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.