Who We Be

12 Nov

Woke up today in a real sour mood, check my computer msgs etc. and like they say in game of thrones dark news comes on dark wings (or in this case a shitty computer lol). I kinda took it out on a friend who was talking to me about the effects of Krockadile, a new drug which is not an epidemic yet, but has the potential to cause serious harm to my community. Given the fact that the bad news was related to an old mate of mine and drugs, I will admit I was kinda ranty, though scientific. Im still pissed off and feeling kinda helpless at the reality we face so i had 3 coffees and a bunch of cigarettes one after another. The more I smoke the more im thinking of how my reality, as an activist and community organizer is very different then other people’s reality and how at this point in my life, Im sort of losing patience explaining the concrete problems me and my community face to people and individuals who not only are divorced from this reality, but attempt to impose their sets of values and mores on a community which they are not part of. At this point in time, I go back on the computer and write a few angry fb status’s that really have nothing to do with anything other than to be an outlet for my anger.
My friend calls me and we decide to go for coffee and just chit chat. Its her little brothers Birthday today and she has no money to buy him anything or even make him a cake, so shes kinda stressed and trying to find a food bank but still sympathetic. As we drive down Cortland we see the police have set up a stop and check just past Cedar, we turn up Cedar, cause the last thing we need is me freaking out on some poor cop and telling him to die or some other such thing cause im in real foul mood and all i want to do is lash out at some sort of symbol of the state that is imposing these brutal conditions on us. My friend is telling me how her brother is back in jail due to the liberal interpretations the police used on his bail order arresting him for going across the street to get a coffee. (Really you think we would learn by now, Tim Hortons is police headquarters, to go there equals arrest lol).

I need to use the washroom so i go to city hall and I hear someone asking a homeless guy, while im in the toilet stall, if hes rolling a joint, the guy is like no its a cigarette are you the pot police, and the person answers actually I am a cop, and trust me we have bigger problems than pot, i kinda chuckle in the stall and then the cop leaves. I give the homeless guy four smokes and i join my friend at the coffee shop and she tells me for a revolutionary you sure got bourgeoise tastes. I laugh and explain this is the only place where you can get a coffee with chocolate melted in. She watches me add sugar and laughs. We go across the street and sit on the rocks next to the condos they are trying to build to displace poor people. We are chatting about our friends that we lost, the system, CAS and other such things. A cop walks up to us with a purple ribbon and says hi, I tell her I admire her bravery to wear such a thing as a cop she makes some comment to the effect of the systemic problems that makes her feel she should wear one and walks away.

I light another cigarette and ask my friend why is she still my friend given all the shit she has gone through for associating with me and being political, to the point where they almost took her kid away, she smiles and says that even though you can be annoying sometimes, you have a good heart and what we are fighting for is right. After smoking my last smoke we decide we have to leave because she needs to go and answer a phone call from her brother in jail.

I grab a few more smokes and start thinking about my politics and what it means to me. In a community constantly under attack, brutalized and criminalized, for front line police officers, who are no friends of ours, to acknowledge the problems we are facing, and one of them to take a liberal stand in her own way just goes to show how far gone things are. These problems we face, marginalization, criminalization, drug epidemics, systemic genocide against portions of our community and horizontal and vertical violence will not go away because we wish them to, nor will the state make these problems go away for us, given the fact that no matter how well-meaning a lackey of the state is, at the end of the date, they are there to uphold the state that is creating these conditions and by proxy are upholding these conditions.

The solutions to these problems lie with us and those in our community. The problem is contrary to the overglorified view of the oppressed presented by some groups on the left, systemic violence and brutalization are not the proper conditions to create a political class that can spew Foucalt or understand the latest popular theory on transectionality. The community that I am apart of does not have the tools at their disposal to absorb all this information and theory, nor are they able to apply it in some abstract way where everyone is perfect and socialist paradise is around the corner.

Does that then mean that we are doomed or must look outside of our community for the correct line and saviour? absolutely not!!! We must and are creating a space for people to be political by dealing with the issues that they are facing and providing analysis and understanding based on their own experience. By doing this and creating this space we are attempting to solve our own problems and come up with theory that leads to action based on our experience. This in turn creates the space where inner contradictions can be sorted out knowing that we are in this together. Sometimes we are successful, and sometimes we make mistakes, huge mistakes, but at least we are trying and even if we fail in the bigger scheme of things, at least we know in our hearts that we refused to accept these miserable conditions and that there is our victory.

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