Saturday, October 1, 2011

99% are us

I am supportive of Occupy Wall St, the reasons behind the action and the action itself. This is people power and we need people to feel empowered because that is the way to build community and whichever way the world goes, we are going to need community. I watched this video ‘Nobody can predict the moment of revolution’ and looked at the people interviewed and I really felt for them, for us. There are so many people struggling and hurting out there, in this society we have created.

They are like us and we are like them. This struggle is for recognition of the 99% of people that are disenfranchised by our system.This is just the beginning.

Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.
Check out the 99% and you may recognise stories and situations pretty close to home here for us. We have an election in a month or so and who we choose to vote for will affect us all. I’m voting Mana because I cannot see any other party able to slow or stop the juggernaut – even they may not, but at least I know they will try. The occupiers of Wall St are trying too and I back them 199%.


Kim has raised a really good point in the comments about a differing view based upon the non-recognition of indigenous rights.  I had read the article and the letter before I posted this and I decided i wanted to keep the two issues seperate but that was a mistake. The basis of the protest is to accentuate the plight of the 99% by exposing the tyranny of the 1%, but there has to a recognition of the indigenous rights of the First Nations or it is a false consciousness. John Paul Montano says it best in his openletter to Occupy Wall St.

Open letter
Thank you for your courage. Thank you for making an attempt to improve the situation in what is now called the United States. Thank you for your commitment to peace and non-violence. Thank you for the sacrifices you are making. Thank you.

... I eagerly read your "one demand" statement. Hoping and believing that you enlightened folks fighting for justice and equality and an end to imperialism, etc., etc., would make mention of the fact that the very land upon which you are protesting does not belong to you - that you are guests upon that stolen indigenous land. I had hoped mention would be made of the indigenous nation whose land that is. I had hoped that you would address the centuries-long history that we indigenous peoples of this continent have endured being subject to the countless '-isms' of do-gooders claiming to be building a "more just society," a "better world," a "land of freedom" on top of our indigenous societies, on our indigenous lands, while destroying and/or ignoring our ways of life. I had hoped that you would acknowledge that, since you are settlers on indigenous land, you need and want our indigenous consent to your building anything on our land - never mind an entire society. See where I'm going with this? I hope you're still smiling. We're still friends, so don't sweat it. I believe your hearts are in the right place. I know that this whole genocide and colonization thing causes all of us lots of confusion sometimes. It just seems to me that you're unknowingly doing the same thing to us that all the colonizers before you have done: you want to do stuff on our land without asking our permission.
He offers some ideas to remedy the situation and i fully believe Occupy Wall St will follow the advice. 

1) Acknowledge that the United States of America is a colonial country, a country of settlers, built upon the land of indigenous nations; and/or...

2) Demand immediate freedom for indigenous political prisoner Leonard Peltier; and/or...

3) Demand that the colonial government of the United States of America honor all treaties signed with all indigenous nations whose lands are now collectively referred to as the "United States of America"; and/or...

4) Make some kind of mention that you are indeed aware that you are settlers and that you are not intending to repeat the mistakes of all of the settler do-gooders that have come before you. In other words, that you are willing to obtain the consent of indigenous people before you do anything on indigenous land.

Thanks Kim.

Hat tip - Racialicious


Kim Mcbreen said...

Hey Marty,

there's a really great piece here by Jessica Yee that's critical of occupy wall street (and the left in general) because of their failure to notice colonialism (even when it's in their faces).


Marty Mars said...

Kia ora Kim

Thanks for that - I had read it but made the mistake of thinking they were seperate issues :(

e tuahine, kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui.