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Tiel Rainelli, SOA 11 PDF Print E-mail
On January 28, 2008, Tiel was sentenced to serve 90 days in prison and pay a $500 fine. She reported to SFF Hazelton on April 3.

Journey for Justice caravan riders Frankie and Tiel

Write to Tiel:
Teri L. Rainelli #93552-020
SFF Hazelton
P.O. Box 3000
Bruceton Mills, WV 26525

Letter from Tiel:

On Sunday October 29th in the middle of the night my appendix got ta tripp'n, damn near dead and puking my own feces I drove myself from South Central to White Memorial Hospital in East Los Angeles. Less than 5 hours after they had cut my stomach open and taken my appendix, I ripped three IV's out my body and despite being admitted with no insurance until late Wednesday evening, I checked myself out of the hospital and into a state of clarity. Fear fled my being like cockroaches caught by kitchen lights, and I began to believe again. I have marched, protested, lobbied, organized, and studied in my small acts of resistance against the SOA, but as I laid up in dat hospital, I could not shake a conversation that I had two years ago while in DC lobbying with Hector. Like the family ink on my arms, his words became tattooed to my soul: the blessing is next to the wound. And so I began to ask myself, if the blessing is next to the wound, why am I so scared of getting hurt?..........

I have contemplated getting arrested for two years now, but punk'd out each time. I am very aware that the materialism and privilege I enjoy (even as a homeless and jobless community organizer) are at the foundation, the very core, of my not getting arrested, of my not advancing my own struggle towards liberation and solidarity. As I thought about past SOAW protests, I was flooded by images of my elders getting arrested and taking risks that should be my own. I became enraged with myself for allowing my elders to do "my work". I mean, these folks should be kick'n me down knowledge, advising my journey through the wisdom of their mistakes while simultaneously trusting the ever changing dynamics of innovative youth, but instead are left like single mothers to perform and master all roles within the movement. This is not to denounce or minimize the college kids organizing nor to say that old folks shouldn't get arrested, rather this is a call to myself and young people everywhere, particularly those of us from the slums, ghettos, and projects of this country, to STAND UP. It's evident that the system don't give a fuck about us, but the real question is do we give a fuck about each other? It is here in this space that I made the decision to get arrested and accept the 3-6 months prison time that accompanies the civil disobedience. Getting arrested is not the climatic point of my involvement in struggle, rather the birthplace of a new phase of activism and resistance.

I must keep it proper and offer a few shout outs/thank yous: to my mother, a thoroughbred bottom bitch who not only taught me to ride or die for my people and convictions but who also embodied dat soldier style mentality when she did her bid behind da wall wit her mouth shut and her eyes open-I luv you girl! To my SOLA families and South Central, the lessons in love and community that I have gained from yall drive my actions, strengthen my commitment to justice, and further develop my radical will. To Marianne, whose integrity and profound commitment to non-violence has inspired, challenged, and helped to heal me. To my fellow Ragers from SCCC, youth and adult- the honesty and acceptance we share each Friday is the most important set of interactions I have yet to experience, I carry your anger and rage with me as I transform my own! To Charlita, my sister in struggle whose support and understanding has provided a space for my tears and laughter. To the entire SOAW Community whose agency, persistence, and resilience have forced me to challenge my own struggles with victimization, therefore demanding levels of self-accountability previously unseen. And to my Fly Girl, who in my first week out tha hospital nursed me back to health on levels that stretch far beyond the physical - you know what it is girl!

And finally......

To my slum livin young people search'n for meaning in a society that isolates and oppresses us, I call upon your critique, your lived experience, and your participation in the struggle. No longer should we allow others to speak for us, it is indeed time we spoke and organized for ourselves. Oppression has left us with a sickness that disrupts and perverts our capacity to love and resist and we have an undeniable responsibility to ourselves and each other to decolonize our minds and rebuild our communities.

Get Free Or Die Try'n!

In Solidarity and Struggle,


Contact us

SOA Watch
733 Euclid Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

phone: 202-234-3440
email: info@soaw.org