Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Occupy Movement:When Repression Backfires

All over North America the assault on the Occupy campsites continues. From New York City, to Regina, to Vancouver.

And in Toronto the Con tool Tasha Kheiriddin, can barely contain herself.

The Occupy movement has had two months to develop a coherent message, engage broad public sympathy, or begin its transition to a political movement. It has done none of the above, remaining instead an incoherent voice grating on the nerves of the very 99% it claims to represent. It targets big business, but hurts small business; it claims a right to public spaces, but sees fit to trash them; it claims to want to influence politics, but has not morphed into the “Tea Party of the left” many expected it to become. Sorry, Occupiers, but the mayors are right. It is time to pack up the tents.

Too stupid to realize that by demolishing the camps the corporate porkers are only doing us a favour. 

For Canada’s Occupy movement, summary eviction from public parks is a blessing in disguise.

City administrations in places like Toronto, Halifax and Vancouver are inadvertently handing demonstrators something they desperately need — a way to honourably end stage one of their protest and build on it something more pointed.

Too Con to realize that repressing the movement will only strengthen it, and provide us with more martyrs like this one...

An 84-year-old woman pepper sprayed in Seattle.

Too brainwashed to understand that as the capitalist system bleeds like a stuck pig the movement can only grow bigger and bigger. The writing is on the wall. In Britain, in Canada, all over the world.

The camps will be destroyed. But they have served their purpose. Given birth to a movement that will rock the planet to its foundations, in order to save it. 

We will move on and turn the movement into a massive instrument of political power. 

But we will never forget or abandon the humble occupiers who served as its midwives...

Photo Darren Calabrese/National Post

And from Vancouver to London to Regina to New York City we will REMEMBER... 

Yup. As I keep saying. You can destroy a campsite. You can arrest the Occupiers, or beat them, or worse.

But you can't arrest an idea, or kill a movement, whose time has finally come...


rabbit said...

It's now the citizens of the cities that are being repressed by the OWS movement. They want their parks back.

ck said...

I'm not that optimistic. Folks aren't as willing to leave their comfort zone as they used to be.

Folks way back when were able to withstand pain, discomfort and all kinds of hideous things for their cause, and that's basically what it takes to move a cause forward--personal sacrifice. Martyrdom. As such, folks were willing to go on hunger strikes, they handcuffed themselves to buildings, if if there was a risk of fire and/or explosion. A willingness to risk arrest, and yes, the insidious police brutality the Toronto G20 protesters saw. And further to this arrest and poor conditions in jail, a willingness to refuse bail.

Today's generation, as my dad likes to point out, are a gang of softies. The video game, internet, tv generation who think gym class is murder!

I read that many who were arrested from G20 protests in Toronto, said they were too scared to ever go out and protest again.

No, I'm afraid that the flagship encampment at Zuccotti park is the beginning of the end, sorry to say. If this were the 60s, when previous generations were made of tougher stock instead of, as my father puts it, cream puffs, there may have been a shot. But that isn't the case, sadly.

There's also another problem with progressive movements as opposed to right winged movements like the Tea-party, who tend to linger, fight on and continue to resonate. We progressives tend to not be disciplined like right winged movements. We don't try to find common ground and stick with those messages only and not detract, like say the Tea-party. While insane, ignorant and lacking in facts, these right winged movements are cohesive, disciplined and never detract from message. We progressives can learn a thing or two from these nutbars.

ck said...

Oh, Rabbit, the typical hypocrisy of you people. Most of those folks couldn't care less about those parks before OSW.

Anonymous said...

If these people are trying to build for he future, they are are doing a poor job of staying on message. First, it was your typical "fight the system" message. Then it became "look! we are defying the system with our little camps. " Now it has become "Oh they may tear our camps down but this is only the first step in our big global revolution." Any bets it will change again once the evictions are enforced to "look how terrible the police are! Oh the brutes! Oh the humanity of it all! Police brutality!!! My rights have been violated.!" With rights come responsibilities.

Are these protesters really willing to put it all on the line for their cause? Are they ready to die? Most of what I see is just yelling and screaming. I'm sorry, but you can use all the rhetoric you want and profess its success as much as you please but it is now obvious to all but the most ideologically blinded that this little charade has outlived its welcome and is coming to an end.

WILLY said...

The comparison between the OWS & Tea Baggers is bogus. The TB is heralded in the right wing media. They are not constantly harassed, searched, clubbed or under any threat of arrest like the Occupiers or for that matter any Progressive demonstration.

However I'm really impressed that YOUNG people stepped forward and did this, I am impressed at the organization, messaging (live feeds etc.).

I really don't get the constant 60s comparison either. There were at least three or more years of organizing if you could call it that prior to the campuses getting involved and lid finally blowing off.

This is just the beginning and I agree with Simon they will get stronger, better organized and more effective.

Will their message or messages ever be relevant to me, probably not, but they might eventually be to my kids, and definitely to my grandkids.

thwap said...


You are too obvious in your concern trolling.

Nobody cares what liars say.

Simon said...

hi rabbit...Oh no...that's HORRIBLE. I had no idea those poor people were so oppressed. Remind me to donate a quarter in their name to Oxfam. Or the organisation that provides doggy poop bags, because before the occupiers arrived, and the dogs were allowed to roam at will, the place was a real mess and stank to high heaven... ;)

Simon said...

hi've known me for a while so you know that I am usually almost as pessimistic as you are. But not this time, because this time I really believe that history is on our side. Economic conditions shape the temper of the times, and they will shape this movement. However I do agree that we have become a very complacent society, but don't blame just the young, because we are ALL responsible.
Remember too that what you see in the Occupy camps is only the tip of the iceberg, and the movement has prompted a lot of people to start thinking about what kind of future they want. And whose side they are on. One of my fervent hopes is that this movement will help unite progressives in this country so we can finally defeat the Cons. On that matter I have been disappointed before, but I'm STILL not giving up... :)

Simon said...

hi Willy...I hope you are feeling better, and thank you for your comment.
I agree with you, people should stop comparing the Occupiers to the Tea Baggers, because the latter have been pampered by the media, and financed by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers, from the moment they arrived on the scene.
And I'm glad you share my optimism about the future of the movement. It is still very young, it has a lot to learn, but at least a lot of people all over the world are thinking and arguing about the shape of the future, and that's got to be a good thing.
The only thing I disagree with you about is the relevant part. Because some of your gloomy, but brilliant posts over the years practically heralded the arrival of the movement.
So as soon as we win I definitely will recommending you for a statue... ;)

Simon said...

hi Way Way Up...

Are these protesters really willing to put it all on the line for their cause? Are they ready to die?

To my knowledge this is still Canada not Syria, so isn't that question rather extreme? This has been a very peaceful protest so far, and that is its strength.If you know of anyone planning to shoot us please call the police.
And that little charade, judging by the massive coverage it has attracted has spread the message of change better than anything I could have imagined. You can't BUY that kind of publicity. For every protester you see ten thousand others have been converted. Oh dear. If the oligarchs had left the movement in the parks it might have withered away, overwhelmed by the kind of social problems I have written about in recent days. But they weren't that smart. When we are freed from the responsibility of running those camps, we will have more time to organize, and attack them in new and devastating ways. Woohoo !!! Lord Rebel works in mysterious way... :)

thwap said...

Way Way Up,

You are obviously totally opposed to the Occupy movement altogether. But you don't sound like someone who is disappointed with their tactics and how those tactics have failed in a worthy cause.

You instead sound like a fan of the status-quo but who doesn't have the honesty to simply admit it.

You seem to like the system as it is, just fine. That's your right. Enjoy your delusions. But a lot of people disagree with you. More and more US-Americans are becoming increasingly sickened by the injustice and cruelty of their system. There's nothing that you can do about that. It's going to continue whether you like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Simon, This is Canada, not Syria.....exactly. We have it pretty darn good here compared to pretty much anyplace else in the world. Unfortunately, some just don't appreciate it. In Syria, they face the possibility of death. Here, they just face cold weather and what they think is police brutality. I've been to many countries and trust me, these protesting idiots haven't the slightest clue what real police brutality is. As for the media coverage, you simply use it to your advantage. I've read a lot of protesters decrying the media as simply another facet of the establishment yet they are quick to kowtow to it when it suits their purposes. So which it it?

Thwap....I couldn't care less about the US, Tea baggers, Democrats, Republicans and all the other US terminology. I am more interested in what is happening here in Canada. I really don't care if there are some who don't like "the system" (whatever that is supposed to mean). These people are loud and have media attention, true. But they are also leaderless and have put forth no workable solutions or plan. What exactly is their plan? Please tell me. Because I have been following a lot of coverage for some time now and have yet to see anything that would cause me or many others to want to join them in their merry little crusade.

This whole charade will fail. Period. Nothing has changed. All they keep doing is re-defining their "notion" us success. Happy adventures in their little game here.

Anonymous said...

The main reason I have more hope for the OWS movement is that the issues they're protesting are not going away - they're going to get much, much worse.

The Cons are probably going to have a hard time convincing the voters that they weren't responsible for the economy failing - especially since, didn't they campaign pretty much on "We are conservative. We'll manage the economy well steady hand on the tiller whatever"?

And, waywayup, bravo on the excellent use of the logical fallact "Tu Quoque". "Our police brutality doesn't count because it's less murdery than their police brutality" indeed.

thwap said...

Way Way Up,

Look. I get it. You're in love with the system and you think the people in Occupy Toronto are fucked.

But until you stop with your empty-headed condemnations, nobody is going to take your yammering seriously.

And if your bar for police behaviour is so low that only Syria can't get under it, that's just another reason not to take you seriously.

If I were to go to your blog and type about a cause you blogged on: "I think those people are stupid. They make no sense. I hate them" You wouldn't be too impressed.

The majority of Canadians might not be as hurting as the majority of US-Americans, but harper is taking major steps to bridge the gap and Occupy Toronto is right to protest against this.

Anonymous said...

Thwap, pointless personal attacks aside, what is the protesters' plan they for how to bring bout change? Do they have a plan? I keep asking this question on a number of blogs and now one can seem to provide a coherent answer. We all know they are unhappy. They've been ranting and raving like clowns about it for weeks. Give us plan then of how they might fix things. Heck, I might be interested.

thwap said...


You write:
"pointless personal attacks aside"

Before that you wrote:

"these protesting idiots"

"continual bitching and whining"

"yell, scream and wave a banner for days on end like an idiot these people are starting to make themselves out to be"

"All this nonsense these protesters are engaging thus far has been nothing more than mindless crap."

I'm pretty sure you live your whole life in this little bubble of unintentionally hypocritical self-righteousness without a care in the world.

I note that you accused fern hill of "mindless labelling" before launching into your mindless screeds.

marie said...

Way way Up said,. I've been to many countries and trust me, these protesting idiots haven't the slightest clue what real police brutality is.

Oh but we do WWP. Remember the G20 . Their was definitely police brutality . When a police person takes of their identity badges so they will not be identified that in itself is very telling. When a police officer attacks a person wearing a prosthesis, That is police brutality at its worse.

Many of us will never forget that and a lot of us have archived the video's of the protests and the Police attacks on all citizens whether they were part of the protest or simply citizens returning home for their work or what have you.

Too some people, they are prepared to die for a good cause even if you were likely to cowardly to do the same but Come On!!!! Comparing Canada to Syria is poor lame excuses to compare legit protests. You are stretching your so called facts fact a bit far in your posts trying to make lame excuses.

If your a coward, stay at home and quietly reap the benefits these protesters are doing which will benefit us all in the end and even you.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting on what the grand plan is.

thwap said...


"Still waiting on what the grand plan is"

Why? So that you can mindlessly pronounce it stupid crap and then accuse the Occupy people of trying to impose it on you?

So that you can insult and deride them and then bitch and whine when people call you on it?

Rev Effect said...

If I were you WWU, I'd be more concerned about what your province's "grand plan" is for when you've finally sucked the last drop of oil out of the ground.

Anonymous said...

Uh yeah. My house will be long sold by then.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure that Alberta is "my province" as you put it. I wasn't born here and I'm pretty sure the government owns the land my house sits on anyway. :)