Some Ideas For inclusiveness
by Robert Saleem Holbrook
Twelve years ago, in the aftermath of the “Battle of Seattle" and the resurgence of the antiglobalization movement that followed it, commenting on the lack of participation by activists of color, longtime community activist Elizabeth Betita Martinez wrote an article entitled "Where Was The Color in Seattle: Looking For Reasons Why the Great Battle Was So White". It seems as though that same question can be asked today about the Occupation Movement that while capturing the attention and participation of white activists and people has failed thus far to generate more participation by activists and people of color. Many activists, of all races have asked the question why? Many activists have chosen to ignore it because race, especially in the "post-race America" of President Barak Obama, is always an uncomfortable issue to address and often serves as a stumbling block preventing coalitions around issues that on the surface are agreeable and important to all communities, ethnic groups and races. This is not an article of finger pointing or identifying responsibility for the lack of overall participation of activists and people of color in the Occupation Movement but rather is a primer, hoping to serve as a bridge that will help enlarge the coalition of people and ideas that represents the Occupation Movement. As Occupy Philly recharges itself for new movement in the sphere of protest and civil disobedience I share some thoughts on how more people of color may be added to its ranks and assemblies.