Occupy Wall Street

London Occupy Movement

Recently there was an event on income disparity in London ON. I chose not to go for 2 reasons:

  1. I had final exams
  2. I did not see any use in going to listen to people in suits speak on income disparity

Sure the work that is being done to raise awareness on income disparity is awesome. However, I can empathize with the last sentence of the article that I read today talking about the event highlighting income disparity.

The article reads, “Some also carried placard saying the Citizens Panel does not represent them.” Read the rest of the article HERE.

It was a nice event to have presenter’s in their suits and ties talking about income disparity. That is not the only thing I am upset about this event. It is because I saw an entire group of people within this city once supported and praised within the news but as soon as their fired died out and where was the support? That group being the occupy group of protesters (in the beginning anyways). Perhaps events like these are a way to keep that fire alive.

Keep in mind that when we speak of income disparity or social injustices, we must remember the intersection of race, gender, and class. Not just research reports and research findings.

Just as Bridget Todd says, “These attempts to bring race into the conversations taking place at various occupations are integral, as racial injustice and economic injustice go hand in hand.” To not talk about those intersecting factors is to forget about the main causes. Really, we can force all the tax breaks in the world on corporations but nothing will explain away discrimination, racism, etc.

To put it a bit in perspective, there is often a presentation of the example of non-Aboriginal researchers claim to help Aboriginal peoples when they “study” them. I am not saying that this is related to Aboriginal people or Indigenous issues but it is just to equate to another example to sort of put it in perspective. I am not speaking on behalf of the London Occupy Movement but in terms of my own interpretation of it. Perhaps it is ignorant or a bit blind sided. It is like those with the resources are the ones who are the knights in shining armour. If we just continue to talk about people who face social injustices/income disparity without really talking TO THEM then what good is the work that is being done?

At the end of it all, I am excited about the other events that follow this one. Check them out HERE.

My thoughts: Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Canada The (Un)occupy Movments

This post isn’t about what’s wrong with Occupy Wall Street (OWS) or Occupy Canada (OC). This post is about why I think WHY critics don’t think it will last.

I was going to comment on OWS/OC sooner than I thought I could but I thought it would be best that I just wait. It wasn’t that I didn’t know much about it. It’s actually quite simple to understand: the majority of a country’s wealth is being “occupied” by a small amount of persons aka corporations and well, people are fed up.

Well, the majority of the people are fed up. And just who are the majority? When I hear the word “majority,” I think “white” or “non-minority.” And that’s just it, OWS and OC is a, in my opinion, a “white-movement.”

People have been living in poverty for years in Canada. Heck even without access to clean drinking water or without access to properly built schools–that’s right here in Canada! People have even been living in poverty and lack of proper housing in America. Why now? What happened in the last bit that people are revolting… By. The. Majority.

With the Occupy Movements, the same questions are being raised over and over again. Questions like, What do they want? or Why don’t the protesters just go out vote if they want change? or Can this be anything worthwhile? or “Why ‘Occupy Wall Street’?”

There are some good points raised in each of the links I just shared both in question and answer form. The thing that still makes me ponder is, Can this movement really go anywhere? Maybe. I certainly hope it does. For those on OWS, they stuck around since September 17. For Canada, they stuck around for one day or two. Then, for those that had jobs, a family, and a home to tend to, they all went back to “normal” come Monday morning. Can the Occupy Canada movement really gain momentum within its own country? I am not totally convinced. I say this because they haven’t really defined who they are. Look at the civil rights movement: the minority fighting for basic rights. Or the feminist movement: females fighting for basic rights. American Indian Movement: Aboriginals fighting for basic rights. I highlight the words “basic rights” for a reason. That reason being is that the Occupiers are not really fighting for anything but lack of jobs or lack of income or perhaps the “demise of the one-income family.”

When people fight for what they believe to be their own “rights,” there will always be another group that will suffer or be oppressed. So the occupiers, I believe, must ask themselves, which group do they want to oppress or cause to suffer because they want their rights to come to forefront and be recognized? Oh wait, that’s right, this is the very same movement that has caused the further colonization and further lack of recognition of basic rights for minority groups. There is currently only one movement that has changed it’s own name out of respect of Native Americans and that is the (un)occupy movement in New Mexico. So maybe the correct term for this strange group of majority should be the (un)occupiers. The (un)occupiers then must be willing to recognize that their own fight for what they believe to be their own basic rights will further oppress some group or other individuals within their own country.

Another interesting question that I continue to ask myself when I read over articles and look at the pictures: Who are the “(un)occupiers”? They vary. Doctors. Educators. Artists. Nurses. Employed. Unemployed. Educated. Uneducated. There is, in fact, not much any solidarity among the group to begin with: it is just a bunch of white people coming together fighting against other white people. Not much news going on there. I believe that if they really want solidarity then they must be ready to define themselves! Or perhaps the majority aka the white people have committed so much terrible acts of labeling that they are too afraid to apply a label to themselves.

So, in my opinion, in order for this so-called occupy movement to gain any momentum or any wind in the direction they want it to go in they must be willing to recognized that they are continuing to oppress and that they must be willing to apply a label to their own selves in order to create at the very least some true solidarity. By recognizing that they will continue to do the very act that they are fighting against, then their movement might go somewhere. Most certainly, when they are ready to define who they are, instead of being just a bunch of white, educated people coming together then it might make sense as to what is really going on to everyone else out there in the world.

But don’t worry (un)occupiers, I understand what you are fighting for. The only real question the (un)occupiers must ask themselves is, “Do YOU know what YOU are fighting for?”