ON THE RECENT #OCCUPATIONS
20.10.2011 § Leave a comment
A COMMUNIQUE FROM W.A.T.C.H > HALLOWEEN 2011 > BALTIMORE, AMERIKKKA
This occupation is inevitable, and yet we need to make it. There is no way for capital to continue its reign – this is clear. And yet, capital will not behead itself: we know that we need to struggle in some way if we are to overcome it. This statement is not a rejection of the occupation – as if it could be avoided, as if the present conditions were not so grave, as if we haven’t all had enough. But there are things that need to be said. We submit this critique in the deepest solidarity with those people of color, women, queer, and trans* folx that have endured this occupation while labouring on making it more livable from the inside.
Before anything else, we must frame this movement within a prior occupation, that of white settlers on Nanticoke and Susquehannock land. The genocide, expulsion, and dispossession of native peoples is foundational to the ascent of the US as a center of global capital; we cannot reclaim this country, only acknowledge it as a unit of capitalist destruction.
“We are the 99%”
If we want to use this figure to underscore how far polarized the rich and the poor are today, fine. But those of us that don’t homogenize so easily get suspicious when we hear calls for unity. What other percentages hide behind the nearly-whole 99%? What about the 16% of Blacks that are “officially” unemployed, double the number of whites? The 1 out of 8 Black men in their twenties that on any given day will be in prison or jail? The quarter of women that will get sexually assaulted in their lifetime? The dozens of queer, trans*, intersex, and gender-variant folks that are murdered each year, 70% of whom are people of color? Is a woman of color’s experience of the crisis interchangeable with that of the white man whose wage is twice hers? Are we all Troy Davis? As austerity grinds down on us, who among us will go to prison? Who will be relegated to informal, precarious labor? Whose benefits will be cut, whose food stamps canceled or insufficient? Who will be evicted? Who will be unable to get health care, to get hormones or an abortion?