From the accompanying text of the YouTube video:
Open Letter to the Occupy Movement:
This movement has the potential to evolve into something beautiful, something that takes into account the issues affecting all of us—not just the white, college educated members of the 99%.
If you try to hinder this growth because you claim it will destroy the movement, you will only be left behind while a more radical autonomous platform is built. The new platform will center the experiences of people of color, of women, of other groups that have been marginalized by a white majority.
We are not asking for permission to rename the movement anymore. The movement—the wave of empowerment that people are waking up to internationally—does not belong to you. It was around before the occupy movement and it will be around long after it leaves us. Resistance is only truly sustainable if it holds sacred the struggles of the most oppressed and we will call our movements, our resistance, our struggle, whatever we want.
Thank you for taking the time to watch this film and reflecting on what role you wish to play in making movements truly liberating.
A note on the footage: this is not an extensive video of the GA, as I was late and did not film everything. there were many white people who spoke in favor of the proposal (I included the one I filmed) and there were a few people of color who spoke against it. The majority of people present at what appeared to be a majority people of color GA voted in favor (68.5 percent) of changing the name to Decolonize Oakland.
As the video shows, the proposal did not pass, however.
A statement was posted by DeColonize LA yesterday on the UnpermittedLA blog questioning through their shared experiences the ‘leaderless’ claims of Occupy LA and how it has actually functioned to marginalize the more disenfranchised sectors of the 99%. The breaking point came when a flier with names and photos of activists was circulated accusing them of seeking to ‘hijack’ the movement and provoke police. At this juncture, DeColonize LA is shifting focus to form popular assemblies throughout the city instead.
We made several attempts to present proposals, workshops, and discussions at the General Assembly, in small groups, and in one-on-one conversations. Although the overall Occupation movement nationally aspires to use participatory democracy and the consensus process to be inclusive of the people, the efforts by the leadership to maintain informal control have prevented discussion or recognition of patriarchy, white supremacy, classism, heteronormativity, and other layers of oppression that exist in the broader society, which continue to be perpetuated within this “occupation.” Women of color in particular have been silenced. Many of us are tired of futilely trying to explain to middle class white activists that they really aren’t experiencing the same levels of oppression as people of color or the working class or underclass. The constant rhetoric of the “99%” and calls for blind “unity” have the effect of hiding inequalities and very real systems of oppression that exist beyond the “1%-99%” dichotomy and rendering invisible the struggles of a majority of the people in this city.
Full post here!
Lewis gets blocked at Occupy Atlanta
Last Friday, Civil Rights Activist turned Congressman John Lewis was blocked from addressing Occupy Atlanta’s general assembly. The person who opposed the idea did so on the basis of “kick starting a democratic process where no singular human being is inherently more valuable than any other human being” – you know, the very ideal Lewis risked and damn near lost his life as a black man and SNCC organizer decades before the Occupy movement ever got started. The incident highlights many of the issues Disoccupy aggregates articles on. A news & analysis piece from Colorlines delves into why confronting race is integral to any efforts to take on the 1% and offers historical examinations of Occupied Atlanta in 1865/1906/1960/1996 and 2011 to further shine a light.
Getting it right about race is important for the Occupy movement everywhere, but especially here in Georgia, where there is nothing subtle about the relationship between race, corporations and the government. Georgia’s government was created by and for plantation farmers, the original 1 percent, running antebellum corporations. And that 1 percent has been using everything in its power, most notably the criminal justice system, to hold on to its centuries-old gains.
Full post here!