Abolish Columbus Day Campaign

From the Zinn Education Project: Teaching A People’s History:

As we write, we are witnessing an inspiring struggle playing out in North Dakota as Indigenous people and allies are attempting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Dave Archambault, chairperson of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, stated, “This is a corporation that is coming forward and just bulldozing through without any concern for tribes.” The “bulldozing” of Indigenous lives, Indigenous lands, and Indigenous rights all began with Columbus’s invasion in 1492.

It is time to stop celebrating the crimes of Columbus and stand in solidarity with the Indigenous people who demand an end to Columbus Day. Instead of glorifying a person who enslaved and murdered people, destroyed cultures, and terrorized those who challenged his rule, we seek to honor these communities demanding sovereignty, recognition, and rights. We encourage schools to petition their administration and for communities to introduce legislation to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Below is information and resources to join the campaign to Abolish Columbus Day.


The Rhetoric of “Self-Determination” vs the Practice of Decolonization

“settler-colonialism can very well, and indeed almost certainly would, continue to be the dominant order of the day following the line of organizations appealing to a rhetoric of self-determination, while enacting a project of genuine decolonization here on A’nó:wara Kawè:note would utterly annihilate it.”

My recent burst of writings on this blog regarding the subject decolonization, my responses to varied white “left” reactions to said writings, and subsequent discussions that i have had with various comrades (Indigenous and non-Indigenous; anarchist, marxist and “other”) has caused me to return in my thoughts to a subject i have touched on before. The topic on my mind has been the way that the broad “left,” in particular marxists of a leninist bent of some sort, employ a rhetoric of a right to self-determination as opposed to putting forth a politics based on actual decolonization (1).

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Chicanos as as Internal Colony: Notes from Occupied America: The Chicano Struggle for Liberation (Rodolfo Acuna, 1972) – Introduction

“In discussing the traditional and internal colonization of the Chicano, it is not my intention to rekindle hatreds, nor to condemn all Anglo-Americans collectively for the ignominies that the Mexican in the United States has suffered. Rather, my purpose is to bring about an awareness-among Anglo-Americans and Chicanos-of the forces that control and manipulate both seven million people in this country and keep them colonized. If Chicanos can become aware of why they are oppressed and how their exploitation is perpetuated, they can work more effectively toward ending their colonization.”

Siglo de Lucha


The first edition of Occupied America, the series of Chicano Studies textbooks by Rodolfo Acuna, was written in 1972, during the peak of the Chicano Movement. This edition was titled “Occupied America: The Chicano Struggle for Liberation.” Later editions were simply titled “Occupied America: A History of Chicanos.” The first edition is known for advocating an analysis that the Chicano people were an internal colony. This thesis was downplayed in subsequent editions.

More writings on internal colonialism are being planned. I post this excerpt from the introduction of this book to advance discussion. Posting does not imply endorsement or affiliation with everything said here.

From the Introduction:

“Mexicans – Chicanos – in the United States today are an oppressed people. They are citizens, but their citizenship is second-class at best. They are exploited and manipulated by those with more power. And, sadly, many believe that the only way to get…

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White Fear of Savage Reprisal in the Course of Decolonization

“The kind of unapologetically eurocentric, settlerist, first worldist rubbish demonstrated by the bulk of the north amerikan “left” sadly rules the day. We who see ourselves as part of the Indigenous Liberation/Independence Movement have to come to grips with this unfortunate truth. It also must be noted that most of the people who would claim leadership of our Movement also profoundly miss this. If we sit and wait for even the most “woke” sectors of the settler population to “come to their senses” and “see the real enemy” we’re frankly going to be waiting here for another 500 years. I can’t wait that long? Can you?”

Koupe tèt, boule kay
(Chop heads, burn down houses)
Ayisyen revolutionary slogan

After a bit of back and forth with myself on whether or not it was worth it to respond to an article by Ross Wolfe (1), in which a bumbling, offhanded academic attempt is made to paint my  article Decolonization is not a Metaphor: The Basics of a Genuine Anti-Colonial Position as the height of absurdity, i have decided to take the proverbial plunge and jot down a few thoughts. Perhaps against my better judgement, i decided to do this because the article by Wolfe, for all of its demonstrable euro-chauvinist flaws, does provide us with a nice teachable moment—indeed its euro-chauvinism is precisely why it is a useful pedagogical tool.

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On the Concept of Indigenous Assent: A Rejoinder

“We will never surrender. We will stand tirelessly in defense of our Peoples, our Lands, and our Sacred Earth Mother, and for all of our relations. If they want what they they need to feed their living-dead society, they will have to come and take it. We are Earth’s Army. We will be ready, and We will be waiting.”

Following the posting of my quite well received article Decolonization is Not a Metaphor: The Basics of a Genuine Anti-Colonial Positionwhich was shared by anarchist communists, maoists, anarcha-feminists and many others i would not normally expect to see digging into the kind  of material i produce—there were a slew of not even sort of surprising, much less interesting, responses from certain sectors of the north amerikan settler left.

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Stolen people on stolen land: decolonizing while Black

Stolenpeoplestolenland - Hari Ziyad (2016)

Stolenpeoplestolenland – Hari Ziyad (2016)

By Adele Thomas, RaceBaitr

Settler privilege, as I’ve understood it broadly, is having specific rights, advantages or immunities granted or available only to a particular group of people (settlers), while the Indigenous groups are excluded from those benefits.  But when you are neither the colonizer nor the Indigenous group, where do you fit in? More specifically, can African Americans claim access to this privilege?

Often, I find myself feeling the guilt of anti-Indigeneity and Native erasure, contemplating my role in systems oppressive of Indigenous people alongside colonizers who are also charged with African genocide. Taken or sold into bondage and used to develop a global economy, most Africans did not arrive in this country by choice but instead for the purposes of chattel slavery, and while it may be arguing semantics, if Black people cannot claim economic, educational, financial, or cultural privilege, what exactly defines our privilege on stolen land?

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Strangers in Their Own Land: Lineages of the Conquest of Aztlán

“Anti-Xicano sentiment, just like anti-Onkwehón:we and anti-Afrikan sentiment, is central to the development and continued cohesion of the euro-amerikan settler nation. It is true that since the success of the Civil Rights Movement and the u.s. defeat in Việt Nam there has been and increasing trend towards the integration of the internal colonies within the body politic of the amerikan empire—most clearly seen in the election of the country’s first Afrikan president, Barack Obama. However in general the relationship between the united states and its non-euro-amerikan populations remains one of internal colonialism. Understanding this relationship and its origins will allow us to genuinely begin to combat these political trends and to build towards our future goals of land, independence and socialism.”

The following article is a slightly modified version of a paper i had previously written during my Ph.D studies. 

Introduction: War on the Border

Today many euro-amerikan citizens of the united states on both sides of the political spectrum are growing increasingly concerned about high rates of migration from México and other Latin Amerikan states south of the Kótsoi River (Rio Grande/Río Bravo del Norte). This phenomena is perhaps seen most spectacularly within the current juncture by the mass swell of support by “everyday” settlers for the white supremacist, borderline-fascist candidacy of Donald Trump for the amerikan presidency. These concerns for settlers generally, but not universally, centre on the presence of migrant workers who the colonial media, state and general public have heaped labels such terms as irregular and illegal upon. These migrants are often painted as a threat of varying degrees to the amerikan way of life, despite…

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Decolonization is Not a Metaphor: The Basics of a Genuine Anti-Colonial Position

“A genuine anti-colonial politic in north amerika must abandon the idea that settlers have an inherent right to a piece of this continent.”

The purpose of this short article is to put to the pen a number of thoughts that have been working themselves out in my head recently about the default eurocentrism of the north amerikan left and the necessity for a genuinely anti-colonial positionality. I have been attempting to working out these ideas for myself regarding just what exactly such a position would look like. 

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Adapting the Indian in the Child: The Settler Colonial Politics of Adopting Native American Children


by Joshua Whitehead

In June of 2015, Manitoba became the first province to apologize to survivors of Canada’s Sixties Scoop. For those unfamiliar, the Sixties Scoop refers to the removal of Indigenous children from their families, “scooping” them up, and placing them into foster homes with non-Indigenous families and/or residential/day schools. I also deploy the term Sixties Scoop with an awareness of its expansive and evolutionary nature, in that it branches beyond the sixties and moves well into the eighties; moreover, its remnants can be seen in Canada’s contemporary Child and Family Services (CFS). In light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Manitoba’s apology was a first step towards reconciling with survivors. As the child of a Sixties Scoop survivor, I am interested in how adoption functions within the larger framework of North American settler colonial practices[1]. While there is quite a bit of research on the…

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Poems for Palestine

Decolonize Palestine: End the Violence, End the War, End the Occupation. Solidarity from Turtle Island. #GazaUnderAttack

Decolonize Palestine: End the Violence, End the War, End the Occupation.

By Anne Champion

The Tent of Nations is an educational and ecological farm run by Christian Palestinian brothers in the mountains of Palestine.  They run a peace project that invites people from around the world to interact.  Despite the land being awarded to the family by the Supreme Court, they are not allowed to build and must live in caves.  The caves are painted in bright colors by Palestinian children who paint over their own shadows. Their guest tents have demolition orders on them, as they are considered a form of building, and their trees are routinely destroyed by the Israeli Defense Forces. 10,000 trees were destroyed and buried a few days before I arrived.


If they won’t let us build,
we’ll live in caves
and if our children are merely
shadows, our children
will paint over their shadows
in vibrant primary colors
on the stoic rocks underground.
If our children die, they’ll frolic
on these rocks, embossed
on the earth, bound only to freedom.
If they say the land isn’t ours,
we’ll keep going to court.  If they cut
down 10,000 olive trees in a day
and bury them in a mass grave
like bodies, then we’ll mourn
like bodies. If trees take patience
and nurture, then peace takes
patience and nurture, and if we keep
holding out our hands?
If you block the road to us
with your tanks, the internationals
will climb the mountain to plant
and break bread, to trace
the children’s silhouettes, to gaze
over all of Palestine, to remember.


Military raids happen approximately once a week in Bi’lin.  This village has been targeted because its use of creative, nonviolent resistance has endured and captured the attention of people from all over the world.  American presidents, celebrities, and other world leaders have visited, and a documentary about the village, *Five Broken Cameras, *garnered critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination.  Raids are a common tactic of occupation, as it produces anxiety and inhibits sleep, thus giving Palestinians difficulty in everything from routine chores and schoolwork to demonstration planning and participation.

Bil’in, West Bank

Once a week, the soldiers rouse us,
alarm clock of rifle butts on midnight doors.
We pull the children from their beds.
They point their guns at our heads,
but there’s nothing like the bullet
of panic as they aim
at the children’s hearts.
Iyad’s daughter’s first raid
was at one week old. Now she’s six
and she’s learned to raise her arms,
half dreaming still, marching
like an automaton towards the moon.
She always looks at the sky,
never meets a soldier in the eye
as they tear apart her room,
her beads scattering on the floor
like the bullets shot into the night
air.  Someone falls down, someone’s
been hit.  A rubber bullet lodged in a throat
on the side of the road. I watch
the smoke hover above his head
before he slumps over; in seconds,
his neck blooms and pushes aside his face.
The men prop him up, the women call
to the soldiers for an ambulance.
The teenage soldiers high five each other
before calling for help.  And then
the tear gas canisters hiss
and the air strangles with its serpent snare.
Someone wraps a keffiyah
over my face and pulls me inside,
and I can’t see a thing. Even when my vision
returns, I can’t see anything anymore.

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