Knitting Together the Struggles
As the last years, decades, and centuries have taught us, our freedom is inextricably linked with the freedom of others. The anti-colonial struggles that raged across Africa during the mid-twentieth century inspired those fighting for liberation in the United States, leading to the Civil Rights Movement. In turn, the movement for Black Liberation was a catalyst for the second wave of feminism, and for the ongoing work of both the queer and trans communities. As Angela Y. Davis—who so masterfully combines Black feminism with prison abolition—continues to remind us, “Freedom is a constant struggle.”
It makes sense then, that if our freedom is interwoven, so therefore are our struggles. The fight to protect asylum-seekers and migrants, the ongoing battles to defend the environment and other living beings, the ongoing movement to abolish capitalism… the list is endless, and yet the struggle is singular. It is a struggle against oppression, against greed, but also a struggle against indifference and ignorance. It is a struggle for life itself.
There is tremendous power in creating connections between generations, between movements, across borders, and across prison walls. Yet all too often (and with the unswerving assistance of corporate media), we are unable to connect the dots that unite our struggles. While we may notice that the ongoing imprisonment of children of colour reflects the United States’ internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, we must also make the connection between these horrendous actions and the privatization of the Global South, the expansion of the carceral state, and the growing authoritarianism of state governments. Similarly, we see the threads that connect the Indigenous struggle for land (and against drilling and pipelines on their land) with the fight for a living wage, the growing demand for a more equitable distribution of resources, and the need to confront white supremacist policies and practices.
We hope that you will find examples to help deepen your own connections in our Knitting Together the Struggles calendar for 2020. Only by uniting our work to directly confront oppression will we see concrete results.
In a 1970 letter to a then-imprisoned Davis, James Baldwin wrote, “If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own—which it is—and render impassable with our bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”
None are free until all are free.
p.s. Visit certaindays.org for more great art and articles from prisoners, supporters, and abolitionists.
-the certain days collective: Amy, Daniel, Helen, Josh, Sara
-supporting members: Aric, Erin, Tasha