Gathering At Bankers Hall (V.P. – CFP)
We all be shuffelin’ (S.H.- Encore News)
Marching To Olympic Plaza (V.P. – CFP)
Gathering At Bankers Hall (V.P. – CFP)
We all be shuffelin’ (S.H.- Encore News)
Marching To Olympic Plaza (V.P. – CFP)
To the City of Calgary,
This letter seeks an acknowledgment that certain damages the City accused Occupy Calgary of in the media, were unsubstantiated and found to be so in a court of law by the Chief Justice of Alberta. At the time of his ruling Justice N.C Wittmann concluded various costs submitted by the City could not stand up to judicial scrutiny, specifically :
1. Downtown Parks power shut off, totalling $1,835.25.
2. Extra Garbage Pick-ups by BFI, totalling $1,000.00.
3. Contracted washroom cleaning, totalling $945.00
4. Sod Repairs, totalling $12,705.00
5. Washroom cleaning, painting, plumbing, tile, arborite, totalling $15,198.00.
6. Replacing Heaters & Hand Dryer in Mens Washroom, totalling $1,559.00
7. Statue patina, totalling $472.50
8. Cornice Metal Caps, totalling $500.00
Although the ruling was passed down many months ago, no credible effort has been undertaken by the City to correct this wrong. Recently the City has presented additional damages to the media also attributed to Occupy, but an itemized list has not yet been made available when requested. Therefore this letter seeks recognizance only for the costs that did go before judicial scrutiny, and were struck down in the Justice’s ruling:
“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…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.”
-Justice Wittmann, Dec 6th – page 14: 8 – Conclusion – 
Please issue a public voluntary retraction for claims regarding the $34,214.75 in damages that Justice Wittmann found to be unassociated with Occupy Calgary.
I have been following the Occupy Calgary movement for awhile now and I do believe in this. Fundamental change is important on a political, environmental and social level.
While watching the movement develop I have come across another group called Common Ground Calgary. I love this group, they are very funny people with some well thought out ideas. With the approaching holiday season the group has collectively decided to help out around the community in any way they can. I support this, the holidays being stressful at best. Any support people can muster up at this time is a great show of community spirit. I decided to jump on board.
I was reading the forum today and someone posted an interesting article, I couldn’t help but write this after reading it. The question was asked if we were just band aiding the situation due to the holidays and ignoring the deeper rooted problems of the world. I am going to have to say no, this is not what we are doing at all. It may seem that way, however small change helps bring about larger change if we remember that instant gratification is a cookie or a glass of good wine and nothing more.
Helping people is part of the social change we need to make. A sense of community and a culture of reaching out a helping hand is a paradigm that is needed. Can you name four of your neighbors? If someone goes to break into your house tomorrow, will your neighbors know or care that it’s happening?
When I lived in a small town, if I sneezed at least four of my neighbors would say bless you. Living downtown I found the most remarkable building to live in. It was a small building however it was a community of people helping people. I could (and still can even though I have moved) name every single person who lived around me. I knew about their families, we ate together, it was a very healthy happy environment. No one went hungry, we had indoor and outdoor gardens. Someone always cooked and people brought what they could afford.
Part of making things better for everyone is helping. Protecting each other, being kind and considerate are the first steps to real change. This one small space still thrives, with everyone doing their part and contributing no matter how that manifested itself. By both small and large changes we will create a helping and kind society that strives for everyone to be equal and cared for and loved. That seems ok to me. Together we are strong. If a mob mentality can create destruction like it did during Vancouver’s playoffs last year, then a positive group mentality will bring about the change we are looking for.
We need is to find common ground to bind the community as well as the world together. This will bring about the sort of environment we want to leave for our children. As a mother of two, I don’t want my kids living in a world where pepper spraying and arresting innocent people is acceptable, nor where marijuana smokers are getting more jail time than child rapists. So bring about small change in your community and encourage other to as well.
I will be offering children a musical workshops in my home by donation once a week starting December 6th. These will be for people who need a couple of hours to just go shopping or wash their hair or whatever. Also come spring I will be helping to get people seeds so they can grow their own food no matter where they live. I grow a mean indoor apartment garden (it has to be able to defend itself against the squirrels. Sorry they scare me.)
I am unsure what else I will think of in the future but currently these are my contributions. This is what I can offer them to help change the world, one person at a time. Every journey begins with a single small step towards the destination. I hope you all find your niche as well. Good luck and may we all find some Common Ground in Calgary.
We are entering the season of tinsel, ad nauseum canned carols and maxed out credit cards.
I’m not a Christmas lover. From the tacky red-and-green motifs, the bags and bags of paper purchased only to be torn up and wasted, the packed shopping centers and ugly sweaters it is not my favorite holiday for many reasons. Years of playing angels in my old church pageants didn’t help either. Angel I am not.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the spirit of warmth and light, peace on earth and family love. I love the spirit of generosity and hope. I love the cookies my mom sends every year. I love candy canes.
I hate the mall mobs, the stress, the pressure to spend spend spend and the measurement of love by the cost of a gift. And seriously can someone please write some new songs?
I challenge everyone out there, Occupiers and Occupy haters alike to rethink Christmas this year. I challenge you to make it about helping others; giving of yourself, not your wallet.
If you must spend money on gifts, go to locally owned small businesses. Support the people in your community, not the big box stores. Teach the kids that Christmas is about love, not video games. Go caroling door to door. Meet your neighbors or get to know them better. Leave your credit cards at home.
I have always been inspired by Dolly Parton’s stories of growing up in the back woods with 11 brothers and sisters. The family only ever had money for one gift. They hid it somewhere in the house and on Christmas morning all the kids searched for it. The one who found it, kept it. She spoke of those days with warmth and joy. No one ever demanded the latest trendy item, they had what they had.
I’m not suggesting we make everyone compete for one present. I AM suggesting that we reconsider the values that send us all into debt over the holidays. In whatever way we can, let’s stand up for peace, joy, good will towards ALL.
We of Occupy have joined together with people who once called us squatters, people who understand that whatever our methods we are doing this to make a better world. You can be part of it. Join us at Common Ground Calgary.
This isn’t just about Christmas, Yule, Hannuka or Kwanza. It is a fire we hope to light in the hearts of everyone and keep it glowing throughout the year. Together we can change the world. With kindness, courage and love we will succeed.
We see this a lot in our society whether it be in schools with cliques, in agriculture with monoculture, in our communities with cultural differences and in our current class system with upper, middle and lower class. When we have too many of the same things grouped together in a system it eventually causes for that system to become stagnant as it ends up with too much of one thing and not enough of another.
How can we go about fixing this?
I know that when I was younger I was taught that being different was bad, that thinking outside of the box was silly. How many other children are being taught this? Most of us are taught to think within the current system instead of being encouraged to think of ways things could be different. We perpetuate the cycle of segregation and we constantly fight integration. The reality is that integration is the natural way. If you look at a thriving natural system you see that there is a lot of diversity to make that system function. It operates successfully and abundantly only because of the diversity it offers. If we took this model into our current system we could also operate more efficiently. I propose that we spend more time encouraging students in schools to think outside of the box. This can be done by offering various teaching styles to students, surveying students and asking them for ideas on how we can do things differently and rewarding them for having different ideas instead of making them feel outcast or silly. Encourage children to learn from each others differences and understand the value in diversity instead of being fearful of it. The reason why I focus so much on schooling as our youth are our future and I know much of the thought patterns I have struggled to turn around come from my childhood and youth, we should start there.
Breeding openness to ideas amongst our youth will also open up our next generation to diversity and acceptance. It will allow for others to really see the value in differences and alternative ideas. In turn we will have a diverse system with enough of everything to make it function as a whole.
Love and Light,
This was the question asked by French clergyman Abbe Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes at the onset of the French Revolution. These were the question he put forth at the time and the resounding answers that seemed to naturally echo back:
1. What is the Third Estate?
2. What has the Third Estate been in the political order hitherto?
3. What does it want to be?
Though in the present our woes are different than they were during time of the French Revolution and the modern culprits seem elusive and indomitable, I assure you friends that we are still battling the ghosts of ancient monarchies. The capitalist class effectively effaced and replaced the kings and queens yet they have made one grievous error: they have not abolished the injustice which was the original cause of the people’s discontent and rage (and rebellion).
We are still living in a system where a few have seized an extremely disproportionate amount of wealth to secure eternal prosperity by supplanting and enslaving an overwhelming majority. You and I are often quick to place the blame for our frustration on the Government. This is wholly wrong and playing right into the hands of the ‘privileged’ class. The government, itself a corporate-style hierarchy, has long ceased to be the voice of the people and has become the scapegoat of the Business owners. With the belief that the financial misery (and consequent general unhappiness) is the result of a few missteps of policy making, we aspire to electing yet another ‘representative’ government. However you must have realized now that you and I do not pay the politicians, the business do.
The businesses have seized the one arbiter that we thought we had and is using it against us. These businesses have accumulated immense swaying power and seemingly unending resources that they may even cast doubts among us as to validity of the current uprising against them propelling us to break into factions. Be assured, they are mistaken, because the power they flaunt was given to them by the individual sacrifice and can be wrenched away as easily by the people united. In the west we have offered them passivity in exchange for peace and our liberty in exchange for the bare minimum. In developing nations they have given the same without asking for returns for fear of death by starvation.
However the capitalist masters are not satisfied with present chasm between the people and the Few. Their abuses grow in proportional increment with our declining will. We have grown weak and weary from long hours of work and diminishing leisure (I have heard of those who must work up to 16 hours a day to secure a living). We are given only the opportunity to create families (for further propagation of the working class) but not the opportunity to enjoy it (for fear of our attachment to it?). Imagine what you may do if you had an extra four hours in the day! If only the banks did not consider you ‘high risk’ and charged you an insurmountable amount of interest (akin to financial prison) on you loans or if taxation was fair and you did not have to bear a lion’s share of sustaining the common welfare. How long do you wish to sell yourselves in exchange for inequitable wages? In light of our renewed struggles against insatiable greed of the Capitalist masters, are we far removed from the Tennis court oath or the storming of the Bastille? We must take this opportunity and again wrest (forcibly if need be) our freedom from the New Monarchs and return to it the people.