By Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle
The image below is from one of the last moments I shared with Berta. It’s now been four years since she was assassinated. Every one of us who knew and loved and admired and was inspired by her had our lives marked by that relationship.
Some of what I learned from Berta:
- Poder popular – to have faith in the people
- Organización de base – change comes from the meticulous work of building grassroots organization and struggle,
- Analizar y aprovechar la coyuntura – there are no shortcuts but there are key conjunctures, moments that must be seized,
- Los tres ejes del sistema – capitalism, patriarchy and racism are inter-connected and none can be defeated separately from the others,
- Utopia por adelantado – that we can’t just wait for the revolution to build utopia, we have to try to live it and embody it before it gets here
- Esto está perro – some times shit is fucked up and overwhelming but we have to stare it in the face, see it for what it is, and double down in our efforts because…
- Despierta humanidad, ya no hay tiempo – the future of life on this planet literally depends on it,
- Nuestra lucha es por la vida – our struggle is fundamentally about life, about defending life and the living and that which gives life and grows against systems of extraction and exploitation that are, at their roots, about death,
- Hay que reir – nobody wants to build with a stone-faced, always-serious organizer, Berta laughed and joked like nobody else, and could talk smack and poke fun in the midst of the most serious of moments,
- Cosmovisión – spirituality shouldn’t just be the domain of the church hierarchies, it can have liberatory potential, and harnessing that power, learning from the worldviews of the ancestors and those among us who are connected to them, should be part of our struggles
- Cada quien desde su trinchera – for those of us from/in the belly of the beast, our struggle above all needs to be about taking down Empire from within, the strongest form of solidarity we can offer the people of the world fighting for liberation is to defeat our own government – both of its parties – and the project of U.S. Empire,
- Internacionalismo – at the same time, internationalism has to be the bedrock of every struggle because we are up against a global enemy, Berta was constantly closely following struggles – Kurdish, South African, Venezuelan, Cuban everywhere – and assuming them as part of her discourse and part of COPINH’s own struggle.
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Those are just a few things that come to mind….