What a Difference an Occupation Makes

December 16th, 2011

First watch this video: Housing Groups work with OWS, with Rob Robinson on GR.TV, 3.09 minutes, published on The Nation, by Laura Flanders, December 9, 2011 (link to more videos on the site).

It was never a genuine question. Money media prattled on about Occupy Wall Street’s supposedly ineffable demands the same way they batted aside the end capitalism signs to wonder what the Seattle protesters had on their minds. That said, the Occupy movement has always been more about doing than demanding and this week, OWS stepped it up another notch.   

On December 6, OccupyYourHomes joined with local community organizers to take on the housing crisis. In twenty-five cities, protesters interrupted house auctions, blocked evictions and occupied foreclosed homes. In East New York they moved Alfredo Carrasquillo, Tasha Glasgow and their two children into a foreclosed home that had stood empty for three years. I attended the action Tuesday and couldn’t drag myself away. Even as the rain drizzled and the temperature sank, I watched the numbers of protesters grow and thought of the many, many members of underfunded community groups I’ve spoken to over the years. Among those, Community Voices Heard, New York Communities for Change, Picture the Homeless, Organize for Occupation, VOCAL-NY and Reclaim the Land*. They talked on GRITtv about toxic loans and targeted neighborhoods, forced foreclosures, fear and the general lack of national interest … //

… “The way to get community support,” says Rhasaan “is to work in the community. Offer change people can measure.” Note, he didn’t say “believe in.” Been there, done that. What’s being asked of OWS now is not what the movement can demand but what they can deliver, for people who feel their lives, not just their hopes, hang in the balance. (full text).

* Reclaim the Land – under this label you find:

a petition on Petition Online.co.uk; Land Reclamation on en.wikipedia;

Reclaim the Fields – under this label you find:

GoRoots; ECOLOGIST, The Land Magazine, and in Grant Shapps: Communities to be given a right to reclaim land, Feb. 2, 2011.

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