Oct. 24, 2011
BOSTON — Over the weekend of October 22–23, police in Chicago and Cincinnati arrested dozens of participants in Occupy Wall Street protests. But Boston protesters are still spreading their message from their campsite at Dewey Square, where they've been since September 30. Rallies and marches are planned throughout the week.
But the action isn’t just downtown anymore. Following in the steps of a Harlem organization, a Boston chapter of "Occupy the Hood" has emerged. The group, which aims to represent the city’s black, Latino and Cape Verdean communities, held a demonstration on October 21 in front of a Roxbury police station.
In a conversation with WGBH's Callie Crossley, spokesperson Jamarhl Crawford said the group has very specific steps for improving relations between law enforcement and communities of color:
“We have a couple of demands. We want the co-op strengthened, we want them to have subpoena powers, we want a sister board — a true civilian review board with the same powers — we want a statewide commission on police brutality and we want to see more officers of color in command positions within the department, so that the department reflects the diversity of the community that it serves,” he said.
Occupy the Hood is also focused on reducing disproportionate levels of unemployment and directing people to the social services they may need. The group has loosely allied itself with the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Boston protests.
Marshall Ganz, a longtime activist and lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, told Crossley that he saw Occupy Wall Street as a counterbalance to the Tea Party.
“Everything has been pulled to the right because of the effectiveness of the Tea Party. . . and the conservative movement before that. Nothing's been happening on the other side,” he said. In his opinion, Occupy Wall Street was good for political discourse overall: “To make [a] clapping noise you need two hands. We've just had one. Now there's two, and that's much healthier for the democracy.”
Hear the full conversations with Crawford and with Ganz and other guests.
THE CALLIE CROSSLEY SHOW
WGBH NEWS: WHEN PROTESTERS STAY, WHO PAYS?