Monday, November 21, 2011

It’s Time to Start “ 99 Percent Clubs” at Your School or in Your Neighborhood to Support the Occupations

If you part of a large and growing number of Americans who support the Occupy movement, but may or may not be able to “Occupy” yourself, you might want to form a 99 Percent Club at your school, your workplace or in your neighborhood, to organize financial, legal and political support for the Occupy movement and educate people in your community about what it stands for.

The idea for these 99 Percent Clubs came from renowned educator Ira Shor and they are modeled on the “Friends of SNCC” organization that mobilized support for the non violent Southern civil rights movement in the early 1960’s. Given that the Occupy movement is under assault from elected officials and university presidents around the country, and that people in this movement, like their counterparts in the southern civil rights movement, face arrest and beatings, along with more modern police weaponry such as pepper spray and rubber bullets, it is definitely time to create a support group to raise funds and educate the public about these brave activists

A 99 Percent Club is one vehicle that can do just that. We have called for a first meeting of such a club at Fordham and the response, from students, alumni, and staff has been overwhelming. Our Fordham group does not have a program- just a commitment to support the Occupations. So far, nearly 30 people are committed to attend

Occupy Wall Street and its counterparts around the nation have put the questions of economic inequality on the nation’s agenda for the first time since the 1960’s. And the response from policy makers has been ferocious as that of southern segregationists confronting a challenge to their way of life

It’s time for Americans who support the goals of the Occupy Movement,even if they don’t feel they can participate in it directly, to mobilize in support of popular democracy and economic justice. Forming 99 Percent Clubs is one way to do so.

If you would like to start a 99 Percent Club in your area, please email Ira Shor at with a cc to me at

Dr Mark Naison
Fordham University

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