Infighting between several groups doing hurricane relief work in Red Hook–including Occupy Sandy and Occupy Red Hook–has caused several workers to abandon the cause in protest. The dispute appears to involve the surprising level of cooperation Occupy groups in the area have had with the NYPD, NYCHA, and the offices of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn: Occupy Red Hook and Red Hook Volunteers workers see the collaboration as a vital part of the relief being done in the neighborhood, while Occupy Sandy leadership sees it as a symbolic breach of the movement’s principals. UPDATE: Rebecca Manski says she was misquoted.
I did not utter these words: “There’s no need for any political representatives here, there’s no need for anyone other than Occupy people and Red Hook residents. I am also not part of “Occupy Sandy leadership.”
“There’s no need for any political representatives here, there’s no need for anyone other than Occupy people and Red Hook residents,” said Occupy press representative Rebecca Manski. Red Hook Volunteers founder Kirby Desmarais dismissed those claims as “bullshit.”
“Occupy Sandy has taken a lot of supplies from government, they’ve worked with the National Guard,” Desmarais said. “You can’t just work from the outside.”
Longtime Red Hook Activist Wally Bazemore lamented the conflict. “They’re splitting each other apart,” he said. “The fact that they’re fighting with each other is a major concern, because our purpose is to change policy. In order to change policy, we got to fight the power. And in order to fight the power, we have to be a cohesive unit. We have to be all hands on deck, because this is the fight of our lifetime.”
(Photo: Michael Fleshman/Flickr)