We are ungovernable on stolen land. Fuck Biden.
Biden has replaced Trump.
While some are celebrating a “safer” form of settler colonial violence, we have been bracing for the war to resume.
It’s not just that Trump doubled down on white supremacist authoritarian nationalism (aka fascism) and nearly continued his explicitly brutal legacy, it’s not just that liberal settler-colonizers barely clawed their way to victory. It’s that at the end of the day both Trump and Biden are two sides of the same coin. We will once again be subject to that lurid post-election wane of political fervor until the liberal tide recedes and we are left facing the same ecological and social violence as before.
The Obama-Biden administration was responsible for deporting more people than any other US regime in history. Between 2009 and 2015 Obama-Biden forcibly deported more than 2.5 million people which amounts to more than the sum deportations from all the other presidents of the 20th century. Tohono O’odham and Hia Ced O’odham communities have been heavily militarized and bisected by the US/Mexico colonial border. Whole villages have been displaced and sacred sites have been desecrated across numerous border occupied Indigenous communities. This has been compounded by Trump’s “border wall” but border militarization and colonial occupation of Indigenous lands will continue whether the U.S. is under Republican or Democrat control. Colonizers are united in their belief and practices of colonialism. The Obama-Biden regime was not a reprieve for those who have been bombed and attacked by drones which, in Afghanistan, has meant the murder of innocent lives 90% of the time. We cannot celebrate when we know that with Biden (or whoever), U.S. imperialism and endless war against people of color around the world will continue.
Biden has framed himself as the restorer of a “normalcy” under which we were being killed, assaulted, disappeared, bombed, polluted, incarcerated, impoverished, and desecrated. A return to neoliberal normal is a return to death for Indigenous, Black, and Brown peoples the world over.
There’s a discourse regarding a lesser evil and a diatribe about hope somewhere in there, but these themes have been beaten into our flesh so that our skin has lost its ability to scar. It’s as if our bodies are the land desecrated with each cycling of our abuser. In the case of electoral politics the cycle isn’t challenged and neither is the abuse. Only the degree of which the veil covers the wounds is of concern. The matter is not seeing the abuse, it’s seeing the effect which moves the zone of comfort to nearly unsettling.
We have been refusing domination, control, and exploitation in these lands by colonial forces since 1492. Being ungovernable means we pledge no allegiance to colonial authority nor are we dependent upon their systems for our survival, identity, belonging, or well-being.
In the face of COVID-19 and more overt fascism, we celebrate the powerful expressions of unmediated direct action and interventions against capitalism, white supremacy, cis-heteropatriarchy, and the colonial police state. From the powerful Black Lives Matter uprisings, to the tearing down of racist statues, from autonomous zones to the thousands of mutual aid projects throughout Turtle Island providing necessary supplies and support, our communities have been taking direct action and building alternative infrastructure for generations so that we are not dependent on the state or corporations.
We seek to organize and intervene as directly as possible in the root causes that uphold oppressive social orders while working to creatively build and support alternatives based in mutual aid, dignity, and collective self-determination beyond capitalism. We are ungovernable and we must make it impossible for this colonial system to govern on stolen, occupied land. Build, sustain & proliferate autonomous organizing and organizations and embrace your role in these struggles.
16 things you can do to be ungovernable:
- Build an affinity group.
An affinity group is a small group of 5 to 20 people who work together autonomously on direct actions or other projects. Affinity groups generally consist of like minded people who come together to get something done. If you already have an affinity group, link and cluster those groups!
- Skill up.
Delinking from capitalism and colonial apparatuses requires us to learn how to do things for ourselves and each other beyond buying, selling, working, or asking the state to help us. From self and collective defense, to gardening, building bikes, unschooling, and caring for each other- we can learn a skill and share a skill. We can change how we value skills and dismantle hierarchies of class and ableism.
- Establish and practice good security culture.
Security culture is necessary to survive state repression. We can stop a lot of infiltration and disinformation in its tracks by improving our ways of communicating and navigating conflict. We can still be horizontal and transparent without sacrificing security and safety.
- Practice transformative and restorative justice.
Strong communities make police and prisons obsolete. We can change our culture to prevent violence and abuse. We can build up our capacities to confront and resolve conflicts. We can strengthen our ties and detoxify our relationships so harm has no space to grow in our communities.
- Mutual Aid.
Start a mutual aid group and provide necessary support to those who are in need. Mutual aid organizing can ensure our communities are not dependent on corporations and the state. Shift your use of resources to things you can grow and make or procure from others in resistance. Build networks of aid and resources beyond capitalism.
- Mutual defense.
From arms training to street tactics to bystander interventions and safety teams, we need to have the skills and resources to defend our communities from fascist attacks on our people, non-human beings, and lands.
- Build and sustain conflict infrastructure.
Conflict Infrastructure is any structure we organize helps us be more effective in our fights. This is infrastructure that goes beyond solely providing awareness and services and instead builds our capacity to wage actual resistance. From community gardens and collectively coordinated farms to infoshops and independent media/communications.
- Open squats for unsheltered folx.
Rent is theft. Private property is colonial violence upon the land. Abolish rent and private property. Rematriate lands to original caretakers. Create spaces to live beyond landlords.
- Defend and reclaim ancestral lands.
Because #landback means ending colonial occupation and restoring Indigenous stewardship of our ancestral lands. Regenerate our sacred relations, and all that entails spiritually and materially, with our original homelands. Liberate the sacred.
Seize what has been stolen from Black and Indigenous Peoples and liberate it back. Radical redistribution is necessary.
- Shut shit down.
Intervene in critical infrastructure at the points where capitalism and colonialism are at their most vulnerable. Seize the streets, factories, ports, fracking pads, pipelines, power stations, smash the borders, be smart and be creative! It’s also an effective way to target those industries perpetuating climate change.
- Be fiercely intersectional.
‘Cause we’re not taking those old shitty behaviors with us. Fuck anti-blackness, fuck orientalism, fuck islamaphobia, fuck anti-semitism, fuck transphobia, fuck heteropatriarchy, fuck white supremacy, fuck imperialism, fuck ableism, fuck hierarchy, fuck racism, fuck citizenship, fuck privilege, fuck everything fucked up!
- Practice Radical Self & Collective Care.
To remain dangerous to power we must care for ourselves and each other.
Learn common triggers and how to communicate without being fucked up. Learn to communicate your needs, boundaries, and wants effectively and nontoxicly – remember that folks in the struggle and resistance have the hardest time accessing resources for mental and spiritual care. Movement work can be unsustainable to those with many experiences of settler policing and violence triggers – find ways to communicate and negotiate group norms and boundaries that accommodate peoples’ needs if reasonable. Identify toxic communication patterns and learn / create ways to dismantle them and communicate in more healthy and less harmful ways.Be honest about your limitations and care for yourself and each other. The christianized, capitalized colonial state has taught us to never rest or heal. Reject any attempts at coercing people to go beyond their limits. Radical self-care keeps us safe and invulnerable when consistently engaging in agitating governability by the state.
- Make everything accessible for everyone.
Reject ableism and objectification of our bodies and lives, establish community care networks with people equipped to provide first aid and care support to a full spectrum of needs. Challenge ableism in our language, how we organize, and how we value each other. We are all enough.
- Abolish Rape Culture.
Study rape and rape culture and how it relates to the desecration of sacred lands. Transform our culture and practices around dating, humor, relationships, sexuality, consent, parties, sex labor, and play to abolish rape culture. Hold mactivists, rapists, abusers, opportunists, and creeps accountable. Center consent and healthy relationships in everything we do everywhere.
- Spread radical and militant joy.
We can fuck shit up while we dance, sing, party, laugh, play, wonder, have deep conversations, tell stories, make art, make love, make magic, make brilliance, make awesomeness, and have fun.
Add ways to be ungovernable that are meaningful to you in the comments below.
Regarding Punk 12: You forgot to mention anti-Semitism.
Create a food “pantry” by running a garden on communally cared for land. If everyone contributes to caring for the plants and trees, we have more output of fresh fruit and vegetables for low income families who usually can’t afford these things. It also alleviates food instability, in that people who are uncertain about their living/eating conditions have some recourse. A community that is well fed and cared for by it’s own people will be stronger for it.
Awesome, we could add that under mutual aid!
Rad list! I would add to be in solidarity with children and youth, as subjection takes hold early on. So working for youth Autonomy with youth and ending ageism. ?
[…] You should also read this article from Indigenous Action. […]
French translation / Traduction française:
Dismantle tribal governments, refuse your colonized citizenship in tribal governments by the settler state patriarchy.
Fight against colonial monoculture by (re)planting food forests and developing mending skills.
[…] 16 Things You Can Do To Be Ungovernable by Indigenous Action […]