By Chelli Stanley, an American woman in her late twenties who visited my occupied homeland Hebron, from where I was expelled by the Zionist Israeli occupation in 2002. Pictures Credit: CPT.
When I went through the border I heard a man
speak his name, speak for his freedom and the freedom of those around him
and I saw a soldier standing behind him
who was there to kill, disappeared, repress, impoverish, murder, steal, lie, thieve, die
sometimes too, everyday inside he died, that soldier, I saw it in his eyes
soldier funded to stand there, given money, by a government that I “have” somehow to call “my own”.
… I Pledge Allegiance…
But I can’t I can’t I cant I cant I cant I cant I cant I cant
When I saw that man and heard his sweet voice and saw the look of recognition between the people, their hearts and their lives,
then I felt my spirit renew, I felt my heart come alive,
I felt the pains of the people, I saw the pains of the ages, and I saw all of Life speak together
and their song was beautiful,
and the deeper it went their lives intertwined with that of the suns’ life, the plants, the bats, jaguars, agua y oro tambien
When I came through the border of the land called “US”, I felt screaming silently and erased
though not erased
I am not the murderer. Not the one who goes to other countries with paid boots and guns to [insert propaganda]
No not me
And I am not the one who thieves, who goes and pays for bullets to go into the bodies of children in lands maybe I’ve never seen.
Not me. No not me.
I’ve seen the bodies of children afraid of bullets marked USA-made
I’ve seen those kids and I loved them, I laughed with them, I told them all I could,
I don’t believe they should be murdered, I don’t believe in the destruction of their bodies or Hearts or Minds
I believe they should live the depths of their lives, I believe they should live the magic of their childhood, and the magic potential of their lives.
And I am not the one thinking that raping lands and lives for money is worth the profit$, and fuck the deaths and fuck the depths of the losses.
Not me. Not me. I feel that loss, I see it, I watch it as the earth has started to bleed onto our feet
While the rich line their pockets with forgotten denials that
they don’t have the right to thieve/profit of/f our communities, to thieve/invest themselves in the stealing of our lives, our dreams, our visions sometimes even too. That they don’t have the right to thieve/profit of/f the loss of another, off water, off the earth…
And I want to scream into the well that I see you liars
you stupid capitalist imperialist bastards who forgot where home is
you jerks who took my water bottles and threw it in the trash, who made me take off my shoes, put my shit on a belt, open my bags for you, put my hands up inside a machine, made me watch every foreigner get doubled fingerprinted and photographed, and told me You were “keeping the skies safe,”
I want to say to you that the border has long been reached. The Emperor with No Clothes
has been spotted,
has been spotted,
and I’m one screaming that I see you, and I don’t Pledge Allegiance
I don’t lie for you, my “US” government, I don’t excuse your behavior, I don’t cover for your forced and constant “mistakes,”
I won’t put my hand over my heart for the rulers/thieves/liars/murderers/sick capitalist imperialist bastards
I would rather give my allegiance to those of this life who are striving for Life
Because my heart still feels So Much Love
And Because I still do believe in the visions
I am not the one who behaves like my Rights obligates me above all others,
and my Right to profit, and my Right to lie in your face and make you behave like you’re the criminal.
That’s not me. That’s not that man I saw standing in front of a soldier calling for the right of the people to live in peace. That’s not her I saw striving with eyes so wide open, with heart open striving bent on the strength of her vision.
I don’t Pledge Allegiance.
I want Liberation.
I want Liberation.
The other week in Tucson I gave $5 to a man who looked like he could use it,
and he cried and hugged me and spoke of Robin Hood,
and we spoke about the idea of Robin Hood, (hey we need more Robin Hoods)
and when I told him I wished him the best
He gave me a depth of a look
and he told me, “Everyone says that to me. I’ve just stopped listening.”
And my heart felt a fracture, felt to be precariously shackled to a depth opening beneath my feet.
And I felt like something slipped between us two and said “That’s just the way it is. Somethings can never change. That’s just the way it is.” Came to haunt us two, and beg for our votes, and told us not to trust each other, and told us we could never be free of this Hell called U.S.
instead of us two, three, all of us, us us us, we one.
I want this stupid Fucking “US” government to stop thinking it has the right to make the most money
Because I hate the costs of the deaths
And Because I love the Depth of the Lives