I cannot stress how painful it is to see African-American freedom activists support Chinese fascist projects and engage in genocide denial. We have to accept the fact that alt-imperialism under leftist aesthetics is here to stay and fight it with everything we have.
And to think it was another African American human rights scholar, Gay McDougall, who first directly challenged China on the existence of its internment camps in 2018 at UN CERD and forced China to do damage control with her courageous stance.

Painful, painful, painful.
And by *first* I mean first to do it publicly in an international UN forum.
What have these people done to deserve this type of gaslighting and violent erasure? Wanting to preserve their language, culture, and religion? Wanting to be free from mass incarceration and surveillance? Wanting to reunite with their families?
Its just devastating. It makes me cry sometimes. They just want what you want, what everyone wants. For their humanity to be respected. Why is that so offensive?
And as sick as it is, I get why Chinese nationalists would want to do this - they benefit from settler colonialism, police state, racial capitalism, technologies of biopower.

But for tankies, there is no benefit. It is just harm for the sake of harm.
I see this post starting to get weaponized against Black activists in general which is highly concerning and necessitates clarification. We should absolutely support the Black liberation movement and fight anti-Black racism everywhere because it is right and just. Period.
My point was that in terms of subjectivity, it *hits* different to see Black liberation activists repeat points to justify or deny mass incarceration and ongoing crimes against humanity against Uyghur and other Muslim groups in China.
The reason being that Black liberation movements, for decades and even centuries, have been such a beacon of hope for those around the globe fighting against oppression and for freedom.
Obviously, folks can and should ask questions to learn more, try to test arguments that are floating around in the discourse.

- What is the evidence for this claim? (satellite imagery, Chinese government procurement papers, internal memos, direct reporting, witness testimony)
- Why is this happening? (historicization of the relationship between the Chinese state and Turkic peoples in the northwest, financial incentives, nationalist projects, etc.)
But these questions should also be contextualized by understanding freedom of information and press in China ranks among the lowest in the world. It is difficult and risky and disincentivized to find details, which means that gaps in knowledge should necessitate
further demands to the State for greater, unhindered transparency, not to put the burden on oppressed activists to fight through surveillance, criminalization, and state violence to make each assertion "bulletproof". This is good faith inquiry.
Finally, if we were able to bridge the geopolitical divide between communities, imagine what the power of global resistance to the worst offenders of racist mass incarceration could look like. Would that project not be emancipatory?
I've started to get an uptick in threats of harm from tankies, so for my own mental health I'll stop here. But I still believe in the power of global solidarity against racism, against prisons, against police.

Have a blessed day.

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More from @InitialVW

24 Sep

Right after @joshuawongcf finished a @PENamerica online activist discussion with #BlackLivesMatter co-founder @OsopePatrisse, he is arrested by Hong Kong police on trumped up charges.
I am literally shaking. This is what Joshua said four hours ago:

There is no place safe in this world for those who oppose police brutality and state violence.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
Will be live-tweeting @PENamerica's fascinating activist exchange between @joshuawongcf and @OsopePatrisse, moderated by @baratunde. Incredibly rare and interesting discussion, particularly as both the US and Chinese govts use each other's example to justify police crackdown.
@OsopePatrisse really happy to have a conversation in the US about protests globally, don't allow US tribalism to take over the discussion about who is fighting for their lives.

What is freedom?

I have been doing a deep-dive on Harriet Tubman, obsessed with underground railroad
Created not only a physical, but a spiritual underground railroad.

We know how, we can't be free in this country when white supremacy, patriarchy, sexism exist.

For me, freedom looks like a world without prisons, cops, courts - as an abolitionist.
Read 44 tweets
19 Sep
13. Still, this should be enough to refute the assertion from Iacobucci that there was no offer on the table for Valentina. This assertion is, at the very least, a serious mischaracterization, at the most, an outright and deliberate falsification.
14. The other supplementary claims made by the Dean is that no offer was made because of "legal constraints" and "timing needs". These will be addressed together because they are relate to one another.
15. The legal constraints argument refers to the fact that Valentina is based in Germany and therefore there would some immigration and work hoops to jump through.

Without giving away too much information however, all three of the final round interviewees were based outside Cda.
Read 33 tweets
19 Sep

1. I had hoped that on Friday, @UTLaw and @UofT leadership would begin in good faith addressing concerns around abuse of process and improper political influence in the IHRP director hiring process.

Instead, they have gone in the opposite direction.
2. As a result, I feel ethically compelled to speak again. I resigned partially so that I *could* speak.

I will directly address:

(a) Claims made by Dean Iacobucci on a Thurs letter to faculty
(b) Statement made Fri by Kelly Hannah-Moffat, @UofT VP HR & Equity
3. Let me contextualize my statements with a few important observations.

Ed Iacobucci barely interacts w/ IHRP. A telling indicator is despite being one of only two full-time staff, I have not had *one* direct interaction, physical or digital, with him in 15 months of work.
Read 11 tweets
18 Sep
As some of you may have heard, as one of the current staff of the @IHRP_UofT, I sent my notice of resignation to the Faculty on Wednesday.

I was also one of the three members of the hiring committee for the director.
I did not want to resign given ongoing projects on media freedom, protest rights, and migrant rights I was working on, but when it became clear the admin would not reverse course on their disqualification of @ValentinaAzarov, our consensus candidate, there was little choice.
I will have more to say soon, but I share the concerns of the community surrounding abuse of process, lack of transparency, violation of procedural fairness, and lasting harm to academic freedom and freedom of expression.

Thanks to those who have supported the IHRP in this time.
Read 7 tweets
16 Sep
Seems like ppl are actually confused about why I would say there is pro-Palestinian lobbying in Washington. I thought it would be an uncontroversial statement, but I was wrong.

Because the US is funding the primary aggressor in the region, this lobbying is mainly defensive.
I mean here is but one example of tips to lobby Congress from a pro-Palestine position and a set of ongoing campaigns. This is why I thought the typology of *what people lobby for* is helpful rather than say all lobbying is bad.

The discourse is quite revealing in how many Western leftists really don't understand how foreign policy works at all. Like not even in terms of taking and defending a principled position but rather fundamental 101 stuff.
Read 4 tweets

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