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.
The People of Color working group was launched on October 1, 2011. We can be reached by email at email@example.com. We can also be found online at pococcupywallstreet.tumblr.com We meet Sundays @ 3 PM and Wednesdays @ 6:30 PM under the large red structure in Liberty Square.
I figured I should write down what happened today, before I forget or before too many stories get muddled together.
My friend, my partner, and I arrived at Zucotti Park around 3 for the march, which began quickly, after everyone shared various rules. (No violence, write the phone number for legal council on yr arm, etc, etc)
We marched through lower Manhattan, and no route was specified, but we were told to not pass the head of the crowd, which was carrying a banner. Cops stood by and kept us on the sidewalk.
Then I noticed we were approaching the Brooklyn Bridge.
Cops were ushering people onto the bridge, but as I noticed we were walking into the roadway, I started to get scared. We climbed over the fence onto the pedestrian bridge. The first half of the crowd continued on the road, while the second half continued on the pedestrian bridge. Cops were flanking both sides of the entrance to the bridge and there was no way to turn back. As we walked up the elevated pedestrian bridge, we heard cops call for backup and they drove 2 police vans backwards up the bridge to where the protesters were. They stopped traffic and then brought vans in from the other side as well and trapped the protesters.
We watched from above as people began climbing the cords and metal of the bridge to escape the cops. People on the pedestrian bridge were trying to pull people up out of the roadway.
We continued forward into Brooklyn as the cops brought a net onto the bridge from the Manhattan side.
By the time we gathered into the park in Brooklyn, only a few hundred of us were left.
Cops began surrounding the park, and we all disbanded.
One of my friends was in the area where cops had people corralled. According to her Facebook updates and tweets, and other updates from trapped protesters, a child was arrested, and busses were brought in to arrest every single person. All of the men were taken first, and then all of the women.
They were told they were being arrested for disorderly conduct.
The police led them there and trapped them.
Please reblog this. People need to know what happened, and cops need to be held accountable for their actions.