Musical Mondays: Manu Chao - Me Llaman Calle

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"calle sufrida, calle tristeza"

Me llaman calle - "they call me 'street.'" This is a powerful song with a simple but effective video, and you can see here the charisma in Manu's performance that can be heard in his music. Manu is that rare combination of talent and informed political commentary that only comes around maybe once every decade. I am cursing myself right now for missing two of his rare North American performances in recent years right in my old backyard at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

This song, about the denigration that sex workers face in machista societies (whether north or south of the U.S./Mexico border), raises one of the rare issues where migrant advocates and DHS are mostly on the same page: human trafficking. 

According to the Department of State, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked internationally every year, and between 14,500 and 17,500 of them are trafficked into or within the United States. Half of these victims are estimated to be children.  Many of the victims end up in forced prostitution.  More information can be found in the State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons Report

But despite a recent CBP/ICE initiative to raise awareness of human trafficking, DHS has still not issued final regulations governing the adjudication of T-visas since the law creating the visa, which permits trafficking victims to obtain lawful status in the U.S., was passed in 2000. Groups like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) have called for DHS Secretary Chertoff to stop delaying this essential action. According to FVPF:
 
DHS has issued interim regulations the past few years, but [leading domestic violence] groups say it is not enough. Only the issuance of T- and U-Visa adjustment regulations will prevent abusers, traffickers and crime perpetrators from using DHS officials as a tool to carry out threats of deportation - and these threats silence many immigrant crime victims, effectively preventing them from providing critical assistance in criminal investigations and prosecutions. The long delays have put the lives of victims and their children in peril, the groups charge.
In addition, Congress is currently debating whether and how to reauthorize legislation protecting trafficking victims. The House passed a version late last year and the Senate is considering legislation that would, among other things:
 
  • Provide child trafficking victims interim support and assistance while law enforcement authorities prosecute the traffickers. Currently, children must wait to access services like food, housing, and counseling until a case has been prosecuted, which can take years in some cases.
  • Require DHS to develop policies for the safe repatriation of unaccompanied children to their home countries to prevent them from becoming trafficking victims. Right now, far too many unaccompanied children are deported and simply parked just on the other side of the border to face their fate alone. 
You can take action on this issue by calling or writing your Senator to ask him or her to vote for H.R. 3061, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.

Manu Chao - Me Llaman Calle

Me llaman calle
pisando baldoza
la revoltosa y tan perdida
me llaman calle
calle de noche
calle de día
me llaman calle
*hoy* tan cansada
*hoy* tan vacia
como maquinita por la gran ciudad
me llaman calle
me subo a tu coche
me llaman calle
de *malegria*
calle dolida, calle cansada*
de tanto amar
voy calle abajo
voy calle arriba
no me rebajo
ni por la vida
me llaman calle
y ese es mi orgullo
yo se que un dia llegara
yo se que un dia
vendra mi suerte
un dia me vendra a buscar
a la salida un hombre bueno
dando la vida y sin pagar
mi corazon no *he* de alquilar
me llaman calle (x2)
calle sufrida, calle tristeza
de tanto amar
me llaman calle
calle mas calle
Me llaman calle
siempre atrevida
me llaman calle
de esquina a esquina.
Me llaman calle
bala perdida
asi me disparó la vida.
Me llaman calle
del desengaño
calle fracaso, calle perdida.
Me llaman calle
vas sin futuro
Me llaman calle
va sin salida
Me llaman calle
calle más calle
la que mujeres de la vida
suben pa bajo
bajan pa arriba
como maquinita por la gran ciudad.
Me llaman calle
me llaman calle
calle sufrida
calle tristeza de tanto amar
Me llaman calle
calle más calle.
Me llaman siempre
y a cualquier hora,
me llaman guapa
siempre a deshora,
me llaman puta
también princesa
me llaman calle sin nobleza.
Me llaman calle
calle sufrida,
calle perdida de tanto amar.
Me llaman calle
me llaman calle
calle sufrida
calle tristeza de tanto amar.
A la Puri, a la Carmen, Carolina, Bibiana, Pereira, Marta, Marga,
Heidi, Marcela, Jenny, Tatiana, Rudy, Mónica, María, María
Me llaman calle
me llaman calle
calle sufrida
calle tristeza de tanto amar.
Me llaman calle
me llaman calle
calle sufrida
calle tristeza de tanto amar.
Me llaman calle
me llaman calle
calle sufrida
calle tristeza de tanto amar...


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This page contains a single entry by David Bennion published on September 15, 2008 11:11 PM.

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