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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Workers Defense Project Re-Claims the Oikos

This week the Workers Defense Project published what it called a "Supporter Spotlight."

Here's the abstract version:

Elvia Mendoza, a supporter of Workers Defense Project, recently hosted a House Party to raise money for 5604 Manor and Workers Defense Project. We asked her to share some feedback about hosting the party. Here is what she had to say. If you are interested in hosting a House Party, please contact Candace at 512-391-2305.

The post went on to romantically narrate the house party as a scene of solidarity. 

For example: 
We not only shared food and drink; they shared memories, desires, and visions.
A house party turned into an affirmation of critical historical consciousness:
[S]omehow a way of understanding and affirming their histories of migration as well. While the party was a success, some people did not come, and I wondered why and if something could have been done differently to have them. The struggle is critical and we can’t afford to leave anyone behind. Perhaps there were conversations that needed to happen; perhaps we needed to think of other strategies to spread the word. The event itself was a force of nature–from the phone call it took to spark it; to Café Rebelde feeding us; to Jaime Cano weaving music for us; to the trabajadores giving purpose to the event, to the gathering of people in the space of home, so that even if just for a moment in a series of many, cada quien ponga su granito de arena.

The post reclaims the home, the ancient oikos, as a sacred space for struggle: 

With all the attacks and impositions made on our homes, our communities, our bodies, our spirits, our minds–our histories, we are told our homes don’t matter. We are told that we can’t rely on our neighbors, our families and friends, our memories, or ourselves. We are taught to leave our communities and seek remedies elsewhere—that what we know with our own flesh has no significance. Me niego a tragarme estas mentiras, and opening our home to not only support PDL, but to recognize and honor the history that brought about its existence, was a deliberate act of refusal. It is an act of going home, coming home, being at home, (re)claiming home, and haciendo hogar. And in the name of keeping it real, I recognize that home is often fraught with struggles, tensions and violations that closed doors and windows cannot keep out. Home is not always a place of safety and the things we fight against outside of our homes find a way of seeping into our homes and into our desires. It is in recognizing and naming the volatile origins of these unsafe spaces and divesting ourselves of them that becomes all the more crucial.

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