“All my life I had to fight.” Ms. Sofia, The Color Purple.
We all love Oprah for her role in The Color Purple and jotas ESPECIALLY love that quote! It triggers in us the fight for our survival as little butchas or jotitas growing up or even today. As people of color, it triggers in us our fight for our humyn rights.
“All my life” describes what it felt like after navigating 3 hours of short-distance traffic with thousands of others who were trying to access the Climate Change talks. The UN is supporting Cancun’s urban sprawl and hosting the Convention at the Moon Palace, where a room starts at $300 US dollars a night, is inconveniently located 20 miles south of Cancun, heavily militarized by young Mexican men with huge rifles and inaccessible by mass transit. Flag after flag after flag. Despues de tanto pedo, I ask myself “Who the hell wants to go through all that?!”
Delegates from Third World countries and Third World Delegates (like me) from “developed nations” (like the US) are broke! Whatever resources we do have, we trying to make sure eeeeeeveryone eats! So what that means is our happy committed butts are staying at the cheaper hotels closer to downtown Cancun. Unlike most major cities in the States, the city of Cancun is in its early stages of being gentrified (check out Puerto Cancun, the multi-million $ development clearing out Cancun’s ecosystem, displacing Cancun’s workers and making way for privileged heteros) so downtown housing is still affordable.
After all the security checkpoints and accreditation flashing, I finally made it on to one last shuttle to the main convention site. I sat on that bus with 20 people who were also delayed by the intentional chaos caused by the UN. Most of them were African delegates. It was then that I realized this whole exclusive “democratic” process is a microcosm of the imperialism we’ve been dealing with as indigenous people of the land for hundreds of years.
After experiencing the bullshyt and learning about the bullshyt Evo Morales is dealing with by not being invited to the Cancun, I find myself more deeply committed to the movement towards alignment of indigenous peoples and grassroots peoples around the world, the process of the World’s People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth and The People’s Agreement of Cochabamba that came out of Bolivia. I am not in Cancun with the full-hearted expectation for the nations of the world to come to any form of agreement that entails the REAL SOLUTIONS our peoples KNOW and NEED. These contending systems of imperialism called the nations of the world can only think of alignment in terms of creating new markets. I am in Cancn, with many others, to alert these systems that they are approaching their end and we, the embodiment of our antepasados, are coming full circle; we are the return of our ancestors.