This woman has been standing in front of city hall almost every Saturday since October. She missed a few because of the flu. #OWS

The one thing I can appreciate about OWS is that it’s gotten people talking.

Also, that light shining down was some sort of something… I just finished rereading a book on Liberation Theology so I’m feeling it.

This woman has been standing in front of city hall almost every Saturday since October. She missed a few because of the flu. #OWS

The one thing I can appreciate about OWS is that it’s gotten people talking.

Also, that light shining down was some sort of something… I just finished rereading a book on Liberation Theology so I’m feeling it.

[Image Description: Flyer for January 10th Action with the state of California on it. Text is below:

Statewide Day of ActionJanuary 10, 2012Press Conference & Rally for the 2012 Budget ReleaseSan FranciscoState Building:350 McAllister St.San Francsico, CA 941023:00 pmPete WoiwodePwoiwode@communitychange.org510-504-9552
Sacramento:Capital BuildingSacramento, CA11:00 amEvan LeVangEvan.levang@ilsnc.org(530) 893-8527
Fresno State Building:2550 Mariposa Mall Fresno, CA 9372112 noonRose Augusterauguste@health-access.org510-842-6770Mari Lopezmlopez@communitychange.org213-369-9460
Los Angeles State Building:300 S. Spring StreetLos Angeles, CA12:00 noonAstrid Camposacampos@communitychange.org(213) 407-5840
San Bernardino State Building:Rosa Parks464 West 4th StreetSan Bernardino, CA 9240112 noonMaribel Nuñezmnunez@communitychange.org562-569-4051

More than kinda hate that they are using the 99% shit as I hate OWS. However, this isn’t a OWS action so I’ll be there.

[Image Description: Flyer for January 10th Action with the state of California on it. Text is below:

Statewide Day of Action
January 10, 2012
Press Conference & Rally for the 2012 Budget Release
San Francisco
State Building:
350 McAllister St.
San Francsico, CA 94102
3:00 pm
Pete Woiwode
Pwoiwode
@communitychange.org
510-504-9552


Sacramento:
Capital Building
Sacramento, CA
11:00 am
Evan LeVang
Evan.levang@ilsnc.org
(530) 893-8527

Fresno State Building:
2550 Mariposa Mall Fresno, CA 93721
12 noon
Rose Auguste
rauguste@health-access.org
510-842-6770
Mari Lopez
mlopez@communitychange.org
213-369-9460

Los Angeles State Building:
300 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA
12:00 noon
Astrid Campos
acampos@communitychange.org
(213) 407-5840

San Bernardino State Building:
Rosa Parks
464 West 4th Street
San Bernardino, CA 92401
12 noon
Maribel Nuñez
mnunez@communitychange.org
562-569-4051

More than kinda hate that they are using the 99% shit as I hate OWS. However, this isn’t a OWS action so I’ll be there.

Occupy Oakland voted down the suggestion to change their name to “Decolonize Oakland” at last nights general meeting. This is why I can’t fuck with y’all.

It was voted down 68% said change it and 38% said not to change it.

A main reason to not change it was because they felt it was important to have solidarity with occupy camps across the country and still be connected. What about proving solidarity with first nation communities, black communities, latin@ communities, communities of color, woman*, and everyone else?

There is no logic to keeping the name simply for solidarity purposes and to be connected. It’s not like a name change will automatically lead to a disassociation to the larger movement. Plus, if poc are saying the movement needs to deal with its racist agenda before moving forward why wouldn’t you want to disassociate anyways? If the majority said change it… fucking change it. Not changing it is again another move to silence minorities. Because there wasn’t consensus that means we should stick with the status quo?

If we waited on the smaller to get their shit together on any issue nothing would be done.

I still find it disgusting as fuck that these conversations have to take place in OAKLAND.

disabilitylink:

A sign from Occupy Syracuse.  

[Image Description: Colorful sign that reads “People with DISABILITIES Aren’t SICK (next line) We need work too. (next line) BEYOND EQUAL ACCESS]
It’s a fucking shame that even within OWS we (pwds) still gotta educate them on what the fuck is up with our community.

disabilitylink:

A sign from Occupy Syracuse.  

[Image Description: Colorful sign that reads “People with DISABILITIES Aren’t SICK (next line) We need work too. (next line) BEYOND EQUAL ACCESS]

It’s a fucking shame that even within OWS we (pwds) still gotta educate them on what the fuck is up with our community.

(Source: disabilitythoughts)

[TW: for talk of police brutality]

stupidfancy:

From Democracy Now: We speak with Kamran Loghman, the expert who developed weapons-grade pepper-spray, who says he was shocked at how police have used the chemical agent on non-violent Occupy Wall Street protesters nationwide — including students at University of California, Davis, female protesters in New York City, and an 84-year old activist in Seattle. “I saw it and the first thing that came to my mind wasn’t police or students, it was my own children sitting down having an opinion and they’re being shot and forced by chemical agents,” says Loghman, who in the 1980s helped the FBI develop weapons-grade pepper -spray, and collaborated with police departments to develop guidelines for its use. “The use was just absolutely out of the ordinary and it was not in accordance with any training or policy of any department that I know of. I personally certified 4,000 police officers in the early ‘80s and ‘90s and I have never seen this before. That’s why I was shocked… I feel is my civic duty to explain to the public that this is not what pepper spray was developed for.”

I wonder if guidelines for it’s use” means only against communities of color. Because pepper spray has been used against folx for fucking ever and now dude wanna come out and say police have gone to far?

(via muttershanks)

A great way to measure the success of OWS

Ask non-white and non-privileged people if they have felt that this movement has changed anything for them. If they have felt empowered, listened to, more informed than they were before it started.

lowendtheory:

Waziyatawin speaks to Occupy Oakland.

“With European countries facing bankruptcy, we are witnessing the endgame of capitalism.  The paradigm of unlimited growth is inherently unsustainable.  It always has been, but this truth is finally catching up to American society.  Given the realities of peak debt and peak oil, we are now facing the collapse of the American economy and the collapse of civilization more broadly. These, combined with the crises emerging from global warming, climate change, and the collapsing of ecosystems due to hyperexploitation means that it is time for everyone to recognize the harm of the existing systems and institutions, and to seek to dismantle them completely before it is all destroyed.  You will not find your justice in capitalism.  You will not find your justice in the colonial government of the United States.  You will find justice when the institutions of capitalism and colonialism are destroyed and replaced with sustainable ways of being that nurture and protect all life.”

Occupy—>Decolonize, y’all.

I believe this speech is amazing. However, the added commentary by the OP that “occupy-decolonize” is unnecessary and completely false.

I don’t know if White People* have noticed but occupying and the Occupy ~movement~ is not decolonizing, it is another form of supremacy. Different name same face. It is a completely false notion that Occupy has done anything besides change the conversation for White People to talk about the economic inequality. That is a huge win too, there is value in that. For many people, people of color, trans* people, disabled people, woman, we’ve had those conversation before and the conversations have been happening for a long time. The conversations that could range from telling your children that they can’t have something “because there is no money” to having to decide which bill to pay to a college student struggling to buy books. They go beyond economic inequality and exist in reality.

I hate to have to keep repeating myself. Decolonzing does not look like this movement. It’s a great ideal to have, don’t get me wrong, but as it applies to OWS, it’s still just that-an ideal.

Decolonizing doesn’t look like multiple assults at camps across the country.

Decolonizing doesn’t not look like a movement that silences the voices of the REAL poor, POC, women, trans*, people with disabilities, the homeless.

Decolonizing doesn’t look a movement led by White People who have all of a sudden woken up to their oppression.

Decolonizing does not look like 100’s of people on a lawn and having some great conversation but then not moving beyond that point.

Decolonizing does not look like White People comparing this movement to any other movement in history trying to gain it’s validity by invalidating other movements.

This is not decolonizing.

I’m tired of this movement because it seems to think that we somehow need white voices and white faces to validate the oppression our communities and all communities have been experiencing and using this WOC’s voice as a way to make it seem like this movement is being inclusive. The fact that I have to keep lets me know that it’s not where it should be. Hell, it may not ever get there.

(via hairyqueerkid-deactivated201206)

Maybe Batman stuff?

this will forever be my retort when white people refuse to listen to poc especially when it comes to cops. I’m just gonna be like “you know what fine. but maybe batman stuff will happen and then imma be laughin at yo ass”. or if i spot 5-0 i’ll make it into code. aye! maybe batman stuff! and everyone fuckin bounces.

(Source: quelola)

fatpeopleofcolor:

I requested to post the following in this space to maintain anonymity and I’d like to thank the mods of this space for allowing me to do so. I also want to acknowledge that this is a first draft and that changes may be made. I would also like to thank those who helped me edit this piece and those who sent me resources. Any desired contact with the author can be sent here and they will reach the author. I wrote this quickly and small edits will be made to this post, so please check this space for the most recent versions. Please do not repost outside of tumblr without permission.

Edit: Backstrory I was asked for permission to use my thoughts after an email exchange with Colin Frangicetto of Circa Survive. I want to thank him for referencing to this piece in his excellent essay “Finding Occupy Wall Street: Democracy, Elephants and Jackassery” over at Alternative Press. It is definitely worth the read.

============================================

As it stands now, both in my personal experience of visiting a local camp, following user created media and information sharing, mainstream media, and speaking with people in my communities, OWS has a white, cis male, able-bodied face and agenda. But before I get to that, I want to acknowledge and honor that there have been people of color (POC), lgtbq people, people with disabilities and many other people who experience oppression every day that are fighting to have their voices heard within this movement and who have been doing the work that is necessary to make this an inclusive movement. What I am now proposing is that those people in a position of privilege do the work necessary to make OWS across the country a safe space for more people to participate. Here are some ways that aren’t easy, but are necessary to have progressive change and a truly inclusive space and movement.

1)    Recognize your individual and systemic white privilege. White privilege plays a major role in the OWS movement for a lot of different reasons. White privilege is experienced by white folx and plays into the large problem of heteronormativity, ableism, hierarchicy. Because we live in a society that values white people more than anything else, we must acknowledge and recognize that addressing white privilege is addressing all other forms of oppression. If the movement can find a way to call out and fight against white privilege, we are fighting against the larger issue of oppression. Recognize that OWS remains a “white peoples movement”, operating under a system that plays preference to the white experience and within the confines of white supremacy. We are still coloring within the lines allowed to us by the 99% and the 1% using only one color and one method, and sometimes the crayon may be held by a different hand, but we are still required to follow the directions.

2)   Change the name. From the beginning of OWS, has had some adamant voices who have been against using the term “occupy”. Occupy Wall Street uses language that is oppressive. The term “occupy” is rooted in privilege because of the assumed right to take a space over. Many Natives and non-Natives have expressed extreme disapproval of the use of the term “occupy”. All non-Native folx have already been occupying this land without permission for over 500 years. Communities of color also have a history of experienced occupation through colonialism and gentrification. To use that rhetoric isn’t fighting back against the white supremacy of the 1%, it is reinforcing it.  Using this term has allowed for the continued oppression of Native people and has given the movement a face of exclusion. It has perpetuated a colonialist mentality that allows people to think that it is okay to “occupy” a space without regard to the past history of that space and the people who that space really belonged to. As an example, in Oakland, the camp set up in Frank Ogawa Plaza and renamed it Oscar Grant Plaza. It allowed for the erasure of one person of color and renamed it after another person of color without regard to how this might create tension among people of color. Using the term “occupy” sets up a dialogue and action that is dismissive of people of color from wanting to participate, it changed the dialogue and the actions that has been occurring and will occur. If and when the name is changed a larger dialogue can begin on how to decolonize the minds.

3)   Recognize that all forms of participation are valid. I want to acknowledge briefly class privilege, which is also white privilege, which exists within Occupy Wall Street. When the movement first began, many people who had the privilege to recognize they were being oppressed, were doing so because they were college students who now had a tremendous amount of debt. For many of them, this was probably the first type of oppression they have experienced. The middle class and “lower” middle class were finally waking up. There has been inherent class privilege because many people don’t have the opportunity to even attend college or take out loans. So that leads to a space that is only safe for the few. Many cis women, queer, trans*, disabled, and people of color have not been able to feel safe in the camps. I have felt this first hand. I chose not to take part in many of the actions that Occupy Oakland has done because I didn’t want to make myself a target to police AND I also didn’t want to make myself a target to white cis men. I finally decided when and how I would participate and made sure that it was safe for me to do so. This leads me to my point: we should not place a hierarchical value system on the work the individual is doing. There has been work many people are doing outside the camp, among their own circle of friends, among co-workers, blogs and other online media and space, and in their own communities that may not require them to set up camp somewhere but does allow them to start and continue dialogue in safe spaces. Another reason this is necessary is to combat ableist sentiments. Allowing people to think that the only way to contribute is to attend a General Assembly, march in a rally, and/or set up camp, is not recognizing that there is much more work to be done and many ways to do it. It dismisses peoples concerns over creating and existing in safe spaces and inclusive spaces. This also means that we must acknowledge that not everyone in the movement will be non-violent and non-destructive. Many people, especially communities of color, have long been experiencing police brutality in all forms and “violence” will be a method that some choose to use in response to police brutality. To disregard and devalue violence is to devalue the individual experience of police brutality. Combating against ableism, not placing a value system on the work people are doing, and not having negative sentiments towards what is being labeled an “anarchist” actions among OWS, is creating a more inclusive and safe space, and expanding and creating a progressive movement. Also, the movement must continue to ask how they are including the “working class”, the unemployed, the homeless and the undocumented into the movement.

4)   Know and learn perspectives of history outside of the white, male perspective; respect individual history. Don’t question the individuals on the validity of a claim that something is racist, ableist, promoting colonialism, white supremacist, trans*phobic, homophobic, and/or when they call you out, is wrong or incorrect sentiment-especially when they are speaking about it from a personal perspective. Valuing the history of individuals and of communities is essential to moving forward. Recognize that all oppressed people and communities have been experiencing their oppression for a lot longer than OWS has existed, and that work has been happening to fight back against privilege for a long time. Comparing this movement to other movement of the past, when this one is led by white folx, is not understanding or respecting the struggles of other communities. Many people of color have been doing all types of activism work, social justice work, fighting back against tyranny for a lot longer than OWS has existed. While OWS may be doing some things that can be labeled as revolutionary, some of the tactics that OWS is using are rooted in communities of color, therefore, not being inclusive isn’t just hurtful to POC, but detrimental to the community and movement as a whole. Not only that, but when white activist use the methods of communities of color, they automatically change that method to the white persons experience, so while it may seem the same, in a sense they are appropriating and devaluing the work of communities of the past and present. All individuals who experience oppression are already fighting every day against this oppression by merely existing. So to exclude these individuals from the movement is not fighting back against a 1%, it is empowering the system to continue. 

My critique is by no means a dismissal of the movement. It is a challenge to the white, cis, able-bodied, privileged individuals to do some much-needed self-reflection on how they operate within the movement. Questions that white privileged people within OWS should be asking themselves:

1) How am I operating within this space?

2) Am I making this a safe space for EVERYONE? Why? Why not? When? When not? How? How not?

3) How does my personal lived experience give me privilege?

4) How do I experience oppression?

5) How is my history one of oppressing?

6) How is the history of communities I am a part of been exclusive?

7)  Am I listening when I need to? Learning when I need to? Staying quiet when I need to? Allowing myself to be open to the experience of others?

8) How do I play into a system of white supremacist, heteronormative, colonializtion?

9) Am I making myself uncomfortable by questioning my own existence in order to grow and learn?

10) How am I showing solidarity to other communities that are also present here?

11) Where can I be right now to learn more?

12) Is my presence in this space welcomed? Is my presence hindering the dialogue?

13) How am I documenting this? Should I be writing, recording, what I see happening to make sure the media doesn’t make it look differently? Am I writing from personal experience without making generalizations and assumptions about something I am not?

14) Am I giving other people the tools to openly express what they feel and their experience?

15) How is my being asked to share my experience on any platform playing into heteronormative, ableist, privileged, colonized thinking?

16) How am validating or invalidating other people’s experiences?

 

Further Reading:

Unsettling America: Decolonization in Theory and Practice

Rosa De Fuego on Anarchist Action

OWS Must Resist Cis-Supremacy and Trans-Mysogyny

In Front and Center: Critical Voices of the 99%

How to Make Occupy Wall Street More Trans-Inclusive

Qualities of A White Anti-Racist Ally

Becoming A Anti-Racist White Ally: How An Affinity Group Can Help

I need to be reblog this in full.

corigami:

fatpeopleofcolor:

I requested to post the following in this space to maintain anonymity and I’d like to thank the mods of this space for allowing me to do so. I also want to acknowledge that this is a first draft and that changes may be made. I would also like to thank those who helped me edit this piece and…

This is crucial piece regarding OWS and what needs to happen to make this movement be inclusive and relevant. As one of the mods of fatpoc, I am proud that this is being presented here, as a means of making sure all bodies, all people are included in the work ahead of all of us. As fat people of color, as a queer person of color and size personally, we all know how hard it is to be seen and ignore, or to allowed agency and validity in our lives and in greater movements and work such as this. Thanks to the author for bringing these issues into inspection and offering specifics on how this work can begin. 

I’m really excited about this and appreciative that it was shared through fpoc. Also, please read it.

(via tierracita)