Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Many struggles, one movement

My Lungs are Still Hurting

so tired. my lungs still hurt from today’s industrial corridor trip.

i’m fluctuating between being so sad i can hardly get out of bed, and inspired…

fighting so fucking hard cuz we know we deserve more…little village activists shut down one coal plant, the other one will be shut down in 2014. the whole time, the work they did was impossible—but they did it any way, cuz they knew they deserved more.

i love my people so much. it’s mexicans fighting that fight in little village. with their babies on their hips and their fist in the air. we are more than shadows, we are more than outer space aliens.

it was the nurses this afternoon, who marched without permits, who told the mayor to fuck off. who faced down helicopters and wore silly robin hood hats—reminding me of the women’s emergency brigade in flint with their red and white arm bands…

tired workers everywhere. tired women, tired mexicans, tired black teens…fighting so hard, i spent half the afternoon trying not to cry, even as we were being followed and photographed and yelled at and them taking pictures of us taking pictures of them…

i love us so much. feet throbbing, chest hurting, eyes burning, hands shaking as we pull out the phone to take one more picture, to let them know we know the truth—we deserve so much more…

i can’t breathe without coughing just a little, and i think of the soft breeze with the brilliant setting sun and the teeny screaming kids following the jingling ice cream carts being pushed by tired abuelitos and my throat fills with love, that twisty thick kind that gets stuck in the vocal cords…

i’ve been worried these past few days. things are intense and the trucks and exhaust and coal that usually have the killing job have been replaced with boom cannons, low flying helicopters, and surveillance cameras.

but then there’s tom morello flicking his guitar with his teeth, and then there’s all the tired nurses dreaming about his flicking motion, and then there’s the fierce mexicana grabbing her oversized golden hoop earrings and saying “don’t let these fool you, i’ll fuck you up!” and then there’s the chinese labor organizers in the back seat joking about how they’re going through rice withdrawal, and then there’s the elder sitting down as jesse jackson is talking and grumbling “i hate that bastard so fucking much,” so loudly, i swear to god jesse heard him, and then there’s the garden that elders helped youth plant and then there’s the tired feet dancing and dancing and dancing and dancing….

the helicopters fly lower and lower and lower and we dance and dance and dance, our hair flying in the breeze, our breath linked through love…

Victoria Goff


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