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72hr Hunger Strike Against Imperialism - Nov 7-9, 2012

Prisons

I am a mixed-race Onkwehonwe cis-woman (Turtle Clan, Onöndowága, of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy). My struggle for anti-imperialism is informed by my social location and steeped in a process of decolonization and, as my Anishinabek brothers and sisters say, of Bskaabiiyaang (returning home). I am naming solidarity with Indigenous sovereignty, trans liberation and prison abolition as three among a multitude of movements that must be included in the anti-imperialist struggle. I was inspired by the fortitude and power of prisoners everywhere who fight with every breath as the administrations and institutions try to break their spirits.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2012
[http://abcptbo.noblogs.org/post/2012/11/05/72hr-hunger-strike-against-imperialism-nov-7-9-2012/]

72hr Hunger Strike Against Imperialism

Nov. 7th-Nov. 9th, 2012

I am a mixed-race Onkwehonwe cis-woman (Turtle Clan, Onöndowága, of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy). My struggle for anti-imperialism is informed by my social location and steeped in a process of decolonization and, as my Anishinabek brothers and sisters say, of Bskaabiiyaang (returning home). I am naming solidarity with Indigenous sovereignty, trans liberation and prison abolition as three among a multitude of movements that must be included in the anti-imperialist struggle. I was inspired by the fortitude and power of prisoners everywhere who fight with every breath as the administrations and institutions try to break their spirits. I want to show solidarity with those reaching out and bashing back any way they can, in the face of the jaws of the colonial-capitalist State. I think of the Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers, of Leonard Peltier, of CeCe McDonald, of the Gender Anarky prisoners, of my friends and loved ones targeted and jailed because they are marginalized and/or non-normative, or for doing what they believe in – and I think of my ancestors, who fasted to listen to the spirits, to the Creator, and to their ancestors before them.

The 72 hr Hunger Strike Against Imperialism is a call to action for lovers, survivors, anarchists, community organizers, prison abolitionists, decolonizers, radicals, revolutionaries and everyone who dreams of another world, because it is possible.

This hunger strike is about meaningful solidarity and inter-community support in drawing attention to the ways in which systems of oppression are interdependent and are (re)produced by dominant institutions including (but not limited to) the prison system. Prison abolition must be understood as the abolishment of the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) as well as the systems which keep it in place. The rise of the PIC came hand in hand with the abolition of slavery, and the response was a new way to establish warehouses of unpaid-workers, largely ex-slaves. Suddenly, no longer just poor Whites were imprisoned and the majority of prisoners were (and are) People of Colour and Indigenous peoples. The PIC has acted not only to support institutionalized forms of oppression (such as racism, colonialism, cis-supremarcy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, classism, ableism, ecocide, White-supremacy, xenophobia and more) but also to viscerally develop the ways in which various targeted communities and individuals experience that oppression.

Folks are being called to support the Hunger Strike Against Imperialism in the following ways:

• Call for an end to the single-cell status of trans women. Contact Warden Paramo of the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (California State Prison): (619) 661-6500, asking to end the single-cell status of trans women – who are by a matter of course targeted for isolation and segregation within the Prison Industrial Complex.

• Acknowledge the Nations and Peoples’ whose stolen traditional territories you occupy. Understand that solidarity with, and support of, Indigenous rights to self-determination, autonomy, and sovereignty must be an integral point of all resistance movements against the state-apparatus and its colonial agenda in Turtle Island and beyond. Support Indigenous land defenders and reclaimers, including the Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp [http://oshkimaadziig.org/oshkimaadiziig-unity-camp/], established by ACTION (Anishinabek Confederacy to Invoke Our Nationhood). They are preparing for their first winter and are in need of supplies and allies.

• Send financial support to TransMission [https://www.facebook.com/groups/2244087112/?fref=ts], or to a group by, for and of trans folk in your locale who are working to build community capacity, provide direct services and advocate for trans liberation in a cis-supremacist society that seeks to erase, marginalize and attack trans people. Send PayPal donations to: transmissionpeterborough [at] gmail [dot] com

• Diverse and creative acts of solidarity

Earlier in October, Gender Anarky [http://genderanarky.wordpress.com/] prisoners’ Amazon & Cat entered a week-long hunger strike to end their single-cell status as trans women. The R J Donovan California State prison has taken no action to allow trans women to cell-up together and threatened to transfer them apart if their strike continued. The par-course single-cell treatment of trans women is a form of segregation and discrimination. It is a practice that is based in the all-too familiar tactic of divide and conquer; a tool of the colonial project which seeks to exterminate, erase, and assimilate whole societies, cultures, traditions, life ways and peoples. The continuation of contemporary colonialism by the police-state, the Western Empire and its corporate masters act to codify the dominant narrative as the master narrative. Non-compliance in any way — in our bodies, our identities, our actions, our beliefs, and our dissent — becomes targeted and criminalized. The tactics employed by the Prison Industrial Complex are based in efforts of colonization and imperialism, which directly seek to attack one’s autonomy and sovereignty by employing practices of segregation and Othering to erase the struggles and identities of trans women.

The Prison Industrial Complex also actively profiles and targets Indigenous peoples, including women (and) land defenders, for violence and incarceration. With this in mind, we need to support capacity building among our brothers and sisters who are resisting and struggling for self-determination. Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp [http://oshkimaadziig.org/oshkimaadiziig-unity-camp/], established by ACTION (Anishinabek Confederacy to Invoke Our Nationhood), is entering their first Winter season while moving forward in their process of Bskaabiiyaang (returning home) – a journey rooted in the revitalization of traditional modes of self-governance, sovereignty, and self-determination. They are in need of financial assistance to allow them to obtain necessary materials, tools, and resources to continue their journey towards self-determination and true autonomy. Skill and knowledge sharing, as well as physical support are also welcome. We all have shared responsibilities of honouring one another’s sovereignty, and protecting the land-base. Non-natives must educate themselves on the various treaties and agreements [http://oshkimaadziig.org/history/] their ancestors have made with Indigenous Nations on Turtle Island, and seek to find ways to support and honour these agreements.

TransMission is local group by, for and of trans folk who provide peer support and advocacy within the trans community, and work towards education and trans liberation in the community at large. Ensuring that there are supports on a community-based level is extremely important work in an age of resistance and resurgence. Community-based support networks, and configurations that seek to provide resources and access to them, are paramount for those whose very identities oppose the status quo, and who are forced to confront daily, and who do (in their resilience, love and power of community) rejoice and survive despite the structural and personal violence’s directed at them.

The police will not take care of us, nor will these illegitimate colonial States and their so-called democracies. We find strength in our friendships, and our communities, and must support each other in the face of repression and targeting, in a world meant to exploit us, exterminate us, and break our spirits. By working to understand how oppression, as social frameworks and norms as well as actions, feed into each other by fundamentally creating imbalances of power by establishing one group who benefits off all the rest, and how those moments of disparity play out in our communities and relationships; by looking inwardly and never hesitating to act in a moment of resistance to domination and exploitation, will we build the stronger bonds of community that our oppressors fear of us. We must ask those on the front lines how to deliver tangible support, honour our agreements, and educate ourselves and our communities on the needs created by and the impacts of these oppressive systems of domination and disenfranchisement. But most of all we must never be silent.

Please contact abc [dot] ptbo [at] resist [dot] ca to notify us of your contributions, we would love to know about them!

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