Saturday, May 27, 2017

"Imagine, Heal, Resist" – Mayday 2017 (Part 2)

This evening I share a second batch of photos from this year's Mayday parade. As I mentioned in Part 1, on Sunday, May 7, I attended the 43nd annual In the Heart of the Beast Theatre's Mayday parade in south Minneapolis.

This year's theme, "Imagine, Heal, Resist," was all about coming together to "imagine a just and joyous future for all; heal personal, cultural and historical wounds; and to stand as a circle in resistance to false myths of separateness that perpetuate violence and inequality." Inspiring stuff, to be sure!

The words of wisdom and inspiration that accompanies my photos are excerpted from the Mayday 2017 program guide. Enjoy!

Parade Story, Section 1: Imagine, Heal, Resist – Bending the Arc

I am as quick as the hummingbird, watch me fly over your wall. I am as strong as the river current, you can't keep me in. I am as cunning as the dandelion, I will find the cracks and grow strong.

– Ramon Cordes and Serena Black

We have a symbiotic relationship to animals that goes beyond what we can comprehend in the physical world. In Clan systems we are related to animals and in this relationship they protect us in the spirit world in trade for us protecting them in the physical world. In societies and ceremonies we look to animals for lessons on how to live on this planet. And if they go extinct, so do we.

– Rory Erler Wakemup, Gordon Coons, and Frances Yellow

Section 2: Amethyst Souls: Luxuriate in Healing.

Divine Queer Ancestors! We Honor Your Resistance and Sweetness. This section pays particular homage to our queer, gender fluid and trans elders and ancestors of color, through antiquity and their radical spirits and influence. Our ancestors come from a vastness of genders and innate queerness that has been appropriated, abused, erased, closeted, and crushed. Yet there was still limitless resistance and sweetness. We luxuriate in our healing and that of our ancestors and investigate the trauma within our bodies and spirits.

We will no longer be punished or destroyed for being in alignment with our most soulful selves. For generations patriarchy, colonization, religion, racism, gender oppression, and objectification of our bodies has broken us from loving on ourselves and knowing the sacredness in our erotic and magic.

Luxuriant healing will be symbolized through cats, from kittens to pumas to panthers in shades of purple, lavender, and lilac, basking in their sacred sensuality. A giant lotus flower will allow you to give offerings for cleansing and healing while burning lavender and sage. Large amethyst crystals will radiate healing, love, and sweetness. We invoke the Black Joy experiences of Soul Train, The Wiz, disco, Black queer femmes, voguing, soul music, blues music. We honor Bessie Smith and Willie Ninja. We remember Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvester. We acknowledge James Baldwin and Moonlight. We proclaim limitless queerness has always existed within Blackness and always will.

We hold space for our ancestors' dreams. We hold space for all of the beautiful and sacred Black, Brown, and indigenous trans-women and cis-women who are missing, lost, and murdered. We love you. We face the wounds of our ancestors with grace, sensuality, and compassion, and love ourselves with radical acceptance.

– Junauda Petrus, Sam Van Tassel, and Madison Ballis

The speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.

Audre Lorde (1934-1992)
Feminist, activist, and writer

Section 3: Mni Wiconi – Can Wiconi (Water of Life – Tree of Life).

Water has a deep-rooted meaning for many different Nation of people from all over the world. The very translations for water, from tribal communities of Turtle Island, convey the sacredness and preciousness of blue gold.

Prior to the dual efforts to end the Dakota Access [oil] Pipeline in support of the Standing Rock Nation, Mni Wiconi – Water of Life was a foreign concept and idea [for many]. As different generations of Native people exist and descend, they bear witness to the cycles of destruction that colonize, capitalize, and bully to gain wealth, which then leaves Earth perpetrator's grandchildren in debt. The debt is not having clean drinking water and clean soil for plants to grow for both food and medicinal purposes. Standing Rock was not the first movement where we have seen Native people have their ancestral lands taken for profit for oil. This disease of the mind cycle started decades ago with the Lubicon Cree, who had their traditional hunting grounds taken by the Canadian government to benefit from the tar sands. The destruction since then is now visibly seen in tailing ponds that host toxic water that was used to separate bitumen oil from sands and gravel.

The constant abuse of Kunsi Maka (Grandmother Earth) from past colonization to modern day parallels the abuse of Native women. Native women are the backbone of the people. They are sacred; they bring life into this world just like the earth and the sun. They are the original water protectors, responsible for caring for the water. But like Kunsi Maka, they have been targeted with violence and abuse.

– Graci Horne, Jacob Ladda, and Angie Courchaine

Above: Artist and activist Jacob Ladda with an oil monster, which can be anything from "crooked politicians, everyday polluters, oil globs (with dinosaur bones sticking out!) to militarized cops."

Upon suffering beyond suffering; the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations. A world longing for light again. I see a time of seven generations when all the colors of humanity will gather under the sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again. In that day there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things, and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom. I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am that place within me, we shall be as one.

– Attributed to Tȟašúŋke Witkó
(also known as Crazy Horse, ca. 1840 – 1877)
Lakota mystic and warrior

Section 4: Sanctuaries Adjust the Law: Sanctuary for All.

Throughout history the the enacted concept of sanctuary has enabled communities to adjust the law to exceptional circumstances.

Sanctuary cities recognize that in most cases, deportation is the wrong punishment for illegal immigration, which is a breach of civil, nor criminal, law. That tragedy makes it easy to attack the sanctuary movement. But sanctuary's enemies seem unaware of its venerable role in human history. It has long been an escape valve for society when the law can't meet the deeper demands of justice.

– Gustavo Boada, Lindsey Samples, and Amm-ra Seka

Section 5: The Work Ahead.

In the spirit of Standing Rock, Black Lives Matter, immigrant rights, the Women's March, and many other protests, the dragon of resistance is made of protest signs from recent marches and mobilizations.

A group of worker puppets speaks to the work of enacting change, harkening back to the workers organizations that gave us social security,
the minimum wage, and the 40-hour work week.

Rosie the turtle represents the struggle that follows the enormous energy of our social media-driven resistance. Specifically she represents the long slow work of making good decisions and sustainable changes that lead to a more equitable world.

– Lindsay McCraw and Marc Berg

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
"Imagine, Heal, Resist" – Mayday 2017 (Part 1)
Photo of the Day – May 7, 2017
"Radical Returnings" – Mayday 2016 (Part 1)
"Radical Returnings" – Mayday 2016 (Part 2)
"Our New Possibility": Photo of the Day – May 1, 2016
"And Still We Rise!" – Mayday 2015 (Part I)
"And Still We Rise!" – Mayday 2015 (Part II)
Mystics of Wonder, Agents of Change (Mayday 2014 – Part 1)
"The Spiritual Dialectic of WONDER?!" (Mayday 2014 – Part 2)
See the World! (Mayday 2013)
The End of the World as We Know It (2012)
"Uproar!" on the Streets of South Minneapolis: Part 1 (2010)
"Uproar!" on the Streets of South Minneapolis: Part 2 (2010)
Getting Started: Mayday 2009 (Part 1)
Celebrating Our Common Treasury: Mayday 2009 (Part 2)
Mayday and a "New Bridge" (2008)
The Time is Now! (2006)

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

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