Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

From an Alley to Unist’ot’en: Solidarity

The alleys of so-called Montreal (aka Tio’tia:ke) are a special joy, even in the dead of winter and capital/state-fueled climate catastrophe. They are spaces where people engage in decommodified life of their own joyful determination, whether x-country skiing or walking dogs or making mischief. They serve as some sort of back-alley commons, a shared secret wink, a getaway route, a way to avoid the society of the spectacle. They are, of course, also the product of years and decades and centuries of repetitive theft, not least of by robbers such as (settler) colonialism — ongoing still.

In a far-off place, Unist’ot’en, that also somehow feels near and dear to hearts here, if the two solidarity demos in Tio’tia:ke are any indication, police are menacing against multigenerations of people who never ceded their lands and are trying hard to never cede their lifeways, tied inextricably to that land. Pipelines try hard to snake through lands and waters, including across the lands and waters of my home base, so-called Michigan, to gobble them up for profit. These pipelines care naught for spaces where people joyfully and collectively self-determine, nor whether land and water remain life, nor whether humans and so many other nonhuman inhabitants of our home called earth will survive to see seven generations more.

Tio’tia:ke’s alleys, contradictory built ecosystems as they may be, still allow for things that can’t happen in much of the rest of the city, such as this large, lovely, freshly wheat-pasted #ArtOfResistance saying “fuck you” to pipelines but also, implicitly, love to Unist’ot’en — as if the alleys are mighty rivers flowing across Turtle Island to bring solidarity.

#NoPipelines #NoConsent #NoTrespass #Unistoten #Wetsuweten #FuckTransCanada #FuckEnbridge #ShutDownCanada #AntiColonialStreetArt #WaterIsLife

(street art by @zola_mtl spotted in the wee early hours)


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This entry was posted on January 10, 2019 by in Dispatches from Rebellious Spaces, Uncategorized.
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