Movimiento Cosecha(Harvest) Time: We Are 11 Million+

Posted by Pancho Ramos Stierle on Sep 6, 2017
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"Scaling in time" seems to be a great way to describe, or rather, to be embracing today's circumstances, from political to physical hurricanes. Scaling in time feels as it were rooted in deep spiritual grounds hard to destroy with any storm. People familiar with the facilitation of the growth of soil, know about the cycles of Nature, how seasons hold space for different manifestations of the Web of Life to decay and emerge. For Natural Farmers, scaling in time is an integrated form of being. If we entertain the thought that the seeds of satyagraha (also known as disobeying with Great Love ;-) ) have been planted long time ago and their sprouts have been lovingly cultivated as we speak, it is not surprising to start seeing more and more fruits of that labor of love.

Here's where the fresh Cosecha Movement --with its sound (r)evolutionary 14 principles and a 4 phase strategy that culminates with at least 7 day general strike from coast to coast-- comes in, with its ripen intention to shake the foundations of a decaying empire. And a rotten empire it is when it attempts, in this very moment, to attack the foundation of humanity: the family unit, kinship. But kinship, at the full-integrated level, can't be destroyed.

To start with, 'Cosecha" means "harvest" in Spanish. We all, the harvest, may be preceded by all the seeds of sacrifice, compassion, courage and wisdom sowed by our ancestors, who encouraged us to never give up and to only surrender to our true essence as citizens and farmers of the World. As a way to prevent the traps of the non-profit industrial complex, Cosecha Movement is not an organization but a movement full-time ran by volunteers: l@s cosecher@s, Cosecha People. The marriage of two languages and the bilingual nature of the movement is felt not only in the name but it is also embodied by many of the cosecher@s i have crossed paths with in the last year. i've been amazed by the commitment, clarity and passion they all radiate. They are very easy to love.

Most of these young people who started Cosecha, were eligible for the so call Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and sometimes they are referred as "Dreamers", for some legislation could allow them --only young folks-- to be granted citizenship in this part of the Planet. But after years of not seeing real steps in the social, economic and political arenas to bring permanent protection, dignity and respect for all immigrants, they have boldly step up their engagement to oppose death projects and to serve life. These young people regret they didn't include their family in this protection effort of the last decade: "I'm sorry grandma, grandpa, I'm sorry mom, dad, I'm sorry aunty, never again i'll forget about you." Now they are clearly saying: "Somos 11 millones, we are 11 million", referring to the 11 million undocumented human beings living in this part of the Earth.

The dreamers have awaked from the illusion of me --and the american dream-- and now feel the interconnected reality of We, as cosecher@s, in this glorious Earth. Now even fierce loving allies have been showing up at thw front lines.

Undocumented(or not) and unafraid, we all will be joining heads, hearts and hands in radical love for a collective Jai Jagat!

PS1: Below, I invite the reader to dig into the 14 principles and the 4 phase strategy of the Cosecha Movement.

Statement of Purpose: We are a nonviolent movement that seeks to bring permanent protection, dignity and respect for all immigrants.

Our values: Family, Respect, Opportunity

1. Monkey see, monkey do. ­ People will see what we do and copy it, so we are responsible with how we act. We lead by inspiring and suggesting, never by commanding. Our leaders are but trusty servants; they do not govern. We all take initiative and respect those of others. It’s not about one idea; it’s about many good ideas. As we continue embodying/living out movement values, we remember that principles come before personality.

2. We are all a family. ­ This movement welcomes everyone from different countries, ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, religious and spiritual beliefs. We know the wisdom of our movement comes from the voices that are often the most silenced. Since the dominant language can take over a space and silence the people who don’t feel comfortable with the words, we have the “multilingual­rule” which is about making every space open to multiple languages. We operate in the languages that come easily to our community.

3. There is no cover for this party. You don't need permission to participate in this movement. This becomes a reality when we see how our “3­activist rule” works. The rule says that when 3 people decide to become activists in Harvest, they can form a circle and get full support from the movement. We make our own decisions in our circles and we choose to participate in the activities of the movement that we feel most excited about. We can party together as long as we follow the principles of our Harvest. There is no dress code for this party. Our movement needs musicians, artists, dancers, creatives, mothers, daughters, workers, street­intellectuals, poets, academics, students, etc. We encourage risk­taking because the diversity of our creativity will help us find the most effective strategies, tools, actions, and virialization of our movement.

4. We don’t dance with political parties. We are tired of broken promises by political parties. They want our phone numbers for their elections but never call us after they’re elected. Our work is on the streets and with the people ­­ we are not focused on politicians. Our target is the people ­­ we will only engage politicians and their supporters to get them to take a leave of absence from their parties. We don't have external representatives or advocates; we speak for ourselves. If the political leadership (president and congress) make a commitment to pass legislation that might give us permanent protection, we will use a 60­day rule. The rule says Cosecha will give the parties a 60­day deadline to enact permanent protection. If that is not done, we will continue with the current phase after 60 days regardless of more promises.

5. Our weapon is non­cooperation. ­ We know our power is rooted in non­cooperation with the current political, social and economic systems. Without working hands, there is no labor: we won't cooperate until this country recognizes it depends on us.

6. Our shield is nonviolence. ­ Nonviolence keeps our movement alive. It is our shield that reflects the true perpetrators of the state violence that our people suffer from daily. It is our strategy to bring light to the injustice that we suffer every day. We feel pain from the abuses of the police and others, and we will keep exposing their violence through our discipline.

7. The soil of our harvest is respect and reciprocity. ­The ground on which this movement stands is on the relationships of its participants. We will work every day to build trust, respect and reciprocity among all of us. We assume all harvesters have good intentions and also react immediately against disrespect. We use conflict resolution techniques to deal with conflict in a healthy way that will bring growth to our movement. We ground our work in dialogue, healing, and collective transformation. We won’t tolerate shaming of each other and bullying towards the many organizations and leaders of the immigrant rights movement.

8. Our seeds come from the tree of sacrifice. We honor the hard work of all the people who bring their gifts to the movement. We believe that people’s work in Harvest is for the collective well­being of everyone and not for personal gain or to advance individual interests. While most of the work of the movement is not financially compensated, there are some positions that movement leaders can sponsor in order to create more support for the movement. Those positions will be compensated based on needs and not by a market employment rate. They are temporary and only meant to support the movement at key moments.

9. All we need is already within our community now. We know that when we get BIG money it’s because they want to control our movement, that is why we are always self­sustaining. We know that all the resources we need, including financial, are already in our community.

10. You can wear our colors as long as you follow our principles. Any organization can use the Harvest flag as long as they follow our principles. Anyone can join. Formal organizations (outside of Harvest) must join support circles with other Harvest activists as long as they accept our strategy and story of the movement. No formal organization can request resources in the name of Harvest unless they are resources distributed among our villages.

11. One harvest, many fruits. There are thousands of ways to be part of the Harvest strategy. We encourage daily autonomy and creativity in how to implement the movement based on people’s conditions. At the same time, our movement unity depends on all our teams working together and following our greatest agreement: our Harvest principles. The principles are the music score of our Harvest orchestra and all the instruments are the creativity of our activist.

12. We are one of many harvests. We know the injustices of our community cannot be undone with just one movement. We know that the systems of domination require multiple cycles of movements that are working for many decades to bring reciprocity and balance to our communities. Harvest is just one piece of a larger justice puzzle.

13. This swarm needs all its bees. This movement will take all of us. While some of us are more focused on taking care of our community, others are more called to be prophetic voices to bring people into the movement. We all have different callings and roles that we want to take on. Our spirit of coordination comes together as we affirm, “If you’re stuck, buzz”. This means that if you need help, just ask for it. We can only be a movement if we support each other. We also know people are part of various organizations and that people can be in and out of Harvest and we make a distinction between the participation of individuals and organizations.

14. An injustice somewhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We know the undocumented community is not the only one facing oppression and that this system of inequality has been going on for a long time. We believe that our movement’s mission is to be active in other movements for racial, gender and economic justice.

PS2: Also a photo taken when some of the cosecher@s recently came to met with Mujeres Unidas y Activas (United and Active Women) in East Oakland.

Posted by Pancho Ramos Stierle | | permalink

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Comments (4)

  • Kozo Hattori wrote ...

    Your familia is my ohana. Ready to harvest, Pancho.

  • Anand Gopal wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing about Cosecha, Pancho. Count me in!


    Count us in.... for sure A Cosechar and to join this movement to trigger change

  • Aryae Coopersmith wrote ...

    Wow -- powerful stuff!