NYC Declaration, November, 2000


 

 

Ya Basta! strives to make the invisible visible. The colors orange and yellow represent a warning! We are here with our bodies to warn America's communities about the "new economy"

As America stumbles into the 21st Century, we here in New York City watch passively, as entire communities are rendered invisible by our much-lauded economic growth. We see that "welfare reform" means more war on the poor; that it is illegal to sleep on the streets, let alone protest; that profits for Wall Street mean increasingly unaffordable rents, as jails become the only alternative means of housing. Indeed, while New York has become the world capital for the manufacture of glamorous images, the majority of its citizens have been made to vanish: their dreams, labors, passions, aspirations, communities, their very bodies disappear.

Yet they are not invisible to everyone.

We ask ourselves, not surprisingly; how do we give voice to our helplessness, and how do we warn our communities that there is a real danger?

Within the landscape of Manhattan's media empire, we choose to do so in public, with our very bodies. We show our rage as visibility, as presence. Together we will protect ourselves from the blows of the state, in sympathy with those who have taken these blows as prisoners of America's hidden inner colonies. Just as working people build the true infrastructure of the world, we choose to build a new political infrastructure with our very flesh and bones, showing our unconcerned political and economic "leaders" that they have given birth to a tendency quite the opposite of what they had hoped for. We say: "This is what it means to be a commodity. This is what it means to be unseen. This is what it means to be invisible!"

We act with our bodies. We refuse to be invisible!

In Solidarity, we act with all those "invisibles" left out, marginalized by the increasingly narrow elite of wealth and prosperity that governs the world from the Global North. We do not necessarily act for change, this we believe only communities can decide for themselves. We act so that these very communities can no longer be deliberately ignored, marginalized, and exploited. In the public sphere, we act in solidarity and illumination, and nothing more. With our bodies, we demand to create a world that allows other voices to be heard. We have seen the effects of Capital as its avarice compels it to destroy. We have seen neoliberalism as it limits discussion and true democracy. And we have seen the reactions of the authorities as a chorus of voices cries out: "No More!", not only in anger at "philosophical" neoliberal agendas, but also in reaction to the tear gas, rubber bullets, and the deaths of thousands of innocents at the hands of our "officers of peace". Yet we have also heard these very same voices demand an open space for democratic decision, critical voices searching for justice within the machinery of oppression: sexism, racism, and the violence of social exclusion and social class.

We say: To all those resisting the juggernaut of neoliberal markets; we send our sympathies. To all those fighting for open spaces of dialogue; we signal our understanding. For all those building a better world, through sustainability, sovereignty, multiplicity, justice, and visibility- we send our bodies!

We see, we hear, and we refuse to be invisible!