sisters of resistance

anti-imperialist pro-vegan radical queer feminist hip-hop & grime revolutionaries.

Brexit: The Aftermath — June 26, 2016

Brexit: The Aftermath

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.

US Government Shutdown Hurts Communities of Color — October 2, 2013

US Government Shutdown Hurts Communities of Color

While we at Sisters of Resistance have been contemplating the US government shutdown as indicative of the imminent collapse of an empire, the incisive Imara Jones over at the excellent news site Colorlines.com has written this important and practical piece about how the shutdown will disproportionately affect communities of color, poor communities, and women and children who rely on the government for employment and services.

He writes:

What’s particularly distressing about the shuttering of the government is that it comes at a time when unemployment remains in the double digits for blacks and Latinos. As the Center for American Progress points out, federal, state and local governments since 2008 have eliminated 750,000 public sector jobs. Given unionization and strong anti-discriminatory hiring practices, people of color are more likely to have jobs in the public sector. This is particularly true for African-Americans, and it’s why joblessness remains so stubborn in communities of color.

The truth is that people of color represent a larger proportion of the federal workforce than the workforce overall. According to the Washington Post, 35 percent of federal workers are non-White versus 30 percent of all workers.  This means that a shutdown will only add to the economic woes and employment worries in communities of color.

Read the whole thing here.

We leave you with a brief but critical message to those in government who created this mess:

You Better Work!

London 2012 Olympics: Unwrapped — August 27, 2012

London 2012 Olympics: Unwrapped

In the wake of the 2012 London Olympics, we are cross-posting Ashok Kumar‘s radical analysis of the elite-serving “tradition”/distraction of the masses that is the Olympic Games. You can read the complete article at Ceasefire Magazine.

We close with links to a number of articles from various sources who don’t all agree with our stance on the Olympics, but provide critical insight into the ways women athletes of color are scrutinized rather than celebrated for their accomplishments, a particularly ignominious trend in light of such overwhelming successes this year.

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Hosting the Olympics is often presented to us as an ideologically neutral opportunity to boost tourism and sports. In a thought-provoking piece Ceasefire Magazine’s Ashok Kumar outlines a clear and consistent, yet barely noticed, pattern of the Games being used to fundamentally restructure the host City to the purposeful exclusion of its working class and ethnic minority residents.

As London prepares to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, startlingly little critique has surfaced in the mainstream press. With the exception of the trivial issue of ticket prices, most of the city remains transfixed, internalising the dominant narrative. This process precedes each Olympic games, one that is written and distributed by and for the real Olympic profiteers; a nexus of powerful interests that sees both short and long term gains in each host city.

This highly profitable, publicly subsidised, sporting event always attracts the major, and wannabe major, cities of the world, using any and all methods to entice an unaccountable Olympic committee, each flexing their political muscle to ensure theirs is the next chosen location. The Olympics take billions of pounds, yen, dollars of their host countries’ tax revenue to build magnificent stadiums and housing facilities, militarise the city, trample civil liberties and construct elaborate installations with shelf lives of a few weeks.

Read the rest of Ashok Kumar’s article at Ceasefire Magazine.

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Haters Need to Shut the Hell Up About Gabby Douglas’ Hair [Jezebel]

The Gabby Douglas Hair Controversy…Unwrapped [Sporty Afros]

Caster Semenya and athletic excellence: a critique of Olympic sex-testing [Somatosphere]

UK weightlifter Zoe Smith responds to criticism of women’s weightlifting as “unfeminine” [Zoe Smith’s Blog]

Racist/sexist/ageist disbelief  of Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen’s world record [The Guardian]

Racism and prejudice against Serena Williams’ celebratory dance [The Guardian]

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And to anyone seeking to belittle the great feats of athleticism these women have achieved, we got one thing for you:

Sisters Talking Back (Challenging Dominant Narratives) — June 23, 2012

Sisters Talking Back (Challenging Dominant Narratives)

Sisters of Resistance have recently read some powerful sisters talking back, challenging racist, sexist stereotypes of the dominant white male power structure. 

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Lauryn Hill has spoken back against the poisonous nature of the music industry in a powerful statement available here.

Erykah Badu has directly addressed those who seek to badmouth her because of her third child here. 

Lastly, this in depth article analyses “respectability politics” and how they can be oppressive for black women in particular, making reference to the racist film The Help and Erykah Badu. 

Cross Post – Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts Reports Back from @OccupyNotts — November 21, 2011

Cross Post – Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts Reports Back from @OccupyNotts

Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts expresses its support for the members of the 99% who are now more than a month in occupation of Nottingham’s Market Square. The dedicated and dynamic group of individuals are voicing their dissent to political corruption, state and police violence and corporate greed by creating and maintaining a communal space in which everyone is welcome as long as they respect camp guidelines. They employ the Occupy Movement’s General Assembly model for consensus-based decision-making twice daily, and with a tidy tent camp and communal area with kitchen, tea/coffee corner, tech/chill room, patio table, fire extinguisher point and central oil drum for a nightly fire, are effectively demonstrating an alternative, eco-conscious community-oriented use of public space. The information table at the camp entrance is open from 8AM-8PM daily, with participants engaging in dialogue with members of the public about their reasons for occupation and exchanging information from NSAFC, Notts Uncut, Notts SOS and other local organizations in solidarity with the liberation movement around the world.

Like many other camps around the UK, the camp has been experiencing problems with fascist organizations like the EDL threatening camps at night. Occupy Notts requests support in the form of more bodies at the camps overnight to prevent this kind of trouble. Along with them, we ask members of the local and student community to volunteer to visit the camp and especially to stay overnight or during an early morning shift; it would be greatly appreciated.

Tonight, in the 36th day of Occupation, campers and city residents held a candlelight vigil in solidarity with Egyptian civilians in Tahrir Square who were attacked by and are currently engaged in a tense standoff with Egyptian armed forces. In doing so, they stood with people from all major cities in Egypt and other cities around the world against the violent repression being enacted on peaceful protestors from Oakland, Berkeley and Davis, California, to Atlanta, to New York, to Cairo.

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During the vigil, campers shared their reflections: an American student noted that it is the US funding the Egyptian army and mentioned the familiar neo-colonial theme of the military vs. the people, while other campers spoke of the Spanish acampada movement and the more than 3,500 people who have been killed under the repressive regime in Syria. The group rallied around the reminder that it was the courageous and powerful actions of the people of Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, Libya and the events of the Arab Spring which inspired the Occupy Movement sweeping the globe, while their own stories continue to unfold, outcomes yet to be known.

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