Sunday, November 27, 2011
A Hollow Lament for Occupy Canada
I see that Kalle Lasn, one of the Canadian instigators of the Occupy Wall Street movement, laments the way things turned out in Canada.
While protesters from Halifax to Vancouver emulated their global counterparts by pitching tents in public spaces and brainstorming ways to challenge the status quo, Lasn said the efforts he witnessed lacked some of the passion that characterized rallies in the United States.
I don't question Lasn's good intentions, but it all sounds a bit hollow. Firstly, since he only visited the campsite in Vancouver his views of the Canadian movement are obviously extremely limited. Secondly, since he came up with the idea of occupying campsites, and providing free food and shelter, in cities full of homeless people, street kids, drug abusers, and the mentally ill, like Vancouver, he should take some blame for what happened.
But more importantly he also forgets that Canada is a very different country. Not only are economic conditions better here, for now, but there is also no tradition of protest. Strikes and demonstrations are frowned upon. It's a grim aging country where many young people are too disengaged or too ignorant to vote, and are ruthlessly crushed by the old when they step out of line.
It's a country where an alien, extremely un-Canadian group of ideological fanatics is riding roughshod over our Parliamentary democracy, stomping on union and human rights, stroking Big Business, blowing Big Oil, torching the planet, leading us to economic disaster, threatening to take us to war.
But most Canadians are either too greedy, too shameless, too lazy, or too stupid to get off their knees, or their asses, and do something about it.
A country where a small band of peaceful occupiers tried to make some noise in the darkness...
Only to have their baby movement drowned out by the howl of the bloodthirsty mob, savagely mocked, boiled in bile, or slowly strangled in its cradle. So what did Lasn expect eh?
Considering what our humble little Canadian occupy movement was up against I thought it did pretty good. And the best is still to come:
"This is just the beginning, I can't wait to see what happens a month from now. Occupy Montreal is going to be everywhere," Klinger said.
This is something to celebrate:
Half the protesters she interviewed said they have become deeply engaged with politics for the first time in their lives, saying the movement was the cause they'd waited a lifetime to support...
This is really encouraging.
“It’s really up to the people and who gets involved. […] We are interested in resisting the Conservative agenda. I can’t think of anything more urgent in Canada at the moment,” said organizer Matthew Brett. “We need to start linking our struggles and I would encourage other groups and individuals to get involved.”
Because if you want to fight greed and economic inequality, or the moral degeneracy of the right-wing teabaggers, or those who would turn human society into a jungle, or the warmongers, or those who would burn the earth, all you have to do is fight the Harper Cons. For those ghastly bullies are the foul sum of it all.
And of course you KNOW I approve of this.
Peacefully but loudly. No more silence in the darkness. First we change Canada, and then we change the world. Some Canadians may choose to live on their knees in the darkness of Harperland, but I'm not one of them. I'd rather die than live without hope.
Hey. You don't think this new wave of young activists might help unite progressives so we can finally drive the Cons from power?
Golly. I don't know eh? But I must say this.
Sister I loved your hula hoops.
But I love your sign even better...