Perry Vasquez

The Keep on Crossin’ Manifesto

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to cross borders of political, social, linguistic, cultural, economic and technological construction…we wiIl cross. For long before there were borders, there were crossers. We are the proud sons and daughters of these crossers, and we hold that crossing is a basic human right. Furthermore, we hold this right to be in-illegal alienable.

Artificial borders of body and mind and spirit must be crossed off the list. For every star-crossed, cross-bearing, cross-platform, cross-dressing, cross-country, cross-walker at the crossroads of culture, the time has come to cross.

We are living in a time when a truckload of toxic waste has more rights to cross than a human being. Wherever and whenever this is the case, we will cross.

Our crossing will be a sign to other crossers that the time has come to cross. We will cross at intersections. Anywhere we cross will become an intersection by the act of our crossing. We will look both ways before crossing, and then, with the positive momentum of humanity, we will cross.

We will cross into other manifestos. These include but are not limited to the Prague Manifesto for Esperanto, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto against nuclear war, the Roxy Music song “Manifesto,” the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Plan of Delano, the Plan Espiritual de Aztlan and any other plans, declarations or manifestos that encourage, promote and reward crossing.

When the border expands, we contract. And when the border contracts, we expand. And when it is time to cross, we will cross all by ourselves.

Wherever there are tired, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, we will cross.

Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, we will cross.

As Martin Luther King wrote from the injustice stained confines of a Birmingham jail: “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

By wearing this patch, we declare that our garment be counted as a piece from Dr. King’s “single garment of destiny.”

And to ensure that the sun and moon continue to shine on the smiling faces of the free, we will keep on crossing.

Victor Payan
Perry Vasquez
18 de enero, 2003
San Diego

“Men build too many walls

and not enough bridges.”

-Sir Isaac “the Punk” Newton

Perry Vasquez is an American-born interdisciplinary artist. He received his BA degree in Political Science and Studio Art from Stanford University and his MFA in Painting and Criticism from UCSD. His work focuses on the historical, social and cultural structures that underlie the U.S./Mexico border region as well as the evolving relationship between the European-American and indigenous American experiences.

Photo by Michael Elderman


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