#occupyCalgary Thursday October 20, 2011

I’ll start this post by stating a bit of a disclaimer. The freedom of assembly and to protest is a fantastic right. One that we should always value. I also want to give kudos to anyone who stands up for what they believe in. Political apathy is easily one of the worst elements about society and as long as a protest doesn’t revolve around hatred or violence, I’m all for people exercising their right to assemble.

But with that being said, it is time for the OccupyCalgary group to just stop.

I don’t know how to say it, so I’ll just be blunt – this is just embarrassing. Frankly, OccupyCalgary is probably doing more harm than good and only diluting the actual issues which are coming from the US Occupy movement. Let’s be frank and honest with ourselves, Canadians (and particularly Calgarians) aren’t dealing with the economic uncertainty of our southern counterparts. The average Calgarian isn’t really ready to get involved in the OccupyWallstreet or OccupyKStreet movement, because the frames of reference are just too different. Comparing the Canadian and American situations is really like comparing Apples to Oranges.

I ask this as someone at the tail-end of the generation of Canadians within their 20s-30s, but can anyone tied to the Calgary version really state that there are any real barriers to success in Canada, let alone Calgary? What are the economic barriers that are crippling an entire generation of youth? Is it our relatively affordable post-secondary education costs? Is it Universal Health Care? Is it strong foundation of workers rights (i.e. no incestuous intern culture)? Or is it a relatively stable economy?

See, trying to impose what’s going on in the States on to the Canadian system is a bit disingenuous. As I’ve said in my previous post, the underlying message of Occupy is that the American system of opportunity is slowly deteriorating. This isn’t an anti-capitalism revolt or an anarchist movement, it’s let’s pull back what’s going and get back to a fair system with opportunity and a voice for all.

I’ll say it again, but as a Canadian (and more importantly as a Calgarian) I never once felt at a disadvantage or that there was never an opportunity to advance myself. And I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say that. I went to a great local University that I was able to pay for with a reasonable amount of Student Loan Debt and help from the government. I got a great job in the Oil & Gas Industry, which gave me the wherewithal to start my own business. I was never crippled with Health Insurance debt. My student loans were always incredibly manageable. There was always an opportunity to purchase some sort of property. Canada is a fantastic country live in right now. Sure it does have some minor faults and there are definitely things that need to be addressed, but overall it’s an exceptional place to be young and hungry for opportunity. Overall, the opinion you’ll find from the average citizen is that the playing field is relatively level. Which in itself is nothing to be ashamed of.

The US on the other-hand. Not nearly as fun. (well for this generation at least)

The movement in the US is spreading, not because it’s a bunch of free loaders playing bongo drums in a park, like elements of the media want to portray, but because the message of a level playing field is starting to resonate with the real stakeholders – this generation of Americans. They are the ones being handcuffed by student loan debt, zero job prospects and increasing health insurance premiums. It’s a situation that doesn’t resonate with the average Canadian, especially not Calgarians. Not because Canadians don’t care, but because there isn’t a similar reference point to really get a core feeling for what is happening in the US.

One of the biggest criticisms of the movement is that the message isn’t really as clear as it should be. From what I’ve seen recently, the message is slowly becoming clear to the general public in the US. People are rallying and starting to support the ideas. But for ever ten steps forward, one stupid move (see Jon Stewart’s October 17th show as an example) pushes them back in the eyes of the public. So when you see a tiny fringe faction, in a city where the circumstances are completely different, appear to be acting in an amateur way at best, it inevitably detracts from the overall concept.

In essence my point is; OccupyCalgary please stop. Stop requesting Condoms. Stop with the disorganized spectacle that makes it easy cannon fodder to opponents. Stop degrading a movement which isn’t applicable to the vast majority of your local audience. Stop taking away from a cause that’s actually important to a lot of people.

I’ve probably ruffled some feathers with people in Calgary and I accept that. I do understand that I sound very cranky with this post. But I wrote this because I’m incredibly empathetic to the concerns of our friends here in the Washington DC area. So for them, I want to see success for this cause and issues addressed.

If you want to stand with solidarity with people in the US – kudos and good on you. If you are hell bent on making a statement, wouldn’t it be better to donate some money to buy an evenings worth of food or help out with supplies at one of the local US movements. I understand everyone’s love of awareness, but your time would be better spent engaging your own colleges and friends in a discussion of the key issues. But please stop occupyCalgary and stop diluting a message that is actually important for a generation of Americans.

Categories: , , The Political World, The Social Media, The World

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THANK YOU! My thoughts exactly. Some may find this rant-y, but it’s what needs to be said. Demonstrations are for more direct battles, in more immediate places. I might add that somehow these Occupants are able to stay in Olympic Plaza after the park closes. Low income Calgarians have been systematically kicked out of said park at 10pm for over a decade. Enter some opinionated locals with a twitter account and it’s free reign. Hmmm.

Bernadette · Oct 20, 02:24 PM · #permalink

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Brilliant. Thanks for saying all of this and lending us some perspective from the Lower 48. It’s important we hear this and stack ourselves in comparison to our American brethren.

In Canada, we don’t have it that bad.

Angela · Oct 20, 02:38 PM · #permalink

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Calgary and its suburban sprawl is built on the oil industry, don’t take it for granted. Oil is an nonrenewable resource. If the oil ran out today the CEO’s who already made their billions would move to the next oil sucking country. The person who wrote this works for the oil industry, their job would disappear along with every oil job in that city. Just and FYI. Calgary is living in a bubble of wealth right now, probably the only one in Canada. I was living there during the recession and saw friends and family take major pay cuts. They had already bought homes with morgatges way over their heads. It will happen again. As for the pot smoking hippies, well you should just be happy they are the only ones in Calgary to give a shit and not put their heads up their greedy asses like the rest of them ; )

RJ · Oct 20, 03:24 PM · #permalink

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Well said… I was just commenting the very same thing with a friend of mine but I wasn’t sure if I was the only one feeling that we Calgarians have many many things to be thankful for and while there may be some who live in hardship. We’ve hardly the need for the same types of demonstrations as people in New York have.

I’m not saying we’re perfect.. but we have to voice our needs, concerns and suggestions in a manner that is relative to our conditions, that’s all.

EC · Oct 20, 04:16 PM · #permalink

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Bernadette & Angela, thanks for the comments. I’m glad the post resonated with both of you.

As you said Angela, it’s important that Canadians and Calgarians pay attention about what’s going on in the US and learn from the issues down there. We do have it good right now and we should always make sure that things don’t get out of control.

cto · Oct 20, 04:17 PM · #permalink

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RJ,

Thanks for the comment. But before I respond, just a couple of quick bits of clarification.

1) Yes, I did write this post myself. And no, I do not work for an Oil & Gas Company. If you look around the site you’ll notice that I indeed run my own web design company. I’m a small business owner and my bio is on the about page.

2) I don’t think I made derogatory stereotypical remarks that painted the crowd at OccupyCalgary as “pot-smoking hippies”. I’m actually quite against those sorts of statements. One of the things I did in a previous post (the occupyDC post) was to dispel the myth that the Occupy movement is just a bunch of hippies and freeloaders, by using first hand observations from protests in DC.

Now I did make some direct remarks at the OccupyCalgary group, because my beef with the group was the image they were portraying in the local media was subsequently representing the movement on a local scale. In my opinion, a call out for condoms (Because we all know the average citizen loves to hear about citizens having sex in their public parks) and the caricature of an absurd disorganized group in the presence of local media was pretty disheartening to hear.

3) I agree Urban Sprawl is a problem in Calgary. As someone who graduated from the U of C’s Urban Studies program I am well aware of the importance of sustainability on the ability of a city to live within its means. But again, is the OWS Movement about Suburban sprawl? Not from my viewpoint. The mortgage issues your friends faced was more inline with the American movement’s comments.

Anywho, I am not delusional that there aren’t issues within the Canadian system and there aren’t issues that face our fair city. But I also understand how Calgary and Calgarians work.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in the 20 odd years that I grew up in Calgary, is that the vast majority of citizens don’t respond well to “protests”. The dynamics of the city just don’t bode well for protest movements, which seam to be pretty effective in cities such as New York, San Francisco and Vancouver. It’s just not an action of change that resonates well with the average Calgarian.

I’ll use your example of Suburban sprawl to give an example of how Calgarians tend to address issues within the city. One needs only to look at last year’s civic election of Mayor Nenshi of how Calgarians like to address issues. One of Nenshi’s platform pieces was addressing the balance between sustainability and growth. He was also very pro Secondary suites. And because he delivered a message that resonated so well with Calgarians, he was elected mayor.

That was a bit of a tangent, I apologize. Anyways, if you explore the site a bit more, you’ll see why I’m very sympathetic to the movement in the US. I am under no delusions that my experience in Canada is remotely applicable to the experience of the majority of the US youth partaking in this movement. (Similar to this guys perfect response to the 58%). But that doesn’t stop me from writing, tweeting, posting photos, sharing informative articles and engaging conversations with others. And to me that seams like a more productive use of time that what is going on within the OccupyCalgary Movement.

cto · Oct 20, 06:43 PM · #permalink

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The apathy in Calgary doesn’t let anybody realize that the light at the end of the tunnel is an incoming train called reality.

In Calgary nobody is your friend is just about convenience and status.

There is (and will never be) any sense of community in Calgary. As long Aldermen wine and dine those who sell themselves for a steak every 6 months; Nothing will ever change.

Alberta might be rich in Oil but is poor in ethics.

Marimba · Oct 20, 08:46 PM · #permalink

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I am sorry for the mistake, I am glad that you own your own business. Local, Family and Independent is the way of the future.

You just have to keep in mind that Canada is nothing like the USA, we all understand that, our banks are full of billions of our dollars, we have massive homes, buy lots of unnecessary materials and eat at very expensive restaurants. Life is grand in this big ol’ country.

Just for a moment think of each purchase that you made. The H&M sweater in your closet for example. Did the child who made it make enough to feed himself and his family? What are his working conditions like in Indonesia? What are his living conditions like in Indonesia? Can he afford the same luxuries as you? Is there labour laws in his country protecting him? And how did that sweater only cost $20?

The iPhone that you use, what four corners of the earth were the metals and materials gathered from? Which were then sent to China for assembly. They were then sent to North America to sell to you, because you just bought the last version 6 months ago but wait you are not on trend so you must buy the new 4GS. What is the environmental impact of just the shipping?

What are these corporations making in profit? Millions? Billions? Would just the last quarter of profits from these corporations make a small country wealthy and feed there people?

I live in Toronto, I see extreme poverty and extreme wealth EVERY day.

I am an average person, I care about the world, I care about people. I feel these corporations need to be held responsible for their impact on the countries they Occupy, and the people that buy there producst. Profit over People is there slogan. I am a Canadian and I went down to the protest as a Canadian with my own concerns for Canada, not USA.

You can not complain about the representation you can only change it by going down there and representing it yourself.

It is very sad that they want Condoms, it is a disgrace actually, but start thinking about what the movement means, not how it is represented.

This movement has gone so far past the USA and Canada anyways, it is about global issue not just provincial or municipal.

RJ · Oct 20, 10:16 PM · #permalink

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The article you wrote is from a bias stand point and probably lacks research, considration, ethical reform and human connection. I too went to a Calgarian University and plan to pay back my debt in 10 years, I look forward to start saving another 5 Years for a minimal downpayment for a house. Now, I don’t need much and live in a tiny apartment, don’t often buy myself new cloths or expensive things but I do choose to spend money on organic and wholesome food which is quite expensive. Other countries pay for post secondary education allowing everyone to have equal oppertunity to a good education. I know a lot of people that would love to go back to school so they can get a better job but they can’t afford the financial risk and debt.

Your article accuses those who are prostesting to be uneducated lazy fools who have no purpose or rights to stand up for what they believe in. Did you take a chance to go talk to the people down there and find out their story? Maybe pull your ignorant head out of your ass and learn more then what you read in the Herald which is written for idiots at a 4th grade reading level. You can’t trust the media at any moment but only your true judgment once you get to know that real situation. People who work as investment bankers in Canada are starting to come out and express that everything is not purfect and we too have a corrupt system. We might not be feeling it now but we will. Do you love your retirement fund? Your pention?

We all know how reliable we are on the oil industry that has made us sail through the recession but we need the change that while we have the oppertunity too. Right now you migh be blind but the protestors aren’t doing any harm by voicing an opinion and possibly exposing the truth. Your remarks resemble those of fear, are you scared? They might not have the same reasons as wall street but we do have something and it will be exposed, it’s just not our time to melt yet.

Also, the comment about the condoms is an act of an outsider trying to ruin the situation. Society doesn’t like people who stand up and voice their opinion but it wont stop them and your not going to either. No one told you to stop yet, have they? Only asked for consideration, compassion, love and peace. Do you really want to stop that? If you do reconsider yourself as a human being.

shadow · Oct 21, 01:18 AM · #permalink

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CBC article by Southern Alberta Woman.

RJ · Oct 21, 01:35 AM · #permalink

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Hey Connor, I see where you’re coming from, and being another guy in this whole business of persuasion, targeted messaging, etc, I appreciate what you’re trying to communicate.

I had many of the same thoughts about the original protest when it started, on Sept. 17.

What I soon realized, is this is not just a protest against the bankers and the wealthy. To pin it down to a couple issues is the superficial view. I had completely missed the point. This is a call for a fundamental shift in the way our society and our economic system works. The Global economy, which extends far beyond any borders.

The occupy movement is a call for something better. Something different than the current capitalist system we live in now. That system clearly doesn’t work. It’s not a call for socialism or communism or any system that we’ve tried in the past. As a culture, we have progressed to state where this system we’ve grown so accustomed to, no longer works. This is a call for imagination. Something better, something different, something that isn’t the status quo. Does anybody know what that is? No. We haven’t progress to that point. If society is the client, we’re still in the discovery phase.

We never had mortgage crisis like they did in the US, but look at the state of Canada’s political system. The Harper government is fast tracking us into the same pit as America. The CRTC is protecting the telcos instead of citizens, tax dollars are going to prisons even though there is a decline in crime, our education system is a mess, petroleum companies are getting subsidized out the wazoo while environment-oriented industry continues to get shafted. We shouldn’t even have a Harper government. (I digress. Even justifying it with those issues borders on missing the point)

To me, when we say the Calgary Occupiers should just pack it in because they make the movement look bad, it feels a little bit like victim blaming. The reason they may look bad isn’t because of how few of them there are, what their appearances are, or any of their beliefs. No. The reason they look bad falls on the rest of the city that chooses to ridicule instead of support the brave few willing to raise their voice.

Seeing the rampant negativity (not just this post) makes me feel ashamed (but definitely not surprised) of the citizens of Calgary. Especially after seeing such strong support in Vancouver and Toronto.

On the first day here in Vancouver, there were over 6000 people involved, and it was incredible. I’ve have never been moved so much by a community coming together in solidarity. Not just to protest, but to get together, address problems, educate, and celebrate this global cooperative movement.

This is progress baby, and no one should be excluded.

Travis Gertz · Oct 21, 04:07 AM · #permalink

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RJ,

Thanks for popping by again and leaving a comment. I am not try to be disingenuous when I say this, but I appreciate hearing your comments. It’s great to have a dialogue on this topic.

I agree, life is great in Canada and I know I’m lucky to have spent my life growing up with in a Western Society. The issues of Conflict Minerals in Africa and Child Labour laws in other countries are issues that I am definitely aware of (my wife has spent some of her time writing on many of these issues, in particular technology and conflict minerals). Homelessness and the disparity between rich and poor is probably the biggest local issue in Calgary and as a city I love that they are really trying to address the issue.

My post was again directed towards the OccupyCalgary movement and more a critical take on their methods, audience and message. In a city like Calgary how the message or issues are represented at a local level does effect how the everyday citizen views the global and national issues.

I also want to commend you on taking part in Toronto’s version of Occupy. I’d be fascinated to hear what people are saying in Toronto and what the message is.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment and respond.

cto · Oct 21, 10:58 AM · #permalink

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Hi EC,

Thanks for the comment. Sorry I didn’t respond to it sooner, but I really love this line, very well put.

“I’m not saying we’re perfect.. but we have to voice our needs, concerns and suggestions in a manner that is relative to our conditions, that’s all.”

cto · Oct 21, 11:00 AM · #permalink

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Good Article CT. I think it articulates some good distinctions between the Canada and US situation, and why the Canadian movement is less relevant. But I can’t say I can identify with the U.S. movement as you seem to. Let’s have one of our famous arguments when you’re back in town – you know, the ones where I am always right and you get angry.

I disagree with Travis’ comment that the capitalist system “clearly does not work”. The capitalist system works just fine. Even with all the current problems (which will pass, just like every other recession), our society is extremely well off (some would even say spoiled). We have capitalism to thank for this. The current mess shows that capitalism is not perfect, but much of what we have experienced is due to poor government policy (Freddie and Fannie), a lack of proper regulation, and to some extent a lack of individual responsibility. What we need to do is learn from our mistakes. The system needs tweaking, not a radical overhaul. I have heard a few (the vast minority) of people supporting the movement nicely articulate what I consider to be legitimate grievances, without calls for a fundamental shift.

The majority however, simply appear to be railing agsinst the fact that some people have more money than they do. The language that is being used (1%/99%, wealth transfer, income inequality, etc.) makes me skeptical of Travis’ suggestion that this is not about socialism or anti-wealthy sentiments for many of the protesters. My feeling is that the legitimate messages are lost in the rhetoric, and I think CT is right when he points to the Calgary movement being the starkest illustration of this.

Jukes · Oct 21, 12:11 PM · #permalink

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Hello again, I have to agree that this post has created some great dialogue, and that alone is why the movement is so important.

A lot of the issues are ones the majority of the population in Canada don’t give much thought to.

I would have to say the major issues that are being discussed here in Toronto are Education, Pension, Job Security, Gap between the Rich and Poor, Hate and Intolerance, Corporate Greed and The Corporate Agenda.

Toronto has some bad representation also, but it is representation none the less. There is roughly 200 people still camping at the park and the park grows during the day with others coming and going.

Good luck in Calgary, I hope this movement is able to make the change Calgary desperate needs.

RJ · Oct 21, 02:00 PM · #permalink

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Travis Gertz above really nailed.

Here’s some further perspective for you from the man himself, Jian Ghomeshi

Ben Rankel · Oct 21, 02:55 PM · #permalink

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Hi Shadow, (Of course if that’s your real name).

Thanks for the comment. I too am a fan of organic food, in particular a fan of Annie’s Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese. It’s a mighty fine box of Mac N’ Cheese, especially when mixed with Frank’s Red Hot.

You also asked if I was scared? Not really. Zombies frighten me, but only the running kind. The slow moving kind I can handle.

Sorry, my misinterpretation. You want to know if I’m scared of the occupy movement? The Occupy Movement which I’m actually very interested in and incredibly sympathetic towards (hence the impetuous for such a passionate post), then no, I’m not scared at all.

Anyhow, I think you may have missed some of the key points of my post. It’s okay, I understand. I angered you. I was fully aware that when I wrote this I’d ruffle a few feathers. And it also doesn’t help that I am apparently a cold and hateful individual hell bent on suppressing people’s individual rights to assemble and express concern for their causes – of course that broad sweeping caricature goes against my opening paragraph, the links I’ve posted throughout my article and of course the post I wrote before OccupyCalgary was even born, about my hands on observations at OccupyKstreet.

It’s okay. The internet is a fun playground. It’s a fun place to skim through a post without leveraging simple critical thought and leave a anonymous post with derogatory remarks about someone who supports the overall cause, but is challenging the message, delivery and connection to an audience by a specific group. I encourage you to re-read my post again and look at the reinforcing articles I linked in the post. Don’t worry, they’re the blue links. It’s okay you were probably too full of rage to spend time digesting them. You may find that some of the links are really informative and well researched. In particular the story of the struggles of a group of hardworking/highly educated 30 year old families within Ohio. I particularly find that article interesting, not because I have an undying hate-on for the Buckeye state, but because it showcases how hopeless things appear to be for the average member of this generation in America.

cto · Oct 21, 04:16 PM · #permalink

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@Ben That audio essay is beautiful. And exactly right.

Travis Gertz · Oct 21, 04:41 PM · #permalink

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I can see where you are coming from… but regarding your questions and protests, I have a question for you:

If Canada and Calgary have it so good, what about the Aboriginal nations? Specifically the First Nations still struggling with poverty, alcoholism and drug addiction and low education standards. Don’t forget about the health care struggles (see lack of clean water in certain reserves).

Sadly the “Occupy Calgary” doesn’t focus on this though the other Occupy protests do (such as Victoria one).

Dan Pagan · Oct 21, 06:05 PM · #permalink

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To respond to Mr. Pagan,

You are right to point out that aboriginal people of this country have real issues to face. That problem in my view brings us back to Connor’s central thesis – that “occupy Calgary” has only served to divert our attention from legitimate issues.

The “occupy movement” is more about the spoiled grievances of poor, hard done by 30 year old white people that think life is hard because they haven’t been handed a university education, secure job, nice house, and big-screen TV without any sacrifice or tough times. In Canada, there are real groups of people with real problems whose issues are being either ignored or lost in the rhetoric.

When those calling for change in aboriginal policy try to hitch their wagon to the “occupy movement” (as you state they have done in Victoria), they are inevitably drowned out. Trying to address so many diverse issues under one banner only serves to dilute the message. It only lends credence to those who argue that the the “occupy movement” is nothing more than a fragmented group with no focus or concrete solutions.

On my previous post, I suggested that the economic isssues that the “occupy movement” is meant to address do not require a radical, fundamental shift. This contrasts starkly with the plight of aboriginal people in our country. Aboriginals are not living in poverty because of poor oversight of banking regulations, over-extension of credit, crooked brokers, or government policy in the financial sector.

In my view, the single biggest problem facing aboriginals is decades of institutionalized dependency which works hand in hand with systemic corruption within the reserve framework. To tackle the “aboriginal question” truly requires a radical and fundamental shift in both government policy and the manner in which aboriginals view themselves within Canadian society.

To summarize what I am trying to get at: You are right to say that aboriginal issues deserve greater attention. But to suggest that the “occupy movement” is the proper forum for those grievances is misguided. Aboriginal concerns deserve their own movement that focuses on specific issues and solutions. The “occupy movement” is aimed at a mish-mash of grievances (real or imagined) that affect “mainstream” society and has little relevance to the real issues and problems that must be addressed with respect to aboriginals.

Jukes · Oct 22, 04:28 AM · #permalink

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Hi Travis & Ben (apologizes for lumping the two of you together in a response, just trying to consolidate some time on my end.)

I really appreciate your comments and the discussion, especially from people who work in the business of persuasion (great term). It’s always good to have a dialogue and to counter-critique a critique; in the end everyone is better for it.

Travis, you mentioned something in an earlier tweet that I thought was perfect – It’s a different set of issues for every location.

It’s great to hear about the positive response in Vancouver. The videos and links you’ve posted are very interesting. It also doesn’t surprise me. Vancouver as a city has a stronger recent history of being overwhelmingly supportive and sympathetic towards political activism. Similar to how San Fransisco is a far more politically active city than say Houston or St. Louis.

I love Calgary for all its beautiful warts and personality. Yet, it didn’t shock me to see the local reactions towards the Occupy movements in New York and DC as skeptical at best. I sympathize that it was disappointing, but I don’t blame the average Calgarian. I mentioned it in my original post and I think the comments of others helps to reinforce that concept. It’s hard for the average Calgarian to be sympathetic with an overall message that is/was trying to find its true concept and a message that doesn’t exactly resonate on a local and personal level. That was one of the largest criticisms about the occupy protests in DC & New York in the early days of September.

One of the comments that a friend of ours in Washington made a few weeks ago, was that the Occupy movements in the US were never going to be successful until they are able to convey a message that resonates with suburban moms. Which I think is applicable not only to the Occupy Movement in the US, but to any social movement all over the world – Dublin, Rome, Vancouver, Toronto and even Calgary. As an example, Bank of America’s decision to drop an additional 5 dollar fee on each client just for having a bank card is an issue that resonates with every American, but it also plays into the overall message of Occupy Wall Street. So when occupiers in DC & New York close their accounts in protest, it resonates with people on a local level and also helps to reinforce the larger message. I’m digressing a bit, but the local message and representation is just as important as the global message.

I enjoyed the sound bite from Jian. He’s an incredibly valuable voice for this generation of Canadians and he made some amazing points. I don’t necessarily agree that just by setting up an occupy tent the message is instantaneously going to resonate immediately with everyone. I believe that the people who are involved with Occupy Calgary have good intentions, but I don’t think they fully understand their audience and they haven't create any sort of concise message or cause. The conditions in Calgary are vastly different than in Dublin, Vancouver, New York or Washington. Many see it as a hard city for activism, but it is the same city that surprised everyone by electing Nenshi, while also being the epi-centre of the NEP protests and gave birth to the Reform party. I understand those are two extremes, but it does show that Calgarians aren’t politically apathetic, but the message has to be delivered in a manner that speaks to them.

Anyways, I’ve probably rambled on. Thank you once again for the comments and opinions. It’s an exciting time in the world and I’m curious to see how this all plans out on the US, Global and yes even on the Canadian stage.

cto · Oct 23, 11:43 PM · #permalink

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Hi Dan,

Thanks for the question. I’ll follow up on what Jukes wrote, but my answer will be similar to his central idea.

The issues with Aboriginals in Canada are something that need to be addressed. If I was tied to the Aboriginal Rights issues, I might use the Occupy Movement as leverage for media exposure (I.e. having a large rally for Aboriginal rights and having the Occupy Camp in Vancouver join in. Similar to what groups in DC have done). But I wouldn’t tie the cause completely to the Occupy Movement in Canada.

From a message standpoint, in my opinion, it fits under the umbrella of the Occupy Movement. But as Jukes said, it far too important and deserves it’s own spotlight. At the moment, If I was a stakeholder in the cause I would personally hate to it see diluted in and I say that as someone who is incredibly sympathetic with the underlying ideas of the Occupy Movement. But again, that’s just a personal opinion.

cto · Oct 24, 12:23 AM · #permalink

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Having just recently moved to Canada from England, and having seen much of the world, it’s pretty clear that governments for the most part are out of touch which the public’s opinion.

A seemingly worldwide shift in the public’s tactics is underway right now which bodes well for the future, in my opinion. But we need to start making inroads into solving the class/wealth divide that no country seems exempt from. A HUGE problem right now.

An unfortunate reality of the separation of classes, as a result of gaps in wealth & income, is that many consumers are forced to consume goods and services at the lowest price point, rather than choosing options that are better for both the individual and the community as a whole. However, with Government support in bringing such options to those of lower income (by subsidising local businesses along supply chains, and providing tax incentives according to more ethical operations, or through volume share purchases in such ethical businesses, etc.) nearly all problems across the system can be addressed simultaneously.

Anyway, just a few points from a British resident in Canada.

Best,

David

David Sherjan · Nov 9, 04:44 PM · #permalink

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