A Journey Unfolding
Monday, October 13, 2008

chain reaction

There's a reason good are cheap. There is a cheap labor trap, in that our globalized society offers economic liberation for many, but devastating bondage for too many others.

We can unwittingly import poverty by consuming products and services without conscionability, becoming complicit in keeping those trapped in slavery – bound; working for my lesser expenditures. They don’t need my gratitude for keeping my pocketbook more lined; they deserve my active contribution to end the brokenness and battery in which they suffer. They require their lives to be restore and lived in wholeness.

I am rich by most standards – as at least 80% of the rest of the world less than $10 a day. Therefore – I don’t don't want to wear someone's despair nor eat someone's tragedy.

I’ll take THAT truth, at any cost!

We have a very simple opportunity. Again, organizations are making the task EASY! We can hold businesses accountable and ask corporations to join the fight for the total abolishment of slavery! At places like THE CHAIN REACTION STORE – CLICK HERE you can email (and they provide the e-mail, you don’t have to create anything, just press SEND) companies to ensure that their products are slave-free. Soon you will be able to demand the SLAVE-FREE brand.

It takes like 2 seconds – you have 2 seconds.


Consume wisely…


Maria at 7:46 PM

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Music + Justice = 'Call+Response'

A brief history...

In the LA area - it plays October 10–16

8000 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, 90046

These are "interview extractions" not direct quotes - but nearly.

The history of modern music is rooted in a fundamental way in the voices and the music of oppressed people - in antiphonal form - call and response - when you have a power and a dignity raised with one voice.

This mentality and communication of oppression was created AFTER. The foundation of who they were wasn't created on that plantation, rather in was formed in some tribe somewhere - where they weren't necessarily under this institution of oppression. The drum was the call (each beat meaning something) in many cases, and the response was the level of activity that went out based on what that drum beat meant.

The call is initiated among a certain group and ultimately becomes a message that is taken outside the group to others who are willing to engage in helping that group be removed from oppression. It is not a one time message - but a repetitive message that becomes a movement.

I'm stronger when I find your voice - I need your voice. In the end, we are still gonna die, in the end, we may not triumph, but right now, we are on the move.

Music is a truth teller - never absent from social movement. Music is unarmed truth - unconventional love - unadulterated justice and unadorned beauty. What is more basic in life that truth - it hurts AND it liberates!

Music + Justice = 'Call+Response'

Call + Response - click here for their site
is a feature length documentary film that takes viewers deep undercover where slavery is thriving - from the child brothels of Cambodia to the slave brick kilns of rural India - and reveals that in 2007, Slave Traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined. The movie deals with the plight of modern-day slaves - the scourge of the modern world.

How can this be you ask, post abolition human slavery in the US?? This must be a mistake? Yes, something is indeed wrong but to our shame the mistake is not in the math- human trafficking is one of the most horribly lucrative crimes on the planet, today. Yes, Today. There are more slaves on the planet today than were taken from Africa during the entire transatlantic slave trade from the 16th century to the 19th century. TODAY. The state department says this: "Annually, about 600,000 to 800,000 people, (mostly women and children) are trafficked across national borders which does not count millions trafficked within their own countries" "Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat: it deprives people of their human rights and freedoms, it is a global health risk, and it fuels the growth of organized crime.

Yes, human trafficking exists even on US soil. Today. Again the numbers are horrifying: It's cheaper to get a slave now than it was back before the civil war. Let us never be comfortable with these types of facts.

Please listen to the call - the call is honest and needs to be heard. The movie includes music from Imogen Heap, Switchfoot, Cold War Kids, Talib Kweli, Natasha Bedingfield and many more artists and musicians.

“This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists. Our planet teeters on the brink... dangerous passions of pride, hatred, and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless calvaries; and men do reverence before false gods of nationalism and materialism. The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Let us NOT conform. Along with MLK Jr. Let's never become adjusted to the evils of "economic conditions that deprive men of work and food and to the insanities of militarism and the self defeating effects of physical violence.


Thankfully, there are folks out there that know what's up and help us to ACT... and to help to renew the U.S. Anti-Trafficking law! We must ACT this week!!

Facts About Human Trafficking

Some other facts offered by the Love 146 program

Since the inception of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act(TVPA) in 2000, less than 100 traffickers have been convicted in the United States. This year, the House of Representatives passed the William Wilberforce bill(HR.3887), which included new measures that would make it easier to prosecute traffickers.

Unfortunately, the Senate version(S.3061) has stripped the bill of these measures and greatly reduces the effectiveness to prosecute pimps and traffickers. Okay, so what can you do?

It's important for your Senators to know that human trafficking is an issue you care about. It is okay if you are not an expert on the technical aspects of the TVPA or Congress. Your conversation will be very brief.


Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.
201 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Via Courier

Dear Senator Biden,

Thank you for your leadership in and desire to protect and serve victims of human trafficking.

My deep concerns about trafficking – and the inadequacy of the Trafficking Victim Protection Act – have been met by the strength and effectiveness of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2007 (TVPRA), adopted by the House of Representatives on December 4 of last year (H.R. 3887). We ask only that it be reflected in the Senate bill you are co-sponsoring.

In particular I believe that it is critically important that the criminal justice provisions in the bill that passed the House be included in your bill. The trafficking Victims Protection Act has not been an effective tool for law enforcement in sex trafficking prosecutions over the last seven years since it was passed because the “force, fraud, or coercion” requirement in the law is very difficult to prove, even when the conduct does constitute force, fraud, or coercion.

Such prosecutions rely heavily on victim testimony, which puts a huge burden on the
victims, who are afforded little protection under the law. In addition to being under direct threat themselves, trafficking victims often have family back in their country of origin under threat; these and many other kinds of coercive pressure, which is very real and very frightening, often prevents them from testifying.

Meanwhile, the existing Mann Act can be and has been used in many of these sex
trafficking cases because it does not have this requirement. What we want to see is the consolidation of the Mann Act within the TVPA, as well as some amendment of it, to create a coherent and comprehensive legal framework for prosecution of sex trafficking. This has been done in the TVPRA passed by the House.

Public education and law enforcement training on trafficking does not currently include the Mann Act, which is not seen as linked to trafficking. Yet there is a huge crossover – the pimps currently covered by the Mann Act are often themselves traffickers or working within the distribution network of sex trafficking, with trafficking victims being transported across international or state lines and then handed off for sale in prostitution. A recent study on prostitution in Nevada documents the great extent to which there are trafficking victims in the brothels (legal as well as illegal brothels), who have been brought from across the country and around the world.

I would like to see the language of the Mann Act replace the interstate travel
requirement with the requirement, “in or affecting interstate commerce.” This simple
amendment would empower law enforcement authorities to address sex trafficking networks at all levels. Moving the Mann Act, so amended, into the TVPA, would also ensure that law enforcement officials are trained to address sex trafficking comprehensively. These modest but critically important changes are a large part of what makes the TVPRA passed by the House of Representatives the effective law enforcement tool that it is.

I am also very keen to see a strong and comprehensive provision on sex tourism and
are convinced that the language in the TVPRA passed by the House will greatly enhance the capacity of the Justice Department to address sex tourism effectively. Current legislation explicitly relating to sex tourism deals only with child sex tourism. This is hugely problematic both because it is often impossible to prove the ages of the victims, who are in other countries and extraordinarily difficult to locate, and because sex tour operators prey on adults and children interchangeably. Several states including New York and Hawaii have passed legislation explicitly criminalizing sex tour operators, but we believe this is a crime often more effectively
addressed at a federal level, due to the interstate and international nature of sex tourism.

I also strongly support the amendments to the TVPA that are set forth in Title I of the TVPRA passed by the House, which address the politicization of the tier system of review. We are focusing on the criminal justice reforms because we particularly need your leadership in this area. We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you to discuss the TVPRA in more detail.


Your Name
The Date
City, State

Also - here are some suggested talking points, especially if you plan on CALLING YOUR STATE SENATOR - click here for a list of those in YOUR state:

Hi, I am [NAME] calling from [STATE] and I want to urge Senator [NAME] to cosponsor S. 3061, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, to include the criminal justice provisions in the bill that passed the House be included in your bill.

Vulnerable victims are waiting for increased protections already included in house passed version of the TVPRA, HR 3887, and the Senate needs to pass the TVPRA as soon as possible with the criminal justice provisions from HR 3887.

It's important for your Senators to know that human trafficking is an issue you care about. It is okay if you are not an expert on the technical aspects of the TVPA or Congress. Your conversation will be very brief.

Please Pray...

* for a significant turnout at theaters this weekend. The film's popularity in its opening week will determine the length of its screening schedule and its potential to reach a broader audience. To maximize its viability and ensure it is shown in the most theaters possible, film makers encourage you to buy tickets online. Check to see if it's opening in your city.

* that this film will reach and ignite those who have not yet engaged with the issue of human trafficking. Pray that the approach and style of the film will speak to a new generation of abolitionists.

"You can't lead the people if you don't love the people. You can't save the people if you won't serve the people."

- Dr. Cornel West

"There Ain't no reason things are this way.
It's how they always been and they intend to stay
I don’t know why I say the things I say, but I say them anyway.
But love will come set me free
Love will come set me free,I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set me free, yes."

- a portion of Brett Dennen's - Ain't No Reason lyrics

Maria at 5:31 PM