Tag Archives: liberation

The Being Part of Human is Where Our Power Comes From

A powerful speech (and awesome poetry) given by the legendary revolutionary thinker John Trudell.  I like how he explains that thinking in race and sex terms (as well as age, class, (dis)ability, etc.), are all part of boxing ourselves into a victim mentality and identity.  Of course race/sex/class/disability/etc. exist, but they don’t define us nearly as much, nor in the ways, that we are made to/have come to believe they do.  A snippet of the speech:

“I’m only human” is a very confused interpretation and recognition of Self because you’re only recognizing half of yourself. That’s the whole point of the [euro-colonist] industrial mining process, to get us to not recognize the BEING part of human, because the Being part of human is where our power comes from, the energy, the essence, the Being, Spirit. Spirit, Being. Our Being humans. Our relationship with sun, sky, universe. All things of the earth have Being. We are locked in a dimensional distortion when we only recognize ourselves as human through a victim identity, and we’re disconnected from the reality of our power, and we’ve been programmed to chase the illusions of power, like voting, accumulating wealth, etc.

Check out the full speech, it’s well worth it.  He talks a lot about the important difference between believing and thinking, and how things like judgments and expectations cripple our thinking. I know for me, I’ve never felt so liberated as when I gave myself permission to think, and slowly stopped living the scripts imposed on me without my consent, when I began to recognize what they were. The more I think, the more I realize I don’t know, but the more power I also feel that I gain, because the thinking and deciding is in MY hands, and no one else’s.  This is a huge thing in the euro-colonist industrial supposedly “civilized” culture which relentlessly works to mine our minds, eat our spirits, and distract us away from being human.

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Lynne Stewart: Radical “People’s Lawyer” & Dying Political Prisoner Supporting the Oppressed With all Her Guts

Feminist Rag Award NEW_Lynne Stewart

“The Government is masterful at Co-optation, at snatching victory and making it defeat.”

74-year old Lynne Stewart is a rare example of someone with privilege (i.e. a white woman with a law degree) who used that privilege to fight for the rights and justice of humanity with all her heart and guts.  Doing so got her imprisoned on bullshit bogus charges by the oppressive US colonist government and she is now wasting away with stage 4 cancer in Carswell, a women’s federal medical prison in Texas (the only one in the country).

Unjust imprisonment (segregation of people is only ever okay towards those who are a legitimate danger to others) is an all too common tragedy for anyone who is an effective freedom fighter.  Awesome and radical American Indian activist Leonard Peltier comes to mind; he has has been illegally imprisoned and mercilessly tortured by the sadists in charge for the last 37 years and counting.  The psychopathic colonist government does everything in their power to either destroy you or your family if you rock the boat too much and have too many people paying attention to what you say in the name of true freedom and liberation.  The FBI has said that John Trudell, another fierce American Indian activist, is extremely eloquent, therefore extremely dangerous.  This is evidence of how much fear un-mined, thinking minds instill in the violent colonist oppressors so hell bent on control.

Getting punished didn’t stop Leonard or John from fighting for freedom, and it didn’t stop Lynne from fighting for the oppressed using “the law” as her weapon.  Activism is not a walk in the park; it is a very serious and oftentimes dangerous endeavor and one that can cost you your life if you’re good at it.  Luckily Lynne has a lot of people across the world supporting her, so here’s hoping she’ll be released very soon so she can spend what’s left of her life surrounded by loved ones.

From her website:

Lynne Stewart is a radical human rights attorney who has devoted her life to the oppressed – a constant advocate for the countless many deprived in the United States of their freedom and their rights. Lynne has been falsely accused of helping terrorists in an obvious attempt by the U.S. government to silence dissent, curtail vigorous defense lawyers, and install fear in those who would fight against the U.S. government’s racism, seek to help Arabs and Muslims being prosecuted for free speech and defend the rights of all oppressed people. She was arrested in April 2002 and arraigned before Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl, who also presided over her trial in 2004. She was convicted, and received a 28-month sentence in October 2006. However she was free on bail until 2009, when the government appealed the sentence. In late 2009 Lynne was re-sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. She is now in a federal medical facility for women in Texas, thousands of miles away from her home, family and community.

Please sign this petition asking for Lynne’s immediate release from prison on compassionate grounds.

For any of you who believe in “the law” and have plans to try using it to seek justice, check out Lynne’s words to aspiring lawyers:

I wanted to send you this most important Health Bulletin–Not Personal (pause) but on the steady evisceration of the Right to Counsel, the bulwark of all we do.  Within the last weeks, a suspect was forcibly detained for crimes against the US.  He was taken from Libya to an offshore (ship?) where he was being interrogated, read tortured.  When the Public Defenders of the Southern District of New York, where his case is ostensibly pending, attempted to have counsel appointed for him, they were turned down in no uncertain terms by Judges using the now all too common weasel words.  But this is not a new phenomenon–it is apparent over and over again and the question remains–what are WE, who claim to be the last protection against an overreaching state going to do about it?

How important is this ?  I need to tell a couple of anecdotes about lawyering–my dear deceased friend Bill Kunstler in the tumultuous years in which the FBI-JTTF was rounding up the remnants of the Underground, Sekou Odinga, a member of the Black Panthers and then the Black Liberation Army, related to me that he had been detained in a Queens NYC precinct for many hours, was being water boarded by the police in one of the toilets, and was really feeling it badly when all at once he heard the booming voice of the Great Kunstler echoing through the hallways demanding to see his client and he knew that he had been saved.   The other story was one that I told at an earlier convention and a young lawyer from San Diego wrote to tell me that it had turned her life around.  After my arrest, Ralph and I were stuck in Manhattan traffic, when a bicycle messenger pulled up and tapped on my window.  When I opened it he said in an excited and joyous voice “You THE Lawyer !!  You the LAWYER !!!   Indeed I was and Indeed it was and is my greatest ambition and accomplishment to be THE lawyer.

Back in the day and I mean way back, when this adversary system had its origins, the accused had the right to select a champion to fight for their rights and I mean fight–jousting, swordplay, mace and chain — ok perhaps a little hyperbole, BUT the message is clear–we were hired for our brawn as well as brains, our courage as well as legal acumen.  We need to get courage and creativity in combat, back into the equation.   It’s not about schmoozing the prosecution or the Judge.  How many courtrooms have I walked into where there was not one friendly face–there was just me and the client ?  Even the stenographers were hostile !  And that’s ok because I was there for only one reason, the one I took an oath to zealously pursue, the defense of my client.  Was it fearsome personally?  Of course.  But to do otherwise was more so.

I urge everyone to return to the days of robust lawyering.  Be Bill Kunstler in the precinct.  Be “THE LAWYER” .  Be the champion who defends fearlessly.  When I say that the right to counsel is being eviscerated I mean that the forces of the empire are very busy removing the nerves, the hearts and guts of the Fifth Amendment and leaving it a shell of what it was and can be.  We are the opposition that need to gather our shields and swords in its defense and be selfless and brave. Let us press forward–Instead of the derision we often face, let us all strive to be “the Lawyer” respected and honored.

Lynne is a refreshing reminder to me to fight until my last breath for what is Right.  She also has me re-considering law school.  Not because I believe in “the law” or the psychopaths that create and enforce laws in the predatory colonist culture, but because if you learn the oppressor’s language you can use it against them, in this case their legal mumbo jumbo in their precious court rooms — until they punish you for it.  But we will get punished either way at some point for standing up for what’s right, so then the question becomes “in what way do I want to fight for what’s Right, and what am I good at?”

Good luck to my fellow freedom fighters in our collective struggle for liberation, and good luck to Lynne Stewart in getting out of prison immediately.  Thank you Lynne for showing us what it means to use privilege in a positive way that truly helps others; I hope to see many more lawyers follow in your fierce lawyering footsteps!

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Stacey Lannert: A Brave Warrior Who Served Up Her Own Justice & Liberation Because That Shit is Not Handed Out

Feminist Rag Award NEW_Stacey Lannert

Like so, so many females trapped in the colonist culture, Stacey Lannert was a victim of child sexual abuse by her father.  The abuse went on for 10 years, with no help or support from other family or community members to stop her nightmare.  One day she just couldn’t take it anymore, snapped, and killed her abuser dead.  For this act of heroism and liberation, Stacey was punished by the colonist male supremacist legal system by being sentenced to LIFE in prison without parole.

Luckily, after serving 18 long prison years, Governor Matt Blunt commuted her sentence and Stacey was released in 2009.  Since then Stacey has been an activist and founded Healing Sistersto allow other sexual abuse victors (we are victors, after all) the opportunity to experience the bond we share and the restoring powers gained from other people who have also suffered.  I’m blogging about my awakening as I get back into the world after spending 18 years in prison for shooting my abuser.”

Stacey is a hero and source of inspiration for females trapped in abusive nightmares with no end in sight.  Going to prison for stopping your abuse when no one else will is grossly and cruelly unjust, yet also a relief and indeed a form of freedom for many who are stuck in the never-ending nightmare that is sexual abuse or battery in your own home.  Abuse victims often say that prison is a welcome situation in the face of abusive realities that would find them eventually physically or spiritually dead anyway.

Obviously murder is “wrong”, but we do not have the luxury of weighing out such morals when we’re trapped in an environment that has us by the throat, and with no one in our corner helping us. In a world of no REAL choices, killing our abuser is sometimes a necessary evil, and I applaud Stacey Lannert’s fierce courage for doing so.  I am so glad her prison sentence was commuted; other women aren’t so lucky.

May the rest of your free days be healing ones Stacey, and may you never feel shame for doing what you had NO CHOICE to do!  You are a source of Respect, inspiration, and some liberatory wind beneath my feminist wings!

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Thinkers Need to Explore Non-Cooperation versus Romanticized ‘Civil Disobedience’

“We really need to examine and think about non-cooperation and giving our energy, and it all depends upon how we perceive Reality.”

There was a brief moment in time a few years back where I thought my vote (and voting in general) meant something and made a difference.  I remember frantically getting myself to the voting booth to cast my vote for the “lesser of the evils” because there was no political party or puppet robot candidate that I remotely liked or respected.  I also recall some white political representative dude from a more progressive political party (progressive only compared to the others, but still way too conservative for my liking) knocking on my door campaigning for my vote.  I asked him when traditionalist Aboriginal people will be governing this land.  He gave me some slippery slide-y circle jerky song and dance about “initiatives” and “partnerships” with Native people on CONTINUAL COLONIST PROJECTS.

I am no longer under the delusion that my vote matters, that voting matters, that we live in a democracy in any meaningful sense of the word, or that politicians are anything more than weasel-y salespeople in sheeple clothing giving plastic smiles and empty words.  No personal offense to them or those who truly believe the colonist government has The People’s best interests at heart.  It’s not pleasant to realize that those in power don’t give a shit about you.  It feels dirty and piss-y off-y to know I am non-consensually controlled and rewarded to comply with the government’s and corporations’ violent exploitation and oppressive ways, i.e. continued colonialism.  I love John Trudell so much, and agree with him here that non-cooperation with the colonist fuckery is the only path to liberation and true freedom for all.  From the vid:

Our imprinted behavior pattern is to protest and demonstrate against whatever it is we’re opposing in a political society.  When you really look at it, we’re cooperating with the system that we’re protesting against.  Civil disobedience – whether it’s violent or non-violent – is cooperating with the system itself.

How do we not cooperate with them?  How do we not give them our energy?  It’s all based upon how we’ve been imprinted to perceive reality.  We need to be thinking in terms of how do we not give them our energy?  How do we not cooperate?  One way is to not emotionally react, and to think things out.

This romanticized civil disobedience thing is not working.

My current non-cooperation is by not voting, and thinking things out.  Not emotionally reacting is a work in progress for me, because I have some strong reactionary emotions to my oppression and enslavement, and others’ in worse boats than me.  No one is free until we are all free.  How do you not cooperate?

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Hierarchical Privilege: Is it Inherently Abusive?

Colonist Hierarchy of Shit

In a recent conversation about privilege-clinging, power-overing, and busting down – or working within – the colonist patri-hierarchical system of oppression and exploitation we’re all embedded in, a friend and I agreed that it is the ABUSE of privilege that is the problem.  But on further thought, I’m now wondering if privilege in itself is abuse, exactly because OF the nature of the colonist hierarchy: to “profit” is to exploit; there is just no getting around this.  So to move up the colonist patri-hierarchy one must abuse/exploit/oppress those ‘beneath’ them.

Enter integrity and not “selling out”.  There are people in positions of privilege who genuinely want and try to do some good.  Like lawyers who devote their professional work to trying to legally right some deep wrongs, even though this work is limited due to the oppressive, repressive and rigid colonist nature of the idea and practice of what it calls “the law.” Continue reading

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Houria Bouteldja: A Freedom Fighter for Women Globally Through Feminist Decolonization

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“Recasting human relations [and] the very notion of what it means to be human [are] crucial for decolonization.”Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández

I consider myself “radical” when it comes to politics because I am interested in getting to the heart and source of things in order to incite Change and achieve true freedom.  I love feminism, especially radical feminism, because it cares about and looks at socio-cultural power structures that keep women down.  But here in the west radfeminism doesn’t appear to tackle (de)colonization too much, even though females in so-called “developed” nations are the throat beneath the boot of the eurowestern, Abrahamic colonist-industrial patriarchy.  In other parts of the world, the boot looks different, but the power imbalance and pain it causes women is the same. Continue reading

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Columbus Day Is It? Maybe Next Year We Should Have a Hitler Day!

Artwork by Native Rights Activist & Artist Shea Sandy:

We Are Still Here” is the first of my Culture Clash collection.

This work voices the truth about what many Indigenous/Aboriginal/First Nations and Native American people have struggled with regarding some of the more common Native issues at the forefront, such as:

  • The pollution and destruction of the land we live with;
  • The spreading of european diseases to which we have little or no resistance to, this in itself has been said to account for up to %90 percent of the deaths and unfathomable SUFFERING of Native Americans since 1492.
  • Native people are often regarded as a whimsical character from the past that no longer exists except in the imagination of non-natives and in old western movies, this is why our Nez Perce man and his horse are represented in black and white, because many people think of us as something from the past and even talk about us in past tense form. i.e. “The Indians ‘lived‘ in tipis.” or “Native Americans ‘were‘ spiritual and ‘sang‘ songs and ‘danced‘. Well, WE ARE STILL HERE! No need to speak of us in past tense, Thank You, we aren’t quite gone yet – we are making a recovery, remembering our ways and reclaiming our place on Turtle Island.
  • The upside down flag is a well known military distress signal, it means Something Is Wrong and it is a sign asking for help.
  • The burnt edges of the flag are an acknowledgment of the dangerous, difficult and life threatening times Native Activists have gone through and continue to face.

Look closely and ponder this work, it has quite a story to tell.

I’d like to dedicate this to all Indigenous Activists, to all those who dare to DEcolonize their mind and to all the Survivors who stayed and stay strong with love in their heart for all of our Relations.

I hope you get as much out of it as I put into it.

~ Shea Sandy

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We Owe a Debt to “The Drunken Indians”

For some reason this most excellent video won’t embed, please check it out on YouTube, it is a 4-minute talk by Native Rights activist and artist John Trudell that is radically truthful and eye-opening  ——–>

http://youtu.be/RhLatWoWrKA

DEcolonize Your Mind!

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Would you celebrate a “Hitler Day”? Well if not then why in the world would you EVER celebrate this person who started a holocaust that killed about 10 times as many people as Hitlers claim to infamy? Whether the death tolls be 6 million, 45 million or 90 million we should all be able to agree that it is all horrific and awful and that starting a 500 year (so far) long genocide is NOTHING to celebrate!

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Wendy Maldonado: A Courageous Woman Whose Actions (+ Pure Luck) Saved Her From Becoming A Domestic Violence Corpse

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Wendy Maldonado is a brave American hero for killing her husband Aaron Maldonado, which is the only reason she’s alive today after enduring 20 years of violent physical, sexual and mental torture at his sadistic, serial killer glorifying hands.  On May 1, 2005, Wendy finally ‘snapped’ (i.e. she came to the realization that she would soon be killed at the rate things were going at home) and with the help of her then 16 year old son Randy, together they smashed a sleeping Aaron Maldonado’s skull in with a hatchet and a hammer.

Undoubtedly tragic, unfortunate and traumatic, but absolutely necessary fucking riddance. Continue reading

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Decolonization is Not a Metaphor

This post is titled after this excellent article by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang.

Indigenous women understand that our struggle for autonomy is related to the total need for structural change in this society.  We realize that indigenous people in industrial society have always been and will always be in a relationship of war, because industrial society has declared war on indigenous peoples, on land based peoples.

To look within a bigger context, when I say indigenous peoples, I’m not only talking about [Native American] Indians. All people come from land-based cultures.  Some have been colonized longer than I have, which means they have got more work to do (Winona LaDuke, source).

Continue reading

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