Posts tagged ‘racism’

October 13, 2011

The Value of a Safe Space: One WOC’s experience with harassment at Occupy Wall Street

By Ashwini Hardikar

Is Occupy Wall Street an inclusive movement? I’ve discussed this in-depth with so many of my friends, colleagues and comrades over the past weeks. It seemed to me that while almost everyone felt inspired by the movement, many were reluctant to directly participate. I read notes from meetings and blog posts where people discussed the unsettling elements of racism, sexism and queer/transphobia that seemed to be present in so many of these “Occupy” spaces across the country.

And at Occupy Wall Street on Indigenous People’s Resistance Day, I unfortunately came face to face with some of these elements myself. Walking with my friend M, we greeted old friends, took pictures of signs, and discussed (unsuccessfully) what kind of clever slogan we could come up with as teachers. We circled back around to the entrance, and I stood there trying to read a sign someone had posted about “ground rules” for the space. I felt an arm circle me tightly around the waist, and then a hand grabbing and squeezing my hip roughly. I quickly disentangled myself, turned, and saw a white man, probably in his late 30s, looking very pleased with himself. And I went off.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing? You can’t just touch people without their permission. It’s not ok to be in someone’s personal space if you haven’t gotten their consent. I have no idea who you are, you can’t just touch me!” I was yelling, getting louder and louder. I wondered if anyone was listening.

“I was just giving you a hug. I’m not allowed to give people hugs?”

read more »

October 11, 2011

Community Justice, Community Safety

By Divad Durant

“The highest patriotism demands the ending of the war and the opening of a bloodless war to final victory over racism and poverty.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

During last week’s Community/Labor March, I was a part of an organized group of community based organizations that collectively marched as the NYC Communities Contingent.  Amongst the waves of tens of thousands of people at Foley Square, community organizations like CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, FIERCE, Picture the Homeless, BAYAN, Justice Committee, members and volunteers from People’s Justice for Community Control and Police Accountability, and CUNY student groups gathered at the southeast section of Centre and Worth street to discuss logistics such as: conducting a 101 know your rights training, coordinating our security team of People’s Justice members, and sharing a lawyer’s phone number by writing it on our bodies with a permanent marker, in case any of us got arrested.

read more »

October 10, 2011

Signs to hold front & center!


Great signs out and about. These two photos have been circulating on Facebook. The photo on the left is from Occupy Philly Day 4. The signs say: “Racism exists in the 99%” and “Black people have always been the 99%.” Not sure where the photo on the right was taken (credit: Head Roc on FB), but the sign says: “White people live at the expense of the REST of the 99%. #checkyourprivilege Let’s Talk About Race

Meanwhile, there definitely is racism in the 99% – we just read this post about racism and resistance at Occupy Philadelphia: BLACK OUT! at Occupy Philadelphia

Read the signs, read the post, keep fighting.

Tags: ,