Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Café solidario: Brew Zapatista coffee, drink solidarity without borders

Everyday acts of living and surviving, as simple as sipping a cup of coffee, can unfold as acts of solidarity with other people who are in struggle and movement for justice and the land.

How can a cup of coffee chip away at the capitalist social-economic and political structures that have our communities the natural world, communities of color, Indigenous women and Indigenous people, migrant workers, undocumented children, women, men and elders, queer people and African Americas  struggling under siege?

I am not talking about just any old coffee. I am talking about Zapatista-grown and harvested coffee. Zapatista coffee is produced by an autonomous community, a people standing with self-determination, on their own lands and relying on their own shoulders.

Café Sin Fronteras

I am inviting you to a cup of solidarity coffee to break down the economic barriers imposed by neoliberal capitalism. My invitation means purchasing a bag or two of Zapatista coffee that has been roasted and packaged by Oakland's own Sin Fronteras Coffee.

"It has been a wonderful challenge to stay open and still provide coffee to folks. The special thing about our coffee work, however, is that we empower folks to make their local purchase have a global impact," the owners Rocío and José wrote in an email.

Order your Zapatista coffee on-line

Pick-up your Zapatista coffee freshly roasted by Sin Fronteras Coffee at:
Akat Café Kalli

1601 2nd Avenue

Oakland, CA

Take it from someone who has been drinking coffee since I was five years old: This coffee is bold, delicious and good any time of the day.

Sin Fronteras Coffee describes the taste:
"A medium roast coffee with notes of apple and cinnamon. This coffee is sourced from Zapatista Communities in Chiapas, Mexico."

Sign up for the Sin Fronteras Coffee newsletter here:

Waffles & Zapatismo

If you want to join me for a cup of Zapatista coffee sometime, join the Chiapas Support Committee in a Saturday session of "Waffles & Zapatismo" where we share consciousness-raising Zapatista-inspired liberation ideas and practices AND good tasting Zapatista coffee.

Check out the CSC website for information and opportunities to take action for solidarity and justice:

Monday, September 21, 2020

Earth Justice

SPARE the air
Spare the water
Spare the soil, the land, the sun
Spare the born to be
Spare the new born
Spare the children
Spare the young, the youth, the youthful
Spare the young and old, the abuelas & abuelos
Spare the elders, the ancestors and the dust
Spare the sacred sites and their people
Spare you, me, us, them
Spare the colors and the seasons
Spare the roots, the seeds, the flowering suns
Spare the rivers, creeks, oceans, clouds and the mud
Spare the wind that whirls on your tongue
Spare the waves across your skin
Spare yourself from the contamination
Spare the souls of everyone
Spare the two-legged creatures, the worms,
the serpent-clouds, the four-legged,
the two-winged, the insects and their nuptial bed
Spare the bees, the butterflies, the ants, the gnats, the mothers-to-be
Spare the future from the past
Spare the past from the present
Spare time from space and space from time

Spare everything except our hearts,
an offering to spare the cosmos from the human sacrifice
Struggle dismantle the extinction
Don't spare the human predators
Don’t spare the capitalists and their weapons
Don’t spare war and racism
Don’t spare the smokestacks and their e-industrialists...

[September 20, 2019]

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Five Questions

What were the best five lives,

the best five big bangs

the best five galaxies

the best five universes

the best five suns

the best five worlds

the best five centuries

the best five decades,

the best five years,

the best five months,

the best five days,

the best five hours,

the best five minutes,

the best five seconds

of a moment

of your family?

If you hear creaking mattresses

in the night of your home

is it ghosts or the orgasms

of unrequited lovers?

How many mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandma’s, grandpa’s, aunts, uncles

have given their lives

so that you may have a shot at happiness?

What happens to you

when you see old photographs

of your ancestors,

do you fall in love with them

or do you wish they could tell you their stories?

Do you know

your grandmother’s favorite colors,

her birthdate,

the name of her first boyfriend,

if she loved someone other than your grandfather

and never left?

Will you be like her,

give birth to twelve children

with a man she may not love?

Will your love be that strong to survive anguish and wars?

My grandmother taught me

that my success was the offspring

of 1000 relatives and ancestors

who failed,

who struggled,

who suffered

and only knew happiness

as a legacy she, he, they gave to me.

I carry the anguish of thousands in my bones,

I get to smile, laugh, be nourished, be hopeful,

because they had no happiness,

only disease, deaths, harsh work

and tender lovemaking that birthed dead or dying children.

All my ancestors are light as an orgasm,

as deep as my belly laughs,

as clear as my tears.

When my grandmother tried to choke to death her husband

she was trying to kill the woman she never became.

She was a woman who loved women,

who loved me,

who loved plants and seeds,

who took care of all children

– because no child could be illegitimate –

who only believed in horizons

and where the waterfalls were her prayer beads.

She said:

You will become a revolutionary of love,

a revolutionary to destroy solitudes,

to resurrect all the old ones who didn’t make it

because they harvested someone else’s crops,

tilled their lands for other people,

who were killed by work and hate,

whose love was never honored,

whose lives mattered because they, she, created more life and lives.

My grandmother said she did not have children so that they would be slaves.

She had children so that they would have lives, not hers, their own.

And she would live in us, in me,

in whatever life we chose

and she would be free, lazy, drinking coffee,

have more free time to debate Protestants

and make her body the theology of the future.

My grandmother made love, made children, made a new god of her body…

[September 2013 | Oakland, Califaztlán, Ohlone Territory]