Say What?

Folks, I’m scared.

I’ve unwittingly stumbled onto something about Occupy Vancouver that may just be the most important story about this movement yet.  If you read my article Titled Yellow Card you’ll know the story. Harsha Walia is the person who injected the term “Uunceded coast salish territory” into our statement of unity- possibly the most divisive issue ever to hit the OV.

Will follow-up more soon but, for now, please have a look at this video. If you have any information that can help me with this, I’d appreciate if you could share.  There are still a few missing puzzle pieces missing.  If you have any information that you think may be helpful, please let me know.

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A Media Tip From the CBC

I ran over to the VAG on Monday afternoon, ran to the bus about 5 minutes after I saw the video from Sunday night’s kerfuffle over a certain ‘sacred’ fire- more about that on my next post…

Ian Hanomansing was there interviewing people for the CBC’s evening news show ‘The National’. He spent some time talking with us after the camera was turned off, and shared a bit of useful advice.

He talked about the Robert Dziekański incident- a situation where the RCMP tazed a Polish immigrant for the crime of not speaking English. When interviewed, before it was known there was a video tape available, the officers fed the press with a lot of BS. Once the video came out, it was obvious they were lying.

His advice was that the press judge people’s integrity by the gap between what they say about the incident, and what the video shows actually occurred. Good advice, and a very sly way of saying GOTCHA to the people he interviewed!

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Eye of the Hurricane

I’ve been taking late night visits to Occupy Vancouver 1.0’s camp at the Vancouver Art Gallery(VAG). People have more time to talk at night, so it is a good time to get into more substantial conversations.

Each time I go to the VAG I find something to be different- and today was no exception. Most of the tarps have been removed, a second dome is finished, the fire was not burning. and the demographics have changed beyond recognition.

There was an addict that came to the medical tent while I was speaking with one of the volunteers there. He came for some latex gloves- promised he was walking around the corner, with a buddy, to go shoot up. So, still enabling, but at least they aren’t alone in a tent…

The quiet reminded me of being in the eye of a hurricane- a short reprieve before the next stage of the storm arrives. If only people at the camp could have got their act together before it was too late.

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YELLOW CARD: Undemocratic Behaviour?

A serious problem has been resonating in my head since yesterday. I’ve tried to ignore, but it is affecting my ability to sleep…

First, a disclaimer. I have nothing but respect for the people I’m about to criticise – agreeing to facilitate this meeting was a heroic act.

We began our meeting with the agreement we would stick to logistics and planning- not policy.

I was in awe how well we kept to this decision (a major achievement!) Then, right at the finish line, we were led astray with a potentially divisive policy decision – to acknowledge we were standing on land that does not belong to us.

I have some strong views on this issue. It’s my opinion that humanity will never achieve peace until we stop blaming and holding each other liable for the misdeeds of our great grandfather’s. So, it is time to stop blaming each other and to find a way to move on…

I never thought I’d speak in this context- but, I’m left feeling I’ve been oppressed. I’m not angry, only concerned we may have failed here.

The question was thrown at us without warning, there was no opportunity to debate, and I was afraid to speak out- without time to explain my position, I feared being labelled a racist, or that people would mispercieve my intentions.

I’m curious to hear other people’s perception about this incident. Am I over reacting? Did others see the same? If so, how do we avoid such situations in the future?


(Posted on Occupy Vancouver Facebook page on October 9)

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Activists & Buggy Whips

After spending time watching their antics, defense of violence and other criminal activity, racial/gender based hate, and level of immaturity- spending time amongst ‘professional protesters’ has made one thing clear to me. Many in this community could be dangerous to our cause.

I’ve heard leaders of this community complain that we are not more ‘grateful’ for what they have done; they’ve referred to newcomers as ‘Mactivists’, complained about all of the ‘Yuppies’ joining the cause. They have been actively excluding the masses, responding to public postings on private forums- keeping themselves far from the masses. There is a feeling of exclusivity, of being better than others.

It has taken 6 days of, painful, conversations to people in this crowd to stand-down on the issue of property destruction- and there is great resistance to using the word ‘denounce’ in reference to violence. Rather than listen and discuss logically, many of us have been subjected to abusive language, and race/gender based hate.

I beg of you all to stop for a moment and realize that (to use the words of one of your own) you are about to “typically lefty fuck this up”. This protest is about ALL of the people, not select few- and, regardless of how long you have been fighting, there is no special privilege here.

This is a movement of the people- not of the professional activists. You all need to drop the baggage you’ve been carrying, and quit pushing antiquated ideologies . The world has changed since the 60’s, now it is time for the protestors to change with it.

Tomorrow I will attend, and will push that we hold a resolution to DENOUNCE violence of all types- physical, verbal & property damage. The 99% despise this behavior, and will not tolerate such things- and cannot be held back by a small percentage of the population….

(Posted on Occupy Vancouver’s Facebook page on October 15th)

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