How to incorporate a digital perspective in an anti-racist organization?

GHETT’UP‘s Safia Oulmane talks to Algorace’s Miriam Hatibi about the challenges that anti-racist organisations face in incorporating digital mechanisms without putting their organisations and members at further risk. 

What areas does GHETT’UP focus on?

  • changing narratives about working class people and people living in the banlieues
  • empowering young people in these neighbourhoods
  • advocating for social and environmental justice
  • fighting racism

At GHETT’UP, Oulmane explained that they are also working with the Justice, Equity and Technology project at the London School of Economics and Political Science to understand the technological component within the Global Security Law in France proposed in October 2020. A law that, as she explains, was created to give more power to the police and “justify the use of drones in demonstrations” among other things.

In order to get young people in poor neighbourhoods to understand how these laws and technologies could affect them and to get involved, GHETT’UP created actions and disseminated the technological ins and outs of this law in a straightforward manner.  

For Oulmane, it is essential to do all this work to find out how the relationship between the police and technology affects them in popular neighbourhoods. In addition, Oulmane explained that they are collecting data on these neighbourhoods in order to have their own story. “We have to explain our reality directly, otherwise they approach us as if we were a zoo. The work behind the group struggle is exhausting, but we have to create our own data so that they don’t talk about us and stigmatise us”, he said. 

On the other hand, Oulmane stressed that in addition to fighting and resisting, it is important to show positive things about these neighbourhoods and their people, so that “the new generations feel proud”. “It is exhausting work, both physically and psychologically, and all this has to be done as a community. Don’t give up, work as a team and remember that care is politics,” Oulmane said when asked by Hatibi about the importance of finding time to take care of yourself in the anti-racist struggle. 

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