I write from the sky between Mexico City and Guatemala City. I write as Eastern Congo is being occupied and overtaken by M23 militias and the world – well a very small section of it – passively watches. I write as my sisters in Goma flee and others tend the wounded with bare resources, as thousands are displaced with nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat and danger and terror in every direction. I write as my sister Christine Schuler Deschryver, who directs City of Joy, spends another sleepless night worrying whether M23 troops will be descending on Bukavu, experiencing anxiety, chaos and escalating violence around her. I write as she bravely stays to protect the women at City of Joy and attempts to give them hope when she herself is totally in the dark. I write as we wait and wait and wait, as we have year after year for the Security Council, the Secretary General, the 19 thousand UN peacekeepers to protect the people. As we wait for the power players behind the scenes – the U.S. and Great Britain and France – to put pressure on Rwanda (who they greatly support) and Uganda to withdraw the M23 and stop supporting armies lead by war criminals.
I write after days of reading devastating blogs, stories and emails arriving from women on the ground in Palestine and Israel and Syria. Women who have been fighting for peace and an end to occupation and violence. Women who report the terror of bombs landing around them and the tremors and explosions and loss of limbs and lives and hope. Women who are burying the small bodies of children and who report feeling manipulated and controlled by politicians who do not see them, who use them merely as pawns in their game of power and rage.
I write after the storm Sandy flooded New York and New Jersey – 23 US states in total – and the Caribbean, from Haiti to Jamaica to Cuba. I write in its aftermath, leaving neighborhoods and houses and lives destroyed. I write as drought and fires and extreme and unusual temperatures rage across the planet. I write as fossil fuel companies continue their drilling and plundering knowing that if this excavating of oil does not stop, it will soon be too late.