Tuesday, November 15, 2011

scorpios + solidarity = show saturday

We are playing a show on Saturday November 19 and it is a partial benefit for the Colima Community in El Salvador!

The Mitten • 49th and Kingsessing in West Philly • 8pm for realz • with Des Ark, Lovers, Bore War and Trophy Wife.

For more information about the show or about the benefit, email me at trophywifetheband(at)gmail.com.

Here is some information from Emily, a friend of mine who has been working with this community of strong and inspiring women in El Salvador for a long time:

As many of you may or may not have heard/seen (esp. since it has received very little U.S. coverage), last month, Nicaragua and El Salvador have been blasted by hurricanes, flooding and tropical storms. The rain was catastrophic: flooding, landslides, immense damage to roads, homes, and bridges, leaving tens of thousands displaced. Nearly 70% of this year’s crops across the country were washed away. Many scientists have commented that because of its geographic position, El Salvador is currently receiving the full force of climate change effects that will also shortly be seen and experienced by many of us elsewhere.

Further, since Colima lies directly on the banks of the Acelhuate River, it has been particularly devastated by these recent inundations. This particular river was completely reshaped some thirty years ago by the introduction of massive hydroelectric dams along its route (whose power-production is aimed not at residents but heavily polluting export industries) that have left the marginalized communities on its banks as the victims of intense toxic contamination/exposure and frequent wash-outs.

This follows on the heels of disastrous flooding which occurred only a little over year ago, that likewise wiped out the crops and harvests of nearly 3/4s of Colima’s residents. In both cases, it should be understood that this represents a loss of not only whatever self-produced food security folks might have access to, but also all hope of future income from labor in harvesting or working the fields of some of the larger local landplots. In other words, it means the crippling loss for poor families of an already barely survivable nutritive and economic base simultaneously.

Two women, Noemy and Morena, are the single openly queer couple in Colima. Further, the neighborhood they live in, Los Potreritos, is made up almost entirely of households headed by single women with children. Two companions and I here in the U.S. have been generally trying across the year to provide emergency support as able, but the scale of the current disaster requires a much larger community effort. What little resources myself and others have been able to send Colima’s way in this past set of days has been immediately redistributed in the form of food, water and basic necessities throughout the entire neighborhood and then further afield. The women in this neighborhood (and Noemy and Morena in particular) are a source of constant inspiration for me in terms of their capacity for self-organization, collective caretaking and the ability to make very few materials make a very significant impact. In these current hours, the necessity for just that simply couldn’t be higher.

Most of you [reading] this are yourselves members of variously queer, poor and marginalized communities here in the United States, and as such, many of us are intimately familiar with the struggle, gift and necessity of forging alternative family and support structures in those moments when neither the state nor other institutions either can (or can be bothered to) provide access points to basic survival needs. Increments of $5,$10,$25,$50 will make a huge difference right now in terms of helping folks there in Colima to make it through this acute stage until the waters recede.

I am all too aware in writing this that there are hundreds, even thousands, of acute situations going on throughout the world that likewise would benefit from our attentions – many of them occurring mere feet away from our doorsteps, if not within our own households. However, to that reality I can only respond that we have to, as always, practice the solidarity of which we are capable where and as and whenever we are able.

If you can donate, in whatever increment, please do. You can either mail it to me or drop it off (at 5001 Chester Ave #1R, Philadelphia, PA 19143) or donate online via paypal by clicking here: donate. In every case, whatever comes in I will just bundle together and send via Western Union in their directions. In the words of Noemy and Morena: “Please give our greetings to your friends and family on the part of all the people here in Colima. Many hugs and kisses. Take good care. Con carino.”

And please accept not only their greetings, but also my own. As so many are shouting right now from the various corners across the globe, “Another world is not only possible, it is necessary.” Here’s to all the many creative, difficult, various, tendrilled and amazing ways in which we shall also necessarily have to build it.

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