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(sup) US, Differences and the BANCO proposal Re: (en) US, APOC conference DRAFT PROPOSAL: BUILDING AN ANARCHIST PEOPLE OF COLOR UNITED FRONT by BANCO

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 1 Oct 2003 21:52:10 +0200 (CEST)


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> From: Rafael Mutis <stopdawar-A-yahoo.com>
In responce to:
> (en) US, APOC conference DRAFT PROPOSAL: BUILDING AN
> ANARCHIST PEOPLE OF COLOR UNITED FRONT by BANCO
> Submitted by the Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizers (BANCO)
> To the Anarchist People of Color Conference Oct.
> 3-5, 2003, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan


Sisters and Brothers,

These are some thoughts and observations that I want
to share as we prepare to change the world by meeting
together, building together and working together in
Detroit and beyond -

First a word about the disagreements, from some one
who is just coming in and doesn't have a history with
the folks who are disagreeing - I think we need to
refocus why we are doing this work and what we are
trying to accomplish. We have all seen what happens
sometimes when we try to build a movement, we
continually destroy ourselves and those movements by
fighting each other with the same methods we use to
fight the right. If we continue to do this, we don't
have to worry about the nazis disrupting our work. I
think it is kewl to disagree and put out our
differences, but not with an eye to ending or
resolving those differences. I think we can all give
each other a hand with this, because it is not easy.

I think what we are doing together is revolutionary,
given all the obstacles we face as anarchists and
anti-authoritarian folks of color, queer, straight and
folks of multiple genders, together.

I appreciate the work which went into this document
put out by BANCO and I think it is good. I would also
like to see the document that brother Ernesto and
sister Heather are working on. It seems to me that
what we have as anarchists and anti-authoritarian
folks of color is that we are not into domination and
we are not into unity in the sense that we all have to
take the same line or think the same way. We have
seen that enough from white institutions and within
our own communities as we work to change the world.

About the BANCO proposal -

1. The notion of unity - I think that we are still
committed in some ways at building a counter hegemonic
movement and we have largely accepted the marxist
notion of how that will look. I think this proposal
reflects another notion well, but unity is still used
throughout and it is not defined well. I propose that
as anarchists and as anti-authoritarian folks of
color, straight, queer, women and men mulitply
gendered, we are about differences and holding those
as a values. So, I think we need to turn unity on its
head and say that we are united in respecting each
other, each other's ablities to think and articulate
ideas, and in committing ourselves to back each other
up. I would propose that every thing else is up for
grabs, that we don't need to agree with each others'
ways of working, outside of working to end domination.


2. Preparing for the revolution - I think we are
making revolutions now, in this work. It is not some
distant goal, but a present reality. How does how we
treat each other, back each other up, work together,
put out our ideas and listen to each other reflect
revolutionary work? How do we do it? I think
revolutions are processes, including
internal<->external<->individual<->collective.

3. Talking about oppressions and resisting them all -
this document presents race as primary and rejects the
marxist notion of class as primary, though there are
good comments throughout about the need to include and
deal with other oppressions. While I do understand
that thinking, I want to propose broadening that focus
in a significant way. I am part of a popular
education school where we talk about oppressions and
resistances to them as intermeshed. As a joto (Latino
queer man), being targeted is intertwined and I resist
with all of me, not just with fragments. The right
doesn't make easy distinctions, like in "oh we will
bash him because he is queer and not because he is
latino". Sakia Gunn, who was murdered in New Jersey,
wasn't targeted as a lesbian alone, as if we could
separate lesbian from woman of color! ¡Sakia
Presente!

4. The primacy of organizing - what does BANCO mean by
this? I'm sure they are not talking about the
traditional way of organizing that Alinsky promoted,
but I am not sure what it does mean as it is used in
this document. As a popular educator, I want to
propose that we can use the best of both
traditions/tools in creating new ways of working
together and with communities to end domination. Pop
ed means learning together and beginning with folks'
experiences to transform the oppression and to live
full, rich lives.

5. Lets create new ways of working together which
reject the internalized racism, sexism, homophobia,
transphobia, gender dichotomy, classism. The great
thing about being anarchists and anti-authoritarian
folks of color is that we value our relationships, our
communities and we won't let others like the state and
the cops mediate them for us! As beautiful,
intelligent, articulate peeps of color, queer,
straight, women and men of mulitple genders we can
throw off the oppressions as we work toward
liberation!

Submitted with love, respect and rage to continue the
converation,

Rafael A. Mutis
El Barrio, NYC



--- Lorenzo Ervin <komboa@hotmail.com> wrote:
> DRAFT PROPOSAL:
> BUILDING AN ANARCHIST PEOPLE OF COLOR UNITED FRONT
>
> Submitted by the Black Autonomy Network of Community
> Organizers (BANCO)
> To the Anarchist People of Color Conference
> Oct. 3-5, 2003, Wayne State University, Detroit,
> Michigan
>
>
> The Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizers
> (BANCO) called for the
> Anarchist People of Color Conference, did the
> initial organizing, and since
> has worked with a number of people to make it
> happen. (*BANCO is an
> African-American Anarchist collective currently
> based in Michigan.) We give
> special thanks to Jena, Shemon, and Jason in
> Detroit, and Ernesto Todd
> Mireles and the XDC crew in Lansing who brainstormed
> with us and among
> themselves about how to build the conference, gave a
> great deal of time and
> volunteer work, and whose efforts actually prepared
> the site for the meeting
> to take place. We also thank Sister Walidah Imarisha
> and Not4Profit for
> their fundraising campaign, which brought in badly
> needed dollars; and we
> thank Ernesto Aguilar for creating the website which
> made online
> registration possible. We thank everyone who
> organized in their areas to
> come to this conference, and thank any Anarchist
> groups that helped to raise
> money to sponsor local people in their areas to
> come.
> From the beginning, we called for unity and mutual
> aid in the creation of a
> space where anarchist and anti-authoritarian peoples
> of color can discuss
> our own issues. Some of us know each other from past
> work in the anarchist
> movement, but many of us will be coming together for
> the first time.
> Therefore, it is a truly historic occasion, and one
> of the few times when
> peoples of color will be meeting and planning a new
> movement. Let?s not
> waste the moment, however. The main business of this
> conference should be
> about building a new movement.
> BANCO did not call for the conference to organize
> around our exclusive
> political views or reflect our Black community
> program. Furthermore, we are
> not seeking to ?lead? all POC. BANCO recognizes the
> autonomy of all peoples
> of color within the broad
> anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement. If we do
> not respect each other?s autonomy and engage in
> mutual respect now, we will
> cripple our chances to build a movement later. We
> have also always wanted to
> help build a united movement of various peoples of
> color with various points
> of view to unite in common struggle--African,
> African-American, Xicano,
> Native, Desi, Asian and multi-racial.
>
> I. Why We Need to build an Anarchist People of Color
> movement.
>
> Our histories as distinct peoples of color on this
> continent and
> internationally are vastly different from white
> people; we have been
> enslaved, exploited, subjected to systematic racism,
> genocide, and other
> continuing forms of terror. This cannot all be
> boiled down into a mere
> ?class issue for industrial workers?, like most
> white radicals still claim.
> We are today oppressed as workers and common people
> by the state and
> corporations, but also as larger victims of racial
> and colonial oppression.
> Many peoples of color have also experienced racism
> even within the broader
> anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement, whose members
> are primarily
> whites/Europeans throughout the world. Much of the
> discrimination has been
> the exclusion of peoples of color from the movement
> and ignoring our issues,
> but some of this has taken the form of hostile white
> chauvinism, giving weak
> rationalizations in defense of white domination of
> the movement. In the
> United States, for example,
> anarchist/anti-authoritarian peoples of color
> who make legitimate claims of autonomy within the
> broader movement are
> frequently accused by white/European anarchists and
> anti-authoritarians of
> being ?nationalists? who want to divide the
> movement, even lumping us
> together with non-white ethnic politicians,
> businessmen, and reactionary
> religious or cultural nationalists, claiming we are
> all in favor of our own
> ?ruling class?, a nation-state, or are somehow
> acquiescent to racism. Yet,
> peoples of color did not create white racism, nor do
> we benefit from it, so
> we know this is false. Anarchism?s lack of
> diversity undercuts the whole
> movement, and it must change. We must organize.
> One blatant example of the racism/racial exclusion
> within the
> anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement in the United
> States was the failure
> of the predominantly white organizers of the 1999
> anti-globalization
> demonstrations in Seattle to get substantial numbers
> of peoples of color to
> participate. Some said this was because Seattle did
> not have a large
> Black/POC community. However, this was inexcusable,
> particularly, at the WTO
> protests held later in Washington, D.C, which is a
> predominantly Black and
> Latin city, and yet very few Black/Latino community
> activists were
> recruited!
> While some white/European anarchists and
> anti-authoritarians consistently
> speak out against racism in the movement and work
> for a diverse Anarchist
> movement, their numbers are too few. So, peoples of
> color, who are largely
> ignored and/or dismissed in the broader
> anarchist/anti-authoritarian
> movement when we attempt to address the problem of
> racism, consequently,
> have no alternative but to organize ourselves as an
> autonomous force.
> Indeed, we believe that is why so many peoples of
> color have responded
> favorably to the call for the conference. This does
> not mean that we will
> refuse to work with white activists, just that we
> declare our independence.
> The conference will be held at a time when peoples
> of color all over the
> world are catching hell?subjected to low-wages,
> unemployment, substandard
> housing and health care, inferior schools, police
> brutality, racial
> profiling, mass imprisonment of the poor, gay
> bashing, and more. These
> issues and problems must be seriously addressed if
> the
> anarchist/anti-authoritarian movement is to grow
> among peoples of color. The
> ideology and political principles of anarchism and
> anti-authoritarianism
> must be popularized in order for substantial numbers
> of peoples of color to
> embrace our politics.
> In short, peoples of color need to see that
> anarchism and
> anti-authoritarianism are relevant to organizing on
> the every day material
> issues in our lives. It cannot remain what it
> presently is: an abstract
> political ideology for middle class white people. It
> must begin to reflect
> our histories and our issues.
> Anarchist/anti-authoritarian peoples of color do not
> have the luxury of
> engaging in abstract politics that do not concretely
> address the issues and
> problems in our communities. Therefore, we must form
> a united, non-sectarian
> front to fight the problems that we have in common.
> Within this front, the
> various races, nationalities, ethnic groups, etc.
> should retain their
> autonomy. While we may not agree on everything, may
> even have intense
> debates on occasion, we must unite around those life
> and death issues that
> we do agree on, and not let ethnic rivalry,
> political outlook, or personal
> animosities divide us..
> II. Creation of an APOC United Front
> BANCO calls for the creation of an open United Front
> that any person of
> color who is an anarcho-syndicalist,
> anarcho-communist,


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