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"When you leave here, tell them what you saw here and the hearts of our people"

In 1997, I lived in Palestine. It is where I learned first hand about rubber bullets, about the militarization of so-called "serve and protect" forces, of what oppression looks like. I learned what it looks like, smells like, feels like to see bombs and bullets rain down over us as retaliation for protest and rocks thrown. I learned about rebellion, survival, and resiliency. That what you call security is actually terrorism.

Hills of Birzeit, Palestine

Then take action - it is in the reimagining & redesigning of systems and structures that we'll find a new way. It takes truth seeing and telling how to get there. a new/everlasting truth. Tell everyone... as an act of allyship, of love. Invest in a new vision rooted in real stories of what oppression, systemic injustice, and real healing looks like. Think about what real violence is - the violence that oppresses people - that pushes them to the margins. Imagine what pain feels like when it is not yours.


Last night, the sounds of San Diego were so similar. The despair on the part of truth-tellers walking the streets was so the same as the Palestinians I went to school with, seeing the SWAT team fully armored was the same as the Israeli Defense Forces... Seeing the photos of cities across the country with truth-tellers doing their work while fully geared up military sets up a condition of violence (not peace).


One of the most vivid memories from my time there was hearing from Palestinian friends:

"Tell everyone. Tell people, your family, tell everyone what is really happening here. Who we really are - tell them, please. When you leave here, tell them what you saw here and the hearts of our people."

In this moment look to see a deeper truth, to say out loud a different narrative about what is happening that uplifts those who are oppressed, to relentlessly tell a new/everlasting truth. Tell everyone... as an act of allyship, of love. Invest in a new vision rooted in real stories of what oppression, systemic injustice, and real healing looks like. Think about what real violence is - the violence that oppresses people - that pushes them to the margins. Imagine what pain feels like when it is not yours.


Then take action - it is in the reimagining & redesigning of systems and structures that we'll find a new way. It takes truth seeing and telling.


Written on the evening of June 1, 2020 as the national protests against police brutality and racism unfolded.

#blacklivesmatter

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