Decolonize Wall Street sign taken at Zucotti Park in downtown Manhattan

Decolonize Wall Street Our Photo of the Week

ICTMN Staff
10/28/11

There are no shortage of opinions on the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has been spreading across the country, and the globe, for the past month.  As Indian Country Today Media Network reported on October 6, many people in Indian Country can sympathize with the protestors’ claims, but there has been some growing criticism for the idea behind its name, which overlooks the first occupants of the Wall Street area. This has given rise to the response from Native bloggers and activists to not Occupy Wall Street but Decolonize Wall Street.

“The ‘OCCUPY WALL STREET’ slogan has gone viral and international now. From the protests on the streets of WALL STREET in the name of ‘ending capitalism’—organizers, protestors, and activists have been encouraged to ‘occupy’ different places that symbolize greed and power. There’s just one problem: THE UNITED STATES IS ALREADY BEING OCCUPIED. THIS IS INDIGENOUS LAND. And it’s been occupied for quite some time now,” stated Jessica Danforth (then Jessica Yee), Mohawk, the executive director for The Native Youth Sexual Health Network, in a blog post originally posted on Racialicious.

“I also need to mention that New York City is Haudenosaunee territory and home to many other First Nations, ” Danforth wrote.

This photo was snapped yesterday, October 26, from a reader who was in Zucotti Park at the protest.  Shortly after, the reader commented on an agitator, not a part of the protest, who began screaming at the protestors, eventually going after one and dashing into the park.  He was removed by the police.  The protestors resisted his efforts at starting a physical altercation, waving goodbye while he was escorted out of the park.

The drums, a consistent heartbeat of Occupy Wall Street, kept going as usual.

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