Tiananmen Square Massacre June 4 2009: 20 year anniversary

Well it’s already June 4th in China, and I just watched a CNN report that the Chinese government has completely shut down Twitter, YouTube and other Internet sites, and is blocking CNN reporters from filming the square where thousands of unarmed students were slaughtered on June 4th, 1989 as the military rolled in to crush the democracy demonstrators. It’s just a few minutes into June 4th here in Texas, just past midnight. Dont know if I’ll be able to sleep. Back in ’89 I was on the streets of NYC, one step from homelessness, just barely hanging on. In the six weeks of protests before the slaughter, I remember reading the newspapers left on the park benches, and the Newsday flasher in Times Square where the news screamed around the building.  At first there was a sense of possibility with all the students converging there in central Beijing, tens of thousands growing into hundreds of thousands, then a million, and then… there was a sense of something terrible about to happen — this coming 2 months after the catastrophic Exxon Valdez oil spill .. It felt like such a dark time.

Here’s a recap of the timeline:

What’s really unnerving is how completely the Chinese populace has been kept in the dark over this, especially young people. Few know what really happened. But even more disturbing is how placated people have become with material things, so much so that they don’t even want to know. (This desire to not know sounds disturbingly familiar.) They know something terrible happened, but as long as they’ve got enough sneakers and trendy clothes and iPods, they’re cool, even if they lost their opportunity to participate in the course of their future. And those who’ve tried to speak up about it are jailed, some for years.

By the way, I love my iPod, and I am thankful for the imperfect democracy we have here in the United States, but I also know — and am saddened — that legions of people right here in this country are, by their own determined ignorance, willing accomplices to their own victimization — regarding their own personal health, or that of Planet Earth which sustains all life.

Photos from The Huffington Post

I saw the Terminator, and I don’t want him to be us

Just saw the new Terminator movie with my friend and photographer Jarriel Jones. Watching that unrelenting army of monstrous machines out to destroy all human life with such overwhelming firepower and cold, crushing calculation, I couldn’t help thinking that is exactly what we’ve done to the animals — in fact all other life — of this planet.  Sigh– just wanted go see something mindless and escapist, and found a gut-clenching allegory instead. Over this lifetime I’ve really come to love people and believe in the human race, and we can’t let ourselves be defined like the monsters we’ve been to the rest of creation.

4th Street under the bridge

4th Street Under the Bridge

The Definition

“What I feel being a human being is it’s just having the freedom to be yourself Not caring what other people think Just having that freedom to be you”

— Brandy

Video for “Right Here (Departed)” (in case you ain’t seen it yet — is deep). And beautiful– like herself. (Yeah = this mug’s a long time fan of Brandy.)



Glad to see Van Jones, of Green for All, as one of the primary panelists on this past weekend’s State of the Black Union 2009, Afternoon Session, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Watch it on C-SPAN here. http://tinyurl.com/bhot2f

Van, from Oakland-based Green for All, who is author of the NY Times Bestseller THE GREEN COLLAR ECONOMY, has been at the top in calling for green jobs to lift people, especially people of color, out of poverty while addressing environmental issues.  Unfortunately,all this excellent clamor for rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure is still ignoring the need to rebuild the nation’s devastated natural infrastructure.

How about Green for All Life….  If we can now just breathe into place the major missing component of the emerging Green Collar Economy, the creation of green jobs in wildlands restoration, the Green Economy will be complete. This is Ecological Heath– healing ourselves through healing the Earth.

Great Plains Restoration Council seems to be the only one calling this, and we are already demonstrating it in our project areas.  www.gprc.org We need to become a nation of workers again, only this time building up life, not tearing it down.