This blog has been started by a group of people in response/conjunction with the People’s Assembly of Victoria happening on unceded WSANEC, Lkwungen and Esquimalt homelands, as well as the “Occupy” movements happening all over “North America”.
What does it mean to #OCCUPY already-occupied, unceded Indigenous lands? How can we talk about injustice and capitalism without talking about colonialism? “Victoria BC” and the rest of “North America” has been and continues to be occupied and colonized. As more discussions about colonialism are happening during the #OCCUPY movement, it’s pretty uncomfortable for many people to begin to recognize that we are participating in a very different kind of #OCCUPATION.
When folks raise the fact of ongoing colonialism of North America, there are some common reactions, especially from white Europeans: “Weʼre all the same, weʼre all human, weʼre all part of the 99%!”, “Colonialism happened a long time ago; Iʼm not responsible for it!”, “Colonialism is a distraction from more important issues”…
Similar kinds of defensive reactions happen when people raise questions about patriarchy, homophobia, racism, and other kinds of oppression. It’s much easier to criticize systems and problems ‘out there’—it gets a lot trickier when some of those problems are ‘in here’: in the way we relate to one another and treat each other. Colonialism is harder for the 99% because ‘we’ are the problem: we’re participating in a very long-standing, unwelcome, and oppressive #OCCUPATION. It’s not clear what it means to acknowledge colonialism, or what it means to work through it, but it’s clear that it has some important implications for the #OCCUPY movement. Acknowledging and challenging colonialism will mean very different things in different places across North America, attentive to differences between peoples, places, and histories. The same goes for challenging other forms of oppression, including racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and patriarchy.
More will be coming soon. For now, here are some links:
JohnPaul Montano’s article here: http://mzzainal-straten.blogspot.com/2011/09/open-letter-to-occupy-wall-street.html
Unsettling America – http://unsettlingamerica.wordpress.com/
Tequila Sovereign’s article here: http://tequilasovereign.blogspot.com/2011/10/manna-hata.html?spref=fb
Many posts on Racialicious including Marissa’s post here: http://www.racialicious.com/2011/10/03/so-real-it-hurts-notes-on-occupy-wall-street/
“Occupyed Canada” FB site here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Occupyed-Canada/222699701124676?sk=info.