OWS Spokes-council replaced with "Racial Justice Framework Workshop"
Last night, the regular Wednesday Spokes-council meeting for the entire #OccupyWallSt movement was replaced (through full consensus) by an Organizers Workshop: Organizing through a Racial Justice Framework. The workshop was led by Rinku Sen, Executive Director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and focused on building multiracial alliances and viewing the movement for economic justice and against corporate greed as inherently racialized issues. Approximately 300 people attended and the night went off smoothly, with a lot of great work begun.
The workshop was first organized through the POCcupy Outreach Subcommittee’s “POCcupy Your Block”, a People of Color take on the Occupy Your Block project, which has been “calling for the winter months to be a time of teach-ins, open forums, potluck meetings, discussion groups, local general assembly meetings and community building projects." We are proud that POCcupy has been able to make racial justice a priority for the Occupy Wall Street movement, and for the Spokes, who are charged with making logistical decisions!
A follow-up to the Day of Healing workshop will REPLACE our usual 3 PM Sunday POCcupy meeting. NOTE: we are not meeting at the same time or place!
At the Day of Healing we built community over lunch and developed some common language and a more shared analysis of power, internalized oppression, and the dynamics of our own group. Next steps were developed and many people felt strengthened and re-dedicated to the work of POCcupy. This Sunday’s meeting will allow us to deepen what was begun and continue the momentum from the last workshop.
Participants from the first workshop are especially encouraged to bring what was already discussed, but ALL people of color are welcome and needed!
What: Day of Healing Follow-up
When: 1pm-5pm / Sunday, Dec 11
Where: Urban Justice Center 123 William Street, 16th Floor - Manhattan
Day of Healing & Council of Elders (replaces usual meeting)
Based on full consensus reached on Wed, Nov 2
A Day of Healing workshop to help us face our internalized oppression, create community, and build collective analysis - which is imperative to our future work, will REPLACE our usual 3 PM Sunday POCcupy meeting. NOTE: we are not meeting at the same time or place and lunch will be provided! This will be followed by the Council of Elders, service and public discussion (flyer below). Watch this video to learn more about the elders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVM90JzmJWo
What: Day of Healing
When: 10am-2pm / Sunday, Nov 20
Where: Urban Justice Center 123 William Street, 16th Floor - Manhattan
The Education & Research Subcommittee of POCcupy has organized this workshop, which was officially endorsed through full consensus on 11/06/11
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 12 at 4pm WHERE: 60 Wall St, NYC (The Atrium)
In this workshop, we will look at what Islamophobia is and the intersections amongst Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia; how young people are organizing to challenge Islamophobia; the role of faith identities and religiosity in our organizing; and examples of being an ally in the movement to challenge Islamophobia.
Full consensus was made on 11/02/11 to endorse “TOWN HALL: Occupy Wall Street and LGBTSTGNC People of Color Communities”
Calling all self-identified Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans, Gender Non-Conforming People of Color that are interested in creating dialogue among LGBTSTGNC People of Color communities about Occupy Wall Street!
When: Friday, November 11, 2011, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: Audre Lorde Project - Manhattan 147 West 24th St 3rd Floor
Occupy Harlem and Community Mayor, Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely have called for a full-time occupation of the boiler room of 477 West 142nd Street (buzz Suite 2). Predatory lenders are trying to gentrify the building by freezing out long-time residents of the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Harlem. For months residents have not had heat/hot water and now as winter approaches, the situation is becoming dire. Michael Booth has already been arrested for standing in solidarity. Food, supplies and occupiers are needed NOW!
Through full consensus on 11/2/11 POCcupy endorsed the following event:
Occupy El Barrio: Dignity is an Echo in the Heartbeat of the People
Movement for Justice in El Barrio invites you to “A Dialogue with Occupy El Barrio & Occupy Wall Street”
Monday, Nov. 7th @ 7pm Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center 1680 Lexington Ave. btween 105th & 106th st (6 train to 103rd st)
We will share our stories of resistance and memories of victory, as we bring to life our shared dreams of a world of justice, dignity and democracy. Movement for Justice in El Barrio is an immigrant- and people of color-led, grassroots community organization that fights for dignity and against neoliberal displacement from East Harlem to Chiapas and beyond. For more information contact at email@example.com
Emergency POC Working Group Meeting, Tues Nov 1st 6:30PM
A Spokes-Council structure for Occupy Wall Street passed through modified consensus at Friday’s General Assembly.
At yesterday’s POCcupy meeting, we reached consensus to hold an emergency meeting to discuss what this means for our working group/caucus, before the first OWS Spokes-Council meeting (which will be held on Wednesday, Nov 2 at 7pm - when POCcupy usually meets).
Emergency POCcupy Meeting Where: 60 Wall St (the Atrium) When: 6:30 PM on Tues, Nov. 1 COME PREPARED: read this to familiarize yourself with the new structure. See: http://www.nycga.net/spokes-council/
Gabriela Callender (from Mahina Movement, amongst other things) will be facilitating an anti-oppression workshop this Saturday, Oct 22nd at noon until 1 pm at OWS. It’ll be a participatory, experiential workshop on transforming oppression and healing internalized racism.
Time: 12PM - 1PM (We will be starting on time)
Day: TODAY! Saturday, October 22nd
Location: Steps by the red modern art object on Cedar and Broadway, at Zuccotti Park
We encourage everyone to come and be a part of it!
The Other Campaign at OWS: Solidarity w/ Zapatista Communities under Attack
THE OTHER CAMPAIGN NEW YORK AT OCCUPY WALL ST.
SOLIDARITY WITH ZAPATISTA COMMUNITIES UNDER ATTACK
This Wednesday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m. a delegation from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York, will be present at Liberty Plaza to share an urgent message on the Zapatista (EZLN) support base communities, which are presently suffering some of the most aggressive attacks in recent years.
Headed by government officials and political party-backed paramilitary groups, these severe attacks seek to destroy the autonomy and self-determination that the indigenous Zapatista communities have constructed and sustained for nearly two decades. This Wednesday, members of Movement will speak on the grave situation and make an urgent call to all good-hearted people of New York to attend this presentation and stand in solidarity with the Zapatistas here in New York City.
An adherent to the Zapatista-initiated The Other Campaign, Movement for Justice in El Barrio is an immigrant-led, grassroots organization that fights for dignity and against neoliberal displacement from East Harlem to Chiapas and beyond. For more information, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where: At the Occupy Wall St. General Assembly, Liberty Plaza (Zucotti Park), corner of Broadway and Liberty St.
When: 6:30 p.m.
LA OTRA CAMPAÑA NUEVA YORK EN OCCUPA WALL ST. SOLIDARIDAD CON LAS BASES DE APOYO ZAPATISTAS
Este miércoles, el 19 de octubre, a las 6:30 pm una delegación del Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio, La Otra Campaña Nueva York, estarán presentes en el la Plaza Libertad para compartir un mensaje urgente sobre las bases de apoyo del Zapatistas y los ataques agresivos que están enfrentando actualmente.
Encabezados por funcionarios del mal gobierno y grupos de choque paramilitares apoyados por los partidos politicos, estos graves ataques buscan destruir la autonomía y libre-determinación que las comunidades indígenas zapatistas han construido y sostenido por casi dos decadas. Este miércoles, integrantes del Movimiento hablarán sobre la situación y hacen un llamado urgente a todas las personas de buen corazón de Nueva York a que nos acompañen en esta presentación para solidarizarse con l@s Zapatistas.
Adherente a La Otra Campaña, iniciada por l@s Zapatistas, Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio es una organización comunitaria de inmigrantes que lucha por dignidad y en contra del desplazamiento neoliberal desde el Este de Harlem hasta Chiapas y más allá. Para más información, comunicate con email@example.com.
Lugar: Ubicación de la Asamblea General de Ocupa Wall St., en la esquina de Broadway y Liberty, Parque Zucotti (Plaza Libertad).
People of Color Working Group Minutes Sun. Oct. 16th 2011
People of Color Working Group Minutes
Sun. Oct. 16th 2011
1. Introductions, review of consensus process, reminder that this is a POC only space (facilitators: Sonny, Nicole, Natasha. Karina taking minutes)
2. Review of Proposal for People of Color Working Group STRUCTURE:
summary of proposal: The role of the People of Color Working Group at Occupy Wall Street is not only to bring in and provide a supportive and empowering space for people of color in the movement, but also to bring people of color and a racial justice lens to the leadership of this movement. Therefore, we propose that the POC Working Group function both as a working group and a People of Color Caucus. Through participation in POC WG subcommittees, members will in turn participate in the working groups of the broader OWS movement.
We reached Consensus! (Note: living document, can be amended, provides a caucus-like structure to build our movement) See full document on our working structure below. We will get this online soon.
3. How to handle grievances/ incidents of racism and oppression at OWS
a. A few examples were mentioned including hostility towards Mexica danza group on indigenous people’s day, a physical attack on a Son Jarrocho group the same day (Oct 10th), a man of color holding an anti-semitic sign, and a man dressed in a confederate flag.
b. We broke up into small break out groups to devise suggestions/ideas about what the role of the POC working group should be in responding to and preventing racist and oppressive dynamics in the space. Small groups reported back to large group. Note takers from each group should email their notes firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. (thanks to those who already have)
c. Highlights of Small Group Report backs
i. Emphasis put on having OWS grow, become more diverse in composition and leadership and spread to other communities
ii. We must all be vigilant to check prejudice within our space and isolate those who have come to divide us, including potential provocateurs
d. Subcommittee was devised to synthesize small group suggestions. Sonny will email them the collective break out group notes.
4. POC participation in Working Group Meetings and GA: A calendar was passed around for folks to sign up so that POC is always represented. Adopted proposal on structure also maintains that POC subcommittees participate in corresponding OWS working groups as well as report back to GA at 7pm and at daily Working Group meeting at 9am/9pm. Please email email@example.com to sign up for which GAs and/or working group meetings you can attend on behalf of the POC working group.
5. Next meeting: this Wednesday at 6:30pm, meet under red sculpture at Liberty Sq.
6. Subcommittees met (see subcommittee notes i.e. Outreach, Education, Press, etc.)
Proposal for People of Color Working Group: Caucus Structure
Adopted by the POC working group on 10/16/11.
The role of the People of Color Working Group at Occupy Wall Street is not only to bring in and provide a supportive and empowering space for people of color in the movement, but also to bring people of color and a racial justice lens to the leadership of this movement.
Therefore, we propose that the POC Working Group function both as a working group and a People of Color Caucus.
Through participation in POC WG subcommittees, members will in turn participate in the working groups of the broader OWS movement.
Each subcommittee of the POC working group corresponds to a larger OWS working group. We propose that the members of the POC subcommittee should then attend meetings for and participate in the corresponding OWS working group. By doing so we will be bringing our voices to the forefront of this movement.
People of Color Working Group Subcommittees Each subcommittee currently has a point person who is responsible for bringing together the subcommittee, reporting back at meetings, and bottom lining communication within the subcommittee and between subcommittees. We propose that the point person be required to rotate every month, ensuring collective leadership, increased participation, and transparency.
Outreach Subcommittee → Outreach Working Group
Education Subcommittee → Education and Empowerment Working Group
Press → Press AND Media Working Groups
Arts and Culture → Arts and Culture Working Groups
Facilitation → Facilitation Working Group
Language Access (Translation) → OWS en Espanol, Translation
Labor à Labor working group
Not all of our subcommittees correspond to OWS working groups, but members of those subcommittees should be encouraged to join other OWS Working Groups, especially Call to Action, Demands, Public Relations, and Environment, and should attend the Occupiers/Spokes Council morning meetings.
This proposed structure is a work in process and can be adapted at any time as we determine what is most effective.
This Saturday OWS, movements across the country and across the world are joining together for an international day of action in protest of an unjust global economic system. See below for a list of OWS actions:
I. Recap from Previous Week: Last Thursday’s meting has about 15-20 participants. There discussed whether or not this group would be open to all people or People of Color (“POC”). Decided this group would be open al POC, then got into committees. Comment: This is really nice that this is open to POC…safe space. Point of Information: This is group only open to people who are POC.
II. Recap Continued: Re: Washington Square Park General Assembly (“GA”) Meeting: Comments: Sonny M.- Found out about meeting last minute. Arrived there and surprised to see other working groups. Not asked to speak. Thousands were there. Felt excluded and marginalized. During open forum made announcement about group and was interrupted. Facilitator intervened and asked people to check privilege. Question: How do we make sure our voices are no longer marginalized. Melissa: Trying to figure out how exclusion happened: moment of confusion or lack of process? Reflects why we have to fight to make sure we are heard and concerns are central. Lilly: Same concerns, POC not only group excluded from forms of communication. Groups are not sharing responsibility to recognizing limits. Need only website so we do not have to depend on others. Point of Information: The media group is currently working on Wiki pages for each working group. We should make sure we are in control of what is going on ours. Unidentified Speaker: Thanks everyone. We have to depend on ourselves. That’s why OWS exist right now self-sufficiency. Not relying on outside group…working in conjunction. Prioritize this working group.
III. Back-Out Committees Report Back: Education: Thursday: Anti-racist training at OWS. Supposed to have a meeting at 2pm, but no one came. *Sign-up Sheet for education group. Social Media: Liz- *Request for Assistance: creating a document of wealth and inequality in American to share in OWL journal need help with designing Under outreach- finding ways to include POC in this movement. Go out into communities, get a space to work together on this movement. Press/Media Relations: Interviewed with media outlets including NPR, Black Media, Alternet, and more press inquiries. Working with Occupy the Hood-also getting press coverage. When our issues are addressed the whole 99% would get there issues addressed. Language Access: In process of trying to translate journal into Spanish and every language to reach out to communities that need it. *Request for assistance: If you are bilingual with any other language than Spanish, volunteer. Labor: Creating labor subcommittee to join a lot of work with labor. They reached out. Last week, we marched and tons of people from labor and unions. But were missing members. Members are POC. We have to organize this movement. It is for us. *Request for assistance: Please join us. Childcare: *Request for assistance: Looking for help. Researched no basic childcare through OWS. Some groups are working on it. Concerns: Number of people, safety. Connecting with people working on it. If interested, contact Andrew. If interested talk to point people.
IV. Additional Comments: Addressing concerns, working on getting a separate space for meeting; doing outreach, need to do in open forum as to not exclude people of color. Issue: Whether we should be a “working group” or a “caucus”? Update: Officially, working group gives voice in the GA of OWS. Caucus voices are not heard. We are here to be heard. We are officially recognized. Comment: Part of original NYCers Against Budget Cuts where GA got there inspiration. GA is people who are activist, artists and more. 70% responsible for starting movement as part of original group. This is a big missing part of group. This is what can complete this process. I am proud.
V. Finished Agenda.
VI. General Comment Period: Comments: Speaker 1) Recommendation: Create a sign that specifically says: “for People of Color.” Speaker 2) Group should be welcoming to Caucasians. Believes we can all build and grow to make a revolution. Starts by POC welcoming everyone as long as they are not trying to discriminate. Speaker 3) October 22 Coalition interested in starting sub-committee to spread word on police brutality. Contact Liz. Speaker 4) Connect: Contact Jorge, if you live in Harlem: 646-303-4279. Speaker 5) Twitter: @blogdiva. Proposal: A twitter list curated under @culturalkitchen. Speaker 6) Bob Lee: Proposal- form a subcommittee that will express POC of view with metaphors, and strong artwork. Vote→ consensus: Created and “Arts and Cultural subcommittee.” Speaker 7) Minister Rose: offered services as a chaplin and wants to be available for group. Speaker 8) Re: Working Group v. Caucus- do both. Leadership of OWS is 95% white, proposes first step for subcommittee to figure out how we get out people in leadership of movement. Proposal- find strategy for doing that. Speaker 9) Kevin Powell- offers services to help. Opportunity to create a model. Sit and demand we are equal in moving forward. Speaker 10) Responds: We are a leaderless movement, must be self-sufficient and create own media center. Speaker 11) Spanish translation paper is complete. Announcement- Thursday at 7pm in Brooklyn on Atlantic Avenue there will be a meeting for people who live in Brooklyn. Additional comments: Let’s create a working group from the start to focus on the Prison Industrial Complex, gentrification, deportations. Make those issues a priority and put on official statement.
Occupy the Bronx! Show your anger with the 1% and the greed they refuse to give up. Occupy the Bronx meets every Saturday at 11AM at Fordham Plaza. From Fordham Plaza occupiers will march up to the subway (4 train) and then travel in solidarity to the Occupy Wall St. protest!
Today: Support the 700 public workers laid off by Bloomberg
Mayor Bloomberg just made the largest single-agency layoff since he’s been in office. The nearly 700 DC 37 workers include school aides, family workers, parent coordinators, and other support jobs and many are people of color. DC37 is calling all supporters to protest these layoffs at a financial committee meeting happening TODAY at 51 Chambers Street at 10am.
There will be opportunities to testify in front of the committee against the layoffs. We have to raise our voices against this and other plan cuts to healthcare and education because they disproportionately affect communities of color.
Stand in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples today at 5pm at Liberty Sq.
Day of Solidarity With Indigenous People
Monday, October 10 · 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Southeast Corner of Zuccotti Park (Liberty Plaza) 140 Broadway, by the huge red structure in the Southeast cornerOn Monday October 10th, members of the indigenous community from Owe Aku International Justice Project, First Voice Indigenous Radio, and the United Confederation of the Taino people will bring their voices to Occupy Wall Street and remind us to rethink Columbus day. They will also address how corporate greed and indigenous history have for hundreds of years been an integral part of the indigenous struggle to maintain a way of life, maintain Indigenous territories, and fulfill Indigneous responsibilities to the environment for future generations.
"Corporate greed is the driving factor for the global oppression and suffering of Indigenous populations. It is the driving factor for the conquest and continued suffering for the Indigenous peoples on this continent. The effects of greed eventually spills over and negatively impacts all peoples, everywhere. Indigenous peoples feel the pain first, but it eventually reaches all people. Understand our suffering to understand yours.”
Rosalie Little Thunder. (Sicangu Lakota, Owe Aku International Justice Project, a Lakota grass-roots human rights organization based on Lakota territories on the High Plains of North American and, internationally, in New York City).
“Indigenous peoples and supporters seek the formal revocation of the 1493 [command] by the Vatican to Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the ‘new world. Along with the 1494 Treaty of Todesillas, both decrees seek to establish domination world-wide and call for subjugation of non-Christian peoples and seizure (occupation) of our lands.
An estimated 100 million Indigenous peoples were eradicated during the process of Europe’s colonization of the western hemisphere.
The Inter Caetera is the foundation of the international system we live under today and directly related to the corporate-state-military occupation and rape of Mother Earth.” Tiokasin Ghost Horse, Host of First Voices Indigenous Radio on WBAI. Directions: Broadway & Cedar St. nr. Liberty St., at SE corner of Liberty Plaza/Zucotti Park; TRANSIT: #4, 5 to Wall St. (north exits) or to Fulton; R (not N) to Rector St. (at Trinity Pl.) or to Cortlandt St. (at Church St.: both platforms now open); A, C to Broadway-Nassau (at Fulton); J to Fulton (at Nassau); #1 to Rector (at Greenwich); Broadway bus; Varick St. bus; Water St.
Occupy Boston Ratifies Memorandum of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
The following resolution was passed by the Occupy Boston General Assembly on October 8th, 2011:
RESOLUTION: Memorandum of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
WHEREAS, those participating in “Occupy Boston” acknowledge that the United States of America is a colonial country, and that we are guests upon stolen indigenous land that has already been occupied for centuries, Boston being the ancestral land of the Massachusett people; and
WHEREAS, members of the First Nations have continued to resist the violent oppression and exploitation of the colonizers since they first arrived on this continent, and as a result have a great amount of experience that could strengthen this movement; and
WHEREAS, after centuries of disregard for the welfare of future generations, and the consistent disrespect and exploitation of the Earth, we find ourselves on a polluted and disturbed planet, lacking the wisdom to live sustainably at peace with the community of Life; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That we seek the involvement of the First Nations in the rebuilding of a new society on their ancestral land; and
As a signal to the national “Occupy” movement and to members of First Nations who have felt excluded by the colonialist language used to name this movement, it shall be declared that “Occupy Boston” aspires to “Decolonize Boston” with the guidance and participation of First Nations Peoples; and
Extending an open hand of humility and friendship, we hereby invite members of the First Nations to join us in this popular uprising now taking place across this continent. We wish to further the process of healing and reconciliation and implore Indigenous Peoples to share their wisdom and guidance, as they see fit, so as to help us restore true freedom and democracy and initiate a new era of peace and cooperation that will work for everyone, including the Earth and the original inhabitants of this land; and
We hereby declare that Columbus Day should be referred to as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
Today at 6pm various members of different Mexica (indigenous folks from Mexico) danza groups from across the city will be meeting at Wall Street for a ceremony to honor the earth, elements, ancestors and the many indigenous and global communities in resistance. We are asking for support from the POC Working Group to protect and support our danza circle tonight. Many of our folks would feel safer knowing that there’s an outer circle having our backs during the ceremony. If you have any questions feel free to email me. If your available to help out meet us at 6pm under the red structure at Liberty Plaza.
Citlalic Jeffers Peña
Hola comunidad de danza, indigena, raza, el pueblo y gente del color de la tierra…y aliados, estamos haciendo un llamado para hacer ceremonia, presencia y ofrenda para la madre tierra, los elementos, todos nuestros pueblos en resistencia, y nuestros ancestros que nos guian en OCUPAR WALL ST - el campamento en dia de la gente indigena este lunes 10 de OCTUBRE.
Es un llamado para honorar el pueblo de estas tierras y ofrendar nuestros rezos para esta lucha tan grande…..vamos a DECOLONIZAR a WALL ST. Pero queremos tomar en alta consideración la seguridad de todos y ser claras que hay una presencia grande de policias en el campamento de Wall Street, por favor comuniquense con alguna de nosotras.
TAMBIEN: NECESITAMOS a nuestros aliados que nos apoyen cuidando el circulo….para hacer esto muy fuerte y lindo.
NOS VAMOS A ENCONTRAR:
Fecha: Lunes 10 de OCT
Lugar: Campamento OCUPA WALL ST en Freedom Plaza por Broadway entre Liberty St y Cedar St.
ABAJO DE LA ESTRUCTURA ROJA
Actividad: Honorar las cuatro direcciones, hacer una ceremonia de danza para todos los grupos y ofrecer cantos cualquier otros rezos.
Esto no vienen de ningun grupo particular, solo surge de la necesidad de reconocer este dia importante dentro de este movimiento que se esta formando.
Sunday, Oct 9th, 6pm: An invitation from Movement for Justice in El Barrio
Movement for Justice in El Barrio at Occupy Wall St. (on occupied indigenous land)
This Sunday, October 9th at 6 p.m., members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio/ Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio, an organization that is part of the Zapatista initiated The Other Campaign, have been invited and will participate in Occupy Wall St. (on occupied indigenous land)
They will share a message written by the humble immigrant community of East Harlem on their seven-year struggle for dignity and against neoliberal displacement. In this message, they will speak on their vision of the world, their analysis of the problems that besiege it, and how they seek to change it. They will offer their grain of sand and make echo the voice of all the dignified people who are struggling to build a new world from below and to the left.
"For Movement for Justice in El Barrio, the struggle for justice means fighting for the liberation of women, immigrants, lesbians, people of color, gays and the transgender community. We all share a common enemy and its called neoliberalism. Neoliberalism wishes to divide us and keep us from combining our forces. We will defeat this by continuing to unite our entire community until we achieve true liberation for all.” -Words of Movement for Justice in El Barrio
Sunday, October 9 at 6 pm Location: Southeast Corner of Zuccotti Park (Underneath big red sculpture)
Broadway & Cedar St. nr. Liberty St., at SE corner of Liberty Plaza/Zucotti Park; TRANSIT: #4, 5 to Wall St. (north exits) or to Fulton; R (not N) to Rector St. (at Trinity Pl.) or to Cortlandt St. (at Church St.: both platforms now open); A, C to Broadway-Nassau (at Fulton); J to Fulton (at Nassau); #1 to Rector (at Greenwich); Broadway bus; Varick St. bus; Water St.
Occupy Wall Street People of Color Working Group Oct 6 2011 Minutes
Occupy Wall Street People of Color Working Group Oct 6 2011 Minutes
Origins: Started on Oct 1 2011. Formed in resopnse to people of color alienation. Get more communities involved.
2. Needs/ Organizational
3. Announcement/ proposal
So Far put out open call to communities, QPOCs, Religious etc of color. We have list of places to organize such as churches, mosques and community centers. People are working on a statement.
1. Outreach: It is difficult to do cuz of the heavy police presence. We need to get people involved without having to come here. We need to collaborate with existing groups. We need to build on previous work. Education needs to happen at liberaty plaza and in communities of color.
Direct Action: Next Friday we are having a Muslim prayer.
Need childcare cuz that will help more people come out. Andrew is childcare point person.
Second Edition of Occupy Wall Street is being written. We need copies to distribute to our communities. Paper needs to be in Spanish and other languages possibly. MICcheck needs to be in Spanish. Contact CrhalicJeffersctlalie9@yahoo.com
In the journal we need to have info on racial wealth disparities.
POCS need to pass out flyers for such meetings at Liberty Plaza.
Need to do education on police harrassment/ brutality.
Invite ACT UP for know your rights training at Liberty plaza.
Al Sharpton is being invited.
Safer Safe Group Developed out of need to make space safe for female boded people.
DEBATE: Should this be a poc only group
Here are the debates which happened. No names, just a letter assigned for each speaker.
a) occupy is an open space so we should be open.
b) keep it closed. waste time explaining poc stuff to non-pocs.
c) ally groups possible—yes
d)liason with safe space committee
e)important to have non poc in this space
f)close is good to be safe space
g)in GA, trying to have marginalized have voice
h)should we vote on this question tonight
i)how would closed group hurt us
j) be a caucus, have rep in every working group
k)we are a consensus group so we all need to agree
l)booklist on race and America
m)applciation process to see who should be in this space
n)this is not a closed group. it is open to poc
o)I came to this space cuz it was poc only and would be safe.
p)I feel uncomfy with length of conversation
q) occupy wall street might not last long. if people want to work multi-racially they should form seperate working group
r)this is already a multi-racial space
Wording of this workign group: POC working group open to anyone who identifies as a POC.
This is not a movement, but a working group on larger movement.
Unity is the best thing. People do not know how to act with each other, so need to think carefuly.
This is my 15th day at Wall Street, but spoke on GA for 1st time and on Thursand I was not listened to and was put down. Wall Street was built by POC and Black Slaves so it is a POC space.
This is not about division but about having our voices heard because this is our community.
Block: If you dont agree with proposal but everyone agrees, then you can leave.
Stand aside: Dont agree but will stay in group.
Queer POC and allies collective—white allies abused their privielge. Not a good process, dont have time to work through that, open to POC allowing allies to work with us.
-Open to POC
-Consensus because no blocks
-Move to google groups because larger than planned
-Have meeting every wednesday @ 6:30 and Sunday @ 3pm
-Will be posted on google group, FB and more.
Some important announcements that we did not get time to address last night:
1. A member of our group put together an excellent statement in solidarity with the thousands of prisoners who are on hunger strike demanding humane conditions in the California Prison System. The document has been shared with the Organizing google group. If you are interested in organizing with the group, please send in your email address and you will be added to that group and able to edit the document.
2. Upcoming Event: This Sunday, October 9th at 6 p.m., members of Movement for Justice in El Barrio, an organizanization that is part of the Zapatista initiated The Other Campaign have been invited and will participate in Occupy Wall St. They will share a message written by the humble immigrant community of East Harlem on their seven-year struggle for dignity and against neoliberal displacement. This information should go up on the tumblr, facebook and twitter and please attend and spread the word.
Cross the Brooklyn Bridge ● Show Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street Movement
Friday, OCTOBER 7, 2011
4 p.m. - Rally @ Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn
5 p.m. - March across the Brooklyn Bridge
6 p.m. - Rally with demonstrators at Liberty Plaza, Manhattan
To SHOW SOLIDARITY with the protestors of the OCCUPY WALL STREET movement, the HAITIAN COMMUNITY will march across the Brooklyn Bridge to Liberty Plaza.
The same BANKERS and CAPITALISTS who are driving North American working people into poverty, debt and homelessness have IMPOVERISHED HAITI for decades.
In APRIL 1990, OCTOBER 1991, AUGUST 1997 and MARCH 2000, Haitians have made a TRADITION of marching across the Brooklyn Bridge to protest racism, coup d’états, and police brutality. In 2011, the tradition will continue as the Haitian community shows its solidarity with the thousands rising up against capitalist greed and crisis. END the UN military occupation of Haiti! NO to reestablishing the coup-making Haitian Army! NO to Bill Clinton’s Interim Haiti Recovery Commission ! Let the people OCCUPY WALL STREET !
#OccupyWallStreet Union March From Foley Square on Wall Street
copied from: occupywallst.org
On October 05, 2011, at 3:00 in the afternoon the residents of Liberty Square will gather to join their union brothers and sisters in solidarity and march. At 4:30 in the afternoon the 99% will march in solidarity with #occupywallstreet from Foley Square to the Financial District, where their pensions have disappeared to, where their health has disappeared to. Together we will protest this great injustice. We stand in solidarity with the honest workers of:
Strong Economy for All Coalition
Working Families Party
TWU Local 100
Communications Workers of America
CWA Local 1180
United Auto Workers
United Federation of Teachers
Professional Staff Congress - CUNY
National Nurses United
Writers Guild East
Community Voices Heard
Alliance for Quality Education
New York Communities for Change
Coalition for the Homeless
Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP)
The Job Party
NYC Coalition for Educational Justice
The Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center
The New Deal for New York Campaign
National People’s Action
Human Services Council
Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State
Citizen Action of NY
Common Cause NY
New Bottom Line
Tenants & Neighbors
Democracy for NYC
Please note: The location of the march has been changed from City Hall to Foley Square
CALL OUT TO PEOPLE OF COLOR from the #OWS POC Working Group
To those who want to support the Occupation of Wall Street, who want to struggle for a more just and equitable society, but who feel excluded from the campaign, this is a message for you.
To those who do not feel as though their voices are being heard, who have felt unable or uncomfortable participating in the campaign, or who feel as though they have been silenced, this is a message for you.
To those who haven’t thought about #OccupyWallStreet but know that radical social change is needed, and to those who have thought about joining the protest but do not know where or how to begin, this is a message for you.
You are not alone. The individuals who make up the People of Color Working Group have come together because we share precisely these feelings and believe that the opportunity for consciousness-raising presented by #OccupyWallStreet is one that cannot be missed. It is time to push for the expansion and diversification of #OccupyWallStreet. If this is truly to be a movement of the 99%, it will need the rest of the city and the rest of the country.
Let’s be real. The economic crisis did not begin with the collapse of the Lehman Brothers in 2008. Indeed, people of color and poor people have been in a state of crisis since the founding of this country, and for indigenous communities, since before the founding of the nation. We have long known that capitalism serves only the interests of a tiny, mostly white, minority.
Black and brown folks have long known that whenever economic troubles ‘necessitate’ austerity measures and the people are asked to tighten their belts, we are the first to lose our jobs, our children’s schools are the first to lose funding, and our bodies are the first to be brutalized and caged. Only we can speak this truth to power. We must not miss the chance to put the needs of people of color—upon whose backs this country was built—at the forefront of this struggle.
The People of Color Working Group was formed to build a racially conscious and inclusive movement. We are reaching out to communities of color, including immigrant, undocumented, and low-wage workers, prisoners, LGTBQ people of color, marginalized religious communities such as Muslims, and indigenous peoples, for whom this occupation ironically comes on top of another one and therefore must be decolonized. We know that many individuals have responsibilities that do not allow them to participate in the occupation and that the heavy police presence at Liberty Park undoubtedly deters many. We know because we are some of these individuals. But this movement is not confined to Liberty Park: with your help, the movement will be made accessible to all.
If it is not made so, it will not succeed. By ignoring the dynamics of power and privilege, this monumental social movement risks replicating the very structures of injustice it seeks to eliminate. And so we are actively working to unite the diverse voices of all communities, in order to understand exactly what is at stake, and to demand that a movement to end economic injustice must have at its core an honest struggle to end racism.
The People of Color working group is not meant to divide, but to unite, all peoples. Our hope is that we, the 99%, can move forward together, with a critical understanding of how the greed, corruption, and inequality inherent to capitalism threatens the lives of all peoples and the Earth.
AN OPEN LETTER FROM TWO WHITE MEN TO #OCCUPYWALLSTREET
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 “one people, united,” a “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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Some announcements: Monday, October 3rd, Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference will be at the 7pm General Assembly at Liberty Park.
On Friday, Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP will be at the 7pm GA. This is an exciting development and our group should be there to welcome and hopefully meet/build with them! If possible, please come out tomorrow. Meet at 6pm under the red statue or find one of us.