Nuestras Voces Se Levantan Para la Justicia / Our V
La Inspiracion * The Inspiration Music has been part of every liberation movement throughout history. You know the songs -- 'We Shall Overcome.' 'De Colores.' 'Joe Hill.' The songs on this CD are labor and immigrationsongs, written by workers in the Mexican and U.S. low-wage labor movements. They tell the stories of factory workers and immigrants - stories of strength, courage, and resistance. These are the voices of our movement, and Our Voices Will Rise For Justice. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. 1980. Betty Robles, a young factory worker, is forbidden from talking on the job. Nevertheless, she organizes a victorious wildcat strike by singing labor songs to her co-workers in the factory, the maquiladora. Today, still singing, Betty is the leader of the maquiladora workers' movement in Coahuila, Mexico, and is the inspiration for this CD. Ciudad Aguilares, El Salvador. 1977. Jesús (Lolo) Rivas, a rural campesino and young musician, commits his life and music to the struggles of the working poor. In 1983 he joins the seminal nueva cancion (new song) band Cutumay Camones, tours internationally, and records four albums. In 1990 Lolo immigrates to Los Angeles and begins work as a day laborer. He cofounds the popular day laborer band Los Jornaleros Del Norte before moving to Portland, Oregon, where he composes and plays music and continues to participate in the movement for immigrant and worker rights. Hemet Valley, California. 1965. Peter Cervantes-Gautschi becomes active in the labor movement as a young farm worker, working 15-hour days in the sun, picking marigold petals for a penny a pound. In 1997, still fighting for justice for low-wage workers, Peter brings together international labor organizers to found Enlace, a collaboration of U.S. and Mexican labor organizations that build trans-national campaigns to fight trans-national corporations. Enlace affiliates seek to change the balance of power between the rich and the working poor - in other words, to create a more just world. The songs on this CD, with the exception of Libertad, are written by and about Enlace's affiliate organizations. Los Musicos * The Musicians Jesús (Lolo) Rivas - acoustic guitar, bihuela, electric bass, guitarrón, ukulele, Venezuelan cuatro, vocals Ramiro Alejo Bracamontes Ayala - acoustic guitar, electric bass, lead guitar, mandolin, ukulele, vocals Michael Bard - quena, tenor sax Reinhardt Melz - drums, percussion Josh Millman - bihuela Betty Robles - vocals Carlos Segovia - acoustic guitar, vocals Wayne Thompson - accordion, piano El Equipo de Diseño * The Artistic Team Musical Director: Jesús (Lolo) Rivas Recording and engineering: Michael Bard and Josh Millman, Newton Bard Music and Sound Producers: Michael Bard and Josh Millman Executive Producer and Project Director: Jenny Levison, Tango Meydl Productions Graphic design and layout: Jeff Boyce Design English translations: Sarah Marble and Jenny Levison Las Canciones * The Songs Las Hormiguitas * The Ants (cumbia) words: Betty Robles and Olaf, music: Jesús (Lolo) Rivas Thousands of ants make a tunnel. They mine gold and silver. Then the fly comes and takes possession of it. Thousands of ants build a train. They build bridges and lay a rail. Then the fly comes and rides in it. Thousands of ants make a cake. They put candles and honey on it. Then the fly comes and eats it. Thousands of ants take up arms. They kill the fly and destroy his empire. They strike and take power. Thousands of ants will overcome. Por Una Vida Justa * For a Just Life (cueca) words: Nelida Arista, music: Jesús (Lolo) Rivas Like immigrants of the past, we are still building this powerful nation with our sweat and our tears. Many have lost their lives, and many have left their families. We sacrifice our health and our youth for a very few who get rich from our work. We will march together friends. We will fight together, united for a just life, where equality prevails. 40 Aniversario del FAT * 40 Anniversary of the FAT (ranchera) words: David Garcia, music: Jesús (Lolo) Rivas In the year of 1960, our union is born. Even when we receive threats while organizing the masses of urban and farm workers, we face our destiny. Come on, comrades -- our path is straight! We fight with honor, defending the rights of the working people. With 40 years under our belts, we celebrate these times -- preparing comrades to reap what we've sown. We must live like brothers, uniting our efforts. I'm not going, I won't say good bye. The cause requires us to fight tirelessly. Long live the union, comrades,torches of resistance! Maquilas de Acuña * The Factories in Acuña (balada) words: Jesús (Lolo) Rivas, music: Jesús (Lolo) Rivas I always try to measure the extent to which people's hearts are broken every day. People whose bodies drown in the noise of the factory, where they fight to cut through fire and iron into their future, and to wake up the sleeping consciousness, to lift up the torch of liberty. We can do the impossible. To seize just one thread of this light that shines through the cracks in the path. We will keep on friends, because Acuña will be the gateway where some day the torch of liberty will finally appear. Justicia e Igualdad * Justice and Equality (joropo) words: Nelida Arista, music: Nelida Arista Listen to our petition. We all have a heart. We are oppressed, and humiliated in this nation. The clever man lives by the foolish man. The foolish man lives by his job. May the devil and his evil deeds go to hell! We want justice and equality for all our brothers and sisters. We are immigrants in this country - humiliated by our language, oppressed at our jobs. Corrido de los Trabajadores * The Ballad of the Workers (ranchera) words: Vidal Ochoa, music: Jesús (Lolo) Rivas Washington Fruit is a powerful company that doesn't respect rights, not even of night and day. The morning shift's a struggling shift that makes the company a lot of money. But it's the afternoon shift, a fighting and hardworking shift, that deserves a song. When Pedro was fired, Marcelino and Maria united the rest, and defended Pedro courageously. One day they all got together. They started to think, 'They abuse us so much that we can't take it! They fired Maria; they won't let her work. Mercedes got hurt, and they don't want to help her.' They met during lunch, where they share bread. There they formed their plans. God was pleased that they united like brothers. They decided to take the future in their own hands. This stays in my memory like a whisper. History has been changed, and I say it with pride. Himno de Trabajadores * The Workers' Hymn (marcha) words: José Leon Romero, music: Jesús (Lolo) Rivas Workers of the united class, we have entered into serious commitments: to liberate the oppressed and struggling people, and the vast homeland of Latin America. In mines, factories, and plantations. In run-down neighborhoods in all four corners of the world. Men and women without land, workers, and the exploited masses. Rise up now, united in the hard war - because only the people can save the people. Corrido de Pedro Animales * The Ballad of Pedro Animales (country) words: Ellen Starbird, music: Jesús (Lolo) Rivas I'll sing you the story of a brave man who goes by the name of Pedro. The tyrants that terrorize the town are scared of Don Pedro, and their henchmen say he has magical powers. Pedro Animales. When his enemies least suspect it, Pedro will sting them. When they think they might catch him, he will turn into a lion, or a dove. Maybe a monkey, or an ant. I don't know if you can believe me that there's a man who lives just to fight injustice. But I can tell you that he boycotted grapes. I know he marched with Cesar Chavez to Sacramento, and he joined with Sherri Chiesa to lift up la raza, to defend our cause. To overcome your fear, you can be like a tiger or a lion. You can learn grace from a dove, and cunning from a monkey. When we march, united, as an army of ants, I know there's no one who can beat us. The struggle is never simple. If we want a valiant victory, we have to respect ourselves. Each one of us is Pedro Animales, with a magic force to advance the cause. Libertad * Liberty (balada) words: Nacha Guevara, music: Nacha Guevara For the caged bird, for the fish in the pond, for my friend in prison for saying what he thinks, for the flowers that have been pulled up, for the plants that have been stepped on, for the pruned trees, for the tortured bodies...I name you, liberty. For the repressed anger, for the clenched teeth, for the lump in the throat, for the voices that don't sing, for the clandestine kiss, for the censored words, for the exiled youth...I name you, liberty. For the invaded lands, for the conquered villages, for the oppressed people, for the extinguished fires, for those burned at the stake, for the assassinated hero, for the exploited peoples...I name you, liberty. I name you in the name of everything, for your real name. I name you when dusk falls, when no one sees me. I write your name on the walls of my city. Your real name -- your name and other names. What I don't name for fear, I name you, liberty. Las Organizaciones * The Organizations Las Hormiguitas, Maquilas de Acuña, and Libertad come from Servicio Desarrollo y Paz (SEDEPAC) in Coahuila, Mexico, where hundreds of activists have been fired for organizing in the maquiladoras, and where over a hundred thousand women toil in unsafe conditions for starvation wages. Maquilas de Acuña is about an area where the workers are forced to live in cardboard shacks without running water. Las Hormiguitas is sung to children to teach them about the struggle, and Libertad is sung by workers as they organize. Por Una Vida Justa and Justicia E Igualdad are from the Tenants and Workers Support Committee (TWSC) in Alexandria, Virginia. For 15 years, TWSC, whose members are predominantly low-wage Latin American immigrants and African Americans, has addressed workplace and wage issues, and fought winning battles for fair housing and access to health care. 40 Aniversario del FAT celebrates the rich and proud 40-year history of the Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT) - the courageous,militant federation of democratic unions, cooperatives, community organizations and farm worker groups in Mexico. Corrido de los Trabajadores is a song from the courageous organizing campaigns of the predominantly Mexican immigrant meat and fruit packing workers in eastern Washington and Oregon. Today, Teamsters Local 556 leads the movement for justice for food processing workers in the region. Himno de Trabajadores is the anthem of the Workplace Project on Long Island, New York. Working in the hostile environment of a white supremacist citizens' group that aims to run immigrants off Long Island, the Workplace Project organizes the 300,000 Latin American immigrants who live and work in the community, providing essential low-paid house cleaning, landscaping, construction, restaurant, factory and janitorial labor. Corrido de Pedro Animales, written about the rebirth of a local union movement led by Sherri Chiesa, hails from Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees (HERE) Local 2 in San Francisco, California - a dynamic and powerful union predominantly made up of immigrants from developing countries.