Political principles of the Parti des Indigènes de la République
This document defines the general principles of the PIR, which are a synthesis of the key strategic and organizational questions. Together with the Public Appeal of 2005 and the declaration “Who we are”, it constitutes the basis of our current activities.
I) A Party for human dignity
II) A Party for indigenous1 liberation
III) A Party to build autonomous indigenous political power
IV) A Party of solidarity and resistance
V) A Party to build indigenous political leadership
VI) A Party to bring together indigenous people
VII) A Party of representation and responsibility
I) A Party for human dignity
Human dignity is incompatible with imperialism, colonialism and the resulting racial hierarchies.
Liberation and the abolition of racial hierarchies are the primary conditions for the free development and mutual enrichment of individuals, communities and peoples.
1) PIR claims its place within the history of struggles for dignity, for the cultural, moral and spiritual development of all human beings, for universal brotherhood and for equality among individuals, communities and peoples.
2) PIR joins the long line of resistance movements and wars of liberation waged by African deportees reduced to slavery, liberation struggles fought by colonized peoples and the struggles of colonial and post-colonial immigrants. It restores the memory of these struggles. Through its actions, the party extends and pays ongoing homage to them.
3) PIR is a political party that acts within metropolitan France toward a global society unburdened by all forms of political, social, economic, cultural and spiritual domination of one people by another, whether this domination is direct or indirect.
II) A Party for indigenous liberation
Anti-colonial struggles that resulted in independence for most colonies launched the decolonial process but did not bring about true emancipation for colonized peoples.
The colonial and racial divides that appear in the multidimensional oppression of the peoples of the so-called South for the benefit of the peoples of the so-called North continue to exist in new forms.
The United States, in particular, but also the European Union and the State of Israel now constitute the main political centres where global colonial domination resides.
1) PIR is part of the struggle fought by many popular movements all over the world against colonial and racial divisions.
2) PIR will therefore develop links of mutual support, solidarity and partnership with all movements fighting the various political, economic and cultural forms of imperial domination and against contemporary colonialism, as well as with the Palestinian people who have been suffering under the murderous yoke of the Israeli state since 1948, with African peoples and with those from overseas colonies and elsewhere.
Considering as well that:
The current process of building the European Union is aimed at reinforcing the domination of the Global South by the North.
It also aims to close the European borders to people from the South seeking to emigrate and while reinforcing within the European states themselves the racial inequalities that continue to victimize immigrants and their children.
1) PIR opposes a White imperial Europe and all of the mechanisms that help to create it.
2) PIR will therefore develop links of mutual support, solidarity and partnership with all of the movements fighting in the European states against the construction of a White Europe.
Further, considering that :
The Republic is a political, ideological and social system based on racial inequalities within metropolitan France that runs counter to the interests of colonial immigrants and their children, and specifically those of Blacks, Arabs and Muslims.
The Republic also depends on its continuing relationship of domination with the former colonies.
It is implementing a colonial policy in its overseas departments and territories.
It participates in international mechanisms designed to preserve the colonial relationships of domination around the world.
1) PIR is a political party that acts to defeat the imperial, colonial and racial character of the French state as well as all of the mechanisms that work within society to reproduce racial hierarchies.
2) PIR acts to achieve the legitimate demands of colonial and post-colonial immigrant people, their moral, spiritual and intellectual development, the development of their creativity and self-organizing capacity, and their ability to fully exercise civil and political rights and to improve their living, social and economic conditions, which are all necessary to live with dignity.
3) Le PIR acts to establish a new pact upon which to found the political community within metropolitan France that is based on:
citizenship based on residence,
effective equality among citizens based on equal dignity for their colours, their origins, their cultures and their beliefs,
freedom for particular communities to preserve and promote their languages, cultures and spirituality,
state recognition of these different languages, cultures and spiritualities as social needs and as full elements of the political and cultural community and its institutions.
4) The PIR’s political goal is the achievement of a political majority that controls the primary institutional levers and is committed to bringing about the deep institutional, social, economic and cultural reforms necessary to pursue the decolonial process in its various dimensions and to fight racial inequality.
Finally, considering that:
Despite having a common adversary and common interests, a party created in metropolitan France cannot intervene in overseas colonies without contributing to the reproduction of colonial relations.
1) PIR will not set up related organizations in France’s overseas departments and territories.
2) PIR commits to developing links of resistance and solidarity with decolonial organizations in the overseas colonies.
III) A party to build autonomous indigenous political power
Political independence is the primary condition for indigenous liberation. It cannot simply consist of a statement of faith in autonomy but a victory by indigenous people for their freedom of thought, decision-making and action vis-à-vis the state and its institutions as well as all non-indigenous political forces.
Political independence does not exclude united action with other non-indigenous political forces as long as these instances of convergence are entered into in complete freedom, contribute to an evolution of the balance of forces in favour of indigenous people and participate effectively in building indigenous political power.
1) PIR aims to build independent indigenous political power that represents the legitimate interests and aspirations of indigenous people and is capable of organizing and orienting their resistance from a decolonial perspective.
2) PIR acts to achieve the necessary conditions – of which indigenous political independence is the most important – for establishing the alliances with non-indigenous decolonial forces that are indispensible for developing a political majority capable of shifting state policy in a decolonial direction.
IV) A party of solidarity and resistance
Daily solidarity and resistance are indispensible for indigenous dignity, for establishing a common indigenous identity, for improving living conditions, for intellectual, moral and spiritual affirmation of indigenous peoples as well as for the achievement of their demands and a favourable shift in the balance of forces.
The plurality of institutions, informal solidarity networks and indigenous associations, whether political, familial, cultural, religious, economic or social support, are the fundamental base of indigenous social and political power. Their heterogeneity, which speaks to the diversity of conditions and expectations, is the manifestation of the richness and dynamism of indigenous initiative. It is also the product of the politics of division led by White power – a notion that, like other categories such as black, arab, indigenous, etc… is a social category. The isolation, insecurity, dispersion, competition that often undermine spaces of indigenous solidarity and resistance and the varying degrees of dependence of these on existing authorities prevent the consolidation of indigenous political power.
Considering as well that:
Regrouping these spaces and making them autonomous are necessary conditions for indigenous liberation and the construction of a decolonial dynamic and a decolonial balance of forces.
1) PIR acts to spur on the expansion of indigenous initiative, its creativity, its self-organizing capacities and its autonomy.
2) PIR acts to bring together the spaces of resistance created by indigenous people within a dynamic of harmony in order to build unity and political independence.
V) A party to build indigenous political leadership
While necessary, indigenous collective initiative is unable to create a spontaneous convergence of forces, to develop a unified and independent politics and to act at the national level to engage state institutions in a decolonial politics.
The creation of a common indigenous political identity requires a unified representative force.
A national indigenous political leadership, capable of developing and proposing a programme and strategy and of representing indigenous people in the political realm and its institutions, is necessary to achieve these objectives.
1) PIR’s role is to contribute to the formation of a unified political leadership.
2) PIR acts to build a national political organization that is decentralized enough to take into account local and sectoral objectives and centralized enough to bring together the energies deployed within the framework of a national strategy.
3) PIR acts to form and develop a network of experienced, serious, responsible, creative and disciplined political leaders and activists.
VI) A party to bring together indigenous people
Despite common conditions and interests, indigenous people do not form a homogenous entity. Different communities, with diverse origins, specific histories and particular cultures, spiritualities and expectations, exist within the group. Many indigenous people don’t even consider themselves as belonging to a particular community. Some White people are partially indigenized by the politics of stigmatization, relegation and discrimination conducted against poor and working-class neighbourhoods (quartiers populaires). These people are in a position of solidarity and even identification with indigenous people.
1) PIR aims to create an organized and autonomous political space out of all of the communities and individuals in metropolitan France who suffer racism and racial discrimination or who suffer the consequences of these policies in poor and working-class neighbourhoods.
2) Wanting to demolish the barriers, suspicion and competition that the colonial Republic constantly builds and deepens among the various communities and populations that it dominates, PIR is a party of individuals united by the same fundamental political objectives, regardless of their origins, religious beliefs, spiritual inspiration, customs or philosophical leanings.
3) PIR recognizes the organized indigenous communities in its midst. Through its organizing principles, decision-making mechanisms and approach to public statements, and within the framework of its fundamental objectives and bylaws, PIR allows its members the possibility of organizing themselves as communities at the same time as they participate in the proceedings open to all activists.
4) Using organizational and political mechanisms, PIR will ensure it preserves its political identity as an indigenous party and as a party of indigenous people; that is, as an autonomous thinking and decision-making space of and for indigenous people working from a decolonial perspective.
VII) A party of representation and responsibility
The way the current political system is configured, participation in elections is one of the principal means of intervening politically in public space, speaking out and constructing representativeness.
Access to and participation in institutions of representation and decision-making are one of the key means of pushing for reforms favourable to indigenous people and, furthermore, of creating an opening for decolonial politics.
Considering, however, that:
Representative institutions are instruments used to « co-opt », « assimilate » and « clientalize » political activists.
Representative institutions have very little room to manœuvre and are often limited to passive management of decisions taken by others.
1) PIR acts in any and all legal means, on all issues that concern indigenous people, to develop their struggles within civil space and to exert pressure on representative and executive institutions.
2) PIR acts in all institutional spaces, including electoral processes and representative politics, in order to make indigenous people heard, to reinforce the struggles on the ground and to achieve its goals.
3) PIR will get involved in elections on a case-by-case bases after assessing the concrete circumstances and only where such involvement contributes to reinforcing indigenous power and where it does not threaten PIR’s autonomy.
4) PIR will take all measures it deems necessary to maintain its autonomy to make decisions and to act, as well as to make sure that activists involved in electoral processes and those elected remain loyal and faithful to its principles.
Considering as well that:
The media, and more broadly the realm of communications, is now one of the most important institutions in the reproduction of colonial and racial ideology.
It is also a contested space among political forces.
It is a means by which representation is constructed.
1) PIR acts to fight expressions of racism and colonial ideology in the media.
2) PIR acts to allow indigenous people to express themselves in the media.
3) PIR acts to build instruments of communication that belong to indigenous people.
Adopted by PIR’s Constitutive Convention on February 27 and 28, 2010
Translation: Karen Wirsig
1 Translator’s note : the word “indigène” can be translated as native or indigenous and, in the case of PIR, refers to a series of French colonial laws (codes de l’indigénat) which gave colonized people a subordinate status defined in racialized terms. In this text, it is translated as indigenous. The term “indigenous people” is used to translate the noun “indigènes.”