Examiner contributor El Jones performed at the Women’s March at Grand Parade today. The video below was taken by a subscriber, who caught all but the first 10 seconds. Text is below the video.

YouTube video

We are the seat at the table
We descend from Sojourner Truth and Anne of Green Gables
We are Idle No More and Angela Davis
We are the grandmothers and the differently abled
We are the hair that refuses to be tamed
We are honouring treaties and land claims
We are the movements that history never names
We are the waitresses and maids, the ponytails and braids
The queer women in Black Lives Matter holding up your parade
We are the femmes who refuse to be shamed
We are the Mohawk women calling the warriors to the barricades
We are Lemonade
We are equal work for equal pay
From homemakers to women stitching clothes for a dollar a day
We are Harriet Tubman toting that shotgun
When the men got too afraid
We are the heartbeat of the nation
We are most of the nurses and the educators
We are the women in prison raising their babies
We have been advised to be patient and we’re tired of waiting
We are the anarchists and the peacemakers
We have been trained for resistance
We gain strength from walking with our sisters
We go to work and keep the house in visitor conditions
Unlike Charlie Sheen we are actually winning
We were the anti-nuclear movement and abolition
We are the bosses called bitches for our ambition
We are plumbers, welders, and electricians
We run the whole office and are called assistants
We can make a can of soup stretch to feed a whole family for dinner
We are the grandmothers canning food for the winter
We are women’s work like quilting and knitting
So you better believe we will make it through
With wisdom like Athena
We are the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina
Latinas, Desis, and Phillipinas
We are the love between Gabrielle and Xena
With power in our arms like Serena
We wear whatever the hell we want from hijabs to pussy hats to bikinis
We are the nannies and the cleaners, the peasants, and the Zapatistas.
We have survived the patrols at the border
The back room abortions, the guards, and the wardens
We marched against war for the mothers and orphans
We are the Guatemalan women surviving torture
We are the Indigenous women fighting for clean water
The Trans women resisting the bathroom laws
We are the Jane Does in the missing person reports
We led the peace movements for a better world for our daughters
We are the authors who had to take the names of men
We are feminist movements from Mexico to Uganda to Phnom Penh
We are the hashtag I Believe Women
We are sex workers unionizing
We are the queens and Trans women at Stonewall fighting
The women in Saudi Arabia driving
We are the girls resisting sexist advertising
We are more than Photoshop or vanity sizing
We are the Indigenous women who pushed for an Inquiry
We are Queen Nzingha protecting her country from the colonizer
We are the environmental activists who chained themselves to bulldozers
The civil rights activists facing the fire hoses
The tenancy boards challenging public housing eviction notices
The women prisoners in Kingston when the men cut off their clothes
We are hunger strikes in prison for women’s votes and the force feeding tubes shoved down their throats
We are the teen girls challenging sexist dress codes
We are the 92-year-old woman walking during the Montgomery bus boycotts
The hidden colours behind the astronauts
The sewing machine and the pans and pots
We are suffragettes and sans culottes
We are the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and Eric Garner
We are karma, and we have millenia of survival as our armour
We are Tina Turner finally leaving Ike, and we burn bright
With the fires of Joan of Arc and the strength of thousands of martyrs
We are over 600 global marches
From the capitals to the margins
With justice as our target
We are calls for an end to poverty and for affordable housing
Reproductive rights and every life counting
Rrspect for Mother Earth and her surroundings
Access to treatment and an end to prison crowding
We are a living wage and basic allowance
And we are waving signs and fists not drowning
We are singing songs of peace and shouting
We are generations of resistance that cannot be put down
We extend beyond elections and who’s in the White House
We have been to the top of the mountain
We have survived from genocides to witch trials
And they could not burn us out or wipe us out
Or push us aside
We are femmes, butches, Trans, lesbians, women and women identified
We are standing here with pride
And still we rise, still we rise, still we rise.

El Jones is a poet, journalist, professor, community advocate, and activist. Her work focuses on social justice issues such as feminism, prison abolition, anti-racism, and decolonization.

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  1. Intelligence. Artistry. Courage. Perseverance. As one who has been privileged to witness her rise, it is clear to me that El Jones loves herself. Self-love — one of the most effective and powerful “weapons” on the planet.

    Doubt it? Look south for indisputable evidence of self-loathing.