Occupy Wall Street
Is the Occupy movement a bunch of homeless hippies looking for a cause,or is it a legitimate protest with legitimate and achievable demands?
The Occupy Wall Street movement began on September 17th in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. In just a little over a month,the movement has gone global to over 1500 cities. It has garnered extensive media coverage around the world,and prompted violent clashes from Australia to California.
I have been following the Occupy movement in the background of my consciousness until yesterday when I heard an interview on CBC radio with some Winnipeg protesters who were pledging to spend a Manitoba winter living in tents on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature. The fellow being interviewed started off sounding like,I’m sorry,an idiot. First of all,who has time to live in a tent? Why don’t you just get a job? Yes,it turns out the fellow being interviewed was already homeless. I was having a hard time taking him seriously.
The interview took an interesting turn,though. He was asked why he was protesting in Canada,where our banking system is pretty good,and our economy is not so bad. He answered that no one should strive for pretty good. Things are okay in Canada,but they could be great. He spoke about the control Wall Street has over the global economy and the global movement. I began to seek out other interviews,to try and wrap my head around these hippies setting up tent cities around the world. In Vancouver a succinct protester spoke about democracy,and how the Occupy movement is striving to make sure the economy and the imbalance of control remains in the forefront of any elections,and even perhaps our current Government (although few hold out any hope with our Harper Government).
One of the problems these activists have is a lack of clarity to their message. What is it that they actually want? Their problem is that the answer doesn’t fit on a placcard. The “we are the 99%”is catchy,but the demands are complex. To address this problem,as well as other more immediate issues such as toilets and trash at Occupy sites,each site holds 2 general assemblies every day. If you’re interested in finding out more about the movement,you can attend one of these assemblies at the Leg in Winnipeg at either 10 AM or 7 PM daily. The sites are attracting way more than the vast unwashed. A look around any Occupy site will portray a true cross section of today’s society. Seniors with eroding pensions stand beside homeless,jobless young people. People walk over from Broadway Avenue (in Winnipeg) on their lunch hours to see what’s going on. The movement is spreading around the world.
I think this is it –this movement might be the answer. I think the 1% will ignore it as long as they can,but now that the 99% are gaining a collective voice,change will be inevitable. I believe this will be a monumental movement. I plan to drop by the Leg on Saturday myself. I guarantee that YOU are in the 99%. No 1%’ers are reading my blog. No,I have no plans to live in a tent anywhere,but for this to work,some one has to,and thanks to the 1% we have no shortage of people with nothing but time on they’re hands.