Forget the Past, Look to the Future!

I feel the need to apologize to Mi Jung Lee about this incident. Despite the fact I find most of CTV’s news coverage abhorrent, and I’m sure deep inside she agrees, it was incredibly impolite for this man to treat her this way.

I’ve met the man in the video- he runs a business selling things about the 9/11 ‘conspiracy  ‘. I went up to him one evening on a peacekeeping mission- trying to bridge the gap between the 9/11 conspiracy camp and others who saw them as a negative impact on the the movement. I too was rather effected by what happened on that day, so felt I could fix the disconnect…

If there is one commonality between all the people at  Occupy Vancouver it is that all of us feel so hurt and disillusioned by the system that we were compelled to join the movement. For some, the issue is the racism/sexism/’other-ism ‘ they felt in their lives- others are driven by economic issues and poverty. And, still others are motivated by the feeling an encroaching ‘nanny state’ that is making too many rules- this explains the strong representation of ‘raw milk’ on our first day. For this man, it is the perception the government and media are feeding him  lies about everything.

For me, as a centrist, it is a mix of all-of-the-above. I hate injustice in all of its forms, I see the economy failing miserably, and as an ethicist I  am deeply disturbed by the narratives I hear from the government and media. When we centrists stand out and take a risk to speak about about things- there can be no doubt the world is a mess.

But, if we want to change the world, we can’t stay focused on the past- that only results in our movement treading water. We need to shed our anger and look to the future. Forget about the who, what, why, how, and where: look for solutions to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

So, Mi Jung Lee, on behalf of our movement, I apologize to you. But, I also leave you with a challenge. Use your position inside of the system to make change- don’t accept the lies, and structure your work so that you can stop them. Show us that you can be respected, and it is likely that people will respect you too…

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