I would like to take a moment to go further into the whole Occupy Omaha issue.
I first started attending Occupy Omaha meetings and protests back in Sept of 2011. I went to two General Assemblies and one protest. I then left Occupy Omaha for about a month because of something that happened at a Occupy Omaha protest.
This protest took place at Turner Park in Omaha where I was standing there with my We are a Part of the 99% in rainbow showing that Queers are part of this. Well, at this same protest was this Ron Paul freak with megaphone yelling Ron Paul shit. I did not agree with this asshole so I stood away from him and then he asked me why I kept moving away from him. I told him well you do not represent my political opinions. I do not support Ron Paul. Then this asshole started verbally attacking me and telling me that LGBTQ issues have no place in Occupy Omaha. I got so mad at this asshole that I went to leave and while I stood there yelling at this asshole others around me weren’t really standing up for me even though several of them were part of the LGBTQ community themselves. So like I said I left. I refused to be part of Occupy for a month.
In addition, to that I was part of an online community of Occupy Omaha and I would post things about all sorts of things involving Occupy and Occupy Queer Affinity groups. I also happened to be a founding member of this online Occupy Omaha group and suddenly my posts were being removed by another admin and then I was removed from being an admin and soon even removed from the page. This only reinforced my anger toward Occupy Omaha.
But, my friend Ken was involved in Occupy Omaha so I started to attend again and this was about a month or so later though. I started to talk to people about these issues and many within the group were pissed and they wanted to be sure I felt comfortable there and that I know they support Queers and that many of them are Queer themselves So things started to turn around. Then Forward Equality wanted to support them and Forward Equality is the organization I started and work for. We would have to be sure they took steps to ensure that there would be no discrimination harassment, or bullying of LGBTQ people or anyone at their meetings and that they would have to have a safe space for everyone. Therefore, I wrote up a nondiscrimination and worked within the group to form coalitions with individuals to support this nondiscrimination clause. There was some people that were against the idea of having a clause telling people how to act but they said they would not vote against it or block it from passing.
Nevertheless, Ken made the actual proposal and there was some discussion and then the clause passed at a General Assembly meeting in January of 2012. This was big news because it was just before the Omaha City Council voted on and passed an nondiscrimination ordinance. Forward Equality then supported Occupy Omaha. Occupy Omaha published that passage of this nondiscrimination clause and published it on their newsletters, website, and facebook page.
Then in February or March it was time to pass a anti-bullying and anti-harassment statement to further explain Occupy Omaha’s stance and opposition to bullying and harassment. There were many instances of individuals bullying and harassing members of Occupy Omaha. This was happening on their facebook page and sometimes at events. This policy also passed by the General Assembly.
Nevertheless, Steve and Dshawn would not follow the policies set forth by the General Assembly and they would harass and bully members of Occupy Omaha if they did not agree with their personal beliefs. Steve would sexually harass me using facebook and he even at one time decided to ask me out. Steve is in his upper 40’s and I am 21. I told him no. I told him he is creepy and should leave me alone. I also explained to him my gender thinking that would help get him to leave me alone. Ever since that conversation he would harass me and bully.
Membership would drop and recently about two to three months ago Dshawn and Steve decided to remove the nondiscrimination clause and the anti-bullying and anti-harassment statement. This is when I decided I could no longer support Occupy Omaha at all. After they did that they decided that Occupy Omaha’s direction will go wherever they want it to go and so they are no protesting President Obama. Therefore, I am recommending tonight that Forward Equality Board of Directors rescind their support of Occupy Omaha and I encourage all organizations, business, and individuals to rescind their support of Occupy Omaha.
This is all in addition, to what I recently blogged about. You know, how I was banned from posting or commenting on their page because I said something calling out Steve for once again attacking me on their facebook page.