*Mexikaresistance.com note: Many right-wing bloggers have made a big issue out of the alleged racism occurring at several "occupy" camps, as if white leftists were supposed to be incapable of such actions. They seem to think that racism being present at a large gathering of white Americans is some sort of shocking revelation. I'm sorry, but the only people who are shocked by this are naive white folks.“I’m hopeful to see you all here visioning a different future. A future based on equality, diversity and respect for the land. And I’m excited and I’m hopeful for the impact that you’re having on the world…. And so I say to you today…if you wish to align yourselves with the dispossessed and the marginalized, reject the language and ideology of colonialism, conquest and exploitation.” – Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, January 23, 2012 Not long after protesters set up camp on Wall Street, indigenous activists began to question the use of colonial language to claim spaces that have been under occupation for over 500 years.
The unfortunate response, from some quarters, has been that Occupy Wall Street (OWS) should maintain a “united” front, disregarding the multiple hierarchies within the 99 per cent, as well as the rights and demands of indigenous peoples. Others, however, agree that there is a need to address this fundamental issue.
On Monday, January 23, Occupy Toronto sponsored a panel discussion, “Indigenous Perspectives on the Occupy Movement,” at Beit Zaitoun. The speakers provided a forceful yet constructive critique. They recognized the hopefulness of Occupy’s worldwide repudiation of capitalism, while also calling on activists to rethink the language and strategies of the movement so that it does not reinscribe colonialism by undermining Indigenous struggles. Furthermore, they proposed that a movement that seeks to seriously challenge economic inequality, environmental exploitation and other forms of oppression must stem from a commitment to decolonization.
FULL ARTICLE: Unsettling America | Decolonization in Theory & Practice.