A Letter from San Antonio Organizer Viktoria Valenzuela

IMG_9983Dear Michael and Terri,

Thank you. I am so pleased that you were able to come visit us here in San Antonio, Texas. I have been in this city for a little over a year from Oswego, New York and have been able to meet so many wonderful hard working activists and artists. I consider this place to be a hidden gem. Nearly every day in SATX some event is happening. Poetry, music, art, you name it you can find I here. I met Ernesto Olivo, an artist and major activist, through friends and the Southwest Workers Union. He and I were passionate about building up the Banned Books Library that was created in response to Arizona’s banning of Mexican American Studies books and writers. Our own Poet Lauriate of San Antonio, Carmen Tafolla was among the banned. She wrote a poetry book called Curandera and has been a strong ally in putting the poetry scene in contact with the community at large.

The Southwest Worker’s Union loved the idea of hosting a 100 Thousand Poets for Change event. Carmen Tafolla and more than 30 political poets in San Antonio agreed that change needs to happen, though San Antonio officials are very dignified and down to earth when it comes to regulating San Antonio’s laws, we poets have a lot to say. Librotraficante, Diana Lopez, is head of the Banned Books Library and has renamed the library Biblioteca Clandestina. 100 TPMCSATX was able raised some money for the library, some awareness of what is happening in our culture, and most importantly we came together from all corners of the city. We spoke together as poets/ musicians and it was a beautiful event.

Part 1 of the Livestream from Sept. 29th 2012.

Video streaming by Ustream

Like a lot of southern cities, in some places, San Antonio still adheres to the ancient divide put upon us during the Jim Crow era. I was an outsider when I got here and noticed it immediately. Certain poetry events I’ve attended seemed to house a not so mixed crowd, except for the Jazz Poets, hosted by Eduardo Garza. Everyone seems to like to recite poetry to music. I asked Eduardo to join 100 TPC SATX and poets from all over the city. The Sun Poets, Blah Blah Blah Poets, poets from a Marcus Garvey reading, Latino/Hispanic Poets, Anti-Nuclear poets, a few artists, some Zombie Bazaar Belly Dancers, and of course the activists! We had a great turn out and the message became clear. Change is here. We are it!

Your visit has sparked an even stronger interest in being the voice for change. We will plan bigger and better each year. We will call for change and more than that, we will march for it. We will rally for it. San Antonio will have cleaner water, Mexican-American studies, Domestic Workers Rights, anti-nuclear facilities, end hydrofracking, aid veterans, Gay Marriage, end war, gun control, more diverse voter registrations, and organic foods in our grocery stores. Thank you for fanning the flames. Thank you for your helping to create 100 Thousand Poets and Musicians, and Artists for Change!

Sincerely, in peace and sustainability,
Viktoria Valenzuela


One comment on “A Letter from San Antonio Organizer Viktoria Valenzuela

  1. […] gave Damali one of the 100TPC buttons we got from Viktoria Valenzuela in San Antonio, TX. She took a picture of it with her cell phone, then pinned it to her shirt. This is how global goes […]

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