From Chiapas to Rafah

The indigenous peoples who support our just cause have decided to resist without surrender, without accepting the alms with which the supreme government hopes to buy them. And they have decided this because they have made theirs a word which is not understood with the head, which cannot be studied or memorized. It is a word which is lived with the heart, a word which is felt deep inside your chest and which makes men and women proud of belonging to the human race. This word is DIGNITY. Respect for ourselves, for our right to be better, or right to struggle for what we believe in, our right to live and die according to our ideals. Dignity cannot be studied, you live it or it dies, it aches inside you and teaches you how to walk. Dignity is that international homeland which we forget many times.
—Subcomandante Marcos, Professionals of Hope  


When I am with Palestinian friends I tend to be somewhat less horrified than when I am trying to act in a role of human rights observer, documenter, or direct-action resister. They are a good example of how to be in it for the long haul. I know that the situation gets to them – and may ultimately get them—on all kinds of levels, but I am nevertheless amazed at their strength in being able to defend such a large degree of their humanity—laughter, generosity, family-time—against the incredible horror occurring in their lives and against the constant presence of death. I felt much better after this morning. I spent a lot of time writing about the disappointment of discovering, somewhat first-hand, the degree of evil of which we are still capable. I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances —which I also haven’t seen before. I think the word is dignity. I wish you could meet these people. Maybe, hopefully, someday you will.
—Rachel  Corrie, Live from Palestine   

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