The Executive Invasion of Georgia
My name is Martín, I’m 20, I’m undocumented, been living in Georgia since I was 4…let’s get started.
I was given the opportunity to be a part of the occupy movement in Georgia. I wanted to partake in the action because I felt pretty strong about it; I thought it was a pretty exciting and propelling idea to do a sit-in in a president’s campaign office. To top it all off with aggravation, working in a shitty ass job for most of your life and having to be sold short by condescending moralistic values…makes everything pretty hectic and you get tired of having to take it all in vain and mental dismemberment. So doing the action gave me a sense of relief in some kind of way.
Let’s fast-forward to the morning of the actual action that took place on June 13, 2012. I had prepared a backpack filled with a pair of pants, shorts, cool ass undergarments (shout out to the cute honeys reading this), some muffins, 2 bottles of water, tooth brush, socks, and a beach towel. Not too bad, considering I only had that previous night to gather my things. On that morning at round 8 something, I remember listening to music while my mother and my sister were in my room talking to me with the expectation that I would eventually get arrested for participating in the action.
I wasn’t very emotional about the action, I was very unaware and “numb” about everything. I wasn’t excited or nervous, but I wanted to clear my mind with the presence of my mother and sister expressing themselves about the action…so I remember listening to a song called “Golden Age” by Beck as I had the ipod on shuffle in my BECK catalog (Gnarly ass song). Next song that came on was “Holy Man” (I love that song, it’s bitchin’)…and the next thing I knew as that song ended on cue, my ride was outside waiting for me. I departed from my mother and sister with a hug and that classic sentence “Todo va estar bien”. I was going to get a ride from my place to one of our participant’s home by a very nice lady named Lisa who has a history with Dream Activists Georgia (DAG). I should mention that I am a new member…I had a good conversation with Lisa, she kind of got to know me a little, she was really cool.
I arrived to the home of one the members who was also taking part in the action, her name is Nataly (17) and she’s a long time member of DAG. It was pretty early; I got there at around 9, so I chilled out in her living room. Her mom was nice enough to turn on Despierta America. Everyone else arrived to her home at around 12:30ish, in total we had 3 other people doing the action. We had my boy Richie (17) who also has a history with DAG and this young lady name Viri (16) who is pretty new to the group.
We all left Nataly’s home at around 3 something in the afternoon. We started doing the live-stream in the car on our way to the campaign office with Nataly’s phone; the director was Jessica, who is also a long time member of DAG but wasn’t going to be taking part in the action. We arrived at the office at about 3:50 something and as we passed the office we realized it was closed. As we were outside of the office we noticed all of the employees started leaving. We noticed that John Lewis’s campaign office was open and it was located in the same building which connected to the Obama office and we approached Lewis’s office and somehow the people inside let us in. Nataly and Viri played it off as if we wanted to just rest inside. All 5 of us were sitting down in seats near the lobby area; Richie was sitting very close to the hallway that led to Obama’s headquarters, I was sitting next to the exit door in which we came from, and the ladies were in the middle of our positions.
The employees inside dropped their guard for a quick moment and I started conversing with Nataly as she asked to borrow my phone, as I gave her my phone I noticed Richie started to rise from his seat. He looked at me and I looked at him…as soon as our minds computed our thoughts in sync we both got up from our seats and started running through the hallway, leaving the ladies behind, and ignoring the shouts of “Hey stop!” coming from very masculine black men…we started running even faster once we heard them. Richie made his way into a very large room with no windows, campaign signs, or signs of Obama. He made his way towards a corner and I sat next to him.
Next thing we knew, these 3 guys approach us and they begin telling us to leave and they were threatening to call the authorities…I responded with “call the authorities”. Of course everyone was very hesitant and they were mentioning that we were still in John Lewis’s office. Richie and I were confused, our voices started to sound very feminine as our sentences progressed with the conversation we were having with the 3 gentlemen (I started stuttering). A woman later came inside and started mocking us, Richie responded with confidence and as things got tense…one of the guys called our people and told them that we were still in John Lewis’s office.
We were ordered to leave. There was no one filming what was going on, there were no windows, media, supplies, or people who could access us with support inside. As we stood up from where we made our standoff and started walking out of the office, a bitter feeling of disappointment started to overwhelm us both. We were angry and upset; we started arguing with the other members and started fighting with each other. It was awful, everything. I felt as if we let Georgia down. I felt as if we let ourselves down.
As things cleared up and Obama announced his proposal, I think among undocumented youth at the moment there is a lot of hesitation, confusion, and there are altercations that are being implemented through different reactions and perspectives. Personally I understand the new measures are not what we had anticipated or what we are fighting for. I think it’s very obvious that we’re all very precautious of this political strategic maneuver to alter and to somehow discourage the sit-ins and the animosity of this urgent issue. It seems as if this is a means to deviate the actions for as long as it’s convenient to political measures.
But even though there is no executive order, there is no path to citizenship, there is no escaping being a secondhand human being, it’s very clear that the actions are helping. I still think Georgia of all places should be one of the most valuable and one of the most emphasized locations to occupy because of the anti-immigration reform laws and all of the deportations that are going on in this state. This state is still filled with so much animosity and hatred within its domesticated laws and with so many people as well, that it has become the norm and it’s disgustingly offensive and wrong how all of this shit isn’t considered taboo yet.
Nonetheless, it’s a very unpredictable and exciting future for all of this at the moment.
Martín is an undocumented activist and rocker from Georgia. He plays the guitar like a badass and is sick of this shit.