[News] Why I support Occupy The Hood
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decentralized mass movement which superceded the civil rights phase,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
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.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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