Wednesday, November 20, 2013
“We fight for justice
We fight for our freedom and our independence
We fight for our voices to be heard
We will not stand still and let our country be colonized
We will not let them destroy our national identity, our language, our educational institutions, our communications and our economy.”
The words echoing throughout the sun-lit plaza moved Antonio. He felt alive hearing the words that touched and awakened a part of him which until now slept.
He heard about the Boricua Army before but not good things. His father spoke negatively about the group. “Murderers” he called them, known for attacking
military bases and they were men who strongly believed armed struggle was
necessary. But he was wrong because those men protesting did not hide under the
mask of corruption or sell out to the highest bidder like his father did.
“We will fight for our traditions, our culture, our customs and our patriotic values
We fight to save our island, El Boriquen
Who will stand with us and fight?
Who will look the enemy in the eyes and tell them, No Mas!
We will challenge them because we ARE the Boriqua Army, the Matcheteros, and we will fight by any means necessary against our oppressor
A swarm of machetes swung in the air.
“No mas!” the crowd roared.
It was hot under the
Caribbean sun but it paled in comparison
to the heat brewing in his soul. He moved closer to the crowd, feeding off
their energy. A multitude of steel blades danced in the air, and Antonio grew
empowered by the show of patriotism.
These men fought with honor against injustice and exploitation of, and for the Puerto Rican people. All of the sword yielding men had values and a vision of a free island. Antonio made his way through the crowd of working farmers, fishermen, and factory workers, proud men who loved their island and would do anything to protect it. These were the faces of real men, who would fight to the end, until their battle was won and the sweet taste of victory was theirs for the feasting. Antonio now wanted to be like these men. He swung his closed fist in the air and joined in.
The proud Puerto Rican man next to Antonio, wearing a white sombrero gave him one of his two machetes. Antonio carefully ran his finger down the dull blade, feeling the power radiate through the inanimate object onto him. Gripping the handle with much pride, he thrust it up in the air. This was his first taste of independence, and he felt alive, he felt free, and he felt like a real man.
“No mas!” Antonio yelled. He no longer remembered why he waiting in the plaza in the first place. None of it mattered now. He no had a desire to be like these men, to fight for a cause and to stand up to injustice.