Know your roots, Know your rights

Know your roots, Know your rights

‘I hate it when they tell us how far we came to be, as if our peoples history started with slavery.’ 

– ‘Leaving the past’, Revolutionary Vol.2, Immoral Technique


Policing in the streets, metal detectors, check points, being seen as commodities, from schools to prisons, it is not the way we are genetically prone to be.We didn’t always live this way. Indigenous people didn’t live this way. We exhibited more healing practices and were intergenerationally integrated by radical listening, respect from youth to elders and from elders to youth.

Knowing your roots is the necessary fundament to knowing your rights. Rights stem from laws created by man (those in power who benefit from the oppression of those individuals who are deemed insignificant for a “productive” society) and therefore are always changing. Next to learning the laws and our rights, it is crucial to know who we are as a people, to be aware of our rich history/herstory and how brilliant we were before this system of oppression. This way self-determination is restored and we (especially youth) feel a sense of worth in our communities.

The first step is knowing you have a voice, you can influence change and that it’s not a civil rights issue, it’s a human rights issue. During this workshop we will share simple and effective practices such as ‘know where you came from to know where you’re going’, ‘each one teach one’ and ‘cop watch’. We will unchain our imagination to go beyond what is expected of us when we react to state oppression, by covering the following topics:


What is the history of the nations before colonization? 

What is the history of slavery and how is it connected to today’s system of oppression? 

What are the strategies and tools that can be used effectively to combat these systems of oppression? 

What are alternative models to the prison system such as restorative justice and police - community accountability? 

Why is it important to understand the connections between the school to prison pipeline and the prison military industrial complex? 


For citizens and “illegal” citizens, especially youth,  who want to arm themselves with knowledge on the first steps to taking back their power from a repressive state. “Know thy self, know thy enemy, a thousand battles, a thousand victories ” – Sun Tzu.


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