By Laura Patsouris

Today I want to honor all those heroes whose struggles for freedom, justice and equality have given us the tools to carry our own struggles forward. Their bravery and eloquence lights the way:

"I think that an objective analysis of events that are taking place on this earth today points towards some type of ultimate showdown. You can call it political showdown, or even a showdown between the economic systems that exist on this earth which almost boil down along racial lines. I do believe that there will be a clash between East and West. I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation."

"If you're not ready to die for it, put the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary."

"We declare our right on this earth...to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary."

-Malcolm X

"I'm just a human being trying to make it
in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human."

-John Trudell

“Do you see law and order? There is nothing but disorder, and instead of law there is the illusion of security. It is an illusion because it is built on a long history of injustices: racism, criminality, and the genocide of millions. Many people say it is insane to resist the system, but actually, it is insane not to.”

-Mumia Abu Jamal

“The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.” 

“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.”

-Che Guevara

“The secret of our success is that we never, never give up.”

-Wilma Mankiller

We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.

-Wangari Maathai

“We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle, or zoos. We are people and we want to be
respected, not to be victims of intolerance and racism. 

-Rigoberta Menchu

As our conquerors pray to exert religious dominion over us, let us not forget that, despite 500+ years of oppression and slavery, the indigenous mind continues to think and plan, the indigenous heart continues to heal and to love and the indigenous spirit may be bloodied but it is unbowed. Though they would like to take my freedoms and my choices away, today I choose NOT to yield to their pressure and manipulation. Today I choose to honor the faith and the strength of my ancestors and their sacred ways. Today I will NOT pray to the God of my enslavement.

Today I will honor my dead and I will honor the spirits of the land I walk on. I will honor my sacred stories, sing the songs of my grandmothers and pray to my Gods for the strength and the will to walk on this Earth with integrity, respecting the rights of all the inhabitants of Turtle Island. Today I will pray for the healing of Turtle Island herself…she has been brutalized and exploited and abused.

Today I will tear away the filter of Conquest and stop seeing myself as my oppressors would define me, but rather I will know myself as the walking embodiment of all the power of my ancestral lines. The time for silence is past. We owe it to ourselves, to the ancestors who gave us this life and to the next seven generations to stop this political and spiritual juggernaut of Biblical fascism that threatens all freedom loving people on this hemisphere.

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