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Community Care in the Revolution

Community care in the revolution

The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who can not provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.

-Sitting Bull

The revolution must encroach upon, around, within, throughout and then finally without the oppressors reified modes of production. We must take back everything, with force but without too much destruction, kind of like the constricting snake-like technique of a jiu-jitsu fighter winning by submission. Like today’s mixed martial artist is trained in all styles, wrestling, muay thai, boxing, revolutionary consciousness instills the multi-faceted avenues of life and the care or training for life as a discipline towards liberation, a type of victory.

At the peak of slavery the total worth of the slaves, the labour, totalled more than the entire revenue that the economy produced. The same is true today, as all the global wealth is in the labour, the people, it’s our time spent and not spent labouring that’s being monetized as we are harvested for resources and data. The people are the economy.

Yes, Malcolm says the revolution must be bloody, there hasn’t been a bloodless revolution. Although black and brown blood is spilled everyday for the sake of imperialism and continued terrorism against black and brown people. Although in many ways we’ve been living in the post-apocalyptic since 1492. Syria looks post-apocalyptic. London looked post-apocalyptic during and after WWII. Christianized Africa looks post-apocalyptic, Belgian genocide after French genocide after British genocide after Portuguese genocide against African people’s, against First Nations and indigenous people across every continent. What about their blood and their worlds that were destroyed and taken from them? They’re lives were lost so we may free them. They died for us.

What about the NFAC (not fucking around coalition) standing face to face against the imperial police forces and white militias? We know we can do that. We have to have more of this in every community but that’s not all that’s left to do.

Land

Land is the prime component of independence. To occupy the space, land, is to put the body on the front line as all land and water defenders do. Secwepmc activist and warrior Kanahus Manuel calls for indigenous people to return to their ancestral lands and re-occupy these spaces off the reservations. This #LandBack movement is, for First Nations, having the final say in maintaining a stewardship of the land, to take care of the land for our future generations. The #LandBack movement, unlike the Julius Malema and EFF party in South Africa expropriating land from Dutch and other colonizing farmers, is more about recognizing the political sovereignty of First Nations and how they’re final decision making over the land and environment would save the world from ecocide. The Republic of New Afrikan slogan is “FREE THE LAND”! The RNA wants their 40 acres. The RNA want reparations. The RNA are organizing and have been organized. Tupac’s lawyer, the now gone but not forgotten Chokwe Lumumba, along with organizational efforts of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and other RNA factions, have been executing their community building plans in the urban context. The industries of worker owned and operated cooperatives can create the money necessary to fund the communities and landback claims so they aren’t totally reliant on donations and crowdfunding.

Health and Medicine

The health and well being of the people and the caretakers of each other is of primary importance. First we need the racist police to stop killing black and brown people, from #ENDSARS in Nigeria to America, Canada, Brazil, globally. The primacy of the black and indigenous women’s material experience as a measure of solidarity and attention to defending those experiences is a focal point. It’s these women that are at the core of any organization, or society, they are the womb of reproduction and of resistance, our mothers, sisters, nieces and daughters. They bare life and are most often on the front lines along with our fathers, brothers, sons and nephews. The land and water defenders. The defenders of life. They start the urban guerilla Pekwewin treatment camp in downtown Edmonton and prevent hundreds of overdoses of the homeless. In solidarity and helped by ex-gang members named the Crazy Indian Brotherhood. They help house and provide clothing for the freezing climates during the winter. They create tiny homes and encampments to block the developments of dirty hazardous bitumen pipeline expansions . These warriors provide food to their people, to the elderly who are to old to cook for themselves, they provide breakfast and food programs for children whose families can’t afford to feed them all the time, like the Black Panthers. These warriors can also be disabled and or take care of other disabled people. They are care givers. They are the friend who can provide consolation, advice, listen to those at risk of suicide. Revolution happens when people and have taken a leap in empathy, or as Robin Kelly further builds to say, a leap in solidarity because empathy isn’t as committed or radical as solidarity. This comes down to the extent of taking the time to teach and mentor the youth and offer apprenticeship training so that the next generation can have any knowledge they need from us to continue to build the world we so sincerely need.

People themselves can be good medicine for one another. That’s why 60% of native South Africans still see local medicine people for physical, psychic or spiritual healing. As we open ourselves back to less compartmentalized perspectives, more medicine people will recognized, the ability to help and heal each other will be more valued. This togetherness is today being threatened by the global quarantining and pandemic but we still find the medicine we need in our activities, recreation, collective labour, craftship – they may all provide good medicine to whoever finds fulfilment in them, in the poesis, the poetic of the techne, the technical aptitude of their skill or trade. A harmony of the soul with the environment. This may be how historian and organizer Kazembe Balagun of the Rosa Luxemburg office in NYC considers a “soulful socialism”, because “soul takes place in the social, because it’s a relationship and a negation of the transactional. A miracle is a space where capitalism does not exist.”

Food

Food may be the best industry to support. Even if it’s a microform of sustenance farming or hunting. Food is a cultural and communal bond. It may be considered as the first dialectic, one with land, the environment, nature and nourishment that it provides for people to sustain themselves. Food was stressed by the anarcho-communist Peter kKropotkin and his book titled the Conquest of Bread. This fact was later re-stated by the neoliberal economist Henry Kissinger in 1970, “control food and you control the people”. As an agronomist Amilcar Cabral sought to focus on food sovereignty as key to liberation too. Socialist or communist societies and their economies are mainly industrial, that includes agriculture. That is any industry that can be effectively exchanged in a non-capitalist context. Everybody needs to eat everyday. There needs to be an industry if there is to be any semblance of the societies that we want to make. But we have “to see that quests for a pure, ancestral community within ourselves and in the form of our families or communities or versions of “us” are mythical quests for Eden. But given the multifaceted and dynamic forms of social movements (think Combahee River Collective and its insistent class focus on resource deprivation for black women and black families) in the twentieth century, this concept intersectionality also reminds us that nonviolent (military, domestic, imperial), nonracial, nonsexist, nonhomophobic social relations in the family, community, schools, public life are not possible in a capitalist society”! 

“Can we all get along long enough to make a revolution?” 

“The struggles that we think of as identity struggles, like the American Indian Movement, the Brown Berets, the Young Lords, the Black Panthers, [the Combahee River Collective]—they actually were working together. That level of solidarity across the board: Japanese-Americans coming out in solidarity with the people occupying Alcatraz Island; the Black Panthers supporting Palestine and Iranian students who can’t return home as a result of the Shah; socialist-feminists who are taking an anti-racist position—and these organizations, they’re thinking about alliances across the board…they were all basically anti-capitalist— they were not for fixing the system. And for all of them it was global. It was Native Americans and indigenous people around the world; it was black people’s struggle along with what was happening in Africa and the Caribbean”

On the international and local level the lumpenproletariat, working-class proletariat and petty bourgeoisie solidarity is pivotal. Cross-class solidarity is a prerequisite to revolution. Amilcar Cabral elaborated on the petty bourgeoisie in revolutionary cause, they must commit class suicide or they’ll just assume the role of new bourgeoisie. This would come about through the revolutionary consciousness that people would learn through the culture and it’s political education. This cross-class solidarity extends consciousness out to internationalism. But we have to be able to critique ourselves and wage war against one’s own ego, which leads to true freedom of the mind, ultimately to contentment, to happiness. We need to have that conflict to have that transformation. It’s a struggle, but we’re all in this together to keep each other in check. We have the numbers. We are the people.

“The constant struggle to create community. Constant struggle! You can’t stop fighting. And creating community means creating community with those you don’t like. And people who don’t like you. And trying to figure how to move forward to something better. Not to the point of, as King would put it, sentimental love. But a hard love, a hard love that’s in struggle. I can’t think of another path to go; it’s inconceivable to me. But that’s not necessarily a very popular thing right now.”

Struggle against/within one’s reality produces the possibility of new philosophy; action changes reality, which then demands analysis, which in turn has material force. “The weapon of criticism obviously cannot replace the criticism of weapons. Material force must be overthrown by material force. But theory also becomes a material force once it has gripped the masses” Marx, 1970, 137.

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