Thursday, October 13, 2011

occupy the hood includes all 99%

aljazeera | Just one week into the Occupy Wall Street movement, some activists identified what they considered a major flaw in the organising process, saying that people of colour in the United States were left out of the initial mobilisation.

From the start, the Occupy movement has prided itself on representing "99 per cent" of the population, meaning they have vastly different experiences from the highest earning one per cent, who have a much stronger ability to control and affect both the financial system and the government.

But some activists view the 99 per cent claim critically, saying that they were not included, and therefore the claim is problematic.

As soon as Malik Rhaasan began to use Facebook and Twitter for his idea of "Occupy the Hood", an Occupy sub-organisation that would aim to bring people of colour into the organising process, it began to catch on.

Between the two outreach tools, the group has more than 7,000 followers from around the world, and at least five major US cities have organised their own chapters.

Al Jazeera spoke with Ife Johari Uhuru, a mother and activist in Detroit, Michigan, who signed onto Rhasaan’s idea early on, and began coordinating outreach for the group.

AJE: What is Occupy The Hood and why is there a need for it?

IJU: When Occupy Wall Street started it just focused on capitalism and classism, and I think that some social issues were not brought up. You can't separate capitalism from racism - even if we did away with capitalism there would still be racism - so I posed this question to people of colour on Twitter and Facebook: Do you think more people would be involved if racism was included in this movement along with capitalism? And the overwhelming consensus was yes.Occupy The Hood was born out of a need that we saw to try to get people of colour involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement - not just in New York, but all around the world - to get involved in the general assemblies where decisions are made.

Without everybody, it's not a true representation of the 99 per cent. I don't know if the doors are being closed to people of colour, but this does involve us - come out and get involved in it. It's not a white fight, it's a people's fight. We can't be counted if we're not there - if we're not present to be counted.

66 comments:

Big Don said...

The "better" Mobilizers_of_Color are in jail/prison (gang-bangers).  You can't get out and "Occupy" if you're locked up...

CNu said...

Lol, and what precisely leads you to presume that non-violent protest is something in which these young men might have even the faintest interest?

Big Don said...

Graffiti, tagging, flashing signs, dirty looks, are all forms of non-violent protesting - gangbangers are great at that as well as being top-to-bottom well-organized, well-mobilized.  That's exactly your required skill set.  Avoiding violence is generally preferable unless absolutely necessary to get results when intimidation is insufficient to do the job. Many gangs are even run by bosses from their prison cells with sophisticated communication procedures and codes. There is a cable show "Gangland" on A&E, History, Discovery (some of those) where each hour episode covers metamorphosis from inception to, in some cases, extinction, or merger, of a specific gang in some district of some (usually) urban center.  Covers all that wild stuff.  

It's really nice being retired, plenty of time to absorb all that fascinating info...BTW, did any Bloods/Crips/Surrenos/MS-13 show up at the KC library last Monday for the Gigabit BrainZOOMing seminar...??  BD considered dropping in but our Gulfstream was in the shop for some upgrades...

CNu said...

lol,

BD, has it occurred to you that you may be watching too much television, and that between local news, scanner, townhall.com, and your preferred HBD watering holes - that you may be self-inducing unproductive reality distortions?

Big Don said...

It DOESN'T get more real than what goes down on the Police, Fire, Medic channels on the  scanner.  Which correlates well, anyhow, with the other BD data sources you listed...

CNu said...

It's the normative baseline in the mainstream economy and has been as far back as one cares to reckon...,

CNu said...

There you go, no way cop chatter on cop channels would EVER be skewed in any particular direction, just pure, objective, fact-based reportage....,

Tom said...

Of course you're right.  I've worked with folks online who theorized that this could be treated as an education issue that white liberals can easily cope with once they're aware of it.   But no, 80% of the time, no, wrong theory.   The resistance tended to become  less and less "inadvertent" as we made the issue harder to ignore.  Starting bid from the WL side was normally the chillingly unexamined "Innocent mistake, we forgot all about you guys; but now that we think of it, we already represent your interests implicitly" and gets worse from there.    
I still think, education--well, discipline, frankly--at an early age took some of the edge of my own faith in the White Mystique; it is not inherently impossible.  It's just not actually taking place.

CNu said...

I was one of three black faces at the brainstorm last monday. One of my friends is an advertising and social media baronet in KC, and he and I go back all the way to junior high school. Like myself, he was an invited participant, and as he approached to greet me, the first words out of his mouth were words of embarrassment in reaction to the conspicuous absence of color at the event. I'm going to guess there was little self-conscious concern for the absence round about and otherwise...,

brotherbrown said...

Occupy actually happens where you are as much as where people physically gather.  At least, that's the way I see it.

Big Don said...

BD claims 100 Perceptiveness Points...BTW, latest PRR indicates a sour disposition is inherited http://www.economist.com/node/21532247  

Dale Asberry said...

Little Don 100% perceptive. Lulz.

This gem's gonna make me chuckle all day long...

Sheilagh said...

Synergy potential: http://dailykos.com/story/2011/10/13/1025971/-A-space-of-our-own:-A-Womens-Perspective-on-OccupyBoston-clicks

Women are marginalized in many of the General Assemblies, but the white ones are at least numerically more represented than people of color.  That diary offers first hand reporting, and commentors resonate on it, especially notes that angry white males are stealing the proverbial speaking baton, with some suggestions that might help, some.

We need to wake up more people to mapping!  ;-) Lordy, it's been ages since I've recalled the Programmers Stone...

CNu said...

What.a.pleasant.sunday.morning.surprise - welcome, welcome!!

What on earth provoked you to google your way to the fringe precincts of the bagdad cafe? 

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