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Is Occupy Sandy our future?

Posted on November 6, 2012 by ari

Photo: Occupy Sandy Distribution Center by Jeremy Zilar

I’m up early, at 3 today! (We’ve been going to bed super early.) This morning I read an article about people organizing spontaneous relief efforts in the wake of Sandy. The article is great, so inspiring – please give it a read. But then in the comments, I found this one by artleads (the emphasis is mine):

Utterly amazing. You have to be there, for I could never have imagined a movement so ample, effective efficient. (Despite the obligatory chaos,)

What I’m not quite seeing, and that might not be Occupy’s role, is “formal” community organizing of the sort that can affect the city planning commission or, better yet,affect and effect local neighborhood planning. That is somewhat in the urban planning arena.

The person quoted below is, I believe, an artist that lives nearby:

“This whole hurricane has also shown how so many people in New York need so much help, regardless of the hurricane,” said Lisa Sikorski, an organizing volunteer in Red Hook. “There’s a lot of problems around here.”

There is the need for a permanent plan that can evolve. It’s needed here and everywhere, especially in low-income places that tend to get ignored. What about permanent donation centers that stock supply hubs in every block, managed by block captains? How about nuclear-shelter-type underground bunkers in every few blocks, with water-protected generators linking to the surrounding buildings? We live in an age of permanent disasters, with no time to waste in getting permanent monitoring and regeneration movements in every city.

After that, 85Percent added, “Just like Katrina showcased needs that had already been there all along.”

And I just want to say, YES. Of course we have needs. Human beings, like all of the earth’s other residents, have needs. There is no shame in our needing clean water and clean air and good healthful food, and dry clothes, and a roof over our heads, and so on. These necessities should be ours by right, every day, not things we have to fight for, or beg for, from those who have stolen them and made them the privilege of the few. This experience with Sandy is hopefully showing us that the time has come for us to organize, to meet our own needs, instead of assuming corporations and rich politicians are going to do it for us. And I am so proud to be watching our species take this leap. Thank you, to everyone who’s changing the world for the better.

Photo: Occupy Sandy solar panel by Karen Blumberg

If you can, please donate, supplies are urgently needed and people are freezing! Racialicious is keeping track of good ways to contribute: Post 1Post 2

Here’s a good website to hook you up with Occupy Sandy if you need help or want to offer assistance or resources, and here are live updates from Occupy Sandy.

Here’s an article from the Nation about Occupy Sandy, with photos.

Related posts:

  1. Shirari Peace and Love Podcast #7: May Day 2012
  2. Hope for the future: The power of the positive
  3. Reverend Billy Preaching in Support of Public Assembly and Our People’s History
  4. We Are Occupying Ourselves
  5. Pepperspray: History repeated


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