Before us is the Post Collective

By The Post Collective

On the table before us sits a paper bag containing a loaf of bread with these words printed in large lettering upon it: NIEMAND IS ILLEGAAL (trans: NO ONE IS ILLEGAL). The bread comes from a self-proclaimed militant and artisan bakery (Le Pain Leve) in Brussels. Every time one reaches for a piece of the bread from the bag, one is reminded of this universal declaration of equality and freedom of movement. Is this not an act of love and solidarity at a very grassroots level by the bakery towards refugees and displaced people globally? Such a proclamation brings to mind the Paris commune of 1871 where street barricades and ongoing battles were led by artisans and tradespeople such as shoemakers and bakers. We can only imagine if today such micro-political activism might erupt from bakeries and spread outwards like yeast throughout the larger community.

The Post Collective (created by and for refugees, asylum seekers, sans-papiers, and accomplices) shares aspirations and goals with this militant bakery in that we both are striving to achieve for levels of social self-determination and autonomy while building a more equitable and inclusive world. The declaration that no one is illegal reflects the common ideal of universal freedom of movement and generosity of spirit based upon global citizenship for all. Such proclamations of resistance and transgression by the bakery and the collective are best brought into fruition within everyday social and cultural acts of resistance and direct action.

The collective is about members instigating types of involvement, interdependence, and self-determination that cultural and social institutions normally do not provide or even permit. Principles of autonomy and flexibility are intrinsic to the way the collective functions, and these are attributes that are often excluded from the inflexible and regulatory mechanisms of established cultural and social institutions.