Occupy Vancouver. You create your own reality.

I am not sure how long this whole Occupy movement has been going on for, but I came across the protestors (and had a chance to chat with them) here in Vancouver only today.

First of all, let me make a disclaimer, I am not FOR, neither AGAINST Occupy. I do, however, support democracy, freedom of speech, choices, and all the good stuff for all people around the Globe.

So, before I started talking to the guys at Occupy Vancouver, I did not have any pre-made decision or judgements about the movement, because I, honestly, had no idea what it stood for and what it was all about.

After talking to the (4 different) protestors for about 24 minutes this is what I observed:

  1. I did not hear a clear message as to what the protestors wanted and why they were protesting.
  2. I was not sure what they were *asking* for… and *who* they were taking *to* … What would be the solution that would make this protest a “success.” Without an actual success measurement, how can you know if you succeeded or not? Will they protest forever? What will make them stop? What do they want to get out of this protest to go home happy? I am all about “happy.”
  3. 50% (2 out of 2) were visibly stoned… They were very passionate about the movement, however. They were very certain that capitalism and “the system” were very, very bad. Ok…. But it’s not really that convincing, when these words are coming from someone who did not have any curtesy to keep his mind clear enough to help this “great cause” he is ranting about. Again, I have no issues with marihuana – they can do whatever they want, smoke at home, relax, but if these people are representing the movement, I would not want to be lead by such leaders.
  4. Yes, there were several issues brought up in our conversation, which I very deeply care about (such as global warming, oil-sands and pollution, etc.), however we do not need Occupy Vancouver, to solve these “issues.” Perhaps, you could simply join Green Peace and be a wonderful supporter that way. I am sure Green Peace could use some help. There are thousands of non-profit organizations that care about our Planet, community and humanity, etc. This one, or these ones. Go Google, if you want to support them.

My take? It all starts with our personal choice. If you care so much about all of the issues that Occupy Vancouver is talking about, change your lifestyle. Do not shop at Wall-Mart or McDonald’s if you are agains those big corporations. Support local businesses, shop at farmers markets, GROW vegies yourself, turn off the lights, do not waste water, be kind to your neighbour, relax and enjoy life without drugs. I would be very curious to learn the percentage of people (in that crowd) who shopped at Wall-Mart or McDonald’s at least once in the last 7 days….

Trust me, I am all about movements, revolutions and democracy. The truth is, we have to start with our own home, building, community, city. Contribute there, and any small contribution WILL make a huge impact.

Conclusion:

We do not need any more protests. {THEY COST MONEY! We, taxpayers, end up paying for these protests….  Isn’t it, somewhat, counterproductive?}

We create our own reality. As much as the protestors are asking everyone to be “open-minded” and to listen to them. I would ask the same in return. Maybe, it’s not THAT bad, huh? Maybe those big corporations DO CARE? Maybe we ALL just need to be a little bit more open-mided, listen more, talk less and … be kind to one another?

Do you remember those 3 B’s from school? Let’s all remember the basics….

  1. Be kind
  2. Be safe
  3. Behave

Thanks for reading!

Love, Helen

8 responses to “Occupy Vancouver. You create your own reality.”

  1. Dale says:

    but I thought that the protesters were more concerned about the how Wallstreet fraudulently repackaged and traded toxic assets (in a massive ponzi-like scheme), thus setting off a chain reaction that required Trillions of dollars in taxpayer funded bailouts (to prevent total collapse), and the CEOs responsible STILL got $50 million bonuses while the economy continues to spiral towards the worst Depression in history. But maybe I misunderstood the whole situation lol :).

  2. Lilla Pappa says:

    Hi Helen!

    I think you might have been talking to the wrong people at OccupyVancouver. (Although I did get a laugh at the stoner part, because there’s definitely some of that element anywhere in BC – that’s why the rest of the country calls us Bud Capitol).

    I don’t speak for the movement, only myself. And what you mentioned about avoiding corporate or non-sustainable food and goods suppliers – I completely agree, and do so where I can, but therein lies the rub. Corporations have coopted my economy to the point where my non-corporate choices are shrinking. My employment options for companies that don’t practise slave labour or trash the environment or have some sort of pre-programmed hypocrisy built in as a pre-condition to employment are shrinking.

    I’m lucky – I have a job – just barely – it’s ethical, honest and well-paying. But the best I can get is 20 – 22 hours a week. I’ve looked for other jobs and, with an Academic, Honours standing, high-school Diploma, I can work for any array of corporations whose labour policies and environmental and political damage is so heinous that working there would be akin to dumping a giant bucket of human grease on my soul.

    Or I can go to college – except, on what I make now, I can keep my bills paid, but only just, so I can’t get approved for a student loan without a co-signer. My father’s dead, and y mother’s an alcoholic, so I don’t have a lot of options there.

    Now, I’m no whiner, and I’ll do what I have to to make ends meet, and if that means whoring myself out to some slave-labour practicing, environment-killing, underpaid, overworked, brainwashing human meat grinder corporation, then I’ll do what I have to do.

    But the fact that the only way I can make a living is be forced to participate in evil is only ONE of my issues.

    I can also cite you at least 40 examples where corporations broke national and international laws in order to make profit for their shareholders, and then when disaster occurred, the shareholders, the corporations, and the money scurried away like cockroaches, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill, and the local citizenry die, in private, without the coverage of corporate controlled media.

    People who own stock in these companies don’t WANT to know what’s done on their behalf, and the lackeys who serve them are so infected by greed that they’re willing to perpetrate all manner of evil on people and the environment to get what they want.

    Will the OccupyWallStreet movement succeed? I hope so, but I doubt it, because the REAL fact is, at the planet’s present population, the only way to engage in sustainable living is if we changed to a lifestyle where four people occupy two-bedroom apartments, everyone gives up their car, we give up electronics and television particularly, we move to a reused, recycled second-hand economy.

    Now, I already live that way – I bank with a credit union, I eat only organic, locally grown food, I don’t own a car, I live close to where I work in a one-bedroom with my partner, etc , etc – we’re very low-footprint, sustainable living. Because we want to be, we’re happy this way and we don’t need more – but then we don’t infect ourselves with greed by watching commercial television with its ads and consumerism.

    Anyway – I have to get to work, and I’m rambling. I don’t know about the rest of the occupy wall street movement, but here’s what I want:

    1) No more corporate and union donations to political campaigns in BC – the rest of the country doesn’t allow it, and they have less corrupt political systems to show for it. We need to shut down BC’s bought and paid for political system.

    2) Every foreign corporation doing business in canada must set aside a 10% of GROSS profit fund every year of operation as a heritage fund to offset costs of repairing environmental or social damage when they and their stockholders are long gone.

    3) Any franchise or corporation in Canada must offer at least 70% of employment as full-time employment, with benefits. Only 30% of employees may be part-time with no benefits, minimum wage, and not enough hours to live on. The rest must actually be allowed to GAIN from the fruits of their labour, instead of the stockholders in Florida.

    4) Commercial banks may pay no less than 2% below prime on depositors’ capital, and may charge no more than 4% above prime for interest on loans. This would effectively lower the legal usury rate from 32% (yes, that’s right – places like Money Mart, Citifinance, and Capital One – among many, many others) prey on people with limited credit ratings, get them signed up during a time of desperation, and hook them up to a 32% interest payment. Usually until they commit suicide or default. Or both.

    I could go on and on about VERY specific things I want changed, and I’ve repeated them to MANY MANY people in the press who have the power to repeat them.

    But these are limits that would piss their corporate advertisers off, so it’s more lucrative for the commercial media to characterize us as a bunch of pot-smoking hippies.

    No one minds the profit machine while it’s chewing up and spitting out someone else’s children. But by the time it comes for yours, there’ll be no one left to defend them.

    • PhilR says:

      Nicely said!

    • Helen says:

      Lilla,

      What I am thinking right now is….. it seems this movement has been going on for quite sometime, in one form or another. It’s been going on for THOUSANDS of years. There’s always been someone who makes more money, someone who doesn’t care – Kings, Queens, feudals, and now the corporate world …

      I do not think that there will be times when “no one stands up for our kids” as you said. I honestly don’t think so. There always be nice, and kind people…. but there also, always be bad, and greedy ones, too. That’s why we are all here, on this Planet, to follow our journey, and each of us has their own path. Let’s see what happens… I hope we don’t kill each other trying to defend “our own” point of view. There’s no “right” or “wrong” it just “is” ….

      As Gandhi said: “be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s not our job to change the “World” it’s our job, though, to change the way we (on a personal level) think and do things.

      I wish you all the best, Lilla.

      P.S.

      Check out this article:
      http://writeahead.ca/2011/10/21/clinton-vs-george-w-a-review-of-the-surrey-regional-economic-summit/

      I love how the author talks about “both sides” in her blog.

      Take care!
      xo

  3. Ben Baker says:

    Dear Helen

    First of all, I want to say thank you. You have put this out in a way – can even discuss with my kids.

    I too scratch my head and do not see a clear set of objectives for this movement. If it is a rage against large enterprise, why is David Suzuki coming out to talk? If it is a protest pro environment why are they raging against corporate Canada?

    I too agree that protest with clear goaks and objectives are good.

    The protest happenong every day against the commission meeting right now at Georgia and Granville against the missing women quickly comes to mind. They are there for 3 hours every day while meetings are in session and are bringing awareness to the cause.

    I like you now ask the Occupy Vancouver crowd, what is your cause, objectives and desired outcome?

    Love

    Ben

    • Lilla Pappa says:

      I actually posted a reply, Ben – with very specific demands, which I would be happy to share at your convenience. The author of this post has, however, not seen fit to publish those demands. I’m not sure why.

      • Helen says:

        Hi, Lilla. 🙂 I did not mean to ignore your comments! Just got around looking through the cue right now. Thank you so much for contributing to our conversation!

  4. Helen says:

    Thanks for your comment, Ben! We’ll see what happens, I guess. I hope it remains being a peaceful protest and nobody gets hurt.

    Have a great day!
    `H

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