A Gathering Storm, A Rising Tide,
The political will and imagination we need now to organize a world free from fear in the age of HB2
Here is a piece collectively shaped by SONG staff. It is long. It is heavy. It is heartfelt. Often, we claim that we are not experts. You will not find any of us with PhDs or elaborate resumes on any of the subjects mentioned below (though we have called upon many in the SONG family who do!). We do claim, however, that we are experts of our own lives. Here we have attempted to trace the trajectory of some of those lived experiences to the experiences of our ancestors and the living survivors and fighters in our communities. We have worked to trace the trajectory too of their resistance, political imagination, and brilliance that is connected to our own present day purpose in fighting for our survival and livelihood.
SONG has carried forth this call in our daily organizing and culture building as an unapologetic devotional to women, queer people, transgender people, native people, Black people, immigrant people, disabled people, working people, and poor people. Our work has long called for us to pay attention to the bleeding points, the sites where our bodies are being caged, controlled, policed, surveilled, assaulted and murdered by the State or with its sanction. We too have seen these points as sites of potential resistance, possibility, and transformation. It is simply not enough to say that these abuses must stop. We must also fight for the full liberation of our bodies with an urgency best demonstrated by the abuelas who u-lock their necks to detention center gates so that their children inside can hear the chanting, by the teenagers of Ferguson who did not hesitate to break curfew, by the trans liberators dancing in defiance in front of governor’s mansions, and by each of us who make choices small and large every day to honor our truths, our lives and our people even when the potential consequences lay heavy on our spirits.
There is a call across movement, across sector, across geography, and across identity to answer this political moment with the urgency required of each of us to move in step, sometimes coordinated and sometimes in a different dance, to claim a future that is rightfully ours to live with our desire, autonomy, sovereignty, and self-determination. We cannot afford to be divided, each working on our issues in silos, while ultra-conservative leaders and institutions dismantle our social safety net and poison the collective political imagination.