Monday, November 7, 2011

People's Assembly of Victoria (Occupy Victoria) stays open

by Joan Russow

As one enters the People's Assembly (OccupyVictoria), there is a message written on at tent; declaring “War is Expensive, Peace is Priceless”. The supposed reason for closing down OccupyVictoria is to decorate the large redwood Christmas tree which has been cordoned off from the area of Occupy Victoria.. Ironically the usual Christmas slogan- “let there be peace on Earth, seems to be lost on the officials.

At high noon, the police had been instructed to close down Occupy Victoria. Just before noon  a few hundred people formed a circle and waited. Many were prepared to be arrested  and were given instructions about their rights.  Suddenly  there was an announcement that OccupyVictoria would not be closed  down today. I was told by one of the policemen in the area that there was to be reprieve for today. I asked him about tomorrow and he said he only follows orders- presumably from Council.

Will the Police cowardly slip in and close it down out of the view of the media and other citizens?

It appears in New York and Oakland the Occupied areas can stay open because  the officials recognize the Constitutional rights of citizens whereas, in Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not appear to guarantee such rights.

Those opposed to the Occupy movement in Canada often cite the cost.but ignore the 35 billion cost of F 35 striker jets and 33 billion cost new vessels.

Today on CBC there was a discussion about closing down the Occupations.  Tom Flannigan a Harper cohort , stated they should have been removed long ago. He claimed freedom of speech does not include what he describes as  assembly. Judy asylcia – Leis, former, NDP cabinet Minister, said it was important to try to understand the movement  and if there was no danger to the public ….we should learn from the movement.

Chris Hall, the national affairs editor for CBC News, opined that the Occupiers message is scattered. Their message is being lost as time passes.

I think that there is a clear message from the occupied movement that everything is just wrong  which is a powerful message. The message is almost reminiscent of the Network film: “I am as mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore”

I attempted to compile 95 items that I believe are just wrong and that must end – and there would be many more than 95. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION  about  People's assembly of Victoria  go to

photos by Janine Bandcroft available here.