“Idle No More anniversary sees divisions emerging” (CBC News, 2013-11-10)
Just one set of comments on this movement; there are others around the web. Because a first anniversary means something is fair game for Historical Evaluation. History and Evaluation are themselves easily diverted and risk being destroyed by haste, malice, and vested interest. Some of the comments that follow are about evaluation, mostly via “value.” Some are about history, via words. The historical aspect is worrying: in fashion frenzies, things rapidly become ancient history, passé, and die a death; becoming non-things, non-existent. Regardless of what sorts of things they were: human rights or the right kind of lipstick. Time flies and compacts and the world goes too fast. We are ever more subject to others’ wills and whims: fashion, futures markets, FaceBook likes. Agents or avatars of Lady Folly. Assisting in glee as Lady Fortune’s wheel turns and we turn on it, whipped around willy-nilly, occasionally flung off, occasionally rolled over and squashed.
This is of course not a new complaint: people said similar things about the changing world in 1913, with public transport and electric lights; in 1813, with industrialization; and probably also in 1713 (though it feels like the war of the Spanish succession is kind of cheating, as wars are just “everyday life goes on and is as confusing as ever” in a Game of Thrones sort of way). 1613, some major moves in European colonization in the New World (inc. a big date for Pocahontas), and in Japanese diplomatic relations with the Papacy. 1513, further warmongering plus ça change and Machiavelli writes The Prince: amongst other things, a work about rapidly-changing times and how to survive them. Or: how to ride Fortune’s wheel.
In the CBC item and its comments, we see the usual several layers of politicking and trolling at work. Games. Games within games. Rednecks. Neoliberals and neocons. Angry people of all sorts. Rumour-mongering. Agents provocateurs. Double-agents double-bluffing. Earnest humourless do-gooders. Attempts at manipulation. Entice a group to disunite and self-destruct by tearing themselves apart internally. Interesting to read through; I found my polite distanced interest turning to increasing irritation, given that we’re talking about people here.
People. Individuals who have suffered and continue to suffer. Marginalised by Big Politics. Not counting, as they’re poor, and women, and indigenous. But damn it, these are people, and Idle No More is about people as people. Such movements to protect and protest should be grass-roots, should be gynarchist (or whatever else you want to call it, but amounts to more or less the same in practice), and should emphatically not end up as yet another organized party.
Because that means turning from People into The Man. And, eventually, being a growing profitable entity that can be bought and sold by The Man and Big Politics… like any other entity, be it a political party or a company or any other thing that can be deemed to have existence and value as soon as it appears to be profitable. Cannot be bought or sold, has no financial value? Does not exist. Can be bought and sold? Exists. Simples.
It’s a horrible shame to see commodification happening to good worthy causes. But it seems to be something that happens when a new idea gets bigger; and therefore has to be organized, managed, branded, marketed, packaged, and sold. As per the necessities of neo-liberalism and The Viagra Paradigm: it has to be developed and grown. Oh, how I hate that re-verbing of a verb via its noun-form: extreme version, “problematize.”
So, Idle No More. A great idea. Started with teach-ins. Ideas don’t get better than that: starting as ideas, being ideas, staying ideas, being ideas in currency and community, in movement, dynamic, wild, alive. Gynarchist. Resisting being nailed down into statements, polemic, manifestos, propaganda; resisting being tamed and controlled, turned into an organization with leadership and authority-figures in charge. Against all that can be associated with The Patriarchy and its perversions of ethics and politics into, respectively, economics and power-games.
Economics and politics fused, ethics erased. People and planet trodden underfoot along the way: collateral damage. “Value” and “worth” lose all sense except that of a price-sticker or a stock-exchange entry. “Future” loses all sense except that of the futures market. We’ve seen how that results in human beings being bought and sold via their debts, pension-plans, and the ups and downs of the next harvest. “Equity” has lost all sense of human equality: it’s all about the equities market now.
Ideas matter. Words matter, as that’s how ideas are expressed and as they retain all their layers of current sense(s) and previous meanings, as historical archives. A good word will also include worlds of future possibilities, of adaptations to other places, peoples, times. Words are alive, and at the same time retain the dead and the unborn. But like anything that preserves treasure, words are fragile. Meaning can be lost. It can be erased, in the wrong hands. Words, meaning, and history must remain independent (as far as possible and practicable) of contemporary interests, especially political ones. Sacred, defended, guarded. In places like great dictionaries, libraries, and institutional repositories of knowledge: including knowledge-communities with “living memory” elders, including online communities. One of the finest and most radical results of the internet revolution has been its potential for protecting and enfranchising the marginalized and the invisible. The word “empowerment” gets thrown around a lot to describe this phenomenon, though it’s not quite the right term and might even be counter-productive: this phenomenon is more “post-power” and subversively “anti-power.” In linguistic terms—back to words—we’re talking subversion, “queering.”
Trans-power politics is not the only parallel between words and indigenous rights movements: meaning and remembering are vitally important, and terribly fragile.
There is a universal human duty to protect all words, ideas, knowledge; that is, an ethical obligation towards all human culture. This duty is part of a responsibility towards all human beings; a responsibility that is integral to being human: a living being that is human is responsible, each towards every other. From a humanist perspective, that definition with its essential idea of responsibility is part of what makes humans human: a humane humanity. It is also a foundation to human rights.
The same goes for the network of rights and responsibilities connecting all humans to one another, the living to the dead and to the unborn, and the human to the non-human within the shared ecosystem.
IDLE NO MORE EVENTS RIGHT NOW, THIS WEEKEND
As Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala, children of Mother Earth, we have come a long way together towards the realization of our self-determination, both in the defense of our territories as well as in determining our own ways of life for the future. This long road, which originates in our communities, bringing together both men and women, has been strengthened historically in four continental summits: Teotihuacan (Mexico, 2000), Kito (Ecuador, 2004), Iximche’ (Guatemala, 2007) and Titicaca (Peru, 2009). In these spaces of encounter we have shared our culture, spirituality, languages, ancestral knowledge, problems and challenges, alternatives and dreams, and we have reaffirmed our undiminished and inalienable Rights as Indigenous Peoples.
CRIC Consejo Regional Indigena del Cauca
San Maria Pendamo, Cuaca
Google map and directions
We will be celebrating Native American Heritage Month this November with an Idle No More* rally to stand in solidarity with the Elsipogtog in New Brunswick, to remember our ancestors that have left us, to stand in solidarity for our people and all peoples who strive to protect mother earth.
MC: Orena Monahan
- Pennie Opal Plant from Gathering Tribes
- Paul Flores IV
- Manny Lieras Producer of Injunuity & Powwow Singer
- Orena Monahan
Drum Group: Young Wolf from Sacramento, CA
If you would like to help out with the event, please contact us at UrbanNativeEra@gmail.com or message us via facebook ! Thank you !
IDLE NO MORE: Being Idle, No More
*Idle No More is a grassroots movement that initiated from the First Nations People of Canada in December of 2012. The Canadian Government, spearheaded by Stephen Harper, introduced a number of omnibus bills, a majority of which have already been passed, that desecrate first nation people’s land and all living creatures in general. Although indigenous people have, for hundreds of years, recognized the discrimination and outward attempt to destroy indigenous populations, the start of this movement sparked a fire among younger generations that inspired everyone around the world to rise up and speak out against blatant attacks on humanity from protests against Monsanto and against the tar sands and many more. This movement has gone global from Australia, Hawaii, India, Russia and more! Idle No More has collaborated with groups working towards the same goal such as Anonymous, Occupy, and AIM, to name a few.
Idle No More has taken initiative to instill hope and to bring the people together by its many participants through drumming, singing, dancing and sharing love! We bring awareness and wisdom to fight as ONE against spiritual warfare and corruptness of government lies.
The founders of Idle No More, Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean, Nina Wilson, Erica Lee, outlined the vision and goals of the movement in a January 10, 2013 press release as follows:
The Vision […] revolves around Indigenous Ways of Knowing rooted in Indigenous Sovereignty to protect water, air, land and all creation for future generations.
The Conservative government bills beginning with Bill C-45 threaten Treaties and this Indigenous Vision of Sovereignty. The movement promotes environmental protection and indigenous sovereignty. It plans to accomplish these goals by:
(A) Implementing leadership structure and councils (Such as the Council of Women)
(B) Taking training in coordinating rallies, media, messaging and safety issues as well as in identifying provocateurs, misinformation shills, and propaganda.
(C) Placing key spokespeople and connecting with experienced experts in different areas; i.e. treaty research, indigenous rights and governance, environmental activism, writers, international spokesperson, national etc.
(D) Creating chapters across Turtle Island under the umbrella of the main INM.
(E) Requesting regular meetings with First Nations leadership to have ongoing discussions regarding third party agreements between the Government of Canada and industry corporations
To date the movement has been particularly focused on:
(A) The education and the revitalization of indigenous peoples through awareness and empowerment.
(B) Encouraging knowledge sharing about indigenous sovereignty and environmental protections.
We encourage you to stay informed of events and REAL news that popular media does not show you. Check out these websites for more information!
333 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94102
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