As a struggling woman of color and an immigrant with no clearly defined home, I spent the large majority of my life completely invisible and dispensable to society as a whole. I am a worker, a single mother, a person of mostly mediocre talents, and, now, a college dropout. I have been a person with an imagination stunted by the structures and limitations of my socioeconomic reality. However, I stand here today in this moment not in-spite of these factors but in virtue of them. These factors, which shaped every aspect of my story, are where I find the will to fight. It is where I find my guiding voice, my anger, my creativity, and my restlessness. I fight because I struggle. It is in that reluctant struggle where I find myself today and almost everyday. We are all committed to some form of struggle, reluctant or not. And every moment of every day we are posed with a choice- We either fight or we give up. We either move, or we sit still.
I choose to struggle because I am committed to life.
I seek to end invisibility for all those who struggle. Unfortunately, politics has become a game that is controlled by the rich and powerful whose bottom line is valued over the wellbeing of everyone and all else. The People’s Defense Initiative arouse out of a deep need for a community defense front. We are a community yearning for a political movement which reflects the values of solidarity, justice, and equality. PDI exists to defend our community against the devastations of privatization, austerity, and criminalization. PDI recognizes the need for a new political class of young idealists and progressive brave men and women who wish to take back political power and place it in the interest of the people, their organizations, and their needs. For this we require a bold new political vision that includes all of us- the oppressed, the forgotten, and the disenfranchised. One of PDI’s objective is unifying the voices of women, students, people of color, LGBTQ, indigenous, and the working poor, in order to build together a unified political movement of social transformation.
We at PDI are convinced that only through organizing will the people have the power to abolish policies and practices of discrimination, oppression, and exploitation. We do this not only by questioning and pushing against these systems but by calling them by their true name. To to do this, we must always grasp issues at the root.
This is an act of true disruption. PDI is a weapon of mass construction.