REDNECK REVOLT ORGANIZING PRINCIPLES
The history of the working class is one full of resistance, collectively and individually, against the rich elite that hold power over all of our lives. From massive armed uprisings like the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, to the resistance to coal mining in predominately white rural Appalachia today, working people have united across racial and cultural differences to take back their power from the wealthy landowners, politicians, and bosses that have always upheld predatory economic, political, and social systems.
The history of the white working class is also one filled with collaboration with those same rich elite power holders. White working people have played the role of foot soldiers for the political and economic elite, participating in genocide and the enslavement of other peoples, and overall protectors of the ruling class. White working class participation in state and paramilitary organizations and formations like the Ku Klux Klan, the Minutemen, the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Council of Conservative Citizens has undermined the struggle for freedom among all people.
It is with these conflicting histories in mind that Redneck Revolt hopes to incite a movement amongst working people that works toward the total liberation of all working people, regardless of skin color, religious background, sexual orientation, gender, country of birth, or any other division that bosses and politicians have used to fragment movements for social, political, and economic freedom.
WITH THAT IN MIND, WE HAVE COMPILED THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES OF UNITY THAT DEFINE THE BASIS OF OUR ORGANIZING
WE STAND AGAINST WHITE SUPREMACY
The working class has a rich history of rebellion against tyranny and oppression. The white working class also has a long history of being the foot soldiers of genocide and oppression. In the periods before widespread adoption of white supremacist ideals, the white working class occasionally openly rebelled and found common cause alongside slaves, natives, and other people being attacked and exploited. In recognition of such bonds and cross-race unity amongst the lower classes, the rich created laws to favor white workers and servants, at the expense of workers and servants of color, to drive divisions between us. The relative privileges that white working poor have been afforded since that time have kept them protecting the rich while also keeping our communities impoverished and unstable. The entire working class will only see real political, economic, and social stability once we all abolish any allegiance to white supremacy, and stand for the same liberation for all people. Redneck Revolt feels that we have a duty and an obligation as freedom loving people to stand against the reactionary ideologies of white supremacy and white nationalism that menace communities of color and exert control over all working communities.
WE BELIEVE IN TRUE LIBERTY FOR ALL PEOPLE
Private property rights are not the basis of liberty. This false idea has put us in the position we are in. Liberty is based in the rights of all people to not be oppressed, exploited, attacked, or marginalized based off their race, gender, sexual orientation, religious practices, country of origin, or physical or mental abilities. The concept of liberty also affects our relationship to each other and to bosses and others who would exploit us of our labor. Our liberty is deeply rooted in the ability to not be coerced into making poverty wages while someone else amasses wealth on our backs and labor. Our communities, and not parasitic rich people, are entitled to all the wealth that we as workers produce.
WE STAND FOR ORGANIZED DEFENSE OF OUR COMMUNITIES
The concept of community is central to our goals and intentions, because it separates us from those who work only in defense of their immediate family, property, and possessions. We find that many movements upholding the concept of liberty do so only in an individualist mindset, which undermines the idea that liberty is something that all people are entitled to. We are convinced that the concept of liberty can not truly exist on an individual level alone, and that any class, race, or state construct that enslaves and oppresses anyone among us is a threat to the liberty of all of us. With that in mind, Redneck Revolt uses the term "community" intentionally to describe those who share the same material conditions with us; our neighbors, our family members, our friends, the people working alongside us. Working class neighborhoods tend to be the most culturally diverse, as well as precarious. Most of us are only one bad emergency away from disaster; a sustained layoff, medical emergency, or death in the family could take away everything we've worked for. In those situations, the people we turn to for support often have as little as us, but understand better than anyone how tenuous and important our support network is. That is our community.
WE ARE WORKING CLASS AND POOR PEOPLE
Those of us who have the luxury of being able to have a job must sell our labor everyday to make ends meet. For many, we live paycheck to paycheck, our lives filled with precarity and a lack of stability. Most of us are one catastrophe away from losing our homes or means of survival. Still others of us are not able to work or find work. We have been called “trash” by middle class and upper class people, especially by white folks. We are not professional activists, nor are we academics with textbook understandings of poverty or work. Those of us who are white have often been cast aside by more respectable white people who view us as nothing but embarrassments. Even while we have been marginalized and exploited for our labor and treated as expendable garbage, we have also been manipulated to act as the buffer between the rich white elite at the top and poor marginalized folks on the bottom. Redneck Revolt refuses to be that buffer class any longer.
WE ARE AN ABOVEGROUND MILITANT FORMATION
Redneck Revolt strongly believes in community defense, the basis of which must be meaningful involvement in our own communities, material support for other liberatory defense groups and survival programs, and an acceptance of the risk we take on when we commit to defending each other. Defense means more than just confrontation. Our relationships with our neighbors are strengthened by breaking bread together, knowing each other's families and struggles, and becoming accountable to one another. Most importantly, we are willing to take on personal risk to defend those in our community who live under the risk of reactionary violence because of their skin color, gender identity, sexuality, religion, or birth country. For us, that means that we meet our neighbors face-to-face, and stand alongside them to face threats whenever possible. We understand this means that we may also become targets ourselves and become known to their enemies, but we act always with the understanding that those who oppose liberty for all people are already our enemies. Power is built collectively through intentional relationships and networks with each other. The best security measures enable us to act militantly and from a position of strength, rather than preventing us from taking meaningful action.
WE STAND AGAINST THE NATION-STATE AND ITS FORCES WHICH PROTECT THE BOSSES AND THE RICH
Police, prisons, courts, artificial borders, and other systems of social control only exist to serve the rich. The nation-state project came into existence to protect the propertied classes and keep us working people poor and without power, often using varying types of standing armies to enforce laws which disproportionately impact the poor. We have no interest in ideological utopian governments- we do not seek to merely replace one set of politicians for another. We know that our answers will always come from a community level, where every person should be allowed to participate in making the decisions that affect their lives. We believe in community power and community rights over the rights of any government body. Redneck Revolt stands with working class people of every country of the world against our common enemy: the rich and powerful, and will not allow arbitrary borders or boundaries to prevent us from unifying with other working class people.
WE STAND AGAINST CAPITALISM
Capitalism is an economic system that methodically keeps the vast majority of people in the world impoverished while they labor to enrich a small minority of people. Since the very first arrivals of European settlers in what is now called the United States, the propertied classes established a serving class to maintain their power, and systematically murdered the native folks of this land for resisting their claim to ownership. We have nothing to gain by maintaining an allegiance to an economic system that has destroyed much of the natural world, committed countless acts of genocide, and ravaged our communities and natural resources in the name of profit. Our interests will never align with the interests of the rich. Redneck Revolt recognizes that we will always have more in common with other working people of all races and backgrounds than we could have with any rich person regardless of whether they share our same color of skin.
WE STAND AGAINST THE WARS OF THE RICH
Working class people have long been the fodder for resource wars that do nothing to protect us or keep us free, and instead only enrich the lives of politicians and rich people. We are funneled from under-funded schools into recruitment offices, especially since most of us grow up in cities and towns where job opportunities barely exist. Many of us have been deployed to countries all over the world, and returned home as shells of our former selves, while those who sent us to fight and die live in increased luxury. Too many of our friends and loved ones only came home from these wars in body bags. For generations, we have served those in power dutifully, only to see every promise and commitment made to us revoked. Many of the members of Redneck Revolt are veterans, and we still support and understand the reasons that we and others enlisted, but as a society, our support of these wars has only destroyed the lives of working class people from all sides, and kept us poor and powerless. It is time to turn our guns on our real enemies.
WE STAND AGAINST patriarchy
Redneck Revolt recognizes that women, femme, queer, and trans folks are disproportionately deprived of their liberty and threatened with violence. Our struggle against patriarchy is central to our struggle against capitalism and the nation-state. Just as the white working class has benefited from white supremacy, many men (especially those who are not trans) have benefited from patriarchy. Patriarchy benefits the rich by controlling those who labor for them and dividing the people against one another. Traditional “women’s work,” despite its importance to families and communities, is devalued in our society. The police and courts exist to protect the rich and powerful, not the people, and they are unable to provide justice for the victims of gender-based violence... and in fact often inflict the same violence themselves. In contrast, we hold ourselves accountable for the safety of one another, and seek community-based and transformative justice, not just in order to defend ourselves, but to change the systems which disempower us. Women, femme, queer, and trans folks have long been discouraged from gaining the skills needed to defend themselves from violence and oppression, and together we seek to ensure we are all empowered to defend our communities. True liberation includes the freedom to live authentically and safely, regardless of our gender or sexual identity.
WE BELIEVE IN THE RIGHT OF MILITANT RESISTANCE
We are not pacifists. Redneck Revolt believes in using any and all means at our disposal to gain our freedom and true liberty, provided those methods do not violate our basic humanity or integrity. We believe in the inherit right of every individual and community to defend themselves from those who exploit or oppress them. We believe in empowering each other to participate in the defense of our communities with the knowledge and equipment to do so. It is our duty and obligation to defend our families and communities by all means from those who profit from our misery and destruction, or call for violence against any of us for our race, gender, religion, country of birth, or cultural background.
WE BELIEVE IN THE NEED FOR REVOLUTION
Redneck Revolt believes that there will have to be a complete restructuring of society to provide for the survival and liberty of all people. We will fight for the end of predatory exploitation of our communities, and the creation of a world where no one is without food, shelter, water, or any other means of survival. We believe in a future without tyranny, and the political and social control of a small segment of society over the rest of us. We believe that the working class can unite across racial and cultural backgrounds and find we are much stronger with diverse perspectives. We believe in liberty. We believe in equity. We believe in the self-determination of our own futures.
These are the principles that define and guide our work, as well as hold us accountable to one another.