The Occupy Wall St. movement moved from Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan to Harlem on Friday, as more than 100 people, mostly Black and Latino, gathered for the first meeting of what is now being dubbed “Occupy Harlem.”
The face of the movement has remained largely white as protests have spread to different cities across the nation, causing some to criticize the movements perceived racial implications. But as momentum builds, more people of color are getting involved.
Occupy Harlem captured the changing face of the movement on Friday with prominent Black figures like Dr. Cornel West and veteran Harlem activists like Nellie Hester Bailey taking to the streets to garner support for the 99 percent.
“Occupy Wall Street is not a quote-unquote white thing. It is a white thing that the 1 percent and the bankers are representing white oligarchy and white plutocrats for the most part,” Bailey said.
“People of color should be at the crux of this movement,” said Jon Stray, 39, who said he comes from a long line of “revolutionaries” and activists. “We are disproportionately affected by the 1 percent you hear everyone talking about now.”