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Social Justice Perspectives on Occupy

We have been following commentary on the Occupy movements that brings an analysis of race, capitalism, colonization, and militarization to our understanding of this movement. We are also interested in how the US Occupy Movement connects to other global movements for justice.

What does healing look like?: To all the white people talking about unity in the Occupy movement – bodies of story, 10/27/11

“healing comes from unity, but not unity that only comes from silencing.  It comes from unity that is built, that is carefully, slowly, and painfully constructed, by listening to each other and realizing we have a lot to learn.”

Occupy Hope – Rebecca Solnit, 10/20/11
“Dear young man who died on the fourth day of this turbulent 2011, dear Mohammed Bouazizi,

I want to write you about an astonishing year — with three months yet to run. I want to tell you about the power of despair and the margins of hope and the bonds of civil society. I wish you could see the way that your small life and large death became a catalyst for the fall of so many dictators in what is known as the Arab Spring.”

from liberty plazaAdrienne Maree, The Lucious Satyagraha, 10/9/11
“I tend to roll with a critical crowd, and I have to work hard sometimes to keep my heart open when there are lots of critical questions sitting there for me to ask: is it a bunch of privileged white kids? ….  or…. is it the decentralized movement we have been awaiting?”

Occupy Wall Street – 4 Reasons

– posted by Waylon Lewis, 10/9/11

DC Douglas throws his support behind the Occupy Wall Street movement in a compelling montage featuring 2016 US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.

Occupied Movements, Colonized MindsEda Uca-Dorn, Jesus Radicals, 10/5/11
Overview of two of the main anti-racist critiques of the movement: language around “a single human race” and omission of the fact that Wall Street is already occupied Algonquin land, and that the graves of thousands of Africans lay beneath the financial district.

SO REAL IT HURTS: Notes on Occupy Wall Street
– Manissa McCleave Maharawal, Racialicious, 10/3/11

We wanted a small change in language but that this change represented a larger ethical concern of ours. That to erase a history of oppression in this document was not something that we would be able to let happen.” On challenging “one human race” language at Occupy Wall Street.

The Marines are Coming to PROTECT the Protestors
Article by Gregg Prescott, M.A., in5d Alternative News, 10/1/11

“If [cops] want to get to some protestors so they can mace them, they will have to get through the fucking Marine Corps first.”

OCCUPY WALL STREET: The Game of Colonialism and further nationalism to be decolonized from the “Left”
Jessica Yee, Racialicious, 9/30/11
“We don’t need more occupation – we need decolonization and it’s everyone’s responsibility to participate in that because COLONIALISM AFFECTS EVERYONE. EVERYONE! Colonialism also leads to capitalism, globalization, and industrialization. How can we truly end capitalism without ending colonialism?”

Cornel West on Occupy Wall Street: It’s the Makings of a U.S. Autumn Responding to the Arab SpringInterview with Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, 9/29/11

“It’s impossible to translate the issue of the greed of Wall Street into one demand, or two demands. We’re talking about a democratic awakening,” says Cornel West. “We’re really talking about what Martin King would call a revolution: A transfer of power from oligarchs to everyday people of all colors.” This video features Amy Goodman’s interview with Dr. West, along with his address to Occupy Wall Street protesters.

As Scorn for Vote Grows, Protests Surge Around GlobeNew York Times, 9/27/11
“From South Asia to the heartland of Europe and now even to Wall Street, these protesters share something else: wariness, even contempt, toward traditional politicians and the democratic political process they preside over.”

NYPD Police Brutality during Occupy Wall StreetLawrence O’donnell with “The Last Word” on MSNBC, 9/26/11
Rare mainstream coverage of unprovoked police brutaility against peaceful protestors.

“This is Just Practice”—The Story of the Wall Street OccupationYes! Magazine, 9/23/11
“What’s actually underway at Liberty Plaza is both simpler and more complicated: music making, sign drawing, talking, organizing, eating, marching, standoffs with police and (not enough) sleeping. It’s a movement in formation. As protesters sometimes like to chant, “This Is Just Practice.””

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