Posts tagged ‘community labor march’

October 14, 2011

Lessons from OWS

By Hena Ashraf

What I’ve learned in the last few weeks at Occupy Wall Street:

I now know how to locate friends in a crowd of thousands of people.
I now know how communication can be amplified without any equipment, via the human microphone.
I now know that we truly do not need mainstream media in order for us to get attention.
I now know how hard it is to find crucial information about the next mobilization, in a movement that is mostly leaderless.
I now know that a significant strength of a leaderless movement is that there are no immediate easy targets.
I now know to be wary of disrupters and those who cause distractions in the space.
I now know how hard it is to fight oppressions such as racism and sexism in a space that’s supposedly anti-oppressive.
I now know how solidarity with critique is at times desperately needed.
I now know how two-faced our mayor truly is.
I now know that once our movement started to connect the struggles, the authorities attempted to shut us down.
I now know what its like to leave my home in the middle of the night to join a mass mobilization.
I now know what it feels like to be in a crowd of thousands during the early hours of the day, waiting for action.
I now know the euphoric feeling of what people power feels like.
I now know that these experiences have already changed me and will stay with me.
I now know what its like to experience a little bit of the immense challenges the protesters in the Arab uprisings have been enduring for months.

read more »

October 6, 2011

Beyond Barricades and Privilege: Reflections from the #OccupyWallStreet Community/Labor March

By Sonny Singh

Yesterday was a great day in New York City.  Tens of thousands joined the #OccupyWallStreet movement in downtown Manhattan, demanding an economic system that ensures justice for working people, students, the unemployed – the 99%.

It’s been a little over a week since I began going down to Liberty Square to support and participate and exactly a week since our desi bloc block of the movement’s Declaration over our concerns about it obfuscating the history and present realities of systemic racism and other forms of oppression.  I have to say that yesterday, as I marched while banging the hell out of my dhol alongside so many passionate and angry and hopeful and beautiful people from so many different walks of life, the color and vibe of this movement may very well be shifting in a promising direction.

With a huge presence of labor unions and community organizations taking to the streets yesterday, the culture on the ground felt and looked really different: it looked like New York City.  I saw posters in Punjabi, Farsi, Mandarin, and Spanish (and probably missed many other languages as I was pretty focused on my dhol), an indigenous people’s contingent, tons of POCs from grassroots organizations like FIERCE!, NYCPP, CAAAV, Make the Road New York and the Arab American Association of NY.

read more »