The Accidental Activist


peace symbol

I am the quiet sort of activist. Mainly, I live it. I don’t go out and shout it.

I started out being more forward. When I say “started out,” I mean…you know, way back when! Because my mom was actively involved in the civil rights movement, some of my earliest memories are of marches and rallies…people gathering together, believing in a better world and working to make it happen. In many ways, it became part of who I am.

However, because I turned into a quiet-seeking hermit sort of person, I no longer end up in the middle of the loud voices. I do what I do as a single person, and not part of a boisterious entity.

Yesterday turned out to be a marvelous exception.

Yesterday, with my mom visiting from afar, she and my sister and I went forth for scenic drive up along the back side of the Sandias and through some stunningly picturesque country to Santa Fe. We stopped for lunch in Madrid (an…interesting…place), and drove a twisty path through the Santa Fe downtown maze, guided by my sister’s GPS. (We can all now time the seconds between taking the wrong turn and GPS Woman’s resigned declaration of “Re-calculating” so we can join in chorus.) We intended to putter through the Plaza, happily touristy.

What we did instead was wind up in the middle of a rally against Arizona’s new SB1070.  (Here’s another video…with the conch!)

You’ve heard of it. The damaging, racist bill that mandates Arizona’s “peace” officers to request papers of anyone who looks like an illegal immigrant.

You know. That would be anyone who’s kind of brown. (For ultimate irony, want to bet how many people with indigenous blood will also be stopped?)

(But hey, on the other hand, how convenient! Skin color! We don’t even have to make them wear symbols!)

Anyway. The rally marched into the Plaza, and we joined in. We didn’t have signs, but we had voices and we had clapping hands, and we had ears. It was a wildly diverse bilingual rally led by representatives from all the city’s clergy–every faith you could care to name–and inspired by traditional Aztec dancers.

Every person who took the microphone spoke to the positive. To what they wanted to build. Not blaming or nastifying or holding up effigies, but supporting a vision: Immigration reform. Sensible, realistic immigration reform that works for everyone.


So we were accidental activists, but very happy ones. The immigration law had been part of the conversation approaching Santa Fe, while the day didn’t turn out as planned, it couldn’t have turned out better.

Peace out, man.

About Doranna

My books are SF/F, mystery, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense. My dogs are Beagles, my home is the Southwest, and the horse wants a cookie!
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8 Responses to The Accidental Activist

  1. KarenJG says:

    What an excellent adventure! And IMHO, it wasn’t an accident! It was the cosmos honoring you and your mom’s earlier activism by giving you the opportunity to “replay” it. Kind of like a karmic reward, but in this life instead of the next.

  2. Doranna says:

    Karen, it *did* seem very karmic, in a “I know I’m misusing the word” kind of way. We felt really lucky.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I’m so glad for you! And so in agreement!

  4. Doranna says:

    Elizabeth–I wish I also had some answers for reform, but I can’t even pretend…

    I hope the videos are good–I only got an idea of what they were. My internet access is such a mess right now!

  5. Kevin R says:

    I remember when you were a bit more vocal and I apologize for… encouraging it… at times 😉 It’s ok if we dream quietly so long as the dream remains alive but it’s good to know your your voice still rises to the occasion even if only accidentally. Wish I had been there to see it.

    • Doranna says:

      Kevin–Oh, I think you would have enjoyed it, too. I like your take on dreaming quietly, though.

  6. Doranna says:

    I saw that. 8( AZ Governor: How to wreck a state.

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