‘Occupy’ is just another squat

Let's be clear about B.C. squats. They are explicitly anti-capitalist, rooted in Marxism and illegal.

Occupy Victoria camp: signs warning against 'chemtrails' and smart meters are a sideshow. The consistent message is a demand to dismantle capitalism and nationalize banks.

Occupy Victoria camp: signs warning against 'chemtrails' and smart meters are a sideshow. The consistent message is a demand to dismantle capitalism and nationalize banks.

VICTORIA – A full three weeks after the Occupy Wall Street protest camp sprang up in New York City, a few stragglers announced they were almost ready to “Occupy Maple Ridge” and “Occupy Revelstoke.”

Perhaps other pathetic protests are still being dreamed up around B.C. But most have already packed up, and in places such as Prince George, these anti-capitalist rallies never led to an illegal squat.

Let’s be clear about our squats, the ones in Canada and particularly B.C. They are explicitly anti-capitalist and statist in their message, which is presumably why they were funded by government unions.

Despite the free food, power and porta-potties, these squats quickly became filthy and dangerous as the chronic street drug population replaced the spoiled young drummers and hula-hoopers who camped out to curse corporations on their iPhones.

And yes, squats are still illegal here, following a unanimous October decision of the B.C. Court of Appeal against David Arthur Johnston.

This pretend-homeless guy’s antics are at the root of the latest squatter outbreak. Victoria and its courts caved in to Johnston and allowed camping on public property at night. But he demanded 24-hour squatting rights, because some supposedly homeless people are supposedly insomniacs too. Turns out there were plenty of shelter beds on which to snooze away the day or night, and his vague claim of a constitutional right to camp on public property was summarily dismissed.

I had a brief exchange with an Occupy Vancouver “organizer,” one Min Reyes, as she tried to rouse the reluctant radicals of Maple Ridge. Reyes defines herself in her Twitter profile as “Flirting with Anarchism while making love to Socialism,” which sums up B.C.’s occupy movement as well as anything.

“My personal approach to the analysis of society relies on Marx’s historical materialism,” Reyes writes on her blog. After majoring in Marxism at SFU, she moved on to BCIT’s journalism program, but dropped out after a couple of weeks because her studies “compromised my personal values.” Turns out BCIT is all about “skills” to get a “job.” Bummer.

A glimpse of these “values” was on display when a reporter from CKNW radio tried to cover a heroin overdose at Occupy Vancouver. She was shouted down and accused of shaping the news to benefit “Coke and McDonalds.”

At Occupy Victoria, which I visited a few times before it descended into another needle park, signs warned against “chem trails,” smart meters and corporations. Campers were urged to “nationalize finance, energy and food” industries. Five-year plan for tractor production, anyone?

Nationalizing banks is also at the top of Occupy Vancouver’s long, pretentious list of demands.

Why is this stale leftist ideology so pervasive? Here’s a hint. The union representing these kids’ teachers is demanding higher corporate taxes to pay for their typically self-serving, financially illiterate contract demands.

Here in Victoria, as in Vancouver, the huge growth in shelter, food, clothing and transition housing service doesn’t impress the hardcore system users. Victoria’s mayor built his reputation with years of street outreach work, but he’s still targeted for the ugliest treatment, including vandalism at his family home.

Victoria council even kowtowed by voting to “support” the squat next to city hall, where Johnston used to camp. Then they cut off the power and water, which had been commandeered rather than set up by city staff at taxpayers’ expense, as was the case in Vancouver.

In B.C.’s most “progressive” cities, we’re getting used to encountering public areas fouled by vomit, feces and used needles.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com

Just Posted

The Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be closed from June 28 until September 13 for annual facility maintenance as well as teach pool and decking repairs. (Black Press photo)
Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre closed: June 28 – September 13

The aquatic centre will be closed for annual facility maintenance

Shoes are being left at the viewpoint on Haisla Blvd in response to the 215 bodies discovered at the Kamloops Residential School. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Haisla Nation responds to 215 Indigenous children found buried at the site of Kamloops Indian Residential School

“Many Haisla children were sent far away, to places such as Port Alberni, and to Coqualeetza”

Susan Jay hosted a plant and garage sale on May 25 and donated all of her proceeds to the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation to help with the purchase of a new bus for residents at Mountain View Lodge, Delta King and the new Kitimat Valley Housing Society dementia home. (Barbara Campbell photo)
KGHF thanks Susan Jay for her help to purchase a new bus for seniors in multi-level care

Susan donated all proceeds to KGHF, her efforts netted the hospital foundation a total of $1,760

An example of what a mural would look like on the back wall on Ron’s Bait and Tackle Store which faces the courtyard and sidewall. The mural photos shown here are mock-ups of existing artwork on walls of interest in the downtown core to build anticipation within the community about the concept of murals. The KPAA will not necessarily be using these locations or this artwork for the actual murals. (KPAA photo)
Kitimat Public Art Alliance mural funding request denied

D’Andrea suggested she will come back to the council at a later date with a more concrete plan

L-R: Vanessa Couto, Montana Murray, Connor Best, Dawn Best, Natalia Lopez, Thomas Walton, and Charlotte Collier partaking in the clean-up Kitimat campaign on May 28. (Katie Peacock photo)
Kitimat’s MStar Hotel brings out staff’s competitive clean-up side

The hotel staff circulated the Big Spruce Trailhead and picked up as much garbage as they could

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Most Read