Let me begin this by saying, “I don’t believe or validate colonial governments!” Now that you have that in mind, I want to tell you about my time in Chicago this weekend for the womyn’s march. Being on the streets was not a matter of democracy, but a matter of recognizing that the lives of many are at stake. Not just the lives of those here in the U.S., but the lives of people all across the world as well.
My take on the womyn´s march in DC is one where a culture of resistance lacked in those who took the main stage. White feminism was used as a principle tool to organize and form the basis of the march and it’s beginning to represent danger.
The main purpose of the march was not to deconstruct the white supremacist superstructure that not only allows for people like Trump to be in power, but one that has perpetrated constant inhumane cruelty for 524 years, nothing new for sisters in the North. What the majority of white protestors did was protest one white supremacist that shows the authentic tapestry that, for a lot of communities, America is built off of.
While I am aware that the majority of womyn at the march had no prior knowledge in decolonized organization, there are certain things that happened and cannot be excused. And certainly the lack of civil disobedience in a moment like this, a good opportunity was missed.
From white crowds taking offense about womyn who carry culture owning their resistance movements, to the amounts of garbage left in the streets (no, it is not normal for a protest). The exclusionary chants chosen did not represent the violence being experienced by non-white, hetero Christian womyn. The “well intentioned” comments that mocked traditional indigenous regalia and warrior chants. None of these should be part of the next step after a Trump´s presidency. Don’t build to sustain the old system.
So I would like to ask the white womyn voicing their sudden collective concern: What took you took so long? Was the cry of the indigenous womyn leaders not enough for you to show up in support? Or the tears of the black womyn mourning their children being gunned down by police officers, and a system that exempt them from punishment, not enough? The suffering of an Asian grandmother´s forced migration?
Will you show up again? During the next cry? I hope so.
I hope you consider these questions as we move forward. I hope you know that injustice is nothing new, whether you chose to see it or not. It happens every day. And like all those centuries before this past Saturday, you remained silent about the injustice that has perpetrated our communities by not allowing it to be an important piece of you.
The over-romanticizing of Obama’s administration needs to stop. The number of womyn in the streets is the number of people he deported during his presidency. The lack of action when black and native communities were and are under attack pains me. The broken promises under capitalistic policies will never be justified. The Middle East was on fire under his presidency. Do not forget this!
I marched with the indigenous rising collective of womyn warriors. It started with a prayer and ended with a prayer. We know that culture is the main tool against any empire. We hold the values that have sustained resistances across the world. But this march didn’t. It was clear to me that a revolution of values is needed to challenge the systems of oppression. This requires civil disobedience. It requires [powerful] organization where all womyn are represented. It requires you to know all movements, to educate yourself and those around you.
For the relevance of the future, the history of this country needs to be told. Turtle Island (US) is stolen land, the economy is built on slave trade and the cruelty of the fossil fuel market. How we got here will show us what is required of us: to not only disrupt an oppressive system but create a new one. So, helping build indigenous autonomy is a huge part of the discussion. Land and water rights are topics that should be central for human survival.
While white womyn feel no imminent threat at the moment, womyn of color do, with the approval of the KXL pipeline approval and DAPL and the Sabal pipeline and so many others. Native womyn will stand where we have always stood: for the Earth our mother, ancestors, and children. Where do you stand?