From December 2 – 4th we will gather for Lánzate (otra vez!)
Last December we gathered in Chicago to formally launch Mijente, a digital and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx organizing. Since then we’ve set off on designing the mijente membership, building an online action hub, taking action and supporting local campaigns against criminalization, not to mention so many Trumpadas.
We decided to organize another convening, and this time, in San Juan, Puerto Rico from December 2-4th. Applications open on October 1st.
Why Puerto Rico?
Because there is a crisis occurring on the island of historic proportions. In that crisis, and as Boricuas across the diaspora are standing up and fighting back, the broader Latinx community has an opportunity and a duty to show up and throw down. Because if we are to successfully build strong authentic movement between communities, we must make sure we have that strong movement entre familia, between the broad and often arbitrarily lumped together Latinx community. And because in conversations with Boricua compañerxs about the idea, tears welled up with ‘YAAAAS’ or a simple and definitive ‘WEEEPPAAA.’
What if this economic crisis wasn’t simply a Puerto Rican issue, but a front line issue for the broader Latinx community? What insights might come through exchange and exposure between people of many different places who have been exiled from their homes and land by some of the same colonizing governments and corporations? Quite simply, we think it would mean A LOT. That’s why we’re going to San Juan.
Since we gathered last year, a storm of reaction swirls around social movements. As people seeking justice continue pushing forward, there’s an equivalent backlash we’re facing. Say what they may, it is not the form of protest our adversaries decry. It is not the messaging or the demands or day or time they disagree with. The backlash comes from a deep seated fear, an irrational reaction that views the efforts of the marginalized and oppressed seeking justice as an affront and a threat.
In this charged moment of backlash matched with movement resurgence, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. One key way we can recharge and center ourselves is precisely in the places where people have drawn a line in the sand. There are many of those places, right now. And San Juan is one of them.
Last year we asserted that transformative change requires more from us, not simply more of us. We came together, as Paulina Helm-Hernandez of SONG expressed “out of a longing to have a place that can hold our shared struggles and strengthens our political unity.”
In December, we will advance the conversations and work we initiated last year, in building a Latinx political home that is more than simply pro-Latinx, but pro-Black, pro-queer and trans, pro-worker, pro-immigrant, pro-mujer. We also hope the convening will serve as a place to connect and create what has not been, and spark a solidarity that transcends borders – the borders of issue, of nation-states, of nationality, and a solidarity that holds dear self determination, connection and justice.
In the coming weeks you’ll hear more about the key themes that will be highlighted in the convening, as well as more information on the basics of what to expect and who is involved in pushing this effort forward.
More info will be posted at mijente.net/lanzate-2016/ as we get closer to the conference.
Marisa Franco is the director of Mijente.