“My family calls me Pancho”… as you may know, that’s the way I introduce myself when people ask me “what’s your name?” Last month, was no exception when I answered the same way. This time I added my lastname. I even told them that I was one of the ~11 million human beings without documents in this part of the Planet.
But there were too many “Pancho Ramos” in the system and the brother police officer needed more information to comply with the procedure after a BART employee called them earlier…
So called “people of color”, such as your humble servant, know that at any point _anything_ can be used as a pretext to exert what is called “system power” at the discretion of those who have access to it. Lo and behold, been ~30 hrs in the Santa Rita jail and the latest arrest during BART to HEART a month ago, shows what is at stake: to follow the Law of Love and to no longer submit to a racist status quo enforced by violence, pollution, greed and unexamined laws of men. [Let alone a system that is fueled by killing children in the part of the Planet we call Palestine... in our own ways, we must boycott, non-cooperate and disobey this system with Great Love, locally and abroad, always remembering that those brothers and sisters working for it, need an alternative to step out with dignity --as these 50 brave soldiers did recently. Until then, we'll be stuck in obsolete paradigms that exacerbate hurt.]
The great news is that we don’t have to wait to live in a way that honors life, compassion and our interconnectedness.
So what does the nightmare in the Middle East have to do with police using weapons in public transportation in East Oakland? I wear my heart lens that honors all life, treating each other as family, and then I see that all this is about honoring our dead with respect and beauty at the the same time as we challenge the crumbling Western Syndrome –as opposed to Western Culture– without saying a word, like the powerful #GazaNames initiative or, well, BART to HEART. It is a form of, what our elder Gustavo Esteva calls, joyous militancy. It is an ecology of joy :-) [La ecología del gozo :-)]
As you can see in this photo, these are the charges of the misdemeanor that was finally read by a judge of the superior court of California last (silent)Monday, July 21st. It reads: “giving false information to a police officer”.
I understand that our siblings, both, the sister operating the BART booth and the police officer, were doing the usual procedure when someone is out of the norm and/or doesn’t appear in the system. And that’s the problem: 1. Why are we relying in an institutionalized gang, the police, to address our conflicts? 2. How is it that people loaded with lethal weapons –and who can barely walk because of them– are tasked with bringing more harmony and peace to our neighborhoods? 3. Why are we spending all this time, energy and resources to jail people who are meditating?
4. What’s the reason for putting a $10,000 bail for someone “giving false information to a police officer” as they did in my case?
In a way, BART to HEART could be seen as an organic way to create the Bay Area Restorative Team! (BART!). At least in Frutivale. And disarming people is another step on the way to eradicate prisons and the presence of police in our communities and public transportation.
I firmly believe that we all are responsible for, not just the “security”, but responsible for the harmony and peace of our communities. A person contributing to the “security” of society, needs to bring peace and harmony to it.
I’m showing up at the court in Oakland on Monday, August 4th, at 9am for the pre-trial. The address is 661 Washington Street, Oakland, CA 94607 in Department 104. All meditators and people doing silent prayer and contemplation are welcome to join us at 8am.
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
Jai Jagat! ¡Gloria al Planeta! Glory to the Planet!
August 1st, 2014, Fruitvale, Oakland, Earth.
[1300 hrs, Aug 4, 2014]: While people were waiting for the Oakland court to open and pass through the metal detector –without missing some of the realities in this city– some of us sat in receptive silence under a tree outside of the court around 8am. Then we went inside the court. The phenomenal sister Yolanda Huang, who is key in the movements to Stop the Gang Injunctions and farming/gardening/greening our hoods and also part of the team of brother Dan Siegel– who also represented us when the regents of the University of California sued a bunch of urban farmers for what? “malicious mulching and wicked watering?” ;-)–, talked with the District Attorney and, somehow, the charges were dismissed. I was “exonerated”.
Right before, we were able to read 3 BART police reports and it amazed me that none of them mentioned the most important two words: Oscar Grant. Unbelievable. I can’t tell you how emphatic I was about honoring Oscar the father, the son, the friend, the brother, the neighbor… every time I spoke with each one of our brothers working for the police.
The reports, missing the heart of BART to HEART, made me chuckle a few times like when one of the police officers wrote: “I asked for his date of birth and he replied that he was thousands of years old” :-) What I said –besides inviting them to Casa de Paz in 1978 36th ave, Fruitvale, Oakland 94601 CA– was that I was ~13.7 billion years old, our Cosmic Age and that we needed to better act accordingly, just as I responded in this YES! Magazine panel: What’s Love Have to Do With The Apocalypse?
Here are some photos from July’s BART to HEART, last Thursday, when we sat in receptive silence to continue to disarm our hoods and to facilitate the healing of our community. We had our youngest satyagrahi on the platform, meditating with us with only 19 weeks in the uterus of sister Astha! :-)
May we never forget that only moved by love we are going to be able to survive as the human and non-human family.
Jai Jagat! ¡Gloria al Planeta! Glory to the Planet!
Love you all! <3