I see tons and tons of outrage, totally legit outrage, about how cops are clocking protesters left and right. That’s all well and good. That shit needs to be publicized. It needs to stop.
But, uh. I was born and raised in NYC. Lived here all but maybe 3 years of my life. And let me tell you, NYPD does this shit every day, on a regular basis to black and brown people in this city. Errrrrrrrrryday. It is a fact of life, basically. Chris Rock was only half joking when he said in one of his HBO specials that NYPD is one of the leading causes of death for black people. I live less than 5 minutes away from where Abner Louima was arrested and less than 10 minutes away from where he was sexually assaulted viciously by cops.
What I’m seeing on the internet, which is kind of a running theme with OWS in general (and kind of why I side eye the fuck out of it despite agreeing with its sentiments and most of the intent), is what amounts to “OH SWEET JESUS, THE POLICE ARE BEATING WHITE PEOPLE, STOP THE PRESSES”. That is seriously how it’s coming across. Because, to be honest, PoC have to basically get killed or brutalized by the cops for it to even blip on people’s radar. And even then it’s like, we have to be killed or brutalized in some spectacularly heinous way for it to get any attention.
And it’s like, white people are wringing their hands and shit like, AMG I THOUGHT THE POLICE WERE OUR ~FRIENDS~, CAN THEY BE A PART OF THIS MOVEMENT OR NOT?! AMG AMG BECKY WHHHHHHHHY
And then I see some bullshit article by the Socialist Workers where they’re talking about how these motherfuckers are sitting up there appropriating Sean Bell’s name for a fuckin protest chant, the same article that invokes Slutwalk (REALLY?!?! AFTER THIS WEEK!?!?!), all talking about police brutality. Oh my god.
Really, tho? REALLY?
Reblogging because this is an excellent bit of writing.
How quickly people like Amadou Diallo are forgotten…
Happens in Detroit more than I care to say, too.
Oct 07 2011
Oct 05 2011
“ But as Audre Lorde wrote, it is not the responsibility of the oppressed to educate the oppressors about our mistakes. White people may not be to blame for the privileged position we occupy, but we must be accountable for the liberties and benefits we enjoy at the expense of our black and brown brothers and sisters. ”
Oct 03 2011
“ SlutWalk is on a Saturday, Wall Street is around-the-clock. Since April, SlutWalk has maintained a constant media presence, but it doesn’t expect its protesters to be on the march all the time. It’s a single day—a single, weekend day—in each city. Full participation doesn’t require an empty schedule. Occupy Wall Street’s “set up camp and stay there” approach is anachronistic. It may have worked at a time when the economy was good, but it isn’t feasible anymore. This movement is primarily accessible to professional activists and those who can afford not to work, which undermines the populist, mainstream message the movement purports to convey. It’s ironic that the things keeping people like me away from Wall Street are the very things the protesters decry—job scarcity, the wealth gap, rising health care and food costs. But that doesn’t make it any more likely that we’ll show up. We’re holding onto our jobs for dear life. Occupy Wall Street’s style and vibe could evolve now that New York City unions have voted unanimously to support the movement and plan an upcoming march. But the fact remains: In order to speak to the largest number of people, a protest needs a message that is universal yet razor-sharp. It needs to hold everyone accountable, not just politicians and CEOs. It needs a public image that’s provocative but broadly appealing. And it needs to fit our lives. SlutWalk gets down to business while advocating pleasure. No wonder it’s lured thousands. It’s about to lure one more. ”
This is perhaps the most laughable aspect of the entire article. Posing as a working class critique of organizing—it is just…ignorant. does this author *REALLY* think that thousands of people are standing out on wall street…and never leaving ever? could it be a TEENY bit possible that some people are showing up after work, hanging out for a few hours then leaving? that those who are staying for extended periods are …ROTATING?
Here’s the thing about organizing. LOGISTICS IS A HUGE PART OF IT. something as anal and irritating as LOGISTICS is actually deeply political, deeply gendered, racialized, nationalized, able-ized—THAT’S WHY SO MANY MARCHES AND PROTESTS FAIL TO ACHIEVE ANYTHING. because the nation/state has, largely successfully, attempted to *control* logistics. Like—you can only march here, you can only stay if you aren’t sleeping, you can’t eat here, you can’t sing here, you can’t use a microphone here. AND because organizers fail to see or prioritize things like—disabled people can’t get to this march. or, mamis need to be able to bring their kids. or poor people can’t afford to get arrested. etc.
so logistics are not about “this march needs to fit into my schedule book”—it’s about: you can’t change shit without a mass base of power to operate from. you need millions of people world-wide to make significant change. as such, you need to alter HOW YOU DO A PROTEST to fit the needs of your community. You need to have a protest last 24-7 so people working third shift can show up if they feel like it. You need to have a gender analysis and a rotating schedule on cooking shifts so that women aren’t the only ones doing it and people who can only show up for an hour can jump in for a shift then leave. on and on and on.
Latin AMerican organizers have *perfected* the art of logistics on so many levels—I mean, they’re not “PERFECT”—but they are asking the right questions—like what role can a working single mother have in a massive protest? And they do things like—when you’re cooking dinner tonight, put a little aside for protestors.
Anyway, I’ve got so much more to say—but I’ve got to get to work. SO. let me just say—this is the problem with feminist organizing in the US. they DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT. So how can you form a good analysis of organizing if you don’t know how to do it? How can you have a critique of organizing if YOU DON’T DO IT PERIOD????
Sep 29 2011
Questions to keep in mind:
- Who organized the event?
- Who does the struggle represent most?
- How long have people of color suffered at worst conditions from corporate greed?
- watch the videos: who’s mostly at the occupation?
- If people of color were the majority at the occupation, would the occupation have lasted this long?
- Is racial inequality a central component in the struggle?
- Let’s say the occupation is successful, and a new system is put into place: who will the new system benefit most?
- Police brutality: cops have been killing and incarcerating people of color at much higher rates than white people. Is the police brutality at occupywallstreet reflective of the true racist nature of police brutality in this country?
- The South Bronx/16th congressional district is the poorest congressional district in the United States (where I live). How many people from the South Bronx are participating at this occupation? Even if they wanted to attend, could they risk the survival of their family by missing work and school?
- How are the participants of occupy wall street privileged in their access to receiving and sending information concerning the event?
WHERE THE FOLKS OF COLOR AT IN ALL THIS???
i posted this in response to this article
“Our intention is not to dismiss it as just this, but the gut feeling was that there is a serious disconnect down there. We left with mad questions! Where was the hood? Where was the poorest congressional district in the USA, from The South Bronx at? Like we say in Hip Hop, where Brooklyn at? Could it be that perhaps the working class couldn’t afford to just leave work and the responsibility of bills and family survival to camp out in a city park? Did folks from our communities not know about this? If people of color were occupying Wall St. would we have lasted this long?”
precisely. not to invalidate but theres a gap for sure. and it is racial. it is.