Archive for May, 2011

Espana en pie de lucha…

May 31, 2011

 Que alegria me da de ver este  video.   

 

Viva la resistencia en España.

Glenn Burke…PRESENTE!!!

May 31, 2011

It was the last game of the 1977 baseball season when the Dodgers’ Dusty Baker hit a homerun and Glenn Burke ran to the field to congratulate him by giving him a “high five.” It was that moment where people credit Glenn Burke for inventing the “high five” that is used in the major sports of America. It is reported that when Glenn Burke hit his first major league homerun in that same game, Dusty Baker congratulated Glenn Burke for hitting his first homerun in the Majors by high fiving him. From that moment on, the trend just carried on.

Glenn Burke was an amazing athlete. He was once referred by a Dodgers coach as the “next Willie Mays.” Glenn Burke had all the tools to be one of the greatest baseball players in Major League history but there was one obstacle. Glenn Burke was a gay baseball player. He was the first gay baseball player to play in the major leagues.

Glenn Burke was a pioneer for gay baseball athletes. The sad part is that no other player has had the courage to “come out” while being an active baseball player. Maybe its because they recognized that doing so will be “baseball suicide” as some people have stated is what happened to Glenn Burke. By becoming the first gay baseball player to play in the major leagues, Glenn had it rough. Al Campanis, the General Manage of the Los Angeles Dodgers at one point offered Glenn Burke to pay for an excessive honeymoon if Glenn agreed to get married. Glenn refused. Tommy Lasorda the manager of the Dodgers at the time was bothered by the fact that Glenn Burke was openly dating his son, Tommy Lasorda, Jr.  When Lasorda’s son passed away in 1991, Tommy issued a statement stating his son died of pneumonia and not of AIDS. Many people feel that it was Tommy Lasorda who pressured the front office to trade away Glenn Burke because he was dating his son.

Glenn’s Dodger teammates embraced him for who he was. Davey Lopes, the Dodgers current 1st base coach and the team captain of the 1977 season stated, “no one cared about his lifestyle.” While some players had no issues with Glenn’s lifestyle, it was the Dodgers management who felt uncomfortable having a gay athlete in their roster. Glenn Burke was eventually traded to the Oakland Athletics after the 1977 season, returning back to the bay area where he had excelled as a basketball player in high school. In Oakland, rather than feeling at home, he was harrassed by his own manager, Billy Martin. When introducing Glenn Burke to his new team in spring training, Billy Martin is quoted as saying, “and by the way…he’s a faggot!”

Glenn Burke ended playing two seasons with the Oakland A’s after suffering a knee injury that forced him to be demoted to the minor leagues and being release in 1979. His short major league career was cut short after 4 seasons and at the young age of 27.

Glenn Burke mentioned that “[In] 1978, I think everybody knew [and I’m] sure [my] teammates didn’t care.” He went on to say, “Prejudice drove me out of baseball sooner than I should have. But I wasn’t changing…Prejudice just won out.” One of Glenn Burke’s famous quotes goes on to say, “They can’t ever say now that a gay man can’t play in the majors, because I’m a gay man and I made it.”

Glenn Burke had a difficult life after baseball. He participated in the first Gay Games in 1982 winning medals in the 100 and 200 meter sprints. He ended becoming homeless in San Francisco and falling into drugs. He died on AIDS complications on May 30, 1995.

I believe the story of Glenn Burke exposes the homophobia culture that exist in major league sports. It showed how Tommy Lasorda and Billy Martin were two of the biggest homophobic managers in the game of baseball. Shame on Tommy Lasorda and Billy Martin. Glenn Burke is the Jackie Robinson of gay athletes. He enters the same realm as that of Harvey Milk. Glenn Burke was a man of integrity and courage. A great baseball player and a great human being. His story is one that I hope will inspire gay athletes to embrace who they are and play the game they love. As a sports fan, I long for the day when gay athletes can be comfortable for who they are and not have to think about ruining their careers simply by being themselves. I will stand by those gay athletes who realize that we are living in the 21st century and no longer must they continue to live their lives hiding their sexual preference.

I think the Dodgers owes a lot to Glenn Burke. Just the same way they retired Jackie Robinson’s number 42, they should retired his number 3. Glenn Burke didn’t accomplish a lot in baseball not because he couldn’t but because he was forced out of the game. His contributions of becoming the first gay baseball player and a great human being should be taken into consideration.

Here is a trailer on the documentary on the life of Glenn Burke.

Glenn Burke…PRESENTE!!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!!

The Quality of Whose Life? A Battle Cry to Join Forces

May 27, 2011
Paul Boden, a very dear friend of mine and Director of Western Regional Advocacy Project, wrote about the “Quality of Life” ordinances that targets the homeless and poor people of our society last year in the Huffington Post. I first met Paul when I was a board member for the National Coalition for the Homeless during my senior year in college. I am including the articles that were written to give the reader an understanding on the “Quality of Life” background and how it has criminalized people for being homeless. 

Whose Public Safety?
Part 1: The Quality of Whose Life? The Introduction to America’s Modern Anti-Poor Movement.
Part 2: The Broken Windows Theory.
Part 3: Connecting the Dots.
Criminalizing Homelessness.

Given the information from the above articles, one can clearly see that in America the solution to ending homelessness does not lie in creating more permanent housing but rather to criminalize the homeless. In the last segment of The Quality of Whose Life?, readers are given an overview of the great work that each member organization of the Western Regional Advocacy Organization (WRAP) is doing to advocate for the rights of homeless people but are also left with a question to answer. Find out what the question is after reading this article. 

In order to ensure the Quality of Life for all human beings, the time has come for all forces to start building a true social justice movement. The social justice movement has the potential to be America’s version of the Egyptian Revolution. In fact, it is the social justice movement that has awakened the Middle East and North Africa. In America, we have the blueprint to create and strengthen our social justice movement. Blueprints for such massive movements are created when people lack the basic human needs; employment, housing, food, education, health care, etc. We are seeing people from all walks of life come together and be affected by the current economic crisis. Some have always been affected, others are beginning to understand the struggles of becoming a poor person in America.

All of our struggles are intertwine with each other. We can’t focus on housing issues without addressing homelessness. I have come across people who fight for tenant rights but won’t fight for homeless civil rights. We can’t focus on education issues without addressing children’s housing, mental health and their family issues. No longer must we continue to struggle isolated from one another. The time has come for us to join forces and rally our SOUL-DIERS and build America’s largest social justice movement in the 21st century. For that to happen, we need our brothers and sisters from all walks of life to come together and struggle with us as we demand a better quality of life for everyone. We cannot start a revolution with people sleeping on the streets but a revolution has always started by people on the streets.

In concluding, I am reminded by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., when he said: “These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men [and women] are revolting against old systems of oppression and exploitation; and out of the wombs of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are raising up as never before.”

Harvey Milk Day: This is how L.A. celebrated Harvey Milk last year

May 21, 2011
 It was a year ago today that a group of us went to L.A. City Hall to fight for a rent freeze. We got there early in the morning. When we got to city hall, I found out that the city was proclaiming May 21, 2010 as Harvey Milk Day. I was glad to find out that the city was celebrating someone like Harvey Milk. His proclamation day was long over due. As we waited for nearly 5 hours for the council members to make a decision on whether they were going to put a rent freeze or give tenants a rent increase, the council members only gave us 20 minutes to speak on why we think a rent freeze was essential. The landlords were also given 20 minutes to speak their mind.

After waiting for over 5 hours and given just 20 minutes to speak on behalf of all the tenants from the City of L.A., councilmember Eric Garcetti decided to postponed the vote and send it back to the Housing committee. By doing so, it meant that tenants from the city of L.A. were going to have a rent increase on July 1st. One can only imagine how we felt after that decision. We were obviously upset. But, bringing in the police to silence our voices by using excessive force was truly unjust.

A friend of mine was beaten down and had his shirt ripped apart. All he was doing was walking back as the police were pushing him. As I was going to observed what was going on, I ended being tased. I had taken two books with me, one on Mons. Oscar Romero, The Violence of Love and another one on Steve Biko, I Write What I Like. I took those books as a mix of my spiritual and political beliefs hoping that I would get some inspiration in case I had a chance to speak to the council members. That never happened.

After I got out of jail, I found out that the police had charged me on some lynching charges and that they thought I had the books with the intention of hurting some officers. My books were confiscated from me as “evidence” and I didn’t get my books until 2 months ago. Evidence? What evidence were they thinking of finding? I was told that some officers thought that I had my books and was using them as a weapon against them. My books are my weapon, only if the cops consider knowledge a weapon. This got me thinking of a quote that says, books and bombs are made from the same chemicals; the only difference is that a bomb explodes one time and a book explodes a thousand times.

Due to this incident, my friend is now facing criminal charges. Made up charges that the police has put on him. He has a court date coming up soon. This is clearly a political battle. The police are trying to go up against any activist who tries to interrupt their agenda and when people stand up to fight their agenda and advocate for human and civil rights, this is the treatment we get. My friend is a well respected organizer in the community. It is no suprise to us that they targetted him because of his involvement in the community.

Let it be known that in Los Angeles we are living in a police state. I would go as far as saying that America has become a police state. When activist are fighting for the rights of people, we either have police beating us down or FBI raiding our houses. We’ve seen this with the activist in Minneapolis and Chicago having their houses raided and more recently a well respected Chicano activist in Los Angeles had his house raided by the sheriffs and was interrogated by FBI agents.

Below are videos and articles from the event last year. This was the city of Los Angeles’ way of celebrating Harvey Milk Day.

 

Steve_bikoThe_violence_of_love

The Rent is Too Damn High!!!

May 20, 2011
May 20th Human Right to Housing Day

Today, I will go back to L.A. City Hall to bring awareness that housing is a human right. Many of us will be at city hall to put pressure on the council members to reform the rent stabilization ordinance, protect public housing, end homelessness and to speak out against the abuse that myself along with others received as we were fighting for a temporary rent freeze a year ago. It is important that this year, tenants get a rent freeze. The rent is too damn high.

RENT FREEZE NOW!!!

WHEN DO WE WANT IT?

NOW!!!

Malcolm X…PRESENTE

May 20, 2011
Today is Malcolm X birthday. Had he been alive, he would have been 86 years old. In honor of Malcolm, I am including some of my favorite speeches of him.

Here is a link to an article where it reference how Hip Hop is Keeping Malcolm’s legacy alive.
Nas breaking it down.
The Coup always holding it down.

Malcolm X…Presente!!!
Ahora…Y…Siempre!!!

Partido de los Pobres

May 19, 2011

El 18 de Mayo de 1967 nace el Partido de los Pobres cuyo fundador fue Lucio Cabañas. El Partido de los Pobres “plantea hacer la Revolucion Socialista levantando al pueblo pobre para suprimir al gobierno de los ricos y conquistar el poder del pueblo y para el pueblo…Lucio [opina] que el Partido debe ser un instrumento del pueblo para la revolucion social,  el partido debe organizar a las masas creando con ellas los instrumentos de la lucha revolucionaria.” (LCB y PdlP,pg. 7)

El Partido de los Pobres en su espiritu revolucionario tenia un grupo armado, cuyo nombre fue la Brigada Campesina de Ajusticiamiento del Partido le los Pobres. En su grupo se encontraban guerrilleros y guerrilleras. Durante la epoca del 1967-1974, la Brigada Campesina resistio 16 campañas militares y fue la guerrilla mas organizada y la mas resistio a las tropas del gobierno.

El partido recibio el apoyo del pueblo gracias a su liderazgo. Lucio fue un revolucionario que lideraba las reuniones como un profesor. Siempre explicando los detalles con una claridad que todos los compañeros le entendian. Lucio les daba el espacio a los compas para que expusieran su punto de vista. Todos podian opinar en las reuniones. Lucio como gran maestro que era, escribia los comentarios de los compas. Hortencia, una guerrillera que formo parte del partido, comenta que, “Lucio era solidario, sencillo, alegre, amante del canto y la guitarra, siempre, aun en los momentos de mas peligro, bromeaba con todos para que no tuvieran el miedo atorado en la garganta.” (LCB y PdlP, pg. 10)

Las cualidades exigidas para los revolucionarios que militaban en el Partido de los Pobres era:
1. El actuar siempre como se piensa.
2. Siempre ser ejemplo moral y politico revolucionario para los demas y el pueblo.
3. El hablar siempre a los compas y al pueblo con la verdad.
4. El retomar para uno los trabajos mas dificiles y tediosos.
5. El no ser carga para los demas.
6. El defender siempre los intereses de los pobres.
7. El actuar siempre con modestia y sencillez.
8. El tener espiritu de sacrificio conciente.
9. La practica cotidiana de la critica y autocritica constructiva como un mecanismo de superacion y unidad organizativas.
El Partido de los Pobres era el instrumento politico del pueblo. Lucio y los militantes del partido siempre se basaban en las problemas de los pobres y la gente humilde con los que convivian. Los militantes junto con los pobladores conversaban, analizaban y estudiaban los diferentes puntos de vista de cada problema antes de llegar a una conclusion. Esta actitud del Partido le permitio a que el pueblo confiaba en el proceso revolucionario del Partido. Las metas del partido eran las metas del pueblo. Era una relacion horizontal. El Partido de los Pobres tomaba los pasos que los pobladores querian tomar.
El Partido de los Pobres siempre planteo que era el mismo pueblo que tendria que construir su propio poder y Lucio pensaba que el Partido era simplemente un instrumento para facilitar al pueblo en su lucha revolucionaria. Lucio creia que “para construir el poder del pueblo se debe partir de accionar siempre entre el pueblo reestableciendo la justicia social…sin postergarla bajo ningun pretexto, pero el accionar siempre debe ser parte de la lucha activa del pueblo.” (LCB y PdlP, pg.15)
Durante su primera etapa, El Partido de los Pobres se enfocaron a conscientizar a los pobladores. Los militantes profundizaron en el pueblo las reuniones entre los pobladores, el analisis colectivo, las asambleas de poder, compromisos, unidad de actuacion, la transformacion de la realidad y la evaluacion de los resultados. Fue este mecanismo que el Partido de los Pobres utilizo para darle el poder al pueblo y en que lo diferencio de los varios grupos armados del Mexico. (LCB y PdlP,pg. 15)
Deberiamos resucitar al Partido de los Pobres no solamente en Mexico sino en Estados Unidos y en varias partes del mundo. En Mexico, no hay ningun partido politico que tenga esa llegada que el Partido de los Pobres tuvo con los campesinos y los pobladores. El PRD es la misma basura que el PRI y el PAN. Aunque no sea partido politico pero creo que el Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional es el unico movimiento que refleja el espiritu revolucionario del Partido de los Pobres.
El Partido de los Pobres del siglo XXI debe ser de abajo y ala izquierda. Debe ser un partido que se define como un partido anti-capitalista, anti-imperialista, humanista, socialista y que tome la base de una politica horizontal, es decir, una postura donde las decisiones se hacen con el gran apoyo del pueblo. El Partido de los Pobres debe ser el espejo del pueblo. El Partido solo camina hacia donde el pueblo lo gire. Como dicen los zapatistas, el pueblo manda y el gobierno obedece. Este es el espiritu que debe tener El Partido de los Pobres del Siglo XXI. El partido siempre tiene que obedecer y escuchar al pueblo. El Partido tiene que tener sus “barrios en resistencia,” es decir, cada barrio debe de tener su comite compuesto por un grupo ejecutivo que represente las necesidades del barrio y es este comite que tiene la tarea de organizar y educar a su barrio de los problemas que suceden en su vecindad. Luego ya  que los “barrios en resistencia” esten bien planteados, lo ideal es que cada 3 meses haiga un congreso en un area de la ciudad o estado que reune a los diferentes barrios en resistencia y en ese encuentro comparten sus luchas y sus ideas. Son en estos encuentros donde vamos conscientizando y organizando a todo el pueblo. En justamente en estos encuentros donde el pueblo comienza a realizar el poder popular que han construido. De estos encuentros uno tambien va formado una asamblea directiva que represente a varios sectores del pueblo y es en esta asamblea donde el pueblo pone en marcha su plan para tomar el poder. El camino hacia el siglo XXI parte desde abajo y ala izquierda para construir una sociedad socialista y digna. El Partido de los Pobres si se llegase a resucitar puede ser el partido que todos los pobres, marginados, olvidados, rechazados, se pueden identificar y pueden construir el sendero hacia uno nuevo amanecer.

Mario Benedetti…Presente!!!

May 18, 2011
Hoy recordamos al gran poeta, Mario Benedetti, en su segundo aniversario de su muerte. Mario fue un gran poeta de Uruguay pero de corazon era un Bolivariano. Mario era uno de esos poetas como Pablo Neruda que con su poesia muestran las emociones, ternura y lo bello de la humanidad. Como Mario no hay dos. Mario jugo un papel clave en fundar el Frente Amplio de Uruguay, una coalicion de izquierda, que hoy en dia gobierna el pais.

Aqui les dejo una entrevista que le hicieron a Mario Benedetti y algunos de mis mejores poemas de el. Disfrutenlos. 
Aqui les dejo este video para que vean como el pueblo Uruguayo despidio al gran Mario Benedetti.

Mario Benedetti…Presente!!!
Ahora…Y…Siempre!!!

Palestinian Hip Hop

May 17, 2011
VIVA PALESTINA LIBRE!!!

Slingshot Hip Hop

May 17, 2011
Palestinians getting their message out through Hip Hop.  FREE PALESTINE!!!