Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Political-Ethical Stance For Decolonizing Movements by Chris Rodriguez

As a Decolonial movements seek to decolonize the Occupy Wall Street Movement(s), a political-ethical stance inspired by two already existing movements is worth sharing: (1) The ethics of decolonizing food movements rooted in indigenous principles. I originally published this piece with a generalization of this dynamic autonomous movement of movements by calling it the food sovereignty movement. After a series of critical reflection I engaged with my compaƱera on the differences between decolonization, self-determination and sovereignty I realized that the ethics discussed here go far beyond sovereignty. Taiaiake Alfred, Gustavo Esteve & Madhu Prakash offer important critiques on sovereignty and universal human rights (among other topics) that provoked me to clarify the language used in this piece. In a nut-shell, I am not here to promote sovereignty since it implies the reaffirming role and rule of Western thought, governance, state/nation-hood, and heirarchal control over the land. This is an offereing of some lessons i've gained in decolonzing movements and decolonizing food movements which are inclusive of all of our relations—people, plants, animals, water and the land.  It is how we defend and give voice to the land. (2) The Zapatista initiated Other Campaign. Because it is the one and only movement with the political trajectory and international solidarity that articulates the idea of creating another way of doing politics from below and to the left…in other words a decolonial political-ethical stance.  

These two movements of movements can teach us how not to be co-opted while providing us with guiding examples of how to stay on the course we are already on. That is, on the path of assembly and encountering the other—los de abajo—as we seek to decolonize. One way to actually experience decolonization live in the flesh is by eating a plant-based local indigenous diet that is ecologically and geographically specific to where one lives.