Nov 8, 2007

Breathe Life

last wednesday, on halloween night, a cop shot and killed a student of ours. Alwy Al Nadhir. eighteen years old. seven credits short of graduating this year. i didn't know Alwy but students told me he was a good soul, full of love. no one understands how he could have been killed.

the cops told media there was an armed robbery near the park. they went, saw the boys, there was an altercation. and Alwy was shot. by a cop. in the neck. eight officers witnessed this. there were eight of them. it's their words against a dead young man's and another who was shot in the shoulder and locked up.

we went to the vigil last night, at Riverdale Park, the location of the murder. i watched students breaking down, angry, and just sad. i did not grow up in Regent Park. though the community has been a big part of my life for the last 3 years. but no matter what, i speak as an outsider. my reality is different from my students'.

that's why i write this piece with caution. i don't want to sensationalize. i don't want to utilize this tragedy for another agenda. i don't want to talk about how police brutality is so rampant amongst poor, communities of color in toronto. i don't want to talk about the criminalization of young men of color. i don't want to talk about how fucked up it is to watch young people feel helpless against a racist institution that only "serves and protects" a certain segment of our population and poses a threat to the rest.

i want to remember this young man. i want to remember the way his loved ones talked about him last night. i want to remember the large number of young people who showed up last night, some Alwy's friends and others who came to show love and remember. i want to remember that in the face of injustice, in the face of death and violence, there is always the struggle for life.

i want this piece to breathe life.

9 Comments:

Anonymous fab said...

this piece breathes lots of life, pq.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Lin said...

i wish i could have been there, to just be a part of that. thank you for this piece!

8:18 PM  
Blogger parami10 said...

"I must go back briefly to a place I have loved
to tell you those you will efface I have loved."
-Agha Shahid Ali

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who you are, but your postings about Alwy captured the mood at the vigil. I had the privilage of knowing for four years, he truly was a wonderful young man. He was only thirteen when I began to work with at school, he has grown to be wonderful son, friend and brother. He was full of potential. His death will forever stay with me, not because he died as death is inevitable, but because of how he died---in the hands of the police. I will never forget his smile, his kindness and I will forever wonder what he would have become. I miss him. and in his name, I must continue to make a difference, stand against injustice.

11:00 AM  
Blogger pomegranate queen said...

thanks fab, lin and parami10 for your comments. anonymous, i'm glad you came across my page and for sharing your words. yes, continuing to make a difference and standing against injustice. yes.

5:52 PM  
Blogger rabfish said...

I'm sorry.....

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no clue who u are but u must work at pathways...
ur peice made me cry all over again..Ur peice is the truth..Thank u for ur words..And Alwys is very well missed I miss him soo much words cant even describe...
Rest In Paradise Alnahree.. <3 .

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say that i was at the vigili for Alwy and it was so sad to be their and know that a great guy kid was shot by a police officer for no fucken reason honestly shot his leg or foot not his neck why why why is all i think about and i knew Alwy I worked with him and he was the greatest kid anything you asked of him he was right their ready to help you. Alwy Im so sorry for the way you went from this world only you know what happened that night but we all know your INNOCENT in this unfair situation but i guess the world is not fair and i learned this the hard way Alwy may you rest in paradise. To the family I am so so so so so so so so so sorry for lost, I am sorry for everyone's loss.

3:14 PM  
Blogger pomegranate queen said...

to the anonymous bloggers,
I'm so glad you both commented on my page. i don't check my previous posts regularly so i didn't see your comments till today. thank you for sharing your words.

4:20 PM  

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