Updated: Jan 3, 2019

Starting with papal division of the Americas, settler colonial law has for the past 500 plus years laid the foundation for every interaction between European settlers and their colonial subjects. Every decision (legal, cultural, political, economic) made today by settler society concerning/impacting Xicanx/Indigenous people is made based in part on the perpetuation of the colonial state through settler law.

Accepting this viewpoint can aid Xicanx/Indigenous people in uncovering and seeing for themselves how the violence inherent in each decision (legal, cultural, political, economic) upholds the rule of colonial setter law. From the moment of contact between European and Mesoamerican civilizations the struggle for control has been founded primarily in European settler colonial law.

One question facing Indigenous peoples today is their continued national submission to the letter

and spirit of European colonial settler law. The world wide hostile takeover of global chattel capitalism (wage slavery) as expressed through the international juridical colonization of the United States and Europe is just one device to stop the growth of alternative systems (legal, cultural, political, economic) of power among colonized and third world people.

Militarily, modern counterinsurgency (COIN) theory, which is rightly understood as a legal intervention into a legal crisis (insurgency), is premised for public consumption on the winning “hearts and minds” but the end goal is firm: reinforce and shore up within the average citizen belief in the strength of a civil government, which represents the legal, cultural, political, economic status quo – COIN, first and foremost, supports/repairs/reinforces the legal structure that perpetuates the hegemony of the state. Most people see this legal intervention (COIN) as a thing that operates solely within an active theatre of war. However, NGO’s funded by US State Department grants to promote ‘democracy’ around the world are good examples of economic and cultural low intensity COIN.

In my opinion, contemporary counterinsurgency is theorized and implemented as a juridical attempt to reinscribe the mythology of an amaranthine colonialism (European/ United States). The notion of perpetual war, introduced by the Bush II regime as an extra-state preemptive legal maneuver, has struggled around the world to create the impression armed struggle cannot overthrow legal, cultural, political, economic imperialism solely based on the asymmetrical nature of contemporary western warfare.

The inevitability of armed struggle as an inescapable fact of national liberation has its foundation in the same legal framework that works to maintain empire. To change the world to establish a new way of dealing and interacting – acts of violence are required, as the current ruling power will never and relinquish control without total legal, cultural, political, economic war.

The above ideas are some of the problems confronting Indigenous people who believe they are working for national liberation, a return to history, the end of settler colonialism. Is it possible to free ourselves from the restraint of law and the state? The role of anti colonial resistance as liberator is one role that must be thought through and critically analyzed if Indigenous people are to mount a total legal, cultural, political, economic war.

If the purpose of COIN is to preserve the state, then the purpose of anti-colonial resistance is to dismantle the existing settler colonial state by overthrowing settler colonial law and replacing it with a state controlled by the formerly colonized who found a new law allowing a return to history through national identity. Attacks on ethnic studies (AZ HB 2281), taking passports from US citizens, criminalizing entire indigenous populations through propaganda, criminalizing appearance (AZ SB 1070), creating gross rationalizations for systemic intergenerational poverty are all manifestations of pre-emptive war extra-state warfare.

In other words: counterinsurgency = colonization.

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Updated: Jan 14, 2019

By Alex Yanish

On December 1, at nine in the morning the Coalition Against the Militarization of the Border met with allies at the Swan entrance to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson Arizona to protest US military forces at the Southern US Border, some of which fired “less-than lethal” projectiles at children and their families attempting to seek asylum outside Tijuana the week prior.

All four corners of the intersection were occupied with protestors chanting and holding homemade signs and printed signs; “Troops off the Border” among others. A man with a mobile sound system was allowing anyone to speak across the street but only one counter protesters attempted to speak and he was shouted down by a group of young adult protestors.

At 10:30 a number of local activists and organizers spoke through a PA to traffic and the small audience of military watching from the base, describing their work, the horrors of the U.S. military intervention on the border and what could be done by the 100+ people occupying the sidewalk. Police were present within 25 feet of the speaker and around 20 military personnel stood and watched from behind barbed wire.

Just before 11 am the announcement was made that the organizers were planning to take the intersection and within minutes there were over 50 people blocking the three crosswalks non-adjacent to the base. The police were quick to try to route cars through the turning lane people moved their bodies to end this. People in their cars tried to push their cars through yelling expletives and honking as they were stuck behind the collective protestors. The protesters held, chanting “no justice no peace,” “Troops off the Border, Defy Trump’s Orders” “No Hate No Fear Immigrants and Refugees are Welcome here.”

Around 11:15 police gave up negotiating cars through and had people turn around on the street, or driving over the center median, the intersection was held till 11:25 when the protesters collectively walked down the middle of Swan Road with no cars in sight.

The organizers and speakers associated with the original action were the Alliance for Global Justice, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Jewish Voices for Peace, LUPE, Nuclear Resister, People’s Defense Initiative, School of the Americas Watch, Southern Arizona National Lawyers Guild, Tucson Anti-War Committee, and a new media collective pushing indigenous, queer and women’s voices called Hecate Society.

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