Why is whenever we’re at or near the top of a list it is never a list you want to be on?
Philadelphia Riders Against Gender Exclusion are celebrating today as SEPTA has announced to remove gender stickers from all monthly transit passes by 2015. According to a RAGE press release, “A fare policy proposal will be submitted to SEPTA’s board of directors that includes this change beginning in the second half of 2013.”
My favorite moment from last night’s Occupy Philly livestream.
Soooooooooooooo fucking Philly.
Video credit to Michael Albany, Michael Albany Photography, 10-28-2011.
A call to unity and support of the Occupy movement from activist and scholar Angela Davis to the occupants of the People’s Plaza of City Hall, Philadelphia, PA.
Angela Davis: One of Time magazine’s MOST influential women in history
By the time Angela Davis was 26, she was a scholar, a political activist and a Most Wanted Fugitive of the FBI. Her roots as a leader during the political turmoil of the 1960s stretch back to her childhood in segregated Birmingham, Ala. After spending a year at the Sorbonne, Davis returned to a racially heated America. By the late ’60s, she held membership in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panther Party and the American Communist Party. Her militant involvement cost her a UCLA lecturer position when the California regents learned of her affiliations in 1970. However, Davis’ activism continued with her support of three Black Panther inmates at Soledad State Prison. At their trial, for a prison guard’s murder, a botched kidnap and escape attempt resulted in the death of a federal judge, Harold J. Haley. Davis was accused of supplying the guns. She fled, sparking a furious manhunt and landing her a spot on the Most Wanted list. While she was on the run, a movement advocating her freedom flourished. Davis was caught in New York but was acquitted in 1972. Despite the agitation of then California Governor Ronald Reagan, she resumed her teaching career at several universities in the state and is now a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has authored several books, including Women, Culture and Politics (1988) and Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003).
I am so psyched to see her speak at Occupy Philly tonight. No idea yet what time, but check out the Facebook page for more info later today adn come on down to City Hall!
“ …Our reminder to treat each other with dignity and respect, regardless of our views on citizenship status or any other “statuses,” whether those are based on gender, sexual orientation, race, ability, religion or class. Rather than focusing on the label which our society and political system affix to her being, we should empathize with her very human struggle for legitimacy and recognize that the systemic advantages accorded to some of us gives us no right to dismiss the very real struggles of the less advantaged. ”
For the next person who tells you the occupations will never accomplish anything:
This beautiful, loving, sweet little girl is the child of a single Trans* parent. She is homeless today but she won’t be tomorrow. The Homeless Outreach working group at Occupy Philly helped her and her parent find a new apartment today and they move in Saturday.
Big kudos to the outreach team and best of luck and love to the new tenants. We can all make a difference, not matter how big or small, when we just try.
BLACK OUT! At Occupy Philadelphia
We had a Black Out! at Occupy Philadelphia. Why?
Saturday, two sisters were called Niggers by two of the volunteers at Occupy Philadelphia at the cell-phone charging stations. They were also told to go back to Africa, and that each white man should own a slave. When the sista’s called security, security asked them to leave the premises because they thought they were apart of the UHURU movement. Even if they were a part of that movement, they should not have been asked to leave without any mention of their verbal and spirtual abuse.
So a small collective formed a drummer’s circle and started a rally, only to be met with on-lookers who didn’t understand why there was a Pan-African flag at an “American” event. We were called racist. People kept coming to us to tell us that all of us are people and that race is behind us!
When we wanted to address the people at the people’s assembly, we had to beg to get a spot on the program. They kept asking us if we were going to be violent. We eventually told the gate-keepers that we were going to be given the mic, or we were going to take the mic. We eventually got our spot.
As the sister was talking about her experience, there were some members in support - but many of the people were asking us to hurry up and finish, one guy using signals to get us to hurry up.
We spoke out about RACISM IN THE 99 percent.
We spoke out about how nobody was taking about the racist foundation of coporate greed.
How do we talk about classim without taking about racism?
We were called racist because we empowered ourselves and stood up for what was right.
Man, fuck you Philadelphia.
this is why I almost never, ever say What The Fuck… to reserve it for instances like this in which no other phrase can properly describe my reaction
This was not the only racially motivated incident in the past 5 days. This city is a piece of shit when it comes to race and it breaks my fucking heart we can’t just shut the fuck up for 5 minutes and listen to our damn neighbors’ experiences and concerns. So many wounds in this city and so much fucking stuck up, nonsensical, full of shit privilege in so-called progressive activists - I could honestly cry at this point today. Fix it, Philadelphia. Step the fuck up for once in your broke-ass, choke-in-the-face-of-every-opportunity, inferiority-complex-having, screw-you-buddy-mentality life and get it the fuck together. Key word there: together. No group can do this alone.
1. Stop dismissing racial concerns in the movement. You cannot ignore centuries of history and current lived experience because “that’s not what this is about”. For POCs it has always been about that. Every damn second of every damn day. Fuck you.
2. Make it clear to everyone at every opportunity that oppressive language is unacceptable and unwelcome. You have a mic and attention - fucking use it.
3. Take a good look at who’s doing safety and what they’re trained to do in these situations - there are problems there, as well as some great people. Address the problems.
4. Respect. Understand there are different perspectives, especially regarding law enforcement and incarceration. Understand MOVE may have been “20 years ago - get over it already” to you, but it still burns for Cobbs Creek and West Philly. It’s as emblematic of the world as anything is to you.
5. Criticisms of individuals and factors of the movement do not necessarily need to diminish it. Don’t get defensive or dismissive. This is an opportunity to build strength, heal old wounds, and rebuild communities but only if we listen openly and whole-heartedly, respect each other, and address our internal problems. Do otherwise and we’ve already failed.
Thank you, ladies, for sharing with us. I am so very sorry, and so very angry, and so very ashamed.
Don’t break my heart again, Philadelphia.
As a security (actually called Safety) person at occupy Philly I have only one clarifying statement to this, all parties involved were asked to leave the area including the racist white persons. Other than that I have to say that this is a rather shortened but accurate portrayal of the incident. Since that incident all safety persons are required to attend training for De-escalation, Nonviolence training and some have attended Sensitivity training.
When the PoC had an open meeting I was unfortunately on shift and unable to attend. I am hoping they have another meeting and that I can attend.
Just for the record, I am a white, (former) middle class, middle aged, male. I try to be as anti racist as someone with my privilege can be.
Thank you for the input Zhounder - I know you’re doing your best to be fair and I wish I saw more like you in the working groups, especially the Facilitation group.