“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” -assata shakur
Burn it all Down
What does it mean to say that Black lives matter when 12 year old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a pig in Cleveland Ohio on November 24th. What does it mean to say Black lives matter when on the same day Mike Brown’s pig murderer, Darren Wilson, is charged with nothing. What does it mean to state that Black lives matter in a system based off of the exploitation and genocide of Black life, Indigenous peoples life, all life? This system was not built for us so why should we protect it? In the words of Mike Brown’s stepfather it’s time we “burn this bitch down!”
Self-determination is fought for in the streets not in the courts. Our actions must not legitimize a system that stands opposed to us. That is a distraction. We must connect and build with homies in other spaces too, who are resisting and decolonizing so that we may support each others work. I’ve learned from Zapatismo and compas in Mexico that you resist colonization through actively building the alternative. You don’t just pontificate about it like an academic. Autonomy is the unity of theory and practice. Lets not be afraid to think and tap into our brilliance and knowledge. Let’s not be afraid to imagine something radically different. Especially as Black and Indigenous womyn, because our lived experience is ripe with powerful wisdom and truths for our people. Our ideas and visions are our guides for action.
Lets not be afraid to burn it all down. Lets not be afraid to hold space and take it back for good. Not just for a day of protests, where we do something inspiring and then go home feeling good about ourselves. Liberation is a daily struggle and a collective one. Lets break the law. Lets Break everything. But take back space too and take it back longer. Take it back forever. From Oakland to Seattle to Klanada to LA to Ferguson to Mexico to Palestine, todo el mundo.
All power to the people. Always.
“Colonialism is not a machine capable of thinking, a body endowed with reason. It is naked violence and only gives in when confronted with greater violence.” Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth
I write to you from a humbled place. Striving to be a warrior for my people; looking and listening. This is an attempt to share some political reflections as a Black womyn in the struggle since I left the womb. The last two days Turtle Island (united states) has been on fire in solidarity with Mike Brown’s family and Ferguson, Missouri to protest the murder of Mike Brown by pig Darren Wilson, who continues to live freely with no charges filed against him. Mike Brown, like many of my brothers and sisters before me, was murdered for being a Black man in the White mans system. A system built out of the genocide of Black and Native folks. No justice will ever be served in their courts. This week in particular is a powerful week to be remembering and honoring native resistance, and Indigenous resistance all over this earth to white supremacy and state violence. Nothing has changed including the lies and bullshit holidays they try to feed us to distract us from these truths. We honor by continuing to resist.
My consciousness took a deep and important shift when Oscar grant was murdered nearly 6 years ago now at Fruitvale Bart Station on New Years of 2009. I begin building community here in Oakland to fight back against white supremacy shortly after. It is within this journey that certain political truths have been crystalized within me, which have helped root out reformism and liberalism, which serves to distract from the truth. There are many authoritarians within the spectrum of the left, who seek to manage and point out correct lines and such. Fuck them. That is not my purpose in these political reflections to gain ideological power over ‘the revolution’. That’s also not possible. The people will liberate themselves. But I do see too many of my own folks, (melinated, womyn, queer, combos of all) who fall into these liberal traps of seeking change through passive reformism and non violence. I see too many of my own folks who know the system is wrong or has to go in some kind of way, but aren’t sure what that is or are still too incarcerated within it, ideologically, to imagine what it would mean to truly break free and what it would take. We live in a world built out of white supremacy; manifested from the White mans vision, and implemented through deep violence. That is the only way the White man has won the world.
We live within colonial capitalism. A psychotic exploitative system designed to continually rob and take to keep a ruling elite in power. This system was created through European conquest, which helped set puppet governments up all over the world, who will act in accordance with these capitalist laws of domination over the earth and its peoples. All laws that exist are designed to protect this system. Protect the white supremacist hierarchy at its foundation. Protect the stolen wealth through genocide. As a people we are confronted with two choices, to integrate into the system and therefore legitimize slavery or to destroy it, which means breaking their slaveholder laws.
This can be a scary step for some folks to take, but it is a necessary one to truly break free, and it begins within our own consciousness and spirits, which guide our actions. For most, the way this practically happens is through the process of struggle itself. Sure, most of us are politicized through our identities and lived experiences as powerful, creative beings, who have survived generations of trauma caused from colonization. But that doesn’t change the fact that we live in the White mans world and are manipulated through his institutions, such as skkkool, and have his media all around us. It messes up our mind. Materially and physically we are dependent on this system, because capitalism creates dependency. We all are integrated into it just through the need to survive. We have to work hard for crumbs just to afford the basic necessities of life. Its expensive to be poor in a system opposed to life and we are not free to leave it or to live differently according to their laws. That type of liberation will come through a larger decolonial struggle that has been in existence for over 500 years.
When we take to the streets. When we fight back in direct ways, in offensive ways, not just passive marches, boycotts or petitions, then something changes within us. Our spirits are awakened when we take back space, whether it be buildings, freeways, walls, parks, ect. Confidence is built through taking risks. And when confidence is built we can do it better and larger and deeper. We can start to imagine what it might be like to not live in fear of the backlash of the state. We can begin to imagine what it might be like to live without a state altogether. To be truly free and autonomous. To not just take back space for a few hours, but to really decolonize and live with the earth. All we need is each other and that bravery and so much can happen, but it’s hard to imagine without the practical experience. Without seeing your comrades beat down and/or kidnapped in the streets by the racist pigs you were out there protesting or when you see over a 1000 people in Oakland, CA take the 580 freeway twice, because why the fuck not. We are powerful and can do anything with the right experience and mindset, and some organization. Not revolutionary organizations or vanguard parties that seek to manage the people, but through being organized together and finding unity through struggle. Lets stop legitimizing the system and giving them power. All they have is their violence and their lack of feeling, which allows them to employ that violence in the most disturbing ways to enforce their laws. That’s real and scary, but we also have so much more. As a people we have a deep brilliance and creativity, and our own hearts and ancestral blood to guide us as we fight back. We stay protected. We would not have survived this long if we weren’t. Our ancestors want us alive.
Black lives fight back
Monday and Tuesday night in Oakland was inspiring, because it is a reminder of the dignified rage that flows through our people. That rage is the source of our power and magic. A righteous destruction we must employ against our oppressors, as well as a creative power to imagine and build something new. This is the beauty of militant decolonial struggle. The ways it builds upon itself through time and space. Nothing is purely spontaneous when the people have been self-organizing for 100s of years. What is important to me is how we build upon that energy so it hits the pressure points of the system as well as uplift one another.
A chant I heard over and over again throughout the protests is ‘black lives matter’. The slogan seems to be a rallying cry for this movement of solidarity with Mike Brown against white supremacy. Historically slogans have been important reflections of politics to inspire the people. The Black Panther Party said ‘All power to the people’ (Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, Poor, Womyn, Queer). To me that slogan reflected a radical politic that claimed the source of political power comes from the people; not bourgeois political parties and the police thugs who protect their money and hustle. The Black Panther Party and Black Power movement was also a youth movement. Radical struggles have always sprung from the youth. If our struggles are not centering the visions and actions of the youth then our struggles will lead to nowhere. There are a lot of non-profits that engage with young Black and Brown people and even seek to talk about ‘social justice’ and ‘activism’ but this work often stifles the movement of the youth narrowing it into the fields of education and assimilation, rather into freedom fighters. Outkast said it best, ‘youth full of fire and got nowhere to go’. The non-profitization of parts of the bay area left seeks to take out the fire of the youth and militant struggle, but young people see through these contradictions too. Especially young Black and Brown youth, who know what its like to not have political and social power within this white supremacist system; who see through the contradictions of the amerikkkan dream denied to them. The youth of Oakland have always represented in the streets and I’m proud to struggle alongside them.
So when we claim Black lives matter, who are we really talking to? I don’t need to tell another Black or Brown brother and sister that our lives matter. We know that. We are committed to that. Because if we weren’t committed to it then how would we have been able to survive and continue to survive genocide all these years? Through valuing ourselves in a system that doesn’t value life at all, let alone Black and Native life. We are alienated and isolated, but we are also strong and build our communities up out of nothing, and still have enough energy to take to the streets and resist. Our lives matter so how do we fight back against a system of genocide? We do not need to plea with the slave masters to recognize our humanity. These politics and tactics have come up time and time again during social upheavals against white supremacy and state violence. I saw it during Oscar grant struggles when some folks were pushing police reform. I ask what would Harriet Tubman do? What would Nat Turner do? Certainly not ask the slave master for freedom. We take it. It’s time we start valuing each other enough to struggle for one another so that we may live for one another. We do not need to convince the slaveholding system of shit. But with the legalist and reformist strategies also comes a certain policing of militants by ‘activists’ in the streets. Unfortunately a lot of times this policing comes from more liberal or non-profitized folks of color, who want to keep things non-violent. For me as a Black womyn this policing takes away my agency to get turnt up in the streets, which I need to do, because that is healing too. Black people aren’t just victims of white supremacy, we also fight back and rage against the system too. Always. And it isn’t just White people or ‘outside agitators’ breaking stuff. These claims disempower our people.
On monday night during the march I got in between these womyn of color, who were attempting to snatch a bandanna off this white boys face, who had attempted (and failed) to break some stuff. They yelled at him for taking up space in an event for Black people. Used the same condescending arguments that it will be Black people, who are arrested first (as if Black people aren’t also expressing a certain dignified rage in the streets). Then they demanded he show his face. I jumped between them then so they yelled at me too. I said I feel the arguments around White boys and space, but still, we can’t be snitches…they didn’t get it. A few hours later I smiled in a sea of fire and broken glass as I saw Black faces loot back. It made me think of those womyn from earlier and my peoples who fear these tactics, who want to contain some sense of ‘peace’ In the streets. Peace for what? Whose streets are these? Whose banks are these? Why are we more concerned about keeping the peace towards private property we don’t own, rather then letting people do their thing in the streets? And policing tactics in the name of protecting Black people and our vulnerability to the state? We don’t need that. We’ve been smashing against this private property thang since our ancestors burned down plantations. Monday and Tuesday night in Oakland, CA was no different and we should be proud of that.
reposted from Kissing in the Dark…
reposted from global revolution:
The Munduruku Indians: Weaving Resistance
The Brazilian government is planning to build a vast number of big dams on the rivers around the Amazon Rainforest, destroying biodiversity and disrupting the way of life of thousands of Amerindians and local populations. Now that the work is well under way on the huge Belo Monte dam, on the Xingu river, the government is pushing ahead with its next big project – a series of dams on the Tapajós river. But 12,000 Munduruku Indians, long feared as warriors, live here and are fighting back.
This documentary, filmed in late 2013 and early 2014, looks at life in a Munduruku village, where traditional skills are practised and children are brought up with remarkable freedom. It documents the growth of resistance, even among the women, not traditionally fighters, some of whom are emerging as guerreiras (woman warriors).
This video was produced independently, with the support of some organizations in the UK, such as LAB and Lipman Miliband Trust, Munduruku leaders and their local supporters. The post-production process was made thanks to collaborative and solidarity work.
Dir.: Nayana Fernandez
see vimeo for full transcript
The Munduruku Indians: Weaving Resistance by MiráPorã is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at mirapora.com/
Live stream recording – 2014-10-21 21.35 [part 2]
PART 1: http://vimeo.com/debalie/statelessdem…
(there’s more info linked below)
The fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has often been portrayed as a fight between the West and its Arab allies against Islamic ultra-fundamentalists. Over the last several years, however, a progressive Kurdish-led resistance has been forming in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) amidst the Syrian Civil War. The resistance has successfully implemented new models of grassroots democracy, gender equality, and sustainable ecology, its members practicing a political project they refer to as Democratic Confederalism. Women and men stand side-by-side in its armed forces in the face of both ISIS and the Bashar al-Assad regime. Despite the resistance’s efforts, Rojava is currently threatened by a massacre, and the international community continues to stand by silently as tragedy unfolds.
This conference discusses the current Kurdish resistance in Kobanê, Rojava against ISIS. With help of representatives from the Kurdish movement as well as specialists in the field, it explores the politics and culture of Rojava and the reasons behind the formation and growth of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. The question as to what and how the international community and civil society can help is also addressed—not only to stop ISIS, but more crucially, to support a movement from within the region that is offering a new democratic horizon from which the world can learn.
Keynote speeches by Dilşah Osman (co-president of the Kurdish Democratic Society Congress in Europe, KCD-E) and Dilar Dirik (PhD researcher and activist of the Kurdish Women’s Movement), contributions by Joost Jongerden (researcher and Kurdish specialist, Wageningen University), Jolle Demmers (co-founder of the Center for Conflict Studies, Utrecht), Jonas Staal (artist), Jasper Blom (Director Scientific Bureau Groenlinks / Green Party), Dilan Yezilgoz-Zegerius (Amsterdam council memberfor Liberal Party VVD, former Amnesty International specialist on Turkey) en Golrokh Nafisi (artist) and many others.
The conference is hosted by New World Academy; BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht; Center for Conflict Studies, Utrecht; and De Balie, Amsterdam.
Stateless Democracy: The Revolution in Rojava Kurdistan is the first of a series of events on stateless democracy organized by New World Academy in collaboration with the Kurdish Women’s Movement.
The Kurdish women’s movement, the Union of Free Women (YJA) has changed its name to the Kurdistan Communtiies of Women (Komalen Jinen Kurdistan, KJK) in order to reorganize itself under a confederal system. The Women’s Movement has issued a statement to announce its name change, stressing the importance of women’s organisation on the basis of the ideological and political requirements for a universal liberation of women.
Excerpt from “Between Nationalism and Women’s Rights: The Kurdish Women’s Movement in Iraq”
With the fall of the Baath regime in 2003, many Kurdish women activists initially joined with women activists in the rest of Iraq to promote women’s rights for all Iraqis. However, the violence that has engulfed central and southern Iraq as well as the Islamization of politics there, mean that a large number of women activists in Kurdistan have put their efforts into supporting autonomy for Iraqi Kurdistan as a means of defending women’s rights there. Moreover, many Kurdish activists tend to emphasize their difference from Arabs through reference to their desire for women’s rights (as opposed to what they perceive as a lack of desire for women’s rights in the rest of Iraq). Even those women in Kurdistan who believe that it is important to work with women in the rest of Iraq are largely prevented from doing so due to the practical difficulties of travelling to/within the rest of Iraq. However, some women’s rights activists from central and southern Iraq travel to Iraqi Kurdistan for meetings and workshops as it is much safer than other parts of the country.
The comparison with the rest of Iraq has made some Kurdish women more optimistic about the gains that they have made within the Iraqi Kurdistan region, whilst others remain critical of politicians within the KRG. Some women activists believe that Kurdistan politicians are marginalizing women’s rights to concentrate on the “bigger national questions” of Kirkuk, oil, and federalism. Other women activists believe that these questions of Kurdish rights are also inseparable from achieving women’s rights in Kurdistan. However, both the critics and the optimists believe that autonomy for Kurdistan must be respected by the government in Baghdad.
IRAQ: Interview: Between Nationalism and Women’s Rights – The Kurdish Women’s Movement
KURDISH WOMEN AND FEMINISM IN GUERILLA WARFARE
Within the movement, Kurdish women have their own party, and even community. In the heart of Qandil Mountains, you can find PKK women do everything by themselves, even building houses and military outposts.
If we compare the women members of Turkey’s parliament in the country’s 17th general election which was held on 12 June 2011 to elect 550 new members of Grand National Assembly, we see a huge difference between Kurdish women deputies in the only Kurdish party and the two other opposition parties. There are 20 female deputies out of 135 deputies from the opposition Republican People’s Party, three out of 53 from the Nationalist Movement Party and 11 out of 35 among the Kurdish Peace and Democracy party.
This is the innovation of Kurdish freedom struggle movement that you cannot find in the whole Middle East region. You can hardly find female political figures in Middle East. This is not to say that some female political figures don’t exist in Middle East, but of those that do they rarely get to the higher positions. But in Kurdish the freedom struggle and political ideology, it has become a system that will go forward in the future.
Bear in mind, the women that are guerrilla fighters are not married and if you ask them about marriage, they straightly tell you “If our land is not free, marriage is meaningless.” This is the same for the male guerrillas as well.
To fight side by side to men, Kurdish women fighters have become the soul of the revolution. Though they are martyred every now and then, but they are so proud that they have dedicated their life to the nation and the land.
PKK women say that they are one hundred percent equal to men, yet they want more! They will never see their families once they have joined the revolution. Once I asked a PKK female guerrilla in Qandil Mountains: “Do you miss your mother?”
“Your mother, is my mother, too. Daily, I see her several times here. My mother is here, she is there, she is everywhere in the country. My mother is my HOMELAND.” she replied
The latest achievement of PKK’s women is that they were able to become the top leaders of the KCK. Bese Hozat became the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council Co-President in KCK’s last congress which was held in the beginning of 2013. Despite KCK affiliated parties and organizations impleneting the Co-chair system, KCK had not done so. Consequently the last congress became a milestone for PKK’s female fighters because they were able to acheive equality to men within the political structure of KCK.
Gaining equality and high positions within the PKK revolutionary movement was not handed to women on a silver plate. Women struggled against the patriarchal mentality of men, and through constant struggles they acomplished what they set out to do.
Dilar Dirik is an activist of the Kurdish Women’s Movement and a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department of the University of Cambridge. Her lecture at the 4th New World Summit is entitled “Stateless Democracy: How the Kurdish Women Movement Liberated Democracy from the State”
“The nail that sticks up will be hammered down.” – Japanese Proverb
Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the latest addition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it looks that way. The manual identifies a mental illness labelled as “oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD. It’s defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior.” (0) It’s also included in the category of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The manual is used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses, and it seems that with each new issue a new, made up mental illness is added to the list. This isn’t something new, in the Soviet Union, a systematic political abuse of psychiatry took place and was based on the interpretation of political dissent as a psychiatric problem. Mental illness has been used for political repression, those who were/are non-conformant and do/did not accept the beliefs of authority figures (like government agencies) face labels that do not represent them at all, and have no scientific backing what so ever. (1)
“On the first glance, political abuse of psychiatry appears to represent a straightforward and uncomplicated story: the deployment of medicine as an instrument of repression. Psychiatric incarceration of mentally healthy people is uniformly understood to be a particularly pernicious form of repression, because it uses the powerful modalities of medicine as tools of punishment, and it compounds a deep affront to human rights with deception and fraud. Doctors who allow themselves to be used in this way betray the trust of society and breach their most basic ethical obligations as professionals.” (1)
The entire psychiatric disease model today is based on the theory that a brain-based, chemical imbalance causes mental illness. Dr. Mark Graff, Chair of Public Affairs of the American Psychiatric Association said that this theory was “probably drug industry derived.” (source)
“There’s no biological imbalance. When people come to me and they say, I have a biological imbalance, I say, ‘show me your lab tests.’ There are no lab tests. So what’s the biochemical imbalance?” – Dr. Ron Leifer, New York psychiatrist (source)
“If a psychiatrist says you have a shortage of a chemical, ask for a blood test and watch the psychiatrist’s reaction. The number of people who believe that scientists have proven that depressed people have low serotonin is a glorious testament to the power of marketing.” - Jonathan Leo, associate professor of anatomy at Western University of Health Sciences. (source)
reposted from Arjun Walia, Collective-Evolution
On June 12, 2014 begins the world football cup in Brazil, a sporting event which businesspeople, politicians, journalists and sympathizers eagerly await, some because of greed, others because of nationalist exacerbation, a World Cup that has the highest budget ever invested in history (over 600,000 million dollars, and the account is not even closed yet…).
In carioca (Rio de Janeiro), the repressive forces that are commanded by the evil born Dilma Rousseff and trained by US counter-terrorist brigades, namely the army, the police or the ironically named Pacifying Police Unit (UPP), led by the militiamen Alexandre Braga and Ezequiel Oliveira de Mendonça, are implementing a policy of extermination against the marginal population, concentrating their attacks in the favelas and the poorest zones of this region. An extermination that is far from diminishing, since the deployment of military police, orchestrated by the chief of police Tarcísio Andreas Jansen and the colonel Marcelo Rocha, has further increased as the inauguration ceremony approaches.
In cities like São Paulo alone, nearly 70,000 families have been displaced during the constructions for the World Cup preparations, while in Rio de Janeiro approximately 40,000 homes have faced the same fate.
The Brazilian State, showing off its progressive and assistentialist reputation, has offered an amount of money to some of the evicted (obviously none of them was from the bourgeois neighbourhoods, since the latter were not affected one bit) which is far from enough to recover their original dwelling, thus spitting on the residents’ dignity, and thinking that money can cover for all the bloodshed.
And when we talk of bloodshed, there have been hundreds of wounded and dozens of dead in Brazil over the past few months.
We cannot fail to mention the repugnant activity of the State, which is assassinating in the most cowardly way children who survive on the streets, in order to receive an estimated 600,000 tourists that will arrive in the country, offering them in turn the hundreds of bodies of women and girls subjected to prostitution.
These postcards, perhaps unknown to many, are the currency in South America; hence our rage is born of the most sincere hatred, the limited covering of basic needs, the daily submissions and the constant humiliations; hence our rage is not out of boredom or revolutionary pose but is necessary and urgent, and clearly, beautifully violent…
Message posted on Twitter by @caranovanocongr: “NOTICE TO FOREIGN TOURISTS – THERE WILL BE VIOLENT PROTESTS DURING THE WORLD CUP IN BRAZIL. #NAOVAITERCOPA”
As anarchists, we cannot remain indifferent to so much misery, so much pain, so much torture and so much death.
Those responsible for these atrocities do not go hiding; they are the sponsors, the multinationals, the society itself that tolerates and encourages this tournament with its passivity and servility.
Of the former, we are able to find offices and representatives in various parts of the globe…; next, all we have to do is adjust the sights and shoot.
From the latter, we do not expect or ask anything, so we call ourselves to act, the anarchist combatants in various regions, the refractories of this filthy order, and the subversives who understand that the only way is direct and real confrontation.
For consequence and coherence, in rebellion and action.
For this reason, this statement is not intended to be a mere repudiation, but a clear incitement to conspiracy, sabotage and attack against all the instruments of the system of domination that aims to domesticate us, and specifically in this case, this shitty Word Cup.
So for our part, at the kickoff, we made an anonymous call to the JJ8011 flight of the TAM Airlines from Buenos Aires destined for São Paulo, warning of an explosive device with the aim of sabotaging the normal flow of tourists who arrive in the region dominated by the Brazilian government, either unaware of what is taking place over there or complicit through their apathy.
IF NOT YOU, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?
Active solidarity with comrades in revolt across Brazil!
Vengeance for those injured, imprisoned and killed by the State!
There will not be a World Cup!
International Solidarity Cell
To Win or Die For Anarchy.
- text reposted from contraInfo, International call for sabotage and direct action against the World Cup in Brazil
other media from revolution news