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Monday, November 7, 2011

For Immediate Release: Queen Mother Speaks at Occupy Wall Street Rally on African Burial Grounds about Reparations


November 6, 2011 
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Occupy Wall Street -- Occupy Harlem The Community Mayor of Harlem, Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely 477 West 142nd Street, Suite 2 New York, New York 10031 
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Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely marched with many others for November 5th’s ‘Move Your Money’ day, an action that targets banks which have taken massive amounts of taxpayer bailoit money after the financial collapse of 2008, while giving their top CEOs and Executives massive bonuses and charging consumers with additional fees, withholding credit to low--‐income people, small business and raising payments on current credit holders. The big banks have never been friends of the 99%.  
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Queen Mother, recognizing struggles against the banking and finance system didn’t start with the crisis of 2008, spoke about the slavery and its living history in the lives of millions living today. Representing 55 million African descendents of the trans--‐Atlantic slave trade via the middle passage, and Queen Mother of the African burial ground, she gave a riveting speech reminding marchers that they stood on sacred ground, noting the first commodities traded on Wall Street were her ancestors, and that banks need to pay reparations for the stolen lives, resources and labor of slaves in the United States. She stated, “for me I am owed 3 trillion dollars, personally” this is a sacred figure she noted, “and you can never pay me, or us, for the damage done.” Her speech was received with support from the crowd, engrossed with her powerful rhetoric on the burial ground, and reeling amid a series of arrests by the NYPD. 
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As the Occupy Wall Street movement inspires so many, we need to look deeply and engage with its potential of long--‐term community roots and new alliances. In light of this,Occupy 477 was started at 477 West 142nd Street in Sugar--‐Hill Harlem on October 30th, to fight for the housing rights of low--‐income people. Queen Mother is fighting to get heat and hot water restored to the residents of the building, as the boiler was sabotaged in August and nefarious gentrifying forces inside the building restrict access to the basement, preventing the city from replacing the boiler. Since day two, September 18th, she has been with OWS and the young people demonstrating for a better world. She says, “Now, it is a pleasure to see that people from many generations, races and groups are involved. I have never seen anything quite like it.  We are all a part of something so much bigger than any of us know, no one knows where all this energy will go, let alone what it will do.” 
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                                                 OCCUPY 477 MISSION STATEMENT .
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Occupy 477 located at 477 W. 142nd Street in Sugar Hill-­Harlem is a community born of the inspiring, pure energy generated in the early days of Occupy Wall Street. Occupy 477 stands for structural, economic accountability on Wall Street, community healing through real dialogue, and individual plus social responsibility. Our goals are concrete, ranging from getting heat and hot water restored to our building to finally confronting the long legacies of racism, patriarchy and colonialism of Europe.
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Points of Unity
Whereas, the building at 477 W. 142nd has stood as a sacred space for people from all over the world, a cultural site, low--‐income housing, a place of self--‐ determination and self--‐organization for all oppressed people, we hereby declare our fight against any force that wishes to gentrify this building and turn it into anything other than a space for youth, people of color, the international community and any other oppressed group.
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Whereas, Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely has founded and secured this sacred space in Sugar Hill-­Harlem as an international site for real dialogue amongst the nations, tribes and peoples of the world, we hereby vow to stand in unity with her as she leads this space, and all of Harlem as its community Mayor, into a new and better future, where all have equal opportunity, economic, social, spiritual and political.
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Whereas, black people were the first commodities traded on Wall Street as slaves to whites, we hereby call for reparations for all descendents of the African slave trade, and call for a society--‐wide education campaign to expose the legacy of slavery amongst the entire population.
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Whereas, the struggle requires self-­reliance disciplined peoplewho are willing to work long and difficult hours under stressful conditions, we hereby state that all who live at Occupy 477 will be involved in the revolutionary struggle while they stay here, using their various talents to contribute to the righteous struggle for total emancipation from social, cultural and economic oppressions.
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Whereas, we want to make this a demonstration model of low-­income housing, best practice in self-­reliance and individual, cultural autonomy, we hereby declare that we stand with the world ready to set an example. Whereas, all human beings are entitled to shelter, clothing and nutritious food, we hereby stand with human rights being secured in all communities and for all peoples.

Source: 2011, facebook, http://www.facebook.com/notes/patra-afrika/for-immediate-release-queen-mother-speaks-at-occupy-wall-street-rally-on-african/10150934652350151

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