Tag Archives: Manifestation

Demonstratng in the Street

Woman and child in demonstrating

Woman and child in demonstrating

My first public demonstration was with Mothers for Peace & and Veterans Against the War during the Viet Nam war. Alice was a baby and rode on my back down Pennsylvania Ave.

 

We slept in the homes of Unitarian strangers. In San Francisco  I took to the streets again, marching  with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence when Sarcoma Karposi needed to  be recognized as a dreadful, debilitating  medical issue that went way beyond the gay community. And, for several years, I marched (actually tapped, for we were a colorful lot) for animal rights with my friend, Virginia Handley. My last demonstrations were with Annette Kirby and other friends in Tehachapi , CA, against Bush’s insane idea of destroying Iraq for dominion of oil.

Since I decided to get to know our southern neighbors, I have seen demonstrations in several places. It is always the people who have to take to the streets. Wealthy folks have money to fight their battles, we have our voices and our votes if we are lucky.

Yesterday, on my way to the museum, I heard collective voices and musical instruments: drums, flutes, and a couple of guitars. Coming down the street were people representing CERCIA (Centro Rehabilitation Para Ciegos Adultos in Araguipa.) Blind adults, tapping their canes, accompanied by those who took up their the cause, marched beside them, guiding them through the streets. A woman, saw me taking photos and said, pointing to her eyes. Ciego. Que Lastima, as she hurried on. “What a pity.”  Indeed.imageimage

Less than an hour later another, a much larger demonstration filled the main street into the Plaza de Armas. Made up of mostly indigenous, and working class  people  they poured into the intersection. The womaimagen, some carrying babies and toddlers in brightly colored, hand-woven shawls on their backs, and some  with  buckets of food and juice for the marchers bore the heaviest burdens.

Many of the hand-made signs had  ‘agua’ printed on them. Later, at the hostel I found out that there is a severe shortage of water for the poorer folks, those who live away from the city where of course, water is plentiful, because money flows, so does water. At least for a while.

Arequipa is in a deep valley surrounded by desert. It has not rained enough to fill the aquifers, or even close to full. Potable water is scarce. The burden is on the poor. It was the same in Leticiaimage, Colombia where folks demonstrated in the park,  in Brazil, and here. It is or will be, in CA I’m sure. The globe is running out of water, but we are ciego. image

In the US we allow fracking to extract natural gas at the expense of our earth’s water table. “Generally, 2-8 millions of gallons of water may be used to frack a well. Some wells more. A well may be fracked multiple times, with each frack increasing the chances of chemical leakage into the soil and local sources.” (gaslandthe movie.com/fracking)

We are not only ciego, we are stupido.  Maybe folks need to hit the streets, to drown out the sound of the Koch Bros. and oil/gas companies counting their money. To save ourselves.

 

imageimageDuring the summer of 2013 I traveled the Atlantic coast of Brazil. I began in Rio the same time that Papa the Pope was there, and during the manifestation: when the protests of the working class hit the streets.

Protestors in Rio

Protestors in Rio

On the way to Itaunas, they blocked the bridge in Santa Maria which forced those of us on the bus to meet each other and  I was  in Salvador when they blocked the streets. In Porto Seguro I met a few of the Paxatos Indians, who were almost extinguished by the greedy cattlemen who wanted their land. I sympathized with the protestors. Greed is taking over my country too; the rich are refusing to pay their share and forgetting that the chain is only as strong as the weakest link.   Still, In spite of all the protesting and frustrations in Brazil, the people were warm, helpful and very friendly; in spite of corporate greed and over development what remains of the forest and beaches is stunning and lush. I have friends there image, and I’m looking forward to returning.

Friends.

Friends.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

vibrant colors, time consuming, lovely vibrant colors, time consuming, lovely

Impending storm.  Stunning.

Impending storm. Stunning.

Third time is the charm.

Donkey cart on dunes.

Donkey cart on dunes.

 

So far I have lost three drafts, several photos, and have activated three themes on Word Press. I knew when I read a review that it was a site for A type brains it was not for me. Not ever close. I’m pretty sure I don’t have an A side to my brain. But, Blogger had let me down. Of the two other sites recommended on  PC Mag, one is already closed, the other I signed  up for took my  password and welcomed me, by name as if it knew me personally, to the site. First, though, before it let me in I had to go to my email and sign in with my new ‘handle’ and password. I did that. I was refused entrance. Apparently the info didn’t match. Within two minutes! Four days later I am still trying to post a blog on Word Press. It may be that I am not smart enough or, as my friend, Abby says, way too old, which in the world of technology is over twelve.

 

Paula, Grant, Peanut, Butter & Jelly at That Hostel (in the dog tent)

Paula, Grant, Peanut, Butter & Jelly at That Hostel (in the dog tent)

I left Rio in August after the manifestation protestors had been shunted off to jail, and Papa, had given his speech in a clearing that, rumor has it, over 100 old growth trees had been cut down specifically so he would have a safe place to expound his dogma. And then the rains came. image

I headed north along the Atlantic coast by bus. I traveled everywhere by bus. Brazil has big comfy Mercedes busses with working toilets. I found that buying a ticket, and finding the bus  was easy even w/o speaking Portuguese; but I do speak a bit of Spanish which usually made conversation  easier. 

Hanging out by the side of the road while the protesters block the bridge.

Hanging out by the side of the road while the protesters block the bridge.

 

On the way to Itaunas we encountered more protesters blocking the bridge we needed to cross. We got off the bus and hung out. I met Sebastian, from Argentina and Isabella, from Austria, who were staying at the same hostel I was-or would be when we got there and others who spoke some English. In Santa Maria a man who was undoubtedly in his cups boarded the bus and sat beside me. Disgruntled when I couldn’t carry on a conversation with him, he began to sing. Soft and low and on key he sang as if he were singing a lullaby to a baby. Big baby that I am, I fell asleep.