[News] Why I support Occupy The Hood

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Oct 10 21:23:47 EDT 2011

Why I support Occupy The Hood.

by <http://www.facebook.com/lorenzokomboa.ervin>Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin 
on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 6:55pm

The new mass movement, Occupy Wall Street, has already birthed a 
number of movement of oppressed peoples of color: 
Indigenous/African/Carribbean, etc. They are DeColonize OWS, the 
People of Color Working Group, and Occupy the Hood. It is Occupy the 
Hood, which is an actual Black working class political tendency, 
which has the most promise as far as Africans in America are 
concerned. They are not only trying to pressure the white majority to 
make a place the for voices of Black/POC people, but also organizing 
an independent tendency which can organize in our communities around 
issues effecting us especially. it is that latter dimension which 
really excites me.

For years, I have heard, but not seen a Black revolutionary mass 
movement in the hip hop era, which is free of middle class 
conventional politics or being manipulated by some power-hungry 
preachers/politicians. This movement has the potential to create a 
genuine mass movement of the poor and oppressed, based in the urban 
inner cities. It is a youth centered movement, but seems to 
understand if it raises issues of oppressed peoples in Harlem, North 
Philly, South Memphis, or other hoods in other places, they can bring 
a true majority together, an army of the poor.
In order for that to happen, they have to put the people and mass 
grassroots politics in command, and be based totally around popular 
issues. In saying "politics", I am not talking about electoral 
politics, which I consider virtually useless and weak, I am talking 
about putting the Black poor together as a class, and then using 
their numbers to confront the white capitalist government and its 
financial sector in an anti-capitalist protest movement.

It is this what made the Black protest movement of the 1960's so 
dynamic, not just a number of small militant groups fighting isolated 
in various communities. Black Power was a widespread, but 
decentralized mass movement which superceded the civil rights phase, 
even before the assassination of Dr. M.L. King. Groups like the Black 
Panther Party, League of Revolutionary Black Workers and others had 
become mass movements in their own right, instead of tailing after 
white radicals.

This can happen again, and in my mind, Occupy the hood is that 
movement best situated to make that happen in this period. They are 
part of the Wall Street tendency, and can unite with other POC 
tendencies and even anti-racist/anti-colonial whites to wage an 
internal battle inside OWS to make it accountable to POC's instead of 
just white middle class workers who have lost their jobs, homes, or 
money in this period. We have suffered far worse.
Over 1 million Black/POC people are in the prison system, which 
destroys not just the prisoner but his family and community. We have 
the highest levels of unemployment in the USA, "officially" 16.7%, 
but actually far higher at Great Depression levels of 26%. We have 
the highest number of urban homeless. We have record levels of infant 
mortality, approaching the 3rd world. On and on we are catching hell 
more than anybody, and we are the class of surplus labor that all 
economists speak of who have considered the matter.

But we need to organize, not just bemoan our fate or curse our luck. 
We can change everything with out all-out struggle, on our own terms. 
We do not have to be shackled by the racism and backwardness of white 
workers. Through a movement like Occupy the Hood, we can organize not 
only our own communities, but through that organize the world who 
would unite with our struggle. So, to end this, I see the potential 
of this movement more than anything else to come along in the hip hop 
era. They seem to "get it", and understand instinctively that they 
can organize their peoples to not only destroy Wall Street, which is 
based on our slavery and exploitation, but the entire system of 
capitalist oppression. Memphis has been designated the poorest city 
in the USA. I'm honored to be part of this movement in anyway, and 
will do everything I can to push it forward. I am not interested in 
"leading" it, they seem to have already gotten founders and 
collective leadership that can do the job at this early stage. I hope 
that all power will continue to rest in the local communities, and 
that they shut out all manner of political opportunists seeking to 
become the next Obama or politician using the movement as a launching 
pad. Only if power is in the hands of the people will it succeed.

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