December 7, 2014
The Organizers of Free Cascadia Witch Camp, an annual spiritual retreat of the Reclaiming Tradition, stand in solidarity with our Black pagan family members whose ancestors were brought to this land on slave ships, and by extension all people of color. We do not speak for our tradition as a whole, as we are comprised of many individuals, guilds, and communities. We speak as our own organizational entity, one which is committed to liberation for all.
It is clearly stated within the Reclaiming Principles of Unity, the values and vision document which ties us all together, “We work for all forms of justice: environmental, social, political, racial, gender, and economic.”
In that, we will not be complicit through silence. We say, unequivocally, that the ongoing institutionalized racism and individual acts of personal prejudice perpetrated by law enforcement and within the judicial process, on all levels and in all reaches, are not acceptable. They weigh heavy in our hearts and wound our souls, individually and collectively. The persistent, invisibilized, and brutal violences to which our community, our friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow Americans, are daily exposed, will not be tolerated under any circumstances. We will not be silent and we will not be passive. The sooner we can stop this systemic violence, the sooner we can recover our essential humanity.
We grieve the irretrievable loss of integrity for all those who participate in, and uphold structural oppression, and we grieve the tragedy of those impacted by it. We mourn the deaths of all the victims of these abominable acts. These acts which are born of the legacy of the original enslavements and the construction of a race politics designed to break the former solidarity of mutually oppressed peoples. We pray that their deaths are not in vain, and that the upwelling of insistent demands in the streets, on the airwaves, and in homes across the land, can sing softly to those who have died, wherever they be now. May they rest in power.
Free Cascadia Witch Camp Organizers call for an immediate cessation of this violence and a swift and unrelenting pursuit to bring the individual perpetrators and systems into accountability. We will use our voices, our magic, and our bodies to influence and manifest these demands. We will continue to educate ourselves and our communities about anti-Blackness, white privilege, and structural oppression until they are eradicated and transformed into a painful memory. We will non-violently confront all forms of power-over with the best of our imaginations.
We want the people of color within paganism to know we see you. We hear your heartache, we feel your grief, a grief which those of us without African ancestors, or who are not targeted by police based on our race, cannot know, but which touches us deeply as well. We hold your struggle as our struggle, and we will have your backs to the best of our abilities. We will take guidance from your leadership around this struggle, and we will embrace you now and going forth.
We ask the ancestors of resistance to keep their hands on our backs as we march, create, discuss and heal with solid patience and immeasurable stamina. We call upon the resilience of the good earth, our only home, to keep us steady and strong in the face of duress, fatigue, and heartache. We ask the spirits of the land to embrace us and remind us that we are held in good stead within the web of all life. We ask the descendants to speak in our dreams and hold up the beacon of perseverance to guide us towards the days for which we long.
Power to the people. So mote it be.
The Free Cascadia Witch Camp 2014-15 Organizers:
Rev. Claire “Chuck” Bohman, Nanette “Song” Echols, Glimmer Skuld, Sid Hawkins, Penske Pocketknife, Meagan Malachite, Sophia, Briar Birdcall, Mauvelous, Julie Dreyer, Pavini, and rain crowe
Should your organization or guild wish to endorse this letter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org