Below is a short user’s guide to anti-fascism that we’ve developed, based on our personal experiences in attending and disrupting white supremacist rallies.
[This piece includes Anonymous contributors]As anti-racist organizers, we frequently talk with people who wonder why we who oppose fascism, white supremacy, and other forms of organized violence feel compelled to show up to their assemblies to organize an opposition. Often, people will say some version of: "Don't feed the trolls," or "Just ignore them." This attitude describes what most people have been doing for many decades now. Yet this strategy of “looking the other way” is exactly what has allowed fascism and white supremacy to fester and grow unchecked. Despite mainstream accusations that fascism and white supremacy were being overblown or exaggerated, these forces have been expanding and merging, particularly over the past decade, in groups such as the KKK, Aryan Nation, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, etc., as well as through newer groups such as Identity Evropa, the White Student Union, and the Alt-Right. Sadly, because many people haven't been keeping tabs on the rapid growth of white supremacist groups in the United States, they are now struggling to believe it's actually as bad as it is. But when fascist Nazis gather, they are recruiting and building an army and a movement that allows them to grow unchallenged. It is imperative that we do not allow them another inch of space to grow. It will only get harder if we don’t do the work now.
As people who are committed to the collective liberation of the oppressed, here are some explicit ways that we can try to disrupt the flows of social capital within our QT/BIPOC activist spaces."Social capital" is a term that's been getting thrown around a lot these days within QT/BIPOC activist spaces. What is this term, and where exactly does it come from? Simply put, the term "social capital" refers to the fact that social networks have value (monetary and otherwise). Social networks – i.e. who you know, and who those people know, and who those people know, and on and on – often determines everything from your ability to find a job, your likelihood of finding an apartment, to your ability to influence public opinion. Everyone possesses some degree of social capital, by virtue of living in society. However, the degree to which social capital affects the outcomes of their life in a positive or negative way is often determined by factors like race, class, gender, ability, size, etc. So how does this show up in queer communities and/or in activist spaces? As people who are supposedly working toward the collective liberation of Black and Indigenous people, queer, trans, disabled, incarcerated, and undocumented people, are we knowingly or unknowingly complicit in allowing social capital to accrue to body-minds that are already valued by mainstream society? (i.e. light-skinned, thin, cisgender, able bodied, extroverted, educated, class-privileged, etc.) The answer is a resounding yes. Because QT/BIPOC activist communities still function within the parameters and value systems of modern-day racial capitalism, we cannot entirely extricate ourselves from the insidious ways in which people whose traits and appearances are already valued by capitalism tend to gravitate toward each other in social spaces. Once this happens, the value that these people already possess by virtue of their position in capitalist society magnifies many times over, simply because people tend to share their time and resources with those they already know and share community with.
Most women in prison are the victims of abuse and suffer from mental health issues–inhumane prison conditions aren’t helping.By Andie Park Earlier this month, Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren publicly introduced the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, a landmark bill to improve living conditions for female inmates who are also the primary caretakers of their families. Some of the provisions of the bill address fairly straightforward and common-sense needs such as creating better access to feminine hygiene products and expanding visitation policies for the families of inmates. Other provisions, however, reveal a more horrifying system of abuse in federal facilities for women. Until the introduction of this bill, the shackling of pregnant inmates was still legal. In federal facilities, several women sacrifice the decision to make a phone call to family members in order to buy box a tampons from their commissary – or vice versa – due to the exorbitant costs tied to each choice. The alarmingly vast lack of protections stems from the institutional inability to include women in legal discussions for reform. Whether it be solitary confinement or going into childbirth while shackled, these actions were still technically legal mainly because legislative measures never accounted for the difference of struggles between female and male inmates. Ultimately, the bill is a push for the Bureau of Prisons to confront its own gender bias and make concentrated efforts to not only protect female inmates but also restore a semblance of human dignity during their incarceration.
If the women's movement is to make any kind of meaningful progress, it must first make Black lives matter.On Jan. 21 2017, the Women's March on Washington led what many now believe was the largest single-day demonstration in recorded U.S. history. Organized by experienced women of color activists and organizers (Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez), the march called on women of diverse backgrounds, including immigrant, queer/trans, and Muslim women, to demonstrate a show of force against the new regime of Donald Trump, which has so far been built almost exclusively on a platform of anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-Black, anti-Muslim and xenophobic rhetoric. Despite the impressive critical mass that turned out on January 20th, however, there were substantial and substantiated criticisms of the march: notwithstanding its leadership by women of color, the march was largely white, cisgender, and middle-class in representation. Amidst white women's calls that "women's rights are humans rights," there was little discussion of the way in which white women have historically colluded with white patriarchy in the oppression of Black people to obtain their rights, nor was there discussion of white women's historical participation in the genocide and oppression of Indigenous people. Not to mention that it was white women who, more than any other single group of people, voted Donald Trump into the presidential office by an overwhelming majority.
In our culture there are few spaces for survivors of sexual violence to rise up, speak out, and change the conversation around rape culture and sexual violence. That's why NYC activists and creatives are carving out a space for themselves. Corinne