Welcome to #OccupyatHome!
Who Are You?
We are a grassroots movement of people with chronic illness, disabilities, as well as other people with reasons we’re unable to attend Occupies in “meatspace.” However, there is a lot we can do from home to support the movement, and we hope you will join us in taking action, posting news, sharing ideas, and anything else that comes to mind!
We recognize that many reasons might prevent someone from attending an Occupy demonstration in addition to illness or disability. Some issues that affect some of us are living in a rural area, far from an urban meet-up; not having enough money to be able to travel to a meetup; having small children, elderly, or disabled family members or partners who rely on our assistance, etc. We welcome everyone’s involvement, as the strength of the #Occupy/#OWS movement is that it is made of the 99 percent — the people. All people.
At the same time, we Occupy this space with special pride and awareness of our gifts and skills as people with disabilities. We approach this work from a disability rights perspective and with a dedication to disability access, both on the internet and at the embodied gatherings.
Statistically, people with disabilities are the most likely to be at the bottom of the 99 percent. We struggle for basic human rights on a daily basis. We are used to creative problem-solving and working with groups and interdependence. We hope others in the #Occupy/#OWS movement will include us — online and embodied — and learn how to increase access and inclusivity for all people, with us.
Where is Occupy at Home Located?
We are a virtual community. We have this here blog that you’re reading.
We also have a Facebook page where we share ideas and links. We encourage you to get active on that page. We have four admins and we welcome more.
We also have a Twitter account, @Occupy_at_Home. Right now, I, Sharon, am the only one tweeting from there, but if someone knows how to make it possible for others to tweet from it, please let me know! Our hashtag is #occupyathome or #oah (lately, mostly #oah cuz it’s shorter).
What Happens Here?
This site (and our Facebook page and Twitter account) will provide:
- News and analysis of #OWS/#Occupy movement, especially as it concerns people with disabilities
- Phone numbers, email addresses, twitter handles of mayors, governors, police departments, and others who require reminding of the rights granted to all people under US Constitution
- Information on how to provide support to Occupiers with whatever resources we can provide, such as which locales need which supplies ASAP
- A gathering place — or links to gatherings — for people with disabilities seeking deeper inclusion and/or affirmation within the Occupy movement
- Creative ideas and solutions for people whose disabilities keep them at home to participate actively in the #OWS/#Occupy movement, such as ways to affect policy, affect the 1%, and participate in #GeneralStrike from home
- Your ideas! Your voices! Your hands! Share your stories!
Who Writes the Blog Posts?
The blog is maintained by Sharon Wachsler, who has written most of the posts. In the beginning she was trying to be a bit anonymous because she was worried about being targeted for hate-mongering, but happily, there’s been very little of that, so she’s gone public. (Her other blogs are here and here). HOWEVER, several posts here have been written by other people, and we want more, more, more of that! This is a movement of inclusion — and should be one of greater inclusion — and that is an issue we feel passionate about.
Would you like to post here? Please speak up!
We’re happy to cross-post pieces you’ve already written — giving proper attribution/credit to first publication and linking to it — and to you. We would use all graphics, links, etc., that appeared on your original post (unless you didn’t want me to, for some reason). The only reason we’d make any changes or additions would be for the following reasons:
- Increasing accessibility. If, for example, your post includes graphics, such as photos or cartoons, I would add alt tags describing the photos so that the content of the images is accessible to people who are blind or low-vision. Or if you use italics, I would bold them, because some people find italics hard to read, and bolding them ameliorates the problem somewhat.
- Rewording speech with which Sharon is uncomfortable. For example, if a post was submitted that included words such as lame, r****ded, crazy, blind, or deaf to mean, in effect, “bad,” I would ask you to choose a word that more specifically conveys your meaning that I do not find to be ableist. I would not approach you in an angry or blaming way, because I am trying to change how I use some of these words, myself, and I know it is a process that can be challenging.
- Sharon is also not comfortable publishing any language or sentiments that I consider violent. This includes any form of racism, misogyny, classism, transphobia, or other isms/phobias, but also language or ideas that, in my perception, urge violence or hatred toward an individual or group. I recognize that this is not a perspective shared by all in the Occupy movement, and I have empathy for the needs that are often behind violent language, including my own. I am very much a “work in progress” on this effort, myself, and I welcome discussion on this topic. (I also hope to eventually write some posts on the topics in these bullet points.)
We would also adore new pieces written for Occupy at Home! If you haven’t yet written your post, it’s a good idea to contact me (you can use the form below) to run it past me before you put in the work, just in case for some reason there’s something I’d want to discuss with you.
You can post here at any level of anonymity or public visibility you like. Some have posted anonymously, some have used their full legal names, some have used Internet handles.
I Saw a Post on #OccupyatHome that I Want to Publish on My Site/Blog. Is that OK?
Probably, yes! In fact, chances are good that we’d be delighted to have you cross-post it. We only ask that you follow the guidelines below:
- If the post was written by Sharon (if it is not indicated that someone else wrote it, Sharon wrote it), you have blanket permission to cross-post it as long as you follow the other steps listed below.
- If it was written by someone else, please contact them (their contact information is usually in a link at the top of the post), and ask their permission to cross-post.
- Please post the entire post just as it appears here — this includes links, formatting (bolding, italics, etc.), and any accompanying media (photos, videos, etc.). Make sure to include descriptive alt tags for visual media so that graphics will be accessible to people who can’t view them. (If you don’t know how to do this, please ask! It’s easy and I’m happy to help.)
- Please give credit to the author and the blog where it first appeared and link back to them. For example, at the top of the post, write: “This article was written by Sharon Wachsler and originally appeared at #OccupyatHome. It’s cross-posted here with her permission.” If it was written by someone else and first appeared at their blog, say that instead.
- Please send us the link to your site where it’s been cross-posted so we can keep track of if/how the word is getting out about our ideas here!
Voila! That’s it. We love spreading the ideas here. That’s what we’re about.
How Can I Get Involved?
This site, just like the #Occupyathome movement, just like the entire #OWS/#Occupy movement, is evolving. We welcome your ideas, your posts, photos, videos, interviews, personal stories, essays, analysis, links, events, and anything else you believe will make us stronger as a community that is moving toward true democracy (or socialism, or whatever you believe meets the needs of the people). Please chime in!
We support you. We seek your support. We are all in this together. We are the 99 percent. Join us.
If you’d like to write a post for Occupy at Home, or if you have any other correspondence that you don’t want to post as a public comment, please use the contact form below!