The Occupy Wall Street movement has faced many hurdles, not the least of which are the elements, which humans have been struggling to overcome since our ancestors first evolved. When Occupy first made national headlines in September 2011, skeptics predicted that winter temperatures would kill the movement. They didn’t.
Now, some may be wondering if summer heatwaves will wither OWS’s enthusiasm, but if recent actions around the nation are any indication, Occupy Wall Street’s roots run far too deep to succumb to a little heat. Nevertheless, occupiers have started to get creative in their event planning tactics. There’s the Occupy The Hood “Rep Your Hood” Blowout BBQ coming up next weekend, and earlier this week, the opening of the unofficial Occupy summer camp.
Modeled after the civil-rights-era Freedom Schools, the Brooklyn-based Paul Robeson Freedom School Summer Day Camp, is meant to keep young brains from melting in front of a video game all summer.
Run by original occupiers Justin Wedes and Rodney Deas (Deas was the inspiration for the boombox-toting Radio Raheem character in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing”), the camp offers reading, writing, history, and basic math in addition to hands on activities and field trips. The camp’s “counselors” infuse their knowledge on all subjects with a dose of revolutionary thinking, encouraging “campers” to challenge traditional thinking and get involved in their communities.
“Our mission is to build an empowering community of youth and adult leader-educators whose work is to nurture and liberate our minds, bodies and collective spirit; to liberate our minds from mental oppression through culturally-relevant curriculum in the arts, sciences and histories; to liberate our bodies from hurtful consumerism through physical training and changing our relationship to food; and to liberate our collective spirit to re-affirm our commitment to each other, our shared heritage and our local community, reads the day camp’s Facebook page.
So far, the school only has a handful of campers and a tiny operating budget. But enthusiasm is high and the vibe is positive. If you’re in the Brooklyn area and want to contribute, volunteer, or attend, check out the camp’s website to learn more.
Image via Paul Robeson Freedom School Summer Day Camp