[Brooklyn, NY] In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the worst climate change disaster in New York City history, organizers from Occupy Wall Street and 350.org have teamed up to coordinate a people-powered relief effort for New York’s hardest hit neighborhoods.
The group has already launched a relief hub in Red Hook, in partnership with the Red Hook Initiative, to help coordinate donations of food and supplies and to cook meals for the over 5,000 residents of the Red Hook Houses housing project that are without electricity in the flooded neighborhood. An afternoon relief caravan will head out to the Rockaways, one of the hardest-hit areas of the city. This evening, members of the OWS Puppet Guild will be putting on free puppet shows for children in the Sunset Park and Red Hook neighborhoods.Beginning with the Lower East Side, Red Hook, Astoria and Staten Island, volunteer organizers are using the new site Recovers.org to connect offers of help with places of need.
“There is only one force more powerful than a storm like this, and that’s the power of people coming together to help their communities. We’ve been able to put together an amazing network of people in a short time who are providing the help our neighbors need, and building stronger, more resilient communities in the process through mutual aid. Thanks to climate change, this storm is unfortunately only the beginning of an increasing trend of natural disasters hitting large urban areas. We hope that we can provide a blueprint for how to generate a rapid response in the face of such emergencies. All power to the people,” said Lopi LaRoe, artist and Occupy organizer.
“Corporate power contributed to this disaster, and people-power will get us out of it. Without climate change, Sandy would not have been the storm it was. The fossil fuel corporations have wrecked our climate and now our homes, and it’s well past time for us to work together to fix this problem. Building a stronger movement that cares for each other is one of many steps we need to take in the coming years.” said Duncan Meisel of 350.org.
If you are interested in volunteering or donating supplies to the ‘Occupy Sandy’ effort, visit http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/.
Some of the most pressing needs for the effort are:
• Volunteers to administer Recovers.org pages and connect needs with offers for help, as well as volunteers with technical expertise (Best done from home)
• Volunteers who can be available in the coming weeks to continue cleanup efforts
• Pumps and electrical generators for blacked out and flooded homes
• Financial contributions to fund distribution efforts
Occupy Wall Street is a grassroots resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. Founded in September of 2011, it highlights the corrupting influence of unlimited corporate money in politics and rising wealth inequality in the United States and takes direct action towards a more sustainable and democratic political, economic and social future.
350.org is an international campaign against climate change co-founded by author Bill McKibben. 350 has held demonstrations in nearly every country in the world calling for a solution to the climate crisis. ‘350’ refers to 350 parts per million, the safe concentration of carbon in the atmosphere — currently we are at 392 ppm and rising.
Recovers.org is community software that efficiently organizes volunteers, donations and information. These sites are owned by the neighborhoods, meaning that the resources collected can be used by community organizations in each area to meet needs throughout the whole recovery.