We are a multi-gendered, multiracial revolutionary collective attempting to develop an effective relationship between theory and practice. We are against capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism, imperialism, ableism and the state. We are fighting for a direct democratic, ecologically sustainable society in which we as workers can creatively produce to fulfill human needs, not for the sake of profit. Our aims are to learn from the successes and failures of past revolutions and social movements, rebuilding and re-imaging forms of organization and developing ourselves as working class revolutionaries. A major part of this involves reviving the Marxist method as a tool for combining the best of feminist, anti-colonial, anarchist, ecological, anti-racist, and queer liberation perspectives, while discarding all that holds us back. We critically draw inspiration and lessons from the Black liberation, Chicanismo/a, Latino/a, indigenous liberation, and Asian-American movements; we hope to realize the freedom of our communities, and all communities, through multi-racial, working class revolution. We use this blog as a space to discuss emerging ideas, and to attempt to advance the struggles we are engaged in.
Black Orchid Collective emerged out of long-term struggles against budget cuts, attacks on immigrant workers, police terror, and US imperialism in the Middle East. Some members of the Collective used to be a part of other organizations: Unity and Struggle, Democracy Insurgent, the Student-Worker Coalition, or International Workers and Students for Justice. Today, Black Orchid Collective members are currently involved with organizations like For a Democratic University, the Industrial Workers of the World, 90’s Upheaval, and the Seattle Solidarity Network.
Why “Black Orchid”?
Like a revolutionary militant, a Black Orchid grows from the cracks in the concrete, where you’d least expect life to thrive. It grows where the solid bedrock of community was smashed and fractured by history, cracked to pieces when the state took away our revolutionary elders, or took them out of our communities into the halls of power where they help preside over destruction of our generation. From the cracks that grow wider each crisis, organic, working class intellectuals are born; militants of our generation grow towards freedom but stay rooted in the streets.
A Black Orchid looks fragile but it is tough and fertile. Like revolution, a Black Orchid cannot be engineered in a laboratory or predicted ahead of time; a Black Orchid is difficult to imagine but we know it could emerge based on our scientific observations of the world and our memories of past bursts of unexpected, colorful life. All we can do is nurture and prepare the ground that it might spring from, and be open to it rupturing out of the earth in an unexpected event of life-generating-life.
Like our complicated bodies and our complex world, a Black Orchid thrives as part of a biodiverse reality, and it withers when the forces of purification and simplification attempt to separate it from the rest of the world.
Our revolutionary organization cannot offer certainty, purity, control or distance from life’s messiness. It is not a sect or training ground for future bureaucrats. It can nurture us though; it can strengthen us to advance the struggles of our time, to respond dynamically to the ruptures that will come, and to embrace the outburst of a new society, so that when revolution pops off we can scatter seeds far and wide and millions of fellow orchids will bloom, even where you least expect them to.