Over 100 cities across the United States and 18 countries across the world are now engaged in active uprisings as a direct response to the rampant police violence that has terrorized our Black and African relatives for centuries. This magnitude of resistance in the so-called United States is stunning.
The origin of police in the US is rooted in systemic racism, slavery, and land dispossession. Volunteer militias composed of white settlers hunted and captured enslaved Africans attempting to escape bondage. They slaughtered Indigenous people to clear the land for more plantations. Their function has always been to wield violence in order to protect white capital and private property. They didn’t even bother to change the famous star-shaped badge that the early slave catchers and Indian killers were given (see image below).
The system is not broken, it is working exactly as it was intended to. The sooner we come to terms with the fact that we live under a white supremacist, capitalist colonial regime, the better we can educate our communities, agitate for our freedom, and liberate our people. On May 28th, thousands of people–especially youth of color–took to the streets of Albuquerque to protest the murder of George Floyd as well as the many other Black and colonized people murdered by the state. The police responded by brutalizing people in their own neighborhoods. That evening, protestors attempted to rescue and protect three young Black men being harassed and arrested by the notoriously violent Albuquerque Police Department (APD) a few blocks away from the protest. The APD retaliated by arresting a prominent Black activist in the city, Clifton White, who helped to organize the May 28 action. As of this writing, White is still in APD custody as a political prisoner despite widespread demands for his release (sign the petition to free Clifton White here).
Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, the people are liberating territory and redistributing resources from corporate megastores. The food taken from these stores is being used to feed the community that consists of mostly poor and working class Black, Brown, Indigenous and Migrant families. And in Seattle, people have reclaimed an abandoned police precinct as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, a self-governed commune within the city functioning without police. This is exactly what communism and decolonization look like; in the absence of coercion, people reclaim their humanity and care for each other, ensuring no one is in need. In the absence of colonialism and racism, people self-organize around values of compassion and abundance rather than competition and greed. We have already seen this with the widespread voluntary mutual aid networks that arose organically in response to community need (and state failure) during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is clear that we do not need police. We only need each other.
Now is the time to come together, fight and resist the oppressor. Minneapolis is the birthplace of the American Indian Movement, which formed in response to police violence against Native communities in the city. The history of Black and Indigenous resistance in Minneapolis demonstrates that our histories of resistance and solidarity are deep. Native resistance movements have always been inspired by African liberation struggles and we continue to use theories and praxis that Black revolutionaries have developed over the course of generations. We pledge to combat the anti-Black racism that runs deep in Native families, communities, and nations. We pledge to use whatever resources we have as The Red Nation to elevate the voices and struggles of our Black and African relatives. We acknowledge and embrace our Black Indigenous relatives wherever they are. We pledge to advance the long histories of shared struggle between Black and Indigenous peoples in all our work. We encourage people to build upon the dreams and histories of liberation that Black and Indigenous people share, rather than compete for resources or recognition of our trauma by the state. Finally, whatever harm we may have caused one another, we encourage Black and Indigenous people to come together in this moment to fight in unity so we can bring this beast down once and for all.
“Whatever harm we may have caused one another, we encourage Black and Indigenous people to come together in this moment to fight in unity so we can bring this beast down once and for all.”
In The Red Nation, we say “when the people move, we move.” As we hold the grief and anger in our hearts for the way police kill our relatives with impunity, our hearts are also full of gratitude and joy for seeing the people refuse to allow this violent settler state to kill and oppress us any longer. We give our unwavering and unconditional support to these uprisings and we are committed to protecting and defending our Black and African relatives. We will be there in solidarity with our Black and African relatives as they resist and demand justice. Decolonization is one of the main political frameworks that influences our revolutionary work. We draw from radical Black and Indigenous feminists who see decolonization as an abolitionist project that requires the end of all forms of carcerality, including the caging of land, water, and human life within the false confines of property, borders, prisons, and commodities. We join generations of Black and Indigenous communists who have sought and fought to replace carceral regimes with relations of caretaking. We seek to build geographies of freedom for all life in the ashes of empire.
With this much people power growing on the ground while this violent empire is in shambles, we have never been closer in our lifetime to bringing it to its knees. What we do here affects the lives of billions who live under the boot of US imperialism. Defunding police here gets us one step closer to ending US occupation everywhere. We, the people, are taking back our power; it has never been more abundantly clear that revolution is necessary. #Justice4GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter #DefundPolice
May our hearts remain strong,
The Red Nation