Category Archives: Decolonization & Unsettling

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.

Renewal, Remembrance, and Resistance for Decolonizing People of European Heritage

By Ana Oian Amets and Christine Blachly, Awakening the Horse People (also available in printable PDF format).

We offer gratitude to our Iladurrak asabak as well as our Lakota, Anishinabek, Chichimec – Comanche, and Ch’orti’ Maya family who have shared their love, homes, and understanding with us along bizibideak – the path of life. We look to Amalur and the ahaikoak of our european home places and Turtle Island whose freedom and resilience inspire us to carry on…

Openings

As a small family of decolonizing white settlers on the Indigenous lands of Turtle Island, our stories are full of evolving contradictions.

Our direct ancestors were early colonizers of Turtle Island or the Island Hill, known to most by its colonial name of North America. As adventurers, profiteers, or refugees from religious or political persecution, they left europe to join the overlapping waves of settlement that blanketed the Atlantic shoreline in the 1600s. Regardless of their reasons for coming to Turtle Island, our immediate families directly participated in, and continue to profit from, the ethnic cleansing of Atlantic coast and eastern woodland Native peoples including the Haudenosaunee, Lenape, Reuckowacky, Merockes, Matinecock, Massapequas, Quinnipiac, Matinecock, Pequot, Wompanoag, Massachusett, Nottoway, and Powhatan nations, as well as the forced labor of Indigenous Afrikan peoples removed from their homelands.

To reconcile the complex, inter-generational stories that shape who we are, we have committed to movements of decolonization and ancestral recovery. By growing deep togetherness with our ancestors and relatives, we are remembering and revitalizing our common culturous roots from the Indigenous Aquitanian peoples of southern france, survived today in Eskual Herria. We also recognize our diverse heritage from other peoples such as Gaelic Celts, Pictish Scots, and Germanic Suebians. What was dormant in us is renewing itself again.

As a consequence of our commitment to decolonizing movements, we find ourselves an invited part of Indigenous resistance with the Tetuan Lakota Strong Heart Warrior Society known as the Cante Tenza Okolakiciye. We have become family to members of this society. In togetherness with our Strong Heart family, we share the dream of returning wholesome lifeways that reflect the sacredness of creation and allow all beings to thrive in their natural embodiment as relatives enriching the interconnected web of life in a place.

With our own stories in mind and with encouragement from our Strong Heart family to, “hold white people accountable” we would be grateful if the following article can invite real and lasting conversations among white settlers of european heritage regarding the role of resistance within movements of ancestral remembrance and decolonization.

While we believe Indigenous peoples have clearly communicated their needs to decolonizing white settlers, we find a shortage of supporting settler narratives that are strong, thoughtful and originating from direct experience. With these thoughts we hope to share clear, heart-felt, and provocative perspectives that may aid healthy integration of resistance into movements of decolonization by people of european heritage.

While this particular conversation centers settler relationships with Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and Abya Yala (the american continents), we acknowledge the tangled web of settler relationships that include displaced people of Afrikan descent and other Peoples of Color who have been coercively brought inside of the colonial settler-state as a consequence of its militarism, economic desires, and nation building. This is just one decolonizing conversation of many that settlers must face in order to clearly see the consequences of euro-centric colonialism and grow deep understanding that allows collective resistance against colonial assaults on life.

Note: We have included provocative quotes from Native people regarding decolonization and resistance. These quotes are separated out as much as possible from the main body of the article to respect their sovereign voice. Links to the original source have been provided when available (at article end) and readers are encouraged to center these and other Native perspectives in this conversation.

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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.

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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.

Idle No More: Decolonizing Water, Food and Natural Resources With Traditional Ecological Knowledge

 Rosalyn LaPier/Vimeo

Using traditional ecological knowledge, or TEK, to decolonize one’s mind-set: That goal underpins the Idle No More ethic, this academic proposes.

By Valerie Goodness, Indian Country Today Media Network

Watersheds and Indigenous Peoples know no borders. Canada’s watershed management affects America’s watersheds, and vice versa. As Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper launches significant First Nations termination contrivance he negotiates legitimizing Canada’s settler colonialism under the guise of “progress.” Progress, through Harper’s political illusion, provides inadequate allocation of money for water and wastewater systems on Canada’s reservations. Almost every natural resource development currently operating or planned is within 200 kilometers of a First Nation community and on its traditional lands. Harper has laid off public natural resource managers and environmental protection personnel and has weakened policies for conservation, again in the name of progress. Idle No More is about many things, but first and foremost it represents a unified effort to protect Mother Earth. We will talk about the evidence of watershed degradation due to American progress too…. But first let’s talk about watersheds.

Watersheds in New York state are in close proximity to the border of Canada and thus to Canadian watersheds. Silencing Canadian indigenous people over water, carries with it a risk to Americans’ and indigenous Americans’ watersheds.

By silencing traditional ecological knowledge, the “progress” settler colonial ethic has wreaked havoc on watershed ecosystems. This ecosystem degradation comes from point and non-point pollution, industrial agriculture and domesticated meat production. Water quality issues also come from road runoff, lawn care products, sewers, chemicals and poor logging practices, all of which result in a declension of our drinking water and ground water and the vitiation of ecosystems.

When Native Americans are not allowed to discuss public land management as stakeholders, connectivity to reservation ecosystems is at risk. Discussions about U.S. public lands juxtaposed onto New York private lands and Indian reservations become imperative. This is important in order to understand ecosystem connectivity. Toxic degraded ecosystems on public lands adjacent to indigenous lands places ecosystems on indigenous lands at risk, especially with climate change upon us.

Native American thought, sovereignty and sustainability is steeped in traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). In order to understand the complexities of collaboration between TEK and western science, it is important to recognize the comparisons between the western science version of TEK (owning Native American thought) and indigenous versions of TEK.

Even though western science ecologists are coming around to embrace TEK, there is a long history of western science’s silencing the voices of traditional ecological knowledge practitioners. Many scientists cite credibility and legitimacy concerns over oral history. Indigenous people might give other reasons, such as the commodification of indigenous sovereign natural resources, land dispossession and industrial influences, which understandably engender a great deal of distrust from indigenous nations. Consequently, western science has excluded opportunities to collaborate with indigenous TEK practitioners. Collaboration between indigenous TEK and western science in watershed ecosystem restoration, monitoring and management can only contribute to successful sustainable and hearty watershed ecosystems for natural resource and food security.

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Under Construction: Decolonized Queer Masculinity(ies)

Originally posted on Decolonize ALL The Things:

Under-construction

This is something that I have been discussing with close friends and working on what this means for myself.  As somebody who is considered an academic in some sense, a lot of figuring this out means I’ve been reading loads of research articles, books, and articles online to look at loads of different perspectives and see how that looks next to the many conversations that I have had with close friends and family.  The academic portion of this journey has proved to be difficult as a consequence of the white history of the term “queer” and the lack of theorization of queer masculinity for Black women that is not solely described as one for Black lesbians.  As a Black person whose gender identity is queer masculine, I have been wrestling with what this means to me and working on constructing a queer masculinity that is decolonized.  And by that I…

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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

The Fleshy Excess of Black Life: Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice

Originally posted on Decolonization:

by Eric Ritskes

Black life, Blackness, “Black holding on, Black making a way out of no way” is always in excess of the antiblack settler colonial state. And, in its excess, it is always threatening to the order and sense making of the state.

This excess is carried in and on the bodies of Black peoples, it is embodied and illegible to the state, unable to be incorporated into Whiteness, and is thus always present before, beyond and against the state. Blackness as excess is, as Alex Weheliye explains, a fleshy excess. It spills over and protrudes; it cannot be contained. It is always escaping. It is always already too much.

In each of three most recent cases of Black death to garner mass mainstream media attention – the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice – the bodily excess of the victims was used as…

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