What’s Up with the Movement, Homes?!
Amilcar Perez Lopez, shot six times in the back by the SFPD, you became the Movement.
Alex Nieto, shot at fifty nine times by the SFPD, you became the Movement.
Mario Woods, shot at forty times by the SFPD, you became the Movement.
Luis Gongora Pat, shot at while lying on the ground by the SFPD, you became the Movement.
Adolfo Delgado, shot at ninety nine times by the SFPD, you became the Movement.
Oscar and Valeria Ramirez, father and daughter wrapped in each other’s love, drowned in the Rio Grande, you became the Movement.
You, loved one, living, alive, a testament to their spirits, a witness to history, you are the movement.
Alto al Fuego en La Mision! Stop the Fire in La Mision!
That is the name of our new international-caliber mural, and it is the movement. Painted into it is the message: Raise your hands in front of SFPD’s guns. Stop the fire of the bullets with your own Brown hands, even if it means your life. Stop the murder of our loved ones. Stand up for the people most oppressed.
It is not the politicians, apolitical intellectuals, textbooks, or educational institutions that are the Movement; it is you, the grassroots; it is art; it is courage and love that are the Movement.
We, the people, were the roses who rose, like the roses tattooed into the mural. Back in 2014 when Alex Nieto was killed by the SFPD, and we began an uphill battle against insanity and corruption, it was only we who moved. The reality is that politicians were too scared to support us. They thought we were crazy and stupid. They were afraid of the Police Officers Association union, afraid how they might hurt their electability if they supported us publicly, afraid of their very own shadows. They had become apathetic to murder and corruption. These statements are not meant to sow division; they are meant to showcase reality. We are all human beings that make mistakes. Sometimes we need to be shown our errors and reminded of our duty.
During 2015 we had to do it on our own: marches, posters, speeches, writing, art, film, intertwined movements, diverse communities, songs in the streets—which led to the biggest movement ever in the United States to defend a Latino man murdered by the police—which led to international headlines, such as “Death by Gentrification: the Killing that Shamed San Francisco” and can be directly linked to Colin Kaepernick’s national protest.
In 2016 the people fired the Chief of Police of one of the most powerful cities on planet Earth, Chief of Police Greg Suhr. Most people, the mainstream media, thought we were crazy and stupid, which is more than enough to get the job done, and we did it.
The politicians, the people on the fence, the general public took note, and the shift began to change, so much so that former District Attorney George Gascon resigned in disgrace. In 2019 even though Police Officers Associations around the country funneled approximately a million dollars into electing another puppet District Attorney, the people voted and actually elected a District Attorney who ran on a platform to prosecute killer cops!
The times they are a changing.
What’s Up with the Movement, Homes?!
That is the way Alex Nieto and I would greet each other, smile, embrace, and then report. That is the way I invite you to love each other because YOU are the change that you want to see in the world.
Challenge each other with love, with conviction, report to each other your imagination and your life, the way you spread love, empower others, and invent, move and action, for perfect strangers:
What’s up with the movement, Homes?!
Listen to your Sisters and Brothers for the answer.