This was written by the writing committee in All Peoples Revolutionary Front.
Various people from All Peoples Revolutionary Front including people in solidarity read this together at our Rise & Decolonize: Let’s Get Free Rally last night, (November 18, 2011 at 5pm) at Occupy San Diego’s site in San Diego Civic Center.
Also parts of this statement is taken from our original Occupy San Diego letter which we sent out on October 26, 2011. Please read the rest of our letter here at PeopleOfColorOrganize.com or on Racialicious.com who recently published it: http://www.racialicious.com/2011/11/16/open-letter-to-occupy-san-diego/
Here is an audio recording that was given as a gift by a friend of APRF, which includes some of APRF’s and allies statements from the November 18th action: http://soundcloud.com/ultradetournement/2011-11-18-rise-and-decolonize
ALL PEOPLES REVOLUTIONARY FRONT’s RISE & DECOLONIZE STATEMENT TO OCCUPY SAN DIEGO
November 18, 2011
Occupy San Diego: we, the All Peoples Revolutionary Front have mobilized here today in the spirit of self-determination, social justice, and revolutionary love. We are not against you, we are not your adversaries. We have come to share our vision of decolonization and radical change with the hope that you can begin to see the centuries of struggle that came before us and the struggles that lie ahead of us. When we imagine decolonization, we do not make demands of those in power, and we have not come to make demands of you. We are here to create power and frame the alternative.
We envision our autonomy and our destinies to be liberated from government dictation, intervention, and continuing colonization. Our understanding of revolution does not conform to the US colonial model; our understanding involves more than just unity, it involves solidarity and dialogue with slave rebellions and Black Power, Indigenous resistance and Zapatismo, Arab and African uprisings, queer and womyn of color organizing, Third World Liberation movements, and all peoples movements that have battled oppression and imperialism. When we practice revolution, we work for a world free from local and international systems that support ICE raids, deportation, militarized borders, apartheid walls, mass incarceration, police brutality, capital punishment, poverty, slavery, genocide, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, white supremacy, and capitalist exploitation.
The act of decolonization involves not only freedom of peoples and land, but also self-liberation. To decolonize spaces and lands that have been occupied, to decolonize oppressive systems that have occupied our human rights, cultures, and histories, means we must first start with decolonizing our minds that have been occupied with colonialism. We create this alternative through the deep organizing work of education and self-reflection. When we say “knowledge is power,” we understand the connections of institutional oppressions and how they are perpetuated; by doing so, we can then understand how to find power within. We believe in recognizing how systems of oppression become internalized through consistent self-reflection in our approach to radical change. We work for collective agency in community empowerment to disrupt and subvert the focused individualism of capitalist greed, imperialism, globalization and all other forms of white supremacy. In the spirit of movements like the Third World Liberation Front and the solidarity movements built amongst the Filipino-American and Mexican-American farm workers in 1965, we were inspired to form the APRFront coalition. We visualize a radical people-of-color led movement to be organized and structured with a revolutionary leadership that directs, coordinates, and strategically develops the revolutionary process while making power and building a new vision with the consensus of the masses.
We do not dream a new vision without organizing the kind of movement it will take to create that new vision. We organize through solidarity movements that recognize our long struggles and daily experiences of racial profiling, police brutality, deportation and the prison industrial complex that deeply impacts us as people-of-color, indigenous peoples and im/migrants. It is because of these ongoing experiences that we have no choice but to build organized fronts and movements that recognize self-defense as a right and the protection of ourselves and our communities as a necessity. The violent realities of family separation, displacement, and occupied homelands in our communities are as relevant to the present as they are to the past; our very lives depend on creating transparent action that is not just anti-capitalist, but anti- imperialist and anti-white supremacist as well. For generations, we have continued to live our political lives not because we want to, but because we have no choice. For generations we have lived different forms of resistance not because we want to, but because we had no choice. Many of us have lived this life because we know we cannot wait for anyone to save us. It was Black lesbian feminists like Audre Lorde that taught us that “our silence will not save us”. So, we must save ourselves, and we must do this on our own terms, with our own voices. That is the power we create through our self-determination.
Our presence here is a symbolic claiming of space, a representation of our struggles and ourselves as people of color. Our presence is a message that systems of oppression require elimination, not reform, that social justice leads to decolonization, not occupation. We will support our communities that engage with Occupy and will build community with those who are willing to engage and learn together. When we, as a people-of-color led coalition, speak in rage, we are not speaking from hate. We are speaking truth to power, for the right of our own self-determination. To us, our rage of truth IS compassion on our terms. When we are communicating our pain with passion, we are remembering our histories of struggle and forging our connection to a movement that has been here long before us. We come from a place of love when we say our experiences as people-of-color and indigenous people are very different than yours; we are not asking you to validate us, we are asking you not to question our experience. This is us, speaking with love wanting you to feel and know that our pain and our struggles are real. It is with love that we give this to you. This is our practice of revolutionary love.
RISE & DECOLONIZE: Lets Get Free!!