Thanks to all who came through on Monday for our Monthly Friends of the RYSE Dinner and Discussion. It was powerful to have you and reflect on the ideas around People's Justice that we've been learning about for years now from Elders in groups like the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) - and are bringing into our current work as part of PRALER and supporting the School is a Crime Scene campaign here in Stroud.
For us it was a first chance to fully name this strategy of bringing the community back together through posing collective questions of Justice. Questions such as: what do we as a community consider moral? what activities in our town are un-just? who is on the receiving end of this? how is it affecting us all? - and in answering such questions both see the dis-repair of our community and begin to chart a potential path towards reigniting our own People's Justice and the community repair that will come with saying:
'No, we aren't ok with these inequalities of power, wealth, etc. - we aren't ok with the mis-education our young ones are receiving - we aren't ok with a whole lot of what we're being forced to accept and so we're going to start organising for Justice. We're going to stop living by the rule of 'keep calm and carry on' and begin to build our own Ethic as a community through taking Action Learning steps to build the world we want to live in' - and that along the way, fingers crossed🤞, we repair our Peoplehood here in Stroud.💚✊
We used spectrum lines and people's experiences to discuss our ideas of Justice, Morality vs Legality and feelings of ownership over the rules that govern our lives. Remember these sessions are on the 3rd Monday of every Month at the awesome Trinity Rooms.
As such, the primary thing is to see People's Justice not as an idea or concept, but as a practical process of communities deciding 'how we do/don't want to live together and taking action to bring these Just ideals into reality'
A journey that we here in Stroud must of course contextualise within the very real crackdown on our legal rights to Protest - both through the Public Order Act and in courtrooms with wankers like Judge Silas Reid (he's refusing to let folks use climate change in their defence...). A crackdown that may be new and outrageous for us, but that has long been felt by poor and traveller communities here, and of course our wider Global Family for who our colonially applied 'so-called Justice' system has forever been a tool of domination - remember it was our Courts that said the Enslavement of our West Afrikan kin was legal and just...
And so while yes these current crackdowns are outrageous, maybe this is the moment to ever more clearly see that the Justice of the State has always been about maintaining the current order. That this is not out of character or even unexpected - but simply that the circle of control and domination is being widened as the Elites seek to hold onto power in ever more desperate times.
A clear-sight that would of course ask us again, as People of Conscience have been asked throughout history: whose side are we on? whose Justice will we work to maintain - the People's? or the Elite's? 🔥✊
And as further learning, we super recommend finding the time to listen into this Law as Resistance groundings we helped organise in October last year:
Bringing together our Elder Kofi and Aunty Esther from the Stop the Maangamizi we charge Genocide and Ecocide campaign, Uncle Caul from the campaign for Truth and Justice; and siblings Marina and Kobina from the Global Majority vs UK Government campaign - these are the folks we've been learning from over the past 4 years and have lifetimes of experience building the grassroots power in their communities that is the essence of People's Justice!