Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Vancouver’

Occupy Vancouver – One year later

I was back at the Vancouver Art Gallery  today on the one year anniversary of Occupy Vancouver. There were a few dozen people, it was raining as usual for an October Monday. I could see there was a tent set up, and as I got closer I saw a camera man filming someone playing a large Cello or other string instrument. I started talking to someone who had some papers to hand out. She was representing a “Working Group” that had formed from the meetings of Occupy Vancouver. It was the Environmental Justice work group. Occupy Vancouver has work groups that meet regularly!

  This video was made about the Movement, and how it started on October 15th 2011.


In the video someone is engaging the crowd and quotes the dearly departed leader of the Opposition, Jack Layton; his words are inspiring and very fitting for the Occupy Movement and a call to action for Canadians and people for change everywhere.

My friends, love is better than anger.

Hope is better than fear.

Optimism is better than despair.

So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.

From Occupy Vancouver October 15th 2011


From Occupy Vancouver October 15th 2011

Occupy Vancouver _ today’s experience.

I was down at the the Occupy Vancouver movement  on the lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery again today. It was a nice day, dry, and my six year old daughter Ava was with me. We made a donation to the food tent, Girl Guide cookies, of which we have an ample supply. We walked around the “tent city” and visited the healing tent and free people’s library. Then Ava had to climb the stairs all the way to the lion and sit on the outer most ledge, for the “best view”.

We made our way back down to the fountain and someone gave us some side walk chalk. We proceeded to draw stars and flowers and  a hop scotch. Other people joined us and we all decorated some of the concrete there. Lots of people mingled around. Many people were eating, dogs and  poy spinners were there, an especially good roller skater was doing some tricks,  there was music playing. People were arriving and setting up signs and posters. People in business suites where there, people in ripped, dirty camouflage were there.

The place had a feeling about it that was part carnival, part camping comradery, and part exciting platform of change.

That is what is going on at Occupy Vancouver.

What does a movement that will change history look like?  This.  If you accept we are already  living in a new paradigm.  If you have been waiting for a message to arrive there couldn’t be a clearer one. People want change. We can’t continue to marginalise people and stand by while corporate greed is rewarded.

While I was on the Occupy Vancouver grounds I was approached by a member of the media. A female reporter and her camera man came over and asked me if I would answer some questions. Always happy to give my opinion I agreed.

It turns out the “Santa Clause Parade” which is known as the “Rogers Santa Clause Parade” in Vancouver,  has decided to move the route, instead of strolling down the same street that currently is the domain of the Occupy Movement. I was asked how I personally felt about the route being moved ” being this is the biggest fundraiser for the food bank of the year” somehow implying that this movement was impeding the collection of donations? I was also told my presence there was representing the 99%, and I corrected her with the fact that I was only representing my self there.

. The reporter told me some people “would not feel comfortable bringing their children there.”   I couldn’t think fast enough of all the clever retorts I could come up with over the next few hours. I was able to say  it felt like a safe place to me, I had my child there.  It seemed to me they didn’t need to reroute in my opinion. But the implied fact was we couldn’t let the families see people and tents in the middle of a cold and damp November day.Apparently  that does not make happy shoppers!?

What is the message?  They are not going away.  All People deserve to be treated equally.  A corporation is not a person, and should not be pandered to by our “elected officials” and others who stand to profit at the expense of our environment,the rights of people, jobs , food security, biodiversity and the list goes on.

What the reporter failed to realise is that the food bank exits for the very people who are out protesting the state of world affairs. The irony that this parade and food collection can not co-exist on the same street as the Occupy Vancouver movement goes to show how narrow minded people still are. It is time to rise up and Occupy some deep thoughts about the kind of world we are creating.

 

World Food Day – October 16th

October 16th is World Food Day.  Developed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of The United Nations, the purpose is to raise awareness about food security issues, agriculture, poverty and hunger around the world.

Each year a different focus is taken in an attempt to encourage dialogue, highlight areas of concern, and as a call to action. In 2011 the theme is Food Prices -From Crisis to Stability. Food Security is on the minds of everybody these days. From shopping local at farmers markets and growing food in community gardens, to  buying sustainable and fairly traded foods.  The media is saturated with stories and images about hunger, from the horn of Africa to our local elementary schools.The story is the same, poverty leads to food insecurity and in the poorest nations, death.

Yesterday I went down town to Occupy Vancouver, to stand in solidarity, and bear witness to this important movement.

What do the Occupy Protests have to do with food security?  The movement is a voice for us all, it is students, and families and seniors. It is the unemployed, and the underemployed. It is a global call to action for every person who feels the system needs to change, starting now.Occupy Wall Street is the direct result of the dissatisfaction felt by  millions of people.

The issues are varied, but one message is clear; We can not continue to consume and exploit natural resources.

The famine that exists today is a direct result of greed. Will we allow this to continue?  Sometimes these issues seem far away and we can feel overwhelmed and helpless to make a difference. Action speaks louder then words.  Grow some of your own food, volunteer in any capacity working with food. Help people in your own neighbourhood, donate to local food banks, and organisations around the world that are helping the most vulnerable. You can make a difference.

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URBNgreen is committed to education and environmental stewardship. Our objective is share information about what people are doing locally and around the world to create a sustainable future.
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