The words "occupy" and "demand" are two words I have a problem with. In my opinion, they are not the words of democracy, and in that regard, I am having difficulty understanding the Occupy Movement. They claim to be peaceful, but my feeling is that in fact they are passive aggressive, which is the most malevolent type of aggression. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help me to understand why I should be sympathetic towards this movement. So far, I am not, and I am moving farther away from any understanding as the days pass.
According to the October 14th issue of Time Magazine [page 22], "The movement started in Canada, of all places. The editors of Vancouver-based anticonsumerist magazine Adbusters called for a Tahrir Square 'moment' on September 17 in lower Manhattan to protest what they called the disproportionate power of the U.S. corporate elite."
It started in Canada? Oh, good grief, those rabble-rousing Canadians. The only problem is, Canada is not in the same economic situation that many other countries are in, including the US ~~ not even close. Canada did not have a housing bubble, and did not have a housing collapse. We did not have mortgage failures. Our banks did not get overextended, did not have to be bailed out, and are still lending. Unemployment and poverty are not rising in Canada, but are actually lower than at any other time since the 1960s. There are so many jobs in Alberta, Canada's immigration department is fast-tracking applicants from other countries who want to come here to apply for work.
So, what am I missing?
So far, the only effect I have seen of the Occupy Movement is that the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London has been forced to step down. "In recent days, since the arrival of the protesters' camp outside the cathedral, we have all been put under a great deal of strain and have faced what would appear to be some insurmountable issues. I hope and pray that under new leadership these issues might continue to be addressed and that there might be a swift and peaceful resolution." St. Paul's Cathedral has done more to help the less fortunate of London over the centuries, than any ragtag band of people living in fetid stinky tents. The church saved people's lives during the blitz of World War II. Again, what am I missing?
A list of Occupy Vancouver's demands are here, if you care to read them. I don't blame you if you don't. Some of them are so out-of-date that I wonder if these folks are actually in touch with the 21st Century. I love number 17: Repeal the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. All synthetic drugs and hard drugs (including cocaine and heroin) should be distributed by prescription through a pharmacist. All botanical drugs should be distributed like coffee beans. Human medical autonomy must now be respected by all.
My favourite is number 11: "The CBC should get enough funding so it can go commercial free and not have to depend on big business for advertizing. Then it can be truly independent." Well, we all want that, don't we? I mean, wouldn't it be wonderful to watch Coronation Street all the way through, without commercials?
Oh, good lord...
Every year in December, the Santa Claus Christmas Parade is the biggest fundraiser for the Vancouver Food Bank. This year it is being disrupted by Occupy Vancouver. The street vendors and other businesses around the encampment report that their business is down by 40% since the "occupation" and their livelihoods are being threatened. So, the very people these "occupiers" claim they want to help, are the very people who are in fact being detrimentally affected ~~ by Occupy Vancouver. And to add to their credibility, one of the occupiers overdosed on drugs at the Occupy Vancouver site last night.
As I said, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to convince me why I should support these folks. I have an open mind, so, you don't need to agree with my point of view. I really, really want to know what it is that I am missing. So far, I am not convinced. So, please convince me.
Update: OccupyVancouver protesters given until 10 am tomorrow to remove all tarps, unoccupied tents & open flame heat sources by Vancouver Fire Department.