For the past month we have come together to support and rebuild communities broken by Hurricane Sandy. As Sharon Lerner wrote in the American Prospect, “the storm handed inequality activists an almost eerily perfect illustration of exactly what they see as wrong with our world.”
In this vein, over Thanksgiving Occupy Sandy joined with communities to share over 10,000 meals. Now we begin to come together to connect the dots from the storm, to climate change, to the reckless greed of the 1%-ers at the forefront of the fossil fuel industry.
TONIGHT, Wednesday, November 28, 6:30pm Occupy Sandy Guerilla Movie Premier with Josh Fox
Mystery Location - Text @ClimateCrime to 23559 or follow #climatecrime
Join academy-award nominated director Josh Fox (Gasland), Occupy Sandy Relief organizers, 350.org, The Other 98%, and The Illuminator for a Guerilla Premiere of Josh Fox’s new short film “Occupy Sandy: A Human Response to the New Realities of Climate Change,” which viscerally shows the damage left behind by the storm, highlights the heroic grassroots efforts of Occupy activists, and the upcoming fight with the fossil fuel industry. Dress warm, bring hot beverages, be prepared to move and to be moved.
TONIGHT, Wednesday, November 28, 9pm Occupy Sandy Volunteer Appreciation Night
The Bell House, 149 7th Street, Brooklyn(b/w 2nd-3rd Ave)
Take the F/G/R to 4th Ave - 9th St Station
You are cordially invited to kick back and relax for a few hours this week in appreciation of all of your hard work and dedication to Occupy Sandy relief! There will be LIVE dance beats from DJ RiMix as well as surprise musical performances & more! Drink specials and, of course, no cover charge!
DAILY, Volunteer to Clean-out homes in the Rockaways Sign Up at respondandrebuild.org/volunteer
Help residents clean and remove debris from their houses. You do not need specific skills for this type of work, just a willingness to get dirty and help. Experienced team leaders will guide your work efforts and keep you safe on the job. If you do have experience or skills in construction, demolition, engineering, or environmental assessment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Occupy Sandy NJ has been deploying mutual aid and solidarity to communities across New Jersey. Volunteers and donations have been pouring in from across the country. Now, the Transport Workers Union in Philadelphia has opened their warehouse space for long-term storage and dispatch needs.
John Johnson Jr., President of TWU Local 234 said,”TWU-234 is happy to oblige and help our brothers and sisters who are unfortunately in need. That includes the riding public and our members in PA, NY & NJ who cannot get to work to do their transit duties. We’re proud to take part in this effort.”
Local 234 facilities on North 2nd St below Spring Garden St are being used to house, sort and distribute the many items needed to help people get back on their feet. Unions and organizations from across the region have begun contacting the OccupySandy organization wanting to help, support and supply relief items to the still struggling victims.
Social-media-generated donations via Occupy Sandy NJ $58,000. More than $100,000 in “wedding registry” donations have arrived in Jersey City, and those supplies are now being moved around the area by volunteer drivers. Occupy Sandy NJ volunteers have been deployed to Union Beach, Moonachie, Hoboken, New Brunswick, Highland Park, Asbury Park, Belmar, Toms River, Manahawkin, Long Beach Island, Ocean City, and Atlantic City, among other places. Regional hubs are being developed in strategic locations and excess good are being dispatched from Occupy Sandy NYC to New Jersey.
Each night at 9pm, organizers from across the state meet on an InterOccupy conference call to debrief, share urgent needs, and plan the following days’ activities. These calls are open to the public, and have recently included callers from the American Federation of Teachers, the Sierra Club, various faith-based organizations, and even FEMA (the call registration link is available on the website).
Occupy Sandy NJ volunteer crews have been working throughout the state, delivering food to evacuees still living in hotels or homes without power, dispatching supplies throughout the state, and helping homeowners returning to their devastated communities with the hard, dirty, hazardous work of home demolition and remediation.
People in need of help (in the form of volunteers or supplies) and people interested in volunteering should register online at http://www.OccupySandyNJ.org/. Residents seeking help should be sure to fill out the “Community Needs Register & Individual Request Form.”
[DONATION REQUESTS - Occupy Sandy NJ at TWU will only be accepting the following items: for house clean-outs, waterproof boots, waterproof work-gloves, hazmat suits, heavy duty work-clothes, OSHA N95/N92 face masks, tarps, waterproof plastic bins, pry-bars, garbage bags, headlamps/flashlights, and batteries; for rebuilding, construction equipment, drywall, floorboards, lumber, joints, insulation, wiring, and hot water heaters; personal appliances, refrigerators, dishwashers, gas or electric ranges/ovens, newer-model personal computers, electric wheelchairs, & generators. We will accept no clothing but socks, underwear, heavy-duty winter coats, and house muck-out clothing. We will accept no food besides baby food and baby formula. Bottled water is welcome.]
Occupy Sandy is a coordinated recovery effort aimed at helping communities and individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy. We are a coalition dedicated to connecting volunteers to people in need, and establishing hubs for neighborhood resource distribution and community building. Our primary focus is solidarity and mutual aid, not charity and Band-Aids. These are our communities, and we are here for the long haul. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Members of this coalition are from Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Philadelphia, TWU Local 234, 350.org, and InterOccupy.
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, New Yorkers are showing the best of humanity, self-organizing to provide mutual aid in spite of the establishment's continued failure to turn the lights back on. Free kitchens were distributing hot meals within hours. Thousands of pounds of food, clothing, and other donations have been distributed across Red Hook, Staten Island, the Rockaways, and Coney Island. Cleanup of flood damage has begun, and volunteers continue to go door-to-door in the neglected buildings that still lack heat and electricity. Of course, this encouraging response does not minimize the true scope of tragedy this storm has left behind. We must continue to provide for each other and, as we do, show the world that another way of relating to one another is not only possible, but necessary in the face of economic and ecological catastrophe.
But we must not forget that the twin catastrophes of climate change and capitalism are deeply interconnected. The market sees only resources to be extracted, not a world to be shared or communities to be protected. The 1% continue to push for (and the banks continue to finance) more coal, oil, and natural gas, and they don't care how many mountains they must destroy or communities they must frack to increase their profits. Wall Street-owned politicians from all political parties are complicit, competing only about who will drill more. The result is a warmed planet and warmed oceans where superstorms like Sandy are increasingly common. And when the storms hit, we aren't all impacted equally. In New York and across the globe, poor and marginalized communities, already suffering from austerity and dismantled social services, are always hit the hardest and the last to receive aid from the established channels.
In response to the failure of the State and capitalism to provide for our needs, relief work like #OccupySandy is a beautiful, necessary, and logical response for social movements who are committed to replacing economic and social injustice with solidarity and people-powered solutions. But the 1% would be glad to have an army of volunteers to replace the safety net they cut and clean-up the mess they created. If we want to protect ourselves from the next storm or BP-style spill, we have to continue building the structures of mutual aid and support that will deal with crisis equitably. But we must also build a mass movement to address the systemic problems that create climate crises. After Sandy, we are not merely rebuilding the status quo; we are building a new world. This is why Occupy Wall Street stands in solidarity with the on-going Tar Sands Blockade and other direct actions to stop the destruction caused by greed and profit. In Texas, activists have held a tree-sit for 50 days and are calling for solidarity actions across the world. Over 20 cities have already answered the call. Occupy Wall Street and Occupy the Pipeline will join with many others to protest dirty power on November 17.
In New York and New Jersey, many of us are busy supporting those who have been left in the dark by Sandy. But we encourage everyone who is able to take action! See below for more information about the Global Campaign Against Fossil Fuels in New York on November 17th and the Tar Sands Blockade day of action on November 19th. To find out how to help the recovery efforts, check out interoccupy.net/occupysandy.