Friday, October 21, 2011

More and More Blackfolk Joining the OccupyWallStreet Movement

Filmmaker Obatala Mawusi said that the days he spent documenting the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City were "eye-opening." In particular, the diversity he saw among the protesters belied the images of the movement in mainstream media. In early October 2011, Mawusi spoke to some of the Black participants about why the Occupy Wall Street movement attracted them.

A Call for a National Dialog on Black Left Participation in the OWS Movement
The Black Left Unity Network and USHRN Labor Working Group

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Over the last two years, the Black Left Unity Network (BLUN) has engaged in a process that focused on reaching out to Black worker activists in the labor movement, and other core social movements that organize and mobilize the Black working class.  We have looked for opportunities such as building support for the Hurricane Katrina survivors and organizing and promoting a Reconstruction movement as a strategic flank of the U.S. anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggle, using Survivor Assemblies as popular democratic forums; promoting a Thank You Cuba campaign to  challenge attempts to isolate Cuba and socialism as a racist regime; and participating in the Human Rights movement to help ground it in mass bases of resistance to help shape and influence its demands and anti-imperialist political character.

While there is much more needed in developing the BLUN as a unity process; a major aspect of the process must be that of forging Black left unity within the context of trying to unify and give a working class and internationalist perspective based in concrete demands to the struggles and upsurges that originate from or may have an impact on the Black masses. Therefore, with the emergence of the OWS as an national phenomenon with developing organizational expressions in various cities across the country, members of BLUN have taken the position that it is important to develop a process for addressing the questions that have quickly surfaced related to the political character of this movement and the role and participation of Black, Latino and Native forces.

BLUN along with the Labor working group of US Human Rights Network, hosted a call on Thursday, October 20, at 3pm EST. Some of the questions discussed included:

1.      While our  communities are weakly organized, disconnected from the occupation motion, how might the occupy wall street be used to organize our communities  for fundamental social change in the interests of  the Black masses?  Or can it?

2.      How can the Black left help to build alliances between the Black and Latino working classes in particular and with workers of color in general to begin forging Black and Brown working class unity as key to driving a popular agenda and mandate for radical social transformation in this period?
3.      How can Black left forces direct this anti-capitalist sentiment and energy of the OWS to increase the existing fight backs in the labor movement and the Black communities?

4.       Since labor is an important social force in the capitalist system, how can Black workers influence and help to mobilize the character and content of labors involvement in the OWS?

5.      How can the Black left become a force in helping to promote U.S. accountability to the UN Human Rights Conventions as a transitional program toward internationalizing the OWS movement?
 To JOIN this much needed effort and for more info, Contact: 
Saladin Muhammad at


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