Lady Millard

I’m originally from Jamaica West Indies. I’m an artist. If I wasn’t here, I would be painting. But I think a little loss of studio time doesn’t hurt; I know what I’m doing here is important. I take a long trip down to the Bronx, the last stop on the six train, to get out here but it’s worth it. The entire reason is racism.

“You have the best portfolio we’ve ever seen, but we cannot hire another black person right now. We already have one.”

I’ve been racially profiled all my life—in New York. After I left Rockawear, I made a presentation for Donna Karen, they said to me, “You have the best portfolio we’ve ever seen, but we cannot hire another black person right now. We already have one.” So that hit me so hard, it took my life away. How could they do that? How could they say that?

So I asked God for the first person with the first sign to come out here, and if that first person would come out here then I would be the second, but I wouldn’t be the first. And since then I saw 64 people with signs and I thought, “Alright, I could be 65.” I’ve been occupying since Day 4.

I know who I am, based on many situations that have happened to me. I’m a spiritual person. I’m also in tune with homeless people. I know that they talk non-verbally. It’s so important to be in tune with that, because they understand what it means to follow God, and them following God is like acceptance for me. It allows me to accept my position, my role here. I’m not homeless, but I understand the homeless. And I treat them like they’re not homeless. Actually they’re not homeless, they live in the park. I don’t think my own life has changed. I think I’ve changed other people’s lives.

It’s a battle between yourself. It’s not a battle between the cops and the 99%. It’s not a battle between the 1% and the 99%. It’s a battle between you and you. And that’s it. Once you’ve occupied yourself, then you know how important this movement is.

There’s nothing that I’ve done in my lifetime that equals this. There’s nothing that I’ve done in my lifetime that makes me feel as warm. I got love for the security guards that are here to protect us. I have love for the people that have taught me so much. I have love for the birds that fly around us. I have love for the occupation. I have love for the movement. I have love for Anonymous…I was with one guy; he gave me this ring, and he asked me to marry him. I haven’t seen him since.

It’s a battle between yourself. It’s not a battle between the cops and the 99%. It’s not a battle between the 1% and the 99%. It’s a battle between you and you. And that’s it. Once you’ve occupied yourself, then you know how important this movement is. But until then, you’re vacant. You’re a body just wandering around. You don’t have the understanding of humanity. Humanity is what’s important in this movement. Love is what’s important in this movement. The homeless people, they never ask for anything. There’s no rich people that actually stay in the park. So I know that being in the park is what’s important. And maybe there’s some rich people but there’s some cops here, too… hanging out with us. And they’ve been hanging out with us since Day 1. What we need, as occupiers, are people to donate food. But on a smaller level, individual level. “Do you need some water? Do you need an apple? Do you need a sandwich? Is anyone hungry? I have food.” That’s what we need. And it needs to be good food. Not something that you bit off of, something you wouldn’t feed yourself, but good food. Something good.

My name is Lady Millard.

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