on the politics and approaches to shutdown

“What might begin as a space whose protest action aims to form humanising culture where Black disabled, trans, queer, and womxn’s bodies are safe and heard, is very quickly appropriated by the anti-blackness of up high – a force that polarises the complexity of oppression and attempts to direct and contain action into the physically violent (inherently colonialist) form that it understands best. In this sense, the state functions to direct the protest politik into the Afropessimistic voice, one that we know disinherits those who do not immediately come to mind when we say the word “black” (ie: black disabled, trans, queer, and womxn’s bodies) and one that abandons the pursuit of humanity, in favour of unhealthy martyrdom and recklessness.

“So apart from the predictability of state-sanctioned physical violence in the form of stun grenades, teargas, rubber bullets, arrest and jail time, it is important to understand this state provocation as incredibly strategic in the way it seeks to awaken retaliation in the same form. It begs us for physical retaliation – the kind that re-confirms black people as bodies, the kind that forces the “you can’t kill us all” mantra – basically the kind of protest that black able-bodied cis-heterosexual men happen to be good at leading and controlling, the kind that does not challenge structural power, but fulfils the fantasy of Fanon’s black man in replacing his white master.”

Read this discussion.

arundhati roy – excerpt from ‘war talk’ (2003)

Arundhati_RoyOur strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. Maybe many of us won’t be here to greet her, but on a quiet day, if I listen very carefully, I can hear her breathing.

― Arundhati Roy, from War Talk (South End Press, 2003).

john perkins on empire’s power tools

“Fear and debt. The two most powerful tools of empire.”
– John Perkins

Image: #Umhlangano

Image: #Umhlangano

urgent call for help by art students under threat from paramilitary security on campus

#umhlangano

Dear Comrades, Allies and Supporters. 

WE NEED YOUR URGENT HELP. TOMORROW IS D-DAY FOR #UMHLANGANO

WE ALSO NEED VISIBLE SUPPORT OUTSIDE AND INSIDE  OUR CAMPUS TOMORROW. GATHER AT 5 AM, CAMPUS FORMERLY KNOWN AS HIDDINGH, ORANGE STREET, GARDENS. COME DRESSED PLAYFULLY. WE WANT A PLAYFUL, CREATIVE PERFORMANCE, THE MORE RIDICULOUS THE BETTER. WE DO NOT NEED TO BE BRUTALISED FOR THIS OKAY?

On Monday #october3 Max Price, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town says the he will send private security to #openUCT. Government has given the go-ahead to use force to reopen school. 

We, #Umhlangano, are in direct talks with the Dean of Humanities and the staff of Drama and Fine Art. 

We are intervening peacefully, making art, performance and play making on the Campus Formerly Known as Hiddingh. We are exploring non-violent responses to police brutality and private security occupation on our campuses. On Monday, the institution sends former soldiers, dressed in private security uniforms, in full body armour against us. For making art, for intervening peacefully, for doing the work that they just want us to study, but we guess, not actually practice.
Artists are expected to intervene in society. To make meaningful contribution, to shift the status quo. Nothing about this is right. Nothing about this is fair. Nothing about this is either democratic or reasonable. 
We are trying to make safe space to explore what a free decolonial education looks like after years of listening to how the institution just needs time to implement substantive reforms but never does. 
If Max Price and the UCT council get their way, on Monday none of us are safe on campus. We will be teargassed, brutalised and shot at. Even the sight of these weaponised security guards has triggered PTSD symptoms in most of us. We watched members of our collective crumbling before us. Those who had , the previous week, drew courage from the power of love and creativity now trembled and sobbed in the arms of their cadres. The action we took came from a belly-deep desperation to be heard, to be visible and regarded as equals.
If you visit the website of the privatised private security company that they will send against us. http://www.vetusschola.co.za to understand why we are so concerned. Why we have slept with one eye on the door and know why #october3 we will be finding creative ways to keep ourselves, and other vulnerable student safer, no matter what violence sent against us. We need your help, write letters, write emails, make facebook posts, tweet @uct_news and blow up Max Price’s email (vc@uct.ac.za) Please, no more violence. Please, no more teargas, stun grenades, no more bleeding brutalised students. USE WHATEVER CHANNEL YOU CAN. 
More love, more music, more art, more play, more collaboration. 

#UMHLANGANO 

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

PLEASE SHARE, WE NEED THIS VIRAL BEFORE TOMORROW MORNING.

lucky dube – monster (2006)

From his album Respect, released in 2006, the year before he was killed during a hijacking.

I had a dream last night
One that will stay with me for a long time
One that will stay with me,
For as long as I live.
We were living in a world, there was no pain
We were living in the world there were no hungry people
Everyone was at peace with one another

There was a man in my dream
He told me he’s from the future,
Coming to give something better [Repeat x3]
Even though I know that

[Chorus]
One monster dies another one comes alive.

I had a dream last night
It was my dream but I know it is a dream
Of a lot of people in the world
To be living in a world, with no homeless people
To be living in a world where little children
Don’t have to die, because their parents are poor
When we came to this world
We were prepared to fight a battle.
But we found a war
When we came to this world,
We were prepared to fight demons
But we found the devil himself

There was a man in my dream
He told me he’s here
To gimme something better
Even though I know that

[Chorus]
One monster dies another one comes alive.

intersectional or bullshit

fb_img_1459830146966.jpgPress release from Wits Fees Must Fall:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEMINIST AND QUEER DISRUPTION OF WITS SHUTDOWN, 04 APRIL:

Today, 04 April 2016, a group of students attempted to shut down Wits University in the name of Wits Fees Must Fall. These students were comprised of some members of the Wits student body and other popular faces from the #Fallist movements throughout the country. Leaders of this movement have been quoted in media confirming the shutdown as an act in solidarity with suspended, intimidated and deregistered from Wits as of today, 04 April 2016 as well as the continued struggle against outsourcing of workers on university campuses.

Through reliable sources and substantive evidence, we know that the plan to shut down the Wits campus was discussed at a private symposium this past weekend, convened under the banner of Fess Must Fall, the invite to which was not extended to the broader Fees Must Fall movement on different campuses as well as the explicit exclusion of feminist and queer persons. The feminist and queer bodies that have continued to challenge the problematic and archaic investment in the institutions of patriarchal masculinities by student leaders who have continued to erase and silence their narratives and participation in the struggle for free decolonised education and outsourcing.

As a collective, the democratic process of convening and mandating members to attend Fees Must Fall related events has always been one that is consultative and open. The collective mandates representatives at each turn as the movement maintains a flat democratic structure. Therefore, the symposium of the past weekend, facilitated through external funders that seek to infiltrate the movement, and the employ of what we suspect to be non Wits students and members of the public, is one we do not recognise and refuse to be held hostage by its political dictates and ambitions.

We have maintained our integrity as an intersectional; student led non partisan movement that is fighting for free decolonised education and the insourcing of workers.

As a movement, we fully support the disruption of systems of power that have continued to exclude black students from accessing the higher education space as well as the outsourcing and dehumanisation of black workers on campuses. However, we will never tolerate a situation in which these disruptions are allowed to happen at the expense of queer and feminist bodies wherein their bodies are only utilised for the purposes of protecting heterosexual black men on the firing line.

Since the inception of the #Fallist movements, the student’s movements have been plagued by incidences and complaints of latent and rampant misogyny, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia and transmisogyny and this must come to an end. The disruption of the shut down this morning was a step towards disrupting this problematic trend where feminist and queer bodies are only good to be used for protecting heterosexual black men.

The revolution for a decolonised South Africa where free decolonised quality education is a reality for every Black child is one that feminist and queer bodies have maintained will be intersectional or it will not be a revolution at all. However, this afternoon, feminist and queer bodies were assaulted, strangled, kicked and beaten by these black men in the service of the black revolutionary project. Black feminist and queer bodies continue to put their bodies on the line and continue to be disregarded and erased by heterosexual black men.

This practise by heterosexual black men to sacrifice feminist and queer bodies in this revolution will not be tolerated any longer. The exclusion, abuse, assault and endangering of Black Feminist, Queer, Trans and Disabled bodies by heterosexual black men will no longer be tolerated.

All identities of Blackness will be included in this revolution or it will be bullshit!

To all Feminist, Queer, Trans and marginalised bodies, we are convening at the Revolutionary benches (Green benches in front of Umthombo Building) from 10:30 on 05 April 2016.

#NotMyFMF #FuckyourErasure #AllofUsorNoneofUs

a luta continua

for the “treasonous”, the belville 6 – by ameera conrad

image

Outside Parliament, 21 October, 2015. Photo: Imraan Christian

He stood in front of us
held his palms up
be calm comrades
sit down comrades
do not do anything to antagonise them
Comrades.
They knew his face, though we could not see him between the arms of a chokehold.

He sat on the floor among us
legs crossed under him
Senzeni na?
Senzeni na?
They stunned us, clicked tazers.
White-police-coward-not-man
pulled him out and away.
Another chokehold.

He fell to the floor
when the first grenade cracked
through the crowd.
Pulled up and bashed against shields
holding his burned face
dragged across the gravel.
Senzeni na?

He sat on the steps
quietly
consoling comrades
away from the crowd
They ripped him to his feet
he showed his empty palms
into the back of a van.
No fists.
Empty palms.

He held his hands over his head.
He held his empty hands over his head.
He held his open palms over his head.
He held his head.