And let us hope that this shit of late Capitalism falls and falls soon. No wonder San Francisco has shit on its sidewalks.

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Image  —  Posted: December 5, 2019 in Call to Action, Fight Back, Fight war and war mongers

This wonderful documentary on the life of our liberation warrior Sylvia Rivera was put together by Jerimarie Liesegang the mother of the Ct. Transgender movement. Enjoy and remember we are still in a fight for our very lives. We need more Sylvia’s in the world today.

This wonderful article about a great poet came from Freedom Socialist.

Roque Dalton
The life and tragic death of a Salvadoran revolutionary poet
Sukey Wolf
October 2019

Roque Dalton

Salvadoran radical Roque Dalton has quickly become my favorite poet of the 20th century. By turns, his writing is lyrical, pragmatic, intimate, angry and self-deprecating. He was known by his friends as a man who laughed a lot — at the absurdity of life under a dictatorship, at the vagaries of the human condition, and at himself.
Born in 1935, Dalton was the illegitimate son of a U.S. coffee plantation owner and a Mexican single mother. He was educated by the Jesuits, courtesy of his father. He blamed their hypocrisy and support for the status quo for his break with Catholicism. One of his first political acts was a high school valedictory speech blasting his teachers for their tacit support of the school caste system by which poor children were demeaned.

Among his first poems is one about his experience in kindergarten as a child from a lower-class family. Dalton describes it as
…where I took
my first steps in society
smelling faintly of horse shit
“Peasant!” Roberto called me
… and he gave me a hard shove …

This experience came to define Dalton. The rest of his life was devoted to the exploited, harassed and abused.
Fifty years of dictatorship. The world-wide depression of the 1930s led to the collapse of the Central American coffee market, causing great suffering. At the time, the Communist Party (CP) of El Salvador was organizing among workers, teaching them about the gains of the Russian Revolution and the right to strike. The party called for a mass demonstration on January 22, 1932 to demand better pay and working conditions. When indigenous peasants staged an insurrection in western El Salvador on the same day, both uprisings were attributed to the CP. Mass arrests as well as a ruthless military genocide against communists and the indigenous population followed. In short order, four percent of the population was wiped out by state violence. Afterwards, military juntas ruled until 1992.

This was the world Dalton was born into and fought until his death in 1975.
The early years. While at university, Dalton formed a group with other writers known as the Generación Comprometida or Committed Generation.
Their philosophy was that to be an artist one must be a practicing revolutionary, actively intervening in the class struggle instead of just observing it.

In 1960, Dalton joined the Communist Party and was arrested within a few months. He was sentenced to die, but ironically a military coup, which freed many prisoners, saved his life. After this, Dalton went into exile, first in Mexico and later in Cuba and Prague.
The poet finds his voice. Dalton produced fourteen books of mostly poetry in his life. The poems with explicitly political content are alive in a way that much poetry like this is not. A perfect example is his poem “On Headaches” in which he proclaims:

It is beautiful to be a communist
although it causes many a headache.

Later he concludes, “Communism will be, among other things/an aspirin the size of the sun.” Rather than theorizing, Dalton is giving us his lived experience wrapped up in the fanciful image of a giant pain pill and the ideas come alive.

In a poem about Karl Marx by the same title, the poet says:
… from the fever, like a small world
of light in the endless nights
you have corrected God’s lame work
you, so guilty of giving us hope.

Again, instead of offering the reader propaganda or polemics, Dalton goes right for the gut in deceptively simple language. This simplicity extends to another poem that is all in the title — “Advice Which is Now Not Necessary Anywhere in the World Except El Salvador” — in which he counsels:
Don’t ever forget
that the least fascist
among the fascists
are also
fascists.
The ideas are complex, but he breaks them down to elemental clarity.

Not all Dalton’s poems are about the class struggle. He has some beautiful love poems of which my favorite is “Nakedness.” In it he writes:

When you undress for me with your eyes closed
you fit in a cup next to my tongue
you fit between my hands like my daily bread
you fit beneath my body more neatly than its shadow…

A death too soon. In 1973, Dalton returned to El Salvador from exile in Cuba. By then well-known, he was determined to join the guerrilla movement against the military dictatorship and underwent plastic surgery to avoid being recognized. He joined the People’s Revolutionary Army, known by its Spanish acronym ERP. This group later joined the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), a military front of guerrilla organizations.

A strong proponent of armed struggle, Dalton nonetheless developed differences with the ERP leadership over forging links with mass organizations. Joaquin Villalobos and other leaders of the ERP advocated a coup-d’état strategy instead. They accused Dalton of being an agent of the CIA and Cuba, and Villalobos himself executed Dalton four days before his 40th birthday. After the civil war, Villalobos went on to become a right-wing radio commentator in England.
Sadly, this poetic genius was taken from us too soon. Fortunately, he left us his poems to read and enjoy, to inspire and inform us.

This article and other information about Freedom Socialist can be found on line at: https://socialism.com/fs-article/the-life-and-tragic-death-of-a-salvadoran-revolutionary-poet/?fbclid=IwAR0bIIdTFJXtPFWUom9MIZof6S2h5GHayW7xbEDA2SNL5Fql4WlP1Zs0iB0

Image  —  Posted: November 20, 2019 in In Remembrance

Hello to all

Important things have been happening in the background and a rumbling is heard. I am very proud to announce that Jerimarie Liesegang has finished her video documentary on Sylvia Rivera. The documentary Sylvia Rivera Was More Than Stonewall is one of the few possibly the only one that looks at the complete life of this Revolutionary Transgender Warrior. Twenty years ago I was honored to introduce Sylvia at the Ct. Stonewall Congress and to this day hold her dear in my heart. What fun myself, Regina Dyton, Tim, Paul and a few others had visiting with Sylvia and her family outside as we smoked and laughed and then laughed again. Sylvia indeed as a revolutionary Trans leader whose words ring true today. Sylvia who believed in a multi issue revolutionary movement where all of us were and are included. Sylvia who fought hard for her people in the Trans community and was thrown off the bus, and under the bus so many times.

We need more Sylvia’s in our movement today. If there were we all know the one issue or issues only of a LGBT nature would not exist. We would understand and see the connections with all other communities and not only act when it involves a LGBT person. We would understand fully that when the bombs drop on the people of Palestine it is our issue. We would know that when Democrat or Republican deports immigrants it is our issue. We would fully understand that when people all across this country can not afford medication that is needed, or a home to live in it is our issue. We would fight back when the least among us are hurting and become one with all. This I believe is what Sylvia Rivera would do as she proved over and over again this is what must be done. This was the inspiration that pushed us towards a new day before a wrong road was taken so many years ago. We must, let us repeat that we must move back to those days when we fully understood that we are here, there, and everywhere so there for all issues are our issues. It is the only way we will survive.

Anyway there I go again up on the soapbox but wanted to give just my little introduction to Jeri’s video.  Of course this type of work is best viewed on full screen for a full viewing pleasure. While you are over at the Ct. Trans Archive page check out all the work that Jeri has been doing lately as she posts and gets her archives in order to send down to CCSU.

My best to everyone
Richard Nelson

P.S A birdie told me a new Ct. movement documentary is now in the works. It’s good folks really good or so the birdie saw.

The documentary is found here:

Full Length (cradle to grave) documentary on Sylvia Rivera

Image  —  Posted: November 11, 2019 in Call to Action, Fight Back