Organizing work…

I’ve come a long way in the 1.5+ years that I’ve been an organizer with Anakbayan LA. Prior to joining, I was on the fence for a really long time (maybe two years?), so now I can’t help but laugh at that indecisive period because it’s almost impossible to envision my life without organizing.

However, since I just started a new job, my amount of free time has decreased due to a longer commute and longer work hours (I’m out the door at 7am and don’t get back home until 7pm), but I’d be lying if I said there’s not enough time in the day to complete my organizing tasks. I can still do the work, I just need to learn how to be more efficient with what little “free” time I do have. It can definitely be done though!

These next few weeks are going to be crazy busy though (more than normal), and I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed right now. Luckily, some kasamas and I recently had an E.D. (Educational Discussion) about the qualities of a revolutionary, which I revisited tonight to keep myself grounded and have the right approach to what needs to be done.

Here are some bullet points on the article we studied:

  • A revolutionary is lively and enthusiastic. We must keep a positive mental attitude and eagerness in the work and be conscious that every step brings us closer to the bright future.

  • Don’t allow ourselves to lose spirit or be discouraged in the face of problems and difficulties. With militance and a fighting sprit, we must seize every moment and opportunity in the struggle.

  • Initiative is a mark of the revolutionary. Our initiative applies not only to our own responsibilities, but also to other areas where we see the need for immediate attention.

  • Always willing to take on tasks and responsibilities and accepts assignments with little concern for the hard work or sacrifices they entail. We shouldn’t be choosy with the work because we do not seek fame or comfort for ourselves.

Like I said in the beginning, I’ve come a long way as an organizer but I’m also aware of what shortcomings I have and what areas I need to improve on. It’s a never ending growth process, but I’m in it for the long haul and ready to step it up even more than what I’ve done in the past. Let’s keep marching forward…


Yuri Kochiyama (1921- ) is a grassroots civil rights activist who has involved herself in a wide range of issues from international political prisoner rights, nuclear disarmament, and Japanese redress for World War II internment. In the 1940s Yuri Kochiyama and her family were one of the many Japanese Americans to be sent to internment camps following the bombing at Pearl Harbor. Several years later she saw many similarities between how the Japanese had been treated in the camps and how many minority groups, especially blacks, were treated in the U.S. at the time. For more than sixty years afterwards Yuri Kochiyama has been an enthusiastic activist and a key supporter of many civil rights groups: in the 1960s she was a member of the Harlem Parents Committee organizing protests for more street lights in her neighborhood, and in 1977 she and 29 others from the Puerto Rican group the Young Lords stormed the Statue of Liberty to bring attention to the issue of Puerto Rican independence. Perhaps most famously, Yuri Kochiyama was a close friend and associate of Malcolm X, and was by his side at his assassination in 1965.

Richard Aoki was born in San Leandro, CA in 1938. During WWII, he was interned in the Topaz, Utah internment camp. He was a Field Marshal in the Black Panther Party—the only Asian American to hold a formal leadership role in the organization. He was also a founding member of the Asian American Political Alliance, a leader in the Third World Liberation Front Strike at UC Berkeley, a coordinator for the first Asian American Studies at UC Berkeley, an advisor for Job Opportunities and a counselor, instructor and administrator at Merritt and Alameda Colleges. On March 15, 2009, activist Richard Aoki passed away due to complications from longstanding medical problems. He dedicated his life to the struggle for human rights and the former Black Panther leaves legacy of activism and Third World solidarity.

When I grow up, I wanna be just like Yuri Kochiyama…

(via pag-asaharibon)

"When I grow up I wanna be just like Yuri Kochiyama

That second verse always gives me goosebumps.