On a Cascadian Militia, a Response to the Cascadian People’s Brigade and Toward an Autonom
"To illustrate the failures, both contemporary and historical of the Canadian and U.S. occupation of the Bio-region of Cascadia, the CIP would like to submit the following list of grievances to illustrate our need for independence and self-sufficiency."
FROM THE CASCADIA INDEPENDENCE PARTY (CIP)
"To illustrate the failures, both contemporary and historical of the Canadian and U.S. occupation of the Bio-region of Cascadia, the CIP would like to submit the following list of grievances to illustrate our need for independence and self-sufficiency.
1. Federal laws affecting our bioregion are at the mercy of people who have never lived in, or even been to, cascadia. Thus we do not have proper representation in the legal court that dictates the society we supposedly are a part of.
2. Federal institutions such as the NSA routinely invade the privacy of Cascadian citizens, with no regard for state -or even federal- law. This wonton use of technology to spy on people, supposedly considered citizens under a 'democratic' government, lends only evidence to said government being the antithesis of a democratic society. The rise of the spy state is a clear attack on human rights, and the Federal government has done nothing to stop it.
3. The Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has effectively silenced the voice of the people in the United States Government; furthermore it has placed political power firmly in the grasps of the richest 1%, who have demonstrated zero regard for the common people.
4. Cleaner, renewable forms of energy production are currently available as viable options, but are flatly ignored for the sake of maintaining an economy that is putting 'we the people' on a suicidal path.
5. The beautiful and wild forests which cover the landscape of Cascadia have been routinely raped and plundered in the name of profits. Our fallen timbers are shipped overseas to nations like China, instead of going to benefit the people of the bioregion.
6. The native people of the Pacific Northwest have been done a great disservice by those people who claim to represent us, and they deserve much better. In order to address these problems, a political organization made by Cascadians, for Cascadians, must be created; with the goal of furthering our independence from this failed American system, and propping up the Cascadian values of democracy, privacy, individualism, and environmental consciousness.
With this in mind, the Cascadia Independence Party has been formed. Our goal is to return the political power of the bioregion to its inhabitants, and to undo the terrible wounds inflicted upon us that were mentioned above. To this end, the CIP has proposed this 10 point plan:
To this end, the CIP has proposed this 10 point plan:
1. Achieve a greater sense of Cascadian independence through peaceful and democratic means.
2. Loosen the stranglehold of corporate profits and out-of-state funding of elections by supporting legislation such as the 28th amendment that seeks to repeal Citizens United.
3. Abolish the surveillance state.
4. Support the improvement of our infrastructure with the creation of high-speed rail lines.
5. Create policy that addresses the disproportionate accumulation of wealth and creates the condition necessary for an economy in which all people have a fair chance for success.
6. Ensure the sovereignty of the indigenous population.
7. Lower the power of the Federal government in the region by breaking down Cascadian participation in the Federal process.
8. Bring to justice in a court of law politicians and people in power, both past and present, who have illegally obstructed the right of the people around the world to life liberty and pursuit of happiness.
9. Crowdsourcing governance based on the Icelandic model which makes representatives accountable by placing their political power in the hands of their constituents.
10. Removal of federal military instillations which jeopardize the region's right to self-determination.
By following these 10 guidelines, we seek to create a better, more democratic society within Cascadia and further serve as a model for other emerging community based societies. As human beings, we have the sacred right to choose how our society is run, and those that wish to challenge our right are enemies of free will. We shall firmly plant ourselves, like the mighty Douglas Fir which adorns our flag, against the ever rising tide of tyranny. Here and now, we make our stand.
On a Cascadian Militia, a Response to the Cascadian People's Brigade
We are pleased to say that the last article we published titled "Democratic Confederalism: How Cascadia Can Be Free" has been being widely circulated, and has received mostly positive feedback. We believe that the heroic struggle of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) and their democratic confederalist program will continue to inspire revolutionaries, not only in the present but for generations to come. As such, we're proud to help spread these ideas.
One of the more interesting responses to our work we've seen, is an article titled "Cascadian People's Brigade: Democratic Confederalism for Cascadia" that was recently posted on AnarchistNews.org as well as the Portland Independent Media Center, which republished our article on democratic confederalism for Cascadia and linked to a grassroots militia called the Cascadian People's Brigade. In this essay, we will be responding to the question of a Cascadian militia and be providing constructive feedback for our comrades in the spirit of furthering the revolution.
The Cascadian People's Brigade describes themselves as "... a bioregional community based organisation that is devoted to self-defense, community defense, and neighborhood security." Undeniably, self-defense is a subject that requires a serious approach if the revolution is to survive. We are reminded of the words of Murray Bookchin on popular militias:
Power is also a solid and tangible fact to be reckoned with militarily, notably in the ubiquitous truth that the power of the state or the people eventually reposes in force. Whether the state has power ultimately depends upon whether it exercises a monopoly of violence. By the same token, whether the people have power ultimately depends upon whether they are armed and create their own grassroots militia, to guard not only themselves from criminals and invaders but their own power and freedom from the ever-encroaching power of the state itself. Here, too, the Athenian, British, and American yeomen know only too well that a professional military was a threat to liberty and the state was a vehicle for disarming the people.
A true civicism that tries to create a genuine politics, an empowered citizenry, and a municipal economy would be a vulnerable project indeed if it failed to replace the police and the professional army with a popular militia - more specifically, a civic guard, composed of rotating patrols for police purposes and well-trained citizen military contingents for dealing with external dangers to freedom. Greek democracy would have never survived the repeated assaults of the Greek aristocracy without its militia of citizen hoplites, those foot soldiers who could answer the call to arms with their own weapons and elected commanders. The tragic history of the state's ascendancy over free municipalities, even the rise of oligarchy within free cities of the past, is the story of armed professionals who commandeered power from unarmed peoples or disarmed them presumably (as so many liberals would have it today) from the "hazards" of domestic and neighborhood "shootouts." Typically, this is the cowboy or "gunslinger" image of the "American Dream," often cynically imposed on its more traditional yeoman face.
We want to stress that the work this quotation is from, "From Urbanization to Cities", is an absolutely necessary read for any Cascadians who desire a democratic confederalist movement in our bioregion. It is in this sense outlined by Bookchin that we support the creation of a grassroots militia. A revolutionary project that lacked the means of defending itself would be a tragedy waiting to happen. That being the case, it is important that we look at our priorities as organisers.
While it is important that any revolutionary movement be able to defend itself, at this point in time, realistically, we do not have a revolutionary movement in Cascadia. While there are no doubt a large amount of Cascadians who support the idea of a democratic confederalist revolution, as it stands right now we do not have a revolutionary organisation actively organising assemblies in our communities. The Rojava Revolution would not exist if it were not for the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) organising grassroots assemblies and councils. Without TEV-DEM, there would be no revolution in Rojava for the YPG/J to defend. Similarly, in Cascadia there will be no revolution if we are not actively organising assemblies in our communities, networking them through councils, and gradually building dual-power.
Any revolutionary program must be able to defend itself. But more importantly, we need a revolutionary movement that would need defending. At this point in time, rather than organising a militia, it would be more beneficial if we spent our energy organising assemblies in our communities according to mass direct democracy, networking them through councils, and building community-based social infrastructure directly connected to and a part of a revolutionary organisation. Cascadia needs its own TEV-DEM. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, as revolutionaries we must study the works of Murray Bookchin and refine our understanding of revolutionary theory. Without an understanding of Bookchin's theory, we have no map to guide us in our revolutionary organising.
Towards a free Cascadia!
2. "From Urbanization to Cities" Pg. 243
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