Just came from an inspiring meeting of the 99 Percent Club at Hollis Presbyterian Church in Queens. More than 20 people were there, many of them veterans of the civil rights movement, representing three churches, the local community development corporation and several schools and youth organizations. The group developed an action plan around five abandoned buildings on Hollis Avenue, across the street from a school and several churches, that have been a danger and an eyesore for several years. The goal will be to start a community campaign to turn these buildings into affordable housing, beginning with community meetings, moving to demonstrations and a picket line, and possibly ending with "occupations" if enough activists from around the city join in support of the campaign. It is hard to put in words how exciting it was to see how the model of Occupy Wall Street has energized this congregation and others in the Hollis neighborhood who have been waiting for some time to fight against the steady the erosion of their standard of living and the deterioration of their community!
January 11, 2012