Occupy NOLA has endorsed this Statement of Support for Unity at The Occupy National Gathering.
We are reaching out to you respectfully to ask if you will consider endorsing the statement, written by Jarah Lo of Occupy Detroit/Occupy National Gathering.
This statement was written in an attempt to remedy the situation involving Idle No More Michigan’s boycotting of the Occupy National Gathering. We sincerely hope that many will see this letter as an attempt to open a dialogue by attending the National Gathering and that this will be a healing exchange for all involved. We hope that Idle No More Michigan is able to heal and stop the boycott of the Occupy National Gathering.
Occupy NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana)
STATEMENT OCCUPY NOLA SUPPORTS and ENDORSES
(feel free to copy and paste it on your Facebook page and websites if you endorse this statement):
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am reaching out for the sake of unity and understanding, brotherhood and sisterhood across all things that have historically divided the people and destroyed the land. Recently there was a riff between the Occupy movement and Idle No More individuals which we are very saddened to see. Historically, within Occupy Detroit specifically, we have enjoyed fellowship between one another as brothers and sisters. I would like to see continued works of unity between us as individuals, irreguardless of our respective affiliations. May this communion bring continued strength and comradery among one another, person to person and heart to heart for the sake of peace and prosperity, and healing of our earth and everyone on it.
We hope you will accept our visit as a chance to continue a healing exchange.
Here is the Statement Occupy Detroit has made regarding the boycott.
Statement of Occupy Detroit regarding the NatGat2 boycott.
1) Occupy Detroit is committed to an integrated, united struggle against all forms of inequality, especially racism, sexism, anti-lgbt bigotry and xenophobia. We have always strived to be a safe and inclusive environment that recognizes the important leadership of minority communities that make up Detroit. We have made mistakes, but have done the best we can to learn from them. Moreover, we have engaged ourselves in struggle alongside the communities of Detroit against the racist attacks of the 1% (fought against library and school closures, the Emergency Manager law, supported eviction defense of Detroiters, supported the national march around immigrant rights, supported the majority black workforce of the Detroit Water and Sewage workers in the strike, fought petcoke piles stored along the Detroit river, etc.), winning some of these struggles on the basis of a united, integrated movement.
2) Because of our commitment to a united, integrated struggle we categorically reject the long standing and destructive practice of “identity politics,” the mentality that “only minorities can speak about issues facing minorities.” The practice of identity politics treats the divisions of society as permanent fixtures that cannot be overcome and has nothing to do with actually confronting racism, sexism, anti-LGBT bigotry, xenophobia and all other forms of oppression. We are optimistic about the ability of a united struggle of black, Latina/o, Arab, Asian, Indigenous and anti-racist whites. We reject the pessimistic viewpoint that there can be no united struggle against racism. Identity politics isolates minority communities and lets white people off the hook by not demanding of them their active participation in challenging their own racism and the racist institutions and practices of society.
3) The principles stated above compel Occupy Detroit to not support the boycott of the National Gathering. We do not see a boycott of the National Gathering as beneficial to the furtherance of a united movement. We look to the National Gathering as a forum contributing to the goal of a united movement by its creating space to communicate, evolve our understandings and work together in solidarity across social barriers. We encourage — and think it essential — to talk about and challenge on a serious, concrete basis racism, sexism, anti-LGBT bigotry, xenophobia and all other forms of oppression that seek to divide the 99% in our fight for real equality and justice. This is the basis upon which we will participate in the National Gathering. We commit ourselves as allies to anyone wanting to fight and expose all of the inequalities we face: We are the 99%!
We understand that an early issue that inspired the boycott involved a website and that it has been resolved.