To the General Assembly of Occupy Wall St.:
Receive greetings and embraces of solidarity from Movement for Justice in El Barrio, The Other Campaign New York:
We hope this message finds you well and in high spirits (or, as we like to say, con muchas ganas de luchar) to continue mounting an insurmountable struggle for justice, dignity, and democracy!
We are an immigrant- and people of color-led, grassroots community organization that fights for dignity and against neoliberal displacement from East Harlem to Chiapas and beyond. For seven years, we have gone building-to-building in our neighborhood to build a 700-member-strong, local movement for dignity that has taken on and defeated multi-national corporations and corrupt politicians. We are committed to the principles of autonomy and self-determination, and practice participatory democracy and consensus decision-making on a community-wide scale. As part of the Zapatista-initiated The Other Campaign, we fight for the liberation of all marginalized groups, such as women, lesbians, gays, transgender people, immigrants, people of color, indigenous peoples, and all the poor of the world—from below and to the left.
During the past month, we have visited and participated at Liberty Plaza many times. In doing so, we have added our grain of sand to and been strengthened by this space that continues to grow and develop with and across all the beautiful differences that make us one.
We wish we could maintain a more constant, physical presence at this space, but the real circumstances of our lives make that impossible: That is, as low-income immigrants and people of color who on a daily basis must juggle the demands of working over 60 hours a week, raising our children, and fighting a day-to-day local struggle, the truth is we simply cannot.
Regrettably, in this way and others, the false gulf between us is kept open. For us, and perhaps many other marginalized groups seeking to build at Liberty Plaza, this problem is not just a question of accommodation, but rather of commitment and strategy to sincerely fight against a common enemy that feeds off our division.
In the spirit of shared struggle, we want to find creative and productive ways to overcome these circumstances and combine our forces. Towards this end, we are requesting to be put on the agenda to make a proposal at this Thursday’s General Assembly meeting. We are inviting all the good-hearted people of Occupy Wall St. to our corner of the world for a dialogue we are holding next Monday, November 7th at 7 p.m., at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in East Harlem. Several OWS working groups have already publicly endorsed this event, which is called “Dignity Is an Echo in the Heartbeat of the People,” and have also agreed to both attend and promote it. Our intention in attending this Thursday night, specifically, is to propose the same before the GA. We hope the General Assembly will do so as well and make the historic step in bridging the false gap between our communities.
From El Barrio (East Harlem), NYC,
Movement for Justice in El Barrio