Tag Archives: solidarity

Decolonization is a global project: From Palestine to the Americas

Editorial by Linda Tabar & Chandni Desa, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society, Vol. 6, No. 1

This special issue brings Palestine into conversation with Settler Colonial Studies, Critical Indigenous Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, other critical scholarship and political practices. In doing so, we write in opposition to the way in which Palestine is often taken up and framed in the mainstream media and academic scholarship. In 1948, the Zionist settler colonization of Palestine culminated in the mass eviction of the overwhelming majority of the indigenous Palestinian people (over 800,000 people) who were expelled from their homes and forcefully dispossessed from their lands. They were unable to return and became refugees as Zionist militias attacked and destroyed villages, towns and cities across Palestine. Palestinians have termed this the al-Nakba (catastrophe) which signifies the theft and loss of their land and the establishment of the Israeli settler colonial state. During the 1967 war, what was left of historic Palestine (Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza) became occupied by Israel. Palestine remains colonized as the Israeli state continues to militarily occupy and confiscate Palestinian land to build colonies for Jewish settlers, while exercising routine violence through massacres, bombings, mass incarceration, targeted assassinations, restricted movement, home demolitions, sexual violence, and implementing racist apartheid policies that fragments the Palestinian population into Bantustans.

In writing about the ongoing settler colonization of Palestine, we start by recognizing our locations on the traditional territories of the Huron Wendat, Haudenosaunee, the Seneca and most recently the Mississaugas of the Credit River, and the waters that sustain life on these stolen lands. In contending with this positionality, we recognize that our locations are required by the Canadian settler state to maintain its settler project and as such it actively solicits our identification and participation in the ongoing colonization and erasure of Indigenous people. In this issue we also draw attention to some of the histories of forced movement and displacement that underlie our presence on these lands, and the ways our location in this settler state can be disrupted and transformed through alliances and relations of solidarity. Specifically, these traditional territories have been a central site in which Palestinians and their allies have advanced global solidarity with the indigenous Palestinian struggle, while simultaneously expressing solidarity and building ties with Indigenous peoples from Six Nations, Tyendinaga, and across Turtle Island (Krebs and Olwan, 2012, Juma’ 2007). Mike Krebs and Dana Olwan (2012) and others document this distinct local history of connecting the struggles against the settler colonial states of Canada and Israel, which we and some of the contributors in this special issue have been part of building for over a decade. This history is significant because Palestinians and their allies on these territories were building these relationships at a time when both of these Indigenous struggles were hardly recognized, well before the time of reconciliation (in Canada), and the popularization of the global solidarity movement with Palestine. This history of connection has produced its own conversations, political analysis, critiques, tensions, and praxis, which this issue is both informed by and seeks to consolidate and take forward.

These ongoing political relationships center and are rooted in a responsibility to decolonial struggles on these lands, what Steven Salaita in his contribution in this special issue calls an “ethical imperative” which he reissues to the Palestine solidarity movement. Political intimacies (Lowe, 2015) between the Palestinian liberation struggle, Indigenous movements and other struggles are not new. Salaita reminds us that “dialogue between Natives and Palestinians goes back at least half a century” and suggests “the first substantive interchange occurred during the heyday of the American Indian Movement [AIM], when Native activists, like their Black Panther peers, looked to global liberation struggles for inspiration and solidarity, proffering both to anti-colonial movements in return” (2017, para 25). What is significant here is the way that such past and present relationships have disrupted and work against settler categories and imaginaries that have configured the native as always ‘disappeared’ or ‘defeated’, which has at times precluded solidarity across these geographies. This is not to deny that solidarity is difficult and that at times there have been tensions when forging ties between struggles (which have been written about by Amadahy, 2013; Bhandar & Ziadah, 2016; Kelley, 2016; Krebs & Olwan, 2012; Tabar, 2016), but we want to stress that by coming together through ethical responsibilities these movements also rupture the ideological structures, racial hierarchies and discourses of settler colonial states. Moreover, these settler colonial ideologies rationalize and sustain settler projects of land theft, ongoing genocide, and anti-black racism (rooted in the history of transatlantic slavery), and coercive labour regimes in a global geography, in which similar racial categories enable capitalist accumulation, exploitation, dispossession and white supremacy across different territories. Thus we and our contributors in this special issue emphasize and expand upon how creating ways of seeing across colonial ideologies and the racialized, sexualized logics that sanction dominance and state terror, is part of a necessary internationalist decolonial project to transform systems of power.

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Unsettling settler colonialism

The discourse and politics of settlers, and solidarity with Indigenous nations

By Corey Snelgrove, Rita Dhamoon, Jeff Corntassel, Decolonization, Vol 3, No 2 (2014)

Our goal in this article is to intervene and disrupt current contentious debates regarding the predominant lines of inquiry bourgeoning in settler colonial studies, the use of ‘settler’, and the politics of building solidarities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Settler colonial studies, ‘settler’, and solidarity, then, operate as the central themes of this paper. While somewhat jarring, our assessment of the debates is interspersed with our discussions in their original form, as we seek to explore possible lines of solidarity, accountability, and relationality to one another and to decolonization struggles both locally and globally. Our overall conclusion is that without centering Indigenous peoples’ articulations, without deploying a relational approach to settler colonial power, and without paying attention to the conditions and contingency of settler colonialism, studies of settler colonialism and practices of solidarity run the risk of reifying (and possibly replicating) settler colonial as well as other modes of domination.

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No Thanks No Giving: Mi’kmaq Call for Actions Oct. 18th #Indigenize

Women Drumming for the Water

Women Drumming for the Water

Warrior Society Call to Support Elsipogtog Seizure of Fracking Equipment 

From Reclaim Turtle Island:

October 12th, 2013
Contact: Suzanne Patles 506 523 3885

“Rexton, NB” unceded Mi’kmaqi – On “Colombus Day”, a day which celebrates 521 years of genocide and oppression of Indigenous peoples, the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society has released the following video call for support. Suzane Patles, an Ilnu woman and member of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society calls for physical support at the blockade, solidarity actions across Turtle Island on Oct. 18th and a flooding of Kanadian official representatives’ phone and mail lines. The October 18th Day of Action is a response in protest to the court injunction that SWN is looking to serve against the encampment. Organize an action in your community, use #INDIGENIZE and send us a write up with photos to post online: reclaimturtleisland [at] gmail [dot] com.

The compound, where SWN has over hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment, has been shut down and their equipment seized by local Indigenous peoples. Patles is among many Wabanaki Confederacy peoples asserting their inherent and treaty rights and titles over their territories at an active road blockade since Sept 28th. The HWY 134 blockade is preventing SWN equipment from illegally excavating Mi’kmaq territory and conducting seismic testing in order to begin the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on unceded native lands.

The road blockade has been estimated to cost SWN over $60, 000 a day. Due to the recognition of Indigenous inherent and treaty rights and title, the RCMP have been hesitant to interfere with the blockade though not without conflict. The blockade site has the support of Wabanaki Confederacy traditional governance, and widespread community support amongst Indigenous and settler groups. Flood colonial government mail and phone systems with statements of support for the blockade including the demands of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society. The Warrior Society has issued the following demands to New Brunswick Premier Alward:

  1. Produce all Bills of Sales, Sold, Ceded, Granted and Extinguished Lands for New Brunswick.
  2. Produce documents proving Cabot’s Doctrine of Discovery.
  3. Produce the Treaty of Peace and Friendship 1686.
  4. Produce Treaty of Fort Howe 1768.
  5. Produce consents for Loyalists to land in Nova Scotia/New Brunswick.
  6. Produce records of Townships created and consents by Chiefs to allow this.
  7. Produce agreements or consents by all New Brunswick Chiefs who agreed to Confereration of 1867.
  8. Produce evidence of consents to The Indian Act by all Native Tribes.
  9. Produce records of Trust Funds.
  10. Produce agreements for 4% of all mineral shares of finished products in Canada, except coal.
  11. Produce all correspondence letters pertaining to Numbered Treaties (Promises).
  12. Produce all documents creating border divisions, that divide the Wabanaki confederacy.
  13. Produce the Orders from the Lords of Trade to the Governor of the Colonies.

Decolonization and the pedagogy of solidarity

By Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society, Vol 1, No 1 (2012)

The concept of solidarity is often evoked within projects of decolonization. More recently, however, the failure to construct solidary relationships that seriously engage the demands posed by decolonization has provoked scepticism as well as suspicion regarding the viability of solidarity. A consideration of the genealogy as well as the multifarious uses of the concept of solidarity reveals some of the ways in which the concept reinscribes colonial logics and operates to obscure complicity and continued colonization. At the same time, it is possible to articulate a set of parameters for solidary relations through which to imaginatively construct new ways of entering into relations with others. In fact, when informed by the failures of responses such as multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism to the problem of human difference, solidarity remains an important possibility. This article proposes three modes for a pedagogy of solidarity that is committed to decolonization. It argues for the possibilities of relational, transitive, and creative solidarity as a strategy for recasting not only human relations but also the very notion of what it means to be human, as crucial for decolonization.

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