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Solidarity with People of Colour Statement

As part of Arika’s beliefs and specifically in conjunction with our public programme we want to extend solidarity to people of colour via the following statement. Those most directly affected by a specific oppression are those best placed to develop methods to overcome it. Anti-racist movements in the UK and globally has suggested a variety of approaches to bring about an end to white supremacy. To further these approaches, we first advocate for:

  • Recognition that the social category, people of colour, is both a commonly used term and also a contested one which encompasses a great diversity of experience. A commonly used definition is: People of colour are people of South & East Asian, mixed, Romany, Black and Middle Eastern heritage and Indigenous peoples of Australasia, the Americas, the islands of the Atlantic & the Indian pacific – all of the many different peoples who are the majority of the world.
  • Recognition that other social categories of people are racialised (for example on a xenophobic or cultural basis) and that this meets and merges with the term people of colour in complex ways
  • Recognition that people of colour are subject to a greater amount of physical violence than white people
  • Recognition that people of colour are subject to a greater amount of sexual violence than white people
  • Recognition that people of colour are subject to a greater amount of physical violence and control from state agencies than white people
  • Recognition that people of colour are systemically disenfranchised from societal power, especially on a global scale
  • Recognition that caring work by people of colour goes largely unrecompensed
  • Recognition that people of colour are consistently economically devalued and impoverished
  • Recognition that people of colour are consistently depicted in racist and demeaning ways via mediums of public communication (e.g. film, advertising, visual art etc.)
  • Recognition that public healthcare frequently does not take the range of specific needs of people of colour into account or respect their bodily autonomy
  • Recognition that white supremacy does not necessarily prevent people of colour from having agency or abusing power over others and that whilst the greatest suffering is experienced by those who are directly oppressed, the oppressor too is damaged
  • Recognition that white supremacy places untenable and contradictory demands upon people of colour which contributes to a culture of internalised oppression and self-harm
  • Recognition that the direct and lateral communication by people of colour on the above areas of concern and many other matters is consistently invisibilised and actively eradicated from public view
  • Recognition that a vast expanse of culture, wisdom, art, joy, science and liberating insight has been generated by people of colour
  • Recognition that these achievements are sometimes subject to cultural appropriation and commercial exploitation by more dominant social groups

We recognise that the following reforms would reduce suffering and save lives:

  • Payment of reparations by wealthy nation states to those they colonised and enslaved
  • Cancellation of all international debts and an end to structural adjustment policies
  • Prevention of the promotion of fascist ideas and public gatherings #nopasaran
  • Defunding the police
  • An immediate end to the prison industrial complex to be replaced with more humane ways of collectively preventing acts of violence and abuse of power
  • Enforcement and/or development of legislation that aims to prevent discrimination, racist hate speech and physical racist attacks
  • Support for all victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and violence
  • Due diligence and investment of resources in investigating crimes against people of colour
  • A process of affirmative action to ensure an equitable involvement of people of colour in societal decision making and cultural processes and educational and employment opportunities
  • Affirmative action that involves the support of autonomous organisations/projects/culture/other provisions by and for people of colour
  • Active solidarity from other all other social groups with people of colour
  • Access to free universal healthcare of a high standard with an inbuilt commitment to the support of people of colour’s bodily autonomy
  • A societal wide commitment to reproductive justice (that includes an end to eugenic practices, non-consensual surgeries and experimentation)
  • Provision of a universal basic income
  • Provision of suitable, safe, healthy accommodation on a universal basis
  • An end to workplace expectations that entail working anti-social and/or long hours

The above listed reforms are both critical and yet inherently limited in nature. We are clear that for full liberation of people of colour to come about change on a profound, revolutionary, level is necessary. For such changes to occur would entail the end of white supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy. This would involve collective re-organisation of society on a mass level and equitable redistribution of resources and decision-making powers.

The process of struggling for these changes – both long term and immediate – is complex and takes place in challenging circumstances. We recognise that people of colour are best placed to develop effective strategies and guiding visions around the eradication of their oppression. Our intent is always to be especially mindful of the approaches and ideas recommended by people of colour. However, the process of ending white supremacy (recognising that its effects have accumulated over hundreds of years) and creating a society based on principals of respect for people of all races and cultures is inherently a matter of collective responsibility, to which we can all directly contribute. Within this collective movement white people have particular responsibilities to work to bring about the end of white supremacy. This entails acting in solidarity with people of colour, challenging the functioning of white privilege and dismantling racism within white social circles and institutions.

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