The following are remarks from one of our organizers, Red, at today’s demonstration in solidarity with Native & Indigenous resistance. Red improved a bit in person, but their core message is the same:
Hey y’all my name is Red and I’m an organizer here in Chicago. I’m here today to stand with The Water Protectors, Native & Indigenous resistance and against the DAPL!
I currently work primarily with a collective called Support Hose that seeks to build radical community for sex workers and our accomplices and actively campaigns for the decriminalization of our labor, and the immediate release of our fellow worker, Alisha Walker from prison, who was criminalized for defending herself and surviving.
Being criminalized for surviving is a common theme in this country.
Native & Indigenous communities know this because since the inception of this country they have faced a genocide waged against them, brought on only by the fact that they exist. That they exist in direct opposition to the white, settler, colonization project. And now, in the history of struggle to honor land and water, they are are at the forefront, as protectors, and their survival is made criminal again.
Black communities know this when women and girls like Marissa Alexander or Bresha Meadows are locked up for protecting their families from abuse, or when they have to defend themselves against hate crimes like CeCe McDonald had to do.
Latinx and Chicanx communities know this when their elders and youth are violently ejected from city council meetings, like the ones in Corpus Christi, TX, for demanding answers about why their water supply is blistering their skin.
The examples of violence against these communities and more, and the tireless resistance against these instances of racism, misogyny, transphobia, criminalization could occupy the subject of thousands and thousands of rally speeches.
I stand up here, as an organizer, a student, a sex worker, a queer femme–a white person, to issue a challenge to other white folks who want to get on the right side of history.
If a call goes out from a community that is affected, answer. Show up, learn, listen, and act. It is our responsibility to resist. Be more than present, be accountable! Become ungovernable!!
Our sense of solidarity and resistance needs to be strengthened by more than just our collective rage at the white supremacist in office. Our commitment to throwing down for one another must be based in radical compassion, an insistence that lives other than our own matter, and with common goals that honor the fact women and femmes of color have been doing this work forever. Stand with them against environmental racism, xenophobia, whorephobia, state violence.
There have been over 220 significant pipeline spills in 2016 alone poisoning our water. The federal government, state agencies, and private corporation’s mercenaries have attacked over and over again Native people and their supporters who are on the ground fighting the building of pipelines and exposing when these life threatening spills occur.
Flint Michigan hasn’t had clean water since at least April 24th of 2014. 33 other states have reported unclean, toxic water supplies.
The police are murdering and terrorizing communities of color. The police are attacking anti fascist protestors, water protectors, and outdoor sex workers.
Neo-Nazis, the alt-right, the kkk and other violent white supremacists are amassing, and mobilizing, emboldened by their president, trump.
This is the time to put your bodies and minds into the fight for a better world. It’s been damn time. Get in the streets, but more importantly get organized. Follow the efforts of those most affected, ask where you are needed, and do the work.
Only together are we going to realize our goal of a just world without criminalization, without white supremacy/ white settlerism, without patriarchy, without exploitation and oppression!
Will you repeat after me? (AND Especially the white people in the crowd, commit to this!)