Black Liberation and Black Joy, a statement of solidarity by Wretched of the Earth

The last few weeks have seen millions of people from multiple and diverse identities and backgrounds taking action to reimagine a world in which the needs, interests, rights and aspirations of black communities are honoured and given priority. Movements and communities are defiantly standing up against the ongoing state-sanctioned murder and exploitation of black people around the world.

As a collective made up of multiple diaspora identities, ancestors and histories — indigenous, black and brown people demanding climate justice and acting in solidarity with our communities — we extend all our solidarity, our unwavering support, and deep love for the growing movement demanding dignity for black lives. We are a group guided by many rich political traditions, including the black radical tradition. We are indebted to the beliefs, visions and actions of people like Claudia Jones, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Berta Cáceres, Franz Fanon and many others.

In the US, people have risen up against a prison industrial complex which is solidly part of an unbroken line to the times of slavery, and which must be completely abolished. In Europe, #BlackLivesMatter activists have drawn attention to a legacy of genocide in the Congo that continues to define a practice of ongoing human rights violations and ecological devastation. These neo-colonial pursuits are fuelled by the relentless pursuit of economic growth by the world’s financial powers, across the global south.

Many of us are in the United Kingdom as we write this; the UK has yet to come to reckon with its role in the colonisation of most of the world, the transatlantic slave trade and the continuing incarceration, exploitation and killing of black, brown and indigenous communities around the world. This month is the third anniversary of Grenfell and we remember it whilst in the midst of a pandemic that kills black people in the UK at four times the rate of their white counterparts. The United Kingdom is not innocent. The British ruling class remains a principal purveyor of neo-colonialism in the Global South, whether through foreign wars and acts of aggression, debt regimes or the extraction of cheap labour and resources.

Today’s climate crisis is also a result of oppression and exploitation. The same European colonialism that colonised and plundered entire nations through the logic of white supremacy, was the same project that sought to control and exploit nature. This is the origin of the ecological collapse we are witnessing today. It is the same logic of imposition, extraction, exploitation and silencing that continues today. As a result of these systems, black, brown and indigenous communities have endured hundreds of years of oppression and continue to be looted of even the most essential conditions to human life — the freedom to breathe — we say no more and make the following demands!

  • Black communities can’t breathe when dealing with police and immigration enforcement = Defund the police, and the criminal immigration system and invest in community led solutions instead.

Today as in the past — our politics need to be rooted in a framework of race, class, gender and internationalism — a black radicalism that reaches beyond borders and reconnects diverse peoples of colour and our struggles against racialised capitalism and oppression. As we do this work to create a more just world, let us not shy away from envisioning what this world will look like. It is a radical and necessary act to envision a world where all black people are liberated from the violence of white supremacy and capitalist exploitation. A world where black joy is uninhibited, and healing is abundant.

Art by BLKMOODYBOI a Non-binary trans-self-taught illustrator that centers Black and Brown trans people in their art. Inspired by comics, anime, friends, and community BLKMOODYBOI crafts their own unique style. Through their work, they aim to showcase love, tenderness, and softness as a form of radical resistance against white cis-het patriarchal capitalism.

Their art aims to bring joy to QTIBIPOC, to celebrate them and archive them.

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Radical Climate Justice

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