I just got back from a Palestine activist protest and I really need people to understand this.
If you claim to care about Palestine, if you can tweet, instagram and blog post after post alluding to justice and liberation for Palestine, you need to be about more than talk. If its within your capability, action needs to accompany talk.
These numbers are super important. Your presence and the physical evidence against Zionists and all scum who go to immense lengths to justify Palestinian suffering is imminent. Because pro Israelis have money, they have political leverage and immunity. They have the support of powerhouse corporations and the most hegemonic governmental institutions on Earth. They have the means to buy solidarity and manipulate the very nature of the oppression they enact to shift public opinion in their favor.
Pro Palestine folks? Not so much. We rely on truth and the moral goodness of those who are willing to stand for the oppressed and against immoral crimes. Solidarity is organic and from a place of labor and love, not hatred and monetary incentives. But in the end, I believe that is exactly where pro-Palestine have an advantage. When solidarity is genuine and not purchased, its power will outlast.
But solidarity is not without effort. Its chic among leftist circles to carry around the keffiyah and present the look of a radical, in spirit, but its not chic to be up against hundreds upon hundreds of people who call you terrorist and shout the most obscene racist and Islamophobic sentiments, to be spat on, to be egged on and unconsentfully videotaped. Its not chic when you can’t present a politic with the relative immunity of social media and have to go toe to toe with genocide instigators and truly feel like the weight of the world rests on your back. Its not fashionable or an aesthetic to be up against people who equate your religion or ethnicity with violence. But the latter is what will become victorious and through the hard work, I truly hope to see a liberated Palestine in my lifetime, and better yet, in the lifetime of all the aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers and grandparents who have been exiled from their indigenous homelands.
This reality however, cannot exist if its not worked towards and its important to do the work that does not foster you praise and can be brandished for followers.
Masterlist of protests and facebook event links (though I’d suggest you not, you know, “join” them on facebook what with NSA surveillance… and general US attacks on activists). But yeah, here’s a list. Plus tips for dressing/packing for a protest. And street medic tips, the most basic ones of which are:
Plus this super helpful post that was going around, read it!
If anyone has tips for how to deal with police if stopped, please add/ let me know.
Happy Pride, everyone!
We compiled this list of tips to help Pride event organizers make their Pride events more inclusive for attendees with disabilities.
1. Ensure physical and cognitive accessibility from the start. Let’s go beyond just wheelchair ramps, raised viewing areas, and ASL interpreters. Have designated areas as far away from noise as possible for people with sensory processing disabilities who might get overloaded from all the hustle and bustle at Pride events. Have designated smoking areas and encourage attendees to refrain from smoking outside those areas. Supply communication badges and strongly encourage people to use them and respect the communication preferences of all attendees.
2. Create “drop out/in” points on parade/march routes. Many people with disabilities want to be a part of Pride parades and marches, but they are unable to walk the whole route. Instead of barricading the whole route, create “drop out/in” points for people to enter and exit the parade when they are unable to continue.
3. Have the parade/march displayed and live-captioned on closed-circuit TVs. This feature can be expensive for smaller Pride events, but this can help people with auditory processing disabilities understand what the announcer is saying.
4. Use clear signage and have volunteers ready to direct people where they need to go. Some people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have trouble navigating festivals so it would be helpful to have things clearly labeled and marked.
5. Have people with disabilities in leadership roles when planning Pride events. Whenever possible, seek the input of people with a diverse array of disabilities when planning Pride events. Nothing About Us Without Us.
Some people just don’t understand that people find it to be more productive with spending their energy on empowering their community or communities rather than educating (or arguing with), mainly, people with privileges.
Not everything a person who faces discrimination and/or oppression does has to benefit those who contribute to their oppression and discrimination.
This ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ shit needs to be -BACKED-.
I am all for the encouragement of urban gardening, but pretty pictures and platitudes aren’t enough. You need to be out there handing out dirt and seeds and containers, you need to be getting out there and building wheelchair-accessible raised community gardens and building seed libraries and showing people how to hang tomato plants off fire escapes and commandeer city land - and even THEN you don’t say ‘YOU CAN DO IT!’ you say ‘Hey, this is how to do it, if you want in.’
Telling people they can do it isn’t doing shit if you’re not actually showing them how and helping to make it possible.
Growing food instead of lawns is good, but can we PLEASE work on doing things to make it possible?
Maybe give people instructions on how to work with an/or fight their home owner’s association, how to appeal to a landlord, how to address local ordinances, and how to grow stealth food crops as ornamental plants in areas where food gardening is banned. Seriously, they will come bulldoze your shit and then bill you for it.
(Also we need to remember that some people will never be able to invest the money, time, and effort both physical and mental that it takes to have a garden, because they have personal care needs/care of others responsibilities/jobs/illnesses/physical disabilities/other shit to do/do not give a dull fuck about gardening and are perfectly happy with a patch of grass or even astroturf AND THAT IS OK TOO.)
Ok not deter anyone from doing this but just an observation I have about home gardens and shit:
To me it’s funny seeing white ppl with these gardens in their yards, like ur ppl literally destroyed whole ecosystems and forests, killed families of color and destroyed cultures, put them in jails and cities with little to no access to the resources that would enable them to have these plots of land, let alone a house to grow it in, have them situated in food deserts and then u kick them out of wherever they were staying in these under served urban areas, refurbish and buy the homes and set up these little gardens so that u can have fresh kale for ur breakfast smoothies.
Just rlly funny.
^Also 100000000% important commentary. The reason you folks HAVE to fight your HOA and the city to be allowed to grow food instead of lawns is because of -entirely racist- anti-gardening laws that are meant to keep out poor people, poc, immigrants, etc.
Apartheid in Detroit: Water for corporations, not people
June 18, 2014
Biill and Hillary Clinton were up to their ears in more than $10 million worth of legal debt at the end of Clinton’s tenure as president. Donald Trump was bailed out of four bankruptcies. But Detroit residents are having a basic human right – the access to water – cancelled for being late on bills of $150.
In the spring, Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr ordered water shutoffs for 150,000 Detroit residents late on their bills. Orr is an unelected bureaucrat accountable only to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who appointed Orr and several other “emergency managers” in largely poor, black communities like Detroit, Benton Harbor, Flint, and Highland Park, to make all financial decisions on behalf of local elected governments.
Orr’s plan will shut off water for 1,500 to 3,000 Detroit residents each week. Neither Orr nor Homrich, the contracting company Orr hired to shut off residents’ water, answered calls for interview requests.
Detroit citizens have been protesting the decision on the basis that water is a human right that cannot be denied to families who need it for cooking, bathing and flushing toilets. Many residents facing water shutoffs are currently on monthly payment plans with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), paying upwards of $160 per month as water rates continue to rise, and were given no prior notice that their water was about to be cut off. Last week, the Detroit City Council held a public hearing to discuss a proposed 4 percent hike in water rates.
“The families I’ve talked to in my neighborhood and others around the city are confused about why they’re being hit (in this way),” community activist Russ Bellant told the Michigan Citizen. “Some knew they were behind, but thought they’d have time to pay it. These are people who mow the lawn on the vacant lots next door (to them).”
As the Michigan Citizen reported, residents with delinquent water bills are losing their water while prominent Detroit corporations with much larger delinquent water bills are being left alone. The Palmer Park Golf Club owes $200,000. Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, owes DWSD $80,000. Ford Field owes $55,000. Kevyn Orr is arguing that the shutoffs are necessary to pay for the DWSD infrastructure – yet when Detroit raised $1 billion in bonds to pay for new infrastructure, $537 million of it went to banks like JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Morgan Stanley to pay off interest instead.
Community activists are placing blame on the structural, institutionalized poverty in Detroit that forces the people to foot the bill for corporate mismanagement. Detroit’s bankruptcy and urban blight is a direct result of the housing bubble that burst, putting over 60,000 homes in foreclosure and rendering thousands of families homeless.
Dan Gilbert, the billionaire owner of Quicken Loans who is financing much of the gentrified development of downtown Detroit, has been particularly blamed for his company’s role in exacerbating the foreclosure crisis through its intimidation of homeowners, pressuring them into risky subprime lending schemes.
“Instead of going after the corporate institutions who owe millions, they’d rather turn off the water for poor people,” said Demeeko Williams, an organizer with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management.
To fight back, Williams and other community activist groups like Moratorium NOW! and the Detroit After Party are teaming up to create theDetroit Water Brigade, a mutual aid effort aimed at providing residents with water and stopping water shutoffs with nonviolent direct action. The Detroit Water Brigade has set up a bridal registry on Amazon.com inviting those interested to help purchase necessary supplies like water coolers, cases of bottled water, heavy-duty contractor bags, and orange safety vests.
Some of the more radical direct actions being promoted by the Detroit Water Brigade include distributing flyers instructing people on how to turn their own water back on after it’s been shut off, and how to pre-emptively stop contractors from shutting water for their home. The flyer reads:
“Step 1: If your water is off, have the neighborhood water person or a friend (not you) obtain a water key and turn it back on 1st. (If you expect your water to be turned off, go to step 2.)
“Step 2: Purchase ready mix cement from the hardware [store].
“Step 3: Fill lockbox pipe 3/4ths full with dry cement mix.
“Step 4: Add water to top off. Don’t use rocks because rocks can be sucked out.”
The Detroit Water Brigade is also meeting regularly to train interested residents in nonviolent civil disobedience. Residents are planning to form human chains putting themselves between water lockboxes and contractors hired to shut off water. The water brigade is counting on Detroit’s understaffed police department to not have the resources to arrest and jail everyone participating in the water shutoff demonstrations.
In response to sustained protests from Detroit residents, the DWSD has removed the “Water Shut Off” decals from its trucks.
So we’ve all seen these anti-homelessness spikes as of recently, whether in the paper, on Tumblr, Twitter, or Facebook. Someone’s written a guide on how to cover any up that you might come across, and I’ll add some information to this post too. We need to reclaim spaces for the dispossessed and subjugated; no more gentrification; no more sweeping our social problems under the rug. If you don’t want homeless people visible, eradicate it with the tremendous amount of resources we have!
1. Go and check out the area that has been laid with studs, the studs being used in door ways are usually about an inch deep. You need to take a rough estimate of the square metre of the area.
2. Once you have an idea of the size go buy some rapid-setting cement. The sales assistant at any builders merchants will help you calculate the amount needed for the coverage.
3. Purchase a piece of 2 by 2 the length of the area and attach some plastic along the stick. This will be needed to block the run of the cement out of the spiked area and the plastic will be under the pour therefore holding it in place. (You may have to hold it in place initially [or you can get some bricks to prop it up])
4. Rapid cement can be mixed up away from the area and all you need to do is check out the setting time for the product you are using so you allow yourself time from mixing to getting to the spot and pouring.
5. Drive up. Wearing high vis jackets. I would suggest at night or very early in the morning. Lay down baton along the spiked area creating a well. Pour the rapid set cement over the spikes.
[This cement sets in an hour or so.]
A quick fix for the spikes is expanding foam, though it’s easily removable, and the cement is more permanent.
It’s worth mention that if you’re caught, you can potentially be charged with criminal damage. It’d only be deemed minor criminal damage, which is a magistrate-level criminal offence, and so usually fines are metered out.
While I understand and appreciate the sentiment here, I can’t help but feel that this person - or anyone with this attitude, really - has never been an activist themselves. I’m just saying, I’ve known a lot of people with more or less this attitude IRL, and in my experience, most of them have not been actually involved with a cause they care about.
Look, it’s going to sound bad, but I’m just going to come right out and say it: you cannot be an activist for every cause under the sun. If you think you can, you have necessarily never tried it. Like I said, it sounds bad, but you really do have to pick and choose the causes you work for. So it’s not that these “Palestine-only” and “drone-only” folks don’t give a shit about police violence in the United States or injustice toward Native communities or anything else mentioned in that post, I can almost guarantee they do give a shit, but that’s just not their cause. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You can’t expect people to actively contribute to every cause ever just because they’re “just as important”. Of course they are, but we all have to focus on the things we personally are the most invested in, otherwise we will very quickly burn out. Activism is emotionally draining, time-consuming, and, depending on the context, can also be physically and financially demanding. So I have a bit of a hard time with people accusing activists of “problematic fetishization” because they have chosen a cause that’s not necessarily yours. If you think the issues in your country are the most worth fighting for, then awesome, why don’t you work to end those issues and/or find other like-minded people to help you? No one ever seems to have an answer to that.
Remi Kanazi is a pro-Palestine activist. He’s a published poet, he does touring and public speaking work, he organizes esp. for BDS and is on the American Board for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
He isn’t asking people to be “multi-issue” activists. He’s only asking for solidarity and a base recognition of internal colonial suffering of AA and NA people among activists in the MENASA realm. There’s a recent tendency among anti-imperialist MENASA activists and/or leftists to dismiss, trivialize and ignore suffering of minorities in the US and mistakenly pin them with the privilege of being American when they reap no benefits from being (conditionally) “American” and in fact suffer the blowback of US imperialism and colonialism. Leftists, particularly anticolonial and anti-imperialist ones, have the responsibility to have transnational liberation politics. This solidarity and transnationalism is endemic to leftist struggle no matter where it comes from. Ergo he isn’t reproaching activists whose main or primary focus is drones and/or Palestine, but anti-imperialist activists who perpetuate this behavior. For one, Kanazi himself is nowhere big on drones, he’s done none to little anti-drone activism that I can think of, but his message is crystal clear.
Honestly, if you didn’t know of Remi Kanazi enough to actually accuse him of not being a real activist and dismissing him as “this person”, when he’s one of the most vibrant and consistently touring Palestinian voices today, you had no business commenting on this post.