Peace and Dignity Journeys Honors the Water at World Beat Center in Celebration of Enero Zapatista

PDJ Media Committee

The San Diego Peace and Dignity Journeys familia met for an event discussing the upcoming 2012 Journey, a run Honoring the Water, at the World Beat Cultural Center on Sunday, January 22 as part of Enero Zapatista. After enjoying a delicious potluck meal, about fifty community members watched three videos that described the run and indigenous struggles regarding water and sacred sites. They then participated in a circle where individuals described their roots and their relationships to the Journeys and water.

The first video, Living the Prophecy, documents the northern strand of the run in 2000 through interviews with runners. It describes the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor, in which the Peoples of the North, represented by the Eagle, and the Peoples of the South, represented by the Condor, were divided from the outside, by colonization, but one day the Eagle and the Condor will be reunited to fly wing by wing once again. The second video, Abuela Grillo, is a powerful animation that tells the story of the struggles against privatization of water from the indigenous perspective, without words. The third video describes the struggle of the Wixárika people against the destruction of their sacred site Wirikuta in the Sierra de Catorce and surrounding desert lowlands by a Canadian mining corporation, a project that will consume and contaminate huge volumes of water.

In the circle, director Makeda Dread, noted that the World Beat Center (and the adjacent Centro Cultural de la Raza) used to be water tanks, and the strong connection of the World Beat to the Journeys and to broader indigenous struggles.

Peace and Dignity Journeys is a spiritual run uniting indigenous communities and strengthening indigenous culture that occurs every four years - starting in the South in Tierra del Fuego, and the North in Alaska. Runners carry sacred staffs that contain the struggles, hopes, dreams and prayers of the ancestors and the indigenous communities they visit. Fulfilling the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor, the runners from the North and South meet somewhere in the middle of the continent. In 2012, they will meet in Guatemala. The Journeys began in 1994 as a response to the 500th anniversary celebrations of the start of colonization of Turtle Island by Columbus. Each Journey has a theme - in 2008, the theme was honoring Sacred Sites and in 2012 it is honoring the sacredness of Water and its life-giving role.

The run will come through San Diego in August, stopping at the sacred site Chicano Park.

The video shows introductions to the videos and Makeda Dread's discussion of the connection of the World Beat Center to water, indigenous struggles and Peace and Dignity Journeys.

Peace and Dignity Journeys Web Site || Abuela Grillo Video || Video: In Defense of Wirikuta and Sierra de Catorce || Local Organizing to Save Wirikuta

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