To the Editor,
Re: Mixed message worth hearing, Opinion, Oct. 29.
Now that the media and the politicians have finally noticed the many encampments in cities across North America, the predictable reaction has surfaced: the tents must come down, space is being usurped and the campers are unfocussed in their demands so have no relevance.
My opinion is that our politicians are getting nervous.
Homeless people they can deal with – drag them away, find a few a place to live in and then go back to ignoring them.
These protesters are of a different breed. They are very focused. They are there to remind us that the game is fixed, that a small percentage of citizens own almost everything, including the politicians, and are beyond the reach of the justice system.
The campers know that despite the propaganda of the powerful that states that everyone has an equal chance to be rich, it isn’t so.
We brag about how wonderful Canada is, yet tolerate a high rate of child poverty, an educational system that is being starved for resources, and Third World conditions on reserves.
Our shrinking middle class hasn’t gained an inch in 40 years. So we work more hours, take less vacations and act like mice on treadmills.
Somehow we have been duped into believing that the good are rich and that being rich means you are good.
How long the encampments last will depend on various factors. After seeing how honest protesters and bystanders were treated at the G20 in Toronto, it is likely that the authorities will turn the police loose sooner than later.
This won’t resolve anything but will simply reinforce to our young people that democracy as practiced in North America is just a word, an illusion and that the powers-that-be will not stand for any actions which highlight the realities of our corrupted system.
The Arab Spring has taught us that change will come only when we stop being compliant in allowing the rich to make the rules.
When we see the money manipulaters get huge bonuses instead of jail terms for wrecking the economy, we know there is no real justice. Those new penitentiaries are not being built for the moneyed class.
What we may well be seeing is the beginning of a sea change and it will take great courage and endurance by many to make democracy work for the 99 per cent.