Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Some thoughts on the Occupation Movement

 "The only thing more irritating than people doing absolutely nothing to make the world a better place are those actively trying to make it worse, but coming in a strong third? Those whose well-meaning efforts to make the world better are so misguided that they make things worse by default."

 -Keli Goff regarding "Slut Walk" can also apply to the Occupation "movement"

"Let’s begin by approaching the name of the first encampment, Occupy Wall Street, by stating what we feel should be obvious: every city on the continent is occupied indigenous land. Wall Street was built on Algonquian land, and has been occupied ever since. After African slaves built Wall Street for European settlers, it was home to the slave market, and eventually became an African burial ground for up to 20,000 bodies. Since its arrival on this continent, capitalism has always been a system of exploitation based on race."


"The organizers of Occupy L.A. have been working in cooperation with the LAPD since the beginning."

-Some Thoughts on Occupy L.A. General Assembly by Victor

 "We ALL need to address colonization, because if not, then this is just another "white" revolution, that perpetuates the initial destruction of the 1% (i.e. European setters), that nearly wiped the 99% population of Indigenous folk off the continent. I would hope any mobilization against Capitalism here in AZ starts with local and regional context, and provide space for those who have been fighting capitalism (the 1%!) for 519 years(Indigenous People, who contrary to popular belief, ARE STILL HERE!). "

-Alex Soto on Occupy Phoenix

"I hope you would make mention of the fact that the very land upon which you are protesting does not belong to you – that you are guests upon that stolen indigenous land. I had hoped mention would be made of the indigenous nation whose land that is. I had hoped that you would address the centuries-long history that we indigenous peoples of this continent have endured being subject to the countless ‘-isms’ of do-gooders claiming to be building a “more just society,” a “better world,” a “land of freedom” on top of our indigenous societies, on our indigenous lands, while destroying and/or ignoring our ways of life. I had hoped that you would acknowledge that, since you are settlers on indigenous land, you need and want our indigenous consent to your    building anything on our land – never mind an entire society."

 -An Open Letter to Occupy Wall Street Activists by JohnPaul Montano

Some of my thoughts on the Occupation Movement and Occupy L.A.

-Joaquin Cienfuegos

I wasn't too excited about occupyla and the occupation movement in general, it seemed to me like a white middle class movement, and most of the folks leading it, I have doubts about their intention, seems like a "take back america" for the white middle class struggle.

Hearing from comrades all over, just countless stories about oppressed people being excluded.

I think there are some genuine people involved there who want to see change happen and were hoping that this was going to be the revolution and are being duped by the leadership, who is working with the police and the state.

The only way i think it's going to go anywhere is if the oppressed people are in the forefront, and make it about the people (the oppressed) not about their own ego or liberal issue.  The revolution isn't going to come from the privileged sectors of society or liberals.

Unchecked privilege in the movement makes it harder for us to achieve our goals.

-Joaquin Cienfuegos


poxita said...

for realz!!

swaneagle said...

This movement will only continue with the inclusion of those most silenced, most oppressed and most familiar with white invader mentality that simply has to go. This could be an opportunity for the authentic dismantling of dominators. I am devoted to addressing this any way i can. I appreciate this perspective very much and am passing it on. Thanks. As a Irish/French descended Hippie, i have been struggling with this reality for over 30 years among my own people. May true equality prevail!

Baruch said...

It is incumbent upon those with privilege to use their privilege to change the oppressive systems. What Joaquin and others have said about how this is all occupied land is true. I see this movement as part of something, not the be all end all. Reclaiming power from the banksters and corporate government is a step, and one worth taking, towards creating a peaceful egalitarian world, which must include recognition of and respect for indigenous people and the Earth.

Wendy Lea Snyder said...

Thank you Joaquin for posting this challenge to the Occupy Movement. I belong to the Uhuru Solidarity Movement that is white and other allies under the leadership of African People's Socialist Party and are bringing the demand for reparations and justice for African and oppressed peoples to this essentially white rights movement.

Here is our blog:

jadtbfcass said...

I just got back from the camp. There was a good discussion about dismantling privilege and a number of the people who were excluded were participants. It was good, even while the rest of the event seemed extremely unfocused politically.

A similar list of issues was raised by the new Action Affinity group. This is operating within/parallel to OccupyLA.

And within at least one committee, there is an ongoing argument between some people who see the need to have people participate in discussions about privilege, race, class, gender, etc. and those who believe that its not necessary or are dodging the issue.