A Modern Woman on the Move

in hot pursuit of the great green light…

Happy May Day!

leave a comment »

I wanted to share a couple photos I captured during the May Day march I went to on May 1st. I don’t normally take photos at marches and I didn’t have a fancy camera with me, but commentary I had seen on various social networks from friends expressing their apathy toward marching or protesting caused me to want to share a bit more.

Here was the event description…

We find ourselves facing unprecedented cuts to public services, including education and Social Security, increased poverty, homelessness, and ongoing attacks on people of color, immigrants, working families, women, students and our right to organize.

Our response to this onslaught against humanity is to organize and FIGHT BACK!!

People Over Profit!!
No Human Is Illegal!

We want to encourage everyone to come out this May Day and stand united for human rights and social & economic justices and demand for an Immigration Reform that’s just and humane!!

JOIN AN ORGANIZATION WORKING FOR JUSTICE!!

When: Gather at 2:00 PM; Rally at 3:00 PM; March at 4:00 PM
Where: O’Bryant Square- 9th and Stark.

Sponsor organizations (partial list): VOZ Proyecto de Educacion de Derechos Laborales, American Friends Service Committee, International Socialist Organization, Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (former ONSM), Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition – PIRC, Portland Jobs with Justice, Comite de Solidaridad de Apoyo Mutuo, Oregon AFL-CIO, The Black Working Group, SEIU Local 503, Portland IWW, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign OFTC, Labors483.

If you’re not sure what some of those organizations are, I would totally encourage you to check them out!”

Anyways, here are the few photos I took…

maydayportland_1 maydayportland_2 maydayportland_3

 maydayportland_4 maydayportland_5 maydayportland_13

 maydayportland_6 maydayportland_7 maydayportland_8 maydayportland_9 maydayportland_10 maydayportland_11 maydayportland_12  maydayportland_14 maydayportland_15 maydayportland_16

One thing I love about events like this is seeing people come together, peacefully, to talk about how to make things better. People from all kinds of backgrounds and consisting of such a broad spectrum of ages. There were speaches and performances as the people gathered before the march, opening statements (in English and Spanish!) made, and then the march began! The march itself was peaceful and it was a beautiful day to be out on the streets, visibly being a presence for worker’s rights. The end of the march was where it began, O’Bryan Square, where organizers had some closing statements and then opened the mic for peaceful and respectful spoken word from the crowd.

Here’s some media coverage of the May Day march…

http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Protesters-Police-gear-up-for-May-Day-events-205507081.html
http://www.kptv.com/story/22137231/police-no-arrests-at-portlands-may-day-rally-as-crowd-was-peaceful
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/05/county_budget_avoids_big_ax_ma.html
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/05/hundreds_bring_immigration_lab.html
http://photos.oregonlive.com/photo-essay/2013/05/may_day_protesters_take_to_the.html

For me, marching this May Day had a lot of meaning to me. It was about supporting my own rights as a working American. It was about being in solidarity with other workers around the world. It was about being visible, because being visible helps represent what’s important to me and the communities I organize within. It was about being in solidarity with other people who care enough about something in their lives that they showed up to participate. It was about continuing my journey in learning throughout this life by being around people I both know and don’t know while they are organizing, speaking, or just being visible in a space that was trying to be safe for that and bring people together.

I believe we all have something to learn from each other, but I especially want to learn from people who care enough to show up and participate. People who care enough to try to help. People who care enough to act. people who care enough to organize. People are very diverse and can accomplish a lot individually, but they also have so much strength and growth when working together.

One thing that I still find beautiful in this world is that, if there is something that you identify with or find meaningful, you can find other people who will share that with you and, if you’re willing to work together, you can build a community and try to grow together. Sometimes people disagree about what a community’s priorities should be, sometimes people clash, sometimes people are hurtful of even predatory. But, if the people who care keep trying to put aside their egos and keep trying to help each other, a community can go really far and the people within it can grow. If people stick around and keep trying to support and learn from each other, the community can grow. That is why there are so many millions of communities, because people are very diverse, so communities get more specific. I think it’s still important to go to the broader events, however, to keep reaching out and keep visible. If there is something you care about, I would encourage you to go to marches, to conferences, to events. Find the people who will care with you and who will work to make community so that each of us, as individuals, can thrive.

Well, gosh, I just went on, but these kind of things make me gush. I have had so many heartbreaking and inspiring experiences that have come from being an active member of communities and being an organizer in communities. All while also being a well-meaning, sometimes-clever, but-still-flawed person entering into all of it in my early twenties. So, I have come to some pretty strong conclusions about how much I’ve grown from all of it because I am really, truly, the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been. All because of the time I’ve spent showing up , trying to step up to be there for others. It made me incredibly vulnerable, but it has made me work through so much. Anyways…

Speaking of community and labor issues, I should probably take this time to promote the next AmaZine Day! I am facilitating the readings during the next AmaZine Day, which is labor-themed, in honor of May Day. This is the poster, drawn by Matt and designed by me…

There are two FREE workshops and the readers will be Alex Wrekk (reading from some of her several writings about work experiences), Sarah Mirk (reading from “Rodeo City,” an article she wrote for Oregon Humanities). Aron Nels Steinke (reading from his comics extensively about working in teaching), and Sarah Curtis (reading from a new, original work).

One thing that is cool about this AmaZine Day is getting a chance, thanks to Sarah Mirk, to connect Oregon Humanities into the event. Oregon Humanities is a non profit that bring Oregonians together to share ideas, to listen, think, and grow. Oregon Humanities published and distributes a free, printed magazine, that pays contributors. Oregon Humanities recently awarded $87,870 in grants to 20 Oregon nonprofit organizations. We’ll have several copies on hand or attendees of AmaZine Day and we’re thrilled to highlight an article by AmaZine Day tabler and in such an awesome community project.

Check out the full info here… http://www.portlandzinesymposium.org/amazine-day/

If you want to sign up, the sign up was recently opened at IPRC and PBW.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: