Activist of Reaja ou Será Morta! (React or Die!)
Translation and slight adaptation by João Vargas
This action plan is meant as an instrument for those who want to break their inertia, protect themselves against the enemies of the people, believe in our collective capacity, and are frustrated with being at home just complaining in front of a screen. It can be used, shared, copied. It has 11 points, less than 600 words, written in the wee hours of the night.
1. Build a movement, collective, front, club or group with other people. A crowd makes a big difference if it is aligned with ideas to fight antiblackness, capitalism, sexism, transphobia, and all kinds of subordination and exclusion;
2. Do not accept a self-centered male leader or boss; believe in the vital leadership of women and gender nonconforming people, and the collective command based on real struggle. Beware of how your indignation and rage may be appropriated and domesticated, and how these deflate your dreams of freedom;
3. Surround yourself with courageous, willing, committed people. Be skeptical of university circles and people who seldom venture outside their zones of comfort and are ready to make excuses, apologize, and express guilt; be skeptical of social media activists. The good cop doesn’t exist. The police, as an institution with deep historical memory, are out to kill us. As is this world. Beware of the so-called ally who does not do legwork and who says they contribute to the struggle through theory and thought. Next thing you know, they have a dissertation, documentary, or book on your suffering;
4. Value the efforts of your parents, grandparents, and the members of your community; read a lot but don’t get enamored by the theorists, especially the nonblack ones. More important, know and become fluent in your Black theoretical and practical references; demand that the voices and theorizations of Black people are in your discussions, curricula, and worldview; work to strengthen your people;
5. Build libraries, cultural centers, movie clubs; take care of public spaces, build community gardens, these have great value and meaning;
6. Write poetry and tell stories about your family; sing, dance, draw and paint, art is fundamental to the process of political struggle and the world we want;
7. Love, date, have sex and be romantic with whomever you desire, no matter the gender and sexual orientation; learn about, overstand, celebrate Black love; respect, love, support, and join lesbians, gays, bissexuals, transvestites, trans and non-binary people; join their movements and welcome all these people into your movement; we need to fight against violence and all forms of privilege, as delicious as you may find them;
8. Send letters to prisons, welcome and support prisoners’ relatives and loved ones, and get involved in the struggle for prison abolition; create visiting, aid, and solidarity programs; study deeply the theories that explain incarceration and carcerality and do something with them;
9. Read, study, participate in training courses, help your peers to read, teach mathematics, teach how to grow a garden, how to engage the land. Propose curricula that make sense for you and your community. Welcome people in radically horizontal learning environments, these environments must be free of harassment, of terror, of hatred among us. And yet cultivate hatred against our enemies; dignified and informed hatred is fundamental. We don’t hate nonblack people; we hate antiblackness, and if you support and further antiblackness, then we hate you.
10. Take care of your body, mind, soul, and spirit; have moments of leisure, create spaces for dialogue. Spaces of struggle need to be healing spaces; learn from the culture of the children, playing is how they express themselves and this can help us. Roquinho from Belo Horizonte taught me: the child is the mother of the world. And he learned from Lidia Hortélio.
11. Finally, 2020 is the year to organize. Talk to people, help organize movements where we all meet on the streets, at the best times, taking care of spaces, his/herstory, the future and people; bring masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and other accessories to enable, protect, and impose our presence.
His/herstory is calling on us and you will be a fundamental part of it, so get ready now and embrace the momentary chaos and rage. Embrace the future and its possibilities!