Occupy rationale hard to fathom

Ah, the first significant snow fall of the season – about 10 centimetres, covers my lawn!

Ah, the first significant snow fall of the season – about 10 centimetres, covers my lawn! I’ll decide tonight whether it’s a shovel or snow blower job, but I’m wondering if I could encourage an Occupy Raley group to camp in my driveway and clean it for me?

I have been observing the various Occupy movements, such as they are, across Canada and elsewhere  – obviously from a distance of about eight feet from my wide-screen TV – but I still haven’t really been able to find a truly identifiable, sensible rationale for what it’s really all about and what these insistent occupiers hope to accomplish.

While the movement began on Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park, like anything trendy among younger people it quickly spread to some 900 cities around the world.

It all started in September – and that was fine, in nice fall weather in many places with gullible and slow-news-day media dragging mikes and cameras along for meaningful interviews.

Now, I know what the new revolutionaries were after in Syria, Egypt and Libya – and I think I can even understand some of the motivating elements involved on Wall Street (the indignity of demonstrable profligate corporate greed).

But, I have to admit the grubby camp-out at the Vancouver Art Gallery mud hole has me baffled – over and above the fact that some of the groupings of peculiar people, who  always seem to be sitting on the steps there, decided to bring a picnic, sleeping bags and tents to make it home for a while.

I know they claim they are representing me because I reckon I am one of the 99 per cent who are not among the richest people of the world.

But I wish they’d asked me if I wanted to be ‘helped” to equality by noisy, bongo-playing, Vendetta-masked kids and left-over 70s hippies I don’t know.

I don’t want to be represented by people posting signs advising how to deal with “shooting up safely” – yes, I know they are not all drug addicts and many believe in whatever it is that they think they’re doing.

Truth-to-tell,  if you don’t focus on determining some serious objective, it’s always more intriguing to observe how city officials in various places deal with the Occupy-Wherever groups.

Vancouver, as usual, can’t seem make up its mind – and right now, it looks like political correctness has again intervened, along with lawyers – an awful combination.

Mayor Gregor Robertson and police chief Jim Chu still appear bewildered by the camp-out antics of what to me appears to be groups of many of the same people who stomped through the city on Stanley Cup final night.

I think both men  would like to see the rear ends of the Occupiers and return to waffling over the problems still  outstanding after the June hockey riots and vandalism.

Meanwhile, the Occupy people’s lawyers are in court until today (November 16) and the fire department is supervising making the campsite more fireproof.

Across North America millions of dollars have been spent on police supervision “overtime” but not a lot has been accomplished.

Again, back in Vancouver one drug related camp death and another drug overdoses incident have created headlines, while flustered officials argue trying to find a process to make the demonstrators go home without directly confronting and evicting them.

A scuffle with police resulted in officers being bitten. In Victoria, one protester took refuge up a tree. A civic worker then removed a bike that had been hauled into the tree, resulting in his reportedly being doused with a container of urine. What has this got to do with democracy, justice or equality?

Doubtless, in some considerably cooler locations such as Winnipeg and Regina, it’s a lot more likely the weather conditions will accomplish what police and municipal politicians have been unable to do.

In Toronto, tentative declarations by mayor Rob Ford that the lengthy protests should be ended have been qualified by the Anglican Church, part owner, with the city, of the park which is being occupied. The church which states it does not support forcible removal.

It hasn’t been all one-way – some of those being attacked by demonstrators have reacted. In New York, Wall Street billionaire John Paulson has claimed the one per cent pays 40 per cent of the city’s tax bills and another wealth-generator has claimed he provides a lot of jobs, and wants to know how many jobs the occupiers had generated.

You Tube shows some amused Wall Street workers on a balcony, toasting the protestors below with champagne.

One just knows this can’t end well in all locations – and my betting is we’ll see some other examples of what will inevitably be called “police violence” as the officers are forced to do the in in the absence of more sensible solutions.

 

 

 

 

ahewitson@telus.net

 

 

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