Occupy the Hood on Occupy movement

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Not surprisingly, organizers of the Occupy Pittsburgh protest, who took over the park next to BNY Mellon last summer, also moved to occupy Grant Street and the City-County Building during a Jan. 10 hearing on the bank’s request to evict the protesters.

As of New Pittsburgh Courier Deadline, a Common Pleas Judge had not ruled on the matter. But even if the protesters are evicted, the Occupy movement will remain and move on to other fertile ground. First stop—your mind.

JasiriX2011
JASIRI X

Occupy Your Mind, described as part teach-in, part salon, will kick off what organizers envision as a monthly outlet for discussion on ways to build a better future. The first such meeting, an evening of art, poetry and discussion on the future of the Occupy movement is scheduled for Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the SPACE Gallery, 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown.

Jasiri X, of Occupy the Hood, said the issues affecting the Black community remain even if the camp at Mellon Green does not.

“Have you seen any of these Wall Street guys held accountable? Given the current discourse it doesn’t seem like they will be,” he said. “We still have income inequality and foreclosures and people put in an increasingly difficult situation.”

Though he said he will be out of town, Jasiri X said the Occupy Your Mind initiative is something he’d like to see more of.

“I’m an artist, that’s what I do to further the discourse,” he said. “We created the New Media Academy for just that reason, so I love seeing art and artists taking a bigger role.”

Carl Redwood, also a One Hood member, said the group is building people power by recruiting in Black neighborhoods.

“We have a meeting scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 14, at 3 p.m. at Community Empowerment Association’s new building at 7120 Kelly St., Homewood,” he said.

Additionally, this year’s Black & White Reunion will feature a special workshop dedicated to building on Occupy Pittsburgh’s racial justice work. It will concentrate on methods for integrating lessons from the Summit Against Racism on countering racism and White privilege into the Occupy movement.

Occupy Pittsburgh members Celeste Taylor, Jackie Smith and Chris Mason will join Occupy the Hood member Paradise Gray as facilitators. The 14th Annual Summit Against Racism takes place Saturday, Jan. 21, at East Liberty Presbyterian Church from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

(Send comments to cmorrow@newpittsburghcourier.com.)

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