Who needs tents? Occupy everything! – Mandi Schrader

6 Dec

Despite Occupiers themselves having received no formal notice of the court’s decision, rumours are flying all over that the tent city has to come down this Friday. The Morgans and their pals are doing a victory watusi and you can cut the smugness with a knife.

My question is, so what?

So now a few dedicated die-hards no longer have to freeze. Now the critics won’t have a camp to hide behind when we challenge their precious consumerist culture. Now we can all have a good laugh at these dreamy idealists and go back to pretending all is right with the world. Right?

I don’t think so. Now the real work begins.

Now that the municipal taxpayers of Calgary won’t have a camp to complain about, perhaps they will focus their attention on the abuses of their federal tax dollars. Maybe the battle cry of the middle class will change from “Screw you, hippie!” to “Not so fast, Harper!” Maybe they will even protest human rights abuses with the kind of energy they protested a protest! Wouldn’t that be something?

Imagine a Calgary where people who have the time to spend hours composing snipey tweets and such gems as “get a job and take a shower” actually started directing their ire upwards. Suppose they finally noticed that the oil trade is killing people and wrote a few snarly letters to the appropriate parties?

Miracles do happen.

Meanwhile, my beautiful Occupy family, time to take it to the streets. Take it to the TransAlta headquarters. Take it to the suburbs. Take it to the mall. Keep it visible. Put the “active’ back in “activist.” Write songs, paint paintings, hound the corporate criminals, hammer on the doors of government! This is just the beginning.

It ends when freedom and security for all people are an unquestioned fact. It ends when we refuse to support slavery on the other side of the world in order to get better prices at Wal-Mart. It ends when we no longer accept poverty for our children and our elderly.

Of course, realistically, this means it never ends.

Occupy 2.0 in effect as of now. Flash mobs, performance art, rallies. Keep the conversation growing! Never give up, never surrender, never sell out.

I will still be right here.


19 Responses to “Who needs tents? Occupy everything! – Mandi Schrader”

  1. susanonthesoapbox December 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Mandi, I saw the OC story in the Herald this weekend which led me to your blog. I like your double barrelled approach (1) raise awareness of the issues and (2) become politically active (the Herald article mentioned that you were going to volunteer in the next election).

    I believe that we’ll have an opportunity to send a clear message for change in the coming election. People like you will make it happen. Great work. Keep it up!

    • idnami December 12, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

      Thanks! It’s really an odd thing for me… My friends are going to be like “You’re doing what?” Before Occupy I’d get all glazed eyed when people got talking politics. As a result of my involvement with Occupy I’ve become a lot more politically aware and befriended a politician who is a hell of a guy and someone I’d love to see directly influencing my governments decisions as he is wise, fair and cares about people. We need more good guys in government.

  2. Brandy McNeill December 7, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    I have said this before on other pages, but I will post again here. Kelowna was never allowed to keep even one tent overnight.
    We have a bus, to be launched in the new year
    We have a business, and permanent location with all the permission we need to be there and be open 24 hours if we choose, in Solidarity with the worldwide movement. to be launched in the new year.
    We are holding Busker’s Balls for fundraising.
    We are holding documentary nights
    We have a Youth Group.
    We have a weekly Speaker’s Corner, open to the general public.
    We have weekly, and even bi-weekly organizational meetings.
    We have an entire month dedicated to seniors issues coming up here in the Okanagan Valley.
    We took a look at what our demographics are, where the gaps are, and what we could do to begin fixing it. Then we implemented phase 2, setting out to fix it. And we work tirelessly on what small things we are able to do. At 8 am, I am just winding down from another 18 hour day with Occupy.
    We are connected and active with InterCity.
    We have become so organized, and have such a strong foundation in place, that we are hosting an Occupy the Interior Rally inviting all the surrounding cities and towns out, beginning to get organized on a regional level, and extending outreach to smaller areas, and groups of 2-3 in small towns who Occupy.
    Right now, we are so busy we don’t even have time for flash occupations.
    We are busy recruiting land for farming, and community gardens, collecting seeds, and equipment for spring, so that as the economy further collapses, we are prepared to help not just ourselves, but even those men and women who protest our protest. The impoverished. The forgotten. The scorned. The gap that just keeps widening.
    Our most successful events, are when we join with the other Unions and Activist Groups. Banding together our numbers to make our voices heard!
    National Day of Rememberance for Women, held last night, drew over 100 people.
    So did the John Horgan discussion for National Occupy the Climate day. These people have resources and experience that the most active of us Occupiers are only just beginning to discover.
    We have embraced the value, of being all encompassing, and partnering with groups who share like causes, joining forces to get the job done.
    We have posed out a Vibrational Committe to the rest of Canada, just to work on the most important part of Occupy, Occupying Within.
    Where all change must come from first.
    We will be putting up our first posts Friday in the new national google group.
    We have started a Reiki by Donation group, to bring healing to the impoverished.
    We look to our hearts, and let compassion for our fellow man be our driving motivation.
    We continue to keep pressure on our governments, municipally, provincially, and even Nationally. We oppose the ominous Bill C-10, we support Bill c-233 and petition for signatures for it actively. We attend or hold another event/meeting on average 5-7 days per week. If more then one is happening, we divide into smaller groups and attend them all.
    We have had so much good stuff happen that we have had to slow things down, and give our organizational team time to catch up.
    In the meantime, every one of us still works. Or works hard to run our own businesses.
    And we work relentlessly to volunteer our best efforts for a more vibrant and healthy community.
    Shouts of get a job, and take a shower, are a lost cause around here, cuz we all have one and we all do shower. Then we get out there and Occupy, and make a difference, instead of staring at a tv. Each and every day.
    But, these detractors do have one thing right. You must work for what you want. You must not be so quick, to respond with anger, respond with aggression.
    In Solidarity with the theme ‘Peaceful’ Assembly, we must learn to peacefully work our differences out. Form into working groups that actually get lots of good stuff done, and proceed to the get it done. This is phase two of Occupy.
    Good luck Calgary,
    We believe in you!

    Mandi, you are phenomenal, and relentless in spirit.
    I thank the creator each night for your presence within this movement.
    I love your work, and I for one am still reading.
    Occupy has not gone away, it has not died. It has not even really lost momentum. Momentum is only gainin. Occupy is laying low. Working hard. Laying a solid working foundation. Getting organized, and learning to work with other groups, large groups of individuals.
    Taking a pause over the holiday seasons, to rest up, realizing now we really are in this for the long hall.
    Planning for the long run in 2012.
    Private property, non-profit, and supporting business. Local business, not corporate.
    Co-Ops. Long range thinking.
    Hope to see you all involved in the Trek to Ottawa, http://www.facebook.com/occupy.kelowna.bc#!/events/184985568255217/
    It will be leaving the West Coast June 3
    peace and solidarity,

  3. paul pennington December 7, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Wayto go. We must never surrender. The mainstream attitude must change. This protest must never die like all the rest. We all must stay focused but we need leadership and we need it now.

    Even the NDP fail us all. That’s cause they try to work in the same old game. If we don’t keep fighting harder everyday and if we don’t escalate our occupies rallies marches and such we will die. The 1% elite are now using courts to silence us in the future. They r scared and this is y we must fighjt hard now before protest is criminalized.

    Please everyone fight.

  4. Dan December 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Keep the conversation going? Honestly there is nothing any of you have offered that is worth even a moment’s consideration. You guys don’t represent the 99%. You are part of the 0.006% of people lucky enough to live in this country. The movement started in the US had merit, but no clear voice or plans to inact change. This Canadian Occupy movement has been a joke and a sideshow since inception. Please go home, the rest of us are tired of reading your entitled nonsense.

    • idnami December 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

      Ummm… so what are you doing here? YOU go home! You don’t want to read it? Last I checked you still had free will. Go watch the Kardashians and quit wasting MY time.
      Thanks for reading!

      • Dan December 6, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

        It’s cute when someone posts on a forum complaining about stereotypes yet offers up some at the first opportunity.

    • Jeryd December 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

      Nothing… Really??? Maybe we have been hearing different talks or reading different posts but I have learned a ton about Canada`s problems through OC. For example learning about; how Canada borrows all of its money from chartered Banks at interest instead of from the Bank of Canada interest free, how this system has caused over 90% of our debt to be compounded interest that we really should not be carrying, how the Harper Government `s “investment” `basically equates to a 60 billion dollar bailout. Not even gonna get into all the issues with indigenous peoples.

      Yes we are unbelievably lucky to live in Canada, honestly there is no other country I would rather live in. But still we could be sooo much better than we are, but because a few (the metaphorical 1%) are exploiting the system that is supposed to keep everyone safe and healthy.

      This is a Global movement, this change needs to happen world wide or the problems won`t go away. Also I am sorry you feel human rights as dictated by the UN to be entitlements.

    • paul pennington December 7, 2011 at 8:29 am #

      You sick hate filled loser. You are blind if you allow this game to go on. How dare you support the 1% agenda. How dare you. Its people like you that allow the currupt system to continue. Your a hate filled individual that is ignorant and a fool. These occupy are a sign. Get on board or you. Will be so very sorry. People like you wouldn t listen even if God himself told you. Read the main core messages in all the faiths holy words and they all say the same thing. Our society and government is currupt. Shame on you

      • Anonymous December 7, 2011 at 9:24 am #

        Paul, calling someone a hate filled loser I don’t think is going to change any minds or hearts.

        • paul pennington December 7, 2011 at 10:17 am #

          I know. I m sorry for my comment. I am so frustrated with austerity and all the evictions. Its just when I see individuals trying to support the status quo I must think of why. I see a common thread amonst conservatives and those that critize what they refuse to accept and I see hatred within them. I’m sorry.

      • Dan December 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

        The irony of this post is delicious. No wonder nothing any of you say holds any traction. You’re terrible at having reasonable dialogue and resort to hyperbole and idle threats.

        • idnami December 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

          What threats?
          I thought you were sick of reading this nonsense?

  5. kahuggins December 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Mandi my dear…you are so right on! When I get back to Calgary, I would LOVE to meet with you sometime! I have totally enjoyed your posts! Thanks so much for being an extraordinarily good voice on behalf of the 99%.

    • idnami December 6, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

      Cool! Where are you now Karen?

  6. Jeryd December 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Who says we need tents to Occupy!!!

  7. mike_yyc December 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    A great write-up by Chief Justice Whitman and a few key points, namely paragraph 49:

    “In the course of the hearing of this matter, a number of members of the Occupy Calgary group took issue with the City’s evidence regarding damage done to Olympic Plaza and costs incured by the City to date. I think it is appropriate to add that there is very little evidence that the Occupy Calgary group itself has caused damage aside from some wear and tear to the turf upon which they have erected their tents. Aside from the fire incident, there was no evidence of injuries, nor was there evidence of violence. I appreciate that there is significant public interest in this matter.

    The citizens of Calgary should know that the Occupy Calgary group at Olympic Plaza has been benign.”

    Silver lining, my friends. Silver lining.

  8. Oscar Wilde December 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    This is only begining…

  9. Samantha Withnell December 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    Thank you for this article, just in time!
    Let’s take some advice from out buddies with Occupy Edmonton. Flash occupations anywhere and everywhere necessary. C-train seminars.
    This is no failure. Instead of feeling depressed, I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited or had more hopes for the future!


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