Who we are and what we want
Red Braid Alliance is a revolutionary working class and Indigenous organization active on lands occupied by British Columbia, Canada.
We practice and advocate for a strategic unity between Indigenous peoples fighting for sovereignty through dismantling colonialism, the national struggles of peoples around the world against imperialism, and the working class for worlds without capitalism.
We test our politics through practices of politicizing community survival struggles, political education, protest, and direct action.
We prepare to take power away from capitalists and colonizers by increasing the autonomous power of communities where we are, as part of the insurgent working class and Indigenous peoples’ movements of the world.
While our communities may rely on the scarce resources offered by the state as a matter of survival, we fight to abolish police and prisons and for community control over social wage institutions. Through our struggles we create autonomous supports and transformative justice that help us heal, care for ourselves, and build the power to collectively strike at the roots of our shared trauma, alienation, and despair.
We fight for multiple worlds where production serves the needs of our communities, and where the free, full, creative, development of each person is the responsibility of all.
Our vision: Indigenous and working class people unite!
Colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism are destroying our communities and the nonhuman world. These three processes confront our communities differently, but each depends on the other for the sustenance of the global capitalist system.
Colonialism attacks Indigenous economies, land relations, and ways of being in an ongoing, genocidal war waged by occupying nation-states and settler civil societies, including those closest to us – Canada and the USA.
The global machinery of capitalist production, exploiting and alienating workers in Canada and around the world, is fed by imperialism, including colonial land theft, producing unprecedented luxury and scarcity, comfort and environmental destruction, free choice and desperate need.
Imperialism is the arm that reaches around the world, smashing through national boundaries to steal land wealth and labour power and impose commodities markets with the violence of military invasion and extortionist treaties and trade agreements while enforcing a white supremacist border around Euro-America. Our struggle must, therefore, be global: we fight this triumvirate all at once or not at all.
Indigenous revolution against colonialism is our full national assertion of sovereignty. As Indigenous nations exercise distinct cultural and economic practices, we refuse colonial governments and economies. As urban Indigenous people who have been displaced from our traditional territories, we exercise land relations and stewardship by healing, building, and defending our communities, homes, and spaces against colonial forces that seek to assimilate or annihilate us. From our strategic position at choke points in the flows of global capital, our blockades and disruptions are practices of Indigenous ways of being and relating that work to dismantle the settler colonial country of Canada.
Our decolonial socialism is the practice and defence of Indigenous nationhood as separate centres of gravity, politically independent from settler colonial nation states, taking back sovereign Indigenous land and being.
National revolution against imperialism is the defence of the sovereignty and organic political processes of the countries of the global south against domination, exploitation, invasion, and military occupation by the armies and trade syndicates of the global north. Red Braid seeks alliances with the Indigenous, peasant, and working class protagonists of national liberation globally, but when the struggle for national liberation presses the poor into coalition with an oppressed nation’s bourgeoisie, we support that whole national struggle for the defeat of imperialism.
Our decolonial socialism joins with the global south for the defeat, in battle or trade war, of Euro-American national power in any imperialist conflict.
Indigenous peoples, the working class, and nations fighting imperialist aggression are the protagonists in our braided struggles against colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism. We believe that only through a principled alliance between Indigenous peoples and the international working class can we overcome our powerful enemies to realize a better world for future generations. Beyond colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism, working-class and Indigenous peoples will continue our cooperation through principles of consent and relationality, to rebuild multiple worlds where our full, creative selves and communities can flourish.
White abolitionist multiplicity
Both Indigenous and working class communities hold within them tremendous multiplicity. Indigenous nations are diverse in economic structures, cultures, languages, and worldviews. Working-class communities vary along lines of culture, race, nation, gender, and sexual orientation. White supremacy is a global structure of power created and reproduced through colonial and imperial conquest that will end only when racialized people free ourselves from colonial and imperial bonds. Whiteness also corrupts the humanity of white people by enticing us into a system of power where our racialized relationships with others are characterized either by our dominating violence or our patronizing deference and deferral.
While we reject the flattening universals of western European epistemologies – including socialist ones – we believe that the vast majority of humanity shares interests that only a strategic alliance against the white supremacist, colonial, capitalist, imperial apocalypse looming on our horizon could make real. In this struggle, our multiplicity is our strength. We organize to create a world that can hold the multiplicity of our differences and nurture reciprocal relations with the nonhuman world.
Feminism is not included alongside the “braided” struggles against colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism because we see gender power as a wire within each cable, and as the intimate power that completes the circuitry between them. Gender power encompasses the patriarchal and colonial processes that code, sculpt, and police us into a gender binary.
Colonialism attempts to eradicate myriad Indigenous gender relations, which pre-exist Anglo-European invasion, and replace them with a system that mirrors the patriarchy that was instrumental in developing capitalism in Europe. Gendered violence against Indigenous people is always colonial: the murder and disappearance of Indigenous women is fundamental to settler colonialism’s drive for domination, and police violence and mass incarceration are the Indian wars of the everyday, attacking Indigenous men, women, and two-spirit people in distinctly gendered ways.
Settler colonial capitalism also kills and exploits non-Indigenous women. Working class women are gendered to perform over and above their class exploitation in the waged workplace: their emotional, sexual, and domestic labour are also exploited through unwaged social reproduction work in the nuclear family. While the professional middle class has integrated white women into its lower rungs, the rule of the public-private gender divide continues to defer power to men. Men, including working class men, express their gender power through the abuse, sexual harassment and assault of women and those of us outside the gender binary or compulsory heterosexuality in the male-dominated public, and in the nuclear family home.
Imperialism steers gender power, including its refusals, into national containers that involve people oppressed by patriarchy in a defence and elaboration of the settler and imperial nation state. Canada ensures that there is room for white feminism and queer assimilationist politics that seek to carve out a space for us in the project of imperialist nation-building.
Against colonial and capitalist patriarchal hegemony, we fight for women, trans, two-spirit, and gender non-conforming people to thrive in a world that honours multiple genders and kinship relations.
Organization: from non-tendency to new tendency
Our organization does not ascribe to any single revolutionary lineage. We think of Red Braid as an inheritor of all revolutionary anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist experiences and projects of the past, including struggles for Indigenous sovereignty, national liberation from imperialism and colonialism, and a wide range of socialist, communist, anarchist, and feminist experiments. We strive to approach our history with openness and curiosity, always seeking to learn from the victories and advances, and mistakes and failures of comrades and fighters, past and present.
We need organizations that build the power of movements by analyzing our experiences, creating and recalling histories, and coordinating self-defence actions within and toward the thinking-fighting-thinking work of developing and testing revolutionary decolonial socialist theory. Red Braid is one such organization.
We also need intercommunal networks that link groups and movements that are connected through shared commitments to essential political principles of fighting to end capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism and building autonomous Indigenous nationhoods and working class community power.
Neither Red Braid nor these informal revolutionary networks can be bound by a single political dogma, but neither can we be satisfied with an eclectic “non-tendency” solution, which can bury and mask important differences of politics and strategy. The task of 21st century decolonial socialism is to draw together, through our process of struggle and in communication with multiple pasts and in anticipation of many futures, a new political tendency.
To survive together in a time when reform is impossible, and to build revolutionary movements powerful enough to overthrow colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism, we need a revolutionary politics that provides relevant power to our everyday struggles, explains our suffering, and answers our dreams and desires. The power we build together will enable us to transcend the local conditions of individualized survival, seeding and sprouting the forms of our global revolutionary tomorrows.