Crossing the borders of struggles: In solidarity, in memory, with the Mapuche and Santiago Maldonado

The enslavement to capitalism occurs in multiple spaces and times.  If commodity production and the submission to money homogenises and deterritorialises, the reproduction of capitalist social relations distributes human populations across differential, hierarchical and conflicting geographies and histories.

What then is a “people united” against capitalism?  What sense can be made of a common, “revolutionary subject”, a subject self-consciously gathered from a dispersed multitude?  What brings together the struggles of the indigenous against dispossession, peasants against privatisation, workers against salary exploitation, debtors against domestication by credit, “minorities” against discrimination, the displaced against barriers and borders, city inhabitants against urban anomie, “individuals” against identity disciplines, and so on?

Were the squares of egypt’s cities in 2011 occupied by the same kinds of “social actors” as those that animated “Occupy wall Street“, or Hong Kong’s “Umbrella movement“?  Did the factory occupation movement of argentina, in the wake of the country’s 2001 crisis, find shared resonances and affinities with the native struggles of the Mapuche?  What unites palestinians, kurds, chiapas natives and other “peoples”?

The languages and practices of resistance cannot but be different.  And it is by no means obvious that they share common goals, or that they are even all describable as anti-capitalist.  Theoretically, some manner of making sense of these many struggles as part of the fabric of capitalism should be possible, thus in turn generating parallel, complementary and overlapping practices of resistance and creation.

The questions are in fact many, and without any pretense to answering all of them, and others, the conception of capitalism as the imbrication of relations of commodity production and social reproduction goes some way to putting the pieces of the social puzzle together.  If the spaces of salaried labour are contested spaces, those spaces and times that render salaried labour possible must also be encompassed by anti-capitalist politics.  How this is to be done cannot possibly be subject to any one single organisation or strategy; what is be done can only be thought through and carried out in diverse, open and militant experiments in non-capitalist forms of life.  And because resistance to salaried labour is but one dimension of capitalist oppression, the creation of non-capitalist ways of meeting “needs” through the constitution of differing social relations is as important as the struggle for “decent” conditions of labour.

The confluence of these different forms of struggle have always existed, though often buried beneath ideological blindness.

One such recent example is to be found in Santiago Maldonado’s engagement with the Mapuche native struggle and his subsequent murder by argentinian state authorities.  In solidarity with both, we share the recent video documentary, from Le oveja negra, entitled “With the rebels always!”, that speaks of this encounter between struggles.

This video was made one month after the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado in the hands of Gendarmería Argentina.

The lifeless body of Santiago was “found” on October 17 -78 days after his disappearance-in the Chubut River 300 meters upstream from the place where he was seen captured by Gendarmería, and in an area that had been raked in different occasions by those who carried out their search.

Facundo Jones Huala is still detained awaiting trial for extradition to Chile.
The persecution and repression of Mapuche communities in resistance continue to grow, while in the region dominated by the Chilean state the political prisoners reach thirty.

On November 25, 2017, in the territorial recovery of the Lafken Winkul Mapu community, in the vicinity of Villa Mascardi, Río Negro, Rafael Nahuel was shot dead in the back in an attempted eviction by the Argentine Naval Prefecture.

Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel live in the struggle!
Freedom to Facundo Jones Huala!
Terrorist is the State!

(For more a more detailed account of the Santiago Maldonado case, click here.  See also the spanish language site, Justicia por Santiago Maldonado.)

This entry was posted in Commentary, Film and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.