The Peace Poets — Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice



Pease family peace peace peace yes make some noise if you believe that all life is sacred it is beautiful to be able to say that and have folks who have been reflecting and have been walking this path respond and to be able to have this exchange with y'all we will be sharing some poems we will be sharing some songs and we hope that this is a beginning of a conversation which are and we would also like to invite y'all to use your voice during this time to use your movement during this time we like to see this as a collaboration and so if you feel something we would like to invite you into our practices you may have heard us snapping on the side as folks are speaking because it's a practice of affirmation to say I see you and I hear you so let's let's just warm up our fingers real quick and have a little snapping going on and welcome you out to that poetic tradition yeah and sometimes the poem ends right and we just want to be like yo I really want you to know that what you said move me and we got a clap and so sometimes we clap so let's hear a round of applause real quick for each other for showing up yes and to invite job even beyond this time if somebody says something that moved you to follow up with them afterwards and just to let them know that their words impacted you because we all need to be fed and this is not where our ends this is where it begins so in this first song I would like to invite you in I see a lot of family who have stood and sang with us at the Eloi detention center in Arizona and also at the border and we would like to bring in that community the SOA watch and the encuentro community who are joining their voices and their movement with people who are directly impacted people who have lost loved ones people who still have family members and have yet to know if they're safe if they're taken care of we would like to ground this moment and this song in that relationship and this is a song we've sung for the last two years as folks who were in the detention center we're putting their blankets to their windows because this was in the evening to let us know that they were hearing our words though they couldn't sing with us though they couldn't stand with us they were still with us and so I would like y'all to repeat after me and this is gonna be some Spanglish so I would I would like you to flex your linguistic skills as well so the first line is oh yeah me gente Ramos la fuerza versa let's say a or my people we bring the strength right la libertad la libertad s muneca Bandera s Munich ah liberation for all is my only flag rise up my people my condors my Eagles right and that's speaking to indigenous history whereas in Standing Rock we saw indigenous family connecting from all over Turtle Island Central and South America the eagle and the Condor and that is gonna be the foundation of so much of our movement that's gonna heal our country that's gonna heal our world it's tapping into that indigenous wisdom right in the last line no human being will ever be illegal right yeah got it now let's sing it again grounding ourselves in the fact that this song has been sung in the streets and will continue to be sang in the streets as long as we have air in our lungs as long as our feet can carry us as long as there's work to do Oh gay me ain't a tie game osa Forza Valley Mathias me you acaba de la raza my people my condos my Eagles no human being will ever be a gente la fuerza la libertad s me una caja de la raza my people my condors are Eagles no human being will ever be forward with no fear of a border we know racism missile disorders they messed up on the corner leading us to the side of a call of someone illegally Oh Jaime la libertad Esme única Vanessa people knock on doors my Eagles no human being will ever be we say no no banging no we say no no no better no wall no pain and no walk three tops no no no no pain and no wall we say no no no no banging no oil we say Oh dear me hunted by moseph Wesa la vida this Mooney gobernador Mazel my people knock on doors my Eagles no human being will ever be Viva La Raza my people knock on doors my Eagles no human being will ever be illegal [Applause] so family this this poem that I'm gonna share first is called Lucero and in New York yeah you're in New York where we are very proud to be from and also recognizing that home is also where we need to do the word we have a misperception or misconception of New York as being completely progressive and have having shared humanitarian values which if you live in New York you know that is not true and so this this poem is also in memory of someone who was killed for being who they were for having brown skin for looking how they looked and this was a person who was working hard for their family who was coming home from work who had dreams for their children and for their brothers and that was extinguished through violence and hatred and so I like to dedicate this poem to all immigrants and to all people who have had to leave home in order for a better life this is for the immigrant undocumented and unrepentant who says they ain't seen me cuz my revolution is being me they are the anti celebrity a hero whose power is invisibility they are the underdogs underdog dog try working the 9:00 to 9:00 with no paid overtime and a bad spine they'll redefine your definition of on the grind they got family on the mind what they know about depression and dismay we've crossed rivers to get here and cried them to stay undocumented but they call us illegal because last time I looked it was a crime to be equal they are neglect personified and existence vilified so forget stages pens and pages they are soldiers waging war below minimum wages and sage burns slow por la gente que falta because we remember the deception of alcohol pas was it worth the spoils their ancestors fought for gold their descendants fight for oil our blood fertilizes the soil we resurrect them the Amazon as trees that will bring down Babylon though that day seems far from illegal stops asking us for green cards but my brothers taught me a different set of colors white man stole red man's land while using yellow man to build his railroad tram and using black hands to sow and reap the profits so when it said illegals don't pay taxes I say my people have done enough to fill your pockets [Applause] see that day seems far from those illegal stops asking us for green cards and my brothers did taught me a set of colors so when they set up a mortgage that I cannot afford and not look at history and realize ain't none of this yours immigration has a history of how people end up here I'm from the Caribbean at least that's in this hemisphere but they look at me with a foreign fear in this states cuz I'm a mischief of mixed-race and they'd rather I be the illegal immigrant than a Palestinian immigrant because the day of all our people's revolution is imminent and on that day we will not ask you to let us in because God already made us citizens so beasts family so we're coming from the Bronx and it's such a such an honor to be here with you all I just want to say take a moment and say thank you for all of the affirmation that you've shared with us as we're just walking through the halls that really refills the well from which we flow so thank you for that I want to do a piece for y'all that is rooted in those moments that we might not feel like we're enough when we might believe this the narrative the stories that change up the ideas of what we find valuable in this life away from family away from community and into commodity or privilege and I want to dedicate this piece to anybody right now who like myself is dealing with depression or mental health issues where you might wake up and not want to keep going but perhaps you have that that friend that BFF who reminds you that this life is worth living and it's amazing that we could be that for each other that's powered by people that's medicine I grew up with these guys known him since one of the Peace poets I've known since I was 3 years old that's why you formed the group ever since grade school in high school we all grew up with each other and these had been my my teachers my students and it's it's been a beautiful development of our brotherhood and family then we get to do it through the spoken word as well so check it out I like to think that everything is possible then nothing is an obstacle there everything is optical and optimism's optimal because pessimism never lets you listen to the garden you possibility is so strange and seems so odd to you when the marketer then got to you selling all their visions on the television opting you to listen to your insecurities while their modules placing all that sickness and disease up inside of you but it's never to provide for you it's always just a bottle you consuming all the products who really gets the benefit who really gets the sense of it let's really get a sense of it and fill it in your body son you are full of love and light spit that truth and bodies son cuz cynicism consumer not of the human in them we say a prism reflecting order lumens in them aimed at a system that has its down on our luck but we're in love with our people and that's word to this luminous flux this ain't a mic this the way you amplify light so we could see our own reflections in the words that you write and it's saying a pen Lister where you chanting is Zen and meditate upon the days that you were blessed I have been and it's saying a wrap it's a prayer called to the fact that we're bigger than our fears in their societal traps on top of that the world is waiting for you in this hour to realize what you are worth and quickly step into your power it's not just about your past we need you more than ever to forgive all of the parts of you you thought were broke and weathered to give some of that heart that you might think just won't belong because you're too focused on your flaws and everything that you done wrong but we need your song just look around into the sea of people it's a celebration bunch of spirits bathed in starlight on a quest for liberation ancestors in your sister see them in your brother's eyes new dawn and day upon us and all we have to do is rise and the divine gave you this breath to speak and call your truth to power in the face of all injustice in our darkness that devours in the face of crooked cops and a violence a systemic it's our fate to sing our song upon this silence epidemic and you ain't alone let's take the sauna welcome you home to a movement born of movements within a dance of our own b-boying the revolution begun and deliberation up rocking to the solution pop locking to occupation family have you ever had a dream before then don't mistake it for impossible just cuz it's certain you ain't seen before peace [Applause] I'm feeling so much love for you all right now thank you all for receiving us in such a good way I want to actually give gratitude right now for the relationships that exist in this room when I was when I was younger I had someone be a kind of like a big big brother figure to me and I got in many ways and I think he's here so I wanna shout out NIC Napolitano for his good work and aprea gratitude and and I I like Frankie said like these brothers are my teachers and I have another really special teacher and loved one in this room I never get to see so I want to give a shout out to Christina Dominguez thank you for being the best always appreciate you yeah and I really wanted to take the time to do that so that actually to invite us to think about that person who's in this room right now with us who teaches us who loves who gives us the strength if Frankie is talking about that keeps us moving forward that keeps us hanging in there and so I want us to think of that person you can look at that person or now that's all good but I actually wanted us to all say together I'll see you I appreciate you I love you thank you so much don't be you know be generous with those words let each other know this poem is called all for you and it's a it's a poem I wrote for the young people that I would work with who are locked up and today I want to dedicate it to one of the young men who was named Edwin and he got uh he got sent from from the South Bronx to upstate and so he's still at jail right now and right now I know a lot of our family members and friends and loved ones are locked up and every time we gather as a community we don't really gather with all of us because of state violence because of white supremacy and and and imperialism and the way it lives in our lives and patriarchy and those things are you know we overcome with love and the powerful message that we get from each other so this poem is called all for you and yeah it's fair for everyone and for for y'all here we go is all for you when you locked up in hidden i'ma call for you i'ma smuggle in love through these walls for you you overwhelmed because these prisons too small for you and there's a world outside and it's all for you I know most days all we want to do is bomb I do but this hurts full of crack and we falling through see we could die my due to week arise my dude it's up to you but we got to be decide and soon and I need you to know I see divine in you I see God in you I see a kid who's about to beat the odds in you and it's time it's time to pull up like sit ups and finish your bit up you've been a beginner it's time to be bigger your mind getting fitter you faster than Twitter imagine a world where you were the winner where you were the right away you were the fighter imagine New York without knowing that Rikers [Applause] imagine we righteous right here and right now there is a world out there that's staring you down and it's all for you good food good love and it's all for you good nights in the club and it's all for you that Sun in the sky that loving her eyes this flow this round man is all for you it is all for you there is a world out there and it's all for you there's an old dude singing old tunes on the corner with his whole crew want to show you what life was like when he was so cool and you'd be surprised this big broker floats ooh he tell you stories about the way it was and it turns out he knows half your cousins and every time you hear his mouth running you just know this life is worth something and he out there he up one of them blocks right by the woman with the beautiful locks and the beautiful skin and she got a pool she loved to swim and she can brush stroke but she could backstroke and she could freestyle and ask facts though is there's whole oceans out there there's emotions bigger than scared there's long rivers and small honors and good people who love smile and I know you bro you love Weiland don't let them steal your free don't let them steal your free don't be signing your free mind as the real rocks they can't buy it and they can't set it so when you spit you rebelling I'm telling you to survive what I'm telling you is survive that real you that can heal you that you keep buried inside and that right there that's real work when you real Mert mad when you real hurt you want to burn this down and fight back love your brother cuz he's black or he's brown or he's white but he by your side he down to fight for your human right so I'm here to ask you to fight no closed fist and no dumb issue I'm here to ask you to write and I know I don't know your plate but I know your souls full of light so right brother just right brother and we gonna be alright because there's Bruce chops and there's sunsets there's smart people and dumb sex there's some regrets that are just worth it there's real sweat from real working there's satisfaction there's love in action there's hands to heal all the hurting there's late nights full of laughter and there's day dreaming about it after there's books of words you ain't never heard but you could still learn how to use them because there's languages for the fusion there's clarity and confusion there's soft skin and there's hot sand and there's a chance to heal upon this land there is good music and traffic there's heartbreak and there's havoc there's some love that's so good but you'll start believing in magic and it's tragic when you can't have it and I get you getting mad at it but the good news is that y'all cool because real soon that's all you only you can write your song so write that down strong you know destiny she just called for you she said there's a world out there and it's all for you [Applause] yes so I want to give you an option real quick because I definitely got caught up emotionally in my last piece and I wanted to ask y'all whether you would like me to share with you this next piece which you haven't heard called power concedes or if you would like me to have an opportunity to finish the first piece I shared after having a little bit of time to process it emotionally so if if you [Applause] all right let's do it I'll start with the with the with the one I was gonna do this round and it's inspired by the words of Frederick Douglass yeah make some noise for the ancestors exactly he has one of the most poignant lines in regards to liberation which is power concedes nothing without demand and so I wrote this piece as the uprising in Ferguson was happening and I would like to dedicate this piece also to all the organizers on the ground level making things happen getting the rest of us in the streets with our with song with resources this piece is for you power concedes nothing without demand that means you're gonna get your freedom from your very own hands cuz the man at the top is death to your plight he's got nightmares of one of the people unite labor it's not just the name to me it's why Americans invested in slavery these capers led to hundreds of years of free labor that we pay for while they were stacking that free paper freedom through blood bone sweat and sir cuz when you sow all season you want a piece of that fruit truth this is my way to honor it freedom happens because of liberation movements not a serendipitous change of consciousness and what is freedom if not the right to work our right to work the angles and right what hurts power concedes nothing without force of will don't believe me ask the workers who were coerced and killed at Haymarket Square workers were her at will all for a few more freedoms to work a drill such a novel idea to work then chill the bourgeoisie are afraid of what Tom reveals the truth is they don't own anything they steal cuz when workers spend their life constructing who owns the steel traded in their lives for a few measly meals while they intimidate unions for a few measly deals we must see the forces that's why they keep blinders on horses power concedes nothing if you ask it a favor not even babies are safe it took a movement to regulate child labor still become in the country that we're yearning to be Justin ninety three got unpaid maternity leave everything has a history 40-hour work week vacation sick days you're taking off work that's why they enslaved and I still see the current schism the slavery still exists it exists in prison if freedom isn't tied to the way we make a living we construct our own hell in which we live in power concedes nothing if you want it's pity when was the last time we ate out in the city who do they keep exploited in the back of the kitchen those who they pay below minimum wage for a living America's dirty secret we hate immigrants but love their cheap labor but love their cheap labor our economic policies forced them out their countries but we asked them for green papers our fear is that the next stop is transforming the world into a global sweatshop power concedes nothing without demand and if you don't keep your rights by your fist they just might fall out your hands [Applause] our family we got a special treat for everybody out here who is doing some so much amazing work as an individual as an organizer one of the most precious things we can always do is teach that important skill and there's a couple young people I want to bring up to the stage right now so give it up for a Korean amigo real quick y'all come on yeah all right Shawn so you're about to learn a song and that's um we're gonna bring to action tomorrow on the street so this is not time to be shy this is time to not worry about how you sound it's time to sing it like you mean it so give it up one time for these two amazing young sisters who are about to teach you a great song this is an original song they wrote that they're about to bless y'all with so we could use it in action tomorrow morning and I said make some noise y'all okay hi everybody my name is Mika um so just a little background behind this song we're from Seattle University and a question that was asked to us was what drives us to be here and an image that came to our mind was a light so you'll hear in the first line of the song that we call in this image of walking into the light and it's like all the darkness in the world you know we were called to be that light for others so the first sign it I'll read them and then have you guys repeat them back to me so come into the light together we will fight for justice and for love and for love rising with the Sun nice okay so um Karina and I here I'm gonna sing it first and then yes Karina and I are gonna sing and then sing it once and then we'll have you all join us after so it goes a little something like this come into the leg together we will fight for justice and for lo rising with the Sun come into the light together we will fight other we will fight for justice and for love just this sound for lovin with the slide rising with this Sun come into the light justice and for love rise in with the Sun coming through the light come in together we will fight for justice and for love rising with the song rising with the Sun a little louder come into the light together we will fight for justice for love rising with this come the where come into the light whatever we will fight white for justice and for love are we gonna do it rising with the Sun weak come into the light together we will fight for justice rising with do it two more times come one more time give it up for Mika and Karina all right that's what I'm talking about y'all down to sing that tomorrow in the streets or what make some noise y'all I just want us to really quickly just internalize it those amazing young leaders just compose that song practice leading it betta melody practice leading it and just had 2,000 people singing it and that's what we are capable of so make some noise for them and for yourselves we were asked a great question earlier today it was one of the what do you hope that all the people who came out here know when we leave and that some of what we talked about was we hope that you are so deeply rooted that we need we need your courage and your creativity that you meet each other's courage and creativity that other future generations desperately need your courage and your creativity the land and the water need your courage and your creativity and so if you ready to accept that responsibility if you're ready to tap into the endless power that is within all of creation that is gifted to us by our ancestors who came before us if you're ready to honor that then I'm gonna write y'all to sing with us and if you're comfortable and able to do so we invite you to stand with us we have one more song so we definitely want to invite y'all to sing with us and again feel free if you got some harmony up in there of you that you want throw in go ahead so and if you want to move your body with this feel free as well so you can repeat after me it goes like this I have not come here alone I come here alone I carry my people in my bones I carry my people in my bones I have not come here alone I have not come here alone and if you listen you can hear them in my soul and if you listen you can hear them in my soul all right it's gonna be beautiful y'all right I have not okay my people carry my people I carry my people in my bones feel like you mean it I have not I have not have not come here and if you listen you can hear them hit my soul I'm not alone like a people at a graduation they call your name you hear the correlation celebration rooted in culture traditions of libation stolen black gold spread to many nations so many iterations we are the variations but at launch we don't understand the situation love this simple but we're complication showing up with my grandmother's voice coming through calm with my old man's boys in case you wanted to ring who making all the noise we're coming with the hood who taught me can't saw him I'm from a long line of active East Side's breaking down the borders of immediately stops we don't die we multiply call me below no no no people in my bones come on I have come evil though and if you listen you can hear them in my soul check it out oh I'll sit back and reflect on Che Guevara more in the Frederic TQ repairing the solder no see Jesus Muhammad County and soldiering true all the Mamas and the Papas out here see phrasing are you playing C's cuz you know our roots with our hands in the land so we bear in his room my baked only now they're telling us we're I look deep in your eyes and realized I have not come on come here was oh no no no no carry my people see that again come on I have not I hear y'all you can see a lot of that Empire see now for your ancestors I am NOT singing to each other I can remind people if you listen you can hear them sing that last line sing it one more time ah so [Applause] family we are the peace boys has been an honor to rock for you to connect to you [Applause] we love y'all so much we got some poetry books and some music at the registration table please if you want to take a piece of our art and our our hearts home which you do that and connect to us parlante siempre pa'lante Gracia [Applause]

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