What happens when you claim to be the 99% but willfully ignore or patronize radical dis-ability rights activists who correctly point out that if you want an encampment, you should–at minimum–provide wheelchair accessible porta-potties? You’re gonna get called out by radical crrpl gurls like Emma Rosenthal. When Rosenthal realized that Occupy LosA’s organizers weren’t planning around securing an accessible space for folks with dis-ablities, she made a concerted effort to reach out across different mediums; instead of getting a formal response, she was ignored by some and mocked by others. It only went downhill from there:
Those weren’t the only responses I got, Someone else tweeted me to let me know Ron Kovic had spoken “from his chair”, as if one celebrity crrpl (who is NOT a dis-ability rights activist or advocate) means there’s access. Others said they saw other people with canes and wheelchairs, so I should just shut up. (Did anyone ask them what it took to attend, and if they needed anything?, so is attending, by extension, a form of complicity, simply because by being seen, we’re allowing PWODs to deny access issues persist?) And what of Ron Kovic? Do the crowds respond to his celebrity, the same way they respond to ordinary crrpl folk? Does he bring his own attendants and assistants? Shoot, Ron can afford a driver, and even his own personal RV, complete with bathroom if he needs one. This ISN’T a personal issue. IT MUST BE TREATED AS A COLLECTIVE ISSUE!!!
You can read the full post here, where Rosenthal also provides ideas about how to move forward. (And, if you’re interested in reading more about why “the responsibility for access lies with the event planners [and] is not the responsibility of the individual attending the event,” make sure you check out Rosenthal’s Guide to Accessible Event Planning!)