We weren’t allowed in cafes, restaurants or bars.
We weren’t allowed in hairdressers, salons or allied health.
We weren’t allowed in council facilities or at events.
We were ostracized from our cultural centers; our marae, churches, mosques and synagogues.
For two years we were rejected.
We rose up.
We built a village.
We found our people.
We belonged somewhere again.
We felt loved.
We felt supported.
We felt peace.
After 2 years of turmoil and upheaval.
Big losses- jobs, homes, friends, family.
Some forever gone.
But we finally found belonging…
The police came in and tore it all down.
Beating us, spraying us, shooting us and dragging us.
What an ugly, shameful day.
We sit now with our pain and trauma.
Displaced, jobless, dazed.
Aching hearts, tired heads.
Frustrated at the gaslighting and lies.
We aren’t done yet.
From the ashes we will rise.
Words by me; Anna Webster.