#SayHerName Therese Patricia Okoumou

Thank you Therese Patricia Okoumou!  None of us are free, if one of us is chained.

There is so little to be proud of being an American in Portugal on July 4th 2018. I awoke this July 5th to the news of her (s)heroic act, in my mind, Therese Patricia Okoumou stands tall with Bree Newsome and many, many, many others, too numerous to name here.  Numerous, yet a small minority as most Americans were grilling, drinking and setting off fireworks on July 4th; celebrating the allusion of freedom.

Of course, the list of those of privilege who celebrate each Forth Of July without any remorse; seemingly oblivious to the history of colonization, genocide of the American Indian, the enslavement of Africans and how that legacy lives today in the oppression of women, LGBTQAI+, people of color, folks of low to no means, this list goes on and on and is perpetuated in the school to prison pipeline that insures oppression is a profitable business in this so called land of the free and the home of the brave.

You inspire me Therese, and hence this video, which I dedicate to you. As we say in Portuguese; Obrigado!  This Veteran For Peace salutes you Therese Patricia Okoumou, thank you for your service.

 

 

Facing Global Trumpism: A Declaration of European Independence?

July 4th in the U.S. is Independence day.  As a veteran and a supporting member of Veterans For Peace, July 4th is a special day for me.  It is a day that I typically set off for a long hike, get away and definitely do not want to be around any fourth of July celebrations which glorify war with explosive fireworks.

This summer I am in Portugal, working on a documentary about the wildfire situation here in Portugal as they relate to climate change.  Desertification and climate refugees are issues which will have a huge impact on this country and it’s people.

As luck would have it, the Free Party is hosting an event in Lisbon which I’m looking forward to attending.  It will most likely be in Portuguese and I anticipate most of it I will not understand.  No matter, showing up is important to me and it will be an honor just to breathe that air.

The event description:

242 years after the Independence of the United States of America, FREE asks: “Against Global Trumpism: A Declaration of European Independence?” A conversation with Rui Tavares, historian, former MEP and founder of FREE and Richard Zimler, journalist, writer and Portuguese-American professor

A patRIOT Day Rally Speech, Northampton 4/17/2017

Thank you all for being here today.  It’s exciting to see the movement building and gaining momentum each day, each week, each month, and each year; swelling to unheard of crowds not only here in Northampton, but up and down the pioneer/pocumtuc valley, and across Massachusetts, the United States and even worldwide. We are the 99%.

Today, many are celebrating Patriots’ Day. While they choose to commemorate that shot first heard round the world, we gather to note that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.  A fog shrouds us in cognitive dissonance and what is supposed to be a well informed electorate has been replaced by a corrupt election system that has resulted in the people’s vote being supplanted by Wall Street’s vote; the evil, greedy 1% in 3 of the last 5 elections.

I am proud to be here today with my sisters and brothers; Veterans For Peace.  We have all raised our right hands, relinquished our individually to uniformity and vowed to protect the constitution of these now incredibly divided states.  

We have all placed our fingers on the trigger.  Some of us, aiming only at human silhouettes… targets… practice.  

Others have placed their fingers on triggers and buttons meant to kill.  I firmly believe that that death click instantly transmitted trauma from that finger, up that arm and into the hearts of these lied to keepers of peace.  That trauma then infected their brains, was passed to their loved ones, their families, their friends, their communities, their nation.

There, it festered and grew exponentially across the world and gathered steam intergenerationally until we have this; the man whose name need not be mentioned and whose name should not be spoken.  How did this happen?

For my part, I am learning the language and ways of Nonviolent Communication as first synthesized most eloquently by Marshall Rosenberg.  This will be my weapon in this war; a weapon of compassion, love, peace, understanding and example. It is the biggest, best, most effective MOAB; THE mother of all bombs in my opinion.  

I’ve been led to believe many of us may suffer loss because of this past election and will then grieve that loss and will then walk thru the valleys of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression and finally emerge at Acceptance.  Let’s work together to be there for each other, help each other and make this right.

George Aguiar

– Liberation Technologist

– member: Veterans For Peace

  • this article first appeared – Traprock.Org April 19, 2017