Monday, July 23, 2012

People Land Truth

People Land Truth -- a free anniversary eBook by Intercontinental Cry, with contributions from the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Sacred Land Film Project -- is now available. Supporting independent journalism for the global indigenous movement, IC news magazine publishes daily online.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Rethinking Liberation

In her essay Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, Andrea Smith discusses the logics of slavery, genocide and war that inform the colonial project and undermine solidarity by nurturing complicity in the oppression of others. Imagining an alternative to the racial state, says Smith, requires building the political power to end colonialism and capitalism by challenging the basis of the United States itself. Doing so, she notes, necessitates rethinking liberation outside the framework of the white-supremacist state.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Template for Survival

If you look around at the many human rights organizations, most were formed to intervene in urgent crises or to prevent pending tragedies. While stopping atrocities and saving humanity is a noble and necessary undertaking, though, ad hoc responses to media-selected celebrity causes  is not necessarily the most effective use of humanitarian resources. Given the failure of states and international institutions in this task, one has to ask if there isn't a better way.

While mobilizing remedial resources for displaced persons and refugees through institutions like the Red Cross and Red Crescent ameliorates suffering, prevention of atrocities remains an illusive humanitarian endeavor. With the militarization of humanitarian projects that has corrupted some big international NGOs of late, institutionalizing humanitarian efforts for the future requires that we rethink how we respond and reflect on how we might reform our humanitarian organizing.

With networks emerging as the new form of organization to address issues neglected by states and markets, we might want to consider how they can be institutionalized in order to provide continuity to efforts. Archiving collective memory and structuring learning and mentoring are key to that, but without the resources of states and markets, we will need to localize and link what we do and how we communicate in order to be effective. Like the failure of the giant, hegemonic model in government and industry, the failure of big international NGOs signals the time for a new organizing strategy. With the reemergence of Indigenous nations acting local and thinking global, perhaps civil society worldwide already has a template for survival.