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SPECIAL GUEST ARAFA SPEAKS
HOME-L.E.S INN AMERICA IN PURSESUIT OH HAPPPI-NEST
While most people focus on the political and social grievances against government and corporate greed from protestors at Freedom Plaza in what has become known at Occupy DC, several homeless Black women who have taken up residence there say the movement’s agenda doesn’t include demonstrating for the homeless or the needs of Black people.The homeless women say they have been denied blankets and supplies given to other protestors and have been confronted by Occupy DC leaders who have tried to force them out of the encampment, saying that Occupy DC has rights to all space on Freedom Plaza.Before Occupy DC came on the scene, many of us were here being treated unfairly by park police,” said Arafa Speaks, 56, a homeless activist. “As soon as we saw tents go up we started reaching out for cover in the same manner. We noticed that the outsiders were being treated like royalty by the park police and D.C.’s homeless were being viewed as intruders. It was amazing!”Aida Peery, 56, said she came to Freedom Plaza after she was kicked out of a homeless shelter when she returned from a job placement program. “I first moved to Occupy DC at McPherson Square but there was always arguing and fighting. After I moved here for a couple of days, I was told to sign up or leave. It was okay at first but things change when they want the stuff that was given to you. Now I basically do for myself like I was doing before they came,” said Peery. Speaks said she refused to provide personal identification to Occupy organizers. “When Occupy had a meeting and said it wasn’t interested in
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