It’s Movement Time

See below to listen to the song

Copyright 2012, Las Cafeteras

Your history books got it all wrong,
so I come to you with this song.


In 1810 con el gran grito de pasión
Se levantaron con razón
Black and brown fighting together, on a day I’ll always remember

En el 5 de Mayo con el grito de gallo
Black, white, and brown bleeding together
on a day I’ll always remember

Cause really, it hasn’t been that long
So just in case Kat Williams has you guessin’
Let me kick y’all down with a little history lesson

In the 19th Century, while the US promoted degradation, 
annihilation with its military and US navy
Mexico was getting rid of the caste system, voted for its first indigenous president, 
even getting rid of legalized slavery

The Underground Railroad also ran south
Which led Black folks to freedom
With Mexico right there, to receive them

In 1910 it was Mexican men, with Pancho Villa and Zapata
Fighting for Tierra, Libertad y Techo
With Adelitas on the front lines with bullets across their pecho

In the year 1946, it was the Mendez family that fought against segregation in schools,
Cause before that, they treated us like fools
Pushing us out into Gangs, Wars and Drugs,
And then they get pissed off at us!
When we become Crips and Bloods,
Traviesos, zoot suiters, pachucos, folkloristas, punks, bomberas,
Jaraneras in the heat, jaraneros with a bomb ass beat,
Talking about what’s really going on in the streets.

In the 60’s in the streets of Oakland, California, Black Panthers organized for answers
Young Lords in New York fought against wars
The Stonewall Rebellion remained true to the rights of the LGBTQ
A.I.M who was down with native rights with no shame in their game

Brown Berets in LA learning how to fight, and doing what’s right
In the Campos of California, Fillipinos were the first ones to lay down the boycott
Screaming in solidarity, ISANG Bk SAK!
One rise, One fall, you come for one, you come for all!

And today, Arizona and Alabama don’t play
Carving out racist laws like it’s make out of clay

I stand with Emmitt, Trayvon, Oscar, and Bell
With my mentor, Mumia up in the cell
Telling you I’d rather be blind that to stay quiet on a day where my people are hunt down like prey

Cause my ability to breathe is directly connected to my ability to see
That it’s not about me, never was, never will be
It’s about ‘WE’
It’s time to move y’all
It’s Movement Time!

Listen to the song


Author Notes

Founded in 2008, Las Cafeteras is a Chicano band from East Los Angeles that traverses genres and musical borders by combining traditional styles with contemporary social commentary. The group plays a prominent role within the Movimiento Jaranero in L.A., utilizing traditional son jarocho instruments like the jarana, requinto, quijada (donkey jawbone) and tarima (a wooden platform). Singing in English, Spanish, and Spanglish, in a mix of genres from rock to hip-hop to cumbia, Las Cafeteras strives to build a sense of community across different peoples and cultures. 

Historical Notes

The son jarocho genre has historically served as a medium of resistance and rebellion. Tracing its roots back to the music of African slaves in Mexico, son jarocho became a musical preservation of the Afro-Mexican identity, evolving into a movement that sought to resist the blanqueamiento—’whitening’—of Mexican history and culture in the post revolutionary years. As such, Chicano groups in California continue this tradition of activism by using their music to speak out against racial injustice and systemic oppression. “It’s Movement Time” draws parallels between the Mexican Revolution and the freedom struggles in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century, telling a story of historical and contemporary solidarity across various communities fighting together for gay rights, the antiwar movement, civil rights, and more.

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Fanni is Radnóti's wife
Located near the Tang capital city of Chang’an, site of the modern city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province, in central China.
Soldiers of that time commonly wore a white head cloth, similar to what is still worn by some peasants in China today.  The implication is that the conscripts were so young that they didn’t know how to wrap their head cloths, and needed help from elders.
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
The area of Guanxi, meaning “west of the passes”, refers to the area around the capital city of Chang’an.
This is an alternative name for a province in western China, now known as Qinghai, which literally means “blue sea”.  Kokonor Lake, located in Qinghai, is the largest saline lake in China.  
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
Oulart Hollow was the site of a famous victory of the Irish rebels over British troops, which took place on May 27, 1798. The rebels killed nearly all the British attackers in this battle. (Source: Maxwell, W. H. History of the Irish Rebellion in 1798. H. H. Bohn, London 1854, pp 92-93, at archive.org)
The phrase "United Men" is elaborated upon in the Notes section below.

Ghetto


An Italian word meaning “foundry.” It originally referred to a part of the city of Venice where the Jews of that city were forced to live; the area was called “the ghetto” because there was a foundry nearby. The term eventually came to refer to any part of a city in which a minority group is forced to live as a result of social, legal, or economic pressure. Because of the restrictions placed upon them, ghetto residents are often impoverished.

"You’re five nine, I am do-uble two"


A reference to the year 1959 and the year 2020.

"The Currency"


Meaning US dollars - this is drawing attention to the fact that Cuba is effectively dollarized.

"Sixty years with the dom-ino stuck"


This sentence is a reference to the Cold War notion that countries would turn Communist one after the other - like dominos. Cuba was the first domino, but it got stuck - no one else followed through into communism.

رحلنا


رحلنا, or "rahalna," means "we have left."

Habibi


Habibi means "my love."

Ra7eel


Ra7eel, or "raheel," means "departure."

3awda


3awda, or "awda," means "returning."

أهلاً


أهلاً, or "ahalan," means "welcome."

a5 ya baba


a5 ya baba, pronounced "akh ya baba," means "Oh my father."

golpe


Treece translates "golpe" as "beating", which is correct, however misses the secondary meaning of the word: "coup".

Carlos


The “Carlos” referred to in the poem is most likely Carlos Bolsonaro, a politician from Rio de Janeiro and the second son of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s current president. His and his father’s involvement in Marielle’s murder has been questioned and investigated.