$40,000 – And they call US ridiculous – Jason Devine

28 Oct

The attacks on the Occupy Calgary movement, specifically the Olympic Plaza camp component, have reached a fevered pitch. Not content with making criticisms of the camp based on ideological differences, the opponents of the camp in City Hall and the media have resorted to increased slander and exaggerations, coupled with downright falsehoods.

The claim has been made that campers have been physically fighting and needed police to pull them apart. That is not true. There have been fights and problems with substance abuse, not on the part of the campers, but on the part of our fellow human being who are suffering from homelessness. A basic reason why the camp was set up was precisely to bring attention to these social ills in the first place. And the campers have been striving to help their sisters and brothers get the help and resources they are so clearly lacking in this city.

There is a basic assumption that the camp attracts these problems. The fact is that camp or no camp, these social ills will continue. They are not an indictment of the camp, but of this city’s and province’s inability to solve them. As to the claim that the camp has cost the city $40,000 in damages, we ask in the name of transparency what the exact costs are and the proof they were caused by members of Occupy Calgary camp.

In our opinion, the city and media are really angry at the attention we have drawn to this city’s growing problem of homelessness. For, if we are removed, will they still raise a hue and cry? Do they really care for their fellow human who will still suffer in the cold, or who will temporarily escape the pain if their conditions through substance abuse?

We said before and we say again: That the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; our social institutions must be organized around the needs of people and the limits of the planet and not be organized around a profit motive. Upon corruption of that system, it is up to us to protect our communities. True democracies derive their power from the people and yet we are living in a time when corporations have alarming influence on our governments, resulting in the valuing of profit over people, self-interest over justice, and resulting in oppression over equality. We are being denied a voice in the democratic process of resource allocation, while corporations extract wealth from the people and the planet without our consent. Our peaceful assembly seeks to spark a discussion of these conditions with the hope of reclaiming power over our communities.


5 Responses to “$40,000 – And they call US ridiculous – Jason Devine”

  1. Ross October 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    The wealth in Alberta comes from the land taken from First Nations. At a deep level everyone who has ancestors that homesteaded here knows that they wrongfully gained at another’s loss. There is a unconscious agreement by all that live here to choose to not see the wrongs done to Native peoples and to see “the taming or the west” as a purely good or right thing. That there are many homeless native people and that the occupy movement doesn’t conform to the agree deception of “good for all in Alberta” creates a lot of tension. The displacement of Native Peoples by homesteaders didn’t happen that long ago, between 1870 and 1900, so anything that might crack the veneer and shine a light on that wrongful gain and the harm done needs to be suppressed.

    • Lina October 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

      I think that this will be one of the greatest struggles with the Occupy movements all over Canada. If systematic injustice is really going to be addressed and movements forward made, this foundational history of genocide and theft for capitalist gain must be addressed first. I hope that First Nations groups come together in this effort. Currently, I believe there are three mass grave excavations at residential schools taking place in different parts of Canada – right now! Of course, Canadians don’t hear much about this on mainstream news…

      • Ross October 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

        Yes, the myth in Alberta is we made it because we worked really hard to overcome the challenges of the land. For Albertans to say “we are a rich province because we took your land and gained from your loss” is something those born here can not acknowledge.

        This history affects so much in Alberta.

  2. Lina October 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more. Homelessness has become a HUGE issue in both Calgary and Edmonton (perhaps related to the increasing gap between rich and poor…). And the government and many people don’t want to face it. I think it all relates very much mainstream media and many local businesses claiming “Canadians should be grateful and have no reason to occupy”. HA! Now that realities and truths are coming to light, the powers and money want it hidden again. More power to you – you have my support as an Edmontonian living in Vancouver 😀


  1. The Occupy Calgary story you’re not seeing elsewhere. « Dented Blue Mercedes - October 29, 2011

    […] then, there is the $40,000 damage being reported nationwide.  Except that everybody who has been going to the square has been completely confused […]


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