Thursday, March 10, 2005

What I´m working on, to send in to current SEAS folks by March 20. Suggestions please?

Spring 2002, I think it was, that the image first popped into my head and weighed on my heart.
That we had been welcomed into the house of a righteous mama, once big and strong, who had suddenly taken ill. We had drank the last of her water in the hopes that, our thirst quenched, we would know how to nurse her back to health. But now we sat confused and helpless, meeting after meeting, our childish hands barely propping up her frail body.
I´ll start from the beginning, shall I?

We first met, SEAS and I, after the rally in protest of the acquittal of the officers who gunned down Amadou Diallo. March 10, 2000.
(italics) We wore red for the blood he shed.
Tim Ly (often said in the same breath as Louise Averhahn, who I still think of as SeasLouise) handed me a flyer (which I still don´t know whether to spell with an i or a y) about Students for Environmental Action at Stanford, I think it was still called then. I went home and signed on to the list and did nothing more than skim emails for the next several months. I hadn´t really joined the revolution yet, see.

Late fall or early winter, a note about Fair Trade coffee caught my eye, amidst the notes on toxic medical waste and whatnot. I worked in a café and loved the substance. What could it have to do with environmental issues and injustice? What wasn´t fair about trade? I pulled on the dangling thread and didn´t even realize when what was left of the fabric that veiled my middle class liberal eyes was entirely and utterly unravelled.
(italics) You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Our relationship didn´t really take off, even then. SEAS wasn´t pursuing the coffee thing, her plate was understandably full, so we went our separate ways. I was part of the founding of yet another student activist group to address an issue that we felt deserved more attention. I ran into her every now and then, in those repeating faces and names at events and rallies and petitions. SeasLouise came to our group´s first tabling to offer advice and wisdom and I was glad to finally put a face to the name.
(italics) You´re an activist, huh? Hey, so what´s your cause?

Fall 2001, after immeasurable ages of state sponsored terrorism, the United States government, and the people it presides over finally experienced terrorism on what they called their own land. War was in the air on more than one front; the labor struggle was intensifying. Meanwhile, some of the most revolutionary folks had just graduated, off to continue their work in the bigger and badder realms of the struggle.
(italics) Hasta la victoria siempre.
I returned to school and joined SEAS, not realizing her health was in a precarious stage. Meetings were Monday nights, I vaguely remember. I would head down to the Haas Center with Adrian Guzman, my roommate. Sabrina Fernandes made a deal with him that she would join Vegan Action if he would join SEAS. She (Sabrina) and Cody had been in SEAS the year before. They were starting to get the ins and outs, the whats and the whos. Lavanya Chekuru and Adrianna ?? seemed to bring the most experience to the table, that table in the Haas kitchen, having their fingers in so many of the activist pies (They were SLACers too). Adrian and I were newbies. We stumbled through the haze of recent happenings, the various campaigns and whatnots...
*Medical waste needed follow-up. Anyone? Cody? Consider it done.
* Prison construction needed stopping. Delano II was on its way, or we/they had stopped it already, there had been a victory on one front, a loss on another, I wish I could tell you more, but like I said, hazy happenings, purple from pollution. We´ll return to the problem of this historical strategical haze later.
* Philipino airport screeners were getting screwed over and needed solidarity against the racial profiling at SF airport that was one locust among the cloud that was being flown in and dropped from the latest Boeing Apache helicopters.
* Special fees needed campaigning for, which meant flyers needed printing and sticking up, only to end up fluttering in the winds of deforestation.
* Special fees needed using, which, for this year, meant that requests from other groups and events needed
* Dis-Orientation guides needed printing. Little red books that opened onto the discontentment that sat like splinters in our minds and shattered pavements to reveal the dirt tracks that led to the beaches on the island of revolution.
* And the doozie. This year´s new campaign needed identifying and researching.
So we followed up, stopped (?), were in solidarity, flyered, and printed. But the identifying was another matter. I mean, what the hell WAS our cause? Each

I felt like I was part of a collective diarrohea of activity. The Dis-O was the fiber mass that grounded us. I have the little red book in my bag as I type from a small town in Argentina. I can´t really explain why I carry it with me....
Let me explain my ambivalence.
* Med waste. Was it over? Did we win? Who did what and how?

-med waste. one righteous campagin. it was for a year. consistency. whats our cause? community history. we didnt know what happened.

what is ej?
Summer reading

After summer, more what is ej. Antiwar, slac.
Boeing, committee.
Convergence and Seas history files. Searats.

What campaign do we choose?
What is progressive?


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