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Vancouver Activists Corrupt Occupy Movement

November 24th, 2011 · 22 Comments

This blog comes to you from the United States … where the Occupy movement is real and still relevant.

Make no mistake about it there is a BIG difference between the majority of those keeping the Occupy movement alive down south and those Occupy pretenders in Vancouver/Victoria who have co-opted and stolen the original cause.

In the US, the Occupy masses are the real thing:  thousands of individuals, single parents and families who, for years and years, were hard-working people, but who have fallen on hard times and unemployment due to the sagging economy; home-owners who were foreclosed upon because of the criminal …yet never charged … ponzi-scheme actions of deregulated US banks and mortgage lenders; and working people fed up with the growing gap between the rich and the poor in a republic, where the government is all but paralysed by a political process run amok.

The Occupy movement may have started out with those ideas in Vancouver and Victoria too … but has largely deteriorated into just the “usual” unemployables and homeless raising hell for a whole different set of reasons; trying to get more free housing (without work, of course); and, a large group of activists and anarchists with few aims beyond having a party and sticking it to “the man” any way they can.

And what has made it all much worse in Vancouver is that the lefty Vision mayor and council can’t tell the difference.

So rather than enforce city bylaws forbidding anyone without permits to erect structures on city property (not even a tiny Falun Gong one-person hut, not bothering ANYONE except the Communists in the Chinese consulate), the Vancouver politburo has decided to abandon its own laws and try to mollify the anarchists and homeless unemployables, while the taxpayers pay and pay and pay.

But the truth is the Vancouver Occupiers, in their present format, will accomplish nothing for the real working people or unemployed. Just make revolving parts of the city look like hell.

I support the US Occupy movement and deemands fror a better, fairer and more equal society. And readers of my blog know I have ranted before it became fashionable, about the unfair growing gap between the poor, the working class and the very wealthy.  And when I was working, I particularly enjoyed doing stories on the topic, so the rich would know their greed and selfishness was being noticed and reported. Even if not acted upon by their friends in government.

So I’m no right wing enemy of the workers.

But the truth is the situtation, economically, job-wise,mortgage-related and  and just financially in Canada is NOTHING CLOSE to the disaster befalling the US.

Nevertheless, just because of the widening gap between the wealthy and the rest of us up north, I regarded the Occupy movement in Vancouver and Victoria and Toronto as being quite laudible and legitimate.  And the REAL protest to narrow the gap, increase workers’ pay, shift the tax burden from the middle class to the wealthy again, should continue.

But the roving Occupy homeless, unemployable face-tattooed, spiked nose, ear, tongue and lip crowd and their mentally-troubled coterie and anarchist organizers (who have insulted passersby, forced WORKING food cart operators to move away,  and disrupted and insulted media just trying to cover their “protest”) have ruined the Occupy brand.

Time for them to pack up their tents …until the next excuse they can find.

And time for the real Occupy people to find some other way of continuing their struggle.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 DonGar // Nov 24, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Harvey,

    Your right about the difference between the US and the Canada occupy movements but I disagree when you say the Canadian movement was hijacked. It was always about entitlement and anarchy, they never represented the 99% and could carless about those really needing help. Look at BC, again with huge child poverty but these occupiers were focused on free legal dope and free housing at someone else’s expense. They left a huge mess and cost taxpayers $100’s of thousand of dollars. Nice to see East Vancouver showed them the door, guess only the 1% live on the eastside now.

    The biggest loss is law enforcement and our expectation that laws will be enforced. Between this, the riots and the total lack of enforcement of the law the city is setting a very dangers precedent.

    (Response: We disagree. I believe the organizers behind O.V. were just as motivated as those in the US about exposing the great gap between segments of society. And working people in Vancouver do have serious concerns…like the high cost of housing, employment pay and benefits, esp with the growing number of part-time jobs…lower pay, few benefits, no pemnsions etc. But it’s clear to me these are not the people camping out and now causing all the chaos…so they do not deserve the real Occupy respect. h.o)

  • 2 rusty // Nov 24, 2011 at 2:03 am

    Thats quite a judgemental and sweeping generalization … “the usual unemployables and homeless”.

    i would expect better from a person of your stature.
    🙁

    (Response: Believe me, I did not come by that conclusion lightly. But this blog IS about Keeping it Real and although I support and respect the struggle for better pay, better benefits and narrowing the gap between rich and the rest of us, my impression…after watching what has been going on in Vancouver is that those outside the art gallery were quite something else, with a whole different set of issues and problems, and they were just seizing on the opportunity to raise hell …not really seek jobs or improve their lot through work. And yelling and disrupting reporters who are down their doing their JOBS, informing the public what is going on, is not what anyone in the real Occupy movement would ever do. h.o)

  • 3 Julie // Nov 24, 2011 at 2:17 am

    I think the occupy in Vancouver did get lost in translation.

    Perhaps we can have our own reasons for Occupy. I find our vanishing Democracy, very worrisome . I resent having my Civil Rights and Liberties taken away from me, our voices mean nothing anymore.

    We are being dictated to with no choices, what-so-ever. We had Campbell and Harper force the HST on us, with no representation. The HST wasn’t on Campbell’s radar? And, the BCR wasn’t for sale either.

    Politicians and their governments, work behind our backs and being very underhanded and sneaky. I resent government corruption, and being let down by a biased media. Harper’s tough on crime, doesn’t apply to him and his Conservatives. They are permitted to thieve our tax dollars, at their will.

    What really angers me is, I am sick of our tax dollars going to the wealthiest corporations in the world. Harper gives them huge tax reductions and millions of our tax dollars. They do NOT pay their fair share of taxes. One wealthy BC business owner said, he pays less tax than his secretary does. We have CLBC getting bonuses for cheating the citizens, who really need the services. We tax payers, pay through the nose for the care of those people.

    Big business are bottomless pits of greed. They are forever squealing at the trough for more money.

    I an sick to death of Harper, he rewards politicians for doing his dirty work for him. I won’t bother saying anything, of what I think of the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals. It isn’t printable.

  • 4 Gini // Nov 24, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Thanks for once more ‘keeping it real’, Harv. It’s such a shame that a noble cause such as the Occupy movement has been derailed by a bunch of lazy ne’er-do-wells. I know that our neighbours south of the border have a more legitimate reason to protest, but the way our province……no, our whole country is being governed, can we be far behind?

    I cry for Canada when I see how they are selling off our resources to their corporate buddies, with no regard for the future.

  • 5 Kim // Nov 24, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Do not forget that the use of agents provocateurs has become commonplace. I understand they are in evidence at both camps. All it takes is one loudmouth with a list of demands and an eager reporter to cast doubt and discredit the message. Don’t be too quick to tar everyone there with the same brush. I have seen lots of credible people with intelligent reasons for supporting the movement. Also, the Media distorted the coverage with their own message, tending to not air the articulate messaging in favour of the angry, unkempt souls who reinforce the stereotype of the dirty, homeless hippy.

  • 6 13 // Nov 24, 2011 at 4:17 am

    People in the USA have lost homes and jobs. I doubt if any of the Vancouver bunch have ever owned a home or held a good job. I am amazed that the US hasnt decended into total anarchy. The big banks have lied cheated and stolen from millions of hard working Americans. The phrase hard working is lost on the occupy Vancouver crowd

  • 7 Mo // Nov 24, 2011 at 5:01 am

    I have said the same thing on your blog as well on other blogs. OCV was a joke, Not to say that they don’t have some specific grievances. But not deserving of a _Protest_. There are other venues for these to be voiced. To ride the coattails of those protest movements south of the 49th… is a no go.

    And the city had better recognize this!

  • 8 EN // Nov 24, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Don’t get me wrong, the situation in the US is bad, but Vancouver’s real-estate and free-for-all mining economy isn’t much better.

    Our economy is entirely based on unsustainable development. Vancouver’s celebrated urban policy is based on building and tearing down glass curtain condos that last 5-25 years. This is not a model of development worth exporting, and its bound to collapse.

    It’s also only a matter of time until open-net fish farms will collapse Pacific salmon stocks, and tar sands tankers destroy what little natural beauty and ecological wealth we have in Western Canada.

    These projects are negative-sum games that benefit a few large developers and corporation, while causing ecological and economic devastation for the multitude of small businesses and communities dealing with the externalities!

    Why did Occupy Vancouver get taken over by homeless? Don’t blame the city for scaling back non-market housing. It must have been the anarchists.

    If you think things aren’t bad enough yet, just wait.

  • 9 Sprooster42 // Nov 24, 2011 at 7:11 am

    It was definitely disorganized down at OV. Yet occasionally I would stop by just to have a look around and listen, and sometimes they had great speakers, calm, informed, etc .. I think towards the end, things actually were getting a little more organized (a little I say), but MSM would not let up on them. There are many issues with the BC Libs right now that could keep the MSM busy non-stop (which incidentally they sure would be if it were the NDP doing so many utterly stupid things as the Libs are right now), but as usual they stick to distraction items. While the Occupation Vancouver absolutely needed some attention, I really question the amount they got was necessary. I still say, even with the motley crew that was down there, there were actually more than a few bright ones. Sorry, don’t buy it that they all had needles stuck up their arms in their tents and were all a bunch of bums. Certainly a number there would be happy to live off of handouts and never working, except to constantly fight systems, but truly some of it was legit. For some there, I really think the heart was in the right place, but too much at OV was all over the map, and there were enough aggressive trouble makers that made it very bad for the rest trying hard to send the message they wanted.

  • 10 tf // Nov 24, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Hi Harvey.
    I’m disappointed with your writings about Occupy Vancouver.
    The young, pierced, poor and homeless in Vancouver are just as disenfranchised as anyone living in the Western world. It’s our problem and I give kudos to those who put their time and energy into the movement and who heeded the call to support those at Occupy Wall Street.
    Let me ask everyone – what if we in Vancouver didn’t answer the call, what would have happened then? Would you have chided us for being too lazy? Or too doped up to get off the couch? The call had to be answered and the people in Vancouver put up a brave front.
    And the mayor let it happen, thank goodness! We didn’t get police beatings or pepper spray as in other cities!
    As you know by now the tent city is gone but the movement will continue.
    I want you to remember when you were 20 years old – did you dive head-first into a cause you believed in? Whatever the cause, I’m positive you put your heart and soul and body into it – that you stood up and spoke out about what you believed was just.
    That is what I think those people are doing. There comes a time when we have to stand beside each other and speak out. This was the time for those people and I look forward to hearing a lot more from all of them!

    (Response: I’m not saying the tenters have no issues or problems. Quite the contrary: some of them have serious problems. But they had them well before the increased unemployment problems came to the fore. And they’ve expressed themselves on this before…in the park opposite the train station on Main, in the old Woodwards building etc etc. But the Occupy protest was begun by quite a different group with quite different backgrounds…and many of the tenters have just attached their causes to the Occupy one…even though their problems are quite different … and they need medical services, social services and addiction services before they can even hope of being hired by anyone. h.o)

  • 11 A Dave // Nov 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Well, Harvey, I disagree with you somewhat. There are actually some very striking similarities between the two countries’ #occupy movements that I have noticed when reading the political blogs and news sites in cities such as NY, Portland and San Francisco.

    The negative message about the tent camps, and the individuals in them, are exactly the same in both countries.

    1. The same claims in the US about the tent camps being taken over by homeless, addicted, unemployed, freeloaders, etc., which leads to the charge that the tenters no longer represent the “original spirit of the movement”, and that most of the “real protesters” have long departed.

    2. There were suspicious overdoses in several different tent cities, including ours, and these were seized upon by the media as proof the tenters were a lawless, criminal bunch that needed to be ejected.

    3. The constant claim that many of the tenters drink Starbucks, wear expensive designer-label clothes, have iPhones and iPads, and use bank and credits cards – in other words, they are all hypocrites.

    4. The sudden claims by police in most cities that violent anarchists wearing balaclavas had shown up in early November (although precious few actual photos to back this up), suggesting that the public/property would soon be at risk.

    5. The same characterization of Mayors Bloomberg and Robertson as being spineless, dithering, ineffectual leaders who didn’t have the cahones to enforce city bylaws (not anymore for Bloomburg, though, hey!?)

    6. The same paternalistic claims of “fire safety and public health concerns” in the tent camps, necessitating they be cleaned out and shut down.

    7. The claims by City officials that the protests were hurting surrounding businesses (although several articles in the NY press initially claimed Zuchotti had become a tourist mecca, and was a boon for surrounding business).

    8. The repeated guesstimates of the large cost to taxpayers for “monitoring” the tent camps, and how this money could be better spent on social programs (although it likely never would be), suggesting that the tenters were counterproductive and hurting others in need.

    The consistency of this negative messaging across all cities/media is, as I said, absolutely striking. Most of your post and the comments above parrot these points to a tee, and like 13, conflate the front-line tenters with “real people who have lost homes and jobs”.

    But, if America’s tent cities are so legitimate, and ours are not, then why is the criticism in the US media/blogs exactly the same as here in Canada?

    Well, our own City/Police officials admitted last week that they have been in constant contact with their counterparts in other #occupy cities since October to share information and work on common strategies to deal with the tent cities.

    Clearly, the chief goal all these cities have been working on is to sway public opinion and the media away from being sympathetic towards the tent camps, and to drive a wedge between them and the larger “movement” that is still seen by most as legitimate.

    And clearly, they have been very successful at doing just that…

    (Response: I certainly have never said or suggested the Vancouver tenters are hypocrites who drink Starbucks, have credit cards and cell phones. They ARE poor or homeless and unemployed. But I believe many of them have problems well beyond the economy. And as a news junkie who has spent a good deal of time on both sides of the border lately, I can tell you Canada’s economic situation is NOTHING like that of the US and the unemployment, eviction, lack of benefits situation has been MUCH worse south of the line for quite a longer time and not only is the impact/need much greater, but those tenting out literally have no alternatives/programs …unlike Vancouver. h.o)

  • 12 mariner // Nov 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    It seems as if the reason for the OWS – including the Canadian cities, is being lost in the media reporting.

    The very reason of the OWS is to bring focus to the very mess that the present and recent federal governments have created. Their pandering to rich corporations at the expense of the ordinary citizens that actually pay a good portion of their earned income, as tax.

    Of course the MSM spin will deflect the real reason and try very hard, to make the protestors the culprits. The MSM is owned by the large corporations that benefit from all the negative OWS rporting. Even our much despised BC Liberal government is out there with their PAB postings, comments and reports.

    A very sick society we are rapidly becooming – especially when white collar and government tolerated crime (Federal Tories and BC Liberals) is so rampant.

    It will take much more than OWS to sort out the serious situation now evident – the current UK NoW case clearly illustrates just how corrupt the MSM media has become worldwide.

    So, please lets “keep it real” and focus on the real reasons for the problems !!!!

    (Response: Exactly! And it hurts the discussion of the real economic problems and disparities if we let the downtown eastside/homeless/drug abuse issues take over the much wider systemic problems that are behind the Occupy message and demands. h.o)

  • 13 SharingIsGood // Nov 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks for bringing this topic up for discussion, Harvey. I believe that an important point being made by the Occupiers has been missed. The Occupy movement is not just for the people who have lost jobs or have become homeless since 2008. The current occupy movement is an inevitable push-back from the awakening masses of working and middle class people who have seen their opportunities being eroded over the last 40 years. These opportunities have been eroding even while we have reduced family sizes and increased the percentage of wage earners in a household.

    The productivity of people has increased manyfold over the last 100 years with the expanded use of oil and electricity. We have more labour and time-saving devices than ever, but we must continually work harder to afford what our parents could afford.

    My parents were able to have 2 cars, a comfortable home and feed and clothe 7 children on one average wage. Yes, we had a garden. Yes, my mother sewed, baked bread and canned instead of buying many things at the store, but it was a healthy, nicely-paced, affordable life. Now, even with two parents working, I don’t see people being able to live as comfortably as we did through the 60s and 70s. We, the baby-boomers who had it all, have let down our guard for too many years. We have grown complacent while the social and economic fairness that was once part of the North American fabric has been eroded to favour globalization.

    Globalization has led to international corporations having more power and less accountability than actual living breathing human beings. It has led to increased levels of wealth transfer from working and middle class people to the already wealthy. Trickle-down economics, fiat money and the Reagan-era “Greed is Good” mantra does not work on a planet with finite resources.

    As the Canadian population is aging, and the old will begin dying off faster than they will be replaced, housing may become just as worthless in Canada as it is in the US. After all, if eveyone is working at Starbucks and Tim Horton’s while our raw resources and manufacturing jobs are being shipped elsewhere, there isn’t a great deal of hope for homes to hold their value – is there?

    The Occupy movement is not just about the people who have lost work and their homes, it is about people losing hope for their future and for their children’s future. Many of the anarchists saw this coming years ago. The understood the changes in the economic system for what it has been – a massive ponzi scheme develped by the rich for the rich. The labour-saving devices in our homes and industries have not resulted in a higher standard of living; instead they have led to increased wealth for the wealthy and more work for the rest of us. Working hard and being careful with one’s money no longer means that one can take care of one’s family, nor does it mean one looks forward to a comfortable retirement.

    There are enough resources in Canada for everyone to be educated and have a comfortable life if the gulf between the wealthy and the rest of us is narrowed by a substantial margin.

    (Response: I’m enjoying the discussion. I agree totally about the erosion of the middle class and the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us and I’ve written about this. And I have many times questionned what is happening in our society where the more we “progress” technologically and companies succeed, the less the middle class has to show for it. That debate MUST be fostered and there MUST be no let up. But I see most of those in the tents as coming with a different set of problems and even a different agenda. h.o)

  • 14 Julie // Nov 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I can’t seem to find an answer. Why is it, Canada’s cost of living is so much higher than in the U.S.

    When you read of, Canadians shopping in the U.S. and saving up to 50%, and saving a whopping amount of money gassing up in the U.S. What is going on? My friend said, we pay more for our own goods, than foreign country’s do.

    Thank heaven we have an underground system. The HST has really hurt the everyday, seniors and the low income citizens. Food costs are through the roof. Gasoline is outrageous. Pretty much everything in BC is taxed.

    Even in the rural small cities and towns, a single mother on a minimum wage job, has to pay $650.00 to $800.00 for rent. In the north, utility bills can be obscene, and with the HST on them too…the going is rough. Food banks can’t keep up with the demand. Even seniors have to rely on them.

    With our raw logs and mill jobs, now going to China, there have been more layoffs. It is true the middle class is being wiped out, all over BC and Canada.

    A young family I know, can’t make it to their next payday’s. They are using their credit cards to bridge the gap. House and car insurances and even food goes on credit.

    Perhaps BC is unique. Campbell thieved and sold our assets. Harper and Campbell pretty much dismantled BC. I don’t thing the other provinces are as corrupt as BC. I don’t recall them having their premiers, as corrupt as Campbell and his liberals. I don’t think the other premiers, destroy their own provinces and people, by working for Harper.

  • 15 Scotty on Denman // Nov 24, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    The nature of the Occupy movement is evolutionary, there are perfectly understandable reasons for the variety of its tactics, and it has, to no one’s surprise, a shelf-life. MSM, however, have done their utmost to characterize it as being meaningless, mindless and underpinned by illegitimate street urchins.

    Differences between the various Occupy movements are can be attributed to a number of things: the US population is tenfold ours, their social crisis is much deeper and, in many places, the weather is warmer, at least for a longer season than ours. No wonder their movement is bigger, more dedicated and more enduring. In essence the movements are the same: a protest against corporate greed corrupting our governments, beggaring the people and destroying the environment. They differ only by degree.

    Remarkable is that the movement evolved from stereotypical, placard-waving protesters and picketers to including ordinary middle-class people and the socially disenfranchised. Together they demand fundamental and exceedingly complex changes which will be resisted by moneyed interests that profit from the status quo, so nobody really expects to have these demands met by holding their collective breath until they all turn blue. The occupations have a logical shelf-life. Eventually what is important is not how long the tent cities persist but what is the next move to keep the essence alive: recurring occupations, increasing resort to main force, focused political activism, or some other strategy.

    It is an inevitability of this evolution that an increasing proportion of Occupiers would be homeless people. After having made their points, after having complied with health and safety authority to extend the duration of the occupation, and after having (mostly) packed up peacefully, the bulk of the middle-class component has returned to their homes and jobs. The remainder may have been allowed to persist long enough for MSM to characterize the entire movement as depraved and illegitimate. But even if the homeless hangers-on try to cover their destitution behind the mantle of a noble cause, they never were illegitimate. Rather, they represent what will befall many of us if wealth disparity, social tumult and environmental destruction continue.

    There, but for the grace of God, go we.

    When I see these poor people at the Occupation sites, I’m reminded of the infamous tombstone epitaph common during the Black Death: What you are I once was; what I am you will be.

  • 16 Colin // Nov 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Well said Harvey. I spent the first half of my working life as an employee and the second half as an employer… It still amazes me that people can wander about completely unpresentable and wonder why they can’t seem to find work.

    It’s a free country and they can choose to present themselves any way they like, however that same freedom extends to employers who can choose who they hire. Most of the people who camped at the art gallery could find work, if they were seriously interested in doing so.

  • 17 Diverdarren // Nov 25, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Jefferson once said, “a little rebellion now and then is a goo thing.” I think this holds true for the occupy movement.

    Although the occupy people are well organized (coordinated camp-ins in multiple cities across North America, no small feat.) It is poorly led, with no focus. Who can name the hero’s who spearhead the rebellion? and without leadership there is no goal. Without a goal how do you know when you have won.

    You “support the US Occupy movement and demands for a better, fairer and more equal society” but even that’s to vague. It’s nice sentiment everyone can support but the West already enjoys the best, most fair and equal society ever. The occupiers want to improve on this by destroying what has already been built, and rebuilding. That’s foolish and wasteful of what we have accomplished.

    The machinery to change society is built into our society, all you need to do is engage in the system. Anyone that says you can’t change the system take a look at the work the Tea Party has done in the US.

  • 18 A Dave // Nov 25, 2011 at 4:34 am

    Harvey, you say in Canada the tenters “ARE poor or homeless and unemployed. But I believe many of them have problems well beyond the economy.”

    But then you say, “those tenting out (in the US) literally have no alternatives/programs …unlike Vancouver”.

    So it seems you think the tenters on both sides of the border do (or did) share some similar characteristics, after all.

    But my point was that, regardless of whose tenters are more distressed or worthy to be protesting or have no safety net, the media/officials in the US are painting them the EXACT SAME way ours are painting the tenters here. In the US, they are saying their tenters are not representative of the movement, too (regardless of whether or not the problems there are worse). Doesn’t it give you pause when you parrot the exact same criticisms, but say they only apply to Canada?

    Anyway, as a side note, passing the VAG around noon today, I saw a lone “pulled pork” (oh, the irony) food cart without a single person patronizing it. I guess we can all be glad to see business is booming again, now that the cursed tent city is gone!

    (Response: Geez!!! Just because at the moment YOU passed there wasn’t anyne buying, doesn’t mean the business isn’t successful. Isn’t that kind of a self-centred conclusion? As for the tenters, of course the tenters in the US do include people with social/mental/drug problems too …BUT unlike there are MANY who legitmately had housing and jobs and lost them due to the economic/mortgage crisis. I really don’t think you can honestly contend that’s the case of the majority of the tenters outside the art gallery etc. h.o)

  • 19 A Dave // Nov 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Flogging a dead horse here, but again, regardless of which countries’ protest is more legitimate, the same types of critical headlines and opinion pieces – with the same laundry list of criticisms – were being written/blogged in the US about their tenters to discredit them and swing public opinion against them. (I’m trying to raise a media issue, not validating or denying the movement/protesters).

    What seems lost in this discussion, on both sides of the border, is the great symbolism of the tent cities. In the same way a 1/2 million dollar Bentley is an in-your-face sign of conspicuous consumption, these tents in city centres across the West made the issue unignorable. It will be interesting to see how much MSM press there will be now that the tents are mostly gone.

    And no need to call me “self-centred”, Harvey, it was just an anecdotal observation that I saw a little irony in.

  • 20 Alex // Nov 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I’m slow-clapping the shit out of this article. I’m a major left winger, homeless rights activist and tattooed-being but I could not agree any more with this if I had written it myself. Good work sir.

    (Response: Thanks. Some of my best friends have tattoos. And are left wingers too. LOL! I have no problem with homeless rights demonstrators, when they hold their own protests etc. but just trying to keep it real and don’t think it’s fair when they move in (oops) and take over another group’s protest, drowning out or changing the message. h.o)

  • 21 Jesse D. // Nov 29, 2011 at 12:21 am

    You’re closing sentence regarding bc’s confederation with the dominion of canada resonates with me like the tuning forks on either side of a room. Reading the comments that followed, I noticed a thematic key of each commentary. A lot of people (both here and in my daily life) express dissatisfaction and distrust in our government and civil (or municipal) bodies.

    Our elected officials, across the board AND across the country, are nothing short of corporate rodents and glowing green masses of mucosa. Using that comparison, MR. Harper and the Campbell family in particular come to mind.

    While I’m unsure of where you differentiate federal, provincial and municipal government, I for one, feel alienated by all levels. The province of bc itself, has enough resources to sustain its population generously. We generate an abundance of hydro electricity. Our population center’s are still young and with plenty room to plan future growth.

    All of these luxuries are being sold from under our feet with no one but a few groups of first nations peoples resisting the pillage. From oil fracking, to clear cutting, to farmed fish, to resource transit disasters (such as Victoria’s, Goldstream fuel truck accident, etc), there’s wide scale environmental devastation surrounding more visible than the nature amongst us. If we’re not interested in steady prosperity, let’s stay on the track which were on at present. What we see as revenue, profit, sales, growth, what have you, is truly the loot of our children.

    Consider the possibility of taking our security, sustainability, safety and prosperity into our own control. Through which I mean independence from the commonwealth and from canada. The idea of bc’s seperation from canada is completely new to me but it’s one of which I am investing much thought into. Bc is neither british nor is it columbian. Just reading the comments above, it’s just “bc” to most of the commentators.

    The Republic of Cascadia is an idea thats not without support. There are already people in bc, Washington and Orgeon who support the movement.

    Check out the below links for more info:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascadia_%28independence_movement%29
    http://zapatopi.net/cascadia/

    (Response; The idea of separation has come up before…but never generated enough interest or support. And don’t forget, BC’s population has changed much over the past 20 years, for economic reasons and maybe deliberately by Ottawa for political reasons, so there is even less chance than ever that a majority to support separatism could be motivated. h.o)

  • 22 A Dave // Nov 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    First of all, Harvey, let me say I think your idea of weekly protests, at the same place and time, has definite merit. #OV is back doing nightly general assemblies at 7pm at VAG, which is all good, but they should have one day a week for a more public orientated rally as you suggest, perhaps with high-profile speakers, or something family friendly, in order to help win back public support and create a more inviting environment for regular folks to participate in.

    But here I go again, questioning you for parroting the line that you have heard over and over in the news, but probably not witnessed first hand: “I condemned what I saw as the illegitimate seizure of the Occupy site by anarchists, homeless activists and partiers…”

    Please tell us when you saw anarchists at VAG? How did they “seize” occupy? You report it as fact, but give no proof.

    Please read the link to Wolf’s article posted by Mariner. It aligns with what I was commenting about here last week – the coordinated PR campaign undertaken against #occupy by city officials and police departments across the continent. The same negative media message repeated EVERYWHERE, Canada and USA.

    “the Mayor of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on “how to suppress” Occupy protests.”

    As I said last week, our own City officials admitted to being privy to these ongoing continental discussions since October 15th.

    “Journalist Chris Hayes reported on a leaked memo that revealed lobbyists vying for an $850,000 contract to smear Occupy. Message coordination of this kind is impossible without a full-court press at the top. This was clearly not simply a case of a freaked-out mayors’, city-by-city municipal overreaction against mess in the parks and cranky campers. As the puzzle pieces fit together, they began to show coordination against OWS at the highest national levels.”

    You want to turn the public against the movement? Poof! Police departments issue press releases: “Anarchists Seen at Tent City”. Funny thing is, the press releases all went out across the continent the same week. Lord knows how the public fears and detests anarchists!

    And yet, for those of us who went and looked, we saw no evidence of a “seizure” by anarchists. We saw activists, tents, communal kitchen and library, general assemblies, yoga, music, protest signs. We saw a peaceful assembly. We saw homeless people being fed.

    Your blog often condemns the laziness and compliance of the media, the lack of follow-up questioning, the absence of any real digging, and the regurgitation of PAB releases as “news”, without any balance or perspective given.

    Now we see a whole continent of reporters and pundits acting “on message”, discrediting a visible group and unquestioningly acting in unison to turn public opinion against them.

    Tell me, where we have heard of this happening before…?

    (Response: Well, certainly since I retired I do not go around personally to news events, conventions, press conferences, protests, marches etc etc to get my first hand conclusion of what’s going on. But nor do I reach my conclusions based on a single article or story or station or newspaper or blog or anything else. Like most of us who observe the world, and form opinions and conclusions, I get impressions from several sources of media. And what I’ve written is my overall conclusion after what I observed. Don’t blame the media when a reporter is standing there, doing his or her job, doing a story and protestors try to interupt, interfere and shout them down while of course expecting for themselves the very right of free speech they are denying others. Those are anarchists. I also observed that many of those trying to get on camera and condemn their lack of jobs and opportunity look like no one I would ever hire to work in a store or cmpany if I had one. Yes I defend their right to pierce and tattoo every part of their bodies …but for every action , they should know …especiallly in business and employment, like science, there is usually an equal and opposite reaction. THEY are no more part of the the 99% I believe in than are the wealthy corporate excessive exploiters. h.o)