Update from OccupyEquality Nebraska

Occupy Omaha’s General Assembly on Wednesday December 14, 2011 ratified an inclusive nondiscrimination clause. It was added to the agenda early in the meeting and was voted on just after 10:00pm, after about 15-20 minutes of debate. This puts Occupy Omaha on the map as one of the first Occupy groups to ratify such an inclusive nondiscrimination clause. This also comes just weeks before the City Council of Omaha, Nebraska considers another nondiscrimination ordinance.  YAYS for Occupy Omaha!!

Here is the nondiscrimination clause adopted by Occupy Omaha in its entirety:  We will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, and/or bullying against a person based on their actual or perceived race, religion, familial status, physical attributes, physical and mental ability or disability, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender expression, gender identity, and political affiliation or beliefs.

During the discussion it was decided to also dictate were the clause would go as part of the proposal.  It will appear on the Occupy Omaha website, newsletters, media and anything else dealing with any Occupy Omaha event sanctioned by its General Assembly.

The nondiscrimination clause was proposed to the General Assembly by local activist and Occupy Omaha member Ken Riter and was previously written by Mika Covington of Forward Equality and OccupyEquality Nebraska.

OccupyEquality Nebraska/Occupy Omaha

“News Release – For Immediate Release

Occupy Omaha to Hold Solidarity Rally
Action in Solidarity with Occupy Oakland

Contact: Inter-Occupy Communication working group of Occupy Omaha about this press release at occupyomahasolidarity@gmail.com

December 10, 2011 – Omaha, Nebraska – Occupy Omaha will be holding a rally this upcoming Monday, December 12th 2011 near the Monument to Labor sculpture at the Lewis and Clark landing at 515 N Riverfront Drive in Omaha, Nebraska. This event will  run from the hours of 4-7pm.

Occupy Omaha would like to challenge local media to attend and be a part of this event.

This release has been approved by the Occupy Omaha General Assembly December 10, 2011 for immediate release.”

OccupyEquality Nebraska members will be in attendance at this Solidarity Rally.  The community meeting (GA) has not approved a proposal to endorse this event for that the event was created after the last community meeting and there was not support to hold a special community meeting to cover this event.

Update from OccupyEquality Nebraska

OccupyEquality Nebraska members have been very busy building community and networking with other Occupy groups such as Occupy Omaha and Occupy Lincoln. Mika Covington, lead organizer, has been working with a couple of Occupy Omaha working groups to establish official dialogue between OccupyEquality Nebraska and Occupy Omaha. Covington traveled to Lincoln, Neb. to network with occupiers there and to find out if there is support for OccupyEquality Nebraska to have events in Lincoln.

Coviington has been working with Christina Bailey of Occupy Omaha’s InterOccupyCommunications working group to establish an OccupyOmaha/OccupyEquality Nebraska Crosstown March – #GlobalChange Dec. 10.

Here is an excerpt from the Crosstown March event announcement:
“Omaha – Our city has been segregated for far too long! We have been kept apart by racist governments, racist economic policies and forced busing. Our working class has been divided and our children are forced to attend schools far away from their neighborhood. THIS MUST END AND NOBODY WILL END IT FOR US!! WE MUST CHANGE THIS WORLD OURSELVES!!

Please join  us in creating a Cross-town March on Saturday Dec.10! The march will reclaim 24th Street as our main North-South artery. It will begin at two locations in North and South Omaha, as well as at the Gene Leahy Mall as our weekly Saturday march begins there at 11am!”

OccupyEquality Nebraska as of Dec. 1 received this Memo of Understanding from Occupy Omaha’s InterOccupy Communication working group:

“Hello! Occupy Omaha thanks you for your support! We, in the InterOccupy Communication working group recognize the international OccupyEquality movement ,which contains the autonomous OccupyEquality Nebraska, which adopts the statements of the #ows international movement. Occupy Omaha had created a disclaimer to other groups, amended on 29 October 2011, which reads, “We appreciate and humbly accept your group’s support. As a consensus driven movement, however, we reserve the right to withhold our support from any ideologies or positions that do not match our group’s stated goals.”

Occupy Omaha has not, as of the writing of this letter from this working group on Dec. 1 , 2011, created a list of goals or ideologies separate from the #ows Statement(s) and therefore, as an autonomous association of the #ows movement, we must assume that all points within the #ows Statement(s) are adhered to by Occupy Omaha.

We, the InterOccupy Communication working group, understand OccupyEquality Nebraska’s need for an anti-discrimination clause to be adopted by Occupy Omaha in order for OccupyEquality Nebraska to endorse Occupy Omaha as a populist movement with similar goals. As our working group understands, the anti-discrimination clause that OccupyEquality Nebraska proposes is an interpretation of several points within the #ows statement of grievances. The points under consideration by OccupyEquality Nebraska are as follows:

Point 3: They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

The anti-discrimination clause that OccupyEquality Nebraska requests of Occupy Omaha to adopt reads, “We will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, and/or bullying against a person based on their actual or perceived race, religion, familial status, physical attributes, physical and mental ability, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender expression, gender identity, and political affiliation or beliefs.”

We understand that OccupyEquality Nebraska justifies this clause based on these interpretations of point three [Actual or perceived] … Physical and mental ability incorporate “age”; Race incorporates “color of one’s skin”; – how to encompass “religion, familial status, physical attributes, socioeconomic status, gender expression, gender identity, political affiliation or beliefs.”

OccupyEquality Nebraska activists continue protesting in Omaha alongside Occupy Omaha.

OccupyEquality Nebraska by Mika Covington

OccupyEquality Nebraska, established on October 16, 2011, would like LGBTQ and allied activists to attend the economic justice and equal rights rally on Tuesday, November 15.

OccupyEquality Nebraska has been in contact with Occupy Omaha so we can work together and occupy together in Omaha for the common goals of economic equality. We have had a previous rally where afterwards some of us discussed some points we would like to see added to Occupy Omaha.

1. We would like to see Occupy Omaha form a LGBTQ or Queer working group, or a Diversity group that includes the LGBTQ community.

2. We want an inclusive nondiscrimination clause that states, “We will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, and/or bullying against a person based on their actual or perceived race, religion, familial status, physical attributes, physical and mental ability or disability, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender expression, gender identity, and political affiliation or beliefs.

3. We want to include demands to end inequality for all individual’s including LGBTQ individuals.

4. We would like to see a declaration of Safe Space and/or prohibition of hate language.

At the General Assembly, we will finalize our four points and plan future rallies and demonstrations. We will also decide if we want to Occupy with Occupy Omaha at their new site. The GA will need to establish how and when we will work with and help support Forward Equality.

Tuesday, November 15 2:30 pm-6:00 pm 120th N Center Omaha. We are rallying for LGBTQ equality NOW!! We want the Omaha City Council to pass an inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance!!

Forward Equality will be at the rally with OccupyEquality Nebraska on Tuesday, Nov. 15.  Forward Equality is a brand new LGBTQ civil rights organization in Omaha.Forward Equality mission statement: Forward Equality is a regional advocacy based non-profit organization (501c (4) pending) that works with the LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied) youths/adults to promote equality and respect. Forward Equality has been rallying weekly for the Omaha City Council to pass an inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance that will protect the LGBTQ community from employment discrimination. OccupyEquality Nebraska member Mika Covington has spoken with Forward Equality about gaining their support and talked with Forward Equality’s Board of Directors which this Sunday voted to officially support Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Omaha, and OccupyEquality.

Mika Covington Bio

Mika Covington lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and she is the Executive Director of Forward Equality, an LGBTQ organization working for equality in Nebraska. Mika started the OccupyEquality Nebraska Facebook group and page, and the OccupyEquality groups for Iowa and Ohio. She is also organizing an OccupyEquality Nebraska group in Omaha, and they have applied to be an Occupy Omaha LGBTQ Alliance Working Group.

About OccupyEquality

OccupyEquality networks gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning and our allies in the Occupy Revolution in city-to-city, state-to-state, coast-to-coast, north-to-south, country-to-country, continent-to-continent from the Occupy Streets to the Occupy Net to unify the Declaration for Unconditional Constitutional Equality. OccupyEquality unites everyone with a Facebook Group and Page, on TwitterYouTtube channel, Live StreamUstreamYahoo GroupGoogle Group, with real-time  online face-to-face OccupyEquality Meetings.

Bloggers from Queer and LGBTQ Occupy Alliances are welcome to blog here to Demand Unconditional Equality.

Email OccupyEquality [at] live.com

OccupyEquality Kansas

 

 

 

OccupyEquality Working Group Meeting Goes Live

Sunday night at 9:00 pm. ET, the first OccupyEquality Working Group meeting included Occupy activist Jenn Maskell from Queering Occupy Wall Street, Drew from Atlanta, and New York activists from the Hudson Valley and New York City.  About eight people showed up, turned on our cameras, put our headphones on and started talking about what OccupyEquality should be focusing on.

After introductions were made, Drew talked about how important educating Occupy Wall Street activists about why the Occupy message is about LGBTQ equality. There have been reports about gay bashing on site.  Sunday at Zucotti Park, some gay basher stole the Queer Occupy Wall Street sign, wrote some gay bashing shit on the back, said some nasty stuff about not liking faggots, and took off.

Micah Covington who is an administrator of OccupyEquality Nebraska had posted a link about a college with an LGBTQ dorm, and one Occupy activist questioned the connection between college students having a right to a supportive education and Occupy Wall Street.

So we talked about how to make these connections for ourselves and for the whole Occupy revolution.

I pointed out that capitalist corporations and theocrat corporate cults bribe politicians to vote against LGBT rights, and use social media as free bully pulpits to incite violence against us.

We also talked about connecting a meeting from Queer Space at Occupy Wall Street with the OccupyEquality online meeting. Hopefully we will be able to connect coast to coast with a Queering Occupy Wall Street  N.Y. with a Queer Occupy LA for starts.  At the end of the first hour,  we decided that we should work on putting together materials for teach-ins that could happen on the streets at Occupy Wall Street.

Drew from Atlanta stayed when Bob from the Catskills (where I live too)  logged in, and we talked for another hour. We talked about an idea of showing the heter0-Occupy activists what the tyrannical theocRAT corporate cults are saying about them too. I did that today posting the American Family Association corporate cult blog “Bryan Fischer: Would Jesus Occupy Wall Street?  Not On Your Life” to Occupy Wall Street , Occupy WallStreet and Occupy Together so they could see that Fischer hates them too.

Tonight at 9:00 pm will be OccupyEquality Working Group Meeting number two. We plan to meet every night at 9 ET but that time is flexible to connect with the  Occupy Queer Space activists.

Stay tuned for updates from the OccupyEquality meetings, and if everyone logs in to those meetings, they can add their thoughts, comments, ideas, and visions.