Decolonize This

Decolonize This: Building Anti-Authoritarian Movements Against Imperialism


Catalyst Project Reader


Bringing It All Back Home: Anti-globalisation Activism Cannot Ignore Colonial Realities
Aziz Choudry

Many on the left point out that opposition to free trade and the neoliberal agenda is not necessarily anti-capitalist. They’re right, of course – it comprises a diverse range of organisations, movements, motivations, agendas and goals.  Among anti-globalisation networks there is widespread coinage of the terms “colonisation” or “recolonisation” to describe the current manifestations of globalisation. But does that mean that the mobilisations and activism against globalisation are anti-colonial? For the most part, I don’t think so.

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Beyond Nationalism But Not Without It
Ashanti Alston

Black nationalism saved my life, in a sense, as a teenager in the 1960s. It “jarred” my unconscious acceptance of amerikkanism dogging my peoples and helped me see the larger picture. I am a 60’s child. There was Malcolm, there was H. Rap Brown and Stokeley Carmichael of the Black Power movement, and then there was the Black Panther Party. All were nationalists, all represent an evolution of nationalism within the black community. Because of the totally racist, genocidal dynamic within this Babylonian Empire, the black nationalist understood that we must primarily look to ourselves to free ourselves. And none of these thinkers felt it was necessary to ‘check in’ with The White Man – from the ruler to the revolutionary – to see if it was okay. It was about our survival as a people, not as that mythical “working class” or that equally mythical “citizen.” For me, as this teenager who had just witnessed the 60’s Rebellions in my own thoroughly racist hometown, nationalism was a lifesaver: “WE MUST LOVE EACH OTHER.” “BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL.” “WE MUST CONTROL OUR OWN COMMUNITIES.”

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Same Beast, New Name
Sharon Venne

In the long sad history of colonization in Indigenous America, only one side has been told consistently. The colonizer version is written and published for public consumption. Many of the lies have become so entrenched in the psyche of the colonized that many believe them to be whole truths. As a result, many perversions of justice have occurred and continue to occur.

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Justice, From Iraq to S.F.
Rahula Janowski and Clare Bayard 

MARCH 20, 2003: thousands of antiwar activists and organizers shut down downtown San Francisco to protest the invasion of Iraq. Sept. 16, 2003: many of the same people celebrated as a year and a half of hard work and organizing paid off and the Board of Supervisors finally voted down Proposition N, Sup. Gavin Newsom’s attack on homeless people known as Care Not Cash.  Although these two victories happened on different stages, recognizing that they are different pieces of the same struggle is a crucial step toward winning justice in both arenas.

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Do Turkeys Enjoy Thanksgiving
Arundhati Roy

Last January thousands of us from across the world gathered in Porto Allegre in Brazil and declared reiterated that “Another World is Possible”. A few thousand miles north, in Washington, George Bush and his aides were thinking the same thing. Our project was the World Social Forum. Theirs, to further what many call The Project for the New American Century. In the great cities of Europe and America, where a few years ago these things would only have been whispered, now people are openly talking about the good side of Imperialism and the need for a strong Empire to police an unruly world. The new missionaries want order at the cost of justice.

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