TPA-occupy

For this, the first installment of The Pachamama Alliance’s weekly Social Justice Resources blog, we’ll focus on the growing force occupying Wall Street.

A Note From the Author

In general, these posts will take contemporary and historical issues and provide articles, blogs, videos, books, and commentary produced from anti-racist, feminist, people of color perspectives.

It’s not my intention to write in the place of these voices, but to provide a kind of aggregate of what is out there, since these are perspectives that are systemically left out of the mainstream media.

It’s my hope that these resources will deepen our own critical analysis and relationship to issues of power and access where we live, work, and engage socially.

Warmly,
Luke Taylor »

We Are the 99% – But We’re Not All the Same

We begin with a piece from Manissa McCleave Maharawal at Left Turn about her experience heading down to Occupy Wall Street this week.

She recounts a moment when principle and power clashed at the General Assembly’s reading of the “Declaration from the Occupation of Wall Street.” An important document that circulated globally, in its final draft the “Declaration” employed a “universal” language of race that functionally erased histories of oppression and domination.

A small but fierce block of South Asians (of which Manissa is part) stood up for a change in the language that would give voice to the realities and legacies of racism in the face of public and overwhelming opposition. It’s a beautiful and powerful account.

Defining “Occupation”

We continue with the feed from Racialicious, where you can find a growing number of articles written by people of color critiquing Occupy Wall Street’s representation and inclusion of people of color.

Occupy Wall Street supporters

Of special note is the lack of self-awareness regarding the implications of the word “occupation,” especially for indigenous people, for whom occupation is a daily reality and has a very different connotation. JohnPaul Montano’s Open Letter to Occupy Wall Street is a testament to that.

Who Shapes the American Dream?

Finally, Rinku Sen’s piece, “Making Room for Racial Justice.”

Executive Directory of the Applied Research Center, publisher of the news site Colorlines.com, Sen is just back from Van Jones’ Rebuild the American Dream conference, and the issues of linking a social movement with economic reform are fresh in her mind.

Like many others, Sen is committed to the new American Dream being shaped and influenced by those who see the linkages between race, class, gender, sexuality, and power.

Book of the Week: Woven Stone

On the heels of The Pachamama Alliance Voices of the People gathering last week, I have been reading some of Acoma poet Simon Ortiz’s work. It’s quite exquisite and I hope you’ll take the time to read some of his words.