Posts Tagged ‘Dignity’

Los Caminos De La Vida

March 8, 2016

One of the most powerful and emotional parts of Sunday’s march is when we serenated the inmates with this song. I cried when seeing the inmates waiving at us.

El domingo pasado, en Los Angeles, se organizo la marcha por la mujeres mas larga en la nacion.

La parte que me emociono mas fue cuando le dimos una serenata a los que estaban detenidos. Esta cancion me hizo llorar.

 

 

Hace 10 años Se Organizo La Primera Vigilia En Chile Para Los Que Fallecieron En La Calle

April 20, 2014

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Hace 10 años que estuve en Arica, Chile y me inspire a organizar una vigilia para todos los Ariqueños que habian fallecido en las calles de esa gran ciudad. Era un Martes, 20 de Abril, en las gradas de la Catedral San Marcos donde nos reunimos para recordar a todas esas personas que fallecieron en el olvido.

Fue una tarea que duro un poco mas de un mes para organizar. Me acuerdo que tuve que ser entrevistas de radio, escribir articulos en la revista de la Diocesis de Arica, organizar los permisos para la vigilia que se iba a ser en silencio y tambien escribir una carta para conseguir la madera.
Fue un momento muy especial para mi y al equipo de Mujeres que nos reuniamos todos los Martes en el parque para alimentar a las personas de la calle. Cuando tuve la idea de organizar la vigilia pense que ya se habia hecho en Chile y para confirmar, le envie un email a Benito Baranda F., Director Social Nacional del Hogar de Cristo informandole si se habia hecho una vigilia para los que habian fallecido en la calle. Y si se habia hecho, queria saber que hicieron para tener unas ideas para lo que queriamos hacer en Arica. Cuando Benito me envio un email y me dijo que no se habia hecho uno en Chile y que el de nosotros seria el primero a nivel nacional me puse muy contento. Pense que bonito que la cuidad de Arica pueda sembrar una semilla de consciencia y esperar que de luz a toda la nacion.

Para comenzar la vigilia pense que seria un acto muy espiritual si lo haciamos en silencio ya que queria recordar a todos los que fallecieron en el olvido. En el silencio encontramos los alimentos para enriquecer nuestra espiritualidad. Este acto y evento para mi era una manera para despedir a nuestros hermanos e hermanas con dignidad y para que el espiritu de cada uno de ellos/ellas estuviera presente en nuestra caminata. Para ponernos en un momento de reflexion escuchamos esta gran cancion:

 

Al llegar al parque donde alimentamos a las personas de la calle y despues de que los compañeros de los que habian fallecido compartieron historias de sus amigos, comparti un poema. Escribi este poema pensando en todos los indigentes que fallecieron en la calle y en todos aquellos que cada dia mueren de soledad.

MORIR DE SOLEDAD

Lo mas terrible
que un ser humano
puede experimentar
es
morir de soledad.
Saber que no es
querido ni valorado
es algo a lo que los
desamparados
desgraciadamente
se han acostumbrado.

 

A ser aislados
por nuestra sociedad
porque
su
presencia,
estilo de vida,
enfermedad,
es un cargo para la cuidad
ellos solamente han querido
vivir su vida en la tranquilidad
con personas que les entreguen
su amistad
y les den
la oportunidad
de salir de esta oscuridad
y encontrar la felicidad.

 

A nuestros hermanos y hermanas
abandonados por la sociedad,
les han robado
el derecho
de vivir
con dignidad
ya que nuestra sociedad
parece que no
se preocupa
de entregar
amor a la humanidad
y siento que les gusta
ver a los mas pobres
vivir en la oscuridad
porque si hubiera
justicia y solidaridad
muchos no estarian
viviendo en las calles
de esta ciudad,
pero de a poquito
ellos se van
moriendo de soledad.

 

Esta es la situacion
que vive un indigente
en el presente
y le da tristeza
ver a su propia gente
que la sociedad
les haiga
contaminado
su mente.

 

Nuestra sociedad
ha ignorado
la filosofia
de ver
a Cristo disfrazado
en los mas necesitados
y uno no puede
tenerle fe a
San Alberto Hurtado
si no se preocupa
de ayudar
a los mas desamparados
ya que el dedico su vida
ayudando a los
mas marginados.

 

Nuestro labor
es no dejarlos que tengan
mucho dolor
si no que sepan
que hay gente
que les entrega
amor
y asi podran vivir
su vida rodeados de felicidad
porque cuando ellos mueran
podran morir
en la tranquilidad.

 

La proxima vez
que te encuentres
con un indigente
trata de llegar
a los mas profundo
de su corazon
y encontraras
a una persona
que te cambiara
tu modo de pensar
y no lo podras explicar
porque cada uno
lo tiene que experimentar.

 

Para los que quieran leer el articulo que salio en diario local el proximo dia. Aqui les va:

http://www.estrellaarica.cl/site/edic/20040421055335/pags/20040421062505.html

 

 

The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

April 4, 2014


Today is the death anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. To remember his legacy I came across this well done documentary that explains how the FBI assassinated MLK. Check it out and share it to those who may find it useful.

My Reflection on 12 years as a Slave

February 26, 2014

I went to see the film, 12 years as a Slave, couple weeks ago with a group of friends and like everyone in the theater I had a difficult time seeing the film without being emotionally shaken. I shed a few tears even though most of my tears filled my heart with a tremendous pain.

As I watched the film I started thinking about the ways this country has not change since the days of Slavery. We may not call it slavery but we continue to live in an Institutional Slavery society where one can argue that our current economic “free market” model is an example where America has not change its evil ways. Our current capitalist model allows certain people to become “masters” over others. Corporations are the new Masters. The 1% are the new Masters. The 99% are the new slaves.

Just like the Masters cling to their religion to dehumanize the slaves, the new Masters are the Religious Right who hold on to conservative views to portray themselves as good Christians or Catholics, while ignoring the social teachings of Jesus who stress compassion for all and recognizing the humanity and dignity of every human being.

There is an African proverb that says: Poverty is Slavery. Given this proverb, our society has treated the poorest of the poor and the working class as the 21st century slaves. In America, both Democrats and Republicans have not done enough to help the poorest of the poor and the working class. It is a moral tragedy that the richest country in the world has millions of people living in poverty and on the streets. Politicians who cater to the corporations and the 1% and don’t pass laws that assist the poorest of the poor to get out of poverty is like the slave master who didn’t want slaves to be educated. Republicans in the eyes of many Americans are clearly seen as today’s slave masters. Not only are the majority of Republicans White but those Republicans who come from the South may easily have relatives who were slave owners.

Another clear example of modern day slavery is America’s Prison Industrial Complex which has many similarities between inmates and slaves. Not only are the majority of people incarcerated people of color but the presence of minorities in overcrowded prisons for nonviolent crimes allows businesses to use inmates and exploit them for free labor. These inmates have to work on slave like conditions. I could go into further detail to showcase the similarities between prisoners and slaves but after watching the movie it will be too painful.

America has to come to grasp with its past by addressing the social issues that are present today. Ignoring today’s social issues only validates yesterday’s cruel behavior.

Long Live Ella Baker

November 13, 2013

Today is the birthday and death anniversary of one of the most famous unsung heroes in our country. Ella Baker. She would have been 110 years old. Today is her 27th death anniversary. Ella Baker was the type of revolutionary that understood that the movement is not about being the one who gets more exposure or the person that everyone talks about. She was all about the people. She was the type of revolutionary who dedicated her life to the struggle of human rights, the type of person that clearly understood that one doesn’t have to get the limelight to fight for freedom of others. She the female version of Bayard Rustin. Both of them did so much for the civil rights movement behind the scenes. 

So much can be written about Ella Baker. What matters is that we apply her teachings and implement her ideas on grassroots organizing to systemically change our system. The best way to honor and pay tribute to Ella Baker is to get involved and organize our communities. Continue to fight for the human rights of all people. She once famously said, “We who in believe in Freedom cannot rest.” 

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when our country continues to invade and occupy foreign countries.

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when Palestinians continue to be treated like 2nd class citizens in their own land and Israel continues to have the apartheid wall.

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when NSA has already invaded the privacy of most Americans and tapped all cell phones, read our emails and listen to the conversations of foreign leaders.

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest when homelessness continues to be an issue that people ignore and countries nationwide are criminalizing people for sleeping on the streets.

We who believe in Freedom cannot rest until we as a people start changing and realizing that the reason of our existence lies in using our gifts for the greater good of Humanity. When we are able to recognized that the beauty of life is found in upholding the human rights of all people and providing people with the basic human needs and working to abolish systems that seek to impose barriers on people’s dignity, human rights and way of life, then only then will we rest. Until then, we who believe in Freedom cannot rest.

Here is a great article about Ella Baker.

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/ella-baker-and-limits-charismatic-masculinity

Here is my favorite song that honors Ella Baker.

LA CAN Members Bring Awareness on World Homeless Day

October 10, 2013

image

Today is World Homeless Day. LA CAN members will be giving Assembly Speaker John Perez a letter sign by the community in hopes to get his support for the California Homeless Bill of Rights.
To find out how to get involve in supporting the CA Homeless Bill of Rights please go to:
http://www.cangress.wordpress.com and http://www.wraphome.org
The best way to bring awareness on a day like today is to have a conversation with a homeless person. Listen to them. Look into their eyes. Shake their hands. Acknowledge them. Recognize their dignity. If you do, your life will be transform because the wisdom that you will receive from such encounter will remind you of the true values of life. 

Discurso de Salvador Allende al ganar la Presidencia de Chile

September 4, 2013

El 4 de Septiembre de 1970, Dr. Salvador Allende se convirtio en el 1er Presidente Socialista de nuestro continente.

Escuche su discurso que lleva un mensaje de humanidad y dignidad.

Como Allende no hay otro. Espero que su vida y su vision de un nuevo mundo nos inspire a construir un mundo mas justo, mas humano y mas digno.

Salvador Allende…PRESENTE!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!

Victor Jara–El Derecho de Vivir en Paz

May 19, 2013

Victor Jara le canta al pueblo de Vietnam y tambien al gran revolucionario, Ho Chi Minh. Esta fue una de las canciones mas conocidas durante el movimiento contra la Guerra de Vietnam. Recuerdo a Ho Chi Minh hoy en su dia de su nacimiento. Y que mejor manera que con esta gran cancion.

Ray Polk: A Revolutionary Homeless Person

March 14, 2011
Fresno
(Tomas Ovalle)
A puppy sniffs a plastic flower at one of the 77 markers Polk has made and installed as part of his memorial to the deceased homeless. He says he heard that homeless people are often cremated and their ashes thrown into a common grave. "They're invisible in life, and then when they die it's like they never existed. There's nowhere for a person to go and say, 'I knew them. They were my friend.' "
(Tomas Ovalle)

Polk spelled out the name of his compound with white cups on a chain link fence.
(Tomas Ovalle)

Ray Polk is a 58 year old homeless person from Fresno who has revolutionize how people view the homeless people. He continues to dedicate his life to help his brothers and sisters who are on the streets by providing them with food, services and listening to what they have to share. Mr. Polk is an example of Jesus being in disguise to walk with the most marginalize. That is the hidden message that has not been televised. In Mr. Polk’s life we see the compassion that we need to not only interact and assist the homeless but the compassion to start transforming this world. He demonstrates his need to recognize people’s dignity by making a homeless memorial for all the homeless people that have passed away. Mr. Polk recognizes the need to be remember as a person rather than becoming unknown to the general public. Ray, states, “They’re invisible in life, and they when they die it’s like they never existed. There’s nowhere for a person to go and say, ‘I knew them. They were my friend.'”

Here is a quick poem I wrote in honor of Ray Polk after reading the article of the amazing work he is doing in Fresno.

Jesus In Disguise

I just read about a man
by the name of Ray,
who continues to be Homeless
to help the Homeless
just the same way
St. Peter Claver
became a slave to
accompany the slaves.

Ray, with a heart full of compassion
understands people’s pain and sorrow
dedicating himself to feed the hungry
so that they can wake up for a better tomorrow.

Mr. Polk makes the unknown, known
calls them by name so that their dignity
is restored and with his vocation
he keeps strengthening his Homeless Ministry.

Thank You, Mr. Ray
for continuing to inspire me
on a journey that seeks to transform this calamity
into a seed that will give fruits
 to a world without people sleeping in the streets.

Here is the article that talks about Ray Polk’s beautiful and inspiring work.
Check out these great pics

God’s Smile and Andrew Zimmern Teams Up with 100k Homes Campaign

March 1, 2011
Many people know Andrew Zimmern as the host of the Bizarre Foods, but at one point he was homeless. That is why on today’s segment of Bizarre Foods, he goes to San Francisco and shows the REAL San Pancho. It is in this segment where one will see him feed the homeless along with members of Food Not Bombs and other volunteers.

Today’s segment is also special because for every viewer that tunes in, a donation will be made to the 100,000 homes campaign, which aims to house 100,000 of the most chronically homeless by July, 2013.

Check out the interview below where Andrew talks about his homeless experience and about today’s program. One thing that he mentions in the interview that I have been telling people is that homeless people need to be treated with respect. In my interactions with homeless people and with anyone for that matter, I focus on R.A.D., which is Respect And Dignity. As long as we treat people with Respect and recognize their Dignity, we are moving forward to creating a more compassionate society. Here is the interview. Check it out.

Here is a short segment on today’s show. I hope people will be inspired and join our cause to end homelessness in the U.S. The best way to learn about homelessness is by having conversations with the people in the streets and listening to their stories.

Finally, here is a poem I wrote 10 years ago. Hope you enjoy it.

God’s Smile

You see them everywhere you go.
They are in your cities, towns, neighborhoods, and
you can’t seem to realize them.
     You walk by homeless people
     and you ignore them.
They get close to you and you’re already shaking.
Why is that?
     Is it because they are different than you?
     Is it because of the way they are dress?
You should look inside of them before you judge them.
You should take the time to chat with them, and
then based your judgments from your conversation.
     Have you ever wonder,
     how much you can learn from homeless people?
     Have you ever wonder,
     if at one point in their lives, they were better than you were?
People from all over come to live this lifestyle.
Some are well educated and with their degrees they prove it.
But you wouldn’t know this because
you are too busy seeing the outside.
     Let me take you to another plain of thought.
Have you ever wonder why homeless people
have so much faith in God?
Why they continue to have faith
despite the obstacles and the struggles

that they go through?
     Why some are full of joy and spirit,
     while most of us stress about the small things
     and their life is far worse than ours?
Something to think about.
     Think about this.
Have you ever seen God smile?
How many pictures have you seen
when He is smiling?
     As far as I’m concern, none.
     Now wouldn’t it be nice to see His smile?
     Wouldn’t it be nice to see if God has dimples?
You have been given the opportunity
to see His smile.
In fact, you see it every time homeless people smile at you,
but you have been blind to see it.
     Why do you think Mother Teresa
     dedicated her life to help the poorest of the poor?
Mother Teresa knew she was seeing
God’s smile when they would smile at her.
Next time you come across homeless people,
realize the smile that they carry.
It’s not any other ordinary smile.
It’s God’s smile.