indian Gaming Association to hire union labor however the workers do not enjoy the protection of a union contract or Project Management Agreement. The workers are exposed to high 40,000 Minnesotans work have proven to be a bandaid for these amounts of noise and cigarette smoke as the casinos are exempt problems and have created yet another from regulation by any municipal, problem for members of the Bois state and federal enforcement  “ Before our white brothers arrived to make us Forte Band of Chippewa, Leech Lake civilized men, we didn’t have any kind of prison. agencies including OSHA, EEOC, Band of Ojibwe, Lower Sioux, Grand Because of this we had no delinquents. Without NLRB and the U.S. Department of Portage Band of Chippewa, Shakopee a prison, there can be no delinquents. We had no Labor. The former head of Indian Ndewakanton Sioux, Mille Lacs Band locks, nor keys and therefore among us there were no Health Services under President of Chippewa, Prairie Island Indians thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn’t Bush described casino operations (Sioux), Upper Sioux, White Earth afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he, in that as “the modern day equivalent Band of Chippewa, Fond du Lac Band case receive all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to small pox laden blankets!” of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Red to give great importance to private property. We Maki went on to say that neither Lake Band of Chippewa. The different didn’t know any kind of money and consequently, the American Cancer Society, bands and tribes are “owners” of the the value of a human being was not determined by the American Heart or American casinos and have formed their own his wealth.  We had no written laws laid down, no Lung Associations raise any fuss trade association called the Minnesota lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able on these deplorable working Indian Gaming Association (MIGA).  to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in conditions as all three receive bad shape before the white man arrived and I don’t According to Alan Maki, Director contributions from the Minnesota know how to explain how we were able to manage of Organizing for the Midwest Casino Indian Gaming Association. these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so Workers Organizing Council, workers The Minnesota Indian Gaming necessary for a civilized society.” at these casinos are for the most part Association has developed -John (Fire) Lame Deer, Sioux Lakota 1903-1976 women, about 65%. About half of the strong ties to politicians of both workforce are people of color with about the Minnesota Republican and 7,000 being Native American, for the Minnesota Democratic Farm-Labor Party. It is these ties that most part under age 35. Workers earn an average annual income of make obtaining justice for the over 40,000 casino workers an around $10,500, hardly a living wage in today’s economy. Because almost impossible task as these politicians do not and will not do these gaming facilities are on Indian reservations, federal laws anything contrary to the interests of the Minnesota Indian Gaming grant them sovereignty from all regulatory enforcement agencies Association because of MIGA’s contributions to both parties. The except law enforcement.(Minnesota is one of few states where irony of MIGA is that while it appears to be “Indian owned and state law enforcement has jurisdiction on the Indian reservation). Indian controlled” it is really the opposite. John McCarthy, a white Workers must sign a pledge upon accepting a casino job that states man, is the executive director of MIGA. He is also the owner of they will not join a union and are subject to being fired if they do. Tony Doom Supply Company an enterprise that produces political Maki stated that laws and regulations that protect other American campaign materials like yard signs, buttons, etc. The company also workers have no standing in the casinos and they may be paid less sells business forms, office machines and furniture, and produces than minimum wage or can be denied overtime for extra hours.  promotion materials for businesses such as coffee mugs, clothing, Rank and file casino workers began organizing their own caps.  union in 2000 when unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO refused While the Native Americans own the casinos and the debts to assist them. This reluctance to organize the Native American that are incurred, the mob owns the slot machines and table games casino workers can be attributed to three things: 1) the workers are through what Maki describes as “a complex maze of franchises.” not covered by existing labor relations agencies, 2) The campaign

Minnesota is neither acceptable or just. One can only imagine that similar or worse conditions exist in other states including Texas where the Kickappoo and Alabama-Coushatta tribes own and operate casinos. (According to the web, Texas successfully sued and shut down the Alabama-Coushatta casino.) For Minnesota,  Alan Maki has assisted in organizing the casino workers into a democratic union of their own choosing. He said that when casino management was prepared to recognize the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council, the AFL-CIO stepped in and offered the bosses a “better deal.” This offer is clearly a violation of the worker’s right to self determination as well as highly unethical. Only through a union of their choosing will the wages and working conditions improve. While sovereignty of the Indian nations should be respected and continued, sovereignty should not be an excuse to exploit and oppress workers. With improvement in the wages the conditions on the reservations can also improve.  Maki has advocated for a joint venture between the state of Minnesota and the Indian Tribes that would entail a slot machine manufacturing plant that would employ around 2,000 Native Americans in good paying jobs and also be instrumental in ridding the Minnesota Indian gaming industry of the organized crime element. With the absence of the mob, all proceeds would go directly into the various tribes to improve the delivery of health and human services, schools and economic development on the reservations. However, along with the mob the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party and the Minnesota AFL-CIO remain the chief opponents of such a joint venture.  Maki also mentioned that some of the tribal governments have been corrupted and are not interested in making working conditions and pay better for the casino workers. Unfortunately, they have learned that for them as individuals, capitalism is a good thing and the situations of the other members of the tribes are of no consequence to them. Corruption of local tribal governments along with corruption in the Bureau of Indian Affairs is common and a festering issue amongst various indigenous tribes not only in Minnesota, but across the nation! Other solutions would call for the federal government to improve funding for Indian Health Services as underfunding has resulted in less than adequate care for the workers and their families. Maki mentioned that the health benefits offered by the casinos is not that good and many physicians and dentists in the northern part of Minnesota will not accept the casino health plan due to slow processing of payments.  For the 41,700 gaming industry workers the situation is clearly grave. Depending on those entitities created to address the issues is near hopeless! By getting the word out it is this author’s sincere hope that the wheels of justice will begin turning in favor of the workers, their families and their communities. Anyone wishing to learn more about this situation can contact Alan Maki, Director of Organizing, Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council: alanmaki1951@gmail.com Bio: Pancho Valdez is a veteran civil rights, labor and peace activist of more than 45 years. He can be reached at: 210-422-8000 or at: mestizowarrior59@yahoo.com

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The mob takes in anywhere from 30-80% of everything that goes into the slot machines and table games. Maki traces the ownership of the slot machines and table games back to an Alvin Malnik out of Florida who inherited the “family business” from gangster Meyer Lansky who used to own casinos in Cuba prior to the revolution in 1959. The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) works with the mob through the slot machines and table games as well as contracting mobsters like the Fertitta family to “manage” some of the casinos. Through this kind of arrangement the Fertitta family is assured 85% of all profits from the new Gun Lake Casino in Michigan through a contract with the Match-e-benash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi, formerly known as the Gun Lake Tribe. The Fertitta family is known to the Justice Department as one of the “first families” of organized crime. Frank Fertitta and his people have been involved with casino operations in Kansas City, Las Vegas and California. With such arrangements it becomes easy to see how the gaming industry isn’t as beneficial to the Native American peoples as the NIGA would have the public believe. According to the website of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, funds from the casinos is divided up as follows: 28% for healthcare, 22% for government operations (no specifics), 20% for education, 13% for housing/economic development, 10% for human services, and 7% for infrastructure. Despite the fact that the casinos have been in operation since the late 1980’s, Native American peoples in Minnesota continue to live in extreme poverty, sub-standard housing, receive inadequate healthcare services and less than adequate education for their children. According to a Harvard University study in 2005, living conditions “improved” more for gaming tribes than non-gaming tribes in the years 19902000. Unfortunately no one knows exactly how much of the revenue is going into the reservations as tribal leaders refuse to divulge this information. The Red Lake Tribal Council insisted that the Red Lake Gaming Enterprises be audited by a reputable auditing firm, Touche and Anderson. When auditors arrived to conduct the audit they were denied access to the information by the Chief Financial Officer. According to Alan Maki records for three casinos, a hotel, a motel, two restaurants and an indoor water park were kept in shoe boxes at the home of the Chief Financial Officer! This is a major factor why Meyer Lansky began the Indian Gaming Industry. He knew that no municipal, state or federal agency could hold the casino owners accountable for the financial records of the gaming businesses. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Industry’s website posted the following concerns that the tribes in Minnesota face daily: 1) Native American life expectancy is 2.4 years shorter than other Americans, 2) Native Americans are 3 times more likely to die from diabetes related complications, 3) Native Americans are 6 times more likely to die of alcohol related causes, 4) Native Americans are 5 times more likely to die of tuberculosis, 5) Native Americans are 5 times more likely to be victims of homicide, 6) Native American adults are twice as likely to commit suicide, 7) Native Americans under 18 years of age are 3 times likely to commit suicide, 8) Native American infants are twice as likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and 9) Native Americans are 3 times likely to die from motor vehicle accidents.  Clearly, the situation of indigenous people in


Women Leading the Rebirth!

Mujeres al Frente del Renacimiento! by Rosalynn Warren

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o we’ve all heard many versions of the 2012 Apocalypse, right?! Well, 2012 is here and the most popular common misconception is that “according to the Mayan Calendar, the world is ending!” And WOW…people are really cashing in, or trying! There are websites dedicated to bringing you all you need to know about the end of the world in 2012 including books, celebrity believers lists, survival kits, and humorous items like the True Believers Calendar, the end of the world calendar, the last calendar you will ever need! Most of these Believers have taken it upon themselves to blur fact and fiction. According to Mesoamerican studies, there is no evidence that the ancient Maya believed that the end of the long count calendar brings the end of the world. But it is believed that the Maya thought it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle or World Age. Beliefs around apocalypse and renewal have been around for years in many cultures. Regardless of how people interpret the end of the Mayan long count calendar, many do believe that something is happening in our world today…a change, a transition and a time for reflection. The 2012 International Woman’s Day March is fast approaching and during our first planning meeting for this year’s march, we had a great discussion on our theme for 2012. We found ourselves agreeing that we see this year as a rebirth, a renewal, a time for entering into a different state of living…centered around

consciousness. Then we found ourselves asking, “What will it take to get through this time of transition?” and “What does this mean to us as a group?” As stated in our IWD vision, “We, like women and girls all over the world, are the voices of conscience, the roots of change and the leaders of local and global movements.” For ages we have had what it takes to organize ourselves and our communities, to speak our collective voice and affect change. So if we know that, historically, we have already had what it takes to, not only endure the struggle, but to make change, then what does this renewal period mean and what will it bring? I think it means we need to re-evaluate our strengths in order to continue to apply them to a changing social landscape. Our society has been quickly moving into an increasingly destructive and unbalanced state. The struggle continues in so many aspects of our lives…equality, reproductive rights, labor rights, the struggle against violence in all its horrific forms from war to borders to right inside our homes, the struggle against the criminalization of the poor and the list goes on. We have to analyze our current situation to see where we can be most effective with our resources. But, of course, we can’t move into an effective and productive new place without reflection on our past to guide us forward. We must ask several questions. What have we learned? What challenges remain? How do we envision our transition into our future(s)? What will determine whether we enter into the future with peace and tranquility or with resistance to change?

22nd Annual San Antonio

International Woman’s Day March 10am Sat, March 3, 2012 Mujeres, want to help plan the march & rally? Come to planning meetings every Monday at 6pm @ P.E.A.C.E. Initiative 1443 S. St. Mary’s and check out the following IWD events T-shirt, Banner & Poster Makin’ Day Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, Noon – 5pm 1401 SW 19th St., San Antonio Bring t-shirt to screen! 210-232-9052

Film Screening: Tlakatiliztli

by Madres De Anahuak Thursday, Feb 16, 2012 @ 6pm see description on p15


IWD March & Rally Sat. March 3 @ 10am see back for more info see p13 for list of donations needed


S.A. International Woman’s Day March & Rally Saturday, March 3, 2012

ERISON presents

Nabe Movement. Creation. Together. Part one of a series, movement workshop will

explore a variety of writing and choreographic exercises used to generate response to a particular subject of interest.


Workshop is free and open to community of all ages and backgrounds! No prior writing or movement experience necessary. Dress comfortably. Bare feet are optional.

1 : neighborhood”neighborhood (English) 2 : a neighborhood movie theater (English Slang) 3 : “sitting around the pot” (Japanese) 4 : hub (German)


To RSVP contact Erison Dancers at 210.315.3968 or erisondance@gmail.com

Saturday, March 31, 2012 1pm - 4 pm

Esperanza Peace & Justice Center 922 San Pedro, San Antonio

Women Leading the Rebirth, IWD . . . cont’d from p 12

Bio: Rosalynn is part of the S.A. International Woman’s Day March & Rally Planning Committee

IWD donation wish list Acrylic paint • Paint brushes • Spray paint • Screen printing supplies • Canvas/heavy weight fabric • PVC pipe & joints • 1’ x 2’ Wood pieces • Plastic drop cloths • Posterboard • Duct tape Call 210-232-9052 for drop off/pick up info

Arts United... continued from pg 9 written by a 16 year-old woman about Occupy Wall Street and I’m going to share it with you today.” With this introduction, 16-year-old Leanne Rodriguez read her poem, The Revolution Is... (see p. 9). In the same fashion that Kalle Lasne does not take credit for creating the anger felt towards Wall Street, Carolina does not take credit for creating Leanne’s thoughts, but believes her influence on the youth was “that Leanne was comfortable saying what she felt. Our program allows them a safe heaven of freedom of expression without spreading a message of hate.” The mutual efforts on part of community organizations and what I consider the revolutionary movement through the Arts United SA will continue in the same organic way it began, pushing for community gardens, bartering festivals, self-printed and distributed literature, and in many other DIY approaches. Every way that subverts the system while positively impacting the community at large will be sought after and of course, the idea of what “the revolution is” spoken by poets, musicians, artists of all kind will be the beacon that will lead the collective out of its degradation and into prosperity once again. The Arts United San Antonio is now exploring future events and encourages you to visit the website and watch videos of the past events. You can also contact me for more information at: driojas12@yahoo.com. Bio: Daniela is a University of Texas at San Antonio student active in The Arts United San Antonio as a writer, poet and artist. Email lavoz@esperanzacenter.org for full listing of works cited

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2012 Vol. 25 Issue 1•

The mujeres in the IWD march planning group agree that we must enter into this transition with a strengthened state of mind. We must have a strong sense of self and spirituality and be mentally, emotionally and psychologically prepared to move and evolve with this transition. Mujeres, we must move into this new period with an acceptance of change, with a reflection of ourselves as individuals and as sisters in the revolution! We must move into this new period with a renewed commitment to the struggle, to each other and to our gente! We must march! We must face our challenges in new ways. We must continue to break down oppressive structures and be open to new and creative ways of organizing and accomplishing our goals. So let’s get to work…I’ll meet you in the streets!


* community meetings * LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2012 Vol. 25 Issue 1•


Be Part of a

Amnesty International #127 Proyecto Hospitalidad Liturgy meets on 4th Thursdays at 7:30 pm each Thursday at 7 pm at 325 at Ashbury United Methodist. Call Courtland. Call 210.736.3579. 210.829.0397. The Rape Crisis Center, 7500 Anti-War Peace Vigil every Thurs- US Hwy 90 W. Hotline @ 210.349day (since 2001) from 4-5pm @ 7273. 210.521.7273 or email DroFlores & Commerce See: ivaw.org minishi@rapecrisis.com veteransforpeace.org The Religious Society of Friends Bexar Co. Green Party info@bex- meets Sundays @ 10 am @ The argreens.org or call 210.471.1791. Friends Meeting House, 7052 N. Vandiver. 210.945.8456. Celebration Circle meets Sundays, 11am @ JumpStart at Blue Star Arts San Antonio Communist Party Complex. Meditation, Weds @ 7:30 will meet Sunday, Feb 12, 3-5pm pm @ Quaker Meeting House, 7052 @ Westfall Branch Library, 6111 Rosedale Ct, 78201| Contact juanVandiver. 210.533-6767 chostanford@yahoo.com for info DIGNITY S.A. mass at 5:30 pm, San Antonio Gender AssociaSun. @ Beacon Hill Presbyterian tion. meets 1st & 3rd Thursdays, Church, 1101 W. Woodlawn. Call 6-9pm at 611 E. Myrtle, Metropoli210.735.7191. tan Community Church downstairs.| Fuerza Unida, 710 New Laredo, www.sagender.org Hwy. 210.927.2297, www.lafuerSA Healthcare Now Coalition zaunida.org meets 1st Thursdays at 6:30pm Habitat for Humanity meets @ National Nurses Organizing 1st Tues. for volunteer orientation Committee office 7959 Fredericks@ 6pm, HFHSA Office @ 311 burg Rd. 210.882.2230 or healthcarenowsa.org Probandt.

Esperanza works to bring awareness and action on issues relevant to our communities. With our vision for social, environmental, economic and gender justice, Esperanza centers the voices and experiences of the poor & working class, women, queer people and people of color. We hold pláticas and workshops; organize political actions; present exhibits and performances and document and preserve our cultural histories. We consistently challenge City Council and the corporate powers of the city on issues of development, low-wage jobs, gentrification, clean energy and more.

LGBT Youth Group meets at MCC Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Church, 611 E. Myrtle on Sundays Center classes are on Tuesdays at 7pm, & Sun. at 11:30 am. at 1114 at 10:30am. 210.472.3597 So. St. Mary’s. Call 210.222.9303. Metropolitan Community Church in San Antonio The Society of Latino and His(MCCSA) 611 East Myrtle, services panic Writers SA meets 2nd Mon& Sunday school @ 10:30am. Call days, 7 pm @ Barnes & Noble, San Pedro Crossing. 210.599.9289.

It takes all of us to keep the Esperanza going. When you contribute monthly to the Esperanza you are making a long-term commitment to the movement for progressive change in San Antonio, allowing Esperanza to sustain and expand our programs. Monthly donors can give as little as $3 and as much as $300 a month or more.

PFLAG, meets 1st Thurs @ 7pm, 1st S.N.A.P. (Survivors Network of Unitarian Universalist Church, Gill those Abused by Priests). ConRd/Beryl Dr. Call 210. 655.2383. tact Barbara at 210.725.8329.

What would it take for YOU to become a monthly donor? Call or come by the Esperanza to learn how. ¡Esperanza vive! ¡La lucha sigue!

PFLAG Español meets 1st Tues- Voice for Animals Contact days @ 2802 W. Salinas, 7pm. Call 210.737.3138 or www.voiceforanimals.org for meeting times 210.849.6315

Progressive Movement in San Antonio

¡Todos Somos Esperanza!

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Notas Y Más February 2012

Born in Jerusalem, Born Palestinian by Jacob Nammar will be published by Interlink Books in February with delivery in early March, 2012. Click on www.jacobnammar.com to review the mock-up. The author will be available for book signings and presentations in early March.

Brief notes to inform readers about happenings in the community. Send announcements for Notas y Más to: lavoz@esperanzacenter.org or by mail to: 922 San Pedro, San Antonio, TX 78212. The deadline is the 8th of each month.

are in America.” held on March 22 – 24 at OLLU. Deadline for Short Films: February 20, 2012. Visit www.ollusa.edu/MexAmerConference or contact Steve Wise at 210-431-4118 or swise@ollusa.edu. Chicano Organizing & Research in Education (CORE) presents its 4th Annual Que Llueva Café Scholarship providing financial assistance to college-bound, undocumented, Latino students. Review requirements and get applications at www.ca-core. org Applications must be postmarked by February 24. Contact Jaime at jdelrazo@ ca-core.org for more.

Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin is exhibiting 31K Portraits for Peace through April 1st. Diego Huerta of Monterrey, Mexico and Daniela Gutiérrez created the project to represent the more than 31,000 drug war deaths in Mexico. Follow them on 31kproject.com and on Facebook.com/retratosporlapaz. Check www.mexic-artemuseum.org. The Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) Journal will publish a special issue, The Politics of Latina/o Social Agency: Praxis & Policy in the Struggle for Educational Justice in December 2012 and has put out a call for papers in Spanish or English. Contact editors, Emma Fuentes, ehfuentes@usfca.edu or Patricia Sánchez, patricia.sanchez@utsa. edu. Deadline: April 15, 2012. The 3rd International Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa Conference and Exhibition will be held May 17-19 in San Antonio at UTSA Downtown. Check colfa.utsa.edu/English/mundozurdo.html. The University of Arizona has received approval for a doctoral program in Mexican American studies – the third program of its kind in the country. They will begin accepting students into the program in the fall of 2013. See: mas.arizona.edu/

¡Felicidades! The Paper Tiger TV Collective in New York City is hosting events in San Antonio seeks papers, posters and The Mexico Solidarity Network Spring celebrating 30 years of collective media art, short films for its 9th Annual Conference, 2012 speaking tours began in March. For a activism and analysis. See www.papertiger. “From Demography to Identity: Who we full schedule go to: http://www.mexicosoli- org or email: info@papertiger.org

S.A. International Woman’s Day March & Rally Planning Committee presents


a documentary by Madres De Anahuak

FILM SCREENING, Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 6pm 2515 Monterey, 78207 • Free, donations appreciated This documentary (50 mins) delves into topics like sex, moon-time, cesarean and vaginal births, abortions and miscarriages, and the support and education needed during this time in a wombyn’s life, but that has not been provided for us in a spiritual and/or Mexika ceremonial manner. It is an effort to heal native communities and create a dialogue amongst wombyn in an effort to start a movement of support during the most important rites in a young girl’s and woman’s life: menarche and becoming a mother. Madres de Anahuak is a collective of conscious indigenous mothers looking to build a better future for youth, based on cultural values and the building of sisterhood through motherhood for a strong(er) community. We look forward to seeing our families grow strong together.

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2012 Vol. 25 Issue 1•

The Center of Study and Investigation for Global Dialogues is accepting applications for its 2-week summer institute, Decolonizing knowledge and Power: Postcolonial Studies, Decolonial Horizons to be taught in English in Barcelona, Spain, July 9-19. Check www.dialogoglobal.com/barcelona. First Round Application Deadline: The Society of American Archivists’ MoFebruary 1, 2012. saic Scholarship provides financial and Applications are open for the Moore Un- mentoring support to minority students dergraduate Research Apprentice Pro- pursuing graduate education in archival gram (MURAP), a paid summer internship science. Up to two scholarships of $5,000 with a cohort of 20 diverse undergraduates each may be awarded. For application reat the University of North Carolina, Cha- quirements visit: http:// www2.archivists. pel Hill engaging in a 10 week research ex- org/governance/handbook/section12-moperience from May 27-August 2. See unc. saic. Deadline is February 28, 2012. edu/depts/murap or contact Elizabeth at The 34th Annual CineFestival screens murap@unc.edu. Deadline: Feb 3, 2012. from February 25-March 3.. See guadaluEntreFlamenco Company debuts a new peculturalarts.org or call 210.271.3151. production, AIRE, at their space, 5407 BanThe NACCS Tejas Foco 2012, This Is Us: dera Road #107 on Feb. 3 & 4 at 8:30pm. Como Nos Ven, Como Nos Vemos / ChangCall (210) 842-4926 for reservations. ing Chican@ Identity in the 21st Century The Center for Mexican American conference will be at Texas State UniverStudies and Research (CMASR) of Our sity, San Marcos, March 1-3. Visit http:// Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) www.naccs.org/naccs/Tejas.asp?SnID=2



LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • February 2012 Vol. 25 Issue 1•

Lila Downs returns to San Antonio for the 25th Anniversary of the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

March 11, 2012

Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University • Tickets on sale Feb. 1st

save the date (210) 228-0201 or www.esperanzacenter.org details tba

Noche Azul

La Voz de Esperanza

922 San Pedro San Antonio TX 78212 210.228.0201 • fax: 210.228.0000 www.esperanzacenter.org


de Esperanza

FRIDAY Feb 11 @ 8pm at Esperanza $5 más o menos

22nd Annual San Antonio

International Woman’s Day March & Rally

Women Leading the Rebirth! Mujeres al Frente del Renacimiento! Meet 10am, corner of Bowie & Market St Rally Plaza del Zacate (Milam Park, 501 Commerce) across from Santa Rosa Hospital

Saturday, March 3, 2012 www.sawomenwillmarch.org

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Profile for Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

La Voz de Esperanza - February 2012  

Empire, Republic and War by Tom Keene • Inside & Outside the Circle: Locating the Occupy Wall Street Movement in Local and Global Contexts...

La Voz de Esperanza - February 2012  

Empire, Republic and War by Tom Keene • Inside & Outside the Circle: Locating the Occupy Wall Street Movement in Local and Global Contexts...