Alice Embree :
VERSE | Beyond Borders

water faucets

Image from Jornada del Día Mundial del Agua 2010.

By Alice Embree | The Rag Blog | July 15, 2014

On the edge of memory
The slogan echoes
“El Salvador is Spanish for Vietnam”

U.S. weapons for
Right-wing death squads
Yield peasant massacres
And refugees

In recent memory
President Zelaya of Honduras
Kidnapped and removed from office
The State Department
Careful not to say “coup”

Gang members
Cultivated in U.S. prisons
Routinely deported
From Los Angeles to El Salvador
Their skills known on the streets of San Salvador

Fueled by armies of trade attorneys
NAFTA for decades
Displaced Mexican farmers
Detroit factory workers
Appalachian textile workers

Then CAFTA rules threatened
El Salvadoran farm co-operatives
(Monsanto might not be able to “compete”)

I was in grade school
When the CIA overthrew
Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz
Erased from U.S. history books

What did he try to do?
Give United Fruit’s uncultivated land
To poor Guatemalan farmers

When Latin Americans fight
Water privatization
Can you hear their chants in Detroit?

The poor there are having their water cut off
Their children picked up by protective services
Because they live in unsafe housing
(Without drinking water and working toilets)

There is no border in this fight
It has been erased by global capital
The Neoliberal calls for
Austerity and privatization
Cuts to public services and “free trade”
Are heard around the world
As are the chants of resistance

It is wrong to punish the children of Detroit
It is wrong to blame the children on the Texas border

Alice Embree
July 14, 2014
Austin, Texas

[Alice Embree, a contributing editor to The Rag Blog, co-chair of the Friends of New Journalism, and a veteran of the original Rag, is a long-time Austin activist, organizer, and member of the Texas State Employees Union. Read more articles by Alice Embree on The Rag Blog.]

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VERSE | Beyond Borders

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