The sign above bears a quote from philosopher Bertrand Russell: “Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principle of liberty, which can be embodied in one maxim, “the fortunate must not be restrained in their tyranny over the unfortunate”.”
Occupy Vancouver had a promising start on a warm, beautiful fall day. More than 5000 people came out, making it the largest Occupy gathering in Canada (or so we were told). The mood was peaceful but determined.
On Day 1 of Occupy Vancouver there was only brief mention that the Occupy movement actually began here. For those who don’t know, Occupy Wall Street was initiated by a twitter hashtag proposed by Adbusters magazine—#OccupyWallStreet—followed with the magazine’s now legendary poster of a serene ballerina on Wall Street’s bull market brass bull. The dancer is surrounded by runners in gas masks, and above her floats the question “What is our one demand?” The hashtag was almost certainly the spark that moved protestors to Zucotti Park.
Adbusters is a 22-year-old Vancouver publication. Greenpeace was also invented in Vancouver, which begs the question whether our main export, after raw logs of course, is resistance. The Vancouver Sun just ran another story on the Occupy movement’s Vancouver origin.
See pre-protest statements from Mayor of Vancouver (nervous after the recent hockey riot, though needlessly) and from the leader of the provincial opposition party, and some commentary from Rabble.ca. To read more about Occupy Wall Street, see the previous post which contains useful links. The full set of photos is here. The photo below was shot by Vancouver reporter Jennifer Palma from a hotel across the street.
Above, Donald Sutherland at Occupy Vancouver. Photo by Jazmin Miranda Photography. Click on photo for more info, and there’s another shot of him here.
Above is an archival Vancouver photo courtesty of a friend. “Before the days of internet and facebook, this is how social movements in Vancouver invited the broader public to meetings in the 1930’s…”
Below is my Uncle Bob, who (to my amazement) was first on the speaker list. I had no idea he was planning to do this. And he was brilliant! See his speech here (shaky picture, sorry).
“DON’T LET THEM TELL YOU IT CAN’T BE DONE”
Update – final thought by Sean Orr at Scout Magazine:
“And speaking of City Caucus, it – like The Province – is concerned that Occupy Vancouver has cost the city more than $500,000 since it began last Saturday. While they conveniently don’t mention oh, say the cost of each Canucks Game/UFC fight/Fireworks, the real irony is that, as free-market fundamentalists they’re the ones who write off expenditures like social and environmental costs as externalities. If there was any sense to things, this protest would be marked in black ink and not red. Instead, because the Occupy campers aren’t “moving units” that contribute to the economy, they are an inefficiency. You know, like childbirth.”