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These are some of the things I wish everyone knew
Kate Raphael, USA
June 26, 2005
These are some of the things I wish everyone knew:
I wish everyone knew what an olive tree looks like when its branches
are lopped off, heavy full ones they call "hamel," which means
I wish everyone knew how Caterpillar bulldozers uproot the trees to
make room for a Wall that is twice as high and three times as long
as the Berlin Wall.
I wish everyone knew that the Wall will not stop terrorism and
that's not what it's for, but it does separate tens of thousands of
people from their land and put 3 million people in prison which will
increase the hate.
I wish everyone knew that the number of checkpoints in the
Palestinian lands doubled during a time when there were no attacks
against Israelis, and
I wish everyone knew that the number of Israeli settlements in the
West Bank and Gaza, which is another name for land theft, doubled
during the last peace process.
I wish everyone knew that 4100 Palestinians and 1100 Israelis have
been killed in the last four years, and
I wish everyone knew that 8000 Palestinians are in Israeli jails, and
I wish everyone knew that 2 million Americans are in American jails,
I wish everyone knew that since 9/11 the US has disappeared people
and there are secret prisons and 2000 immigrant detainees are held
indefinitely without charges and is that how you spell PATRIOT?
I wish everyone knew that in 1970, the Iraqi constitution, under
Saddam Hussein, declared all women and men equal before the law, and
I wish everyone knew that until 1991 women in Iraq were 38% of
teachers and 31% of doctors.
I wish everyone knew that the Bush administration wants a quota of
25% women in the Iraqi legislature and women make up 15% of the US
Congress and we have no quota.
I wish everyone knew that women in Palestine hold 18% of seats in
local government and women in Israel hold 12%.
I wish everyone knew that the US state department says it has built
11 women's centers in Baghdad and when was the last time they built
a women's center in Bayview? And
I wish everyone knew that Muslim women don't need us to free them,
but they do need us to stop oppressing them, and
I wish everyone knew that half of older lesbians depend on Social
Security for most of their income, and
I wish everyone knew that under Bush's social security plan the
average retired worker would get less than half what they get now, and
I wish everyone knew that 12 million people are now held as slaves
around the world, including some right here in San Francisco, and
80% of them are female and 50% of them are children, and
I wish everyone knew that Black women in the US are 20 times as
likely to get AIDS as white women and AIDS is the third leading
cause of death for Black women and
I wish everyone knew that marriage won't help us get health care
when 39% of people in this country don't have health coverage from
Most Americans think foreign aid is 24% of our budget but it's
actually less than 1%, and
I wish everyone knew that 22% of US children live under the poverty
I wish everyone knew that we've killed 25,000 Iraqi civilians since
March 2003 and the US has 37,000 troops in South Korea and 16,000 in
I wish everyone knew that US women earn 76 cents to a man's dollar
but if they are Black they earn 66 cents and if they are Latina they
earn 55 cents, and
I wish everyone knew that 25% of US women who become pregnant have
abortions and 87% of US counties have no abortion provider, and
I wish everyone knew how it feels to watch gay people cross the
picket line at Badlands to go drink half-price beer at a racist bar,
I wish everyone knew that queers are a community and not a market
I wish everyone knew that the parade didn't used to have barricades
and used to be for everyone
I wish everyone knew about Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism and
LAGAI Queer Insurrection, and
I wish everyone knew that Stop AIDS Now Or Else was the first group
ever to block the Golden Gate Bridge, and
I wish everyone knew that the Bolivian people are rising up to
throw out the gas companies and winning, and
I wish everyone knew about the Gay Liberation Front, and
I wish everyone knew that Stonewall was a riot, and
I wish everyone knew that revolution is possible.
This speech was delivered at San Francisco Pride, June 26, 2005.
Kate Raphael is a Bay Area peace activist.