Solidarity statements from Occupy Greensboro and All of Us NC

Occupy Greensboro Statement of Solidarity with All of Us NC
This statement was consented to by the Occupy Greensboro General Assembly and communicated to All of Us NC on the occason of their organizer training session held in Greensboro.

Occupy Greensboro would like to welcome those of you from around the state to Greensboro and express our solidarity with All of US NC. We are inspired by the work you have done and are preparing to do in the coming months to defeat the Family Discrimination Amendment against LGBTQ families. Thank you for your activism! As you are building your relational organizing skills, we are marching and rallying for jobs and a new economy here in Greensboro. Many of our own Occupy Greensboro participants are attending your training, while other LGBTQ folks are attending the march. We believe that the work you are doing today is very much connected and is important to our organizing for economic justice and increased employment.

As the recent Declaration of the Occupation of DC pointed out, we “face different forms of oppression and [are] impacted by economic exploitation to differing degrees, but [we are] united by a shared vision of equality for the common good.” LGBTQ people are a part of the 99%, and to build a liberatory model of economic justice, we must challenge homophobia and transphobia. Like all oppressions they are interlocking and mutually reinforce each other. According to the Williams Institute, 27% of LGB respondents faced discrimination in their workplace over a five-year period. 38% of those LGB surveyed people who are out at work have feared for their jobs. According to the same study, the rate of harassment and discrimination for transgender people is even higher at 78%. We stand with you not only because LGBTQ members of the 99% are facing particular hardships, but also because we know our movement has much to learn from the histories of LGBTQ movement building, and from how many LGBTQ people build community, create chosen family and care for one-another in ways that challenge the isolation and
individualism that impact all of our lives.

To take from your coalition’s name, we must fight for all of us, for all of who we are, for all of our families. We know that so many families are under attack, including poor families, LGBTQ families, families of color and migrant families. In supporting each other, we build power to vote down this amendment and build an economy that promotes justice for us all. Thank you for the work you are doing today.

Solidarity Statement for Occupy Greensboro
This statement was communicated to Occupy Greensboro by All of Us NC during the OGSO Unemployed and Underemployed Workers March.

As All of Us North Carolina–an alliance of North Carolinians working to fight the Family Discrimination Amendment on the ballot this coming May–we are in fierce solidarity with you standing out in the cold today: the unemployed, underemployed, and underpaid. We recognize that the political is personal and that we will only succeed if we stand up for one another when any of us has our humanity questioned. The Family Discrimination Amendment would add a clause to the NC Constitution claiming that a union between 1 man and 1 woman is the only type recognized by the state. While it is a direct attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, we know it is part of a pattern of attacks– all attempting to disenfranchise us. If NC legislators are so concerned about “protecting” families, why aren’t they doing more to create sustainable jobs to support us and the people we love?

We’re going to win this fight because we refuse to be divided and conquered. The mainstream media would have us believe that LGBTQ communities are being discriminated against by ‘those rural people’, ‘those blue collar workers, ‘those immigrant communities’, or ‘those Black churches’. We know better than all that, because we know each other. We know that there is no ‘those people’: we ARE lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning as truly as we are rural, working class, immigrant, Black, brown, indigenous, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and much much more. ‘Them’ is ‘us’ and we too demand the
right to fulfilling, well-paid work!

Thank you for coming out in May 2012 to vote against the family discrimination amendment and for staying in the struggle beyond the election to build a better North Carolina for all of us.