Here recently in Albuquerque, quite a bit of problems have erupted over the term “Occupy.” Last week, there was a lot of talk of changing the name to “Occupy Wall Street Liberate Albuquerque.” Many people were in favor of this change. Then, on Sunday, a rather rogue move was made – without proper announcement to all on the “Official” Facebook Page – many attending the General Assembly made a sneak attack and came to a consensus to change the name to “(Un)Occupy Albuquerque”. If I had been aware of this, I would have made it to General Assembly and blocked this move.
The name change controversy was based upon the fact that many of the Native Americans, aka indigenous people, are offended by the term “occupy” due to the history of how the Europeans came in to occupy their land thus forcing them off. They have a very valid point, and I, as do many others, completely empathize with their plight. However….
This is not the task at hand for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Although the name change has only happened in a few other locations, throughout the country and world I am seeing many organizations, causes, groups, etc. using the Occupy Wall Street as a platform to lobby their own personal causes.
This is not the focus of this movement.
Yes, there are many ties between this movement and the purpose or cause of any such lobbying group, but I am finding that this is becoming distracting to the end goal, which is to overturn and restructure both the private banking system – primarily the Federal Reserve – and our government. The greed and corruption is thick and is destroying our nation as well as the world economy as a whole. Sadly, a significant percentage of the people in the United States are simply in the dark about how our economy is failing and we are all becoming martyrs at the hands of our politicians and corporations.
During our March of the Banks in downtown Albuquerque on October 12th, I was across the street from the group doing some filming. A woman who worked in the building behind me approached me and asked what was going on. I explained that we were Occupy Albuquerque functioning in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. I received a blank look from her. After asking her if she was familiar with the OWS movement, she admitted she was not. Personally, I do not care for strangers giving me lectures, therefore I give the same in return. I simply gave her some bullet points as to the statistics of our country’s economy and a “Readers Digest” version of the main protest in New York. A sad look crossed her face as she turned to me and informed me that she was immediately going back to her desk to look this movement up on the internet.
This is one of our focuses as an Occupy Wall Street movement… helping inform the people of what is going on in their world and how they are being affected. Many people still deny this. Hell, I did not want to admit to myself we’ve been lied to and used for so long. But denial is what feeds the greed and corruption. They prey on this. Well, no more.
Debating terminology should have never come up.
During a Facebook conversation over this topic of the name change, a fellow friend who is a Native American posted:
When we have general assemblies or action meetings members like “John Doe” and I attend to discuss things like what NY did and put the indigenous peoples of the group in charge of leading a particular march to the museum over there. That unites people everywhere and shows unity as a movement. Now when a small contingent purely focused on whether or not our name is politically correct considering the actions being taken across the globe… I am native american and having been a part of racial protests in Farmington and this is a typical problem I have seen happen. If you want to get down to the dirty details of whos land is who’s The Dine (Navajo) people have no say when it comes to a spot in Albuquerque our land is within the four sacred mountains. No one brings that discussion up so it is unfair for Native American people to start dropping that sort of issue on our group when we’re guilty of such practices still. There are racial problems but we’re seeking to address them directly not through a name change. If they were truly worried about these issues they would see the problem but I see their main focus is to just latch on to a movement that has some sort of success in getting people to wake up and muck it up with their own personal agendas. It’s how positive movements on the reservation get stopped up and never go anywhere, the issue of Native American traditionalism. I’d like to see a major issue come from the Irish people as this is a global movement and their land has been occupied as well. Everyone is getting so focused on this when it means absolutely nothing. I will be proud to carry a banner with the word occupy because if that’s what I have to do on my own land to get it back I will. As should EVERY American in this country.
For any party, group, organization, and 501(c)3… all are encouraged to join in this movement, but please refrain from distracting from the primary goal. Announce who you are and you are in support. This gives the people hope, as well as adding the strength to the movement. But remember what we are all here for and do not stray.
As far as our name issue in Albuquerque is concerned, a significant percentage of us – if not the majority – who have been in support since Day One here locally, and of OWS since it began, are still functioning, posting, tweeting, and dispersing information as Occupy Albuquerque. We are still in 100% support of our local movement, but feel that we need to honor the Occupy Wall Street movement, protesters and all their supporters by keeping the name as is, and we will no longer be sidetracked from our purpose and goal.
This post in no way reflects upon all the opinions of Occupy/(Un)Occupy Albuquerque as a whole. This is me speaking… one of the 99%.