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By Emma Rosenthal

none of us
without
us all
everyone’s story
under the boot
on the edge of town
at the end of the line
behind closed doors
in cattle cars
hidden in alleyways
cast into the wilderness
and shallow graves
underground passages
black site gulags
penal colonies
olvidadxs
desaparacidxs
perdidxs
erasing us
erases you
we are not
the ones who
cannot count

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A group of Antifa demonstrators encircled Richard Spencer’s house in Alexandria, Virginia and the cops come out and protect him:

Alexandria, VA: Richard Spencer Hides on His Roof From Angry Crowd

But when the local Charlottesville Reform Synagogue is threatened with being burned to the ground and is encircled with white supremacist KKK, Nazis with assault weapons, chanting white supremacist slogans,  the cops are no where to be found.
Cafe Intifada’s  Emma Rosenthal posted the following comment:
“Antisemitism never went away and the repeated refrain of “this is 2017 in America” ignores the warnings and outcry of Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, Jewish Voice for Peace, the new Jim Crow, the New Slavery, the growing prison industrial complex, No Ban No Wall, mass deportations, immigrant detention centers and the criminalization of entire communities. This is not the aberration. This should come as no surprise. In the wake of the exposure of police brutality and police killings many communities have had to develop civil defense. The Jewish community is no different. The other side of “don’t call the cops” is that when you do call them, if they don’t do any harm, they often don’t show up, they don’t do anything to help. The historic complicity of the police with the KKK is well documented.
Protect yourself. Reach out to the larger community. Join in solidarity against oppression in all forms.”

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The Blacklist Continues:

Emma Rosenthal & Andy Griggs are once again under attack by those who don’t support their work in Palestine solidarity.

As owners of DragonflyHill Urban Farm, they recently experienced a barrage of 1 star reviews from over 1700 people who had never been to DragonflyHill Urban Farm but were upset with a review left by DragonflyHill Urban Farm on an Amazon page.

People who had never been to their urban farm pretended they had, making outrageousImage of two hands holding each other. Text: If you're truly intersectional in your activism and advocacy you're going to make a lot of enemies. claims about filth and vermin, others claimed that the hosts discriminated against Jews and Iraelis. Others wrote hate speech and threats, while others simply posted in their 1 star review Am Yisroel Chai  in both Hebrew letters and in transliteration (Long Live Israel.).  (How the hosts could have had so many Israeli & Jewish guests and were simultaneously discriminating against them, is a mystery best solved in the conclusion that it just isn’t possible for this small business to have even had 1700 clients in the course of 2 days, especially considering that their Aibnb profile provides 275 reviews collected over a 2 year period. (Airbnb reviews can only be left by people who have stayed with the host through Airbnb. Facebook reviews have no similar burden of proof. Anyone can post a false review. )

The full account of those events can be seen here on the DragonflyHill Urban Farm blog, and here on the facebook page of Emma Rosenthal.

image of a DM from Michelle Mendelovitz, to Emma Rosenthal. text: JUN 25TH, 2:36PM Michelle Mendelovitz Kappo getting what you deserve!!!!!!! AM ISRAEL CHAI!!!!🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱🇮🇱 Cant wait until your out of business😂😂😂😂😂

Image of a direct message sent to Cafe Intifada’s Emma Rosenthal.

After about 2 days of this attack, people supportive of Palestinian human rights started to strike back and responded with messages and reviews of support. Some of the people supporting this tenuous and tiny business were people who have known the activists associated with this space, and others were people who simply were outraged that the establishment had been targeted in such an unscrupulous manner.

Enter White Supremacist Opportunists

Emma Rosenthal, one of the owners of both Cafe Intifada and DragonflyHill Urban Farm has long been targeted by both zionists and  white supremacists (with the popular racist argument “Your name is Rosenthal” as if that explains her point of view, simply because she has an Ashkenazi Jewish name).

After a handful of reviewers used the DragonflyHill facebook page to launch their own racist agenda, and DragonflyHill Urban Farm responded by stating that support for white supremacist anti-Jewish opportunism within Palestine solidarity was not welcome any more than supporters of Israeli brutality and zionist racist assertions that Palestinians do not exist, they then started to turn their attention against DragonflyHill Urban Farm, blasting them with comments to other supporters, that DragonflyHill Urban Farm is zionist. The definition of zionism IS NOT anyone who disagrees with white supremacist opportunists.

The delineation between white supremacist opportunists in Palestine Solidarity and true Palestine solidarity activism, in support of actual Palestinian liberation and human rights, is best summarized in Rosenthal’s essay:  Guilt by Disassociation: The Landscape of American Exceptionalism in the Guise of Palestine Solidarity

In response to these attacks by Christian identity white power advocates, DragonflyHill issued the following statement, with a link to Rosenthal’s powerful essay.

“We are now coming under attack by some of the people who used our platform to attack Jews and conflate zionism with Jews and Judaism. They initially gave us 5 stars and are now using our review platform to tell people we are zionists simply because we won’t go along with their white supremacist, U.S. settler colonialist platform.

We are not zionists, but we are clearly NOT white supremacists, a truly ugly appropriation of Palestinian solidarity. Jesse Higuera who initially gave us 5 stars is upset that we don’t embrace his racist attitude toward Jews. supporting Palestine has nothing to do with Jews and Judaism. Zionism is not Judaism. Most zionists are not Jews, they’ re christian fundamentalists and many many Jews are not zionists. It is racist to conflate the two.

We do not need or want the support of white supremacist opportunists who support Palestine, simply because they hate Jews more than they hate Arabs and Palestinians. We support universal human rights and we are against racism including antisemitism.

“There are two basic tendencies within what is broadly known as Palestine solidarity with implications in regard to U.S. global policy and social activism as well. One tendency, and the one that I identify with, comes from a tradition of anti-racist, anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist work, which often includes a critique of capitalism at its root. In no context does it see the U.S. as a neutral party, an agent of benevolence or the Great White Hope. It views Western support for Israel as an extension of and consistent with western imperialism, colonization and conquest. This tendency doesn’t deny the power of the zionist lobby (The Lobby), but sees that power not as an exception but rather as functioning well within the lobby system itself and the entire infrastructure of U.S. empire and capitalism. Many of the members of this tendency, myself included, have been attacked, surveilled and blacklisted by the The Lobby and the zionist establishment. The problem isn’t with The Lobby in particular, but rather with the political structures that allows for powerful corporate lobbies to exist at all and with how The Lobby exists to support those systems. This perspective asserts that The Lobby doesn’t just consist of Israel, its Jewish U.S. supporters or the self proclaimed “Jewish” organizations (the ADL, Stand with Us, AIPAC). It also includes the vast number of Christian zionists and the Christian fundamentalist churches, the oil industry, the construction industry, the security industry and by no short measure, the arms industry, all of which profit quite favorably from escalating Israeli militarism. (In the U.S., While there are less than 6 million Jews, zionist and anti-zionist, there are over 40 million Christian zionists.) Israeli brutality and militarism is consistent and in dialogue with, and developing alongside the growing militarization of police forces within U.S. cities, the prison industrial complex, and urban warfare as well as the militarization of the border with Mexico and U.S. empire.”

https://emmarosenthal.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/guilt-by-disassociation-the-landscape-of-amerikan-exceptionalism-in-the-guise-of-palestine-solidarity/  “

One Jesse Higuerra initially posted support for DragonflyHill Urban Farm, giving the small business a 5 star review, but including with his review his own racist agenda. When DragonflyHill responded with a statement distancing itself from that agenda and requesting the Higuerra remove his review, that his particpation was not appreciated, Higuerra started to spam other reviews with attacks on DragonflyHill.  While DragonflyHill can monitor comments and posts to its page, the review process on facebook allows all sorts of abuses to go unchecked, both in the initial review and in the comments, leaving DragonflyHill no recourse but to denounce the reviews that would pretend to support DragonflyHill with values totally in contradiction with their positions on social justice and anti-racism.

 

DragonflyHill made quite clear that Fry’s claim to have attended a shabbat service at their home was indeed false.  “Jimmy Fry has never been here”

Higuerra whose facebook profile can be found here:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014187885637&fref=ufi 
Continued to post similar attacks on many of the supportive reviews. Strangely though, part way through his sabotage he liked a 1 star review that stated “Israel Forever”. Though he did seem to qualify it with an assertion that Israel killed 6 million people in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

screenshot of a facebook review Text: ‎מלך השטיחים‎ reviewed DragonflyHill Urban Farm Community — 1 star 9 hrs · Israel is forever! DragonflyHill Urban Farm Community 2 Comments 1 Jesse Higuera LikeCommentShare Comments Jesse Higuera Jesse Higuera Well, f israel, but these people are really stupid, and deserve less than one star. Like · Reply · 7 hrs Jesse Higuera Jesse Higuera Image may contain: text

In Response:

In response to these attacks, DragonflyHill Urban Farm is asking people to support them in the following ways:

  1. Support their business and avail oneself of the many services they provide their community.
  2. Like their facebook page. It is their goal to raise the number of “likes” to 1700, one for each of the bad reviews. (Facebook has already begun to delete some of the reviews.)
  3. Donate to their nonprofit: The WE Empowerment Center which supports grassroots organizing and creative efforts in their community and beyond.For disclosure purposes, Cafe Intifada is a project of the We Empowerment Center, combining art with activism.

 

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May4LN-blog480Image of 4 young people, martyrs of the Kent State Massacre

By Emma Rosenthal
(bold text by Neil Young)

“Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
We’re finally on our own
This summer I heard the drumming
Four dead in Ohio.”

Tin soldiers are marching again
bayonets pointed at the multitude
Nicaragua
Vietnam
Grenada
Cambodia
Iraq
Afghanistan
El Salvador
Chile
Kent State
Jackson State

Tin soldiers point their weapons at the tender flesh of the outspoken
there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform
so the tin soldiers, eyes glazed and without vision
at the command of the generals take aim
point their state of mind
their point of view
the eyes of the state
the words of the state
the will of the state

and

four lives hit the floor
thirteen lives hit the floor
one hundred lives hit the ground
three thousand lives are swallowed by the dust
one hundred lives disappear behind prison walls
two million lives are swallowed by the state
six million lives are burned at the stake
are thrown into ovens
are tossed into ditches
are chained to the gates are lost for the ages
are hidden in attics and temples
are thrust behind the guns
are transformed into tin soldiers
are lulled into passivity
are hiding behind night clubs
this year’s fashions
the evening news that tells you nothing
the elections no one votes in
the television that doesn’t tell you your story
the latest horror movie about government conspiracy

But it’s just a story so don’t worry
it could never happen
someone would say something
and the government would never destroy a whole town
a whole village
just ask the indigenous of the Americas
Mai Lai
Love Canal
Three Mile Island
Santiago
Baghdad
South Central

CIA drug sales while whole generations are thrown into jail
in the war against drugs
unless the drug can fund the war against the rising multitudes
and incarcerate a whole village here at home.

 

“Four dead in Ohio”
“Four dead in Ohio”
“What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground
How could you run when you know?”

Could you watch her tiny form as it fell
could you call to the heavens and pray for her vision
to continue to dwell amongst us
could you watch her spirit as it lingered for a few seconds
as it rose to the clouds and left us forever
four dead
ten dead
hundreds dead
thousands dead
millions dead.

What does the loss of a hundred thousand souls sound like?
What does the loss of a hundred thousand souls feel like?
What wealth have we lost
as the tin soldiers march and mark their territory in the blood of the forgotten?
Where are the paintings?
the stories
the poems
the discoveries
the cures
the embraces
the children running in the streets
playing amongst burned out cars, bombed out buildings
and land mines
that mark the territory and say
don’t walk here
don’t tread on this free soil
it has been apprehended from you
it is no longer a field of grain and sustenance
it is a land of horror and devastation?

“What would you do if you found her dead on the ground?
How could you run when you know?”

And when they catch you in the cross hairs of their high powered rifles
or in the cross hairs of a phone tap and the clicks on the line get louder
or your mail starts arriving already opened for you
or a stack of evidence is piled up against you for a crime you did not commit
for a crime that may not even be a crime

Will you run?

Will you name names? Elia Kazan

Will you rot in jail or twist and turn at the hands of your torturers
at the executioner’s swing of the ax or turn of the knob

Dalton Trumbo
Julius and Ethyl
Sacco and Vanzetti
Ashata Shakur
Mummia Abu Jamal.

Where will you go?

Will you hide out in suburbia?
will you pack you brief case and kiss your vacant wife?
will you pack his vacant brief case with tuna fish sandwiches on white bread
and mayo and cut off the crusts for him
and be his vacant wife?
will you scream about having your own life
but never really get one?
will you cry behind the wheel of the Mercedes Benz
you used to croon about with Janis Joplin
and swear you’d never become what you are today?

Will you sit with your friends and insist that it’s all just too far away
to do any thing about?
and remember her broken body as her red blood
spilled onto the pavement
and left her pale and lifeless
and forget that you ran because it was
too close

It isn’t too far away
it’s right here
it isn’t gone
it hasn’t moved
the tin soldiers are poised and waiting to attack
their eyes are glazed over with the threads of disbelief
with the fog of discontent
with the need to belong
which is like food for the hungry

They are poised and ready
they are in your back yard or the park by your home
what would you do?
she is lying on the ground
will you hurl her into the bushes of your memory?

Will she rot behind the azaleas and the camellias?
will you bury her in peat
and water her daily
and let everyone tell you what at beautiful garden you have
while you forget that she is even there?

Will you fight?
speak your mind against the multitudes of the opiated?
will you raise your voice in protest to the destruction of the sacred
or will you run and hide and pretend you never knew?
pretend it was all about the next top album and sex and who had the best stash
or will you stand still and let them build a monument to the veterans
of the destruction on the graves of those who died
that day many years ago?

 “How could you run when you know?”

How could you stand still over her body
while the guards circled and dug her grave and planted new grass
and erected a monument to their own perpetuity

How could you?

How could you not say something
were the gun pointed at you?
or was the next technological innovation
the next breath you wanted to breath?

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?
have they taken you hostage behind the picket fence of your imagination?

 “How could you run when you know?”

How could you hide from the destruction all around you
and bury your life in the television of the visionless?

Tin soldiers point their weapons ant the tender flesh of the outspoken
there is fear of great numbers marching out of uniform
so your eyes glaze and are without vision

The command of the generals takes aim
points their state of mind
at your state of mind

Have they lulled you into the conspiracy?

Do you tell your self
it’s just a story so don’t worry?
it could never happen
someone would say something?

 

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Open Hillel is promoting the film “70 Years Across the Sea: American Jews and 21st Century Zionism”, about the divide in the Jewish community over models of zionism and the current State of Israel.
 
But the film thesis is very problematic, ignoring the deeper issues of power, class and imperialism, and centering the discussion on Jews and not Palestinians.
 
Gratefully the film (trailer) didn’t repeat the tired old argument that this is a generational divide, which further obscures the power basis of Israeli hegemony. The thesis of this film, though, at least according to the trailer, is very dangerous, repeats stereotypes of Jewish power, obscures the power of U.S. empire and its appropriation of Jewish suffering and the Jewish narrative.
 
It repeats the false assertion and stereotype of diaspora Jews as weak and passive, and Israelis as strong and active. The resistance to the Nazis, to the pogroms, to injustice in general is a disapora narrative that is obscured by the zionist narrative. We cannot fight for a free Palestine, and justice for Jews in the diaspora if we perpetuate these harmful stereotypes that locates Jewish strength in occupation , assimilation and as agents (or worse, as the controlling operatives ) of U.S. empire and locates Jewish weakness in ethnic identity and resistance/passivity in the diaspora.
 
The Israeli occupation isn’t a liability, it’s genocide, and it didn’t start in 67, it started in 48. Calling it a liability assumes that there is a just zionist solution, and centers the occupation of Palestine, around a zionist and imperialist narrative and seeks a compromise with a fair and just society that grants equal civil and human rights to all and not within a neoliberal or neoconservative debt dependency structure of the U.S.
 
The “power” of UhMurikan Jews is a narrative of upper middle class and wealthy Jews, and white supremacist ideology, and doesn’t apply to all Jews in the U.S.. That power to the extent that it exists, is predicated on support for Israel, and support for U.S. empire in general. It’s also a delusion, a fragile membership of court Jews and house Jews.
 
The real power of U.S. support for Israel comes from the Christian zionists, who number in the tens of millions, which explains why organizations like the ADL and the Simon Weisenthal Center, and Stand With Us can ignore the Jewish community and support a zionism to the right of most Jews, including most zionist Jews.
 

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YOUR PUT DOWNS OF SAFETY PINS ARE NOT ENOUGH!
& YOUR PETTY CALL OUT ACTIVISM
IS AN EMBARRASSMENT!

There have been a few articles and several social media posts mocking the proposal that people wear safety pins to proclaim, in this new UhMurikan landscape, that “I am a safe space.” It’s a way for those of us in an unfamiliar place or under attack to identify an ally who will defend us or accompany us if we encounter violence, hate speech, threats or intimidation because of our real or assumed membership in a targeted group. One article appeared, written by a white presenting cis het presenting man, in the Huffington Post, that bastion of social responsibility and grassroots mobilization. (Snark!)

 Of course the safety pins are NOT ENOUGH.They’re a symbol, a statement, a promise and a commitment.

Are these publish worthy leftists also for the abolishment of: buttons and t-shirts (which must be manufactured, marketed and sold), banners, signs. How are these any different? Are we against any symbolism? What about ribbons? arm bands?

This petty self promotion  and put down of other activist efforts is tiresome. After all not EVERYONE gets Huffington Post press access.

The safety pin solidarity started in England after the passage of Brexit with the targeting of immigrants.  In England there may have been an issue with the pins, that it was a white thing: an insufficient badge of respectability, guilt, remorse, penance. But in the U.S., Occupied Amerikkka the targets are MOST OF US. And there are still people totally complicit from all demographics, so the symbol is important, easy, accessible, inexpensive, UNFUCKINGMARKETABLE, so we can let people know we are ready to take action; (and then we need to come through; that we are here for each other). After all with the increased rhetoric and the emboldened extreme right, white supremacist (rebranded, normalized, alt-right),  only white Christian cis het, ENabled, body normative men aren’t targeted. The vast majority, the rest of us are!

For way too long activism has moved from the grassroots, to self promotion, individualism,  survival of the fittest, scarcity resources and competition. Allies who aren’t movement stars (there’s a clear double standard here!)  are told they should just not show up, not take up space, sit down, shut up, listen, read more, go shopping.  There has been very little engagement in what real allyship might be, what solidarity looks like, how we check each other and check ourselves, from a position of responsibility, accountability and transparency, and not from a place of obedience, acquiescence and silence.  Hopefully the broad targeting of so many of us is a wake up call, that we need all our bodies on the line, and that we can’t do this in separate groups (which fuels the alt right’s rebranding, as it appropriates that language with claims that it is simply a civil rights movement for white people and that we all have our place in our separate nations.)

Maybe the movement stars who are so used to making it all about themselves:  the self promoters, the individualist who have for too long used “activism” as their own personal starting line in that great competition for speaking engagements, publicity and  non-profit managerial positions can show some solidarity instead of crapping on this very basic grassroots organizing effort. Maybe we can move the dialogue from whose voices matter to how we can assure our movement is as large and inclusive as possible (day care, DISability access, language translation, financial accessibility). Maybe we can start to have the difficult discussions around transparency and accountability around unlearning racism, sexism, ableism,  ageism, classism and all the other ways marginalization keeps us down and apart.

So let this be the start and not the end. Let the lists of other ways of showing solidarity, of putting our bodies, minds, reputations on the line for each other begin, but let us start with “AND” and not “BUT”.

Sure the safety pins are not enough, and your grandstanding is getting real tired, too.

 

 

 

 

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Why We Cared about the Plantation and Needed an Apology:

A Letter to Ani DiFranco

By Indigo Violet

We bought your records, attended your shows, struggled with your white feminist and queer fans looking askance at us at your concerts. We thought you were an ally. And, now this.

What hurts for us feminists of color is that we went out on a limb to support you, and that in this historical moment when we say “Ani, please don’t have a retreat on an Old South plantation that glorifies its past. We can’t be there. We can’t do anything righteous there. We can only be hurt there,” you respond by lecturing us for being angry and bitter and by refusing to stand in solidarity with our pain. That YOU, the righteous babe, are re-enacting some of the most terrible patterns in white feminism hurts. It hurts because we’ve been organizing, writing, theorizing for years and years, trying to exorcise racism and white supremacy from our feminist movements, wanting white women to join us in that intersectional fight that would liberate us all. It hurts because we deal with racist assaults and racist blindness from the wider society ALL THE TIME, along with sexism, heterosexism, classism, queerphobia, transphobia, ablelism . . . We are living the legacy of the horror of this country. The horror is in the national consciousness that denies the facts of racism. The horror is in the law, economy, the education system, the prison industrial complex, in health care, our neighborhoods, on our streets, in our homes, our relationships, our psyches, and for those of us who are committed to struggle, it is in our politics and art. We’re trying to fix shit.

Imagine you’re a (black) girl just trying to finally come clean, knowing full well they’d prefer you were dirty (gracious— not bitter, not hurt, not angry) and smiling. . .

We need you to fix shit with us.

A friend, Premadasi Amada, wrote this on your Facebook fan page. This friend speaks my mind:

Ani DiFranco, with your insulting excuse for an apology you are now making your bed with all the white folks who are yelling at Black people and women of color: ‘reverse racism’, ‘stop whining’, ‘get over it’, ‘stop being angry’, etc.  Ani, you’re responsible for responding to and reigning in the disgusting expressions of white privilege and hate being spewed by your white fans. The time is now. Also, it’s unfathomable that anything about this has to be explained. You have enough Black women and women of color generally telling you what was wrong with it and how you what you did hurt. Which part of all that leads you to not say you are sorry? You need to listen and apologize rather than complaining and lecturing. This isn’t about you and your feelings Ani.

We need you to fix shit and say something different than what you said. If progressive white folks can’t fix shit, if feminist artists and activists can’t address shit for real, come clean for real about the intricate, longstanding and ongoing pain of race, racism, and white supremacy then there is no hope whatsoever for this America.

© Indigo Violet, December 31, 2013

Links to other articles on this issue:

“In a banner year for non-apology apologies, singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco non-apologized this weekend for renting out an old Louisiana slave plantation to host a songwriting workshop. The event, now canceled, was billed as a “Righteous Retreat” and charged attendees $1,000 to sleep in a tent for four nights and learn about “developing one’s singular creativity” while DiFranco and her friends led jam sessions. The “captivating setting” was to be Nottoway Plantation and Resort in White Castle, Louisiana, a 64-room, 53,000-square-foot antebellum mansion and sugar plantation”

http://www.motherjones.com/…/heres-why-everyone-mad-ani…

www.motherjones.com

The social-justice songstress has canceled the event—but the mess is of her own making._______________________________

“The decision had spurred angry posts across the web. Ninjacate wrote on Groupthink: “It really blows my mind that anyone in Ani DiFranco’s camp had to have it explained to them that luxuriating for a weekend at a site where mass murder and forced incarceration took place for centuries IS A BAD F—— IDEA. And I know this will seem like a stretch, (but I promise it’s not) I genuinely believe that this kind of attitude is directly related to the prevailing world-wide idea of anti-blackness.”
http://blogs.wsj.com/…/ani-difranco-cancels-retreat…/

blogs.wsj.com

Folk singer Ani DiFranco pulled the plug on a coming retreat at a former plantation outside of New Orleans after fans voiced outrage over the location of the event.

___________________________

“It’s not like I hadn’t given any thought to how it would feel to spend four days writing songs with my Ideas Colleagues on an infamous slavery site. We were going to bring really good vibes with us. Vibes of compassion, and also transformation, which as everyone knows is how you heal a plantation.

But there will be no vibes now. I am taking my vibes and my ideas and my compassion and I am going home to my Tempurpedic mattress because of your negative and unfortunate energy.”

http://the-toast.net/2013/12/30/note-from-ani-difranco/

the-toast.net

An open apology note from Ani DiFranco.

 

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