Category Archives: colonialism

Seize The Tide: Decolonizing the Watersheds of the East Bay

From Fireworks:

“Say infrastructure and you’re saying that life has been detached from its conditions. That conditions have been placed on life. That life now depends on factors out of its control, that it has lost its footing. Infrastructures organize a life without a world, suspended, expendable, at the mercy of whoever is managing them.” -The Invisible Committee, 2014

Black Spring, Dirty Water

Without assuming too much, it is fair to say that you are currently at the mercy of the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD). If you refuse to pay them for water, they will eventually put a lock on your water meter. If you clip the lock and turn the water back on, they will remove the meter and disconnect your house from the pipe network. The money you must pay to EBMUD is supposedly meant to maintain the infrastructure and pay the workers, although it is hardly that simple.

The biggest customer in the East Bay is the Chevron refinery in Richmond. Every day, the refinery uses up roughly 10 million gallons of water. In a single week, it consumes enough water to supply 500 houses for a year. Throughout the year, the refinery uses over 3 billion gallons of water. Up until 2010, the refinery drew from the same water supply as every other EBMUD customer. But since 2010, around 7.5 million gallons of waste water are being recycled from the municipal network. Today, the refinery only uses around 2.5 million gallons of fresh water a day, or 15 million gallons a week.

dirty1According to the UN, humans need just over two gallons of water a day to survive. As it stands, every day that the Richmond Chevron refinery is operational, it consumes enough fresh water to satisfy the needs of 4,500people for an entire year. The annual water use of the refinery is equivalent to the amount needed to supply the combined populations of San Jose and Oakland for an entire year. EBMUD services 1.3 million people, yet its biggest customer consumes more in a year than the entire population of the East Bay. Even with its recycled water, the refinery is a glaring example of the fundamental contra diction of capitalism.

10 million gallon of water goes into the refinery each day and out comes 250,000 barrels of refined petroleum, or 4,750,000 gallons of gasoline. In other words, for every two gallons of water put into the refinery, less than one gallon of gasoline comes out. This gasoline isthen burned up by millions of vehicles at varying rates. A hybrid Prius can travel 50 miles on each gallon, whereas a Suburban SUV can travel only 20. Either way, both vehicles release climate changing carbon molecules into the atmosphere at consistent rates, thus contributing to the long drought in California. But despite all of the available data, the Chevron refinery is still using up 2.5 million gallons of drinking water per day, all so that millions of other people can poison the atmosphere and warm the planet.

Something is clearly wrong with this situation and it is no exaggeration to say that it needed to be stopped years ago. With a bleak future ahead of us, it is important to begin formulating an exit strategy. Making matters worse locally, EBMUD announced that is will be raising a surcharge to water rates by 24% on all customers. The reason for the raise: people are using less water. Because people are cutting back their use, EBMUD is getting less revenue coming in. But raising the cost under the guise of “drought conditions,” the agency can bring in more cash. The ‘drought surcharge’ is coupled with a permanent hike of 8%, which was supposedly implemented to replace crumbling infrastructure and pay off debts for construction projects. The current raises by EBMUD is a classic austerity move, pushed through the auspices of water conservation and raging drought.

Furthermore, while poor and working-class people are cutting back on water use, many wealthy Californians baulk at the idea of cut ting water consumption. As one upper-crust put it in the SF Gate, “People should not be forced to live on property with brown lawns, golf on brown courses or apologize for wanting their gardens to be beautiful. We pay significant property taxes based on where we live, [and], no, we’re not all equal when it comes to water.” Like everything else, to the rich and corporations go the spoils and water. For everyone else, we pay out the nose. Continue reading

Decolonizing the Colonizer

“Dispelling the illusions and resulting relationships around passive labels of Canadians such as ‘guests’, ‘newcomers’, ‘brothers’, or ‘settlers’. Incorrect labels lead to incorrect relationships. I pursed the point that all of these labels mask the true nature of Canadians; they are occupiers upon our homelands. The labels guests, partners, brothers and newcomers are all pacifist revisionist ways of incorrectly re-constructing the relationship. It starts by ignoring 500 years of genocidal atrocities and refuses to hold Canadians to account for their injustices. The label settler is too historically and politically sterile. Canadians are truly occupiers on our homelands. They need to acknowledge and take responsibility for the colonial crimes that they inherited, they benefit from and continue to impose today.”

Toward Decolonizing Conservation

Humpback whale breaching, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, Haida Gwaii.

By Phil Levin, SNAP.is

Six hundred miles northwest of my Seattle home lies British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii archipelago, nearly 100 miles off the mainland. It’s a seemingly pristine and timeless  place — old-growth forests and breaching humpback whales, endless rocky shores enveloped in pea-soup fog and the penetrating smell of decaying seaweed, and a silence broken only by the drumming of ocean waves and the occasional cry of a bald eagle.

After a visit here in 2010, as I flew back to Seattle, I snapped a picture from my airplane window and posted it on Facebook with the caption: “Haida Gwaii is a magical land devoid of people.”

I couldn’t have been more ignorant.

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Unceded Voices – Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence 2015

UNCEDED VOICES : Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence fosters the idea of bringing together street artists of indigenous and settler origins and build an artistic community of shared anticolonial values. The convergence will promote a type of street art that advocates the decolonization of Turtle Island and will remind Montrealers of the city’s colonial past and present. The artists, living across the Canadian and American states, already focus part of their work on issues related to indigenous resistance, anti-oppressive and anti-capitalist street art.

This second convergence is starting on August 14 and runs until August 23 in so-called Montreal, unceded Kanien’kéhá:ka and Algonquin territories.

UNCEDED VOICES : Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence will organize its activities around two different axes. The first artistic axe will bring together the street artists to create art pieces on the streets of Tiohtià:ke, so-called Montreal. The works will differ in medium, subject and relationship to the public sphere. The second community axe will foster the idea of creating spaces to discuss political issues related to colonialism between the participants and organisms devoted to the urban native community of Tiohtià:ke. There should also be activities specifically designed to involve Indigenous youth.

The  Convergence is a completely grassroots effort, with absolutely no state or corporate funding. We need money to finance the project this year again. We rely on donations to meet our expenses, which is predominantly travel and art materials (paint, paste, scaffoldings, printing costs,etc.). To finance a part of our spending with the project, we ask for $5000.

If you want to support us, we offer perks (patches, prints, posters, sticker packs, mixtape) made by the artists participating in the project.

Throughout the Anti-Colonial Street Artists Convergence, visiting and local artists will be creating art pieces on the streets of Tiohtià:ke between August 14 until August 23. Some of these collaborations will be open to the public: visit the facebook and website of the Convergence frequently for updates. There will also be several events open to the public (workshops, panels, screenings, etc.)

Nia:wen/Thank you /Merci for your support !

gofundme.com/uncededvoices
decolonizingstreetart.com
facebook.com/decolonizingstreetart

Towards an anti-colonial anarchism

Eurocentricism, re-colonization, and settler colonialism

By , Intercontinental Cry

Unnamed anarchist from Europe [interviewer]: Particularly in Canada, the term “First Nations” is frequently used to describe Indigenous societies. This tends to confuse radical Europeans who consider all references to “nations” as necessarily conservative. Can you shed some light on the Indigenous usage of the term?

Taiaike Alfred from the Mohawk Nation of Kahnawá:ke [interviewee]: Europeans should not transpose their experience with nationhood on others. I myself do not think the term accurately describes our people – only our own languages and words can do that – but it is useful in a sense; it conveys an equality of status in theory between our societies and that of the colonizer. And it reiterates the fact of our prior occupancy of this continent (Alfred, 2010).

The languages that we speak build walls. The English language, for instance, is noun-based, territorial and possessive by nature. Behind this language, however, is a distinct way of relating – one that is exemplified by the interview excerpt above. Sharing a language does not imply consensus or commonality. In this case, although Taiake Alfred does not agree in full with the term ‘First Nations’, he does differentiate First Nation and Indigenous Nationhood from European, Westphalia conceptions of nation-state. He dually describes why, from his perspective as a member of the Mohawk Nation from Kahnawá:ke, this terminology resists Eurocentric impositions of governance but also responds to colonial power-imbalances. Social movements, especially in North America, often fall carelessly into colonial traps of Eurocentric thought and colonial universalism, as exampled above[1]. On the surface, though, it is clear why anarchist movements and anarchic theory may be attracted to anti-colonial struggles.

Opposition to the state and to capitalism, to domination and to oppression, are at the core of anarchist and autonomous movements; they are also at the core of anti-colonial struggles that see the state, and by mutual extension the capitalist system, as de-legitimate institutions of authority that ‘Other’ and colonize by way of white supremacist notions of cultural hegemony (see Fanon, 1967; Smith, 2006). Anarchist movements, however, often fail to account for the multiple layers of power that are at play, both contemporarily and historically. As Barker (2012) critically contends, many of the Occupy sites, for example, recolonized by uncritically occupying already occupied lands. The settler privilege of autonomous organizers within these movements upheld hegemonic/colonial territoriality. Romanticized for stewardship and place-based relations to land, Indigenous peoples have even been idolized as the ‘original’ anarchist societies (Barker & Pickerill, 2012). Indigenous Nationhood Movements actively seek to rebuild nation-to-nation relations with settlers by re-empowering Indigenous self-determination and traditional governments (Indigenous Nationhood Movement, 2015). Nation-to-nation, though, cannot be taken in its settler colonial form; indeed, this assumption concerning a homogenous form of government was, and is, at the core of colonialism: “modern government…the European believed, was based upon principles true in every country. Its strengths lay in its universalism” (Mitchell, 2002: 54). Respecting Indigenous Nationhood as a culturally, politically, and spiritually distinct movement propelled by and for Indigenous peoples is integral. Reasons for and tactics in support of these movements may vary, however they inevitably overlap in many offensives with anarchist anti-authoritarian agendas.

With Eurocentric understandings of an anti-colonial anarchism at the core of many activist oriented renditions of such thinking, activists and scholars alike have heeded words of advice to those amidst struggles against colonial forces in settler colonial contexts. As stated by Harsha Walia in discussing autonomy and cross-cultural, colonial-based struggle:

“Non-natives must recognize our own role in perpetuating colonialism within our solidarity efforts. We can actively counter this by… discussing the nuanced issues of solidarity, leadership, strategy and analysis – not in abstraction, but within our real and informed and sustained relationships with Indigenous peoples.” (2012)

By respecting difference, even spatializing autonomy, settler peoples would do well to not transplant – to settle – their perceptions of autonomy, of solidarity, of leadership, and of strategy onto Indigenous movements. Alternatively in settler colonial contexts, anarchist struggles against colonial authority, and thus capitalistic systems, invariably require respectful engagement with Indigenous movements. This is integral if re-colonizing tendencies of anarchist movements–oftentimes primarily driven by European settlers–are to be prevented. Anarchist actors, especially when operating in settler colonial spaces, must understand the nuances of place specific histories and colonial processes. As Lasky suggests, there is “potential for directly relating to each other and changing our relationships with each other in ways that withdraw consent from ‘the system’ and re-creates alternatives that empower our collective personhoods now” (2011: np). As Alfred mentions however, Eurocentric tendencies have oftentimes perpetuated colonial relations of power. As a result, the very structures of oppression that anarchic thought starkly opposes, but also stemmed from, creep into relational geographies.

References

Alfred, T. (2010). Interview with Gerald Taiaiake Alfred about Anarchism and Indigenism in North America. Retrieved from http://www.alpineanarchist.org/r_i_indigenism_english.html

Barker, A. (2012). Already Occupied: Indigenous Peoples, Settler Colonialism and the Occupy Movements in North America. Social Movement Studies, 11(3-4), 327–334. doi:10.1080/14742837.2012.708922

Barker, A. J., & Pickerill, J. (2012). Radicalizing Relationships To and Through Shared Geographies: Why Anarchists Need to Understand Indigenous Connections to Land and Place. Antipode, 44(5), 1705–1725. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8330.2012.01031.x

Fanon, F. (1967). Black skin, white masks. New York, NY: Grove Press.

Indigenous Nationhood Movement. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://nationsrising.org/about/

Lewis, A. (2012). Decolonizing anarchism: Expanding Anarcha-Indigenism in theory and practice (Masters thesis). Queen’s University, Kingston, ON. Retrieved from http://qspace.library.queensu.ca/bitstream/1974/7563/1/Lewis_Adam_G_201209_MA.pdf

Mitchell, T. (2002). Rule of experts: Egypt, techno-politics, modernity. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.

Smith, A. (2006). Heteropatriarchy and the three pillars of white supremacy. In Incite! (Ed.), The colour of violence: The INCITE! anthology (pp. 66–73). Cambridge, UK: South End Press.

Walia, H. (2012). Decolonizing together: Moving beyond a politics of solidarity toward a practice of decolonization. Briar Patch, January/February. Retrieved from http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/decolonizing-together

[1] Adam (Lewis, 2012) explores this topic in depth.

Indigenous Groups are Calling for the Decolonization of Australia

 Protesters march on Parliament House in Canberra. Photo courtesy of Elenor Gilbert, Enlightening Productions

Protesters march on Parliament House in Canberra. Photo courtesy of Elenor Gilbert, Enlightening Productions

By Paul Gregoire, Vice News

On February 9, members of the National Freedom Movement gathered on the lawns at Parliament House in Canberra to present the Australian minister for Indigenous affairs, Nigel Scullion, with the Aboriginal Sovereign Manifesto of Demands. This document calls for negotiations between the Commonwealth government and Indigenous nations across the country to set out a framework for what’s known as “decolonization.”

The National Freedom Movement was born out of the Freedom Summit that took place in Alice Springs last November. The summit saw a delegation of Aboriginal leaders from around the nation meeting to declare the independence of Australia’s First Peoples and address the growing disparities they face. These include increasing levels of incarceration and suicide, the continuing forced removals of children from their families, and the Western Australian government’s intentions to close down up to 150 remote Indigenous communities.

On January 26, the delegates along with 500 supporters converged on Old Parliament House in Canberra to stage a sit-in, protesting the occupation of their land for the last 227 years. When they returned on the day federal parliament reopened to present the manifesto, politicians from both sides of government met with the leaders to discuss their grievances.

The National Freedom Movement is not alone in demanding decolonization. Other Indigenous movements, such as the youth group Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, are also calling for an end to the colonization of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

So just what would the decolonization of Indigenous Australia entail?

The Aboriginal Sovereign Manifesto is built around the 1992 High Court Mabo decision which recognized that Aboriginal land title survived British settlement, when it agreed with a ruling from a 1888 British Privy Council case.

Based on this, the manifesto calls for the Commonwealth of Australia to undertake a series of treaties with all Indigenous nations—a process that would require Australia to become an independent federated republic. These nations would then become self-governing territories within the republic. And a new constitution would be drafted, which would incorporate Aboriginal law as part of the legal system.

Continue reading

Decolonizing Bolivia’s History of Indigenous Resistance

Elisa Vega Sillo, Director of Bolivia's Depatriarchalization Unit in the Vice Ministry of Decolonization | Photo: Youtube

Elisa Vega Sillo, Director of Bolivia’s Depatriarchalization Unit in the Vice Ministry of Decolonization | Photo: Youtube

Elisa Vega Sillo interviewed by Ben Dangl (via TeleSur)

Shortly after the October 12th elections last year which granted President Evo Morales a third term in office with over 60 percent of the vote, I visited the government’s Vice Ministry of Decolonization. The Vice Ministry is first of its kind and a center for the administration’s efforts to recover Bolivia from what is seen by much of the country’s indigenous majority as 500 years of colonialism, imperialism and capitalism since the arrival of the Spanish.

The walls of the Vice Ministry’s offices were decorated with portraits of indigenous rebels Túpac Katari and Bartolina Sisa who fought against the colonial Spanish in 1781. I sat down to talk with Elisa Vega Sillo, the current Director of the Depatriarchalization Unit in the Vice Ministry of Decolonization, a former leader in the Bartolina Sisa indigenous campesina women’s movement, and a member of the Kallawaya indigenous nation. In the interview. Elisa spoke about the unique work of the Vice Ministry of Decolonization, the role of historical memory in the country’s radical politics, and the importance of decolonizing Bolivia’s history of indigenous resistance.

Ben Dangl: Could you please describe the type of work you do here in the Vice Ministry of decolonization?

Elisa Vega: We develop public policies against racism, against discrimination toward people with different abilities, the elderly, indigenous people. We also work on issues related to machismo and patriarchy. These are things we discuss and work on with young people, to help them question and raise awareness about these issues, because no one is questioning them… Another part of our work involves the issue of decolonization and the recuperation of our [indigenous] knowledge and skills.

BD: What does decolonization mean politically and in everyday life to you?

EV: Decolonization means a lot to me, it means recuperating… our own path, something which we’ve been forced to lose, this [indigenous] path, this wisdom, this knowledge has been devalued, minimized as though it weren’t knowledge at all. And so now we are recuperated this, and we’re doing so in our own way. This for us is decolonization, a process which is done via the state but also via the social organizations, because this is an issue of how to organize, how to speak of our ancestral technologies. Yes, many things have been modernized, but in many cases we have a necessity to recuperate our own principles and values as indigenous peoples.

BD: Could you speak of the role of historical memory and how, as a Vice Ministry, you rescue pre-colonial history and knowledge, as well as myths and stories?

EV: For the indigenous people this continues to be a part of our everyday lives. […] In our organizations, we speak a lot about colonialism, neoliberalism, imperialism. And we realized that it’s not [foreigners] that are oppressing the indigenous peoples, but now it’s a system that has been constructed, and we have accommodated this system. […] So we have to look behind us, but also ahead and ask ourselves ‘who are we and where do we want to go?’ These are the questions we raise in order to recuperate our identity.

BD: Could you speak of the legacy and the history of Bartolina Sisa and Túpac Katari in this context, in terms of the work you do here in the Vice Ministry?

EV: [T]his is something we work on and look at each day. Our questions have to be: Why were they sacrificed? Why were they struggling and what was it like? For us, you could say that Túpac Katari is like our grandmother, our mother. And it is the same with many of our past leaders – they are a part of our process of struggle.

BD: How do you rescue an anti-colonial vision from history? How do you gain lessons, for example, from the histories of Katari and Sisa?

EV: We try and recover an anti-colonial vision above all, because the [official] history that’s been recovered of Bartolina, of Túpac Katari was this: that the rebel indians were so bad, they laid siege to the…poor Spanish…the Indians are savage animals – this was the history they told us. But in reality [the indigenous people] rebelled to get rid of oppression, the slavery in the haciendas, the taking over of land, of our wealth in Cerro Rico in Potosi, our trees, our knowledge – they rebelled against all of this. But in the official history, the colonial history, they tell us that the bad ones were the indigenous people, and they deserved what they got. So we recuperate our own history, a history of how we were in constant rebellion and how they were never able to subdue us.

Ohlone Activists speak about Colonialism, Resistance, and Solidarity

Recently at Qilombo, occupied Ohlone territory, so-called Oakland:

Ohlone activists speak in depth about their experience of neo-colonialism, the projects they are working, and what non-natives can do to be in solidarity with them.

Wicahpiluta Candelaria sings a song for the Diné who are resisting the desecration of their lands. Luta also speaks to his experience of colonialism, resistance, and solidarity.

Book Review – Time Bomb: Canada and the First Nations, by Douglas Bland

Book Review - Time Bomb: Canada and the First Nations, by Douglas BlandA frank discussion of Canada’s vulnerabilities

By Jamie Scout, Media Co-op

For radicals, part of taking our struggle seriously is committing to understanding ourselves, the context we’re operating within, and the perspectives of our enemies. Time Bomb is a good example of an enemy text which can prove useful to us. The author, Douglas Bland, spent thirty years in threat assessment with the Canadian Armed Forces. Time Bomb is his second book, essentially a long essay that broadly discusses the Canada-First Nations relationship, examines the possibility of an indigenous insurgency, and proposes a counter-insurgency strategy to preventatively ‘disarm’ the time bomb.

The most interesting section of this book is Bland’s study of so-called feasibility theory that seeks to explain the origins of contemporary insurgencies. Proponents of feasibility theory are less interested in what motivates insurgents and instead how feasible an insurgency is in a given context. They argue that if conditions exist that make an insurgency feasible and they aren’t ‘corrected,’ an insurgency will inevitably occur. The prevention and/or suppression of insurgencies is achieved not by resolving grievances but by shifting the conditions that make insurgency feasible in the first place.

Feasibility theorists did a statistical analysis of civil conflicts and came up with five major determinants that significantly increase the risk of an insurgency:

1) A society divided by ethnic or religious cleavages;
2) A high proportion of men aged 15-29;
3) A more mountainous, and less flat, terrain;
4) A weak security apparatus; and
5) An economy heavily dependent on exporting natural resources.

Bland applies these determinants to the Canadian situation and finds that overall, Canada is at risk:

1) Indigenous people are sharply separated from Canadian society, especially on reserves.
2) There is a very high proportion of young men in the population.1
3) Canada has both mountainous and flat terrain, but is vulnerable because of its enormous territory.
4) While Canadian security forces are effective at containing ‘localized incidents’ they simply can’t defend hundreds of kilometres of transportation and energy infrastructure.
5) The Canadian economy is largely dependent on natural resource export, which relies on this same infrastructure to get to market.

Bland follows his feasibility study with a thought experiment: what would an indigenous rebellion that managed to successfully threaten Canada actually look like? Assuming that the overall strategic objective would be for First Nations to become recognized as fully sovereign entities within Canada, and noting the growing frustration activists are expressing at Idle No More’s inability to force the federal government to meaningfully change course, he argues that a strategic shift is already happening within grassroots indigenous movements away from convincing the Canadian public and towards threatening the economy. Bland fears that a strategy of gradually escalating disruptions to railway and highway bottlenecks across the country, if coordinated and prolonged, could directly threaten the economy:

Continual widespread and unpredictable minor disruptions … could be effective without the use of sophisticated skills and guns and explosives simply because the foundation of the economy is vulnerable to very simple techniques of interference – burning cars on railway tracks would suffice.

In the final chapters of Time Bomb, Bland proposes a sophisticated counter-insurgency strategy for the federal government that reads like a neocolonial playbook. First, he argues for a number of political solutions: building stronger alliances with moderate Native leaders, integrating Native communities into the resource economy through profit-sharing and preferential hiring programs, education and training programs targeted towards the 15-24 year old ‘warrior cohort’ on reserves, and increased funding for on-reserve police forces. This is coupled with a number of repressive tactics, including disrupting illegal indigenous organizations,2 encouraging migration from reserves into cities, withholding government funding for reserves that refuse to marginalize radical leaders, and quietly threatening potential insurgents.

For those of us who want to see Canada decolonized, what lessons can be drawn from Time Bomb? Obviously it would be a mistake to take all of Bland’s warnings at face value, as his career directly benefits from fear-mongering. I’m inclined to agree with his acknowledgment that presently, a level of coordination simply doesn’t exist across the country to actually threaten the economy. Most disruption until now has been relatively localized, and when it has spread it has been through more spontaneous expressions of solidarity, such as the #ShutDownCanada response to the police attack in Elsipogtog, or the Idle No More Days of Action.

Still, I find his assessment of Canada’s vulnerabilities compelling. His paranoid thought experiment does offer an interesting toolbox of tactics for economic disruption by relatively small groups of people. If we can identify economic bottlenecks close to where we live, build our capacity to target those bottlenecks, and prioritize well-timed actions when the calls for solidarity go out, we can affirm our power and put Canada’s vulnerability on display. If these acts are effective they would inspire others to join us or take action themselves; if that momentum continues to grow we really could find ourselves in a situation where we pose a threat equal to the fears of Douglas Bland. Of course, such a path would mean escalating repressive consequences, coupled with efforts to delegitimize and isolate our movements. We need to consider those consequences and be prepared to minimize, avoid or counter them. Those of us who desire a life free from Canadian control should develop visions of how that life might look in the areas we live now, and build the skills, relationships and autonomous communities today that could help shape a decolonized future tomorrow.

WAR to launch new national Aboriginal magazine ‘Black Nations Rising’

by , via Intercontinental Cry

The Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR) are pleased to announce that we will be launching our new national publication Black Nations Rising (BNR) in January 2015. We will publish independently, receiving no government or corporate funding. Our first edition will have a print run of 5000 copies thanks to the support of several trade unions.

The quarterly magazine will seek to inform Aboriginal people about decolonization and inspire them to take action in the anticolonial struggle. We will promote symbols, stories and strategies of resistance and revival. All content published in BNR will be consistent with WAR’s philosophy of Aboriginal nationalism.

We hope BNR follows in the footsteps of revolutionary print media initiatives like The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service (newspaper of Black Power movement in USA 1967-1980), Warrior Publications (manuals for Indigenous liberation 2006-current) and Black Nation (broadsheet of 1980s Aboriginal land rights movement).

Because WAR believes independent Aboriginal media to be an essential services in terms of pushing for social and political change, there will be no subscription cost for Aboriginal people. The ‘pay the rent’ subscription fee for non-Aboriginal people will be $50 per year, or $15 per copy. The magazine will be distributed via Aboriginal organizations and handed out at Aboriginal events (e.g. Invasion Day rallies, NAIDOC celebrations, football carnivals). Our volunteer staff consists of co-editors Pekeri Ruska (Goenpul/Yuggera) and Callum Clayton-Dixon (Nganyaywana), printing/distribution manager Merinda Meredith (Darambul), and artist Jade Slockee (Gumbaynggirr).

BNR is built upon the foundations laid down by Brisbane Blacks magazine (August 2013 – October 2014). Six issues of Brisbane Blacks magazine were published with over 6000 copies printed and distributed, with 120 pages of content produced. Like Brisbane Blacks magazine, copies of BNR will also be distributed to 200+ Aboriginal families in southeast Queensland via the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy Community Food Program. BNR issue one is slated for release (print and online) on January 19.

Criminal lawyer Pekeri Ruska says BNR will be the most powerful independent Aboriginal publication this country will see. “The information we collate and share will aid in the liberation of our people. We will reignite their strength and conscience to decolonize from the realms of colonial oppression.”

Founder of Brisbane Blacks magazine Callum Clayton-Dixon believes the Aboriginal movement and Aboriginal media should be one and the same. “A new era of Aboriginal activism dawns, and with it comes the need for strong independent Aboriginal media to echo the calls of Aboriginal nationalism and decolonization. Black Nations Rising will carry forward our agenda for change.”

For comment from WAR, call Pekeri Ruska on 0435 950 469 or Callum Clayton-Dixon on 0428 152 777