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Findings from around the Internet.


“is that not genocide?”

September 9, 2016


Today, on this same sacred land, over 100 tribes have come together to stand in prayer and solidarity in defiance of the black snake. And more keep coming. This is the first gathering of the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux tribes) since the Battle of the Greasy Grass (Battle of Little Bighorn) 140 years ago. When we first established the Sacred Stone Camp on April 1 to stop the pipeline through prayer and non-violent direct action, I did not know what would happen. But our prayers were answered.

We must remember we are part of a larger story.  We are still here.  We are still fighting for our lives, 153 years after my great-great-grandmother Mary watched as our people were senselessly murdered. We should not have to fight so hard to survive on our own lands.

Read More | “Why the Founder of Standing Rock Sioux Camp Can’t Forget the Whitestone Massacre” | LaDonna Bravebull Allard | Yes! Magazine


“coordinated Workstrikes, for Non-Violence and Peaceful demonstrations both inside and outside of prisons”

September 9, 2016


F.A.M. has often stated that the solution to mass incarceration and prison slavery must be lead by the men, women and children who are incarcerated and who are contributing to prison slavery and our own oppression by continuing to produce goods and provide services and purchase products that generate billions of dollars in revenue each year to support prison slavery. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution continues to permit slavery to exist in this country “as Punishment of crime, whereof the person has been duly convicted,” and the institution and enterprise of slavery was legally transferred to the State government’s prison systems.



“they resisted for 70 days and we are still going on for a year and a half.”

May 17, 2016


During the course of the revolution against Assad that began in Syria in 2011, land was liberated to the extent that by 2013 the regime had lost control over some four-fifths of the country. As the state began to disintegrate, communities needed to build alternative structures to keep life functioning in the newly created autonomous zones.

The model which emerged was based on the vision of Syrian anarchist Omar Aziz, who produced a paper in November 2011, in the eighth month of the revolution, advocating the establishment of local councils.

He argued that it is inconsistent for revolutionaries to participate in protests by day and then return to living within the hierarchical and authoritarian structures imposed by the state. Aziz believed that revolutionary activity should permeate all aspects of life and advocated for radical changes to social relationships and organization.

He called for autonomous, non-hierarchical organization and self-governance, based on principles of cooperation, solidarity and mutual aid. He envisaged the councils as being horizontally organized grassroots forums through which people could work together to achieve three primary goals: to manage their lives independently of the state; collaborate collectively; and initiate a social revolution, locally, regionally and nationally.

Together with comrades, Aziz helped establish the first local council in Zabadani, followed by others in the Syrian cities of Barzeh, Daraya and Douma.

Tragically, Aziz was arrested in November 2012 by Assad regime intelligence agents and held in the infamous Adra prison where he died three months later. Shortly before his death he declared, “We are no less than the Paris Commune workers—they resisted for 70 days and we are still going on for a year and a half.”

Hundreds of local councils have spread throughout Syria, bringing power down to the community level. These are civil administrative structures, and most have selected their members through democratic elections or popular consensus—something unheard of under Assad totalitarianism. Some hold elections every 3-6 months to recall representatives who are not performing well and decisions on issues are taken by majority vote.

They comprise revolutionary activists, professionals and representatives of large families or tribes. In most cases, they retain their independence from political and military factions, and in mixed communities such as in Yabroud, Selemmiyeh and Manbij, local councils included representatives of different ethnic and religious groups.

In the absence of the state, it’s the local councils which continue to provide water, education and healthcare to local communities. They’ve set up alternative sources of energy, such as solar power, and grow food to fight off starvation in communities under siege.

Read more | “Challenging the Nation State in Syria” | Leila Al Shami | Fifth Estate


“prison is the glue that holds this whole crooked house of cards together”

May 9, 2016


Racism is different in prison. There are at least three kinds of racism in the US. First is the kind most of us are familiar with on the outside: color blind people who would never use the N-word and who might even thoroughly examine their prejudices and micro-aggressions against others, but would never put their body or their time on the line to have the back of someone who’s getting beaten or killed. The second kind is the overt nazis, the tattooed aryan gang members who have bizarre and reprehensible ideas about who is responsible for their class position and personal hardships. Prison is full of these folks, but I have heard many stories of them jumping in when a guard is kicking the shit out of a black guy, or starving them in a torture cell. Under certain circumstances, they are ironically, better allies than the most conscientious of liberals. The third kind of racism is the systemic racism that continues these institutions of white supremacy that we have inherited from our history of slavery and genocide. Prisoners of color often seem to be able to understand how to leverage an uncomfortable cooperation with the second kind of racism to take on the third, and we try to join them in that.

Coordination across racialized gang lines has been a feature of most recent major prisoner’s movements. It was in the list of demands coming out of Georgia, the Agreement to End Hostilities from gang-identified leaders in the California hunger strikes, and in the background of other activities. It isn’t accurate to use broad brush words like solidarity, or unity to describe these things, though in some instances, prisoners do use that language, like in the 1993 Lucasville Uprising where prisoners spray painted “convict unity”, “black and white together” and even “convict race” on the walls of the occupied cell block. Strategic coordination against common enemies seems more likely. There have also been prisoners who reject that strategy and condemn outside supporters who adopt it. But IWOC hasn’t had a terrible lot of conflict about this, as of yet.

Read more | “Organizing the Prisoner Class: An Interview with IWOC” | Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee | It’s Going Down


“Utopian demands are for some the last and only hope.”

May 3, 2016

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Alice Walker told me that the right to be a self-builder and a space-maker, to create spaces outside of the colonial gaze from which to view myself and others like me, is a Utopian demand that I must live out through my art/perform thoroughly, in a way that has blood and bone-marrow. I am not the first person to feel this way, the current only one, and I will not be the last. I look up to the work of artists like Adrian Piper, Lorraine O’Grady, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Ebony G. Patterson, Hannah Black, Sondra Perry, and of many others.

I feel that we are entering an age where many Utopian demands should and will be met (in and outside of the field of art) soon or demanded with such vigor that the plates of certain foundations may shift. The future will be different from the present, because for some the present reality is simply too brutal and too overwhelming to be accepted/endured. This is a time where Utopian demands are for some the last and only hope. My art is for these people and the communities of other artists who are also making for us.

Read more | PennMFA 2016 Thesis Statement | E. Jane