Friday, October 21, 2011

Night 6 - Occupy Montreal: What is it anyways? Why does this apply to Canadians?

Mainstream media seems to be trying to wrap their heads around what is the purpose in Canadians getting involved in the Occupy protests? It has been suggested that it is a copy-cat of OccupyWallstreet. But I would like to point out that originally the media were saying the same things about #occupywallstreet that they now say about #OccupyCanada. Except that #occupywallstreet has gotten so big that the media cannot ignore what is going on.

Volunteers from OccupyMonreal are taking responsibility for the protesters garbage by helping city employees with garbage & recycling collection.
Mainstream media do offer some valid points about Occupy Montreal, but I feel they are mostly missing the point. The Occupy protests created a world protest day last Saturday; and it happened in over 1,500 cities worldwide. Thousands of people attended the protests in each major city, Avaaz got over 500,000 signatures from the international community on their petition in a matter of hours. So with that much response, how can anyone say that Canadians involvement is a copy-cat of the states? The only other time in history the world has done an organized protest on the same day at the same time was during the Bush administration against the wars in Iraq.

15'x10' Vinyl poster at Square Victoria "People's Square".
 The people in the marches & in the continued protests come from all walks of life. If you read or watch the footage of interviews with participants, there are so many well thought out, valid statements being made that I don't see how the mainstream media could be misconstruing things the way they are. But that might also be the fault of the protesters, in the sense that picking appropriate symbology & language choices is very challenging. Everything is open to interpretation, look at the dictionary, there are 3 or 4 or 5 different interpretations of any given word.

Last night at the GA we had a 2 hour discussion about if we were or were not an anti-capitalist movement. I countered against that language choice as I feel that capitalism is a tool that can be used for greater good or greater evil; it all depends on the user of the tool. But that's just it, it's a tool. We are definitely not anti-business. I think the problem is abuse of power.

The underlying issue is that greed & selfishness are harmful; this is the core attribute of the problems we are facing in the world. The corporations have created alot of damage, crimes against both the environment and humanity are astronomical, and they are not accountable. It's the lack of accountability and the sneaky way the government makes decisions on our behalf that creates alot of the problems we face. The bottom line should not be the way we measure what actions are appropriate. Sustainability in every sense is the core issue that brings all of the Occupy protesters together, but the focus is the impact the financial world has on the world we live in.

At the end of each general assembly there is usually a music jam, something that I feel is a very healthy end to the nights discussions.
What is interesting is that the general assembly is providing a public medium for group discussion on issues that affect Canadians and it's accessible to all walks of life. I know in theory democracy is also accessable, but in reality it is not. When I vote, I dont' feel that my vote counts for much because I don't have any faith in the options I am being provided with. But as my grandfather says, it is better to choose the lesser evil then to not participate at all. Fundamentally I feel that is not good enough, if I don't trust the politicians as far as I can throw them, then should I not have the right to push for better options? But good people that I would trust in positions of power get eaten up alive before they even get their foot in the door to even hope of getting into a position of power.

I think local government should be coming to the GA's, not as their job title, but as a Canadian citizen coming to contribute to the mental processing we are collectively doing. It's a slow process, but it's bringing alot of people together, it's getting people who stopped voting interested in participating in our countries development. We need change, I don't like the world we live in, I want to live in a world that I would feel good raising children in. So we need to become the change we wish to see in the world and this is what we are attempting to achheive. But I say this acknowledging that I do not speak for the whole, I only speak for myself and how I interpret what is happening around me.  

The following 2 interviews I feel really sum up why Canadians should be paying attention to the #OccupyCanada protests.

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