Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Occupation Edmonton: What's Next

"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong" ~ Voltaire
I went downtown to 102nd St. and Jasper Ave. a few days ago, the centre of "Occupy Edmonton," and was impressed by the level of organization and positive messaging. There was a tent where anyone could help themselves to tea, coffee or snacks, another for media with various pamphlets, booklets and phone numbers of people to contact for legal help and a white board displaying the agenda for the daily meeting.

The Women's Caucus was in session nearby and there were about twenty other tents set aside for sleeping. I only saw a handful of people milling around, but more were expected later in the afternoon. This guy was pounding on some plastic buckets and when I asked if he was part of the movement he replied, "I am now."

This is turning into a global response on par with what theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri hoped for in their 2000 book, Empire, which, in the words of philosophical shaman Slavoj Zizek, "sets as its goal, writing the Communist Manifesto for the twenty-first century." My department at the University of Alberta is also getting in on the act and hosting "A Roundtable on the Global Occupation Movement" with such luminaries as Imre Szeman, Nat Hurley and Sourayan Mookerjea. Where does it go next? Onwards and upwards, I suspect, away from financial districts towards government centres like the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

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