Reportback from Ocupemos el Barrio/Occupy the 'Hood Open Mic December 17

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About 25 people gathered at Chican@ Park on December 17 for Ocupemos el Barrio/Occupy the 'Hood's first Open Mic event. Speakers emphasized the need for the Occupy Movement to incorporate issues that affect people of color, analyses that emphasize the impact of racism in current society, and the knowledge and skills of people of the Barrio that have been fighting battles related to the goals of Occupy for a long time.

Ocupemos el Barrio is not viewed as a splinter movement, but rather as an integral part of making the Occupy Movement stronger. It is "a leaderless, horizontal movement created for the people, by the people in solidarity with the Occupy movement as a whole. [Its] mission is to create a truly democratic dialogue that involves the grievances and the opinions of the most marginalized people and communities of lower resources, with the purpose of creating solutions and actions against the problems that these communities face day by day due to a corrupted system."
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"Racism, discrimination is so ingrained in this capitalist system. Who takes the brunt of this discrimination is Latinos, Black People, the working class, poor people, people from low income communities… The state executed an innocent man, who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, Troy Davis. That is just one example of how racism is so ingrained in our society, where people can't escape it…"
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"Here in the Barrio foreclosures have a harsher effect on an already low income community. The Barrio as a whole cannot just bounce back as the communities of Vista, Mira Mesa and Rancho Bernardo can. When low income families lose their homes, the Barrio loses out on the stability of those families and the neighborhood connections that make for a living culture. Latinos have lived continuously in Logan, Sherman, National City and Chula Vista for over a century. Traditions that are handed down from generation to generation make for genuine communities of character that spring from the bottom up."
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"The tactics of Occupy, the tactics of resistance, of not leaving a space, of direct confrontation,
of not being beholden to a particular political party have it allowed it to actually change the conversation in the US, and we want to include as part of the conversation inequality based on race, and the issues that affect low income communities - community control of resources I think is a really big issue that people have worked on here for a really long time."
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----Read More-- || Interview with Z || Next Meeting: Jan 2 6PM @ Sherman Heights Community Center || Ocupemos el Barrio Web Site