Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, Occupy the Hood, Occupy Something

Two weeks after Occupy Wall Street was set up in Liberty Park (a/k/a Zucotti Park), it occurred to me that people were sleeping in the cold and protesting on my behalf. It was my tax dollars that bailed out the financial industry--yet again. I didn't demand that these now publicly-funded enterprises have average US taxpayers sit of the boards of directors. Wouldn't you enjoy making decisions about product output, externalities, profits, and working conditions, while gorging on sturgeon, salmon, truffles, asparagus and mimosa drinks? The least I could do for the resilient Occupiers was witness them.

It was a wondrous site: lady elders in yellow ponchos, a Buddhist "Amen Corner," different chat circles and the largest circle using the human mic-check. Being shut-down was not an option. After all, there were people that had exorbitant college loans they couldn't pay off; the threat of unemployment insurance ending; homes having been ripped away; and money funneled to wars or conflict zones across this planet.

A young, suited woman stood near me. I asked was she occupying Wall Street? She said, "No, I'm just supporting the cause." We shared the same reality. She had to return to work but wanted to be on the scene for a short time. The park was visibly organized into various use areas. Scanning faces, it was apparent there weren't many highly-melanated people. Why weren't more blacks, browns and reds here?

Several weeks later, a die-hard Pan-Africanist explained. He said that the police were easier on white protesters. Black people get brutalized when we assert our humanity. He was concerned about leadership. Would white people accept black leadership? That was my opportunity to explain the effort to leave hierarchy out of the equation. There is no particular leader or leaders. That model results in the majority giving their power and responsibility over to a cadre. When this happens the leaders are identified and "deactivated" whether extreme slander, imprisonment, pay-off, or "permanently going missing."

The global Occupy movement realizes Dr. John H.Clarke's "bury the man and continue the plan" philosophy. Everyone leads and is responsible. The movement continues because everyone knows the plan. This ideal will be tested in the days to come.

Occupy Together/ Wall Street reminds me of a request Erykah Badu made during her 2008 summer concert at Wingate HS Field, in Brooklyn. She asked everyone to watch "The Fourth World War." I did and watched the various world conflicts and shows aggression toward nations' people. The movie later revealed that victory is won when people stand together against oppression. Hmmm, did Sista Badu have a premonition of what would occur in the US? Occupy Wall Street...Occupy The Hood...Occupy Brooklyn...Occupy Harlem. We need to get occupied with something.

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