Tuesday 13 December 2011

Occupy Ottawa comes to Perth's O'Reilly's Pub

Responding to the Occupy Ottawa protest in Confederation Park cost the city about $39,000, staff say. The city's emergency and protective services...


The cost to repair a park after Occupy Toronto could reach $60,000. Said 1 protestor: “I think they got our message about wasteful spending”

Joe Cowen

I was surprised to hear the OCCUPY Ottawa was coming to Perth.

We are a small town of 6,000. Well, I say 'we', I don't live in town, but Greater Perth, Lanark County, is about 18,000. Many of us travel into the big town to shop, eat, or go to the various entertainment venues.

One of my regular pubs, O'Reilly's, was the location for this event. They are big supporters of local musicians.

From the event's facilitator, and Occupy Ottawa activist, Joe Cowen, we heard from an articulate number of young people. Joe is from Perth, and is concerned about the corporate media’s negative portrayal of the Occupy movement.

Point of order
Well-spoken, he made a number of great points, and explained the rules of engagement, hand signals perhaps better meant for a deaf community gathering, and I have attended a few. I love to clap, laugh, and express myself aloud –but that's just me!

"Mike check", doesn't mean check out the dude beside you... it means, am I talking loudly enough, as in microphone. You can learn something new every day!

The pub was full, as you can see. Staff were run off their feet fetching coffee and water. Some were eating, but not many.
'Twas a full pub! 
There was much talk about the Occupy Ottawa group who welcomed the homeless, those with addictions, and those abusing alcohol, into their camp. The group organised and found some resources to help these people.

Lots of agreement here!
Although, Ottawa has had a strong history of assisting those on the street, from homeless shelters, to emergency housing (e.g., Shepherds of Good HopeThe Ottawa MissionThe Elizabeth Fry Society, to name a few),  Occupy Ottawa members spoke of their work helping the poor and homeless .

Charlotte spoke eloquently about herself,
and her activist family.

About Obert Madondo

Founder and editor of the Canadian Progressive World (CPW) blog. Canadian Blogger. Editor. Writer. Social/political activist. Zimbabwe-born. Ottawa-based. Progressive. Global citizen. Globally-conscious. Survivor. Anti-status quo. Unapologetic.

The Guardian
  1. The Occupy movement: how did we get here?

    There was a time at the start of all this where it seemed the protesters’ concern was simple: they were demonstrating against aspects of the capitalist system.
    Many of those who sympathized with the movement were on board because of what happened as a result of the 2008 financial collapse.
    They felt a few investors brought about the crisis by playing fast and loose with rules in order to make a few extra bucks. 


Red said...

Whether the occupy movement gets off the ground now or not, we're still going to have face up to the same issues sooner or later. Later may not be as easy or peaceful. Sorry to be dark about this.

Jenn Jilks said...

Thing is, while the rich are richer than the poor, the rich still are investing capital in projects that employ the unemployed. And those of us in the middle still pay our taxes, send money to food banks, and help those who are helpless. These healthy young people, one of whom is the son of middle class parents, is fully able to help contribute to society rather than to bash it! Capitalism works better than communism. And a democracy works better than the alternatives. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, Red. We tried communes, and communism. They're too young to remember it!

emilly said...

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Jenn Jilks said...

Thing is, Red, the issues are different in Canada than the US.
Occupy doesn't get that difference.

For example healthcare and poverty. The poor have healthcare and services are paid for in Canada.

The very rich in Canada are taxed differently in Canada.

The state, in Canada, has many more things in place. Teachers are more highly paid in Canada and we don't have rich school/poor schools (like the US and CHINA!).

This 'meeting' was very telling as they had no ideas, except to destroy capitalism. And then what? We are a democracy. We elect officials, we do not have a dictatorship, although there are some who may dispute this! With Harper's majority (meaning 40% of the vote count) he doesn't seem to demonstrate any cooperation with the other 60% who did NOT vote for him!

Bastou said...

Yes, there are differences between the US and Canada. Yes, things are a bit better in Canada than in the US. However, the Occupy movement is global because the problems are global. Trans-national corporations are ruling this world! Not Harper or Obama! We need to realise and fix that problem. No matter who gets elected in the US or Canada right now, this is not going to change anything. And the reason is because we have a dictatorship of companies that don't get elected and are not held responsible for what is called externalities to what they make. This is without even talking about the financial system, or capitalism!...
Please watch the movies Money as Debt and The Corporation.
Thank you.

Chris - Ottawa, ON said...

I would say the sense I get is Occupy Ottawa is concerned about our democracy. They are looking to get people more engaged in our communities and discuss the issues and voice their opinions more. This event, I would say was a success just on this basis.

Many of us are also concerned that our elected officials are not listening to the people. Farmers out west voted to keep the Wheat Board, the Conservatives voted to get rid of it. Their is concern that has been expressed, the safer communities Bill C-10 (Crime Bill) will actually begin to increase Crime statistics that have been falling for years. I personally am apalled by this government's response in Atawapiskat, people are freezing to death and they send an accountant to the community...

I personally was impressed to see a great turn out and such lively dialogue! If you weren't there I would encourage you to check out the video - http://vimeo.com/34199093

Keep the conversation going, it's one of the healthiest things we can do as Canadians to keep our culture vibrant!


Jenn Jilks said...

Bastou, I don't understand 'we have a dictatorship of companies that don't get elected'
We live in a capitalistic democracy.
The alternative is not pretty. Dictatorship? Communism? They didn't work either.
Chris: more people need to get out and vote. The loss of Jack Layton was terrible. We need a leader who listens, and this one is not. Perhaps more of our young people need to get out and vote.

Chris - Ottawa, ON said...

Jenn : We need to get engaged the way some people in your community did that afternoon in Perth. Start as you did to get out and begin a discussion, figure out what we can do to improve our communities and our country ourselves and then understand how the government could do a better job and let them know!

Jenn Jilks said...

Chris, you sound like you think I ought to be born again!
There was little engagement, and much lecturing. Young people without money telling us where those with money should put it!
Not gonna work!

I put my mouth where my money is. I volunteer. I am a locavore. I do not tell those with money where to put it. I cannot tell people in my community what to do. I can only model. I've seen what happens when communists run the country. Absolute power corrupts. Read the hitory books.
We need to inspire those with money to put some of it back into the world. Simple as that. Not by sitting in a park and leaving behind garbage.

Bastou said...

Jenn, I don't believe we live in a true democracy at all at the national and/or global level. It would take to long to explain my point fully, but take the GDP for example. This is what measures the economic growth, and what all leaders of this system think should keep positive at all times. Now, do you find it morally just and normal that things like folks getting sick is good for the GDP, folks ending up in jail is good for the GDP? Does that represent our values?
I really want to give a couple of links, because I deeply believe that we are maintained in ignorance intentionally! I hope you check them out and/or publish them...

Bastou said...

Jennifer, just another couple of things...
You mentioned communism a couple of times. So I guess this is one of your concerns with the Occupy movement. Well, I am NOT a communist and I would think that communism is a very small minority in the movement. The main reason being that it is also based on economic growth as a model. Just a different way to get there.
In general, I believe that, as a society, as a species, to succeed in the long term, we need to focus on what we agree on rather that what we disagree on. You mentioned being a locavore! Well, I grow most of my vegetables, and buy the rest of my food from local farmers. Yes, even in the winter. I also support local businesses. I run my own actually. I believe that even the very conservatives in this area would agree with me on that!
Why don't you join us on Sunday for the General Assembly. You would get a chance to express yourself! :)

Jenn Jilks said...

Bastou/Sébastien Bacharach, I don't understand the difference between a fake and a true democracy. There isn't a continuum!
Either we have a democracy, with freedom, with society governed by elected people, or we have a communistic society based on common ownership ruled by a governing class.
Either the government control production and distribution of goods and services (and we know how that works out: China, Cuba, USSR) where resources are shared but corruption reigns supreme. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Or, we have a democracy where there is private ownership, capitalism, and taxation.
I have yet to see a new vision that Occupy has for running Canada. The middle 80% seem to be doing well. We are the ones who pay for social services, and infrastructure. The 1% are not truly thus, they are the 0.5%, and they are vastly different that the 0.5% in the US.

Re: Attiwapiskat
The band was run locally, as Native People demand. The band had absolute corruption, as evidenced by the money dedicated to one new home a year not resulting in a new home. They have had economic issues for years, despite federal tax dollars. Living in the north wasn't sustainable even in a previous era. Bands moved with the seasons. In this day and age food, clothing and shelter are not accessed without much money. Groceries are dear, and trucking only available when winter snow roads open up.

Bastou said...

I am glad to know that you think we are doing well. That 80% is doing well, not in debt and working long hours to pay that off. That the country is not in debt. That the environment is doing great. That we have plenty of resources to keep growing our economies indefinitely.
I will leave it at that then, wishing you all the best. I will myself keep on trying to educate myself and others. At least for the future generations, who may not do as well as we are now...

Jenn Jilks said...

I'm angry that you purport to understand my beliefs, Bastou/Sébastien, and misinterpret them.

Your angry comments do not sit well with me.
Sarcasm has no pace in discourse.
I was trying to put this into perspective.
To have those in Ottawa occupy a park is, to me, ridiculous.
Compare Canada's debt with that of Greece.
Compare Canada's income and GDP with that of other countries.
Compare Ottawa's homeless with that of underdeveloped countries, e.g., Haiti, where you wife has volunteered. We have infrastructure, which our taxes pay for and agencies to help meet the needs of our homeless. I have been educating my students about the travesty of the environment for many years.
My son-in-law ran for the Green party.

Our economy continues to grow. Yes, many in the middle have debt loads, much of it self-inflicted: high mortgages, fancy cars, but most of us slog to work every day, pay our taxes, and do our civic duty.

There will always be those with and those without.
Those of us in the middle, who donate our time, money and energy, resent being told that Canada needs occupation. We resent our tax dollars being used for park clean ups.
I AM educated, I do my research and I do not like your condescending sarcasm.

Bastou said...

Jenn, I am sincerely sorry to see that you are angry with the way our conversation is going. I realize that in my last statement I did make assumptions on what you think. I apologize for that! I should have read my message a couple more times and should have realized that this was not a constructive way to continue the conversation. I now feel very sad and awkward knowing where we're at now!… Also, as you may know, my wife practices and teaches Non Violent Communication and I also try to practice that in my life as much as possible. Our conversation shows me that I still have a long way to go! :(
I see that you are involved in our community and trying to educate people and future generations about the environment. I understand that as a citizen you are trying to do your best and that spending tax money on cleaning up a park makes you angry and sad. I also understand from you that Canada, compared to other places in the world, is doing much better. Am I understanding you correctly?
It sounds like we actually have a lot in common and this is also why I am saddened by the way our conversation evolved. My intention for the occupy movement is really to be able to have tough conversations with people with different views and beliefs (political, spiritual, cultural…) and find common ground. My hope is for our species to show that we can use our gift of thought and make it through this. This is how I view the 99%. The idea that 99% of humans could think outside the box, and find a way for all of us to live in dignity…
I hope I did not create an enemy in my community as this is exactly the opposite of what I am trying to do! My humble apologies again for the previous comment!