Coalition of Social Justice Groups Marches for Multiple Causes in Downtown San Diego. Photos: Tom and Nadin Abbott

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Photos: Tom and Nadin Abbott
Videos: Nadin and Tom Abbott
Video Editing: Nadin Abbott

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Editors note, if I got the Sioux language wrong, I apologize in advance.

Nov 29, 2016 (San Diego) They came from different groups in San Diego. This is the first time since Occupy that groups ranging from Immigrant rights to worker rights, to black Lives Matter, got together and took to the streets. This is the 4th year that the Fight for 15 movement takes to the streets in San Diego. They were joined by many other groups, with what can be best called an intersection of causes and goals.

intersectionality is defined as follows, and in this case, it matters: “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.” After all, the people marching came from the Black Lives Matter movement, the lower rungs of labor, in the fight for 15, as well as the environmentalists, and our first peoples bringing the black snake, the North Dakota project, to the center. These causes, are related. we were told by speakers.

 

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Reverend J Lee Hill

Reverend J Lee Hill of the Christian Fellowship United Church of Christ was among the first speakers. He told the crowd, from a rented truck bed, “We are the clergy that are standing here before you. We are Rabbis and Imams, and religious leaders. who believe in leaving our sacred spaces in order to enter into these sacred spaces, that we might be with you tonight for and in the fight for justice.”

Hill added, that “we come here today representing a broad diversity of faith. And we are but a fraction of the thousands that have gathered on this national action in the fight or justice.”

Hill also gave a little history, reminding the crowd that the battle in the 1960s people fought for the rights that people enjoy these days. He referenced Bayard Rustin, a 1960s civil rights activists. He said that Rising said, “that every community, in every community, there need to be a few angelic troublemakers.” Alas, there were a few in downtown San Diego tonight.

“We are ready to stand with you, we are ready to fight with you, and we are even ready to go to jail with you.” Hill then referenced the election, and pointed out that the Donald Trump race to the white house, presented an agenda that will “threaten the safety and well-being of all of us.”

“Justice for you is justice for us all.”

 

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Pastor Jared Moten and Pastor Shane Harris

Then there was another theme. not just worker justice, or religious freedom, or social justice. When Pastor Jared Moten, of the Ebenezer Church in Southcrest, spoke, he reminded the crowd that under god all lives matter, black, brown, white and blue. He told the crowd that after officer Jonathan “JD” De Guzman was shot, he marched with other members of the National Action Network to ask for peace. We were there.

He also told people that today “we are standing on behalf of Alfred Olango. Where there is injustice anywhere, and where there are lives taken unjustly there should be justice netted out.” He added, “Mr. Olango’s life matters, to his family, but not only to his family. Mr. Olango’s live matters to God.”

Moten added, “we are standing here today to march on behalf of justice for Mr. Olango’s life.” There were also calls by him and Reverend Shane Harris for a federal investigation into Olango’s death back in September. HIs father also came out and demanded better training for officers, but also that officers who break protocol be prosecuted.

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The die in was impressive and carried out by many of the activists from the black Lives Matter movement, most of them from El Cajon. They wore pieces of tape, over their hearts or their heads, where they were symbolically shot. Some of the participants were young children. They fell for over the 700 hundred lives that have been taken over the course of the year by police officers.

That was far from the only cause. There were others. The first people’s resistance to the North Dakota Access pipeline was best represented by Chairman Bobby Wallace of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. He went to Cannonball, and was witness to some of the very real police violence against water protectors.

 

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Chairman Bobby Wallace, Barona 

This is what he told the crowd. “There is a little story going on that is being written right now. And it is about our precious water.” He led the chant, “mini wiconi, water is life.” Then they referenced the pipeline, which comes from first people’s myth. It is represented as a black snake. This is a killer snake that will lead to the destruction of life as we know it.

He continued: “There is a little place in North Dakota called Cannonball. And there is a Sioux tribe out there. And they are trying to put a pipe line under the Missouri river. Which we know is no good. It is going to pollute the water. for 18 million people like you and I, we are all here today because we are the same. We all bleed the same, we all have minds, we all have a choice. To make things right in this world for our children. We must go on impressing on and standing together. This is a must.”

Chairman Wallace also spoke of what he saw at camp in North Dakota. This included the use of concussion grenades and water cannons. This is a battle for the future of the planet.

Finally Reporting San Diego spoke with Mickey Kasparain, President of the United Food Workers Union. Kasparian was clear “we are fighting for workers, and we are fighting for justice, economic justice. Too many people in this city can’t make ends meet and can’t pay their bills. And it is sad.”

Kasparian added that during the political campaign there is rhetoric about improving people’s lives, but he feels they have to take it to the streets. Later he said that while the Governor has signed a bill that will raise pay to $15 an hour by 2022, people need that now. We have heard this from many minimum wage workers across the years. In fact we heard it today from a few.

We included the full speech (in english) from Christian Ramirez given at Market and 5th avenue. Due to technical issues some of the speeches were not captured.

This is a good cross section of most of the causes that joined in the streets. This is hardly a comprehensive list and I am sure I missed somebody, but groups came from the following groups:

Fight for 15
Black Lives Matter
The Unitarian Church
National Action Network
United Against Police Terror
People Over Profits,
SEIU
Immigrant rights groups
Organized Labor
The Alfred Olango Family
Robert Branch
San Diego Light Brigade

We also would like to point out that the march was escorted by San Diego Police Officers, who behaved in a professional matter and provided a safe environment.

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  1. ”Water is Connected to Everything; Water is Life.” – Reporting San Diego

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