We drove to Santa Fe last Friday for the 1,000 Women March organized by New Mexico Alliance-BASE, Chimayó; Kalpulli Izkalli, Albuquerque; Somos Un Pueblo Unido, Santa Fe; Concerned Citizens of Wagon Mound and Mora County (CCWMMC); League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); AFGE, Local #4041; Las Tres Hermanas Co-op, Chimayó; El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, Albuquerque; Young Women United, Albuquerque; PB&J Family Services; and the Women's Justice Project and other organizations.
On the way, we were eating our Frontier breakfast burritos and listening to NPR’s broadcast from Tahrir (Liberty) Square. I was very inspired hearing Egyptians so excited and happy that Mubarak had stepped down. I was amazed to hear (and read earlier in the week) people saying they appreciated the military. They preferred military rule (on the expected temporary basis) to Mubarak. It’s no surprise considering he had been in power for 30 years. I kept wondering if we would feel so connected to the military here. I couldn’t picture it. We heard speaker after speaker flooded with joy. Tahrir, Tahrir, Tahrir!
We met at the railyards. YWU had extra signs so we carried one each. I saw a woman wearing a black shirt with light blue (teal?) writing that said 1,000 Women March. She was standing behind a table that had a Donations sign and what looked like food leftovers. I told her I liked her shirt. She said, Her brother made them. I asked if she was still selling them. She said, No, she had already given them all out. Yes, GIVEN for free. That’s the kind of march this was.
I carried a sign asking folks to call in with tips about the murdered women found on the West Mesa. There was an image made by Adelina front and center with the tip line phone number. I had no idea that there was a $100,00 reward. I thought the reward was $10,000. Honestly, reward or reward wasn’t front and center in my mind, but when I saw the $100,000 I remembered the $10,000 amount. There’s not much information coming out on these murders, but I think I would have remembered a $100,000 reward.
One of my favorite chants as we marched to the rotunda:
Qué te pasa
Le diste su espalda
A su propia raza
That was the first time I chanted in Spanish and knew the intended target would understand it. Its cousin:
Qué te pasa
You turned your back on
Your propia raza
On a bright note, when we arrived at the rotunda, there was a group of female mariachis! Yes, they were wearing hot pink. How cool is that? It’s not my color, but they wore it well.
Other cool sights that I hope to post fotos when I can: The young Native women with the “We Can Do It!” poster with a Native woman and the little girl sitting on a statue pedestal looking straight at the camera and looking fierce. There was lots more.
Almarosa was the emcee. Some of the speakers included: this mighty woman from northern New Mexico; three young, Native women; a couple older Native women; an African American woman; a Chicana union leader; and a Chicana vice provost from UNM. While we were outside listening to speakers, I could see people standing and watching from a window. Trippy.
Then we went up to the governor’s office. I expected there to be a guest book for us to record our names and concerns. There was a table of binder paper. I told the young admin staff member that if the governor wants to hear from her constituents she should have something in place. I told him, I know it’s not your decision. Later, an older woman staff member came. I told her the same. She said it’s because the governor’s staff is still setting things up. I told her that this seemed like something that should be ongoing and not dependent on a change in administration.
Then YWU broke into three groups to meet with representatives to discuss 1) Treatment not incarceration, 2) Reproductive rights: clinics that offer pregnancy testing and pressure women to put babies up for adoption, at least not have abortions, and 3) Pre-Natal Care and Treatment for Using Women.
Micaela led my group to four or five or more offices. We had three younger folks with us who spoke with staff and signed in. There were a few more of us older ones. Micaela modeled how to speak to the support staff and what to say a few times. I realized I didn’t know who my representative was. When it was my time to speak to the staff because the representatives were always out, I bumbled my way through. Thankfully, Micaela did a quick save.
We finally ran into Mo Maestas in the hallway. He stopped and spoke with us for a few minutes. It was great to meet someone who is fighting for what we believe in. I don’t know anything else about Mo Maestas, but this is a good start.
One of the best pieces of the day was hearing that the governor’s order for state police to question all arrestees about their immigration has been tabled. The bad news is that a legislator has agreed to bring the legislation back up. We can enjoy the days until he does.