The concept of community is very important 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 that uphold 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 strongly believe 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, we use 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. 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.
WHAT IS REDNECK REVOLT?
Redneck Revolt is a national network of community defense projects from a broad spread of political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. It is a pro-worker, anti-racist organization that focuses on working class liberation from the oppressive systems which dominate our lives. In states where it is legal to practice armed community defense, many branches choose to become John Brown Gun Clubs, training ourselves and our communities in defense and mutual aid.
This project was founded in June 2016, by several members of previous similar community defense formations in Kansas and Colorado. We have dozens of vetted branches, united under our common goals as outlined in our principles, and organized through a collaboratively built national network.
Our national network members come from a variety of ideological backgrounds – libertarians, humanists, anarchists, republicans, communists, and independents. In this project, political ideology is less important to us than our ability to agree on our organizing principles and work together. Many people nationwide have become politicized for the first time over the last several years, and are now seeking ways to get involved and protect vulnerable members of their community and keep them safe, while also finding direct ways to dismantle the systemic forms of race and class oppression which have kept us subjugated. We are ready to learn and work with anyone who recognizes the urgency of building community defense networks to protect each other and strengthen our capacity to resist.
WHY THE TERM REDNECK?
The history of the term redneck is long and complex. One of the earliest recorded uses of the term comes from the 1890’s, and refers to rednecks as “poorer inhabitants of the rural districts…men who work in the field, as a matter of course, generally have their skin burned red by the sun, and especially is this true of the back of their necks”.
In 1921, the term became synonymous with armed insurrection against the state, as members of the United Mine Workers of America tied red bandannas around their necks during the Battle of Blair Mountain, a two week long armed labor uprising in the coalfields of West Virginia.
Today, the term redneck has taken on a demeaning connotation, primarily among upper class urban liberals who have gone out of their way to dehumanize working class and poor people. Terms like “trash” and “hillbilly” have come to signify the view among these same upper class liberals of poor rural folks. To us, the term redneck is a term that signifies a pride in our class as well as a pride in resistance to bosses, politicians, and all those that protect domination and tyranny.
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, sexuality, gender, nationality, or any other division that bosses and politicians have used to fragment movements for social, political, and economic freedom.
WHY SHOULD WHITE FOLKS BE OPPOSED TO WHITE SUPREMACY?
White supremacy is a system of violence and power that ensures that political, economic, and social power is withheld from people who aren’t white.
White working class people have all benefited to a certain extent from the system of white supremacy that exists within the United States. However, this same system and our participation within it have also ensured that white working class people will stay poor and relatively powerless in this society.
The greatest threat to those that pull the political and economic strings in this society is a unified resistance movement among poor and working class people. The vast majority of those that live in the United States, have relatively no power over the decisions and conditions that affect our lives. The overwhelming majority of those that live in the U.S. are poor or working class. We are the ones that see our paychecks (if we happen to even get one) gutted, our pensions and benefits dry up, our communities destroyed by drug abuse and poverty related crimes, and our entire lives spent struggling to just survive.
In the moments when white working people have looked beyond their skin color and have worked alongside movements of poor and working class people of all races, the power of the ruling elite has been the most directly threatened. It is when the working class has started to view itself in terms of class and racial solidarity that liberation has waited just around the corner.
White supremacy is a system that white working people have helped protect, but it is also used as a tool against all working people, with people of color impacted the most severely. Allegiance to a politics of white racism has only allowed the rich to continue to hold onto power, with no lifting effect to working class folks of any race.