- js reader version
- email this article
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 at 8:25 PM
Reposted from facebook
Domingo, 09 de octubre de 2011, 22:52
I pushed my way to the center of the circle, at 5’1 this was the only chance I would have to see and hear and to be seen and be heard. I took a deep breath added my name to the stack and waited for my turn to speak among this group made up mostly of men. The group had formed from the Occupy LA General Assembly, it consisted of people who had blocked a proposal to endorse a civil disobedience action by dozens of hotel workers. These workers had planned a protest with their union because they had been fired by a hotel in Bel Air. This small group now held this proposal in the palm of their hands. The group also consisted of anybody else from the General Assembly who wished to join in on the discussion. The people they were talking about are hotel workers, most of them immigrants and women, they are veterans of the fight against corporate power. I know this because my father, who was fired from his union job as a hotel dishwasher a couple of years ago, is also one of these veterans. The fight of these veterans of struggle is a fight for dignity and respect, but also a fight for their livelihoods, and in this fight they stand toe to toe, immigrant workers against corporations. While waiting my turn to speak, I thought of these workers, the housekeepers with their aching backs from lifting heavy beds. I thought of the dishwashers with their aching knees and fungus in their nails from working in water all day. I thought of the women hotel workers who go home to their children with worn bodies from catering to the 1%. As I stood among this group of men, I wondered quietly to myself what these workers would think of this conversation.
At times the conversation turned into a shouting match, the loudest person often won control of the floor. The men in the circle demanded to know why these workers hadn’t joined Occupy LA. “Where is their union!?!?!?!?”, they asked. “When is their union going to bring 35,000 people down HERE!?!?!?!”, they shouted. I felt my anger and frustration boiling and at times I shouted too, but as impatient as I was growing I decided against battling the maleness of the group on their terms. So as others yelled louder than me, I again waited. It was getting late, and behind us 200 people were still taking part in the General Assembly discussing other proposals that had been brought to the group. In between us and them another small group had broken off from our discussion and formed around a young man who carried a sign denouncing non violent tactics. I turned my attention back to the group and listened as a man around my age spoke, he told us that he is a union member and that he was here despite the fact that he had a young daughter waiting for him at home. I felt a connection to him, after all, I’m a single mother and I have two children at home.
When it was my turn to speak I stepped right into the center of the circle and I spoke from where my spirit comes. “I speak to you today as the daughter of a hotel dishwasher, who walked the picket line with her father in his fight for dignity and respect on the job, for his right to be treated as a human instead of a dog.” What would my father think about this discussion? Although he can understand some English and could hear and understand the comments being made about people like him, he would need to ask for a translator to be understood by everybody else. I imagine that he would leave frustrated and angry.
Last night, my point to that group was this: What would it mean to this movement of the 99% if women housekeepers were to march up here to join us? How powerful would that be? But the question is not why are they not here, the question is what would it require to make this space more diverse and broad? What would it require from us? What would it mean if we joined them that day, in bel air the heart of the 1% , and marched with them in their struggle against corporate America. What would it mean if we made it clear to them that this is also their space and that we are fighting for them, because they are the 99%. There is a reason why they are not here and it has nothing to do with whether or not they believe in the fight. As I spoke, dozens of hands waved their fingers in the air signaling agreement. I stopped speaking after I felt that I had taken up too much space. Two minutes later what I had said was forgotten among the discussions about process and another rant from the man who blocked the proposal. A short while later I left because after 8 hours of Occupy LA I had to get home and help my daughter with her essay that was due Monday morning. The man with the daughter, whom I had felt the connection with earlier, he was gone too.
As I went home after this experience, and as I thought about the potential that this movement holds, I realized that it is not held by me or anybody else occupying city hall, or Wall St., or any other city around the country. It is held by the 99%, and the 99% is much bigger than all the aforementioned people. The 99% includes the hotel housekeeper, it includes my father, it includes my neighbor in working class Montebello, it includes working class white Americans who may not yet believe in protest but do believe that they should be heard much more than any corporation, it includes my son’s 2nd grade teacher, it includes my 17 year old daughter who hopes to go to college, it includes the people I work with on a daily basis who struggle to put food on their table and whose community was in an economic crisis long before the rest of America. The movement of the 99% also includes all the struggles that my father, the hotel housekeeper, and the resident of South Central LA are embroiled in. This movement is not contained by Wall St, or Main St., or City Hall, or Portland, or Las Vegas, or any other physical space. If we try to contain it, we will kill it. We must grow it, we must link arms, we must lift all these struggles up, we must come up with new ideas and new forms of resistance and organize for them. If we do, we will take this momentum, this moment, this movement and we will win
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
||Thursday, Nov. 03, 2011 at 8:42 AM
Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus
Nuclear Shudown News Aufust 2016
WIKIpedia is not what we readers Thought nor is it even current about Pacifica or KPFK
"KPFK has a $500,000 deficit “ !! Can this be true?
Nuclear Shutdown News July 2016
A 99-page report "Election fraud" from Election Justice USA
INDY's KPFK radio program being eliminated ? too ?
Bertolt Brecht Testifies Before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947) 2 min
Pacifica-KPFK Archives, director resignation
SAVE KPFK & PACIFICA: VOTE IN THIS CRUCIAL ELECTION!
KPFK radio elections for LSB coming Quick !
KPFK Local Station Board Elections In-Progress
Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Abdullah Sentenced Three Months in Jail on Attempted Lynching Charge
Why are the Park Rangers making it even more difficult for the homeless in Los Angeles?
Bernie Sanders in Lincoln Heights
Los Angeles Sit-In to Fight Voter Suppression
War Within California's 46th CD
NPR's David Greene & Alison Aubrey along with David Ludwig Shill For Factory Farm Eggs
2016 AT&T Shareholders engaged by Communications Workers of America D9 Activists
Communications Workers of America District 9 Action at AT&T Shareholders
Voter Registration at ELAC
LA Times Fails to Cover Protest Against Clinton
Violence Against Poor In Venice
California Safe Schools Honors 11 Year Old Daniel Randall
More Local News...
Puerto Rico Oversight Board Holds First Meeting
Neoliberal Crisis Policy has Failed
(A-Radio) Azerbaijan: the "flower holiday" of the dictator and the imprisoned anarchists
Sylvia Opens October 13 at Odyssey Theatre; Tanna Frederick Stars
Sylvia Opens October 12 at Odyssey Theatre; Tanna Frederick Stars
International Community Rallies to Protect a Monkey Species for the First Time in 30 Years
Causes of Great Problems Faded Out in Elections
Final Shot Trucchi
Cost of not caring: THE FINANCIAL AND HUMAN TOLL FOR NEGLECTING THE MENTALLY ILL
USA's President Has Almost No Power Over fbi / cia assassins
Cuba Liberates „Miss Burqa“ From Guantanamo
Dennis Mahon and Auntie Racist
This is your country, your people, not mine
Castle Clash Tips & Tricks
Counterintelligence Operations Against A Target Are Global
Star Wars Battlefront Death Star DLC
Paraphysique de l'aplasie
The Shortwave Report 09/23/16 Listen Globally!
Philippines: The Punisher's dirty war on drugs
Final Shot Astuce Gem Tricks
How to get rid of fleas by Robert George Tronge
SB Game Hacker is ready to work
Joanna Lumley slams CITES’ rhino horn proposal
KPFK :must VOTE by 9/30 to local board.
NBA 2K17 Prelude Download Australia/New Zealand on PS4 and Xbox One
Power Elites: On the Great Illusion of Pluralist Liberalism
More Breaking News...