A message to the general population of Calgary :
There has been a lot of media surrounding the occupy Calgary movement, most of it has been negative press regarding the “bums” camping out in the park “freeloading” on the tax payers. I would like to take a moment to present the issues as one of the voices of this collective movement.
It is understandable, to me, that the people of Calgary may take issue to a group of people seen to be breaking bylaws, and costing the tax payers money. This movement encompasses such a huge scale of social issues that it is easy to see how people become lost as to what we’re protesting. First and foremost though, I must insist that the constitutional rights of the occupiers come before all bylaws, and it is wrong of media outlets to incite violent tactics against the occupants, whether in the form of spaying them with fire hoses, tear gas, beating with batons, or other commonly used police tactics used against rioters. If the common public of Calgary feels strong enough against this movement, the onus is upon them to go to the camp as a collective and voice their concerns to the occupants, hiding behind an armed force and making demands that they be removed is against their own constitution. They have the right to voice their concerns in a peaceful fashion, you do not have the right to demand violence be done against them, and to do so is morally wrong.
Why I support this global movement for social change :
Occupy together has acted as a staging ground for the voices of the people of the nations of the world to be heard. We in north America live in a highly corrupted social and capitalistic system that is driven by the ideals of greed, and the acquiring of monetary based assets. As a person who has strong moral and ethical beliefs I feel that my rights as a free human being on the planet are being violated by being forced into a materialistic and capitalistic society that is destroying the very thing that gives us life. I do not, as it stands, possess true freedom, and the infringement upon that basic right by the current government and monetary system is against my, and every person who agrees, constitutional right to life, liberty (The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life.) and security of the person.
I have no freedom, even my freedom isn’t free. Every time I say to someone I am not free to do as I choose they reply with the idea that I am free I just have to work to obtain the level of freedom I desire. I understand and appreciate that all must contribute to society if we wish to live within it, but I resent and hate that it is a system that forces you to play the capitalistic game in order to survive. There is, of course, always the option of being homeless, but how can I be any value to society if I cannot get a job because no one will employ someone who does not have access to a shower or washing machine? Such limited options, do not by the very definition of the word, constitute freedom. They constitute a system which forces fear upon its populace : work or have nothing, contribute in the following ways or having nothing, do not do these things and you are not of value to anyone or anything.
Our society assigns monetary values to lives of people, and the indoctrination of the whole of humanity – via globalization – to believe they’re of value if they own things of value. The capitalistic model serves the purpose of encouraging the masses to input productive time into societal needs, but it also strips many of their dignity and respect simply because they were not afforded the opportunities of those who are better off. Many people are trapped in sub-par jobs that pay low wages because they cannot obtain the money to better themselves via education, and so they are forever stuck washing toilets, performing back-breaking manual labour, or any of the low-end jobs that many people turn their noses up to. Why is the life of the woman who performs the need of empting my garbage at work nightly worth less than my life? Why is Bill Gates’ life worth so incredibly much more than that of everyone else’s? Yes, he did something good for humanity by giving the lame man access to the PC’s we now use, but why is he, as a human being and life on this planet, worth more than me?
If given the opportunity, I too could achieve something of value for humanity, but because I don’t have access to affordable education I am currently of little to no value to my society even though I have a good degree of potential. As it stands I have already been stripped of the freedom to be of any value to anything other than gaining more capital to pay the bills that sustain my life, and will be stuck in that perpetual cycle until I can shake off the shackles of debt in the second half of my life, enjoy the latter half of my life if I am in good health, and die. There is something fundamentally wrong with the owning of peoples’ lives via debt.
It’s about leaving people without food, water and shelter, just because they do not have the capital to purchase them. There is enough of each of those things for each human being, but no one has enough money, or enough heart to purchase these things for the masses of less fortunate in third world countries. Every day we throw food in the garbage, both on a personal level and on a commercial level. We, in first world countries, live in a land of excess. We value nothing more than money, so we seek an excess of money we can then purchase things to assign worth to our own lives by the assigned value of the items we purchase. Why? Why do we so desperately seek bigger, better, and more to the detriment of the rest of our fellow peoples of earth, and the planet that is required to sustain our lives.
Why do we feel so entitled to leave our children with the debt of their parents generations both environmentally, and financially? Why do we war against one another in the name of religion, politics, and resources, when all we have to do is learn to share and have compassion for all. Why does our society allow for such practices that have the potential to lead to the extinction of all life on earth in the name of our pursuit of profits, and power?
Our society is sick; I do not wish to partake in it, but I do not have the freedom to choose, so I will instead take part in my right to speak out against it until the day it is revolutionized for the betterment of mankind, or the date of my death. This is why I support occupy together and all of the occupations across the globe.