Friday, November 18, 2011

What about the rest of us Occupy Wall Street?

Yesterday, November 17 2011 I stepped up and met the occupy wall street head on. I support the movement but didn't go down to Zuccotti park. I didn't feel the movement did enough to include people of color, or to even address their own issues with-in their own communities. Since the beginning of the occupation of Zuccotti park all I head was wall street this and wall street that. Sure there is a whole bunch of thievery and corruption going on down in the American economic base and America has been hit by a recession of unprecedence and there are no jobs, well Black America has been dealing with that for ages. Old hat.

People of color have been dealing with these circumstances forever, why should I care what a bunch of people outside of that sphere are doing over there. I live in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and everybody I've ever know lives a hard knocks life. I didn't approach the movement because it didn't seem clear in presentation and method. Yesterday a direct action was put out to "call upon the 99% to participate in a national day of direct action..."(via I thought this was a right step after the occupation of Zuccotti park was halted and protesters began to get riled up, also they where stepping out of there bubble of wall street. Although there have been actions taken else where in the city that should be noted, there has been a huge swell in movements such as  Occupy-the-Bronx and upon further research right here in Brooklyn Occupy-Brooklyn. I headed out to the Broadway Junction gathering to see for myself the power, if any, of the movement on a populace deep in Brooklyn. I liked the idea of "Occupying Our Blocks".

 I got there a little before 3:pm I immediately noticed a police station in the subway on the ground floor. I stepped through the turnstile and outside of the station, I saw nothing. I milled around a bit I was a flustered, I walked back in for a bit and waited. I saw a Brooklyn News 12 video crew behind the turnstile walking around and proceed to follow them when they took leave of the area towards another part of the station where the J and L lines converged.
The group gathers on the left,
police in the center,
and News 12 Brooklyn  on the right.

This is where I finally saw some semblance of activity, a small group with fliers huddled planning.  Around 3:25 the group began to get marginally larger, as did the police presence. The group tried to make a dent in the waves off staphangers that seemed more agitated with their presence than anything else. I heard ridicule from teens, and disgruntled mumbles from elders. I was in agreement and also non-agreement. Yes I disagreed with the prospect that groups like these would be tying up transportation.

This is not a "on your blocking my way i'll join with your movement" kind of crowd. For the most part these are hard working individuals, and people with family's trying to get to work, some times from another job just to got to another job just to keep food on the table. I also agree with you have to reach out to people where they are, I felt they weren't aggressive enough but there were police hanging on the wall like insects just waiting to swarm a infraction. Its a hard line to tread between nuisance and just cause for a movement.

If they where were outside they may of had more leeway, I mean have you ever seen the cops stop the Hebrew Israelites, or The Nation of Islam dudes that occupy these spaces at times? Around 3:33 their was a "mic check", it's apart of how information is shared to a larger audience with in the movement by one person shouting out mic check the surrounding group around follows suit to spread outward the message of what one voice is saying. The group was about to make their way toward Foley Square in Manhattan to join with the other groups from the other boroughs.

" people will gather at Foley Square (just across from City Hall) in solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country's infrastructure and economy. A gospel choir and a marching band will also be performing.
Afterwards we will march to our bridges. Let's make it as musical a march as possible - bring your songs, your voice, your spirit! Our "Musical" on the bridge will culminate in a festival of light as we mark the two-month anniversary of the #occupy movement, and our commitment to shining light into our broken economic and political system." - (via

I caught this bit of video before they took to the platform to head to the city. The video features Jodie, a woman, mother, immigrant, student, a member of the 99%.

I took the train in with the group, and joined in the "mic checks," I was filled with anticipation and angst of what was to come. Just before leaving the train a "mic check" called out, "You can't remain neutral on a moving train" which co-coincidentally is the title of a Howard Zinn penned book. I heard that and heard the System Of A Down song "Deer Dance". Upon arriving at Foley Square, around 4:15 I was met with the cold air, and the warmth of the gathers masses. 

Photographer I know Buggs, and a former roommate, Alvero

I witnessed a large cross section of peoples. Young and old, college student and middle school kids, labor unions and those with-out jobs. I stayed as long as I could out in the could and even joined a action with a group holding up posters with information about United states occupations worldwide. It was synergistic. Upon leaving I was got a small but better understanding of what's been going on. I still would like to Occupy All Streets and have a better approach for ushering some kind of action and change in my own community but I can see we all stand together.

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