Show me a large leftist organization that isn't disability justice-centered that is actually revolutionary.
That's because they don't exist.
The lack of masking, accessibility, and accommodations at labor organizing events and "mutual aid" events are exclusionary and counter-revolutionary.
The following are some of the unsaid messages I am getting from organizers when they refuse to do even the bare minimum of requiring masks or including accessibility information about their events:
"I care so little about Disabled people I'm not even going to put up a pretense of giving a shit."
"My personal freedom is worth more than your life and survival."
"I care more about appearing revolutionary than actually being revolutionary."
"Collective liberation only applies to abled/enabled (i.e. pre-Disabled) people."
"I don't truly understand working class liberation and politics because I don't understand how disability justice plays into liberation of the working class."
"Working class liberation only applies to people who can actually labor."
"I believe in the capitalist idea that inherent value in a person is reliant on their ability to work."
“I don’t care about leadership of those most impacted or any semblance of multiple marginalization.”
"We didn’t bother with any accessibility because Disabled people will be included in our organizing only if it’s convenient for us.”
“I don’t care if I’m endangering myself, engaging in mass disabling events, and contributing to eugenics, as long as I look good doing it.”
“We care more about direct action that makes us look like we care rather than covert actions with long-term impact.”
“I don’t understand community care as being a way of life rather than a set of viewable actions.”
“Endangering the people I’m claiming to help is a risk I’m willing to take in order to keep my reputation as an on-the-ground organizer.”
Most leftist individuals and organizations who are engaging in "on-the-ground" organizing are actively endangering Disabled people for a semblance of legitimacy and social capital. Their version of revolutionary politics and "mutual aid" does not go beyond a surface-level understanding of revolutionary actions and long-term impact — that requires admitting their privileges as abled/enabled (i.e. pre-Disabled) people.
The bare minimum of organizing events should be mandatory masking to keep Disabled people safe.
It is infuriating, but not surprising, that Disabled people advocate for workers’ rights, even if we ourselves don’t or can’t work.
Yet most workers' rights groups, or other revolutionary organizing groups, such as "mutual aid" groups, see Disabled people as an afterthought, if they even consider us worth including in their organizing efforts.
The least these in-person organizers could do is to outright let us know we will not be accommodated, because this just illustrates how we aren’t even an afterthought.
We’re lucky if we’re even an afterthought.
But Disabled people deserve more than not even crossing the minds of workers’ movements or "mutual aid" movements.
Disabled people ask for the bare minimum of masking and asking for transparency about access, and we are still ignored.
We need to be included in all forms of organizing, including in-person events and leadership roles.
Revolutionary labor organizing and community care work beyond "mutual aid" requires Disability Justice and Disabled leadership.
Ableist organizations are counter-revolutionary.
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黃蘊子 JiJi W. Wong (pronouns: they/them/theirs) is a Disabled and autistic Malaysian Chinese person with hEDS and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ME, living on stolen Quinnipiac, Paugusset, and Wappinger Lands.
They are devoutly Buddhist, which has informed basically their entire outlook in life, including their Marxist-Leninist politics and advocacy. Their passions in organizing are disability justice and transformative justice, which also inform their work as a restorative practices mentor in the public school system.
They live an interdependent life with their parents and dog, sharing the burden of oppression under white supremacist capitalism.
Please compensate JiJi for this article.
They need funds for their medical expenses.