Tag Archives: beyond patriarchy

NAC118. OSUNA (SEVILLA) 08/08/2012.- El parlamentario autonÛmico, lÌder jornalero del Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT) y alcalde de Marinaleda, Juan Antonio S·nchez Gordillo, durante la ocupaciÛn hoy, 8 de agosto de 2012, de la finca propiedad del Ministerio de Defensa " Las Turquillas" en la provincia de Sevilla. Gordillo ha dicho que los supermercados de los que se llevaron ayer comida tambiÈn son "responsables" de la crisis econÛmica. EFE/Juan Ferreras

The thriving Spanish town of Marinaleda runs on the principles of mutual aid and direct action

The currency of direct action

As the Spanish economy continues its post-2008 nosedive, unemployment sits at 26 percent nationally, while over half of young people can’t find work. Meanwhile, Marinaleda boasts a modest but steady local employment picture in which most people have at least some work and those that don’t have a strong safety net to fall back on.

But more than its cash economy, Marinaleda has a currency rarely found beyond small-scale activist groups or indigenous communities fighting destructive development projects: the currency of direct action. Rather than rely exclusively on cash to get things done, Marinaleños have put their collective blood, sweat and tears into creating a range of alternative systems in their corner of the world.

When money hasn’t been readily available — probably the only consistent feature since the community set out on this path — Marinaleños have turned to one another to do what needs doing. At times that has meant collectively occupying land owned by the Andalusian aristocracy and putting it to work for the town, at others it has simply meant sharing the burden of litter collection.

While still operating with some degree of central authority, the local council has devolved power into the hands of those it serves. General assemblies are convened on a regular basis so that townspeople can be involved in decisions that affect their lives. The assemblies also create spaces where people can come together to organize what the community needs through collective action.

“The best thing they have here in Marinaleda, and you can’t find this in other places, is the [general] assembly,” says long-term civil servant for the Marinaleda council, Manuel Gutierrez Daneri. He continues: “Assembly is a place for people to discuss problems and to find the solutions,” pointing out that even minor crimes are collectively addressed via the assembly, as the town has no police or judicial system since the last local cop retired.

In his time as mayor, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo has managed to leverage considerable financial support from the state government, a feat which Gutierrez Daneri attributes to the town’s collective track record for direct action. “If you go ahead with all of the people behind you, that is very powerful,” he says.

As a result, the small town boasts extensive sports facilities and a beautifully-maintained botanical garden, as well as a range of more basic necessities. “For a little village like this, with no more than 2,700 people, we have a lot of facilities,” says Gutierrez Daneri.

British ex-pat Chris Burke has lived in Marinaleda for several years, and he explains that access to the public swimming pool only costs €3 for the entire summer. Burke recounts Mayor Sánchez Gordillo saying to him, “The whole idea of the place being somewhere good to live is that anyone can afford to enjoy themselves.” Burke adds pragmatically, “You can’t have a utopia without some loss-making facilities.”

THERE’S MUCH MORE TO SEE, FROM ROAR -

Marinaleda: the village where people come before profit

This article was originally published at Contributoria.

NAC118. OSUNA (SEVILLA) 08/08/2012.- El parlamentario autonÛmico, lÌder jornalero del Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT) y alcalde de Marinaleda, Juan Antonio S·nchez Gordillo, durante la ocupaciÛn hoy, 8 de agosto de 2012, de la finca propiedad del Ministerio de Defensa " Las Turquillas" en la provincia de Sevilla. Gordillo ha dicho que los supermercados de los que se llevaron ayer comida tambiÈn son "responsables" de la crisis econÛmica. EFE/Juan Ferreras
NAC118. OSUNA (SEVILLA) 08/08/2012.- El parlamentario autonÛmico, lÌder jornalero del Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores (SAT) y alcalde de Marinaleda, Juan Antonio S·nchez Gordillo, durante la ocupaciÛn hoy, 8 de agosto de 2012, de la finca propiedad del Ministerio de Defensa ” Las Turquillas” en la provincia de Sevilla. Gordillo ha dicho que los supermercados de los que se llevaron ayer comida tambiÈn son “responsables” de la crisis econÛmica. EFE/Juan Ferreras
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Non-Conformity & Creativity Now Listed As A Mental Illness By Psychiatrists

“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

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Indigenous Peoples: Language Revitalization & Gender Identity

At the core of European legal thought is sustaining binaries such as the colonizer v. the colonized, the conqueror v. the conquered, the civilized v. the savage, or the male v. the female. During her lecture on systemic violence at Concordia University, Andrea Smith explains how colonialism legitimized gender violence through the installation of patriarchy, a male system of domination over females (Smith, 2011). Smith (2011) states:

Of course, patriarchy is built on a gender binary system. You can’t have patriarchy unless you have two genders, one that dominates another gender. So consequently, in many Native communities that were not built on a gender binary system, those who did not fit that system were often targeted for destruction as well (at approximately 2:05).

Watch Andrea Smith’s talk on Systemic Violence Against Native Women and Struggles for Land

Lecture at Concordia University: September 30th, 2011 – video by Concordia’s TV station, CUTV.

When settlers first arrived to the Americas, their relations with Indigenous populations were vital to their survival (Mawani, 2001). However, once more settlers began to arrive, the relations with Indigenous populations became more of an inconvenience (Mawani, 2001). By 1867, Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. MacDonald enacted the Indian Act, 1867 and this act was (and continues to be) a useful tool to police Indigenous populations (Comack, 2012). Brock Pitawanakwat (2009), in his research on Indigenous language revitalization, argues, “Canadian Indian Policy sought to undermine Indigenous independence and eradicate Indigenous languages” (p. 2). The eradication of Indigenous languages is then essential to colonialism since it promotes policy objectives, like those objectives associated with the enactment of the Indian Act. The primary objective behind the Indian Act was “to get rid of the Indian Problem” (Leslie, 1978). To accomplish this goal, colonizers forcibly removed Indigenous children from their homes to attend residential schools, where they were forbidden to practice their culture or speak their language (McGeough, 2008). Further, Pitawanakwat (2009) states, “the efforts to spread European languages in the Americas were fuelled by the colonists’ desires for administrative efficiency” (p. 2). While these are historical accounts of undermining Indigenous languages, the loss of language as an effect of colonialism still exists today. For example, within Canada, the loss of Indigenous languages occurs “at an even faster rate than the global average” (Pitawanakwat, 2009, p. 1). It has been shown that the main reason for loss of Indigenous language is European colonization and by 2100, it is predicted that only four of the original sixty Indigenous languages will be retained (Pitawanakwat, 2009, p. 1). For Indigenous peoples, the language is directly connected to their culture and from the perspective of the colonizer, it is a sensible policy and practice to prevent Indigenous peoples from both speaking their language and practicing their culture.

Though there are many efforts to restore Indigenous languages and culture, this colonial objective, to get rid of the Indian problem, still manifests itself in other ways in a contemporary context. From a legal perspective, within the Canadian court system, the value of Indigenous languages and cultures are diminished. This undermining of Indigenous languages and cultures is illustrated within the lower court decision in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (hereinafter referred to as Delgamuukw) (Borrows, 1999). John Borrows, an Anishnaabeg legal scholar, examines how the value of Indigenous languages and culture were belittled in Delgamuukw. In the case of Delgamuukw, McEachern C.J. diminished the importance of Indigenous languages in Canadian law when he did not accept evidence in the form of song or oral history from the plaintiffs, House of Delgamuukw, as proof of Aboriginal title. Specifically, McEachern C.J. (1991) viewed these songs and oral histories as songs, folklore, or mythology (p. 93). Borrows, however, outlines the importance of language for Aboriginal people’s political, economical, and legal systems. He writes, “Indigenous languages and cultures shaped their legal, economic, and political structures, and the socio-cultural relationships upon which they were built. Many of these narratives were considered private property” (p. 9). Indigenous language has formed the basis for Indigenous law, and in relation to colonialism, the loss of Indigenous language indicates a loss of Indigenous political, legal, social and economical systems. The Supreme Court of Canada also established that McEachern C.J.’s decision discovered, “a trend imbricated in the very bedrock of western European legal thought” (Burrows, 1999, footnote 22, p. 29). As noted earlier, central to European legal thought is sustaining binaries such as the colonizer and the colonized, or more specifically, the male and the female.

from: KWE TODAY: fierce indigenous feminism

 

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NGO poverty pimps! may they die soon, but not quickly!

Rafel Cervantes reflects on the implications for social movements of NGO-cop collaboration.

Rafa reflexiona en las implicaciones que tienen las organizaciones sin fenes de lucro y no-gubernamentales en colaboracion con la policia hacia los movimientos sociales por justicia.

PRESS RELEASE VIA MORATORIUM ON DEPORTATIONS CAMPAIGN

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) used marshals and police to assault participants in the Mayday March. Marshals obstructed groups of marchers, blocking them from being able to walk or to pass on either side of the street, and directed police to kettle specific groups of people whose messaging was not convenient. Eventually, marshals signaled out Ze (Jose Garcia), an undocumented organizer and outspoken critic of ICIRR. ICIRR and SEIU marshals physically restrained him and signaled the police to arrest him and Anne Wooton. Ze is also currently fighting his deportation proceedings. This is a politically motivated attack intended to suppress dissent and to control people’s autonomous participation in a public event.

Join Moratorium on Deportations Campaign (MDC) to show solidarity for all those pushed, tackled and intimidated during the march and to hold the police and so called social justice organizations accountable. We cannot accept that any organization would resort to the use of state violence as a way to control a public event or people’s political ideas and expressions.

Documentation of past examples of ICIRR calling police on undocumented activists

pieces of madrid

This short documentary explores ongoing resistance and self-organization in the midst of the economic and social crisis in Madrid, Spain.

As social conditions continue to deteriorate across the country, people have been turning to the streets and to each other to find for solutions to the crisis. This film tells a story of the massive mobilization that saw millions of people converge on Madrid on March 22nd 2014, the story of the proliferation of social centers, community gardens, self-organized food banks, and the story of large-scale housing occupations by and for families that have been evicted. The film pieces together many of the creative ways that people have been coping with crisis and asks what the future may hold for Spain.

Filmed and edited in March/April 2014, it is part of the Global Uprisings documentary series. View more at globaluprisings.org.

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Beehive Collective’s Tour in Colombia with New Graphic Campaign ‘Mesoamérica Resiste’

After nine years of research and illustration, the Beehive Design Collective launched their latest graphic campaign, Mesoamérica Resiste, in December of last year. Mesoamérica Resiste is the third installment in a trilogy about globalization in the Americas (following earlier graphics about the FTAA and Plan Colombia). This graphic campaign was directly researched with communities from Mexico, Central America, and Colombia who are impacted by the Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project, a neoliberal regional development plan formerly known as Plan Puebla Panama. Since fundraising for a big initial print run of posters and banners last year, the Bees have been actively buzzing across the hemisphere using these illustrated popular education tools to pollinate resistance in communities facing resource-extraction industries, militarization, and forced displacement.

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Since late last year, pollinators involved with the project Polinizaciones have been facilitating workshops of Mesoamérica Resiste and sharing posters with communities from Petén, Guatemala to Caquetá, Colombia. In February 2014, the Beehive was invited to participate in an artist residency with the Museo de Antioquia of Medellin, Colombia, as part of Contraexpediciones(Counter Expeditions).

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Following the artist residency, the pollinators of Polinizaciones toured and brought Mesoamérica Resiste to a variety of rural and urban communities living the realities depicted in the graphic. In Medellin, weeks before the city hosted the World Urban Forum,we painted murals and shared with communities suffering the impacts of gentrification. In the Department of Caldas there was a showing in the city of Manizales, and we also spent a week visiting different schools and community spaces in the Indigenous Reserve of San Lorenzo of the Embera Chamí People.

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In the city of Cali, Bees presented the Mesoamérica Resiste graphic in different public settings including the University of Valle and the San Antonio hill. In the Agua Blanca District of the city, a workshop was held with the youth of the Theatre Circus Capuchini. In the north of the Department of Cauca, pollinators visited the indigenous Nasa communities of Toribio and Tacueyo. In Tacueyo, the Bees were present for the swearing in of this year´s Student Indigenous Guard and in Toribio, at the CECIDIC educational center, numerous workshops were done with students. In the area of Silvia in Central Cauca, Mesoamérica Resiste was shared in schools of the Kiswo People and Misak People, as well as at the Misak University and community radio station.

 – from upsidedown world news, Photo Essay: The Beehive Collective’s First Tour in Colombia of the New Graphic Campaign ‘Mesoamérica Resiste’

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Support those on trial for Parliament Blockade: 20 people will be tried on 31 March

Repression in Spain. A call for international solidarity

”What originally happened was that a huge demo blockaded the park in Barcelona where the parliament is situated on pacifistthe morning the severe health, education and social security cuts were to be voted through in the new budget. The demo was organised by the 15M movement which at the time was very pacifist, activists on the blockade were controlled with chants of NO VIOLENCE. There was a huge police presence but they deliberately let some Deputies walk unescorted through the crowd, where they were booed and one had his jacket sprayed. Really, I was there and nothing much happened. The video was used in a media campaign against the ‘violent anti democratic thugs’ in an attempt to divide and rule any opposition, and 20 people were hunted down and charged. Now finally they’re up for trial in a highly repressive climate. Meanwhile the important politicians were flown into the park by helicopter, in an unnecessary media stunt, heroically evading the pacifist thugs and passing the budget for the predator banks. That was 3 years ago… now the support demo has the slogan:    ‘I WAS ALSO BLOCKADING PARLIAMENT.. AND I’D DO IT AGAIN’

During the last three years Spanish society has witnessed a period of intense social protests against austerity, corruption, unemployment and so on. As in other times in history, the greater and more radicalised the protest the bigger the repression that the state organises against it. Since the general strike in September 2010, a common trend of this repression strategy is been a kind of ‘laissez faire’ in the streets but followed by ´selective´ detentions months later. Police have been literally knocking doors down of those who continuously take part in different actions and demonstrations, and consequently dozens of people have been arrested.

The mobilization “Aturem el Parlament” (“Paralize the Parliament”), took place two weeks after the brutal eviction of Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona), by the riot police Mossos d´Esquadra under the command of Felip Puig. He was the minister of the Interior at that time and is currently the minister of companies and labour. He was also responsible for the police operation that shot Esther Quintana in the eye.
The mobilization “Aturem el Parlament” (“Paralize the Parliament”), took place two weeks after the brutal eviction of Plaza Catalunya (Barcelona), by the riot police Mossos d´Esquadra under the command of Felip Puig. He was the minister of the Interior at that time and is currently the minister of companies and labour. He was also responsible for the police operation that shot Esther Quintana in the eye.

On June the 15th 2011, ten thousand people surrounded the Catalan parliament in Barcelona. That day the government wanted to approve a vast austerity cut in health and education, and the idea was to block politicians from getting into the building. “Inexplicably” the police did not protect some politicians, which caused direct confrontation with protesters, and of course that fact was used by the media as an example of violence against democracy. After that, people were violently dispersed, and the MPs could do their job.On October the 4th 2011, 22 people were arrested in their homes. They have been accused of a crime against the state, using a law designed for coup leaders and that had never been used before in Spain. They now face a penalty of up to 8 years in jail, whereas some of them have been also accused of different crimes related to other demonstrations.

The trial will start in March the 31st 2014 and it is expected to last four days.There will be a national day of solidarity in Spain on March the 29th with demonstrations in several cities. So we also call for international solidarity.You can call, email or block different Spanish embassies or institutions. Or you can do whatever you consider appropriate…

“That day we tried to block the Catalan parliament to combat the drama of many lives immersed in poverty, layoffs by cuts, suicides by evictions, etc. Because many of these atrocities are approved behind the walls of that building. We were pointing at the guilty, and because of that we would do it again without fear.

“We know this is a political trial, a farce to scare those who choose to stand up and take action against those responsible for such precarious living conditions. In fact, we reaffirm it to find that both direct action against the powerful and generate alternative lives bothers them a lot. For this reason, and because we understand the power that we can have as we organise ourselves, we do not want to bow to their intimidation and we make a call to extend solidarity to those suffering the daily repression and violence of this economic system, in its myriad forms”.

- from encausades parliament: Manifesto in support

SEE ALSO:

Disobediencia Massiva . Support Victimised Activists, from the FREE

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saudi arabia is such a horrible place for women, daughters of the royal family are pleading for help!

The straw that broke the camel

…in a palace, Princesses also suffer the harsh living conditions that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires women. Them Common can not drive or travel solo or perform paid work. Even swing ride. And some daughters of King Abdullah (89), namely the four he had with the Jordanian Alanoud Alfayez can not leave the palace that are being held in the city of Jeddah, west of the country in the emirate of Mecca .

The situation that support Sahar (42 years), Maha (41), Hala (39) and Jawaher (38), is such that they have decided to launch the outside walls of the anguished SOS in recent days are being picked up by numerous media both Arab and Western media.

In the background of this drama are not only the strict rules that the Sharia Law (Islamic Law) provides for women in Arabia but also the point of rebellion of some of the daughters born of the marriage between King Abdullah and Alanoud Alfayez. In the late 90s, Hala, who has a degree in psychology, s and openly complained that political opponents of the regime were being locked up in psychiatric wards of the hospital where he worked. It was the straw that broke the camel.

Now, after more than a decade of confinement, mother and daughters have launched a desperate cry. But they have little hope. Are convinced that the enormous power of the King and his great influence worldwide cause there is a “conspiracy of silence” that is leading to an extreme situation. Neither the UN hears their cries.

 – from teckler, Four Saudi princesses launch an SOS “kidnapping” in palace

all male WOMENS CONFERENCE in Saudi Arabia
The conference was reportedly held at the University of Qassim and was apparently attended by representatives of 15 countries.

Saudi Arabian Women’s Conference… Not A Female In Sight

Much is being made of absurdity and hypocrisy of the image, but when you consider Saudi Arabia is a country where women are not permitted to drive, it seems less so.

Religious police in the Gulf Kingdom which is governed by Sharia Law only recently lifted a ban on females riding motorbikes and bicycles – as long as they wear the full-length veil and are accompanied by a male relative.

It is illegal for Saudi women to travel abroad without male accompaniment. They may only do so if their guardian agrees by signing a document know as a ‘yellow sheet’ at an airport or border crossing.

In November 2012 it emerged women were being electronically monitored with authorities using SMS to track them and inform their husbands of their whereabouts.

And it was only in 2011 that women were given the right to vote and run for office in municipal elections in 2015.

- from the huffington post, UK

The following are excerpts from Minbar Al-Hiwar Wal-‘Ibra:

Prisoners Can Be Released From Prison – But Saudi Women Can’t

“The laws of imprisonment are known all over the world. People who commit a crime or an offense are placed in a prison cell… where they serve their sentence. [When they complete it], or get time off for good behavior, they are released… except in cases [where a person is sentenced] to life imprisonment or death. In Saudi Arabia, there are two additional ways to get out of prison early: by learning the Koran or parts of it by heart… or by getting a pardon from the king on the occasion of a holiday or a coronation – after which the prisoner finds himself free and can enjoy life among his family and loved ones.

“However, none of these options exist for Saudi women – neither for those who live behind bars [i.e. who are actually in prison] nor for those who live outside the prison walls. None are ever released, except with the permission of their male guardian. A Saudi woman who committed a crime may not leave her cell when she has finished serving her sentence unless her guardian arrives to collect her. As a consequence, many Saudi women remain in prison just because their guardians refuse to come and get them. The state pardons them, but their guardians insist on prolonging their punishment.

“At the same time, even ‘free’ women need the permission of their guardian to leave their home, their city or their country. So in either case, the woman’s freedom is [in the hands of] her guardian.”

 –  from teckler

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to disconnected natives: the process of self-repatriation

It doesn’t matter how you were stolen from us. Adopted out, raised by damaged beings who never learned to parent, because that was the intention of the assimilationist program, raised by people full of self-loathing who never connected you to your roots. How you were taken was a violence, regardless of the form, regardless of whether it began with you or your gggrandparents.

Your story of disconnection is shared by tens of thousands. Yours is a journey that stretches out before you in deeply cut ruts formed by the feet of generations of souls who had the same journey to make.

You are led to believe that we don’t love you, that we won’t accept you, that we are glad you are gone. If only you knew how many of the waiting Elders thought those same thoughts just 30 or 40 years ago. How many overcame a dispossession as deep, sometimes even deeper than your own.

We KNOW your struggle. Intimately. Whole systems were created by communities to gather up lost feathers like yourselves. The Native Friendship Centres, the entire urban movement, was about reconnecting our relations to one another. Trying to undo the deliberate attempts to make us all disappear.

Because you are uncertain and hesitant, and do not know how to begin your journey, you are vulnerable. You are vulnerable to new age frauds and plastic shaman who will exploit you and lie to you. You are vulnerable to those wounded people who do resent your existence outside the misery they cannot escape. And deplorably, you are vulnerable to fakes and liars who use your real pain to form a wedge with which they can pry open lips and hearts and minds to spill forth knowledge that they have not earned.

These frauds and liars use YOUR struggle to deflect from their exploitative actions. They claim we don’t want you because you’re mixed, urban, disconnected, or whatever. They attach themselves to you like parasites, hoping that when we help you on your way, which we will because we love you, that they will be able to sneak in too.

The saddest thing is, we would share with them too, if they could walk upright, do the work, be respectful and honest. But they would rather skulk and lie and steal. They are not trying to connect to anything, they are merely trying to self-aggrandize.

A lot of the anger you are seeing is a backlash against this exploitation, and against the way that exploitation actively makes it more difficult for our relations to make their way back to us.

Don’t be fooled. If all of the happenings here lately have you wondering if you belong, if you can ever come back, it’s only because you are listening to the wrong people. Trust. Honesty. Humility. Respect. A good mind. Everything else flows from this.

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from tumblr,

An open letter to disconnected natives: the process of self-repatriation

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