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People of Colour Caucus at Social Forum Gathering, Jan 2013

by People of Colour Caucus at Social Forum GatheringJan 2013


 

People of Colour Caucus at Social Forum Gathering, Jan 2013
 
We are thankful for being on the unceded Algonquin territory that this launch is taking place on,
and for the inspiration that Idle No More and Indigenous communities provide us.
 
We honour all the Original peoples of Turtle Land and we honour the diverse lands of the
Original peoples of Turtle Island on which we individually reside. We recognize the legacy of
all Indigenous teachings across this continent and the world. We are committed to working in
solidarity as allies with the Indigenous caucus and with the Original peoples of Turtle Island -
in words and in actions - again colonization. We are committed to supporting the needs of your
nations.
 
We are happy that some of the struggles and dreams that unite communities of color and all
peoples who are present here today were included in the discussions yesterday.
 
We do, however, wish to ask for reflection in this process, by means of sharing our collective
thoughts, feelings and questions.
 
1. The invisibility of the struggles that are particular to communities of colour was felt
strongly in this space. This includes but is not limited to struggles against police brutality
and imprisonment, immigration laws that render peoples of colour as non-people,
education and media systems that continue to be racist and colonial, poverty and many
other relationships of exploitation and exclusion.
 
2. This invisibility is also explicit in the naming of the proposed social forum as the
Canada-Quebec-Indigenous Peoples Social Forum. Many peoples of colour do not
identify with nationalist blocs of Canada and Quebec. In fact, many are actively and
legally excluded, for example temporary migrant workers and non-status people. It is
important to note that 1 in 20 people in Canada are not Canadian.
 
3. It is important to understand different processes that make up Canada and Canadian
society. This includes colonization against Original Peoples, and also imperialism and
interventionism, slavery, and indentured labour of communities of colour locally and
globally that particularly target women and children of colour. Canada presents itself as a
paragon of human rights, but Canada as well as Canadian civil society has been complicit
in genocide and dispossession of communities across the global South. A current
example is the vast number of Canadian mining corporations operating with impunity
around the global South.
 
4. Peoples of colour around the world are bearing the brunt of all the issues we are talking
about: austerity, climate change, militarism, resource extraction, patriarchy, capitalism,
dispossession of land, and labour exploitation. All these injustices have and continue to
benefit the Canadian state and people in Canada. We need to make this a part of local
actions and this social forum.
 
5. We honour our diverse cultures and identities and struggles, including the role of youth
and grassroots communities as active creative thinkers in the modeling of a better society.
 
We assert that the Social Forum must be accountable to communities of colour, build
meaningful relationships, and that movements and groups representing communities of
colour struggles not be co-opted or tokenized. We need to be part of active leadership and
decision-making roles of the social forum at all levels.
 
We are available to be part of the processes that make sure that all these concerns are an
important part of developing the elements that will make the social forum an inclusive and
participatory space, not only for communities of colour, but for all peoples that experience
diverse forms of oppression.
 
We ask that the social forum be grounded in both unity and the meaningful and practical
considerations of the particularities of struggles as evidenced by the common, different and
complex oppressions that we all face.
 
We look forward to working together with all allies and movements struggling for a world
free of the injustices and violences that mark our lives and this earth.
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