Friday, October 7, 2011


Bear is going to be blog-invisible for a little while. No, I'm not going to be going on a holiday. I'll be right at home. 

But I'll be busy.

I don't know if all you have heard about the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. Basically, thousands of people are saying, "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take this any more." (That line is from the 1976 movie Network; the script by Paddy Chayefsky and direction by Sidney Lumet.)

There are many situations to which people are objecting. They're mad about the collapse of civil society, and the banks messing with the government "bail-out" money (taxpayers money that went, apparently, into profits and handouts, rather than helping the people who had put money into banks and were supposed to be helped.) There are a lot of other issues as well, including the misuse of power by police, and the failure of government to effectively handle problems facing the nation.

In North America, this process began on Wall Street the same day as my birthday. Slowly alternative media picked up the story, then mainstream media were embarrassed into following the events.

Here is one of my favourite pictures on the event.

Responses to the "occupation" have been very different.

In New York, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has sicced the police on the protesters.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa handed out 150 ponchos to protesters in the rain. Yesterday, seven of 15 members on that city council voted in favour of a motion calling the protest "A peaceful and vibrant exercise of First Amendment rights." The motion goes to final vote next week.

Which in a way, is making the protesters point. If there is difficulty, maybe its being caused by the politicians.

So far, the event has spread to 147 cities. In Barcelona, the activity has been going on since May 15, with major demonstrations almost every day.

And now, even to Canada, that quiet little backwater best known for it's chronic politeness.

Saturday, October 15, is going to be a nation-wide solidarity protest in Canada, supporting the Occupation of New York. It will be happening in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. And it will be happening in smaller cities, too, like River City.

So, Bear is going to be busy helping get things ready. Our first planning meeting was Wednesday night. Hastily called, primarily through Facebook, 52 people met in a church basement to consider options. Bear is helping with communications (which probably won't surprise any of you who are regular readers).

As I said, I'm going to be busy. If we do it right, it will convey a powerful message, and be a good time.

See you when the "fun" is over. Or we take a break.

Blessings and Bear hugs until then.


Manzanita said...

Sounds like you'll be drumming up a little excitement. Burning bras again? I already did that. Since you'll be busy, I'm going to comment on your comment on my blog. I do believe you may be right about the increase in population 9 months after a great power out. Seems like that was the pass-time for winter long ago, too. I remember my Grandmother used to say, " When spring came, the planting's done and the baby is born."
Have fun....


cheshire wife said...

You must let us know how things go. A letter home from the front would be appreciated.

Snowbrush said...

Good for you, Bear. I don't think I can stand for a whole long time right now, but I can send money.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Maybe I should watch the news more often. I had no idea what's happening here. Will you keep us posted? I like getting my news from grass roots sources rather than the typical media.

ain't for city gals said...

I watched the last speech given by Pres Obama last week...he was asked about this. He said "Oh yeah, I think I heard about this and maybe saw it on TV"??!! I mean really...get a clue! Glad you are getting ivolved in something you believe in.

betty said...

I'm in San Diego and I know we have joined the movement (me not personally, but I think it is a good movement, as long as people don't develop a mob mentality and become destructive in their protests)

good luck; looking forward to reading as you share



Politicians are cloistered away from reality. They don't have to worry about paying rent, buying food, getting ill or even buying postage stamps! They are protected from the reality of the very ones who put them where they are.

Protesters can't get to them. They leave through the security tunnels and are driven to their luxury estates.

Reality for them is NOT the reality of the hungry and they will never have to fear it touching them.

Rubye Jack said...

Good for you Rob!!!
Once I get moved out of this part of the country, where there is no group, I will be joining forces. Hopefully, that will be soon.
Meanwhile, I completely support all that you are doing for us.

ReformingGeek said...

I don't know if I can BEAR the excitement! Do you need Evil Twin's help? She's available. Hee Hee.

Good Luck!

potsoc said...

For two weeks in a row people, about one hundred, have been demonstrating in Montreal. Last Saturday in front of some minister's office, this Saturday, at the Olympic Stadium where crowds do not gather since nothing happens there.
Guys like me are kept back from those things since you never when the hoologans wearing black hoodies and ski masks will show up and transform a peaceful demonstration into an orgy of window smashing, car burning and shop looting.
So far they have not shown up, not enough people to hide them.

Frances said...

Hello from New York.

Bear, it's good to read this post and see that more parts of the world are joining in to the current expression of opinions that has been going on here.

I admit that work has kept me away from checking out the Wall Street protesting location, but did see a peaceful, noisy, long progression of marchers/walkers pass by the shop's front window on the world yesterday, with wise police escorting service, on their way uptown to Washington Sq Park ...perhaps to encourage others there to join the concept that is still seeking its form.

It is so odd to watch this amorphous protest movement finding ways to keep itself going, even as the media comes calling, and other groups (like organized labor unions) try to tie themselves to its energy.

How awful it is for young adults (with and without various educational degrees) to realize that there is no place for them in the current economy. This is a time while other young adults have chosen to enlist with the military to ensure a long term career, unless that choice results in their untimely demise.

What a world, don't you know? No one has answers that will please everyone, and having various interests split up the self interests seems to insure that the same old, same old will continue.

Oh...that did not sound too positive, did it?


Amanda Summer said...

i can't believe that movie was out that long ago - i remember that tagline very well. and faye dunaway winning the oscar for best actress.

i read a piece today on how a deli owner in wall street is pissed off about how the protestors are using her loo.

i wonder - why do you think the media is having so much trouble 'spinning' the wall street protests? they state that their message is unclear. i think it's pretty clear - people are fed up with corporate fatcats taking in big salaries and bonuses while so many are out of work — where's the parity people ask? but some say, as they say about salaries of superstar athletes - that the world isn't fair.

Stella Jones said...

Good luck with it Rob-bear. Will drop by and see how you're doing soon.

Kim said...

Go get 'em, Bear! They need your voice out there. Know that you have mine right along with yours.

While the movement is diverse and I don't agree with everyone in it, it is a much needed movement and one that will definitely impact our world. It sickens me how people like Bloomberg are reacting to it. It is clear in his sentiments how much he is beholden to the corporate interests on Wall Street.

This nation was built on people like you raising their voices. So speak loudly, even if your voice shakes.

Reasons said...

Good luck and report back soon!

Posie said...

Bear good for you and good luck. I have been blog invisible too, but only because I am struggling to get near to the computer at the moment. I do hope all goes well with your protest.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

While I have all due respect for the freedoms guaranteed citizens of the United States in our constitution, including (and especially) free speech, I have more than a serious problem with signs calling for the overthrow of the United States government and our entire way of life, signs which I recently saw published on signs across from the WTC in a blog about NYC.

Many of my ancestors fought, and some died, in the American Revolution for the cause of liberty (all documented), and I have great respect for this country and its principles. Do I personally have problems with big government? Yes, I do. But I also have all due respect for and faith in our democratic system.

In terms of the banks, I think that before that money was handed over to them there should have been a system of checks and balances in place. Throwing billions, possibly trillions, of tax dollars at the private sector to bail them out has been the height of irresponsible government whether it's the banks or the auto industry. As much as I love my GM car (that's about eight years old), I don't want a car made by the United States government. Why pay for the thing TWICE! It doesn't or shouldn't work that way. And this is a Democratic as well as a Reuplican problem. And it's not just about big business, it's about Union greed. It's all part of the same picture. It runs the gamut. Fingers can be pointed in every direction, but finger pointing should begin with ourselves, the examination of our own behaviors, our own consciences, and our own benevolence or lack thereof whether it be economic, emotional, or social resposnibility.

The real way that things work in the United States is for Americans to stop and individually help their neighbors in whatever way they can. Have I done this? You bet. And have I helped people of varying political parties and faiths? You bet. Could I do more? Definitely. But I'm trying. That's not to toot my own horn, but it is saying that WE THE PEOPLE mean US. Each of us. WE are all in the boat together.

Do I like anarchy? NO! And to me, these demonstrations smack of the potential for that. As long as people exercise the right for free speech guaranteed by our constitution for our citizens, I don't have a problem with that. But when outside agitators get involved and come over here to stir up mess with the idea of bringing our country to its knees and subjugating us to some foreign way of life, I get my dander up and am ready to join the army! I would fight to the death for the United States, and I am perfectly happy to be here. I love this country because of its freedoms, and I love it despite its problems. If other people don't love it and want to rip it to shreds, I am happy to show them the door or as I once heard it called by a friend who's an Episcopal priest, extend to them the left foot of fellowship. ;-)

All of that being said, Rob Bear, I always wish YOU well, my friend...


Mrs. Magpie... who marched for women's rights and whose great grandmother was a suffragette!

Chatty Crone said...

Good luck! Keep us posted. sandie

Rob-bear said...

Sorry, friends. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in the lead.

Rather than take time to reply to all your kind and thoughtful remarks, I'll be posting something new tonight or tomorrow. Then, if I have some time, I'll reply to you.

Is that confusing enough?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I do appreciate them, very much.

Nancy said...

Wishing you huge sucess in this endeavor!!

Lins' lleisio said...

Gosh, I do feel out of it here in deepest, darkest Wales. I shall follow your antics with interest. Keep safe Mr Bear. x