My friend Ronnie James shared some more of his ideas and excellent writing last night. I had not been following the actions on the streets of Des Moines closely, but will now.
He generously gave me permission to share remarks he made at the Teach-In:The Police State and Why We Must Resist. Of course I’m responsible for any errors in my own comments. There is so much in his recent writings that I want to focus on one part at a time. And introduce the work of Des Moines Mutual Aid that Ronnie works with.
Following is the beginning of Ronnie’s remarks at the Des Moines BLM teach-in. (More to follow).
The Police State and Why We Must Resist
Hello all, my name is Ronnie James, and I am here representing Des Moines Mutual Aid.
I am descended from numerous peoples of so-called north america.
At this point I am supposed to do a land acknowledgment, but I don’t like what those have been distorted into.
Instead I will say you are standing on and directly benefiting from stolen land, within a nation built by stolen bodies, which is the foundation of the police state that occupies these sacred grounds of the original peoples.
If you would like to know more of who’s land you are on, there are numerous resources. We are still here, and numerous, just ask us.
Police state represents where we are today, as police continue to kill unarmed black and other people of color. As police feel they can torture and kill even in front of crowds of onlookers.
In a discussion yesterday at Bear Creek Friends Meeting I spoke of my shock at seeing army vehicles and police in combat gear on the streets of Ferguson in 2014. Outrageously, this has become standard operating procedure.
The White House has been turned into a castle surrounded by walls. Which come to think of it, isn’t surprising with the president’s obsession with border walls on the southern border of the land called the United States. It’s ironic that Canada has placed restrictions on people from the U.S. trying to get into Canada. The president forced the removal of peaceful protesters from in front of the White House recently. He has made the development of this police state something he uses in political ads.
I have been involved in efforts to create land acknowledgment statements. The intent was to be a reminder of who lived on this land before it was taken from the original peoples by force, and by one treaty after another, each being broken after the White settlers took and colonized the land.
My experience in coming up with land acknowledgement statements proved to be difficult, as the history of who was on the land changed multiple times before the White settlers arrived. Ronnie doesn’t specifically state his objections, other than he doesn’t like what they have been distorted into.
I became uncomfortable with land acknowledgement statements because it seemed like people would create these statements, and then felt reading them was the extent of what they needed to do. Or as is often stated for other issues, they only made the oppressors feel good.
In the past Ronnie has mentioned his work with Des Moines Mutual Aid.
So I work with a dope crew called Des Moines Mutual Aid, and on Saturday mornings we do a food giveaway program that was started by the Panthers as their free breakfast program and has carried on to this day. Anyways, brag, brag, blah, blah.
So I get to work and I need to call my boss, who is also a very good old friend, because there is network issues. He remembers and asks about the food giveaway which is cool and I tell him blah blah it went really well. And then he’s like, “hey, if no one tells you, I’m very proud of what you do for the community” and I’m like “hold on hold on. Just realize that everything I do is to further the replacing of the state and destroying western civilization and any remnants of it for future generations.” He says “I know and love that. Carry on.”Ronnie James
Last night he told me more about Des Moines Mutual Aid.
It started as group of my friends working with the houseless camps some years back. It has now grown into a solid crew that runs a free food store started by the Black Panthers, still work with the camps, we organzied a bail fund that has gotten every protester out of jail the last few months, and we just started an eviction relief fund to try to get a head of the coming crisis, in cooperation with Des Moines BLM. We have raised $13,000 since Wednesday and the application to apply for the grants goes live this week.Ronnie James
Des Moines Mutual Aid
DSM BLM Rent Relief
August 23, 2020
The fund is up to $12,806 so far. Thank you everyone for participating! If you haven’t already, please share this page with as many people in your friend groups as possible! We need to get word out!!
Remember – stable housing = health and well being!
Every community needs this to thrive!!
Cash app $DSMBLMRentRelief
Evictions by the numbers in Polk County y’all-
305 – Completed evictions in August (more still coming)
70 – Scheduled for September (this number will grow)
$13,149 – Rent Relief Fund
453 – Rent Relief Page Followers
Our fund needs more page followers and money to make a difference in this unfolding tragedy!
Cash app $DSMBLMRentRelief
Des Moines Mutual Aid Bail Fund
The Des Moines Mutual Aid Bail Fund provides bail for protesters arrested in Central Iowa.
Call us or leave a voicemail to request aid!
Organized by Des Moines Mutual Aid, a group of street medics, social service providers, and community members.
Cop Myths – Cops work for the public good and support public safety
Truth – Cops protect wealthy interests.
This isn’t a new problem.
We have a some present examples.
Barrata’s owner called in the cops to stop protesters from exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech.
Please support the bail fund!
The ability to speak about the problems around us is worth fighting for!
Venmo: @DesMoinesMutualAid-BailFund https://communitybondproject.networkforgood.com/projects/103795-protester-support