“When tyranny is law revolution is order.” – Pedro Albizu Campos
Picket/Rally at 26 Federal Plaza (Take the 4,5,6, J or Z trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall) Bring your panderetas, placards, and flags!
Puerto Rico doesn’t have a debt crisis, it has a COLONIAL CRISIS!
Join us as we DENOUNCE the 118th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico! No to PROMESA! Free Oscar Lopez and Ana Belen Montes! Return the lands to the people of Vieques! U.S.A. out of Puerto Rico!
Last week, Queen Elizabeth II said she thought that gay marriage was absolutely “wonderful.” Meanwhile, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah — an LGBT activist in the U.K. best known for founding U.K. Black Pride — was one of 1,200 artists, activists, and other notables listed in the Queens New Year’s Honors List.
Opoku-Gyimah, who also served as a Rainbow List judge and Stonewall Trustee, was happy to be noticed. But it’s complicated.
“If you’re a member of a minority – or multiple minorities – it’s important to be visible as a role model for others [and] for your successes to be seen. An honor is a very public statement that the establishment has decided that you, and what you do, are valued by the wider society. You’ve worked hard, and they’ve actually noticed.”
However, inclusion on the list comes with an MBE, which makes her known as a Member of the British Empire. And she has a problem with that:
“…Member of the British Empire? I don’t believe in empire. I don’t believe in, and actively resist, colonialism and its toxic and enduring legacy in the Commonwealth, where – among many other injustices – LGBTQI people are still being persecuted, tortured and even killed because of sodomy laws, including in Ghana, where I am from, that were put in place by British imperialists. I’m honored and grateful, but I have to say no thank you.”
It’s actually disgusting how people are calling this “UK Independence Day”. I can tell you that how the UK is treated by the EU is no where in the same league on how the empire treated the rest of the world. The EU protects against our human rights being violated, and we have an actual say in how it’s been run. The wealth of the British Empire was built on the blood, theft, slavery, rape, and genocide of people across the world. To compare that to this quasi-fascist propaganda project is the epitome of ignorance and entitled colonialist mindset.
South Asia has a rich sexual history that is forgotten by western liberals who laugh at Raj in “The Big Bang Theory” or who are quick to call out LGBTQ issues in the region without placing them in their relevant colonial context. In doing so they forget or choose to ignore how it was the British who imposed these backwards ideas on the region that went contrary to the traditional ways of thinking and practising.
In this regard colonialism has gone full circle as it first caused the problem and now white saviours are claiming to have the solutions to bring the former colonies into modernity. The spread of “equality” is presented as a Western value, when it is not. Diversity and equality were more present in many South Asian communities than they were in Europe, were homosexuality was frowned upon and discouraged.
The video for Taylor Swift’s new song, “Wildest Dreams,” conjures up a colonial-era Africa of magnificent landscapes, beautiful animals — and virtually no black Africans.
Here are some facts for Swift and her team: Colonialism was neither romantic nor beautiful. It was exploitative and brutal. The legacy of colonialism still lives quite loudly to this day. Scholars have argued that poor economic performance, weak property rights and tribal tensions across the continent can be traced to colonial strategies. So can other woes. In a place full of devastation and lawlessness, diseases spreads like wildfire, conflict breaks out and dictators grab power.
Those who misunderstand colonialism and its subsequent re-shaping of the world often ask what makes it so different from all the other conquests in history. What separates the British Empire from the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great? Why do North Africans resist French influence but not the region’s prior Arabization? Why don’t populations demand apologies from all their previous conquerors in an attempt to reconcile all that has been done to them?
To compare European colonial systems to the flow and ebb of prior conquests is to assume that all historical conquests relied on the same model of subjugation that defined European conquest: centralized and institutional racialization of peoples across the globe, in need of civilization (or the alternative, extermination), and whose histories could be described by constructed hierarchies. As it stands, such characterizations only framed the praxis of European colonization. Prior conquests, for all intents and purposes, were not borne out of globally racialized agendas that attempted to recourse history towards new definitions and categories, but typically out of fundamental desires for wealth, power, cultural or religious influence, and stability. Most conquerors also assimilated to the cultures of the lands they acquired rather than simply the reverse, and often the subsequent cultural exchange influenced both the habitus of the conquerer and the conquered.
For example, Sudanese intellectuals, regarding Arab influence in North Africa, argued that:
Afro-Arab integration in the North tended to be referred to as Arabization. To the extent that Arab symbols of identification, especially their language and religion, have been highlighted over and above their African equivalents, this characterization may be justified, but the process involved more give-and-take than the term “Arabization” would adequately reflect. A significant degree of Africanization of the Arab element also took place. (x)
European colonization did not permit such give-and-take. There was no Native Americanization of British settlers in the Americas, no Indianization of British culture, no Africanization of Europe; instead there was a one way push towards the Europeanization of the colonies- a push that attempted to strip and eradicate whole cultures and peoples from their native identities.
Moreover, no other conquest in history received massive authority from virtually every part of society. While rulers in previous eras sanctioned their own expansion with or without popular support, European colonization was justified, reinforced, and encouraged by political figures, religious authorities, scientists, the intelligentsia, philosophers, artists, the working class, merchants, and more. Each social class in the otherwise stratified nation-state became a beneficiary to the fruits of colonialism and all unified to buttress its institutionalization with easy conscience. Academia and other discourse were dedicated to crafting fields of study that attempted to legitimize the dehumanization of global peoples, establish their inferiority to reflect European superiority, and subjugate the world to Social Darwinist ideologies through various modes of violence. The centrality and normalization of this method was unprecedented.
The resulting violence in native lands, then, was also unprecedented in history. No other era testifies to the systematic eradication of peoples and cultures by the bloody hands of European colonialists. No other era exhibits a collective continental culture that relied on terrorizing millions worldwide. No other era has killed more, exploited more, and glorified itself more than the era of European colonization.
This is why the resistance to the legacy of colonialism is so great and why Europe and America are so scrutinized and held responsible for their recent sins; sins that scathed Africa, Asia, and South America, and whose wounds are still bleeding. Indeed, this is also why European colonization is not comparable to other conquests of the past.
Survivors of Canada’s notorious residential school system have the right to see their stories archived if they wish, but their accounts must otherwise be destroyed in 15 years, Ontario’s top court ruled in a split decision Monday.
At issue are documents related to compensation claims made by as many as 30,000 survivors of Indian residential schools — many heart-rending accounts of sexual, physical and psychological abuse.
Compensation claimants never surrendered control of their stories, the Appeal Court said.
“Residential school survivors are free to disclose their own experiences, despite any claims that others may make with respect to confidentiality and privacy,” the court said.
The decision came in response to various appeals and cross-appeals of a ruling by Superior Court Justice Paul Perell in 2014 related to claims made under the confidential independent assessment process — or IAP — set up as part of an agreement that settled a class action against the government.
The federal government and Truth and Reconciliation Commission fought destruction of the documents, saying they should be kept — with appropriate safeguards — to preserve the historical record of residential schools. Catholic parties argued for their destruction.