OUR SMILES ARE OUR POWER: Happy Thanksgiving!

The Thanksgiving holiday gives us pause for many historical reasons. But we honor struggle by spending the day with people we love, making each other food, playing silly games, talking about meaningless and meaningful things, appreciating our time together and using it to rejuvenate the fight in us.

1Love Movement formed during a detention and deportation crisis in the Cambodian American community in Philly in 2010. We now exist as a national network of grassroots Asian American organizers who are united in a struggle against the systems of incarceration and deportation that effect us and our own families, as we work to build a world that keeps all families together.

So for us, what also gives us pause on Thanksgiving are the many families in our communities who will be celebrating this time with people missing at their table who have been deported, the many people who have been exiled far away from their homes and loved ones, and those whose futures are uncertain. 1Love Movement sends love this holiday to families affected by deportation, and the strength, resiliency and power you hold with all of us struggling in this movement.

“For most, Thanksgiving lands in a season of cold, but coming together as a family to enjoy the holiday will always bring warmth and love that can never be replaced – no matter where I am in the world. And that love is the power I bring to our movement, along with everyone else facing the same struggle.” ~Kasper, 1Love National Council Member, facing deportation

In the face of attacks on our family unity across generations through war, genocide, displacement, poverty, incarceration and deportation – we remain determined and brave for our families. We wake up on Thanksgiving morning, get out of bed, greet each other with warm hugs or log onto Skype to see our loved ones’ smiles, and get it going in a kitchen somewhere in the world, amidst laughter, love and the smell of home cooked food.

This holiday we honor the hidden strength within us that gives us the courage to smile, laugh, love, and continue to believe that we will find justice. Our ability to combat our sadness with happiness IS our resistance, and our revolution. Our smiles are our power.

“I just want all of us to laugh, laugh and laugh.. life as it is, is tough enough for everyone and it doesn’t stop.. it keeps going.. so I am going to fill the moments that I can with a lot of laughter and maybe a few joyful tears.” ~Linda, 1Love National Network Member, sister is facing deportation

To family, power, love, justice, turkey, stuffing, spicy papaya salad or whatever you’re eating wherever you are! In love and spirit, we’re with you.

Here are some pics of us in the 1Love National Network, smiling in solidarity from DC, Seattle, San Diego, Kansas City, and Philly


And here we are grubbing, trash talking, goofing off and bugging out, as we know you will on Thursday! Happy Thanksgiving from 1Love Movement!