Monday, February 9, 2009

Stealing the baby's milk from justice without borders

St. Louis artist and songwriter Tim McAvin has made some progress toward scoring a section of K. Curtis Lyle's great poem about the late Marcella Sali Grace, Sali's Ark, and I have a wonderful free mp3 to share, but other news first.

The City Council of Tucson, Arizona has presented Sali posthumorously with a "Copper Letter," which honors people who make outstanding contributions to the local community.

Margo Cowan, a fellow volunteer with Sali in No More Deaths, wrote the letter of recommendation. It appears below, edited for concision.

Sali was tragically murdered in Oaxaca, Mexico on September 15, 2008 at the age of 20 years.

She traveled to Tucson in the Spring of 2007 to work with the No More Deaths campaign to end deaths and suffering in the southern Arizona desert. She worked for months in the spring and summer of that year in the migrant trails, putting out food and water. She also worked on the U.S.-Mexican border washing migrant's feet, bandaging, massaging sore muscles, comforting broken hearts.

In the early fall of 2007, she returned to Oaxaca where she served as an international observer with the Oaxaca Popular Indigenous Council. She worked tirelessly and she gave of herself, her goodwill, her passion for justice, her sweat and her tears without end. I firmly believe that her contribution should be recognized for what her witness represents: her generation's commitment to fight for justice and fairness regardless of borders.

She was a teacher of dance and she would write to friends that when the suffering she was working to relieve became too much she would dance, dance, and dance and dance until her soul was somewhat lifted.
That's beautiful.

So is K. Curtis Lyle's poem Sali's Ark, available on his blog. Tim McAvin has been working on scoring the second section of the poem, "Stealing the Baby's Milk." I think it's a marvel of invention and melody - of getting a song out of a poem.

Free mp3

"Stealing the Baby's Milk"

(K. Curtis Lyle, Tim McAvin)
Tim McAvin

(Actually, Tim saved the file as QuickTime movie file, so bear with it as it downloads, then hit "play" on the QuickTime player. It's worth it.)


Also, Sali's friend on the activist Angry White Kid blog has uploaded yet another Sali tribute song, "La Que Lucho" by the Portland punk band Adelit@s [download].


Image from Sali's friend at Barking Zanahorias.

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