Here be dragons.

Caminante,
no hay puentes,
se hace puentes al andar.
– Gloria Anzaldúa
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Posts tagged "occupy wall street"

itsyourhomegirl:

White dude in an imitation Native American headdress. Just some nonchalant cultural appropriation at Occupy Philly. It’s okay though cause he’s apart of the 99%.

DECOLONIZE

(via poemsofthedead-deactivated20120)

[Hoping you] would make mention of the fact that the very land upon which you are protesting does not belong to you - that you are guests upon that stolen indigenous land. I had hoped mention would be made of the indigenous nation whose land that is. I had hoped that you would address the centuries-long history that we indigenous peoples of this continent have endured being subject to the countless ‘-isms’ of do-gooders claiming to be building a “more just society,” a “better world,” a “land of freedom” on top of our indigenous societies, on our indigenous lands, while destroying and/or ignoring our ways of life. I had hoped that you would acknowledge that, since you are settlers on indigenous land, you need and want our indigenous consent to your building anything on our land - never mind an entire society.
College debt shows up a lot in these stories, actually. It’s more insistently present than housing debt, or even unemployment. That might speak to the fact that the protests tilt towards the young. But it also speaks, I think, to the fact that college debt represents a special sort of betrayal. We told you that the way to get ahead in America was to get educated. You did it. And now you find yourself in the same place, but buried under debt. You were lied to.

Who are the 99 percent?,” Ezra Klein, The Washington Post (via hold-a-wolfs-ears)

truth.

(via dopegirlfresh)

(via ynannarising)

We—two white men—write this letter conscious of the fact that the color of our skin means we will likely be taken more seriously.  We write this knowing that because people of color are thought to be too biased to speak objectively on issues of race, our perspective in this context will be privileged.  We write this aware of the history of colonization, genocide, and slavery upon which this country stands, which has created this oppressive reality.

We write this letter to the organizers and participants (ourselves included) of #OccupyWallStreet out of great love for humanity and for the collective struggles being waged to save it.  We write this letter because of our support for this nascent movement, in the hopes that with some self-reflection and adjustment, it may come to truly represent “the 99%” and realize its full potential. 

#OccupyWallStreet has shown itself to be a potent force. The movement—which we consider ourselves part of—has already won great victories. New occupations spring up across the continent every day and the movement for true democracy and radical social change is gathering steam worldwide.

According to the main websites associated with #OccupyWallStreet, it is a “one people, united,” “leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions,” and an “open, participatory and horizontally organized process.” In other words, it professes to be the universal protest against the greed and corruption rampant in our society, open for anyone to join and shape.

But a quick survey of the movement so far shows that that the good intentions outlined do not reflect the reality of the situation. There is indeed an organizational structure and a core group that makes leadership decisions in #OWS (and we think this is a good thing). They are the media team at the media command center, the committee facilitators and the people who have been actually occupying the park for the past three weeks. One only needs to take a good look around to see that the leadership and the core group—which has managed to attract enormous national and international media attention—is overwhelmingly white (and largely male) and as a result the voices and perspectives of #OccupyWallStreet reflect that reality more generally.

Luckily, some people who have felt excluded or erased from “the 99%” have spoken up, alerting us to the notion that the anti-corporate occupation in Liberty Park may not be as welcoming to all as its image of consensus-bound activists, non-hierarchical structure, and free food has suggested to many (see http://bit.ly/q9q10C; http://bit.ly/oABMbQ; and http://bit.ly/oTBcfs for some examples).

One striking example of the marginalization of non-white voices within the movement was seen at the march on Friday against police brutality. Because this march was organized by activist groups in conjunction with #OWS, it was by far the most diverse rally yet. But towards the end of the march, when organizers were speaking to the group at One Police Plaza, a black woman near the speakers was clearly agitating for her voice to be heard. Despite the line of white people speaking before her, a white #OWS organizer spoke to the crowd and informed them that within a few minutes, the march would be over and everyone should leave peacefully. Of course, that meant that as soon as he was finished speaking everyone got up to leave. As the black woman (the lone black voice speaking in a march against police brutality) got up to speak, her voice was lost because by that point no one was paying attention.

In this case, the marginalization was not intentional: a PSA was made to inform people to ensure the rally’s peaceful closure. But most racial marginalization is indeed “unintentional.” In this case the silenced black woman was going to speak about her close relative, who was killed by police. She was the only person speaking with a personal relationship to police brutality at a level almost unimaginable to the people occupying Zucotti Park, and her voice was not heard.

This unintended marginalization is occurring daily at #OWS. We know this may be hard for some people to understand.  Of course, who could expect us to understand what it is like to be reminded of your skin color every time you leave your home?  Who could expect white people to understand that the spaces we feel so comfortable in may feel exclusive or even hostile to people of color? After all, we are never told; we are not forced to learn that our skin color is related to our social status; and we are not taught black and brown history, so many of us do not know how we got here—and cannot imagine it any other way.

But as Audre Lorde wrote, it is not the responsibility of the oppressed to educate the oppressors about our mistakes.  White people may not be to blame for the privileged position we occupy, but we must be accountable for the liberties and benefits we enjoy at the expense of our black and brown brothers and sisters. 

We would like to add our voices to the chorus of constructive critiques coming from communities of color.  We believe the white people of #OccupyWallStreet need to understand something: the feelings of economic insecurity, political powerlessness, and lack of support that have brought so many of us to the protests at Liberty Park have been lived by many of the people of color in this country for centuries. Without an active effort to address racial issues from the core of #OccupyWallStreet, the protest will fail.

The People of Color / Unified Communities working group at #OccupyWallStreet was created on October 1, 2011.  Their e-mail is unified.ows@gmail.com, their website is pococcupywallstreet.tumblr.com and they meet every Sunday at 3pm in Zucotti Park. Let’s be truly revolutionary allies and firmly support them to bring a racial analysis to the core of one of the most potent people’s movement in our country today—before it is too late.

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

barrio2barrio:

latimes:

Prison hunger strikers now number 12,000, advocates say:

Advocates for California prison inmates conducting a hunger strike said the number of participants has swelled to 12,000, making it possibly the largest prison strike in recent U.S. history.

Photo: Inmate Timothy Kelly at Pelican Bay State Prison, where inmates waged a hunger strike in July to protest alleged mistreatment. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

 Hopefully those #OccupyWallStreet people will stand up for my homies locked down dealing with oppression on the daily. This isn’t just a passing fad for them

^ cosign.

(via beautifulbrwn-deactivated201308)

corigami:

The Occupy Wall Street movement may have thought it broke new ground when the NYC Transit Union joined their movement, but that ground just tipped the Richter Scale with news that United States Army and Marine troops are reportedly on their way to various protest locations to support the movement and to protect the protesters.

OMG, WHAT?!

An excellent read.

But for those who believe that protests are only worthwhile if they translate into quantifiable impact: the lack of organizational sophistication or messaging efficacy on the part of the Wall Street protest is a reason to support it and get involved in it, not turn one’s nose up at it and join in the media demonization.  That’s what one actually sympathetic to its messaging (rather than pretending to be in order more effectively to discredit it) would do.  Anyone who looks at mostly young citizens marching in the street protesting the corruption of Wall Street and the harm it spawns, and decides that what is warranted is mockery and scorn rather than support, is either not seeing things clearly or is motivated by objectives other than the ones being presented.

When members of the loose protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street began a march from the financial district to Union Square on Saturday, the participants seemed relatively harmless, even as they were breaking the law by marching in the street without a permit.

But to the New York Police Department, the protesters represented something else: a visible example of lawlessness akin to that which had resulted in destruction and violence at other anticapitalist demonstrations, like the Group of 20 economic summit meeting in London in 2009 and the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999.

The Police Department’s concerns came up against a perhaps milder reality on Saturday, when their efforts to maintain crowd control suddenly escalated: protesters were corralled by police officers who put up orange mesh netting; the police forcibly arrested some participants; and a deputy inspector used pepper spray on four women who were on the sidewalk, behind the orange netting.

The police’s actions suggested the flip side of a force trained to fight terrorism, in a city whose police commissioner acknowledges the ownership of a gun big enough to take down a plane, but that may appear less nimble in dealing with the likes of the Wall Street protesters. So even as the members of Occupy Wall Street seem unorganized and, at times, uninformed, their continued presence creates a vexing problem for the Police Department. [ Joseph Goldstein - READ MORE]

ideasandopinions:

Identified: NYPD Officer Who Maced Peaceful Protesters

A photographer has identified the cruel and cowardly NYPD supervisor who point blank maced a penned in group of young women and then slinked away Saturday at the Occupy Wall Street protests:

Deputy Inspector Anthony V. Bologna of the NYPD Patrol Borough Manhattan South.

TAKE ACTION
If you think Deputy Inspector Bologna should be fired and prosecuted for his abuse of power, file an on-line complaint:

Anthony Bologna, NYPD officer named in pepper-spray incident, is accused of civil rights violations at the time of the 2004 Republican national convention protests

(via browngurlwfro)

"Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution"