Capitalism, No More: An excerpt from 'Red Skin, White Masks'

By Glen Coulthard
The New Inquiry

Red Skin, White MasksWhat the recent direct actions of First Nations communities like Elsipogtog in New Brunswick demonstrate is that Indigenous forms of economic disruption through the use of blockades are both a negation and an affirmation. They are a crucial act of negation insofar as they seek to impede or block the flow of resources currently being transported to international markets from oil and gas fields, refineries, lumber mills, mining operations, and hydroelectric facilities located on the dispossessed lands of Indigenous nations. These modes of direct action, in other words, seek to have a negative impact on the economic infrastructure that is core to the colonial accumulation of capital in settler-political economies like Canada’s. Blocking access to this critical infrastructure has historically been quite effective in forging short-term gains for Indigenous communities. Over the last couple of decades, however, state and corporate powers have also become quite skilled at recuperating the losses incurred as a result of Indigenous peoples’ resistance by drawing our leaders off the land and into negotiations where the terms are always set by and in the interests of settler capital.

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