Bringing the Occupy Movement to the Community

As the Occupy Wall Street protests continue in public settings all across the country, it’s interesting to watch how the movement begins to take shape at the community level as it’s discussed in our houses of worship, workplace, kitchen tables, schools, and community organizations.

Occupy Your Block launched this weekend and is just one of several instances of this happening. A “collaborative effort between Occupy movements of NYC, community organizations, and individuals to connect community efforts to the Occupy Movement at large,” this effort encourages and provides tools for people to organize at the local level to host or take part in “teach-ins, open forums, potluck meetings, discussion groups, local general assembly meetings and community building projects.” Good stuff.

Then, with Occupy Oakland, a “declaration of solidarity” was established that addresses head on the problem of vacant and abandoned properties.

“Here in Oakland, thousands of buildings owned by [the] city, banks, and corporations stand idle and abandoned. At the same time social services such as child and healthcare, education, libraries and community spaces are being defunded and eliminated.”

We’re going to keep our eye on these initiatives as they mushroom in communities around the country. What’s happening in your neighborhood? Let’s hear about it.

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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