Why an Anarchist People Of Color Convergence in New Orleans?
Anarchist People of Color or APOC share a loose set of politics being anti-authoritarian and a common identity as people of color.
Anarchism is the idea that human beings can live harmoniously without government. New Orleans has a rich history of communities supporting themselves outside of government and private corporate interest, through radical social relationships, political resistance, and cultural institutions.
Some examples of these Radical Social Relationships include:
- The bonds between slaves and indigenous peoples
- Haitians were able to find home in New Orleans After the Haitian Revolution
- Strong interdependent relationships between Latinos and Vietnamese in Little Saigon
When we say Radical Political Resistance, we mean community resistance and organizing that demands change outside of traditional avenues of governmental approval. For instance:
- The 1811 Slave Revolt; the largest slave revolt in U.S. history
- Black Panthers and the Battle for Desire
- Community responses to prevent/stop violence through conflict mediation instead of responding to crime with policing and punishment
- The Vietnamese communities’ fight against a waste dump in the Black and Vietnamese community of Michoud
- The ongoing Post-Katrina struggle for the Right to Return and the rebuilding of affordable housing
The very fabric of New Orleans is rooted in Radical Cultural Resistance against white supremacy. People of color have maintained their West African, Native American, Vietnamese and Latino cultures. Culture is a weapon and a tool, and not everyone here agrees to assimilate:
- New Orleans music and lively street culture exist as lived remembrance of the past
- Throughout New Orleans history people have been gardening in the city
- You can’t tell people here nuthin’, we are a highly self-determined people; even the roaches have attitude
- People here are very willing to form community, a part of West African and Native American traditions. It creates a culture where people of color converse with strangers like old friends. Communities don’t stay separate from each other.
And if anything else, it’s fairly clear that the government is not here to benefit communities of color:
- New Orleans has the highest incarceration rate in the world; do you feel any safer
- How many new houses/hospitals/ community centers schools etc. have you seen built?
- I.C.E. has been used to enforce wage theft and abuse of immigrant labor as a slave labor force
- Hurricane Katrina (’nuff said)
Anarchy does not mean violence and disorder. We believe it stands for an end to all form of domination, and a means to build strong communities capable of providing for themselves directly and equally. We believe people of color have been using anarchist strategies for prosperous survival throughout history. So join us this July to build, share strategies, conversate, and strengthen this movement together!