Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Occupy Our Homes ATL Lift Off!

Thanks to all who made it out on Saturday for the Occupy Our Homes ATL official launch, a project that's very close to the heart of AFSC's Georgia Peace and Conflict Resolution Program! Special thanks to Chris Frazer, Bridgette Walker, Carmen Pittman, Pastor Dexter Johnson of Higher Ground Empowerment Center, and Pamela Flores for sharing their victories and struggles; to Senator Vincent Fort and Tony Romano of Right to the City Alliance for their inspiring messages of support; to folks who donated to and participated in our silent auction; to Altobeli's for the wonderful food; and to all who pledged to defend homes in the metro-Area!

Here's what OOHA has put out on their listserv:

"Over $7,000 was pledged at the event to help us with start-up expenses and initial program costs. Our goal was to have $10,000 pledged, so we are hoping to make up the difference by extending our initial push pledges one more week. By June 1st--the same day that we will move into our new communal home and headquarters--we hope to have $10,000 pledged.

You will notice that over the course of our first year we are aiming to raise $28,000 through local, grassroots support. While this initially might strike ya'll as an overly ambitious fundraising goal, we want to assure folks that we've been very thoughtful and intentional about this goal and its use. As a budding community organization with large, transformative demands to change the way our city approaches housing, we recognize that there are many resources that we need in order to not only defend homeowners and tenants from foreclosure and eviction on a mass scale, but also to strive toward a total sea change in our city's approach to housing. While there are many resources that would certainly make our work more effective, we recognize that the resources we cannot do without are committed, accountable, full-time activists.

As we moves forward with our plans, we now--perhaps more than ever--hope to make it clear that we are working under the banner of the Occupy Movement. While we will not be accountable to the GA's, but rather accountable to each other and our communities, we do recognize the contradiction of Occupy activists receiving stipends from large foundations and from the 1%. Because of this, we are aiming to support our four full-time activists solely through grassroots fundraising. Please consider donating to support our activists today."

We look forward to updating everyone on OOHA's developments soon. Stay tuned for more information about our summer Home Defense Mobilizing Conferences.
AFSC's Georgia Peace and Conflict Resolution Program aims to continue to support this important movement with trainings, resources, and space for meetings and conferences. Our cities housing crisis is unprecedented and requires unprecedented, bold, nonviolent, creative action.
Tim Franzen
American Friends Service Committee

1 comment:

  1. This comment is from a staunch supporter of Occupy Our Homes. You mentioned "the contradiction of Occupy activists receiving stipends from large foundations and from the 1%", but what about the possible contradiction of raising grassroots money for salaries at all (as opposed to using these resources for the work or to support those in housing distress that you are helping)? I'm not saying categorically that it is a ethical issues, but it seems the case needs to be made stronger than you have done so far that this is a defendable strategic choice. Help us understand better your rationale beyond job security for the key personnel involved, please.