Maria Poblet
by Maria Poblet When I ask Rosa Elva “Rosita” Tobías to tell me about her life, she tells me about her country, placing herself in the context of the collective experience of national oppression and social movements. “Like many women in El Salvador,” she says “I was shaped by a historical process of struggle since […]
Maria Poblet
Behind a chain link fence on 35th Ave, the man who gardens every day for other people grows his own roses, gathered around a statue of the Virgen de Guadalupe. Off 98th Ave, backyard barbeques are legendary, as is the young cousin who always wins the battles of wits and words that break out after […]
Maria Poblet
This essay is published in the book “Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral,” published by CODESRIA, Senegal, available in the US at Powell’s Independent Bookstore Online. Join the Bay Area Book Launch event featuring book contributor Walter Turner, host of KPFA’s “Africa Today,” and María Poblet, on 2/21 at 6pm at Oakland’s […]
Maria Poblet
San Francisco’s gentrification has reached a ridiculous new extreme, making it the most expensive city in the country,[i] outstripping even Manhattan, the home of Wall Street and its corporate tycoons. The affordability crisis is so extreme that many of those who rode into the Mission District on the first wave of gentrification, during the dotcom […]
Maria Poblet
The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) worker strike is coming to a close. After tense negotiations, a tentative agreement has been reached, after workers demanded the restoration of salary cuts and safety measures. In a heartbreaking confirmation of the need for safety measures, two workers were killed this weekend when a scab in training attempted […]
Maria Poblet
Told and retold so many times over the years, our story has become very simple: mainstream white feminism never made space for the perspectives, agendas, and leadership of Black, Latina, Asian, Indigenous, working class, and poor feminists. And so my generation, disorganized by the painful fragmentation we inherited, rarely leads with a feminist lens. Many […]
Maria Poblet
I’ve had countless conversations with young white activists who, struggling to reconcile their commitment to movement work with their newfound antiracist practice of embracing leadership from oppressed communities, ask me, quite plainly “What should I do with my life? I don’t understand what role can a white person like me can play in building a […]
Maria Poblet

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Reflections on the World Social Forum. Tunis, Spring 2013.

Tunisia is a society under construction. After a successful revolution in 2011 that sparked the "Arab Spring", the country, and the entire region, are in the midst of profound social transformation. I went to Tunisia thrilled to learn from the social movements that overthrew a profoundly entrenched, decades-long dictatorship. The World Social Forum (WSF), held in Tunis in late March, occurred in the wake of this groundbreaking change. The Forum brought together 50,000 people from social movements on all over the world to share and learn from each other and from the advances of the "Arab Spring."

Alma Blackwell, lead member of Causa Justa :: Just Cause, and I were both part of a majority-women of color delegation of Left community-based organizations from the United States, organized by the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ). In our community organizing work at Causa Justa :: Just Cause in California, we emphasize bringing our work to scale, and building a movement strong enough to have national impact. Just last month, we helped launch Right to the City's national "Homes for All" campaign and brought together homeowners in foreclosure with public housing residents, homeless people with renters, all with the goal of building a movement large enough to win the change we need.

Maria Poblet

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I am part Argentine, and a bit nationalist (particularly around World Cup time), so it's no wonder I've been congratulated many times about the new, Argentine Pope. And, while I think almost anyone would be an improvement on the previous ultra-conservative, Nazi-youth-league member Pope Benedict, I question whether Pope Francis will really move the Catholic Church in a progressive direction. And if he won't do it, who will?

Maria Poblet

Reflections on internationalist solidarity, in preparation for the 2013 World Social Forum in Tunisia

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"Hijab is part of our culture!" yelled a young woman in a gold and yellow "hijab" Muslim headscarf, squared off against an older French blonde, whose chin and shoulders were pulled back, signaling how offended and taken aback she was. "You think feminism is taking off the scarf?" the young woman continued, "Why don't you stop the wars in our countries, stop the criminalization of Islam in Europe? We do not want to be in your country but we have no choice but to migrate, now you want to take away our culture, too?"

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