... the other Black experience

Occupy Wall Street: Preoccupied with an Empire State of Mind

Since September 17th, a long occupation has been happening in NYC and is starting to spread all over the nation, and even bits and pieces of the world: Occupy Wall Street. There has been stirring among the people of America and the rest of the world that I think all of us can relate to in one way or another – hard time finding a job; college feels more like a bait and switch scheme titled “The American Dream” than a pass to bigger and better things; bills, loans and collectors hound your dreams and phones; getting sick can morph from a minor inconvenience to financial homicide without pause – and yet there’s that 1% of America that will never feel such problems. We know them as The Rich. They may not be famous household names, no one is throwing posters of them up on their walls, their names may not be on the cover of countless gossip magazines, sometimes not even on the business magazines but they’ve got the money, power and sway that is often thrown around in even the most materialistic music videos. And we’re sick of them.

Contributor: Olivia Haynes

They’re the ones that can sway your congressmen far more than your vote ever will to make cutback after cutback to education, jobs, rehabilitation centers, emergency centers and personnel. They’re the ones that ask, “Hey, give me a bailout” and took that golden parachute to sail over the heads of those who could have better used the billions of dollars and pick away their homes, job opportunities and any hope that could be left. They go to expensive resorts miles away, we resort to having our pockets eaten away by expensive predatory loans and the “You’re not like us because you didn’t try hard enough.” How many of us here at Afro-punk would be gentle and kind to the bankers responsible for the economic collapse if we could meet them face to face? To hear, “Well, that’s not my problem. You should have worked harder, made more sacrifices and then you would be much better off instead of sitting here whining,” said right to us?

With countless statistics showing the economic divide worsening and worsening among races, classes and gender, the clock is going backwards to more depriving times and it isn’t fair. How many of us fill out countless forms to get any form of income? How many of us wonder where the next check is coming from or whether the job will still be here next month? How many of us worry about our loved ones not being able to make the bills? How many of us look at Wall St. with absolute disdain? Thinking about healthcare? I’m sure it’s many, our reasons are plenty but they boil down to this one and very important point: Stop corporate greed and its assault on the 99%.

In Zuccotti Park, NYC right now are a bunch of people who feel the same way we do and are tired of waiting, of being told “Your vote matters” when clearly some lobbyist’s check is worth more, of suffering silently and politely. Time for change and that has to come from the people, always did. And the first step is with occupying Wall St.

Want to take part? Here’s what you can do:
Follow the main Twitters to keep yourself updated to the occupations in NYC and beyond:




Look at to find occupation info for your area and how to get one started if one isn’t there.

Don't have Twitter? That's okay, they're on Facebook too!
Occupy Together
Occupy Wall St

Partake in the WeAreThe99Percent Project currently going on at Tumblr. The rules are simple: Take a picture of yourself holding a sign that describes your situation - for example, “I am a student with $25,000 in debt,” or “I needed surgery and my first thought wasn’t if I was going to be okay, it was how I’d afford it.” Below that, write “I am the 99 percent.” Below that, write “” If you don’t show your whole face, please show at least part of it. Please have your note be hand written and consise.

Watch the Livestream (stream won't load on AP), provided by Global Revolution and bring your tent – or just tell a friend. Occupations are springing up all over the place.


Donate what you can: OccupyWallSt.Org’s request page can give you all the info you need. They need more than simply money, they need blankets, socks, tents, equipment, legal guidance and more! Right now the occupiers have to deal with the NYPD being…well, the NYPD. That means seizures of cameras, laptops, tents and tarps with the occasional instance of brutality. Look it up and mail it out if you can.

Can't do any of this? Then support your local occupation. Give them socks, give them umbrellas, cold medicine, food, knit them blankets, shoot camera and video, bring internet hotspots, design flyers, spread pamphlets, help out with whatever you can, tell people, learn the laws of your states and cities so you know when the police are being corrupt, contact the National Lawyers Guild, etc etc. The revolution may not be televised but it will be quite live.


Banner photo from

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Comment by The Deacon on October 18, 2011 at 11:54pm

Funny,I suggested this a couple weeks ago and basically got laughed at. Not saying it's even my idea. They been talking about this in Greece since last year. I also suggested that OWS call on people not to spend their money Christmas or spend it with small businesses.


Comment by Ketina on October 13, 2011 at 11:15am

I only know bits and pieces of what's going on.  This movement was forthcoming.  It doesn't matter who began it; it was needed. I want to know what's the resolution? What are the people's contribution going to be afterwards?  My solution to financial clash is develop your own business- a business that represents your skills and talents.  Once that is established set up your money exhange network. I'm actually working on doing that now. I am relaunching my buisness.

What's you all's solution to the problem? Now don't rely on the rich or legislators for an offer

Comment by _ROTE_ on October 13, 2011 at 10:08am
The marketplace is neither democratic nor a site of Freedom.
Comment by The Deacon on October 9, 2011 at 10:02pm
No disrespect Subliminal, everything in this world is about money and race. Wouldn't even be a need for an Afro Punk if there wasn't a race problem. Capitalism is a system that came out of Europe and based on the theft of other people's resources. Racism just the justification for the theft. You're sub human not deserving of having your own culture; therefore except mines to be more human. You're children not deserving of managing your own affairs, therefore I'll manage your resources and your affairs. Obama, just an upholder of that system--except he's first in line. No nice way to say it.
Comment by The Deacon on October 7, 2011 at 3:00pm
When will black folks figure out that Obama just a tool of the state. Rome had at least three black emperors, still didn't stop it from being The Roman Empire. In fact, one murdered over 5, 000 people in Egypt in a one day period. This Occupy Wall Street movement just a leftist version of the Tea Party, basically white folks on the left who feel the government don't represent them. That's not going to stop them from gentrifying your neighborhoods; discrimination against you on the job (the job they'll get using you up in these protests). Any grants or monies going to social services will end up in their hands first. They are fighting to maintain "The American Dream" (their words not mines), the same American dream built working your forefathers to death--not even a thank you nigger.  When did privileged white folks become the other 99%? I know what I am saying sound like negativity, but somebody got to keep it real. Am I saying don't join these protests, that's not what I'm saying. But if you go, show up with other black folks and challenge some of the bullshit they are putting out. Let these hipsters, anarchists, democrats and communists know the 99% they are talking about living off the oil of the poor Arabs and would be sitting in some hip bar in a gentrified neighborhood if they weren't on Wall Street or downtown City Hall Philly protesting.
Comment by Daniel Rose on October 7, 2011 at 12:27am
@Kodachi- I agree 100%
Comment by Kodachi on October 6, 2011 at 11:08am
@Daniel Rose - Yup yup. And the game has changed a lot since the Civil Rights movement, there's new tech, new perspectives and we're not standing on second floor window balconies again. I'm quite happy about that. I'm cautiously optimistic but leaning towards "happy".
Comment by Daniel Rose on October 6, 2011 at 9:12am
Occupy Wall St. is one of the best movements since the Civil Rights movement. To me the movement doesn't take a one person to bring million of people together, 99% of people who felt the injustice of this system always together which brings forth true peaceful change
Comment by Kodachi on October 5, 2011 at 2:57pm

@Duarry, I agree. Can't fight for one thing and one thing only, it's a multiplex problem.


@Why"LD"Manah - It's gonna take a lot more than a Black dude as president to change, the people of America also have to change their thinking and that's most likely going to be sloooooow. It sounds like you're cautiously optimistic - even if nothing is going to change, you'll try to remain positive - and honestly, that's a smart position to take, it's even my position. Where are you from, by the way? Money, especially in the form of captialism that it is known today, is always going to be a game. Though I have some faith in the occupations, I too think that Wall St. isn't going to magically change but it would be nice if Wall St. was regulated again.  

Comment by Duarry ganesh on October 5, 2011 at 1:02pm
I had Born in a Socialist country ( Cuba ) where most of the people live at the same level "Poverty", now They want Democracy, Money, private properties but What's the point ?? We have to be conscious about what we fighting for , apart of the US government, There are an invisible hands to control and planing everything since long time ago, they are well organized, and they created money, money created social disorders and for the money they can do anything, wars, divide and conquer, sickness,starvation,  etc, etc when the money disappear that could be the end of many problems happen in this world we living today But we have to unite as one and be strong 'cause everything is about Money


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