August 26, 2019
It’s been a while since our last newsletter. It’s been a busy summer. Don’t forget the Native Liberation Conference is September 7-8 in Gallup. See the conference schedule here. As temperatures rise, so too must our resistance against the forces of destruction.
It’s tragic. The Amazon burns out of control. The sprawling forest that produces twenty percent of the world’s oxygen is under threat of irreversible destruction. The literal lungs of the planet are on fire. The destruction is human-caused to clear trees for cattle ranching, farming, and logging. Deforestation is incentivized by the Brazilian state. The rich and powerful have done nothing but pour gasoline on the inferno.
There is always a reason behind tragedy.
The defenders and protectors of the Amazon, the Indigenous peoples, have faced increased intimidation, harassment, and criminalization under Brazil’s current president. Jair Bolsonaro won the presidency largely through fear-mongering and authoritarian rhetoric but also because his main political rival, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a trade union leader and founder of the Workers Party, Brazil’s main left party, was imprisoned on false and vindictive charges. Lula remains in prison, despite mounting evidence that he was framed by his opposition.
There is righteous anger echoing from all corners of the globe about the destruction of the Amazon and global warming. Last July was the hottest month in recorded human history. But where concern seems the loudest in the Global North, there are greater levels of responsibility for the current mess.
While the international community calls for slashing carbon emissions within a decade to prevent the most damaging effects of warming temperatures, Canada and the United States have emboldened the construction of new carbon infrastructure. In Canada, the day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared a climate emergency, he approved the construction of a massive oil pipeline. And US President Donald Trump says global warming is a “hoax” and has called for increased penalties against Indigenous and non-Indigenous Water Protectors protesting the construction of new oil pipelines.
This is why The Red Nation drafted four principles of what we’re calling the Red Deal. As we are experiencing global ecological collapse, we’re also experiencing the largest transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest. The two are linked. Here’s how we envisioned the Red Deal:
The Red Deal is not a counter program of the [Green New Deal]. It’s a call for action beyond the scope of the US colonial state. It’s a program for Indigenous liberation, life, and land—an affirmation that colonialism and capitalism must be overturned for this planet to be habitable for human and other-than-human relatives to live dignified lives.
The Red Deal is not a “deal” or “bargain” with the elite and powerful. It’s a deal with the humble people of the earth; a pact that we shall strive for peace and justice and that movements for justice must come from below and to the left. We do not speak truth to the powerful. Our shared truth makes us powerful. And this people’s truth includes those excluded from the realms of power and policy-making.
I recently posed the question in Jacobin: “Why is it easier for some to imagine the end of fossil fuels but not settler colonialism?” As part of the Red Deal platform we make that argument that if the Green New Deal can connect every social justice struggle to climate justice, then we must connect every social and climate justice struggle to decolonization and vice versa.
Recently, the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in North America, endorsed the Red Deal. We thank our comrades Julian Trujillo, Brian Ward, Thea Riofrancos, and the DSA Ecosocialist Working Group for their solidarity and support. Stay tuned for more updates and Red Deal campaign news as we move into the fall.
The Pueblx Feminist Caucus and The Red Nation-Santa Fe made history in O Gah Po’geh—again. A historic panel discussion on the history of Pueblo resistance drew a full house at the Jean Cocteau theater on August 14. You can listen to the panel discussion on our podcast Red Revolution Radio here. Or you can watch the presentations here.
On August 17, Red Nation members alongside Pueblo comrades led a march through downtown Santa Fe to remember and honor Pueblo sacred sites and history. The march ended at a mural painted by Indigenous artist Lynnette Hazous commemorating the Red Nation- and Pueblo-led victory to abolish the racist celebration of the Entrada.
Both events drew hundreds of participants and came on the heels of the annual celebration of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, which is commemorated August 10.
Always, in the spirit of Po’pay, the leader of the revolt.