Occupy the Hood

The “Occupy the Hood” movement in New York City has spread to the oppressed communities of Brooklyn and the Bronx, although, as yet, there are no actual occupations. One Boston Occupy the Hood activist, Ife Johan Uhuru, put it this way, “I see Occupy Wall Street as putting forth demands, and a lot of times those demands don’t speak to the 99% that we all claim to be.”

An Occupy the Hood speak-out was held in Harlem at St. Mary’s church on Oct. 27 in support of OWS. A flyer by the sponsor, “Harlem Fightback Against War at Home and Abroad,” read, “Wall Street, the epicenter of international finance capital, began its financial prosperity with slave profiteering firms, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Bank of America and Wachovia Bank. In fact, Wall Street and most of the city’s financial district were built on the burial ground of captured Africans forced into genocidal free labor for centuries, a crime against humanity.” About 100-150 attended the Harlem gathering.
Speak-out organizer Nellie Bailey told Socialist Action, “The political significance of this General Assembly really signals a turn for Harlem not only for those who are fed up with Wall Street but also for those who are fed-up with the politicians of Harlem” (e-mail Harlemfightbackagainstwar@gmail.com).
Two rallies have hit the city’s racist “stop and frisk” policies. According to one study, some 85% of those frisked are Black or Hispanic. More than 90% have been found to be doing nothing illegal. One Harlem protest on Oct. 21 was held at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building on 125th Street.
OWS supporters marched to a cop precinct, where OWS supporters did civil disobedience.Dozens of activists were arrested, including Princeton Professor Cornell West, protest organizer Carl Dix, local clergy, and others.
> The article above was written by Marty Goodman, and first appeared in the November 2011 print edition of Socialist Action newspaper.