Monday, October 31, 2011
Pitfalls of Occupy movement - to be continued
The number one pitfalls are the "ISMS" - we are not addressing, re-dressing, and creating something new when we refuse to look at the ways in which we bring to Occupy all the isms of the greater world.
RACISM/WHITE SUPREMACY; SEXISM/PATRIARCHY; Heterosexism/homophobia; classism/oppression of the poor
The other huge pitfall is making the walk out of the talk: what are we eating? what are we drinking? how many resources, how much slave labor are we consuming/supporting?
Buying used, going organic, recycling, composting - these should be the tangible EASY things we can prioritize and work on doing.
Why another occupation?
Next, I understand wanting one HUGE occupation, and not several smaller ones. Presently we have Occupy D.C. at McPherson Square, which is an OWS (wall street) action; and Occupy Freedom Plaza, which is a 10th terrorversary of the U.S. invasion & occupation of Afghanistan. And now, we are talking of starting one at the White House which focuses on destruction of the Military & Prison Industrial Complexes, patriarch, white supremacy, & capitalism.
I personally wish there were a million people here at BOTH occupations - and I am committed to staying here until a million people in this country are so inspired and willing to put aside their 'normal' lives, join the revolution, & come to d.c. the power house of the nation.
As it is, I see value and strength in both combining into one bigger occupation, and in having several smaller ones.
When you suggest I should work with existing occupations, perhaps you are unaware of who I am. I arrived here at Freedom Plaza Oct 5th & have been occupying there until a week ago Monday morning when the "consensus" morning g.a. of about 30+ mostly white males and around 8 womyn took a majority vote to vote me out.
I am the one who from the beginning challenged racism, sexism, homophobia, classism that exists in the occupation, as well as walking the walk of protecting the environment, making the connections between plastic water bottles and blood of iraqis, pushing for smoking and non-smoking areas, as well as a designated "womyn's tent area", etc.etc.etc. I am a Californian, afterall.
The leadership at the plaza, and the views of the majority that at least showed up for this g.a., agreed that my challenging the 'isms' was me attempting to make my 'personal' issues the groups issues resulting in labeling me divisive and allowing this occupation to skirt responsibility for the 'isms' brought into our 'new world'.
I found patriarchy & white supremacy alive and thriving at freedom plaza.
So this occupation at the white house has grown out of my experiences working with freedom plaza.
That said, I think it is okay to have different, diverse occupations - I see it as we are slightly overlapping circles: where our values and ideals coincide, we overlap; where they don't, we still have our parts of the circle that are ours.
We do not have to have a mono-culture, everyone thinking, seeing, talking the same. it is extremely hard for us to know how to value and honor diversity, as we have little experience truly living like that and even more deeply engrained and huge vested interests in destroying diversity.
So I suggest we look at it as if we are all one huge occupation with different focuses/interests - overlapping circles.
And that said, I am so very proud of each and every one of us - even those at freedom plaza who are not ready to take responsibility for isms - for showing up and being here. I am 61 years old & I’m feeling this strange feeling inside I haven't felt in a couple of decades I almost didn't recognize it: it is HOPE! The revolution is erupting, once again! And YOU are doing it!
In solidarity and action, Xan