19 November, 2011

Mayor Peter Kelly Misses his Chance to Demonstrate Leadership with Occupy Halifax

Great article at the Haligonia website by noted Nova Scotian author and journalist, Silver Donald Cameron. He says Mayor Peter Kelly missed the chance to demonstrate leadership when he evicted the Halifax Occupy camp on Remembrance Day after they had relocated willingly from the downtown Parade Square to facilitate the veterans' ceremony. (He chose to send in police and make arrests rather than speak to, learn from, and cooperate with the youthful protesters.)

I absolutely agree.

How many other mayors across North America could benefit form this sound advice? Are you listening mayors of Vancouver, Toronto, Oakland, Portland, New York? It's almost too late to choose your place on the right side of history. If you doubt the wisdom of this look at the numbers of people taking part in November 17th's Day of Action. I was watching livestream of the New York City protests all day on a few channels. There were 40,000 watching on two channels and over 500,000 unique viewers on one channel alone. They are all voters now, even if they weren't before. I can almost guarantee it.

Read the article Mayor Kelly Muffs his Moment: at haligonia.ca.

14 November, 2011

Makana Protest Song "We are the Many Not the Few"

Finally a great protest song, performed as a surprise for the delegates at an APEC dinner, in Hawaii on the weekend.  Way to go, Makana! 

This is a video of the song.


10 November, 2011

Writers Support Occupy

At the Halifax Occupy Camp at the Grand Parade site-- copyright R.J.O 2011

 by Francine Prose at occupywriters.com:

As far as I can understand it myself, here’s why I burst into tears at the Occupy Wall Street camp. I was moved, first of all, by what everyone notices first: the variety of people involved, the range of ages, races, classes, colors, cultures. In other words, the 99 per cent. I saw conversations taking place between people and groups of people whom I’ve never seen talking with such openness and sympathy in all the years (which is to say, my entire life) I’ve spent in New York: grannies talking to goths, a biker with piercings and tattoos talking to a woman in a Hermes scarf. I was struck by how well-organized everything was, and, despite the charge of “vagueness” one keeps reading in the mainstream media, by the clarity—clarity of purpose, clarity of intention, clarity of method, clarity of understanding of the most basic social and economic realities. I kept thinking about how, since this movement started, I’ve been waking up in the morning without the dread (or at least without the total dread) with which I’ve woken every morning for so long, the vertiginous sense that we’re all falling off a cliff and no one (or almost no one) is saying anything about it. In Zuccotti Park I felt a kind of lightening of a weight, a lessening of the awful isolation and powerlessness of knowing we’re being lied to and robbed on a daily basis and that everyone knows it and keeps quiet and endures it; the terror of thinking that my own grandchildren will suffer for whatever has been paralyzing us until just now. I kept feeling these intense surges of emotion—until I saw a placard with a quote from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself: “I am large, I contain multitudes.” And that was when I just lost it and stood there and wept.

She says it better than I could. I have visited the camp in Halifax and taken them cupcakes and a few words of support.  I am well-wishing with all my might, watching what happens and writing letters of support whenever I can. I am dearly hoping for a sea change.

It is so long overdue.

I like these words about the Occupy movement by Judith Butler, Sara Paretsky, and Duncan Murrell, also at occupywriters.com.

There you will find them in the good company of many writers including Alice Walker, Noam Chomsky, and Salman Rushdie.

Halifax Occupy -- copyright R.J.O. 2011