By now we’ve all seen the John Pike memes lampooning the officer who pepper sprayed protesting UC Davis students. Pike deserves no sympathy, but as a ‘flashpoint’ moment in the Autumn of Occupy, the sister in the above video, also a UCD student, asks some very important questions and offers important analysis. The post comes from a Tumblr site that puts a new twist on #OWS by calling itself ‘Occupy White Supremacy.’ In another commentary, since celebratory appraisals of Occupy in the left media say that it has achieved victory by putting the issue of wealth inequality at the forefront, the site asks in that discussion, what is being left out? What is left being unsaid?
So, let’s talk about another OWS….
Occupy white supremacy… and the machinery of whiteness…and structural racism…
When are we going to start talking about why the mainstream media is so ‘horrified’ and concerned, when certain people are ‘victims’ of police violence over others?
Check out the Tumblr site here!
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!
Victor’s post on his experience at OLosA is one of our most popular reads here. He sent us a link to blog which provides more analysis, explains why it’s important to stay critical, and has a lot of great ideas for moving forward:
My intent here isn’t to be a cynic. There are a lot of amazing things happening in the Occupy LA organizing space, and as stated above I believe it has the potential to explode into something historic, if it isn’t already. However, there are a lot of problems which are already turning people off and preventing us to move forward and be everything that we can be. This critique is meant to identify these problems. Where I refer to “leaders,” I truly do not refer to individuals, but to the very concept of leadership as it is existing in effect. I believe that if all of the current leaders were replaced with new people without changing the structures in place, there would be no noticeable changes. Criticism is necessary for movements, and this criticism is meant to be constructive. I know that not everyone will respond productively or take these issues seriously, but ignoring serious concerns or responding with personal attacks will hurt the movement rather than defend it.
Read the full post here!