Occupy Roxbury group planned, draws fire

February 10, 2012
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An attempt to form an Occupy Roxbury political organization is drawing fire from the existing group Occupy the Hood.

Abe Spritzler, a 25-year-old lifelong Jamaica Plain resident, said he got the idea for Occupy Roxbury from his work with Occupy Boston and Occupy JP. A debut meeting Jan. 15 in Dudley Square was attended by only one other person, he said. But he has spoken with other activists and a Dudley business owner.

“I am confident that these smaller meetings will develop into larger meetings open to the public,” Spritzler said, adding that Roxbury Community College might be one future meeting location.

But Jamarhl Crawford, whose Occupy the Hood rallies drew hundreds of people to Dudley Square last year, is blasting the Occupy Roxbury effort.

“This is an insidious form of racism and white supremacy,” Crawford told the Gazette. “It’s ego, that this white guy from JP can jump in and say, ‘Occupy Roxbury.’”

Spritzler declined to comment on the record about Crawford’s comments. Crawford said he has not spoken to Spritzler.

Occupy the Hood continues to be active, most recently delivering home-cooked meals to homeless people on the streets around the city, Crawford said.

Occupy Roxbury’s exact agenda is still to be determined by meetings, Spritzler said. The general idea behind local Occupy groups is to keep the movement alive through grassroots community service and activism.

The movement stems from Occupy Wall Street, a protest camp against economic inequality and other issues, which formed in New York City last fall.

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