Settler society is terminally dangerous.  It is putting at risk the Earth, as well as any and all Earth-based communities.  Wielding economic clout and military might unprecedented, it continues an agenda of omnicide and brutal power that is now 520 years old.  It is time that it is directly challenged.  In addition to the countless projects whose aim is an agenda of cultural survival and eco-defense, a steadfast resistance to the foundation of settler society must be established.  Settler society, defined as those who benefit from a colonial subjugation of indigenous peoples, has established the United States as occupied territory, cemented a foreign government which imposes ongoing colonization as a matter of course, and developed a social structure which enlists those who immigrate to the United States, as well as those who were brought here as a result of forced displacement, and indoctrinates them all into this dangerous pattern.  Colonization is the fire stoked by greed, avarice, and contempt for life.  Decolonization as a theory, then, is the smoke of this fire.  Decolonization in practice can be said to be the ashes of the fire once it has been extinguished.  I am an advocate of decolonization.  An advocate of reparations, of secession, and defender of the position of conscientious objectors who opt out of the omnicidal system. 

Who am I to endeavor in these projects?  Matrilineally, I am the third generation of a family of Italian immigrants, and on my father’s side I am descended from former black slaves, and am of the second generation since the Great Migration to call the Northern states my home after my family moved from their home in Florida.  Socially, I am a benefactor of settler society, that is, sharing no direct linkage with an indigenous family whose presence in this hemisphere precedes colonization.  Biologically, I am of African and European descent, though I’ve so far been unable to follow my lineage to a degree of specificity regarding the whole of my genetic make-up.  As an advocate of both secession, reparations, and decolonization, the questions of lineage and ancestry are crucial and loaded issues.  I will here make the case for my own ideal conclusions of a decolonized future.

THE PAST IS NEARER THAN IT SEEMS; THE FUTURE, FARTHER: Indian & Black Solidarity in the Seminole Wars

Depending on your sources, dates may vary, but most historians agree that the first Seminole War (also known as the Florida War) was from 1814 until 1819.  During the war of 1812, the British, in the hope of recruiting southeastern Indian tribes as allies in their war against the Spanish Crown over the territory of Florida, military personnel travelled to Florida to begin training soldiers.  In 1814 the British arrived with around 1,000 of their own soldiers, and a garrison of several hundred blacks whom they had recruited as militiamen.  In this period of time they established what was called Negro Fort, near present-day Pensacola.  Shortly after the end of the War of 1812 the British abandoned the fort, leaving behind the blacks.  In short time the fort became a community of freedmen, maroons, and escaped slaves.  By 1816, the estimated black population of the community was somewhere around eight-hundred.  The Indian tribes who had maintained rightful occupation of their territory through the two-and-a-half centuries of Spanish conquest openly interacted and in several instances adopted and intermarried within these black communities.  Relations had been normalized as two displaced cultures established a steadfast resistance against invaders of both British and Spanish origin, and it was also this year that Andrew Jackson, aided by the United States Navy, began to make regular incursions into Florida to re-supply the newly built U.S. Army Fort Scott.  During one of these supply missions, a party of Navy soldiers from two gunboats stopped at the abandoned Negro Fort to fill their canteens with water.  In doing so, they were promptly and successfully attacked by residents of the community.  All Americans were killed except one.  In response, Andrew Jackson requested permission to attack Negro Fort.  His request was granted by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, who deemed the battle a critical facet of national “self-defense”. 

On July 27th, 1816 a crew of black militiamen had been deployed ahead of the encroaching American soldiers, and were already battling with the residents of Negro Fort, which at that time was occupied by about 230 people, the vast majority of which were the freed blacks-turned-insurgents, and a fraction of which were Seminole and Choctaw Indian warriors accompanied by their Chief.  After U.S. Army General Gaines requested and was denied surrender by the Fort, he gave the orders to Navy gunboats moored on the Apalachicola River to begin bombardment.  The battle was ended when a cannon devastated much of the fort, and caused an explosion whose results were the fatalities of the majority of Fort Negro defenders.  Survivors of the battle were executed, held prisoner, or sold back into slavery.  In the aftermath of the battle, Seminole leader Neamathla issued a warning to Gaines that if further U.S. forces crossed the Flint river, they would be met with hostility.  The threat prompted the general to dispatch 250 men to arrest the chief in November 1817.  The resultant battle would be the onset of what is now known as the official Seminole War. The first attempt to capture Neamathla was fended off by the Mikasuki, but the next day they were defeated by U.S. forces.  A week later, another Navy gunboat was attacked by Indian tribes, which prompted the U.S. to give orders to Gaines to attack Florida, but not any Spanish posts therein.  However, Gaines had left for East Florida to fend off pirates who were attempting to seize control in the region, leaving Andrew Jackson to take the position.  He began his invasion in 1818, armed with U.S. soldiers, Tennessee and Georgia militiamen, and about 1,400 allied Creek Indian warriors.  During this time Secretary of State Adams had initiated negotiations with the Spanish for the purchase of Florida.  Spain, having protested Jackson’s invasion, suspended the negotiation.  To stave off Spanish retaliation, Adams issued a letter which blamed the war on the Spanish, British, and Indians, as well as apologizing for the capture of West Florida.  The letter also offered to return Pensacola and St. Marks to the Spanish.  Spain accepted the offer, though soon thereafter an agreement was reached in which they ceded the territory to the United States, rather than responding to Adam’s demand that they control the inhabitants of Florida. 

While the history of this saga, these wars, has been written, its implications upon the present have not.  Through the annexation of the Florida territory, and then through the Civil War and Reconstruction, both Indian and Black families alike were continually subjugated by U.S. government policy and social structure.  The “White is Right” doctrine has outlasted any attempts to subdue the imperialist thirst of settler society, though their is no reason that this has to, or will, continue.  

IN SIGHT OF ETERNITY: Understanding the Possibilities of Another World

The present can not be stopped, evaluated, and re-worked.  Not by governments, popular uprising, or grassroots efforts.  It is the springboard of action from which we can move successfully toward an ideal future.  So it is crucial in this time to strengthen bonds of solidarity, to enforce our own agenda.  The struggles which independently represent cultural survival, reparations of past harms, an agenda of truth in education, democratic accountability, and eco-defense are all seperate sides of the same prism of Justice. 

Because it is inextricably stained with the blood of millions, human history has a stultefying, even frightening effect on those who, within the present, resolve to challenge its trajectory.  As far back as history is capable of reaching (which is not so far in the grand scheme), political struggle has been our enemy.  All of politics has, really.  However, it is also the only tool we have in ridding ourselves of such a parasitic ideology.  Because, given an evaluation of the human species as one which shares the absolute freedom afforded the rest of the natural world, politics and its bedmate, civilization, are aliens.  We have been successively colonized by the automatic workings of a structure which is immortal.  The practice of culture, that is, a people’s philosophical and spiritual and scientific investigation of human life, its connection to the rest of the world and to the cosmos, is the apex of human expression.  Culture is organic, is creative, is unchained and unchaining.  Civilization, on the other hand, consists of demarcating boundaries, imposing hierarchy upon equality, and authorizing the proper and improper use of our natural freedom.  So it can be said that we were colonizing ourselves mentally, even before colonization was implemented politically.  Does not the oppression of women root within the soil of patriarchy?  Perhaps patriarchy is rooted in male insecurity.  Perhaps then that insecurity is rooted in a notion of possession.  And then perhaps there was a time when “possession” as a word, as a concept, did not exist as it does today.  Is there any reason that we can not begin to forget it tomorrow?  Is there any reason that we cannot empty ourselves of harmful notions which presently govern our very lives? 

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In 2011 we met and began working together in a good way. Members of Deep Green Resistance and Lakota warriors and activists joined together to fight on the Great Plains. In 2012 we joined with others to fight against the liquid genocide of White Clay NE, temporarily shutting it down three times. We are fighting and organizing against the Keystone XL pipline. We must protect our sacred water. We joined together in solidarity with Lakota elder Vern Traversie against the racist abuse of Rapid City Regional Hospital. The KKK has reared its ugly head in the sacred black hills and we must stand and fight against them in 2013. We cannot do this work without material support. Besides material support we need bodies willing to join us on the frontlines. Please help us continue fighting in 2013. For more information please email deepgreenresistancegreatplains@riseup.net

 

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This article is re-printed by Agence France-Presse

Work on Brazil’s controversial $13 billion Belo Monte mega-dam ground to a halt Monday after protesters torched buildings at three dam construction sites over the weekend, the developer said.

Saturday, “a group of 30 people set fire to prefab structures at the Pimental site. They went into the cafeteria, destroyed everything and robbed the till” before setting it ablaze, said Fernando Santana, spokesman for builders Consorcio Constructor Belo Monte (CCBM).

And late Sunday, groups of 20 people set structures ablaze at Canais and Diques, two other dam construction sites, said Santana.

“On Monday, as a precautionary security measure, all activities were suspended at the construction site,” said Santana, suggesting that “vandals” might be trying to derail salary renegotiation under way.

The state-owned Norte Energia hired CCBM to build the dam, which is set to be the world’s third largest when it has been completed. Between 12,000 and 13,000 workers at the site on two shifts, Santana said.

The incidents broke out after CCBM proposed a seven percent wage hike to the workers in an area where the inflation rate is at 30 percent, said Xingu Vivo, a non-governmental group opposing the dam.

On October 9 protesters — 150 natives and local fishermen — interrupted dam construction, accusing Norte Energia of backtracking on accords signed in June when people occupied the Pimental area for three weeks.

Indigenous groups fear the dam across the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, will harm their way of life. Environmentalists have warned of deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and irreparable damage to the ecosystem.

The dam is expected to flood some 500 square kilometers (200 square miles) along the Xingu and displace 16,000 people, according to the government, although some NGOs put the number at 40,000 displaced.

The natives want their lands demarcated and non-indigenous people removed from them, as well as a better healthcare system and access to drinking water.

Expected to produce 11,000 megawatts of electricity, the dam would be the third biggest in the world, after China’s Three Gorges facility and Brazil’s Itaipu Dam in the south.

It is one of several hydroelectric projects billed by Brazil as providing clean energy for a fast-growing economy.

“Avatar” director James Cameron and actress Sigourney Weaver support dam opponents, drawing parallels with the natives-versus-exploiters storyline of their blockbuster Hollywood movie.

From Bangkok Posthttp://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/320956/trouble-at-brazil-mega-dam-stops-construction-for-now

Please visit the Amazon Watch page for the news and updates on the Belo Monte Mega-dam.  http://amazonwatch.org/work/belo-monte-dam

HOW EARLY MINNESOTA SETTLER SOCIETY CAN BE CONVICTED OF GENOCIDE AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE II OF THE UN CONVENTION IN THE CASE OF FORCIBLY IMPRISONING, EXPELLING, AND EXTERMINATING DAKOTA PEOPLE FROM THEIR ANCESTRAL HOMELAND:
The UN Convention agreed upon international standards for defining genocide. It is broken down into five criteria, any of which if met adequately constitutes genocide. The criteria are as follows.
A) “Killing members of the group” Much of the evidence on record which constitutes this criteron comes from data surrounding the US-Dakota War of 1862. In this situation, isolated instances of individual violence against White settlers were used to justify total land theft and a genocidal agenda enacted by Governor Alexander Ramsey. During the conflict, as well as its desired end-results–the expulsion of the Dakota from what was to become MInnesota–people whose only crime was their culture were condemned to death. Under the guise of vindication for the actions of a few resistors, several hundred innocent Dakota were killed in armed conflicts, denied adequate provisions for living, led on forced marches which exceeded the physical capacities of even the able-bodied, and interred in concentration camps. However, the violence did not end in the Winter of 1862. Governor Ramsey continually ordered soldiers and vigilante settlers to hunt down “fugitive” Dakotas who had evaded previous capture efforts. Beginning in the summer of 1863 a bounty on the scalps of Dakota went into effect. This is in violation of even U.S. law effective at that time.
B) “Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group” Ample evidence that this criterion was met can be found above, and extrapolated upon (the routine beatings, whippings, torture, and rape which accompanied the forced marches and comprised daily life in concentration camps). In regard to the second part of this criterion, mental harm, we can establish our case from a historical perspective with a critical lens on the present. This angle is less likely to be explored by members of settler society because of the assumption that their values and way of life are superior to indigenous ways. Through the various methods of acculturation, the Dakota were stripped of all signs of indigeneity. Certainly it can be argued that condemnation of a peoples’ way of life can serve to inflict mental harm. Being conditioned to believe settler society’s definition of Dakota life as inferior to Euro-American life is testament to mental harm. It is, simply put, conditioned self-hatred.
C) “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part” Because of policies of removal codified and enacted by the US government, ideologies of settler society, and military leaders, the Dakota people were deprived of their ability to practice their way of life, resulting in a domino-effect style of internal collapse of Dakota society. Imagine how your life would change if you were dispossessed of your lifestyle, and forced to live in a part of town which had no amenities, and offered hostility and suspicion instead of hospitality and regard. Now imagine that it is winter. That your family has been split apart. That previously unkown illnesses are laying waste to much of your community. This process is ongoing: Drastically expanded after the establishment of the reservation system, enforced by what are now considered norms in the economic inequalities that are commonplace within American society, the “conditions of life” for Dakota people, in order to afford to White Minnesotans certain privileges, are fundamentally entwined with everything which could constitute a self-destructive way of life.
D) “Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group” As a part of the ethnic cleansing policies enacted in Minnesota in the 1860s, gender segregation was enforced among the Dakota. By fall of 1862, Dakota men who were shackled and seperated from their families were either killed or imprisoned. The number of the former–of those killed–amounts to one-third of the male population. Of the latter, those imprisoned were not released until spring of 1866. This amounts to nearly four years of gender segregation. Any children born during this period were the result of white soldiers raping Dakota women. Presently, Dakota people by comparison experience higher incarceration rates than whites.
Beyond the de facto measures which limited Dakota fecundity is the deeper, insidious, and as-yet-unexamined (publicly) practice of forced sterilization of Indigenous women. This was a part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare programs, which was wholly funded by the federal government, and enacted at Indian Health Service hospitals. The extent of this practice is not yet wholly documented. However, a 1979 report of the General Accounting Office released a study based on four of twelve IHS service areas. Within these four service areas IHS sterilized 3,001 women between 1973 and 1976. Other surveys suggest that this practice was more widespread. This only accounts for the documented instances.
E) “Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” The federal boarding schools constitute proof of this criterion as they were operated by Whites under the mandates of federal institutional regulations. While enrolled in the school, Dakota children were stripped of their traditional identities, and conditioned by a settler methodology. This practice was extended through foster care and adoption programs, as federal regulations and govcernment employees deemed families “inadequate” to the degree that warranted adoption-out. Andrea Smith writes: “In Minnesota, Indian children were 500 times more likely to be in foster care or adoptive care than non-Indian children. In South dakota, Indian children were 1,600 percent more likely to be in foster or adoptive care.”

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