Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action That Changed America by Writers for the 99%


Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action That Changed America by Writers for the 99%

Author:Writers for the 99% [99%, Writers for the]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: General, Political Science
ISBN: 9781935928645
Publisher: OR Books
Published: 2011-12-17T06:45:16+00:00


POCcupy—People of Color Occupy Wall Street Too!

“The POC’s purpose is to keep the movement accountable, to keep these progressive white activists accountable, to have them understand that just because they are now feeling the pinch and the burn . . . it doesn’t mean that peoples’ worlds haven’t been in turmoil for decades, for centuries.”

—Jodi, member of the People of Color (POC) Working Group

The movement was beautiful. It was dusk and the lights, laid in the floor amongst the marble paving stones, flickered as the crowds ebbed and flowed above them, blocking their luminescence. A lone black woman in a black dress walked cautiously down the stairs on September 23, her first day at Zuccotti Park, and surveyed the scene. She looked left and right, and up at the “big Red Thing,” and seemed interested in the conversations around her. But not recognizing anyone personally or by association, she waited awkwardly and in silence until the General Assembly started. She was lost in the crowd.

Jamie, a member of the People Of Color (POC) Working Group who describes herself as “the 99% and a person of color,” first went down to Occupy Wall Street on October 15’s National Day of Action. “I went by myself,” she explained, “because no one else wanted to go with me. None of my friends were interested and I was just like, ‘Well fuck it, I’m going to go check it out’ . . . I loved the energy of it all . . . But what some people started to notice was that the GA was majority white and male, which is highest privilege you can have in this social construct that is our society. There are a lot of people who are of the 99% who look at these issues, issues that are most pertinent to them; issues that directly affect them every single day but they’re not there [at Zuccotti Park] because they feel alienated, or they feel their voices won’t be heard, or they’ve experienced racism.”

Jodi, who first began going to Zuccotti Park on September 17, the first day of the Occupation, was able to witness the evolution of this initial lack of representation. “For the first week and a half I would come down a few times a week, and for the first two weeks there was not a presence of people of color,” she said. “It was upsetting. Then at a certain point there was a burst or explosion and really a much more noticeable presence of people of color facilitating. I think it would have been ridiculous if it had continued on without more POC while presenting itself as a movement that represents the ‘so-called 99 percent.’” Her sentiments have been repeated by many Occupiers, protesters, organizers, community activists and media outlets, all of whom who are still calling for a stronger presence of people of color and marginalized communities within the movement.

So on October 1, as tensions surrounding this feeling of alienation built, one woman stood up at



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Occupying Wall Street: The Inside Story of an Action That Changed America by Writers for the 99%.epub



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