Remembering George Floyd on the anniversary of his birth.
Rest in Power!!
As a future ancestor, I’m writing to you from the so-called Chicagoland area of Illinois, a conundrum wrapped in a contradiction—both a crime scene and a confirmation. These lands were stewarded for millennia by Indigenous peoples and nations and lineages, including the Three Fires Confederacy— the Potowatami, the Ojibwe, and the Odawa. They raised their children here, created their communities, made sense and meaning for one another, experienced the flowing and the passing of their time together, planned for the future, and buried their dead here. We acknowledge them and thank them all. I note that following the settler violence culminating in the Blackhawk War of 1832, Indigenous peoples were murdered or forcibly removed from these lands. Over a century later, under a different set of oppressive policies, many were once again coerced to migrate, this time back to the urban centers where their ancestors had earlier been robbed and forcibly removed—Chicago has the third largest urban Native population in the US today, with more than 65,000 Native Americans in the greater metropolitan area.
Chicago’s name, derived from the Algonquian language, means “river whose shores are lined with wild leeks,” and it’s true: Chicago is a confluence of water, wildness, peoples, hopes and aspirations, a place of outsized and crazy complexity, built up by the hands of immigrant workers and African-ancestored people escaping terror and the after-life of slavery during the Great Migration. Justice seekers, freedom fighters, teachers and cultural workers, artists and creators, organizers and activists—all of us must remember and honor a history of stolen land and resources, a history of genocide and exploitation, and we must also pledge to keep our eyes and our hearts open in our shared struggle for peace and repair, justice and joy, balance and love.
Chicago is where I reside and work, where I rise up filled with gratitude and awe on each new morning. This is where I recommit to projects of repair and revolution in this bruised and battered world. Chicago is where I begin again.
I took an action on Action Network called Join the #DivestFromDeath Week of Action October 25th – 31st!.
We are rising up ??? This October 25th to 31st, Dissenters invites you to join us for a #DivestFromDeath Week of Action — a week of movement building, action, and solidarity for the global liberation of all Black and Brown people, here and around the world. Divest From Death is a campaign to pressure institutions to divest from war profiteers led by young people who will turn the tides of endless war and continue to fight for the life-affirming future we deserve. We are calling on communities all over the U.S. to organize #DivestFromDeath actions against war and militarism in your community to demand our institutions to divest from endless wars and reinvest in what our communities actually need to be safe. Every year, U.S. war profiteers — Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Raytheon — fuel violence here and abroad with billions of dollars of weapons manufacturing to arm violent regimes in the Philippines, in Israel, and to local police departments across the U.S. But from Chicago to Tehran, the people are rising up to get free, to break the power of the U.S. war industry, and halt the unjust war on communities of color around the world. Commit to take action with us and to stay plugged into preparation for our week of action at the end of this month by signing here! We will follow up with trainings and other support offerings for folks who sign up to take action. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions!
Can you join me and take action? Click here: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/join-the-divestfromdeath-week-of-action-october-25th-31st?source=email&
American Studies Association Conference will be virtual (it was going to be in Puerto Rico)Check out the panel that Rick, Connie, and I are in:White Radicalism in the Age of Anti-Racist OrganizingCHAIR: Connie Wun, Mills CollegePANELISTS: William Ayers, University of Illinois at ChicagoRichard Ayers, University of San Francisco3:00 PM Central TimeTuesday, October 12, 2021See you there
Twenty years ago Susan Sontag said, Let’s mourn together, but let’s not get stupid together. Her advice has been, in the main, unheeded.
The frenzied myth-making following the September 11 terrorist attacks ramped up remarkably for the “Twentieth Anniversary.” We just witnessed an orgy of patriotic displays, memorials and testimonials, heart-wrenching personal stories—all of it deflecting, all of it silencing serious inquiry and analysis, or deeper reckoning and alternative conclusions.
Note: there are no testimonials from the victims of US wars; there are no memorials to those who died in twenty years of invasion and occupation; there are no heart-wrenching personal stories from those tortured in US secret prisons; there is no open accounting of the vast profits reaped by the war profiteers. There’s no mention, of course, of the anniversary of the “other 9/11,” the violent overthrow of the democratically elected president of Chile by the US CIA in 1973.
Perhaps we are hearing and seeing all that we see and hear from the wrong side of imperialism.