#BlackLivesMatter Bay Area and Indigenous Peoples Day Thanksgiving Statement of Solidarity at Alcatraz


 

“We open by recognizing and giving thanks to the creator and the ancestors that have come before us who have laid us seeds of life, tradition and resistance. We are here because we are lifted by those who came before us, we give thanks for their sacrifice, and stand testament to their strength.

We see in our first nations families, we see our plight, we see our genocide, a genocide that continues on us all to this day. We know of these things very intimately, for the cause of your pain is the cause of our pain. We are connected and bonded through our blood relations and common struggle against our oppressor. Whose trail of murder and thievery is vast and evident, starting with the theft of first nations lands and the bounty produced upon the backs of our ancestors misery, slavery and death. Long ago our paths became intertwined in an era of unimaginable horror for both of our peoples. To this day a sickness resides in our hearts; it was put there by a great evil called Settler white supremacy. In this sickness our two peoples are also bound together. Our unity in struggle is the cure to this sickness.

Our connection in solidarity and blood is an act of resistance and affirmation of life. Every act that weakens the structure of Settler White Supremacy, undoes the original sin of Colonialism and Slavery. We recall Crispus Attucks whose lifesblood is claimed by our oppressor to be the moment of birth for the “American Nation”. Crispus Attucks whose African Father and Haudenosaunee (Ho-De-Nee-Show-Nee) Mothers was spilled in order to christen the soil for the 500 year plague of “Enlightenment”. We remember Seminole Wars in which our ancestors escaped bondage to ally with first nations and relations, to fight the murderer known and Andrew Jackson. A symptom of the disease celebrated by settlers on their twenty dollar bill. We left our bonds of slavery and joined our first nation family in common unity and struggle against this disease of oppression. We were in kinship so long ago, and today we renew, once again, our commitment towards alliance, unity and struggle, for our freedom is your freedom, our liberation is your liberation. We are connected in soil, birth, and struggle.

We are not the descendants of a weak peoples. We have honored histories. Stories of survival and rebellion against the unsurvivable and the insurmountable. Histories of how we became powerful and sacrificed our bodies to strike against our oppressor. We live because our ancestors chose the path of resistance. We stand together on sacred ground, united as we breathe life into the memory of those who came before us, and the bonds that they forged.

Your plight is our plight, your blood is our blood, your oppression is our oppression, our paths to liberation are not simply congruent, they are one in the same and our ascendance to freedom will happen simultaneously. Our pain, our bonds, our relations connect us and the path of resistance makes us one.”
– BLM

“We the Indigenous People of this Land, stand in solidarity with Black LIves Matters and our Black brothers and sisters fighting to end the War on Black People in this Country and around the world.

We recognize that the War on Black People is rooted in slavery, which enabled the accumulation of wealth and power needed for the genocide of Native Americans, the founding of the United States, and the colonization of countries throughout the world. The suffering and exploitation that plagues all of our communities is rooted in this history of anti-black racism for the development of capitalism.We understand that this has contributed to the ethnic genocide of Indigenous Peoples throughout the world and the kidnapping and enslavement of Africans.

We acknowledge that the oppression of our people links our struggles but it is also our desire and constant fight for liberation that truly unites us.

Our solidarity with the Black Friday 14 and Black Lives Matter continues a rich history of peoples’ movements and international solidarity in the U.S., which is rooted in the legacy of Black resistance, organizing, and leadership. From the struggle to end African slavery to the development of the Black Panther Party which paved the way for the Red Power Movement that was birthed here on Alcatraz Island and spread across Turtle Island, the Black resistance movement in this country is centuries old and and has long provided visionary and groundbreaking leadership for many oppressed communities demanding freedom in the U.S. and abroad.

We believe that the lack of urgency and responsiveness of both Black Trans Lives and the more than 1200 Indigenous women who have gone missing is not a coincidence.

We believe the poverty and lack of equity that has been imposed on our reservations, and in black communities is not a coincidence.

We believe that the state sanctioned violence on black and brown bodies at the hands of law enforcement is not a coincidence.

And we refuse to allow the disparities that result from this intentional oppression on our people to divide our communities.

Just as we know Indigenous LIfe is Sacred, we know Black Lives Matter.

There is a State of Emergency. From British Columbia to Ferguson, from the Amazon forest to Oakland, from Alcatraz Island to Minneapolis, we are demanding our freedom.

As First Nation people, we understand that OUR justice,relies on the respect, appreciation and liberation of black lives. Because if they can’t get it, we definitely won’t be seeing it.”
– The People of Turtle Island

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