De-Colonizing the Occupy Movement

Iroquois ConfederacyJess Yee at Racialicious takes a look at the Occupy Movement and what it means to the most marginalised of the 99 percent:

The “OCCUPY WALL STREET” slogan has gone viral and international now. From the protests on the streets of WALL STREET in the name of “ending capitalism” – organizers, protestors, and activists have been encouraged to “occupy” different places that symbolize greed and power. There’s just one problem: THE UNITED STATES IS ALREADY BEING OCCUPIED. THIS IS INDIGENOUS LAND. And it’s been occupied for quite some time now.

I also need to mention that New York City is Haudenosaunee territory and home to many other First Nations. Waiting to see if that’s been mentioned anywhere. (Author’s note: Manhattan “proper” is home to to the Lenape who were defrauded of the island by the Dutch in 1626 — see more from Tequila Sovereign).

Not that I’m surprised that this was a misstep in organizing against Wall Street or really any organizing that happens when the “left” decides that it’s going to “take back America for the people” (which people?!). This is part of a much larger issue, and in fact there is so much nationalistic, patriotic language of imperialism wrapped up in these types of campaigns that it’s no wonder people can’t see the erasure of existence of the First Peoples of THIS territory that happens when we get all high and mighty with the pro-America agendas, and forget our OWN complicity and accountability to the way things are today — not just the corporations and the state.

More on De-Colonising the Occupation here.

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  • Someone

    I get the point, and the Native American population has always been held in a soft spot within my heart, but honestly, this is fucking retarded.

  • Someone

    I get the point, and the Native American population has always been held in a soft spot within my heart, but honestly, this is fucking retarded.

    • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.slater Anthony Slater

      I agree.  When I look back at how history has treated them, I’m filled with absolute disgust.  They’re still shoved off by the American government, even, with their ability to build casinos giving the average american justification for saying “they’re doing fine” when really they continue to be oppressed.  But this decolonisation effort is really just as bad.  I’ve been called a racist and an imperialist for not supporting this, and that’s just really pathetic.

  • Unclesam309

    We can’t change what people have done in the past.  All we can do is Learn from them and move forward.

  • Unclesam309

    We can’t change what people have done in the past.  All we can do is Learn from them and move forward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.slater Anthony Slater

    I agree.  When I look back at how history has treated them, I’m filled with absolute disgust.  They’re still shoved off by the American government, even, with their ability to build casinos giving the average american justification for saying “they’re doing fine” when really they continue to be oppressed.  But this decolonisation effort is really just as bad.  I’ve been called a racist and an imperialist for not supporting this, and that’s just really pathetic.

  • V.

    yeah we cant go back to the primitive plus the land was wilderness before they got here so it really belongs to the animals. what this is about is making the financial situation better for everyone

  • V.

    yeah we cant go back to the primitive plus the land was wilderness before they got here so it really belongs to the animals. what this is about is making the financial situation better for everyone

  • JG

    What about the people who were here before the tribes we commonly refer to as “native americans?” we need to track down their genetic descendants so we can give them some kind of arbitrary special privileges! Also, I’m white but I am sure if we looked hard enough we could find a reason to give me special status as recompense for what happened to some distant ancestor who was the same color as me. 

  • JG

    What about the people who were here before the tribes we commonly refer to as “native americans?” we need to track down their genetic descendants so we can give them some kind of arbitrary special privileges! Also, I’m white but I am sure if we looked hard enough we could find a reason to give me special status as recompense for what happened to some distant ancestor who was the same color as me. 

  • Mr Willow

    The Occupy movement—from what I have seen, anyway—is not a pro-America movement. It is a pro-human initiative. 

    Initially, and first and foremost, yes, they stand in opposition of Corporate America. The stand in the hopes of ending the stranglehold the wealthy have on the government, the monopolies and oligopolies they’ve established, and they proclaim loudly that capitalism—at least in the form currently practised—should not continue.

    But more broadly, or philosophically, it is a call for people to come together, interact, so that we may discuss a new system to be established, so that we may relate better to one another, so that we may understand one another, in the hopes of building a more equal, reasonable society, in the hopes the genocides and forced migrations carried out by Cortéz, Columbus, Jefferson, Jackson et al would not be repeated. 

    What was done to the indigenous peoples and cultures was atrocious, but in all reality, there is a great difficulty in correcting it. (unless someöne can provide some suggestions)

    The message, from what I have seen and read, has little to do with colonialism, nor imperialism, nor continued genocide—all of which are brought up in the article. In fact, just about everything I have seen is a rejection of such ideas. It is about mutual respect for all of mankind, sharing ideas, beliefs, cultures, etc. 

  • Mr Willow

    The Occupy movement—from what I have seen, anyway—is not a pro-America movement. It is a pro-human initiative. 

    Initially, and first and foremost, yes, they stand in opposition of Corporate America. The stand in the hopes of ending the stranglehold the wealthy have on the government, the monopolies and oligopolies they’ve established, and they proclaim loudly that capitalism—at least in the form currently practised—should not continue.

    But more broadly, or philosophically, it is a call for people to come together, interact, so that we may discuss a new system to be established, so that we may relate better to one another, so that we may understand one another, in the hopes of building a more equal, reasonable society, in the hopes the genocides and forced migrations carried out by Cortéz, Columbus, Jefferson, Jackson et al would not be repeated. 

    What was done to the indigenous peoples and cultures was atrocious, but in all reality, there is a great difficulty in correcting it. (unless someöne can provide some constructive suggestions)

    The message, from what I have seen and read, has little to do with colonialism, nor imperialism, nor continued genocide—all of which are brought up in the article. In fact, just about everything I have seen is a rejection of such ideas. It is about mutual respect for all of mankind, sharing ideas, beliefs, cultures, etc.