Friday, October 28, 2011

THE "OCCUPYING" LIFE OF OCCUPY SASKATOON

Hello. My name is Bear. Rob-Bear. I used to inhabit this blog.

Lately, thought, I've been out trying to help save [our little corner of] the world. It has been an interesting experience. Very interesting.

We've been working on both a theoretical level and a practical level.

We discuss the problems our society is facing.
• The growing disparity for the rich, who are making a lot more these days, largely through paying less taxes, and the rest, who are actually making less. (You've seen the statistics.)
• Our new Canadian political model, based on 1 dollar = 1 vote (instead of 1 person = 1 vote).
• The real needs of our community, including "the other 1%" — as in the 1.39% of our community with "no visible means of support."

At first, things were cool. We worked on out some of the principles that guide us, and some possible actions. The main one being a "teach-in" on social and economic issues plaguing average Canadians. "Education in the Park" happens tomorrow (as in Saturday, Oct. 29th).

Second, some the homeless (the other 1.39 per cent) joined us, in the process. They participated in our conversations (including our General Assembly) as much as they wanted to and were able. And, since they were part of our community, they ate some of our food. And that was cool.

Third, the "party-people" joined us. They are part of the 1.39% too. They show up about midnight, and look for a place to crash.

Only they tend to be inebriated. As in drunk. Drink of choice: Listerine. Yes, the mouthwash. It has a lot of alcohol in it, it's cheap, and you don't have to go to the liquor store to get it.

And the party-people began to intimidate the other homeless. One came with a fairly big knife, and a bad attitude.  Fortunately, he passed out before he could cause any serious problems. Police and paramedics took a couple of them away. That was not cool at all!

Now, we have a fairly major challenge. Several actually.
• Where to find some meeting space for the winter.
• Which kinds of activities do we want to pursue.
• And what can we do with (not "for") our homeless friends, when the freezing weather comes.

None of this is easy. But we're working on it.

17 comments:

That corgi :) said...

Interested to read what you will come up with not for your homeless friends not "for" them.

betty

Elisabeth said...

Bears hibernate through winter, but what happens when they cannot find a cave. This is a sad tale, Rob bear and one that warrants deciphering.

cheshire wife said...

Mouthwahes are not intended to be swallowed and most of them taste foul. I can not imagine what Listerine must taste like and what is it doing to their insides?

Frances said...

The Occupy Wall Street protest here is facing a winter weather preview today...cold, rain, with snow later. The City has taken away the generators and other heat-proving materials at the OWS site, so this could be a day when the occupation changes somewhat.

It is difficult to predict which direction/s will be chosen.

Best wishes to you!

Better is Possible said...

I continue to value your perspective. It seems to be somewhat different in Vancouver.
We need change...but the best way to navigate that change, not to mention finding agreement on what change we want remains a mystery. Perhaps change starts one person at a time. Cliche, but perhaps true?
I have a wonder...could the increase in house prices have something to do with greed in general? Every time we bought and sold at double + what we paid, could that make us at least part of the problem of making home ownership for our children unattainable? Lots of blame to go around. Less solutions.

Rob-bear said...

® That Corgi: Yes, "with" them. We are all in this together.

® Elizabeth: Deciphering, it takes. indeed.
Perhaps the first step is to ask why we we find it acceptable for people to live outside in weather which snowy and well below the freezing mark.
Perhaps when we find this unacceptable, we will do something.

Rob-bear said...

® cheshire wife: Exactly.
I remember the story of a man drinking in a pub in Birmingham. Someone asked him why he was drinking so much. He replied, "It's the fastest way out of Birmingham."
Mouthwash is, in my mind, horrid stuff to drink. Yet a couple of us picked up a man, lying half on the road, drunk, with half a bottle of Listerine in his coat. That was just a few days ago, within 100 feet of our encampment.

ReformingGeek said...

Yes, I imagine the pending wintery weather will chill the groups somewhat. Stay warm!

Listerine? Ugh.

Rob-bear said...

®Frances: Yes, I saw that about the generators. Just another tactic to end the action, which is upsetting the billionaire Mayor of New York.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." ~ Mohandas Gandhi

®Better is Possible: When one, and one, and two, and fifty become a million, we will see change.
I truly hope that change will come without violence, on the part of those seeking change, or on the part of the police/army.
Rising house prices are tied to the costs of materials, and the price that developers expect in return on their land and building speculation. The rest flows from that, even into the market for "used" houses.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Interesting post - quite fascinating to see how this movement has grown. Mrs Newbery and one of the sons was at the Occupy Melbourne march yesterday.

Rob-bear said...

® J Cosmo Newbery: At my last count, 1,911 places around the world had an Occupy group.
That is something that nobody could have organized. It's "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more," the famous line from the movie Network, in 1976. A lot of people are feeling that way, it seems. Even folks in your own family.

Beau's Mom said...

The sad thing about meetings is that the main thing accomplished is usually deciding on a date for the next meeting.

Congratulations for doing the one thing that is the least satisfying: attending MEETINGS. arghhhhh!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Bear, your compassion and social responsibility are admirable. Your words are carefully chosen and inclusive, particularly when you speak of working "with" rather than "for."

Bises,
Genie

rosaria said...

Thanks, Bear!

Rob-bear said...

® Beau's Mom: Strangely, we get quite a bit done at our meetings. Some things take longer than others because they are actually more complicated.
There is a sense of accomplishment with problems solved, puzzles unravelled, challenges overcome.
Thanks for dropping by.

Rob-bear said...

® Genie: Thank you so much for your kind thoughts.
This is all very new and very interesting in some ways. I never miss a chance to learn something, or do something helpful, if I can.

Rob-bear said...

® rosaria: Your welcome. But thanks for what?
Puzzled Bear scratches his head.