In New York, the occupation of Zuccotti Park and mass street protests of Fall 2011 were only the most visible manifestations of this new upsurge in political activity. Concurrently with actions and campaigns around economic issues, one of the most exciting recent developments has been the proliferation of new projects, groups, and alliances dedicated to building power among people of color.
Since the summer of 2011, New York has witnessed the birth of numerous collectives and initiatives, including Occupy the Hood, Take Back the Bronx, Native Resistance Network, Mothers Resist Racist Policing, Stop Stop + Frisk, Families Against Stop & Frisk, Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, Occupy Sunset Park, and DecoloNYC.
Meanwhile, longstanding racial justice organizations and groups are also experiencing a burst of energy, and many are pursuing new lines of action: for example, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project recently established a Movement Building Team; Anarchist People of Color (APOC) convened their first national gathering since 2003; and La Unión, CAAAV, La Casita Comunal de Sunset Park, and the Arab American Association of New York have partnered up to plan a block party in Sunset Park that will bring together Latino, Asian, and Arab communities around music and shared issues.
In recognition of the recent amplification of racial justice work in New York, DecoloNYC invites all people of color activists and allies working toward racial justice to join us at Judson Memorial Church this Sunday, September 16th from 2 to 5 p.m. for an afternoon of conversation, celebration, information-sharing, networking, and community-building. (Enter at the side door on Thompson St. closest to Washington Square South.) The event will include open socializing, conversation around questions related to POC organizing, and space for groups to introduce themselves and their work, announce upcoming actions and projects, and let others know how they can plug in. Light refreshments will be served, and childcare will be available. The space is wheelchair-accessible.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday! In the meantime, here are a few actions and events coming up in the next week–a small sample of the important work being done all over the city.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
7:00 p.m. – FORUM TO BUILD A MOVEMENT AGAINST MASS INCARCERATION
On the day following the 41st anniversary of the Attica uprising, come to Riverside Church to join prison activists in fighting mass incarceration and demanding the closing of Attica as a symbolic commitment to the larger goal. Speakers include Michelle Alexander, Angela Davis, Jazz Hayden, Marc Lamont Hill, Cornel West, Pam Africa, and Soffiyah Elijah.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
12:00-8:00 p.m. – GATHERING THE GRASSROOTS: THE FRONTLINE OF ASIAN AMERICAN MOBILIZATION
The Museum of Chinese in America presents a day-long public event celebrating the work of New York Asian American and Pacific Islander grassroots organizations. The event seeks to capture a snapshot of current issues and responses from Asian American and Pacific Islander working class communities. The program will feature keynotes by Dennis Chin, Helen Gym, and Vijay Prashad, panels meant to spark dialogue between organizations and engagement with the public, and performances by Asian American artists.
4:00 p.m. – STOP KILLER COPS: UNITE OUR BLOCKS
On Saturday, the Bronx community will take to the streets in response to the police killing of Reynaldo Cuevas, and to fight back against police harassment, brutality, and murder.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
6:00 p.m. – A NEW QUEER AGENDA: LAUNCH EVENT
A New Queer Agenda (a special double issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online) proposes a new set of issues for a revitalized queer movement with a global democratic vision, reaching across lines of race, ethnicity, gender and gender expression, class, religion, and nationality. This event is free and open to the public. Venue is wheelchair accessible. Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis; the Barnard Center for Research on Women; and Queers for Economic Justice.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
8:30 a.m. – RALLY & PACK THE COURTROOM FOR MAXINE KING
Maxine King is a social worker, community organizer, long-term activist, founder of Families Against Stop & Frisk, and advocate challenging Stop & Frisk and mass incarceration. In December 2011, Maxine saw her neighbor’s son and his friends being stopped and frisked by the police in front of her home. When she stood up to defend the youth, saying that what the officers were doing was illegal, she was thrown to the ground, assaulted, and arrested for defending young members of her community. On Thursday, join Families Against Stop & Frisk in supporting Maxine and continuing the fight against Stop & Frisk.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
1:00-8:00 p.m. – BEYOND THE BLOCK: RAINBOW PARK
From the organizers: “Can a hype block party double as an opportunity to spread information about stop & frisk, immigrant rights, health care, transnational identity, and housing? We say yes. … Beyond The Block creates a space where we can dance to an incredible musical selection while sharing useful information for our communities that are impacted by issues such as undocumented workers’ rights, topics that affect youth, and police surveillance.”