wheelchair solutions

The main reason I’m so fucking anxious is it’s snowing here and VERY inaccessible, like hills and shit. And I have a torn AC joint, so I can’t use my crutches or wheelchair. They have a solution, great, a small electric scooter to bop around in. Which would be great if I didn’t have sever anxiety about sticking out. I’m already SO VISIBLE. I haven’t seen another POC yet, or disabled person. So I’ll enter as a QTPOC in a blue scooter and stick the fuck out and probably start crying when I bump into shit. I feel so isolated.

anonymous asked:

I would like to organize a bloc in my area, but if we were to take to the streets, I would be an easy target because I use a wheelchair full-time and can't get around any other way. Do you have any tips on how to get around this? I'm tired of inaction and being told I can't fight for my rights because of my disability.

I don’t know your specific situation, and I myself am not in a wheelchair so anything I say here mostly comes from what I’ve seen and read online, and not from personal experience as a person in your position, but I do think I can maybe offer some views at least:

To start off with, in all activism there are many tasks that are incredibly important to make the direct action in the street possible. Many organizational tasks, creating and spreading propaganda, organizing supplies, street medics, planning and information gathering, up-to-date live information gathering and coordinating the affinity groups during the action et cetera. You often only see the action with the black bloc in the streets and it all seems entirely spontaneous, while there’s a lot of organization and activity going on behind the scenes, that’s just less glamorous. 

That being said, I of course understand the need to be part of direct action in the streets. Within a black bloc it’s always important to have an affinity group of people who keep an eye out for each other anyway, and I would say the most important thing for a person with a disability is to get a good affinity group together, and to talk with them about what issues may arise. For example if you could use assistance if there’s a police charge or anything like that, and how that would be organised. 

Here are some gifs I’ve made before of people using wheelchairs involved in direct action, which also show some different levels of engagement and types of action. 




The first gif in Italy is during the no expo riots in Milan, where a person in a wheelchair is just a regular part of the huge black bloc. Depending on your situation you can of course join in with all the variants of direct action the black bloc engages in, but like you said you would stand out to the cops if you engaged in vandalism or anything like that. I do recall reading that that comrade in the Milan action was arrested afterwards as well. So if you engage in stone-throwing/vandalism/anything like that it’s even more important to keep it out of the view of the camera, or to engage in a less direct role, because the anonymity of the black bloc just doesn’t protect you if you’re the only one in a wheelchair. Really, the best solution would be to arrange an entire group of radicals in wheelchairs so the power of anonymity the bloc affords works for you as well, but that’s probably a lot easier said than done of course.

Second gif is Bolivian wheelchair users on a march to the capital of Bolivia, to protest against bad governmental support, suspending themselves from an overpass and successfully blocking an important road for hours.

Third gif is during riots in Greece and shows a wheelchair user directly using their wheelchair to attack the cops. I think this does also show a smart use of the fact that cops don’t want to be seen hitting/arresting a person in a wheelchair when there are camera’s pointed at them. This is ableist bullshit of course, but could be used in certain circumstances.

Anyway, I’m sorry I couldn’t give many directly usable tips, but maybe there’s something in there that got you thinking in a direction you maybe hadn’t thought in yet. Maybe there’s some good tips/insights from, other people reblogging this too in the comments.