Lessons from the Furnace: Taking stock at Red Braid’s first anniversary
We are publishing some of the strategy documents that came out of Red Braid’s 2021 Winter Assembly in February, which also marked the one-year anniversary of being Red Braid Alliance for Decolonial Socialism. Some of you will remember that we were formerly called “Alliance Against Displacement,” a name that began to feel limiting as our revolutionary politics were developed, clarified, and deepened through struggling alongside Indigenous and working class fighters in street communities and low-income tenant communities, many of whom have joined Red Braid in the past year.
Red Braid’s first year was demanding, testing, triumphant, and clarifying. We threw ourselves into supporting the Indigenous-led movement to #ShutDownCanada, started two squats to defend street communities from the threats of Covid-19, launched an overnight warming centre at our Surrey office, and mourned the deaths of comrades and kin murdered by colonial genocide, drug poisoning, and institutional supportive hosing. Our strategy of braiding struggles against capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism together and our vision of decolonial socialism formed a rudder steering us through the tidal waves of history.
At our Winter Assembly, we reflected on our successes and failures in implementing resolutions we developed in the summer of 2020, and articulated visions and strategies for the coming year. Among the strategy documents, there are a number of theoretical pieces that expand on Red Braid’s vision of multiplicity.
“In Defence of Indigenous Space: Problems of braided unity in theory and practice” emphasizes the centrality of Indigenous sovereignty to our organizational structure and politics, arguing that Indigenous fighters wage a struggle that is both decolonial and anticolonial.
“Abolish ‘the homeless’ from autonomous working class and Indigenous struggle” argues that homeless people are not an “identity” or special group that is fundamentally different from housed people, which is a narrative created by middle class workers to manage and contain street communities.
“Anti-racist struggle: In defence of autonomous struggle” and “No War on China” argue that any attack on Canadian capitalism must also wage war on imperialism and white supremacy.
“Fighting oppressive power along the continuum of harms” speaks to our practices of accountability and transformative justice, and our commitment to rooting systems of dominating power out of our group.
If 2020 foreshadowed what the next decade of revolutionary struggle will look like, then there’s no time to rest: we want to make revolutionary politics available to subaltern Indigenous and working class fighters in struggle, who we see as the agents of revolutionary change today. If these visions and strategies feel relevant and useful to you, let us know! And if they don’t, we’d like to hear about that as well.