Tag Archives: beyond patriarchy

Bolivianos-dan-culto-a-las-calaveras

Indigenous Anarchist Critique of Bolivia’s ‘Indigenous State’

Originally published on June 7, 2014 at World War 4 Report, with a shorter version on May 26, 2014 at Indian Country Today Media Network.

Bolivian historian and social theorist Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui is author of the classic work Oppressed But Not Defeated: Peasant Struggles Among the Aymara and Quechua in Bolivia, and has recently emerged as one of the country’s foremost critics of President Evo Morales from an indigenous perspective. Indian Country Today Media Network spoke with her in New York City, where she recently served as guest chair of Latin American studies at New York University’s King Juan Carlos Center. The complete text of the interview appears for the first time on World War 4 Report.

I am part of a collective that produced hand-made books and hand-woven bags frmo recycled plastic, as well as lettuce and potatoes and fava beans and sweet peas and medicinal herbs. Grown in community gardens in La Paz. And we sell them at the traditional markets in La Paz.

And we have made campaigns—a campaign against plastic bags, a campaign to promote walking instead of taking trucks or buses or cars. Walking is very difficult in La Paz if it’s uphill, because of the altitude. So we have a slogan, Camina La Paz, aun que sea la bajada—Walk through La Paz, even if it’s only downhill! At least just get a bus ticket one way!

So we try to link every public issue where human rights, indigenous rights, and the rights of the Pachamama are involved. So we joined with TIPNIS, we joined CONAMAQ, we joined the support network for the human rights office that was almost taken over by the government. We are defending the CONAMAQ people who were kicked out of their office… We are just there for them, if they need shelter for the night or a good breakfast, we go and do that. We are not many, but we do whatever we can.

We call ourselves Colectivo Ch’ixi—from the Aymara word meaning “stain.” We are mestizos, but we have a strong Indian stain in our souls. We are “impure.” We are not “pure” people. And we have to recognize also that there is a European stain in our bodies and in our subjectivities. And the good part of that stain is the idea of freedom and individual rights. From the Indian part we get the idea of community and of cycle, intimacy with the cycles of nature. But we do recognize the value of individual freedoms and rights—sexual rights, the right to have a sexual identity that is different from the rest, or of abortion. All this comes from the best contributions of European civilization and the Enlightenment.

riverabolivia2I would say that the strength of Bolivia is not the state but the people. And the people have been strong and stubborn enough to be what they are, and to put their own desires as the terms and conditions of what is going to be the change. And that is what saves this process of Evo. What saves him is that there are people behind him who have not been bought completely, and they rely upon themselves.

There is a peculiarity of the Bolivian people in general, with a lot of diversity, a lot of community, a lot of locality, a lot of ability to network and to make friendships. There is also a huge diasporic Bolivianess. I would say half the population of Bolivians live outside Bolivia. There are probably 9 million Bolivians in the diaspora—in Argentina, in Spain, in Italy, Chile, the United States. All over the place—even China now!

But you cannot say that we Bolivians are being well-treated by whatever strength our state has. It is not the weakness of the state that has thrown people away—it is the strength of the state that has thrown people away! Because they are starting to normalize, homogenize, totalize, control and make difficult the lives of the people.

The most important asset that the Bolivian people has is knowledge of the environment. The environment of Bolivia is very rare. Only two peoples in the world live at such high altitudes—the Tibetan people, and we. For this land, you don’t need tractors. You don’t need huge harvesters or huge machines. For that, you need to know what the weather is going to be next month. And for that, you need the people who know how to look to the stars. That is the big asset. The stars and other predictive knowledge tell you when to sow, and when an early rain is coming. The ability to understand nature and its cycles and its messages.

We still have the culto de los muertos—the cult of the dead. You should come to my house in Bolivia and meet the skull of my ancestor. I am one of many, many, many paceños, many people from La Paz, who has this Cult of the Dead, very, very strong. Now a skull is a thing, you can just see it as inert material. But it’s not… There is a spirit there; there is a spirit everywhere. You have to be attuned to that. And Marxists don’t believe in that shit. [Laughs.]

And that is completely outside the ideas of Marxists. But it is part of the Indian epistemic that we, the mestizos, have within our bodes.

there’s much more, on indigenous and mestizo identity, the bolivian state, and the revolutionary imperative, from upside-down news, Interview with Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui

Bolivianos-dan-culto-a-las-calaveras

ezlnConvergence

Más allá de la compartición

La compartición es algo más allá.

Compañeras y compañeros de la Sexta de México y del mundo.

Para nosotras y nosotros la compartición fue un darnos las manos, un vernos de cómo estamos y qué pensamos.

Un conocernos las y los que somos de abajo y originarios de estas tierras.

No representantes, no líderes, nosotras y nosotros de las bases de los pueblos, naciones y tribus, las y los que no habíamos tenido la oportunidad de darnos las manos y conocernos y tocarnos nuestros corazones desde hace más de 520 años.

ezlnCrisisEn La Realidad, Caracol de los zapatistas, se hizo realidad nuestra convivencia de indígenas originarios, se hizo realidad lo de cruzar las palabras de unos y otros, de unas y otras. Cuando hablamos nosotras y nosotros y no líderes, nos entendemos las bases, nos comprendemos, nos sentimos en lo común. Y no es otra cosa lo que nos hace que nos entendemos tan pronto, es por la vida en que nos está pasando, de la vida tan mala que vivimos, ya no solamente nosotras y nosotros estamos ya así, sino también los hombres ciudadanos pobres y las mujeres ciudadanas pobres.

Nos platicamos cómo nos tienen el capitalismo y por qué así nos tienen, y qué es lo que va a pasar de nosotras y nosotros, si vamos a seguir estando como nos tienen los capitalistas.

En 5 días nos pusimos de acuerdo en las 28 lenguas que hablamos los que nos reunimos, para ver cuál va ser nuestro caminar con los pueblos explotados del campo y la ciudad.

Se hicieron grandes nuestras miradas y llegamos de acuerdo que tenemos que unirnos de la ciudad y del campo. Necesitamos compartirnos con las y los compañeros de la Sexta de México y del mundo. Para saber cómo son sus luchas de rebeldía y cómo es su lucha de resistencia. Queremos que lleguen a compartirnos las compañeras meras de bases y de compañeros meros de bases. Es ahí donde les decimos que los mero de base de abajo son los que saben cómo debe ser nacido una nueva sociedad. No saben ni viene en partidos políticos, ni en nuevos partidos políticos, ni en personas politiqueros, servidores del capitalismo.

Pueblos, nación, tribus. Barrios pobres, las y los pobres trabajadores(as) explotadas del campo y de la ciudad son los que saben cómo debe ser un nuevo mundo, un nuevo sistema de gobernar. ¿Por qué? Porque ellas y ellos han padecido injusticia, miseria, desigualdad. Han padecido tristeza, el dolor, la amargura, la soledad. Han padecido las cárceles, torturas, las desapariciones. Han padecido siglos y siglos de engaños, discriminación, cosas muy horribles, crueldades inhumanas, han padecido humillaciones, han padecido despojos y desalojos, son siglos y siglos de burlas y de vida sin paz, por culpa de los de arriba, el sistema capitalista. Y ahí están embarrados ya los partidos políticos de políticos. Nuestras espaldas ya está hecha escalera sólo para que ahí suben los políticos al poder, trillada las tienen ya nuestras espaldas por tanto subir y bajar en el poder esos mafiosos.

Muchas otras cosas más platicamos, salió cientos de propuestas y uno sólo lo principal que tomamos acuerdo para trabajar, que es: regresar en nuestros pueblos, naciones y tribus y hacer grande esta primera compartición, es decir a multiplicar la compartición y preparar la otra compartición con las compañeras y compañeros de la Sexta nacional y mundial.

Muchas otras cosas más tan ricas y a la vez tan claras y verdades la compartición de las bases de pueblos, naciones y tribus.

En la compartición se compartió ahí que siempre estuvieron alguien que hablaba por nosotras y nosotros, diciendo que luchan por nosotras y nosotros y fue 520 años de mentira y de explotación. Se compartió ahí, que la lucha del pueblo pobre de México de 1810 y de 1910 fue aprovechada para subir al poder los hacendados terratenientes, y son los tataranietos que hoy están en el poder jodiendo y destruyendo nuestra madre tierra de este país que se llama México. Todas y todos nos regresamos con fuerza y con dignidad como los compañeros GALEANO Y DAVID, que siempre estarán con nosotros. Al igual que tod@s nuestr@s caíd@s en la lucha.

Nos regresamos con trabajos para buscar un camino mejor para nuestro futuro.

Hoy ya nos conocimos y se aprende mucho, pero mucho, y nos hace falta mucho más para conocernos los originarios de esta tierra, tanto nacional y mundial y para allá va este caminar. Queremos luchar juntos aunque no sean indígenas, compañeras y compañeros de la Sexta, hermanas y hermanos del campo y la ciudad, sólo que los queremos para luchar, porque nadie va a luchar por nosotras y nosotros.

Así que a prepararse compañeras y compañeros, por el encuentro de compartición mundial del 22 de diciembre del 2014 al 3 de enero del 2015.

Ahí con nuestra sabiduría saldrá y nos dirá cómo va seguir nuestra lucha en esa compartición.

Que sean nuestras bases que mandemos en esa compartición y que ellas y ellos hablen, platiquen, expliquen nuestras luchas que hacemos allá donde cada quien estamos viviendo, trabajando y luchando. Porque ya se vio que es la más mejor que las bases hablen. No lo decimos nosotros las y los zapatista. Lo dice la realidad de lo que se hizo en la compartición del caracol de La Realidad, que las bases que hablaron y salió como debe de ser. Pueblo manda.

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

México, agosto del 2014. A veinte años del inicio de la guerra contra el olvido.

republished from censored news

ezlnConvergence

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
psychiatry_600

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

psychiatry_600

featherCops

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

 

featherCops

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