Hashtag Decolonize?

“Indigenous solidarity” is sexy nowadays. Every liberal is ready, it seems, to “decolonize” something or other. And every multi-milliondollar NGO, from Immigrant Rights megagroups to Environmentalist giants, purports to “stand in solidarity with Standing Rock” and you know, “defend Mother Earth” — that is, so long that does not work against the interests of their corporate funders, nor address the root causes of the eco-genocide. These are the same organizations that have a long history of promoting policies, forms of social organization and ideological frameworks that protect the interests of extractive industries and big finance, while sabotage struggles of indigenous, Black and frontline communities. The examples are too numerous to list here: Big Greens have not supported (and effectively sabotaged) the indigenous-lead People’s Agreement developed in 2010 in Cochabamba, and worked to break up and sell out the G77 block in COP15; last year, US-based environmental NGO’s funelled $100 million in electoral support for Hillary Clinton and her extractive bedfellows;  NGO’s collude in indigenous land and and water grabs under the guise of conservation, as is happening currently with the Oak Flat, sacred to the Apache; and Immigrant Rights is used to legitimize the increased militarization of O’odham lands in the southwest so-called borderlands.

This is not a new story. But there is a new twist.

Big Green and Immigrant Rights NGO’s are speculating on the abomination that is Donald Trump, in a scramble to brand themselves the leaders of a resistance they can shape, control and profit from.  There is a real danger in their renewed legitimacy. There is a real danger in the explosive growth of the NGO sphere, fueled by liberal white panic and confusion.  We are to believe that we can resist Trump by demonstrating — in an orderly fashion — against this PARTICULAR abomination, while simultaneously forgetting that the democrats and the liberal NGO sphere colluded in creating the mechanisms that produced it. We are to march behind the very same organizations whose function is to derail and disarm struggles for liberation, depriving communities of capacities for self-organization and autonomy, and delivering people into to the electoral machine. NGO’s are not in the business of dismantling settler colonialism, capitalism and white supremacy; they are in the business of subjugation.

This space serves as a critical resource for resisting the intensifying NGOisation of daily life. It will collect analyses, case studies and reports that track the politics of liberal, western NGOs and their impacts, and offer specific examples of struggles beyond and against powerful NGO lobbies.