Wednesday, November 09, 2011
The Occupy Movement and Progressive Bloggers
I see that London, Ontario, has become the first Canadian city to evict its Occupy protesters.
And that others are gearing up to do the same thing.
As news spread of what happened in London, Toronto's mayor said it was time Occupy protesters in his city left their encampment in a downtown park.
And although I'm disappointed, I'm not surprised. Canada is an aging, conservative country, where an authoritarian regime is making a mockery out of our Parliamentary democracy. And most people couldn't give a damn.
Nor am I surprised that our Con media has been attacking the peaceful Occupy movement like a pack of rabid hyenas, to stroke their corporate masters.
But what does surprise and shock me is the way some Progressive Bloggers have been attacking the protesters. Calling them degenerates.
Admirable restraint and tolerance has been shown by the city so far, but enough is enough. Time to get these degenerate losers and violent nutcases out of the park by whatever means necessary.
Or rabid animals.
Using the actions of some homeless, or marginalized, or mentally ill people to slander a whole movement, with such obvious glee.
It doesn't seem very progressive to me. It looks ugly, and cheap, and the kind of thing you would expect to read in the foam flecked pages of the Blogging Tories.
It's totally legitimate to question or challenge the movement's tactics. But it's not OK to question the motives or denigrate so crudely a group of mostly peaceful idealists who want to save the world from economic and ecological catastrophe.
So when I read a post about the Occupy movement on Progressive Bloggers, I would expect it to be more like this one.
The question now is whether the Occupy movement can survive as an effective force for political and social action.
Sadly, to some extent, the movement has to be saved from itself.
The decision made some time ago to set up permanent encampments is turning out to be a disaster and is taking attention away from other more productive activist events.
A post that gently criticizes them, but also suggests new directions, and above all encourages them.
Both Canada and the United States need radical social and political movements that could scare the hell out of the establishment and force change in ways that traditional left and liberal forces have failed to do.
I wish there was more debate on the Progressive Blogger site about those new directions, or the goals of the movement, and how to translate it into political power, to change our dismal situation and eventually defeat the ghastly Harper regime.
But I'm afraid what I mostly see is crabby old vitriol, and what I mostly hear is the silence of indifference.
Even as we stagger blindly towards a lost decade.
Oh well. I'm not going to let it get me down. Tomorrow after I visit the Occupy Toronto camp again, I'll try to offer up my humble suggestions for where the movement should go next.
But I'm already sure of one thing eh? You can destroy a campground, you can arrest its peaceful inhabitants, you can deal with them by "whatever means necessary."
But you can't arrest or kill a movement whose time has come.
From London, Ontario to London, England. From Vancouver to Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and America where it all began.
We will stick together. And sooner or later we WILL change the world.
I could help change the world? Oh Simon, oh Simon.
You fortunate son...