Friday, September 14, 2007

Release of Jose Maria Sison

"Statement on My Release from Detention
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
13 September 2007

Friends, Warmest greetings!

I am deeply pleased and thankful that the Rechtsbank has decided to release me from detention. You cannot imagine how happy I am. It is extremely painful and humiliating to be subjected to solitary confinement and tough interrogation under overheated lamps. The ordeal is acute because I am innocent of the false and politically-motivated charge leveled against me. I have nothing to do with any murder. This is against my moral and political principles. I am a teacher by profession who loves the exchange of ideas towards common understanding and practical cooperation. I have long devoted myself to the advocacy of human rights and work for a just peace in the Philippines. I cannot go into the facts and arguments concerning my case. It is my lawyer Michiel Pestman who is competent to give you the information that you need.

Consequent to the release order of the Rechtsbank, I gain some confidence in the Dutch legal system. I have the opportunity to prove my innocence and continue to benefit from fair play. I feel somehow vindicated in choosing The Netherlands as my place of refuge from persecution in the Philippines. I also wish to thank the Dutch, Filipino and other peoples for their solidarity and support.

I will stay in the Netherlands with my wife and my two children who are already independent. I will conduct my legal defense and further clear my name. I will continue to exercise my freedom to speak and other democratic rights. I will continue to work for national freedom, human rights, social justice and an enduring, because just, peace in the Philippines.

I will continue to abide by the laws of the Dutch state and further develop solidarity with the Dutch people whose friendship and kindness I have enjoyed for more than 20 years.

Thank you."

source: Habi Arts & BAYAN USA


the post 9/11 update

As I've mentioned before, I catch the early morning but actually late night news headlines since I'm still treating these days like summer nights.

There's a common denominator between recent headlining news and what's given more attention or the stories that are repeated when I flip channels amongst news stations only to find that they're the same stories. (Current) Events are about timing. 9/11 has become the call for American patriotism as demonstrated by half staff flags, red, white and blue candle-lit vigils and memorials. An emotional celebration to honor the lives of the brave individuals affected can also be used (or has been used) to discreetly condemn foreign power or any actions that seemingly counter the need for solitude & remembrance. Emotional tolls are indeed immeasurable; I have never had grieving solitude without remaining wary and critical of what got me there in the first place. These commemorations must not be further manifestations of blind faith.

I find it interesting and peculiar to know that after celebrating 9/11 as an unofficial national holiday, headlines are just as propagandist and accusatory as ever. Blind faith happens, and it seems as though the message being sent is about trusting the powers that we do seem to control. I see that now being taken in two opposing ways.. 1) trust the Bush administration to handle these matters or 2) exhaust the system for change as civilians. The rest of this entry commends and highlights events that utilize strategy #2.

Update: Justice for the Jema 6... or 5?

"Court overturns teen's conviction in racial beating case:

A black teen's conviction in a racial beating case has been overturned by an appeals court in Louisiana, which said the boy should not have been tried as an adult.

Mychal Bell is one of six black Jena High School students charged in the beating of a white student amid racial tensions, and one of five originally charged as adults with attempted second-degree murder.

The charges brought widespread criticism that blacks were being treated more harshly than whites in this Southern town. The case drew international attention, and one by one the charges against the teens have been reduced.

Bell, who was 16 at the time of the beating, had been convicted of aggravated battery, which could have sent him to prison for 15 years...." source

"Ok, so if you've been under a rock... this is what is still happening in America... Land of the Free? Home of the Brave?" - Rudy Francisco the Poet

Update: ad in the New York Times

Hella heat rising after this was released. Considering Pres. Bush & Gen. Petraeus recently gave a speech and presentation, respectively, regarding the War in Iraq (which I so lovingly tuned in for), the post 9/11 rhetoric is building on blind faith and strategy #1. A speech full of contradiction need not be given.

Things seem to be moving on, but timing is crucial. And lives hang and wait to be lived when we place faith in the wrong hands.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

storm season

Oh no, Ms. Roxy.

That was my first reaction and worry when I heard about Hurricane Humberto.

Last March I participated in an Alternative Spring Break program that schooled me on Southwest Louisiana during and after the storm. About the other Hurricane, Hurricane Rita, not Katrina. I’m actively discerning Rita from Katrina because coverage about Rita’s destruction was so absent and made invisible in the media. And I don’t mean to discredit the media entirely because, otherwise, I wouldn’t have heard about Hurricane Humberto at all. Humberto is hitting SWLA pretty hard right now, and is literally hitting home.

Ms. Roxy is the owner of the quaint, humble home that United Way took up as a repair project. Ms. Roxy and her home were featured on MTV. So for four weeks, hundreds of volunteers came in and out of her house working, painting, mudding, scraping, texturing, installing, building, etc. And I was fortunate enough to have been one of them.

"Welcome. Make youself at home!" was the first thing she told me when I arrived at her residence along with a van full of peers that were eager to work on a real house. And I feel for Ms. Roxy. Maybe because I know what it’s like to respect single mothers. Maybe it was her outgoing personality that suggested that a fellow volunteer should braid her hair for community service. Maybe it was her infectious laughing that set out to simultaneously tease and comfort all of the volunteers. Or maybe because her two children grew on me. I still remember seeing one of her somber sons sit, head in his hands, on their newly painted stoop away from the group because he wanted to prolong the inevitable farewell to the last week of volunteers. That was the only time of that entire trip when I felt the way I saw him - I didn't want to say goodbye.

Earlier this summer, I caught a poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poets Café, and one of (perhaps THE) most salient line that I repeat to myself in memory is about “those things that you just can’t have a picture of.” Ms. Roxy’s son on the stoop is certainly just that.

These days, I catch the early morning (or in my case, super late night) news and I’ve seen hella segments that are live in Louisiana. One took place in Holly Beach, an area completely wiped out because of Hurricane Rita. The possibility of these same people losing their homes seems so much more tangible. It’s disheartening.

But I guess I needed another reason to believe in Mother Nature. The more I dig deep for connections, I find that life narratives are indeed female. Almost inherently female.

Hurricane Rita – September 24th, 2005.


I am absolutely smothered by the IDEA of this tour:

Smothered. Please please please happen at a venue near me.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

i voted.

So what? Sue me. I, like the masses, essentially appeal to Kanye for being more blunt and outspoken than your average beatmaker. That, and I find him personable and political. However, I have considered the fact that words are only validated if heard. Despite Kanye's identified affinity for sampling, he's got more power and avenues to say what everyone's thinking. Therefore, it seems like he says everything first. Point is, I voted.

I'm lacking ambition here.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]