Peace and Dignity 2012 Inland Empire Videos

Here are some videos I shot of the Peace and Dignity 2012 run through the Inland Empire.

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Water is Life

Tio Al discussing the Peace and Dignity Run to students of the Sherman Indian School in Riverside. These youth are part of indigenous communities throughout the U$A.

The Peace and Dignity Journeys is a ceremonial run that was conceived in 1990 at a gathering in Quito, Ecuador to unite all indigenous nations of this continent with the coming of 1992. 1992 marked the 500th year since the arrival of Cristobal Colon (Columbus) and European colonization of this land which resulted in the mass genocide of indigenous people and culture. At the same time 1992 marked 500 years of resistance and struggle to colonialism, destruction of sacred sites, forced relocation, and the overall devastation of turtle island/tonantzin/pachamama. With this spirit of resistance and the need for healing in our communities, this call for the unification of all indigenous people has been brought to life as the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor. This intention is to unite the North and South American peoples by running with sacred prayer staffs which start in Alaska and the southern tip of Argentina. These staffs pass through many lands and indigenous territories, bringing the prayers and messages of peace and dignity to as many people as possible. For the last 4 runs, the staffs and people have united in Panama, this year they are uniting in Guatemala as requested by the Maya as this year 2012 marks the end of a 5,000 years celestial cycle and the beginning of a new cycle.

Since 1992 and every 4 years since then, runners from hundreds of indigenous nations have traveled across the continent and this year 2012 I was able to participate for 3 days. The run this year was dedicated to the sacred element of water.  Water is a very precious and finite resource on this planet. Over 70% of the planet is covered in water but only 3% of all water is drinkable for humans and land animals. It is estimated that within the next 20 years, half of the people in world will face water scarcity.  This scarcity is coming from the polluting of water sources by corporations and governments, the wasteful use of water by overdeveloped nations like the U$A, the migration of rural peoples to urban cities caused by corporate land grabs and the collapsing of capitalism, and severe droughts and lack of rainfall caused by climate change and global warming.

Participating in the run has humbled me greatly and has had me reflect on my water consumption. The run has also connected me closer to my ancestors, ceremony, and my indigenous roots on these lands.  I was able to run from the Maravilla Handball courts in East Los Angeles to Pomona and be welcomed by the Ohlone people. I then ran from Pomona to the San Manuel Reservation. Then my third day I was able to run from San Manuel to the Sherman Indian School in Riverside. On my journey I passed through many neighborhoods which are suffering at the hands of neo-colonial policies that try to capture people either into prisons, deportations, drugs, depression, street organizations, and ultimately death. However at the same time I was able to see these neighborhoods fostering resistance through culture, art, gardens, ceremony, and love. I saw myself and the other runners bringing the spirit of water and healing to the communities. Bringing water that would grow the seeds that creator has planted inside each of us that can blossom into flowers of resistance, community, love, and unity. I hope that my prayers and the prayers of all the communities I passed through will continue to be carried down to the end of the run and be united with all the prayers for Peace, Dignity, and Water throughout these lands.

Thanks to Tio Al, Mazauke, Mazatl, Cynthia, Rochell, Jose Luis, Jenny, Xitlali, Ocelotl, Lalo, Ollin, Eddie, Gustavo, Steve, Mono, Andres, and all the communities that welcomed, feed, housed, and ran with us. To all my relations.

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Before you raise your voice…

…to someone else ask why? What is yelling really gonna do?                                                      It is easy to raise my voice but do I really want to?                                                                     Cause to be honest I haven’t even asked what they’re going through                                     Which made it harder once they told me there homie had just died too                                     So that explains the quick temper and all that “attitude”

But see, I was too quick to pass judgment and revert to                                                                The same fucked up tactics that that the systems do                                                                    Cause yelling is what the badges and judges rather give you                                                       Then first responding with a “how are you”

Its so easy to copy my oppressors, but now i got the clue                                                          I gotta take step back and not catch and give the hate like avian flu                                      Cause our people are hurting more than ever like indigenous Eskimo’s melting igloos           So all I’m really hoping for is that I can get a redo                                                                    And let you know that I understand and I’m here to listen to you…


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