OccupyCanada Protests Have Begun
Since I do not have much new information as of now, this post will mostly be a link roundup for those searching for more information about OccupyToronto and the various other occupations going on throughout Canada.
For those who have not read my previous post, it outlines the preliminary responses to OTME, as well as some of OTME’s initial planning.
OccupyToronto’s main site is located here. One of its writers, NoahType (who makes clear, of course, that he cannot speak for the entire group), promises a series of posts directed against “Finance Capital,” of which this is the first installment. The second installment here takes an explicitly orthodox Marxist approach, e.g. quoting Žižek on the labor theory of value. This post by BenT argues strongly in favor of greater income equality, excerpting from OWS’s Declaration the portions which are said to apply to Canada as well, as well as adding concerns which apply particularly to Canada.
OccupyToronto’s Livestream site is located here, where live video footage is being broadcast by the protesters.
The page by Anonymous on Occupy Bay Street is here, which unregistered viewers should be able to browse, as long as they ignore the watermark in the center. One of its members directs people to the video The Crime of the Canadian Banking System by Bill Abram.
This is the most comprehensive article I have yet come across, which gives numbers for how many people went to each protest, including the shocking fact that 950 cities in 82 countries are taking part in the “Occupy the Globe” protests. The article also includes a brief statement by Bob Rae as well as an excerpt of a speech delivered by Wikileaks’ Julian Assange at the protests in London, England.
This article from CTV is a somewhat watered-down version of the last (though with several different elements), briefly outlining some of the similar movements going on in other countries (e.g. Australia, Bosnia, Germany, Italy, the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and China) as well as listing the various cities in which protests are taking place, which include Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton, Guelph, Windsor, Kingston, London, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Duncan, Kelowna, Kamloops and Nelson, B.C., Lethbridge, Regina, Winnipeg and Ottawa, with the largest protest being in Toronto. Apparently the Toronto occupation is taking place in St. James Park.
As well, this site seems like an interesting news source to keep an eye on.
For those planning to participate in the Toronto protests, the ‘March Marshalls’ who are in charge of organizing the marches will be wearing orange arm bands. Furthermore, those who are arrested are advised to call 416-833-6137.
Interestingly, Rick Mercer has no comment, as far as I can tell. He’s currently in Vancouver, and has been invited to join the “real Canadians” at OccupyVancouver, but has given no response. His next show will air on CBC at 8:00pm this Tuesday, so perhaps he will have a formidable Rick Rant ready by then.
Lastly, I thought that I ought to highlight some of Canadian social issues which I can think of offhand that have not been prominently advertised on the OTME website:
- The Catholic school board (which is constitutionally illegal, since no other religion or denomination possesses their own school board)
- The 29% gender wage gap in Ontario last year, 10-15% of which was explicitly due to discrimination. See here for more details.
- Canada’s environmental standards, which are lower than most other comparatively developed nations (and which, as Elizabeth May has pointed out, are illegal given the terms of the Kyoto Accord).
- According to my sources, following graduation, the administrators of OSAP student loans provide a year without interest to pay the loan back, and then begin to charge 22% interest, which amounts to hundreds of dollars spent each month without even touching the principal. If this is true, then this is usury in the highest degree, which is an entirely despicable practice for a government to engage in.
- The excessive amount of asbestos throughout Ontario.
Here is my major piece of advice to OTME: start a We Are The 99% Canada Tumblr page similar to the ones for the USA & the UK. (See here for a magnificent statistical interpretation of the data from the American site.) If Harper and Flaherty dismiss OccupyCanada with the statement that Canada’s situation is nothing like that of America, then a site like this will provide tangible proof of Canada’s discontent.
**Note: Regarding the frivolous pseudo-philosophical blog entries which have lately been appearing here, I wrote them weeks ago, but forgot to change their scheduled publishing dates. I’m quite embarrassed by them.