Tonight, 01 August 2010, at 6pm marks the beginning of the 24 hour fast and Vigil at the GEO Aurora, CO detention center. Folks from La Comunidad are participating in both the fast and vigil, some there at the detention center and others at home. I agreed to remain in an attitude of thoughtful intention while folks from Comunidad are in Aurora. I also agreed to blog throughout the night/24 hours to document my own process. The following is one blog entry with time-stamps.
6:00 p.m. I have lit three candles and have placed them on my bar in my kitchen. I can see the flame burn, and the three candles are a reminder of the two folks from Comunidad who are participating and the third is lit for the refugees who are fleeing Arizona.
7:30 p.m. I am preparing for my trip to the detention center to bring water with another member of La Comunidad. We plan to arrive near midnight, and I am waiting to learn if our group needs rain gear, since a few drops of rain fell in the area. We all want our group to be safe and provided for and supported in this endeavor. I am holding La Comunidad in thoughtful intention and remembering the difficulty we face as a community and the threat of empire. I am also remembering the good folks of Arizona who are living with a great amount of fear as a result of this new bill. And, I am remembering my core message from our media training during the HRC Summer Institute: ”As the daughter of a Mexican Immigrant, it is our moral priority to create safe passage for those crossing the US/Mexican Border.”
8:50 p.m. I sit in my living room watching my three candles illuminate the room. This light that burns is like an icon of hope. I am anxious to go and be with my friends at the Fast/Vigil. I am holding fast to the hope that this detention center will close and that migrants will not be faced with the injustice of this capitalistic system interwoven with the government.
9:07 p.m. I have soft music playing and I am finding myself a bit angered that we must protest for human rights. I am also mindful of my own history…that, if the white police officer wouldn’t have found my mother, abandoned in a house in Mexico, I wouldn’t be here.
9:37 p.m. Just spoke with someone who attended the beginning of the vigil/fast. She told me that there are many young people there! It is great to think about this being a trans-generational vigil/fast. Holding fast to the hope that we CAN create change together.
10:49 p.m. I am sitting with the corritos we sang this morning: Canavalito de andar & Won’t You Let Me Be Your Servant? I am particularly drawn to verses 2,3, and 4 of the second song, Won’t You Let Me Be Your Servant?
We are pilgrims on a journey, we are travelers on the road; We are here to help each other go the mile and bear the load.
I will hold the Christ-light for you in the shadow of your fear; I will hold my hand out to you, speak the peace you long to hear.
I will weep when you are weeping; when you laugh, I’ll laugh with you. I will share your joy and sorrow till we’ve seen this journey through.
I am nearing the time to leave for the detention center to take supplies and check on our group. Holding La Comunidad in thoughtful intention.
11:11 p.m. I am on my way out the door to the detention center to check on the folks from La Comunidad. I hope there is enough light to take some photos, or perhaps I will take my camera to document this event of solidarity.
11:35 p.m. I pick up Emily. The street is terribly dark and empty. She, however, is toting a full ice chest of water for our group. We are making our way out to the detention center.
12:00 a.m. (02 August 2010) We arrive in Lupe Lupita Negrita. It is pitch black. Folks are sitting on the ground, in the street playing cards, and there to my left is an altar.
And then, I had the chance to see folks from La Comunidad. I snapped a picture of them, and they are looking lovely. In this photo is the street medic whom I’ve met once before at a protest. We had great conversation for about 45 minutes. We talked about all things importante.
12:45 p.m. Emily and I headed back to our homes. We are so very proud of our folks who are fasting and standing against injustices!
1:14 a.m. I arrive in my garage. My heart is heavy for those who are detained.
2:01 a.m. I crawl into bed. I think that there must be a way thru these injustices, and hope for something brighter when I wake up.
8:30 a.m. I attend my Ethics Reading Group. For 3 hours we talk about the matrix of oppression and the fact that there might very well be blood shed for justice to occur. I think about La Comunidad and the group that is there fasting and holding vigil. I think about the detainees. Hope diminishes.
1:00 p.m. I touch base with Anne, the pastor for La Comunidad. She is doing ok and remains there at the vigil fasting. I plan to see everyone at 6:00 p.m. for the monthly vigil where the fast will be broken.
4:41 p.m. I am readying myself to head to the Vigil for tonight where folks will break their fast. This work is incredibly tiring, but I feel a particular and strange pull for justice. The Jesus community has taught me this.
5:30 p.m. I leave for Aurora, but first I pick up Nancy. Lupe is driving us (my VW jetta).
6:00 p.m. Arriving for the vigil. The fast is broken in ritual and love.
Breaking of the Fast Ritual
Leader We’re here to end our time of physical vigil and fast in solidarity with those inside this detention center, knowing that we will continue to hold constant vigil in our hearts until no person is detained here.
Group May we have the perseverance to continue to strive for a community where no one is detained or separated from those they love,
and where the humanity of all is reclaimed.
Leader We’re here because workers – those who contribute to the creative fabric of our community, those who build the infrastructure of our society, and those who contribute their strength to making this world a more livable place for all – are imprisoned here.
Group May we continue to contribute our creativity, work, and strength
to making this a community where everyone’s labor is valued and honored.
Leader We’re here to honor and remember the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, partners, neighbors, and friends detained here. We stand in resistance today of initiatives that rip our families and neighborhoods apart.
Group May we honor all of the relationships in our lives that sustain us, nurture us, and support us in creating a better world.
Leader We’re here because we believe that our community can be something different and something better than this broken system of detainment has to offer us. We’re here because we vision a world where borders, barbed-wire, and fences do not control our human relationships.
Group May we consider the ways we perpetuate a spirit of detainment and control in our lives
and strive to dismantle the spirit of enforcement everywhere in our world.
Leader We’re here because we are thankful – for the earth’s ability to produce food for us, for the hands that sow seeds and harvest produce, for the people who transport food to our local area, and for all those whose hands have touched this bread along the way.
Group May we honor them in the way we share and eat this meal and remember the ways every action we do affects many others in our world.
Leader We will now break bread together in order to break our fast as a symbol of the ways we nourish each other, the goal of sharing community together, and the desire for every member of our community to be offered a place at the same table of fellowship.
As you receive the bread, please find someone who you do not know, or don’t know very well, exchange names with them, and then offer them bread saying:
“With this bread I offer you nourishment, acceptance, and love as a member of my community.”
Group With this bread I offer you nourishment, acceptance, and love as a member of my community. (as each serves bread to another)