This Time Last Year

This time last year, tens of thousands (or more) put their hearts, minds, and bodies into resisting the inauguration of an increasingly fascistic regime—itself embedded in the genocidal logic of the origins of this stolen land called the United States. The violence of the state cracked down hard on some 220 of those people, kettling and arresting them, and then slapping them with felonies worth some 6–7 decades in prison, in what has now become known as #J20. The story of this year, among so many abuses, could be state repression, social barbarism, and myriad defeats. But as I hung out yesterday here in DC with some #J20Defendants (some still in the group of 59 facing years behind bars) and J20 supporters, I know there’s a far different, or at least equally true, story of these past 365 days: our hearts and interconnections have grown new muscle! Yes, perhaps that muscle is atop a hell of a lot of scar tissue. Yet it beats strong with resilience, care, and dignity. So many people, messiness and all, have been and are being there for each other—for no other reason than solidarity. Which is another way of saying love. Because the reciprocity of journeying side by side, on the side of worlds without hierarchies of domination, is the act of an expansive love for each other and what is possible if we self-organize, collectively, to practice new ways of being human and humane. With such hearts, we never truly lose; we sustain losses that at once remind us why we fight, why and who and what we love, and how we want to—and do!—bring love to life, for life, for lives worth living. Today, a year later, so many people are worse for the wear and tear of the past 12 months, and at the same time, so many of us have found and remained steadfast by each other. The government is shut down, and we are opening up to forms of #MutualAid and #PrefigurativePolitics and #CaringCommunities, among other tendernesses that are the daily exercise of keeping our hearts in good shape for the battles ahead.





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