Like any good idea that hit the ground running, admittedly, OWS has its problems. However, it is an honor to bear witness to the sea change its created in attitudes towards civic engagement.
I’ve only been on the periphery of the movement. Mainly organizing with Bayan-USA and with the People of Color Working Group from time to time. The first allows me to understand my position in OWS as part of the imperialist diaspora, and what it means to be an extension of my community. The second allows me to understand the strides POCs must still make in the OWS space, to ensure this is an inclusive movement.
Mayor Bloomberg’s attempts kill the organizing occurring in Zuccotti Park (by arresting occupiers, creating curfews, taking equipment) shows that he is not protecting the interest of the people.
With the raid on Zuccotti Park 2 days ago, protesters were attacked in an attempt to quell this movement. They lost a lot of their belongings. As key persons in the OWS movement, this equipment was necessary to create the daily ground work which propelled this movement. The websites, the library, the GA facilitation. The disruption was an attempt to scatter the people’s collective voice.
This is the cumulative point of action my peers and I have created together. While we like to say this is a leaderless movement, we’re only as strong as the years local community organizers have invested creating those links in their respective communities. These are the people who make up the thousands in the streets during major mobilizations.
The raid on Zuccotti Park on early Tuesday morning was unjust. Those who spilled out of subways to provide back-up were cordoned off, and many more watched the livestream in horror. Despite the lost items and the temporary shake in the timeline, what Tuesday morning proved was this: OWS is an important space, a space to to be protected, a space that will be rebuilt. The world manifested this agreement in rebuilding by providing bodies the next day: 3,000 people at the Tuesday night GA meeting, the largest in a while.
There is extreme value in OWS. In the last two months, there have been daily educational discussions, skills trainings, and infrastructure building to make this moment a movement. A discussion. A question.
Take the tents. Tear down the library. Punch holes in morale.
Shelter will be given. The library will be rebuilt. The People will return.
On the day of the second-month anniversary of OWS, I ask you to join a rally near you: NYC on N17. Be part of that discussion. Let’s have it in the streets!