Call to Action: Marginalized Voices Unite “Occupy Wall St.” Movement

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Hello World!

An amazing thing happened just this weekend. I asked some of the  women who most inspired and influenced me to help amplify my voice and in turn give voice to all those who remain unheard. The remarkable thing is they said ‘Yes!’. The loudest yes came from Eve Ensler, original ‘Vagina Warrior,’ Tony Award winning Playwright, performer, author and activist. Her answer has emboldened me and countless others. You may have heard the chants at Zuccotti Park, or on the Brooklyn Bridge, or coming from Washington Square Park and Time Square. ‘The whole world is watching, the whole world is watching!’ I wasn’t so sure until now.

As the whole world listens in, some of the marginalized voices who help make up the 99% are speaking out and sharing their story. I am determined to make sure their voices are heard. Eve met with me and Melanie Butler of Code Pink NYC at Zuccotti Park at 4pm this past Sunday. They helped me facilitate an open dialogue with a huge group of people equally as impassioned but varied in every way.

We all are concerned with the ways this unlivable economy has promoted sexism, racism, classism, trans-misogyny,the legacy of colonialism and has furthered the mounting war on unions and women’s health. The brutality and exploitation disproportionally harms people who are not being heard. This sort of injustice is linked to the unbearable circumstances we face globally.

We have called for a day of action where we explicitly focus on the voices unheard. We must provide a space for those voices to be amplified as they have for too long been silenced. We now have the opportunity to join together and challenge those who profit from these excessive barriers. We demand that the media, corporations, government, and the global community take notice.

Although the dialogue began by approaching feminism and gender equality, we quickly decided that focusing on this alone fails to address the varied experiences that have made this movement so compelling to the entire world.  We have learned from movements past that and we cannot allow a homogenize group to further the message of all.

I have attached the minutes of the first meeting and plan to be at Zuccotti Park this Sunday:

Volunteer to make phone calls:

Goal: intersecting marginalized people. Ppl who are part of the 99%,

  • women’s caucus
  • Childcare
  • Techniques for reaching women
  • start writing blogs, sending the message
  • 1st talking point: the economy
  • slave burial grounds
  • proposal: next Sat. or the following Sat – women’s day
  • amendment: include all marginalized ppl – b/c what involves women involves everyone.
  • begin the day with a recognition of the indigenous peoples
  • honor all the indigenous peoples.
  • recognize and address, weave the issues of indigenous peoples’ struggles, the history
  • drop the “occupy” language – signifies violence against indigenous women and black people
  • the Lanape people are alive and well
  • making connections between colonial violence and economic violence
  • suggestion “humanize wall street”
  • additional ideas:
  • reach out to powerful figures and figures that should be powerful.
  • include transgendered people
  • Story time
  • 3 or 4 paragraphs: Something weird, something that disturbs you, something political, something exciting
  • “I don’t think the world understands yet how amazing this is”
  • “artivism”

We will continue this dialogue until the conditions that necessitated this discussion are resolved.

I need your help in order to really pull this off. I know first hand how easily such amazing opportunities can be lost. This is our moment, it’s crucial that you do what you can. The mere fact that what we now know as the Occupy Wall Street movement has given me the means to reach Eve Ensler, my personal inspiration, is proof to me that this is real, that this is big, and that it is already breaking down barriers.  There are a few things you can do to help me.

  1. Come to Zuccotti Park and contribute to this dialogue and find out how you can help plan the day of action. We will meet again this Sunday October 23rd at 4pm.
  2. Contact me ( or Melanie Butler ( and let us know you want to help and what you can provide, especially in regard to the day of action.
  3. Ask people who inspire you to join you at Zuccotti Park. Hold your heros to task and ask them to help amplify this message. We all deserve better than what we face and everyone faces different obstructions.
  4. Be a hero, examine your own privilege and inquire about how you can utilize it to give others voice and help express their story.
  5. Share your story! Eve Ensler is committed to amplifying your stories. Ambiguous UpSparkles From the Heart of the Park is the first in a series from Eve Ensler which she is publishing weekly.

I thank you listening to the start of my story. I hope that you see the potential and feel as compelled to act as Eve Ensler, Melanie Butler and the diverse countless others that have already joined in.

In solidarity,

Arielle Cohen

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