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Movin the Masses: Ramblings on political action in the Black Community

garveySome Thoughts on What Young Black Activists Should Consider In Creating a Successful Black Movement

Occupy Wall Street’s name is so popular now that it has entered pop culture lexicon and can be referred to by one name only as in “Occupy”, like “Prince” or “Drake”. This speaks volumes to its ability to gain attention and now to be scrutinized by corporate media. This moment that “Occupy” is still attempting itself to occupy speaks to a major breakthrough in the public conversation on uneven wealth distribution and the tactics to confront such. Tactical responses have already stretched the boundaries of the original theme, from worker strikes and port shut-downs on the west coast to adopting the “Take Back the Land” strategy of physically preventing foreclosures and evictions in other areas.

As Occupy continues to shape-shift the question for those intimately involved is what next? How do they create structure and leadership, radical strategic goals and public politics that will define them past this initial burst of action? One prudent piece of advice is to watch out for the Democratic Party and their associates bearing gifts. Ultimately, their goal is to reduce the militancy of Occupy and to squeeze out a few votes for moderate politicians. These politicians will mostly pretend at wanting to change the political and economic order but do little once elected to challenge real contradictions of class and race. Any alliance that is not well prepared will end in cooptation. Despite the impressive beginning of the mostly white-led left leaning groupings important decisions lay ahead on how to move forward and movement build.

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About the Author

  • Kamau has worked as a community activist and attorney for over fifteen years in New York City and now in the south. He has been a leading member of several grassroots organizations dedicated to human rights advocacy and building grassroots institutions in the black community. Currently he is building a new organization named Amandla Training and Organizing Project. You can follow Kamau on twitter at @kamaufranklin.

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