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We are the 99 %. United for Justice, Not Divided By Racism

poster project by Melanie Cervantes and Chris Crass
reposted from DignidadRebelde
Originally posted October 30, 2011

A new 8.5 x 11 downloadable poster available. Click HERE to download.

This poster was collaboratively developed by anti-racist organizer Chris Crass and myself.

Chris Crass is a father and longtime organizer working to build powerful working class based, multiracial movements for collective liberation. As part of the global justice movement he helped start the Catalyst Project in 2000, which develops and supports anti-racist politics, leadership, and organization in white communities. Catalyst also works to build up working class and multiracial organizing efforts nationally. He has written widely on anti-authoritarian leadership, movement strategy, and organizing white people against racism and for collective liberation.

Chris's Statement about "United for Justice, Not Divided By Racism"

"When Melanie Cervantes approached me about making a poster based on a picture of my family at Occupy Knoxville, I jumped at the opportunity. The Occupy movement has opened space for all of our justice movements to step forward and provide leadership on the most critical issues we face as a people. Melanie's "We are the 99%" posters are giving shape to the movement by bringing struggles in communities of color into the center. I wanted to do this poster with Melanie, as a way of helping unite the Occupy movement to the struggle for immigrant rights. White supremacy pits white communities struggles for justice against communities of color struggles for justice. This poster represents the vision of anti-racist leadership in white communities joining with liberation struggles in communities of color, with the goal of collective liberation. When I look at my 4 month old baby, I think about how powerful this movement moment is for the future of our society and the world. We can do this. Thank you Melanie for all you are doing to help us see ourselves as a movement through your visionary art."

Goals of the "United for Justice, Not Divided by Racism" poster

1. We want to build up powerful, working class-based, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation. The Occupy movement is an incredible convergence of movements for economic, social, racial, gender, and environmental justice. The Occupy movement notonly resonates with millions of people, but it actively invites millions of people to participate in the creation of both the movement and the vision of what we are working towards. This poster is a tool to help build up the Occupy movement, deepen the anti-racist analysisof the movement, and express the solidarity of white communities with immigrant families of color in the 99%. We hope the poster will help express the Occupy movement's support for immigrant rights struggles around the country.

2. We want to give anti-racists around the country tools for building up stronger anti-racist politics and practice in white communities. We hope the poster will give white people a way to express their outrage for the profound inequalities of capitalism and white supremacy. We want white people to have visible ways of standing with communities of color against racist attacks. We want to support the growing consciousness that racism against communities of color hurts everyone, and is part of what keeps the inequalities of capitalism intact. We want to support white people resistance to the brutality of racism against communities of color, while simultaneously helping white people understand the necessity of ending white supremacy as part of their own liberation from systems of oppression. 

3. We want to challenge the ways that racism divides movements for justice, and give white people tools to work against these divisions. We want to support white people standing with communities of color in ways that feed and nurture a culture of solidarity, dignity, and love. While we work against the impacts of systems of oppression in our communities, families, and lives, it is essential that we also build up liberatory culture, relationships, alliances, and practices. 

Suggestions for using the poster

1. We encourage anyone and everyone who wants to distribute, hang-up, print-out, and use this poster, to please do so. We have also created the poster with the above goals of reaching white people. With that said, the suggestions below are geared towards reaching white people, but they can also be used to think about reaching out to people in all of our communities. 

2. Take a moment to think about who you would like to distribute the poster to and why. You might think of people in your life and networks, as well as organizations, spiritual communities, places of business, Occupy lists, and so on. Write up a short statement about what the poster means to you and why you think it's important to work against racism and for economic justice. If you are sending it out to organizations, or Occupy lists, maybe write something about what it means for the work you all are doing and how you can use the poster to help move that work forward. 

3. If you can, distribute the poster, and other posters from the "We are the 99%" series, through organizational newsletters, blogs, websites and use it as an opportunity to talk with people you work with about why it is so important that we work against racism and for justice.  Use this as an opportunity to express this organizationally in the distribution of the poster.

4. Print up copies of the poster and distribute them widely at Occupy demonstrations and other important locations.  In fact, print up copies of all of Melanie's "We are the 99%" posters and distribute them widely.

5. Think about ways to distribute the posters through networks and locations that will reach white people who are among the more then 53% of the country who support the Occupy movement message, but have never come to a demonstration. Think about ways the poster can be a stepping stone to help white people who have never thought of themselves as part of a movement, to feel more connected to this one. Think about ways the poster can help white people think about anti-racism and economic justice, while simultaneously being given an opportunity to take a stand.  White people can put the poster up in windows at home, in businesses, places of worship, and community centers.  In states around the country with anti-immigrant laws, white people can use the poster to show their opposition to these laws. 

6.  Use the distribution of the posters in the Occupy movement as a way of engaging thousands of people of all backgrounds who are new to activism, about why anti-racism is a catalyst to building the powerful, working class-based, feminist, multiracial movements for collective liberation that we need.  It is often helpful to have conversations with white people about racism, white privilege, and anti-racism, in the context of talking with them about something they can concretely do about it.  It is important to help move people through, understandable, guilt, shame, and fear, by presenting positive options for thoughtful action.

7.  Use the poster to step further into your power as an anti-racist leader in your community, organization, and Occupy demonstration (we are all leaders!). 

8. If you are part of a group of people distributing these posters, share experiences, lessons, and advice with one another.  Momentum is a powerful force for moving people into action.

Back to Chris Crass's Author Page



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