Occupy organizers have teamed up with a variety of organizations and citizens to coordinate Sandy relief. For once, the media is taking note. Immediately as the storm hit activists and organizers online and on the ground went to work preparing the relief effort. Nearly a week later including four days without power, the people are still going strong.
Occupy Sandy and InterOccupy have teamed up with a variety of organizations to coordinate relief. Twitter has been used to organize volunteers with the hash tags #SandyAid and #SandyRelief. Otther social media sites have also been used to help spread the information regarding shelters, water, gas and power. Guerilla mobilizing on the ground has made a large impact. Individuals have offered their homes for shelters and power stations.
Occupy Wall Street Bikes were used by residents of C- Squat on the Lower East Side to help others in the area pump water out of the basements of their homes and businesses. The bikes have also been used as a power station for cells phones with people lining up for a charge. For many this will give them the opportunity to check in with loved ones since the storm hit.
The most important thing I took from these articles, besides great admiration for the heroes among us, is how important it is to start developing these alternative systems and networks NOW before another disaster hits. Occupy has already begun to do this but we are very far from ready.
Here are a collection of excerpts from various news outlets regarding Occupy Sandy:
“Occupy Wall Street and 350.org have teamed up with Recovers.org, a disaster relief platform, to help coordinate response to Hurricane Sandy. OWS states on its website that they are launching support pages at Recovers.org for individuals to give help or post a need. At the interoccupy.net hub, users can make financial donations to victims, volunteer their efforts or locate an emergency shelter.”
“OWS has called on anyone with “experience in or tools for medical and psychological services, electrician work, plumbing, construction, financial or legal services, debris and tree removal, childcare, transportation, senior services or language skills” to sign up at one of three current sites in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, Red Hook in Brooklyn and Astoria in Queens—all of which are along the waterfront and experienced flooding.
Drop-off points have been established throughout Brooklyn where people can drop off candles, flashlights, batteries, water, food, or other amenities, RT.com reports.”
“The flagpole (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had become a meeting place for Hurricane Sandy volunteers, and earlier Thursday, it served as a rallying center for people in the hurricane-battered neighborhood to request food, clothing and other necessities. Reed said he learned some elderly people had been stuck on higher floors of their buildings without power or running water, marooned by elevators that weren’t working.
“Since then we’ve been walking up and down stairs, providing care packages of food and flashlights and bottled water,” Reed said.
Reed and others have been volunteering in Red Hook since Sandy hit, mostly organized via “Occupy Sandy,” a now burgeoning offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, websites like Recovers.org, a social hub for organizing volunteers online, and word of mouth.
Occupy Sandy volunteers aim to help smaller communities, where government relief organizations may not have arrived, Reed said.
“Occupy has gone from general protest work to now direct community support,” Reed said. “What we’re trying to do is build communities, not just charity.””
Occupy Wall Street Bikes Power NYC Lower East Side, Forbes.com http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2012/11/01/occupy-wall-street-bikes-power-nycs-lower-east-side/
“In Brooklyn, the Occupy Wall Street movement transformed itself into an impromptu disaster relief organization, online at recovers.org. By Friday afternoon, cars were lining up and parking at all angles outside St. Jacobi Church in Sunset Park, a distribution center, to drop off food, clothing, cleaning supplies and other necessities. Volunteers packed into cars to head out to distribution locations around the city and in New Jersey.
One of the Occupy movement’s most critical outposts is in the Rockaways on Beach 113th Street, said Ms. Shapiro, an organizer. The group began working with a local organization, Yana, on Wednesday night to form a relief center, bringing blankets, fruit, pasta and burritos.” NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/03/nyregion/relief-efforts-of-every-size-and-form-spring-up-in-new-york-city.html?smid=fb-share&_r=1&
Occupy Sandy Donations https://www.wepay.com/donations/occupy-sandy-cleanup-volunteers
Inter Occupy Sandy http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/
One more article http://www.salon.com/2012/11/01/occupy_sandy_relief_steps_up/0
More information on coordinating relief http://occupywallstreet.net/story/what-you-can-do-now-rockaways-chinatown
Occupy All Streets!