We believe that:
– OWS is an inspiring moment rich with potential for transformative social change
– Racism and white supremacy exist in the world and are present at OWS
– There are systemic inequalities within the 99%, and white people, including those within the 99%, are categorically privileged by racism and white supremacy
– The voices and leadership of people of color should be centered and prioritized at OWS
– White people can and should support the leadership of people of color
– White people have a responsibility to recognize and name our own white privilege, and challenge racism among ourselves, other white people, and the world at large
– The economic issues raised by OWS are inseparable from a global and historical analysis of the US, which was founded in – and still engages in, and benefits from – genocide, slavery, colonization, and racialized exploitation.
– Individuals and groups are made up of many identities which overlap and intersect. There are multiple intersecting systems of oppression, and racism is complicated by gender, class, nationality, and other aspects of identity
– We want to see OWS succeed, and we believe that in order for it to succeed, it must be anti-racist in analysis, vision, and action.
We are a group composed primarily of people with white privilege active in and dedicated to OWS, and committed to ending racism and white supremacy. It is our goal to act as allies in anti-racism work, and we recognize this as an ongoing process. We know we each have much to learn and are committed to growing in this work. We support, and (through a clear structure of communication) aim to be directly accountable to the POC Working Group at OWS.
In solidarity with (Un)occupy Albuquerque and indigenous organizers, among others, we call into question the use of the language of “occupation,” as occupation of land has been a tool of oppression and colonization.
It is through the work and struggle of people of color and oppressed communities that systems of exploitation have been challenged throughout history and in the present. For as long as there has been oppression there has been resistance—OWS is one part of this history of resistance and should be accountable to it.
Because we believe that this movement is about envisioning a different world, we know that we have to be active and deliberate about not replicating the systems of power we were raised in and therefore have internalized.