Occupy the Hood Aims to Bring More Minorities Into the Occupy Wall Street Fold

occupy the hood.jpg
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Occupy Wall Street wants to represent the "99 percent." But if you've been down to observe the goings-on at Zuccotti Park, you'll have noticed that the majority of participants are white, which -- at the risk of sounding obvious! -- does not represent 99 percent of the U.S. population. Now, labor unions are in on the act repping more working-class minorities, but that isn't reflected in the makeup of the Zuccotti campers.

In response to OWS's crunchy white image, two activist friends based in Detroit and New York have started a sub-movement called Occupy the Hood, which is focused on bringing minorities into the protest. On Facebook, the group's page reads:

We are The Least Represented We are Among The Ignored We are Among The Unemployed We are Considered The Under Educated We are Considered The Minority We are The Consumers But most importantly WE ARE THE HOOD!!

The neighborHOODs is where the hearts of the people are. Our homes, our parks, our selves. It is in our best interest to have all abled voices heard to bring forth a peaceful solution in this world we have been given. There are millions of people that are effected by the Wall Street crisis. The questionable, unethical activities downtown Manhattan... and in Corporate America directly effects our economic struggles and the future of all business and personal endeavors.

Occupy the Hood is the brainchild of Malik Rhasaan, a construction worker and father of three from South Jamaica, Queens. He went down to Occupy Wall Street near the beginning and liked it, but "I noticed there isn't a strong black and Latino presence, or a strong Asian presence for that matter," he said. "I realized a lot of people just don't know about it."

He brought on his friend in Detroit, Ife Johari Uhuru, a stylist specializing in natural hair and mother of two boys. She's a longtime community activist. The two know each other through the Internet. Uhuru and Rhasaan are running OTH, which is for all intents and purposes an awareness campaign to get people of color involved, as Rhasaan stressed: "People don't know why Wall Street affects them. It affects us the most when we're not knowledgeable about it."

Strategically, Occupy the Hood doesn't want to separate itself from Occupy Wall Street. But the leaders say that minority concerns are often left out of the OWS discussion. "I see Occupy Wall Street putting forth demands and a lot of times those demands don't speak to the 99% that we all claim to be," Uhuru said. "Some people can't speak for certain people."

We just heard about Occupy the Hood today through Twitter, which the leaders have been using to spread their message over the last two weeks. And the message has apparently started to blow up in recent days; Uhuru said she fields calls from every major city in the country and recently heard from California congresswoman Maxine Waters. According to Rhasaan, who was down at Zuccotti when we spoke, he's been bringing in people off the street every day, and noticing Occupy the Hood's influence in other ways.

"There are white kids out here holding signs saying 'Occupy the Hood,'" he said. "It's a family thing."

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.

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23 comments
  academic proofreadingservice
  academic proofreadingservice

 I am impressed by the quality of information on this website. There are a lot of good resources here. I am sure I will visit this place again soon.

Gerald
Gerald

I joined the twitter and FB. It is good to get more people standing with others who can see that something is wrong with the system.

#RonPaul2012#EndtheFed

888
888

"occupy the hood" would be a good word for gentrification.

All jokes aside, if you're gonna put out a public statement on behalf of a large group of people, proofread your sheeeet

7ee
7ee

cool.  but also, really annoying multiple misuse of the word effect.  should be Affected. 

The87rock69
The87rock69

How do I get Involved? I don't believe in facebooking or putting my information out for the internet to have forever but; We need to move now and take action. I have to admit that now I truly believe we can make a big difference.  If we are not serious about change and commited to improving our communities I am ready now.  I also believe that our brothers and sisters will be vital to reshape America. 

the87rock69@yahoo  

YogiFish
YogiFish

Together We Make Things Move

tinknocker
tinknocker

This is pure socialism run rampant.  It is going to have an unfortionate effect on labor unions in the future, they are already losing populatiry, they should have stood neutral.

blackerberry
blackerberry

so we are going to have Black folks protesting in the hood and white folks protesting everywhere else-----sounds like apartheid in post -racial America.

Moneygods
Moneygods

Ok But People you Have to understand most of the Masons In ancient time where Blacks and shit The whites were even once black Until They traveled and went into Different climatic  and tropics then there Skins and body had to adjust to the new airs that's why the have the color skin they have now they think they are gods And Goddess All The Control N killing happing in this day is For A large ritual for one of there own diaties or god Of some sort they r trying to create for some reason white people or here and they are here to stay now Black people lets come togather and form militarily and conquer ours own just like them o

 Old Dude
Old Dude

Sakara,Correction,that was meant to read-in YOUR head.

Magforce
Magforce

I hope that the Blacks and the Hispanics do take to the streets and the predominantly White anarchists-socialists-unionists can be accepting of the multicultural diversity that has begun to solidify in recent weeks!  I am encouraged to see people in their 60's and 70's, who took to the streets in the sixties, when it was largely attributed to Republican inflexibility and the White capitalist power structure that has oppressed the poor man! Now, we have a largely Black Democrat Mayorial in most major cities and a Black Democrat President and Black Police Chiefs and Police Officers and they will be forced to crack heads and arrest thousands of people this go around! Much more fairness involved!

Ken Hughes
Ken Hughes

All I can say and ad is, IT'S ABOUT TIME!  I'm a 67-Y-O Caucasian from North Carolina and I remember with disgust the part of the Jim Crow era during which I grew up   Welcome to The Hood, OWS desperately needed your input and you bring the full span of the 99% into the fray.  Now we'll get some traction and recognition.  I hope any racist cops down here in the south, I'm in Tea-stained Texas, don't get all scared by non-whit faces in the crowd.  We need and respect your contributions and desperation, WELCOME!

 Old Dude
Old Dude

I am a 73 year old white man who supported the civil rights movement back in the 60's.The elites have always been very good at inciting division between the races for their own gains,maby,now,finally this will change. I will be attending  my local protes on a daily basis.

Coco Lopez
Coco Lopez

The hood is being occupied by the same people occupying Wall Street.

Sakara
Sakara

occupy wall street is 99.9 white spoiled college brats, who are upset they can't get tv jobs with rossane barr and michael moore.

"but, the college loan administrator said there were lots of tv and movie jobs for us college snot noses!"

tinknocker
tinknocker

It won't change the division of races as long as people like Jesse Jackson make remarks about McDonalds being the modern day slave plantation, and by saying that, telling young black males they should avoid starter jobs.  I guess he would prefer they sell drugs on the street and end up serving time in prison.  Herman Cain is a much better man to follow than Obama, Jackson, and Al Sharpton.

Sakara
Sakara

you'll be attending the local protests on a daily basis hoping for some young, diseased, hippy chick poontang----that's the real reason you old wanker.

Ken Hughes
Ken Hughes

WTF is this clown?  When I was at Occupy Fort Worth the span of ages went from a 2 to 3-y-o girl to a 72-y-o retired US Marine Corps Major General, 3-tour 'Nam veteran and literally every age in between, including some very attractive young ladies of course; we of OWS are all ages as all ages in America are being screwed, in the figurative sense and I neither heard nor uttered any pickup lines.  Sakara, whoever TF you may be, you need to drop by one of the OWS subsidiaries and look for yourself.  The only thing worse than a normal idiot is an uninformed idiot who thinks he's right, well he is "right", extreme right and still a fool; get a life.

lorma
lorma

Sakara. I think is about time you take your head out of your other hole.

The87rock69
The87rock69

you sound like a Nut.  Repeat your statement 5 time in the dark while looking in the Mirror

Gooselaw
Gooselaw

Kind of disgusting, Sakara, and completely counter to the movement that good people of all ages and communities are trying to build. You should apologize.

 Old Dude
Old Dude

No Sakara,I will not be looking for some young hippy chick,Getting chicks was never a problem for me,As a matter of fact,I'm confident that I have experienced more cute young chick,and beautifull women than you can ever hope to experience in your most erotic wet dreams. So I would sugest that you go out right now and try to get a little so that visions of cute young hippy chick will not be dancing in you head in the middle of serious conversations.

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