Short Term: Establishing the Underground Railroad
Table of Contents
The process of escape and defense is an immediate imperative with strategic and ethical implications. Communities are being targeted with mass incarceration, ethnic cleansing, and deportation with the goal of creating a racially homogenous, white supremacist society.
The slave/prison complex is the foundation of the oppressive apparatuses from the plantation, to the prison, to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. Our first objective must be to liberate people from these complexes. People already flee captivity, but we ourselves have the capacity to get people out of the hands of the State. Whether people are in incarceration, detention, deportation, or subject to white supremacist/patriarchal violence we must create the networks for them to escape and live with dignity. It is our duty to bring this process to a halt, as soon as possible, by any means necessary.
We are calling on all militants who take up this call to actively assist people in this way. An action as small as bailing someone out of jail, halting an ICE raid, or hiding somebody who refuses to return to parole has a profound effect on a person’s life. For a more involved engagement, helping establish a network of safe houses, or establishing a neighborhood defense group against hate attacks or ICE incursions, can help contribute to a larger and more readily defensible underground railroad.
Potential immediate actions:
- Provide materials and resources for those fleeing captivity.
- Aid people crossing the border.
- Help establish a network of safe houses.
- Dismantle infrastructure used for an oppressive purpose.
- Make a bail fund.
- Set up a Rapid Response group of neighbors to stop ICE detentions.
- Help train Neighborhood Defense Units against hate attacks and police violence.
These are only a few of many possible interventions; the tactics are secondary to the outcome and certainly vary depending on location and resources. Generally, the abolitionist movement must do what it can to protect people who are hiding from the State, and to make it as difficult as possible for the State to continue its onslaught.
It is through this process that we must make self-defense and offensive action a focal point of our organizing.
For these actions to be successful, they must be organized entirely outside State apparatuses, and according to strict security measures. Due to this necessity, the networks and groups that arise from these activities, carry with them revolutionary potential. First, the underground railroad necessitates revolutionary defense. For example, people hiding immigrants in safe houses need protection from bigots and ICE. Secondly, offensive action becomes a focal point for organizing. If the State machinery can be halted first, then it cannot be used for its intended purpose. Finally, these projects are based on neighbors helping neighbors, not for any compensation, but for all the same reasons that create a strong community of resistance.
We first must make sure people can escape draconian institutions and then build towards autonomy with them so that they can continue to live outside reactionary State power. As people escape bondage we can begin to lay the foundations for a revolutionary project that can create an insuppressible counter-power.