Colorlines contributor Kung Li has offered an essential history of the 1 percent, in Georgia at least. The essay explains why it’s actually impossible to launch an Occupy Atlanta movement that doesn’t deal intentionally with race. A commenter, Tatyanna Wilkinson, offers this interesting note:
It is interesting to see which cities are not race aware in this Occupy Movement. I am from Massachusetts but live in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles protester’s are such a wildly diverse group that the media does not know what to do with them. Do I interview the white woman with the clip board? Do I interview the local black activist who has a radio show? Do I focus on the group of Muslim women who are here in solidarity with they sisters of other religions?
IMHO the other occupiers could learn quite a bit from the LA folks and how they have gone about this. When Danny Glover and the Women of Color Global Women’s Strike and several other grass roots orgs showed up last Saturday they cleared the lineup and he was able to speak. It was not during the GA, but by what I know of the organizers they would welcome it.
The LA folks seem to be able to reconcile how to fold race, monetary and social issues all into their messages. I can only pray that the other cities learn from what happened in Atlanta when Congressman Lewis stopped by.
I’ve heard similar things about the L.A. movement from a few sources. Early on, the coalition of organizers who have been mobilizing California homeowners for some time reached out to the Occupy L.A. movement. At least one African American homeowner spoke to the general assembly about the existing movement to directly confront banks’ predatory and irresponsible business in black and brown neighborhoods. Organizers were hopeful they’d build fruitful bridges. Sounds like that’s happening.
We’ll look at the movement more closely next week. In the meantime, any more reports from Occupy movements that have been intentional about race? Drop them in the comments.