Filler #3: Resisting Co-optation

Perspectives on respectability, power disparities within movements, and the whitewashing of struggle.

Filler #3, released Fall 2015. Print-ready PDF available HERE and alternate version HERE. When printing, remember to select “short-edge binding” and make sure that the option “fit image to paper” is selected, otherwise parts will be cut off.

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The Black Lives Matter Schism: Towards a Vision for Black Autonomy

Written by J. Northam
[Black Autonomy Federation // twitter @BlackAutonomist]

“‘Black Lives Matter’ should not be declared as an appeal to ruling power or racist white America to accept us as human. They don’t and they won’t. Our value in this country has always been directly proportional to the amount of profit we produce. With the advent of financial mechanisms that no longer rely on Black labor to produce wealth, we have now become disposable. The increase of extrajudicial murders by the state and relative impunity that racist vigilante murderers of our people seem to have are indicators of this. We say ‘Black Lives Matter’ as a reminder to us as Black people that our lives matter regardless if we’re accepted as human by white society or not, and is said as a declaration of resistance to our condition as beasts of burden for capital.”

Dangers of Funding

Written by Kai
[Filler Collective // AID-USAS Local #31 // Divestment Student Network // Pittsburgh Student Solidarity Coalition // Pgh Autonomous Student Network]

“Fuck respectability politics. Social and environmental justice will not be achieved by some suits in an exclusive boardroom meeting. If you don’t recall, that’s how we found ourselves in this mess to begin with. If you organize within a ‘professional’ or reformist or non-profit framework, you must also recognize the need for others to do revolutionary, explicitly anti-capitalist work. If you are a college student or otherwise not subject to the ‘real world’ like myself and still trying to figure out your place in activism or radical organizing, I urge you to think outside of the non-profit industrial complex and explore ways of living and working that stretch your imagination beyond existing neoliberal and capitalist structures. It can be done.”

Who’s Co-opting Whom?

Written by A. Sid
[Filler Collective // Students for Justice in Palestine // Pittsburgh Student Solidarity Coalition // Pgh Autonomous Student Network]

“After centuries of inadequate solutions to economic injustice, systemic racism, excessive militarism, and every other battle the left has fought and lost, our fear is that the system will embrace our cause with one hand and legislate it into irrelevance with the other. But when the people cry out for the destruction of the system itself, the political elite find themselves in a bind: either deny the people’s wishes and reveal their so-called democracy to be a sham, or accept and cede control over the American political process.”

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