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Monday, November 21, 2011

'We are the ones we have been waiting for'

PERSPECTIVE:
OCCUPY WALL STREET

The Occupy activists and their supporters have brought us together as the 99%. They call upon the majority to stand up against the minority. The old minorities, in effect, are the new majority. There are major responsibilities attached to this decision to forge such an expansive community of resistance. We say no to Wall Street, to the big banks, to corporate executives making millions of dollars a year. We say no to student debt. We are learning also to say no to global capitalism and to the prison-industrial complex. And even as police in Portland, Oakland and now New York, move to force activists from their encampments, we say no to evictions and to police violence.

Occupy activists are thinking deeply about how we might incorporate opposition to racism, class exploitation, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism, violence done to the environment and transphobia into the resistance of the 99%. Of course, we must be prepared to challenge military occupation and war. And if we identify with the 99%, we will also have to learn how to imagine a new world, one where peace is not simply the absence of war, but rather, a creative refashioning of global social relations.

Thus, the most pressing question facing the Occupy activists is how to craft a unity that respects and celebrates the immense differences among the 99%. How can we learn how to come together? This is something those of the 99% who are living at Occupy sites can teach us all. How can we come together in a unity that is not simplistic and oppressive, but complex and emancipatory, recognising, in June Jordan's words that "we are the ones we have been waiting for."

Angela Davis
Political Activist

1 comment:

Noble said...

The Tea Party model seems to have worked rather well.