Sins Invalid September Sustainer Drive

posted on September 4th, 2017

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A glowing brown God/dess Figure reaches out their hand for a bearded Black man’s beautiful trusting face.]

September marks our second annual Sustainer Drive, and we invite you to join us by donating any amount, at any frequency, which makes you a part of what keeps our doors open and our wheels turning. Just click here.

You know that Sins Invalid fuels Disability Justice by creating culture-shifting performance and media, by offering free creative workshops to people with disabilities, and by offering political education resources like the 10 Principles of Disability Justice and the  Disability Justice Primer. You may also know that this year we have partnered with San Francisco Women Against Rape to support disabled survivors of sexual assault, and that we have been working to center voices of queer disabled women of color in national conversations about police violence, white terror, health care and survival in the Trump era.

We aim to reach 100 new Sustainers this month, to continue making offerings that bring revolutionary crip consciousness into the world in ways that are ongoing, accessible, and transformative. Sign up now, and help spread the word:

https://www.flipcause.com/secure/donate/OTMxNQ==

Resisting White Terror

posted on August 16th, 2017
Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 1.35.39 PM

As an organization led by disabled people of color and queer/gender non-conforming people with disabilities, Sins Invalid remembers that from coast to coast to state derived border and beyond, we are living on Native people’s land, stolen through white terror. Our family stories and our beloved ancestors hold the memory that this nation state was founded in the bloodied bodies of enslaved African and Native communities, killed through white terror. All of our senses tremor in the knowledge that today’s police are descendants of “slave patrols” whose job was to violently repress Black people’s resistance to slavery through white terror. We connect the ableist attempts to force us into institutions to the ongoing police brutality and murder of Black and brown disabled people as components of white terror, which views us as pathology and “less than”.

And it is from this position that we call in our comrades to RESIST WHITE TERROR as embedded in ableism, the medical industrial complex and the prison industrial complex. We call in our comrades to RESIST WHITE TERROR that underlies this settler-colonial nation and attacks Native communities. We call in our comrades to RESIST THE WHITE TERROR displayed in Charlottesville this past weekend.

And we call in our comrades to stop calling Neo-Nazis and white supremacists/white nationalists “crazy”, “psychotic” or “stupid.” We call in those who have derided James A. Fields, the white nationalist driver who murdered Heather Heyer, because of his possible psychiatric history. Do not confuse disabled people with people who are ideologically committed to hate.

We offer our gratitude to the anti-hate protesters who risked their lives in Charlottesville and elsewhere to defend the lives of Black, Brown, Native, Jewish, Queer, Non-Binary, and Disability communities against white terror.

We send love and support to Heather Heyer’s family and friends, knowing the pain and grief associated with losing someone we love.

We send love and support to those who were injured and traumatized by the violence that killed Heather. And we send protection and honor to all those who are “too slow,” “too fat,” or “too anything” to get out of the way when hate comes barreling at them. We hold ourselves as powerful and beautiful and deserving in our fat, slow, deliberate movement.

We send love and more love to our disabled siblings, our queer fam, our immigrant families, our non-binary niblings, our fat beloveds, our brown, Black and indigenous loves, our Muslim kin, our Jewish comrades, all of our non-Christian communities, as well as our white fam, our able bodied fam, our cis fam, our Christian fam, sending love knowing that our ride-or-die love for each other will strengthen our resistance against white terror in all of its forms. We know the only response to terror is love.

We love us.

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Groups and Individuals to support:

Black Lives Matter, Charlottesville, dispersing funds for mental health support for folks in trauma

This page includes Black Lives Matter and a number of other fundraisers that can use your support

Here is a fundraiser for Deandre Harris who was beaten by white supremacists (warning: graphic photo)

Here is a fundraiser for medical bills for one of the victims of the vehicular assault

More Resources:

Vice News (Content includes vile language and behavior)

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide from the Southern Poverty Law Center

The Whiteness of Police by Nikhil Pal Singh

Analysis of events by Ta-Nehisi Coates on Democracy Now

Learn about the direct action of the Deep Abiding Love Project

Poem of Cosmic Accountability from Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ website:

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Sins Invalid is a disability justice-based performance project centering disabled artists of color and queer / gender non-conforming disabled artists. Our work celebrates the embodied humanity of disabled people, with the understanding that all bodies live in a multitude of very real social, political, economic and cultural contexts.

Image by Micah Bazant

[image: white text on red background reads “WHITE SUPREMACY IS TERRORISM”]

Sins Invalid Statement on Police Violence, republished in memory of Charleena Lyles, Rest in Power

posted on June 20th, 2017

We are horrified and heartbroken by the death of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant Black mother with a mental health disability, who was killed by Seattle police in her own home on Sunday, June 18, 2017, after calling to report a burglary. Charleena was murdered in front of her children, one of whom has Down Syndrome.

In outrage and solidarity, we offer the Sins Invalid Statement on Police Violence, originally released on Thursday, September 4th, 2014, and republished in the Disability Justice Primer, October 2016.

[Image description: Black and white pencil drawing of a Black woman with long hair, looking directly at the viewer. Text at the top says "Charleena Lyles" in bold black letters. Text at the bottom says: "#SayHerName, Black Disabled Lives Matter, Black Mothers Matter"]

[Image description: Black and white pencil drawing of a Black woman with long hair, looking directly at the viewer. Text at the top says “Charleena Lyles” in bold black letters. Text at the bottom says: “#SayHerName, Black Disabled Lives Matter, Black Mothers Matter”]

Sins Invalid is a disability justice-based performance project centering disabled artists of color and queer / gender non-conforming disabled artists. Our work celebrates the embodied humanity of disabled people, and we understand all bodies live in a multitude of very real social, political, economic and cultural contexts.

As an organization led by disabled people of color and queer / gender non-conforming people with disabilities, we live with high rates of state violence, from forced institutionalization, to ongoing police brutality and the murder of Black and brown disabled people.

We witness the horror of a deadly chokehold placed on Eric Garner, a Black man with multiple disabilities, by the NYPD. Our hearts break for Kayla Moore, a fat black schizophrenic trans woman suffocated by police in her home in Berkeley, after her friends called the police for help. Similar to Eric Garner, Kayla’s killers tried to blame her death on “obesity.” We hear the cries of Ezell Ford’s mother when she realized that her son with mental health disability was shot by LAPD while walking home.  We stand with Lashonn White, a Deaf queer Black woman who was running toward police for safety, and instead tased by police and jailed for three days without access to an interpreter.  We embrace the memory of Victoria Arellano, an under-documented transwoman living with AIDS, who died in an ICE facility in Los Angeles as a result of being denied medical care. We feel rage with the family of Kajieme Powell, a Black man with a mental health impairment, who was shot by St. Louis police within seconds of their arrival, for stealing two sodas and a package of pastries.

We know that modern day police forces are direct descendants of the “slave patrols” employed to police and control the bodies and labor of enslaved African people and violently repress their resistance to slavery. We recognize that Black and brown people with disabilities are pipelined from “special education” to incarceration of one form or another.

We acknowledge that disabled people who are Autistic, who are Deaf, who live with mental health impairments, or cognitive impairments, epilepsy or movement disorders, are at highest risk of being assaulted by police, and that this is deeply compounded when we are further marginalized by homelessness, transphobia, and white supremacy.

We do not see training as a viable solution, since it leaves intact the fundamental belief of the police that their purpose is to “control the situation.”  As people with disabilities, our bodies and minds are not controllable and cannot always comply — this must be understood.  Our bodies and minds are not criminal.  We are unique and we celebrate our complexities.

We strongly oppose Urban Shield and all programs that seek to militarize police departments through paramilitary training and military equipment, as they serve to further dehumanize communities of color and poor and working class communities as “domestic enemies.” Increased militarization of the police leads directly to increased police violence, particularly against disabled people of color.

We grieve that people with disabilities have largely been ignored and dismissed as key leaders in resistance to state violence by the US Left, perpetuating the silencing of our stories and maintaining barriers to a united front.

It is within the context of disability justice that WE SUPPORT JUSTICE FOR CHARLEENA LYLES of Seattle, Washington.  It is within the context of disability justice that we hold true that ALL COMMUNITIES ARE VALUABLE, and that BLACK LIVES MATTER.

[Image description: Black and white pencil drawing of a Black woman with long hair, looking directly at the viewer. Text at the top says "Charleena Lyles" in bold black letters. Text at the bottom says: "#SayHerName, Black Disabled Lives Matter, Black Mothers Matter"]

Download the portrait of Charleena Lyles, created by Micah Bazant with Vilissa K. Thompson and Cyree Jarelle Johnson of Harriet Tubman Collective

For more information about Black disability justice, please read:

Disability Solidarity: Completing the “Vision for Black Lives” http://harriettubmancollective.tumblr.com/post/150415348273/disability-solidarity-completing-the-vision-for

Being a Black Disabled Woman Is An Act of Defiance: Remembering #KorrynGaines  http://rampyourvoice.com/2016/08/10/black-disabled-woman-act-defiance-remembering-korryngaines/

Black Cripples Are Your Comrades, Not Your Counterpoint  http://huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-cripples-your-comrades-not-counterpoint_us_589dbb37e4b094a129ea32b8

Black America is Hurting & Tired. White America, Do You Even Care?  http://rampyourvoice.com/2016/07/11/black-america-hurting-tired-white-america-even-care/

Honoring Arnaldo Rios-Soto & Charles Kinsey: Achieving Liberation Through Disability Solidarity https://medium.com/@talewis/achieving-liberation-through-disability-solidarity-64ba42c27191

#SayHerName #BlackDisabledLivesMatter#BlackMothersMatter #BlackDisabledParentsMatter #BlackDisabledWomenMatter #BlackLivesMatter

 

Image taken by Lisa Ganser at a vigil for Charleena Lyles, in Seattle, WA, 6/18/17. Image description: a sidewalk at night with multiple votive candles and tall candles illuminating warm light in the darkness. Signs and flowers are spread throughout the sidewalk. A chalk drawing of a heart with 'Charleena Lyles' in the center. One white poster says: "Black Lives Matter/People with Mental Illness Matter"

[Image description: a sidewalk at night with tea lights and votives illuminating warm light in the darkness. Signs and flowers are spread throughout the sidewalk. A chalk drawing of a heart with ‘Charleena Lyles’ in the center. One poster says: “Black Lives Matter/People with Mental Illness Matter.”]