Saturday, October 29, 2011

Uncommon Sense: Beyond Globalization

"Love is an action, never simply a feeling" ~ bell hooks
The occupy movements around the world are providing a real opportunity for reflection and collective action (even in China!). As Slavoj Zizek has said, a crisis in imminent, but we don't need to panic. As I observe my local manifestation here in Edmonton, the benefits of the process - just getting involved - are obvious. It's invigorating and even liberating to attend the rallies, hang out and actively participate in defining a new movement.

Some problems I've noticed involve strategy and outreach. Last week a private company, Melcor, was reported to be ready to ask police to evict the group from the small park on the corner of 102nd St. and Jasper Ave. Occupy Edmonton immediately organized a petition opposing the eviction and within a day the protesters were told it wouldn't happen. Where was Mayor Mandel in this discussion? Has any direct pressure or appeal been made to his office? After all, this is an open space in our city - why should a private company be accepted as the legitimate authority to determine who can stay or not?

Another problem is outreach. I've been to the site, attended a roundtable talk and support the cause, but no attempt has been made to keep me involved. How many others have had a similar experience? There should be someone tasked with approaching newcomers and/or a sign-up sheet provided for those interested in offering contact information. These may seem like minor qualms, but they're essential if the movement is to continue and grow. In the meantime, this guy has an excellent idea - challenge "common sense," think different.

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