‘They are even afraid of our songs of love’
Van Gogh wrote that the sunflowers in his paintings communicated ‘gratitude’.
for the son of Korryn Gaines and the Movement for Black Lives
Van Gogh painted sunflowers
close, in a vase
his yellow a hue
fresh to the cadre
a vision sliced through reality
with a brush and pallet knife
For artists, activists,
seekers of truth
in this generation
the narrative is broken
each vision is different
each invented colour is new
but we paint with it anyway
to remain willfully
today we choose to believe
the child eyewitnesses
with our heads bowed
we form secret circles
take to the streets
they still killing us
A shut down is sensation
But what options are left
When they refuse to hear
our songs of love?
Yesterday morning we woke up to confirmation of a new reality. Half of the British public had announced their isolationist views, fuelled by a deep-seated hatred for immigrants and their fear of a brown planet. Elderly white British people voted against their children and grandchildren’s interests, refusing them the opportunity to live, love and work in 27 other countries, for the sole purpose of ideologically ‘taking their country back’, although who exactly had taken it from them was a question that went unanswered. Fascist, sexist skinheads emerged from their lairs wearing Vote Leave t-shirts, carrying St George’s flags, well chuffed with what they saw as a victory for their own. The EU referendum results have given them the encouragement and ego boost they needed to posture and crow more than ever before in recent memory. This is supported by the approval they have received from the extreme right across Europe, from the Greek Golden Dawn to the Dutch Party for Freedom and French National Front calling for similar referenda for their own countries. The tension produced by this energy is leading to even more harassment and negative actions against already marginalised people, which are being well documented on social media (see below). And yet, it is very unlikely that any of those who voted to Leave would have known to point to neoliberalism as the true source of their woes, nor would they have seen the irony in the country that colonised half of the world cannibalizing itself due to fears of immigration.
We at Sisters of Resistance are opposed to ignorance in all its forms, yet we call attention to the fact that it is not always the ignorant who are fully to blame for the states of affairs that they may unwittingly enact. We note that from the Brexiters’ perspective, a vote to leave the EU must seem a rational response to the lies, Islamophobic hatred, and purposeful misinformation spread by the Leave campaign, combined with the general untrustworthiness of the elitist Tory government with David Cameron at the helm, and the City, banks and big business urging people to Remain. We also note that the many lies told fell on fertile ground because of the conditions of social inequality wracked by decades of neoliberalism and a half decade of austerity. Moreover, we call attention to the similarities between the social conditions of the populist movements in the US that are buoying Donald Trump and those in England which set the groundwork for the tragedy that is Brexit.
Like the rest of the world, we do not know what will happen next. We hold our breath in anxious and fearful anticipation of a domino effect that has the power to undo the past 70 years of peace in Europe and cause lasting chaos in the global economy. But unlike half of Britain, we are willing to learn from history to avoid at all costs the onset of fascist ideals that creep into mainstream society stealthily, in the guise of nationalist pride. There is no room for nationalism in a global society. In the face of socio-economic, environmental, and political crises like those never before seen, we need each other more than ever, now.
A collection of news items that have made us angry, made us sad, astounded us, and/or ignited our revolutionary fire lately [trigger warnings for sexual assault, murder and violence against women, reproductive and police injustice].
- Purvi Patel, who says she miscarried, gets 20 years in prison for feticide [Filed under: reproductive injustice, misogyny, patriarchy, intersectionality]
- Mary Jane Veloso Spared in 11th Hour in Indonesia [Filed under: poverty, imperialism, Third World women]
- Mumia Abu-Jamal medical emergency [Filed under: political imprisonment, silencing, state violence]
- 72 killed in Philippines slipper factory fire [Filed under: poverty, Third World Women, inhumane working conditions, unabated capitalism]
- Biker gangs have major shootout, murdering 9 – National Guard not called in, no one is killed by the police or called a thug by the media [Filed under: white privilege, violence in America, gangsters, thugs]
- Baltimore State’s Attorney charges 6 police officers in murder of Freddie Gray; lawyers file motions to dismiss all charges [Filed under: systemic racism, police unaccountability]
- 20 year old gay feminist activist murdered after resistance to on-campus sexism and misogyny led to suspension of rugby team [Filed under: rape culture, misogyny, youth culture, MRAs, LGBT issues, violence in America, violence against women]
- Transgender woman London Chanel murdered in Philadelphia and Remembering Us When We’re Gone, Ignoring Us While We’re Here: Trans Women Deserve More (late but highly relevant post) [Filed under: trans women of colour, violence against women, transmisogyny, LGBT issues]
- Nicki Minaj and Beyonce release new video for ‘Feelin Myself’ [Filed under: carefree Black girls, flawless, problematic faves]
- Global inequality is so bad it’s almost impossible to visualise it [Filed under: poverty, wealth, 1%, globalization, unabated capitalism]
- ‘sHell no!’ Seattle kayaktivist fleet protests Arctic drilling [Filed under: activism, protest, ecofeminism, wealth, 1%, globalization, unabated capitalism, resistance]