After the Flood: Lessons from Occupy Sandy

As a volunteer you were asked to see the hurricane as something that could happen to anyone, could happen to you; to see people you help in life not as victims you’ve saved, but people like you — someone you should care for as you would want others to take care of you.

Occupy Sandy builds worker power in Far Rockaway

Three and a half months ago, the walls upstairs at the Church of the Prophecy in Far Rockaway, a low-income coastal neighborhood of New York City, were covered with maps of where help was most needed. The church was a hub for the Occupy Sandy relief effort after Hurricane Sandy. Now, nearly five months after the hurricane struck, the maps have been replaced by posters extolling the virtues of collective struggle and art made by neighborhood children enrolled in Occupy Sandy’s twice-weekly after-school program.

‘Mi lucha es tu lucha’ – Occupy Sandy’s collective recovery

It was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, and the sound of pounding drums mingled with subway steel rattling underground, sending a hot pulse through the high-arched edifice of a humble house of worship in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. As Nina Simone sang in her blue soliloquy to the slain civil rights leader, “The king of love is dead.” But here, in St. Jacobi Lutheran Church, one could feel King’s heart beat on.

Hurricane Sandy relief turns to protest

The stakes are high for people in the Rockaways. More than month and a half after Superstorm Sandy, winter is setting in and many of the ten thousand residents of this Queens neighborhood still lack heat or electricity…Now, supported by Occupy Sandy volunteers, residents of the Rockaways are starting to fight back.

After the storm, re-imagining the city

As our daily lives are becoming increasingly destabilized by financial recession, climate change and perhaps political marginalization, self-organizing communities are also becoming a steady presence, from co-ops and community gardens to large-scale political movements like Occupy and the Arab Spring.