23 Nov 2011

Occupy Movement a valuable partner:
'Idea' to build a united Canadian progressive
movement that can have more clout

In its very beginning, the Occupy Movement inspired millions of people around the world with its slogan “We are the 99 per cent.” It changed the nature of public discussion, focused on the evils of greed, and emphasized the need for a truly democratic form of our tired, ineffective so-called democracy.

The success of the Occupy Movement – along with the continuing growth in power of right-wing forces in the country – are providing the inspiration for the possible creation of a large Canadian cooperative movement or coalition that would tackle major issues in the country.

A larger, stronger progressive force made up of hundreds of already-existing groups is needed in Canada.

Now that Stephen Harper has a majority in Parliament, he is slashing in all directions, and it’s only going to get worse. Unfortunately, right-wing forces are very strong. They control all the key levers of power – access to billions of dollars to promote their beliefs, control over our federal government, and ownership of the mainstream media propaganda machines.

The progressive community must learn it has to confront power with power – something we don’t do well in Canada. It seems enough to most Canadians to simply point out that something is wrong, and leave it to someone else to shoulder. This doesn’t cut it any more. We need to stop being nice, and start fighting harder!

By any account, there are possibly 10,000 progressive and liberal-minded organizations (including branch offices) in Canada, and many of them work in isolation of each other, sometimes even at cross purposes. This means that the 10,000 organizations might be fighting on, what, 300 or more different causes at any one time?

Individual groups do need to work on their own priorities, but when it comes to tackling major problems, or when a campaign needs to be mounted quickly, Canada needs to have one strong and effective vehicle: The creation of nationally coordinated movement that would work on the most pressing issues of our time.

Progressives in Canada – including the Occupy Movement as a tactical force – have the potential to establish a movement to be reckoned with. The way Canadians responded so positively to the Occupy Movement’s attack on the banks and the powerful is proof that tens-of-thousands of people out there are in need of leadership. And remember that more than 60 per cent of Canadians voted against the Conservatives in the May election.

While there is some excellent coordination among groups working in the same arena – such as environmental groups cooperating with other environmental groups – there appears to be very little cross sector coordination on common interest issues – such as environmentalists and anti-poverty advocates uniting on, say, the future of health care.

Campaigning on major issues could be greatly strengthened if a national coalition were to unite many different kinds of groups around key issues.

The Occupy Movement scared the hell out of many bankers just a few weeks ago. Imagine what a network of local Occupy groups coming together with, say, 200 or 500 other progressive groups, could do!

Many of those traditional 10,000 groups have staff members and financial resources, some of which could be allocated to work on key issues. Combine this with the energy and determination of the Occupiers, and it could become a very effective force. If some sort of process were developed, leaders and ideas for the creation of a strategy would emerge.

There are dozens of skilled and seasoned groups that could play a leadership role in bringing together a coalition or cooperative movement. An organization as large and as skilled as the Council of Canadians is not strong enough to win all of its battles on its own, but it has tremendous knowledge and resources that could be shared with others as part of an even larger and more powerful force – but not a new organization, but perhaps a cooperative venture with a small team of activity coordinators.

Many groups are weak when it comes to developing campaign strategies, but Greenpeace is among the best in the world at building hugely successful campaigns. Many groups work on income disparity, but it is unlikely that they think to seek out the person running the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Growing Gap Project.

Such a movement would develop a set of broad, national objectives by identifying the right’s weak points and exploiting them. Hopefully, the coordinating process would be run by the same consensus mechanisms used by the Occupy Movement.

From my perspective, here are three major issues that a movement could unite around:

   1. Income disparity
The bulk of the wealth created in Canada in the past 22 years has accrued to the top one-fifth of the population, and one-third of that has gone to the top one per cent.

Because of its initial strong work in this area, perhaps the Occupy Movement could play a “front line” role on income disparity. After a strategy has been developed in cooperation with other groups, the Occupy Movement would go into action with disruptive protests, marches, office occupations, and other activities to expose the greed of wealthy Canadians.

At the same time, other organizations in the coalition would conduct research, issue reports, and demand that the media give this important issue the proper attention.

   2. Lobbying the NDP and Liberals
The next federal election is likely to be held in 2015. A coalition could explore all possible ways of defeating the Conservative so they will not be able to govern until 2019 or 2020.

With both the New Democrats and the Liberals selecting new national leaders during the next few months, a coordinated effort needs to be carried out to determine the positions of leading candidates on key issues – such as whether they pledge to tackle programs identified by the coalition, explain their economic and social policies, and indicate whether they support changes to the electoral system.

   3. Poverty and unemployment
Research shows that about 17 per cent of the population at the bottom of the income ladder are pretty well firmly lodged there. While government figures show the unemployment rate at 7.3 per cent, the real figure is likely closer to 12 per cent when those unemployed that are no longer seeking work are included. The situation for native peoples is much worse.

A full and ongoing strategy needs to be developed for campaigning around these three issues, as well as others.

* * *

If the idea appeals to you, please indicate your interest by putting a comment at the end of my blog post. Perhaps you would like to add additional suggestions. And maybe you could raise the issue on Facebook and Twitter.

Updates will appear on my blog as warranted.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Nick Fillmore’s main organizational experience involved leading the creation of the now 95-member International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX). He also has helped organize campaigns against repressive regimes in many under-developed countries, and was one of the main organizers of the Catch 22, aimed at defeating Conservative candidates in the last election.

Please subscribe to my blog to receive future articles.


  1. "If the Occupy Movement does regroup and rebuild..." Seriously, "If"? There's no doubt about it, they will regroup, rebuild and make history. Being evicted just showed everyone who's who and where there stand & such.

    Here's a video from last week that is quite intriguing.

    Thanks for the great list of contacts. You're absolutely right, an amalgamation of progressive groups, of communitarians & seekers of social justice *has* to happen. But as much as we need to live in the 'Now', not everything can happen just like that. There is process going on here; go to a General Assembly in your area and check it out. If you haven't been to one, you're just guessing at what it's all about.

    We are unstoppable; another world is possible!

    Occupy The Planet

  2. Marke is correct; the 0ccupy movement is still growing. Your "if" reminds me of areply to an article in the WSJ and my replies:

    'You are correct when you credit Serbia with resisting Hitler whilst Albania and some other neighbours went for the NAZIS but do not forget that the leader of a resistance that ensured that “Yugoslavia was never TOTALLY occupied” was Marshall Tito, A CROAT!'What an ALLIANCE!

    Resistance! Resilience! Mobile! Universal!

    Occupy 99 is all of the above, But specifically it INCLUSIVE. It is at this time a loosely knit grouping; a grouping including diverse entities that respect each other and the Occupy 99 as 'umbrella' it does the INCLUDING of others, many alliances.

    As Occupy progresses of course various alliances and some definite organising will/are becoming necessary and desirable but it must avoid much of the INCLUDING that might be offered.

    Some would be "includers" such as NCC (Canada) and Tea Party (USA) are easy to deal with; they are overt. We can take the individuals who have 99%ers problems but please leave the ideas of your PREVIOUS organisations' solutions behind. Ditto neo-Fascists (BNR,Le Pen,True Finns,&c.)

    Sometimes these types are first to recognise problems as was the True Finns opposition to "bailouts": I.e. GMC and Goldman Sachs have the "right to fail". In this regard they are seductive. However the "solutions" they might5 propose are in opposition to Progresive ideas.

    Another covert and/or subtle but more dangerous threat comes from such as the USA Democrats, and Canada's "liberals". These are in reality elites financed, undercover reactionaries; fraudulent sympathisers and servants of the elites come with promises, much of which will come from deficits, which are just one form of "ficticious capital" designed to covertly enrich Banksters and set up new forms of it.

    So Occopiers Hold on to your SOUL! Hang tough!

    You have a WORLD to WIN!

  3. I read of Moores demands in another publication and while what he asks for are desirable economic benefits for the marginalised, they imply pressing and maintaining the "capitalist state" as the organ for delivery.

    This is not good enough! We have seen the "New Deal" (USA) and the 'Just Sciety" (Canada) come and go, mostly go. How long does Moore think "success" if it came to pass, would last in the hands of the number one ENEMY, THE CAPITALIST STATE?

  4. I have spent some time with Occupy Vancouver. I have been very impressed with the way many of the people involved,(mostly young but I am 70),have worked hard to keep the group together and keep sight of the underlying philosophy under difficult circumstances. I think your 3 points are a fine beginning and we definitely need solidarity even if people have different focus and believe in different ways of working towards the ultimate goals of equality and fairness and caring in our world.

    Ann Grant

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  5. Dear Mr. Fillmore,
    We here at SmartChange.ca read your comments about building a movement, and took time to look up your bio as a journalist. Bravo for your smart analysis and insights what we here in Canada should be doing to build a movement and fight back to the Conservatives take no prisoners approach to government. They seem to forget that only 40% of the electorate voted for them. It is clearly our job to remind them of that, and boot them out of power. There is only one way to do that and that is to unite and build a gigantic social movement as people have done all over the middle east and in NYC. We here at Smart Change are all about building that movement. Join us, and please keep doing your analysis. The movement needs intelligent thinkers with lots of experience to guide us through these dark years.

    Michael Goodman, Founding Director
    Smart Change
    Vancouver, BC

  6. This sounds fantastic Nick! My organization, the BC Humanists, has a history of fighting the religious right and I want to see it push for a more progressive country for all.

  7. The 1% rule us and steal from us by getting us to compete & fight with one another - "Divide & conquer!"

    To see what we can achieve by working together, see www.citizensuk.org Click on the "About" tab, and watch the video.

    Count me in!

  8. i am the other 1% get a fucking job losers

    1. Where's your analysis of how the job market behaves practice towards people out of work? What is your definition of a "loser"? You'd better come up with some good answers because, at this point, it's obvious to me that you don't know what you're talking about.

  9. I am also the 1% and will work to support occupy in every way possible because this is a movement that is about making a better world. Think that a network working together is the only way we are going to take this to the next level - the level where it starts to take what is now a great movement and turn it into a great reality for all

  10. To Michael Goodman,

    "Booting out the conservatives" will be only a beginning.

    In the short run you are correct to focus on 'Steve" Harper and his born again reactionaries who are attacking basic Canadian values; anything would be an improvement.

    Nevertheless, We must in the long run, rid Canada and the world of 'capitalist states'; only then can preservation of hard won victories of the 99% be assured.

    I.e. A Liberal leader, bleating to The Economic Club of Toronto about a centre he dreams of when nostalgic for the Trudeauville Nirvana that never was, just doesn't cut the mustard!

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  11. I think the Occupy Movement has to get a cohesive message with specific recommendations.

    Michael Moore's 10 recommendations mostly do not apply to Canada but I do like the one about taxes on Financial Derivative Transactions. Maybe we should make that an "Occupy Recommendation".

    I think the key thing of this campaign should be jobs. Now some of the "Occupy" people already have an education, so we need a stronger economy to help people get jobs.

    The NDP are proposing that instead of giving tax breaks to corporations who transfer jobs overseas, we should instead give a credit to companies who hire additional people. We should make that an "Occupy Recommendation"

    I have a belief that the US economy is going to be in the tank for 20 years, so Canada should have an economic strategy to increase trade with the emerging economies like BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China). And I don't means just oil and commodity exports. These countries will need Trillions of dollars of infrastructure work over the next 20 years. We should get our young people trained for engineering and project management for this type of work and get people back to work. This should be an "Occupy Recommendation"

    Our federal income taxes in Canada top out at 29% at $128,800 whereas in the US they top out at 35% at $379,000. We should figure out how much additional revenue US tax rates would give us. Maybe we want that plowed into job training or maybe it should be used toward child poverty.

    I think we should also look at tax loopholes like stock options which give executives a tax break on their bonuses. I don't think we have very many $100 M executives like they have in the US and I also believe that our executives are generally honest and competent. So we should look carefully who is getting these top salaries and make some assessment as to whether they deserve it. This may or may not be worth persuing.

    Its very easy to sit around in a tent and bitch. To be effective, we have to come up with specific well thought out recommendations.

  12. I sent this article on to two people with wide networks. I agree that people/groups need to form coalitions. Some coalitions have come together in the past over specific issues such as poverty, affordable housing or, as you say, environment, although not so broadly as you are suggesting.

    Please let your readers know what kind of response you receive.

  13. A great idea; however, I don't think 'lobbying' is the best way to approach political parties. Getting involved in the leadership process or simply coming out to a candidate town hall.

    I am also unsure about forcing 'occupiers' to come out with specific goals. The strength of the occupy movement is in their challenging society to think differently and the push for broad change. Their strength is not in rallying around one piecemeal reform or a media sound bite.

    There have been calls for broad progressive/left- wing movements for decades. In 1919 farmers and workers came together to form a provincial government in Ontario. In the 1930s there was the popular front against fascism. In the 1960s there were anti-war coalitions. The CCF and NDP were each formed to be the political expressions of these broad based movements. However, those parties have not yet lived up to their full potential. With the current social upheaval I see the possibility for this to change. You've laid great groundwork here.

  14. For a smart, clear idea of what Occupy means, and why you should care, check out this blog, by a university student:
    And, check out Straight Goods for another good take on the endurance of this inspirational movement:

    I would add a 4th point to your list, Nick, and that is one fundamental to the Occupy Movement which is, end corporate control of governments. A big challenge, no doubt, but your point #2 is unsteady without paying mind to this.

    And ... a word of clarification: Don't interpret people attempting to be decent as simply being "nice". Agreed that 'nice' can get in the way at times, but why discard decency in the name of achieving an objective. Isn't this self-defeating?

    As a sidenote:
    I was going to note that the only ANONYMOUS comment on this article of yours, Nick, was a vile one by someone purporting to be of the 1% (really?), but then someone else posted as Anonymous with an intelligent comment (Why not stand up for your comment?). I generally don't read Anonymous' comments because, really, who knows who is getting paid to write these things, but #1's was so pithy I couldn't avoid it, and #2's ... well, I had to check it out. Ha!

  15. For most of my life I have pushed for Canada to brcome more independent from the Reactionary USA and its aggressive push to monopolise WORLD resources; untill now.

    The poverty scene in USA is infinitely worse than that in Canada; that is a recent occurance.
    USA political AWARENESS as a result of that poverty is ahead of Canada; that is also recent.

    I do not know how long the above ratios will last but I suspect the second dip of the current recession will go a long way toward leveling them.

    Canada has urban house prices about double those of USA; anyway you view that, it is but temporary and a bubble will burst. With Canada's personal debt levels at record high and much of that in the form of "home equity" credit, imagine the end result??

    Ergo, the rest of the world will be turning away from N. America as ONE entity; like it or not any problems Canada cannot solve within itself will be shared with USA before others.

    Now 99% of Americans are no longer riding high, but increasingly share the misery brought on by a capitalist system they once championed; I for one am content to work with 99% WHEREVER I find them (which hooray, is everywhere) but the closer to home the more in common we have.

  16. Nick,
    ALterNet amongst others has a 'flag' option for readers to alert a monitor to any comment they deem offensive.

    You might look at that plus requiring e-mail addresses (confidential of course) and if the Monitor (you) picks up three offensive entries (strikes) that e-mail address is blocked.

  17. Dear Mr. Fillmore,
    great article and analysis. Yes you are absolutely right, Canadians can no longer afford to denounce the situation and then leave it to others to rectify the problem. The problem being that the Conservatives are nothing of the sort. They are quasi-fascists who believe that what they don't know isn't worth knowning, hence putting a creationist in charge of the ministry of Science and Technology! But I digress. Canadians have to think about what they buy and from whom. We have been seduced into believing that the lowest price is the lowest cost. Nothing could be further from the truth. The 1% control supply and distribution through vehicles such as Walmart, Sears, Home Depot etc where they can set up supply chains that go off shore.
    With the loss of jobs, is the loss of taxes with which to fund our health care and other social services. The loss of Canadian manufacturing is creating a long term knowledge problem for our country as the knowledge that went with the manufacturing of those products dies with the last generation to work on them.

    There are many many pillars that are important to building secure, self sustaining and growing communities and slowly, one by one, the Harper government is destroying them. The destruction of the Canadian Wheat Board is one of those pillars. The Omnibus Crime bill will further erode the rehabilitation offered to offenders, furthing the damage caused by the closing of the prison farms which were useful not only for supplying food to the institutions, but also for teaching work ethics to inmates, and providing providing therapy.

    The arrogance of the Harper Government is breathtaking and it is only by the marshalling of those socially progressive forces in Canada that we can get back on the path of using our mutual strengths to confront the very real problems facing our country.

    Keep up the good work!

  18. Occupy 99% must not be content to just get rid of "GOVERNMENTS"; the time has come to set a goal of ridding the WORLD of all Capitalist "STATES".

    If we allow the big corporate "states" to buy us off with "reforms" and (deficit financed) "benefits", we leave in place, entities for a repeat performance of where we are today. Government: of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%, will most certainly in time, marginalise us again and again....ad infinitum.

    Incidently we keep in mind the differences between "STATE" and "NATION". It is the former that is the instrument of corporate 1% greed, the latter is of course reflective of history, values, culture &c; it is ONLY the NATION(S) to whom we owe allegiances, though a trick of the 1% is to confuse and blur the difference!

  19. This from the latest 'Truth Dig' USA.

    "Certain front groups of the Democratic Party, including MoveOn, have sought to force the wider Occupy movement into the narrow channel of their chosen corporate party. And the more bureaucratic labor unions such as the SEIU (dominated by labor BOSSES aligned with the Democratic Party) have also taken up the 99 percent slogan. Although working people are welcome, labor union bosses should be reminded that they remain BOSSES. Indeed, the Occupy movement is a public forum in which workers can call into question the CLASS COLLABORATION of their own union leaders. "

    We have these types in Canada; they will attempt to reduce Occupy to a group of (deficit financed)"reformers and attach/absorb us into their idea of a liberal "centre"

    It is up to us to let them know of the NEW CENTRE; the NEW CENTRE is a MAIN ST that runs from OWS through EVERY OCCUPY 99% site. North, South, East, West our new CENTRE, our MAIN st, is INCLUSIVE of the WHOLE HUMAN RACE.

    Occupiers 99% Hold on to your soul; Hang tough.

    You have a WORLD to WIN!

  20. Leadnow - www.leadnow.ca – profiled below by Globe and Mail journalist Gary Mason – is a great new organization that advocates and campaigns on a range of issues.

    Founders Jamie Biggar and Adam Shedletzky are dedicating themselves to building a strong largely youth-oriented voice in the country. – Take note Occupiers!


  21. Heather Robertson27 November 2011 at 07:27

    It's interesting how the Occupy Debate has become two discussions:
    - Whether or not one thinks the Occupy Movement will succeed
    - And is it the most democratic or genuine force in our time?

    But neither discussion talks about which way forward.

    The Occupy Movement has been successful - it has initiated discussion and 'ired' the ruling class who can talk of nothing else. But just like any other movement, in order to affect change, it has to mature.

    I'm hearing from the folks in my life that they agree with the premise of 'We are the 99%' and they want to be part of the struggle, but just don't know where they fit in.

    Unless Occupy matures, is embraced by the progressive forces and becomes inclusive for everyone, it will remain on the fringe. And that would be sad.

    You've made some really good points Nick. I'd like to see the left unite -- that's the first step in the way forward.


    Here's an article from the Globe. It's pretty sassy - but the highlights are the comments!

  22. Ever since Europeans illegally invaded this land and imposed their dysfunctional governance and destruction, we continue to go downhill. If we accept the welcome that was given (Two Row Wampum treaty etc), we will do well to discover the life-enhancing provisions we are meant to engage with. The differences are enormous, indigenous peoples based on individual and collective accounting and recognition for strengths, while Europeans basing themselves on perceptions of weakness (poverty, illiteracy etc.)
    'Indigenous' (Latin = 'self-generating') whole systems design aligns with nature. An example is the 3-dimensional polyculture orchard based food production, now recognized for the 100 fold (10,000%) abundance it gives to practiioners compared with 2-D 'agriculture' (L = 'field') https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/design/food-materials-resouces
    Understanding indigenous heritage for peoples from everyplace on earth is essential to rediscovering 3-D abundance among ourselves. Colonial peoples are not going to re-invent themselves out of the disaster we create by using the same thinking left or right which got us into it. Colonial 'exogenous' (L = 'other-generated') people are institutionally indoctrinated to be alienated against our indigenous roots through words in negative associations as 'primitive' (primary), 'savage' ('sylva' = 'tree'), 'druid' ('wisdom of the oak'), 'witches' (wise women, herbalists and healers). This negation is designed by colonial masters to keep us ignorant of our long sustainable abundant and rewarding 3-D heritage. Indigene Community www.indigenecommunity.info douglasf.jack@gmail.com

  23. Continuing from douglas environmental theme:

    When the last ice age retreated from N. America some 12,000 years previous the Americn Bison was left as the top herbivore and without serious predation other than human to control a burgening population.

    Without a natural population control any species will multiply to a level which is out of balance with and stresses its own source of subsistance. In the case of the Bison these levels were 60million (balance) and 100million (stress) respectively. The area of habitat was from Illinois to California,from Alberta to Central Mexico.

    Beginning about 8,000 years ago when the population had burgeoned to the 100million stress level Aboriginal (Native) Peoples began a control program to bring the levels down from Stress to balance of 60million. 200 years was the time required to achieve 'balance' and this balance with nature was then maintained for another 7000+ years.

    As there was a population far in excess of the human needs, this reduction was by culling in places, such as 'Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump' in Alberta, in many locations across more than one million sq. miles. This was a CO-OPERATIVE venture involving millions of individuals in more than 100 tribes to control a resource held in COMMON. All this with NO internet??

    Ergo! Enter White Europeans. #00 years of hunting for : sport, fad, bounties &c and a 60 million population of a dry lands animal in balance was reduced to 100 animals (saved by philanthropy) and a European WET lands beast (cattle) pushed onto the drylands to begin a gross erosionof those lands that continues through today.

    To add insult to injury, one of the best known Sycophants to "market" capitalism in a nasty essay, 'Tragety of the Commons' Attributes the decline of these magnificant animals to a lack of "one entity in-out control of the "resource"; this essay is one of many BIG LIES!

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  24. John Clarke and Brian Dawe appear to miss the key point; I.e. who Produces ALL value??

    All VALUE is the product of labour and nothing else. Real capital is accumulated labour; I.e. Labour that along with providing sustenance for the labourer(s) has also produced SURPLUS value or product above the basic needs of the labourers and a portion of that surplus value labour has been accumulated or saved as "means of production". It may consist of tools, machinery, buildings, raw materials, component parts &c and the skills, knowledge education of the labourers and others all of which may be possessed by the labourer or have been appropriated by others (entrepreneur-capitalists); what distinguishes it is that it is accumulated labour waiting to be set in motion by the application of LIVING labour. Real capital may be represented by equity, personal possession or in cash advances secured by that capital in document form. All of these might reasonably expect a share of any new (surplus) value; whether in the form of dividends or interest they are all part of the 'profit' of the endeavour.

    On the other hand we have "Fictitious Capital" which is just paper created from nothing by banks that permits governments and/or the well to do to live beyond their financial means; all government bonds, debts, (outside of those for infrastructure) treasury bills &c. fall into this grouping as do various other banking frauds such as swaps, derivatives any all such valueless documents.

    In Marx' time this amounted to perhaps 10%, max 15%, of a countries GDP. Wars and/or high living by government and gentry, otherwise beyond their means were so financed. These amounts of course were an additional burden on the entrepreneur led workers, particularly in times of crises, but in themselves they were not enough to bring down the house; I.e. bank swindles were used to settle accounts that could not be settled otherwise (most of them) and when the current crisis passed they could again do business as usual until the next one hit.

    Today in the year 2011/12 times are radically different. Once on to something the typical free enterpriser expands ad infinitum; in our brave new world (of the 1%) banks with the involvement of governments have created a mass of debts, swaps, bonds, bills &c. and by passing them around, using every (exchange) trick in their obscene manuals, have inflated the whole rat bag to some 10 TIMES THE TOTAL WORLD GDP. I.e. More than $700TRILLION and growing, fraudulent paper supposedly secured by an estimated world GDP of $70 TRILLION!!!

    And there lies the rub! All the so called "bailouts" are just attempts to off load valueless DEBT on to the backs of the workers, students, small enterpreneurs &c. in exchange for REAL value we produce, If they can get away with this MASSIVE SWINDLE, we the poor can expect to be robbed of wages, tuition, pensions &c and this in a downward GDP spiral; our 99% will all be marginalised to the dire poverty that in Greece is right now upon the common people.

  25. Hello. I'm a Spanish journalist staying here in Canadà (Toronto) for three months, I followed and participated in the movement in Barcelona and here in Toronto, I'll like to know more about how you coordinate that different movements and how you pretend to present an alternative to the traditional parties as long as the eleccions are concerned. In our case, Spain, we arrived late or we did not arrive at all and the right won last 20 novembre. Thanks for your attention. Núria Cornet

  26. (I rather doubt that those claiming to be of the 1% are really part of the 1%. Billionaires generally don't waste time on such things. But if you are, give someone a job.)

    Nick, I think your idea is amazing. I tried last election to reach as many progressive groups as possible but it's a mammoth undertaking.

    I blog (Pushed to the Left and Loving It) and would be more than happy to share any ideas you have.

    With Harper tying the hands of the opposition, limiting debate, it would be nice if we had the resources to run ads on TV, reminding Canadians that our very democracy is under attack. It would draw in even more support for the Occupy movement.

    I just don't want it to become another political party as so many movements do, but I don't think that's what you're suggesting.

    I'm in. How can I help? I have two dogs who can lick envelopes and a genuine concern for the direction that our country is headed in.

  27. As a 'border baby'from Detroit, I have all of my life longed for the kind of social system Canadians take for granted. The Occupy Movement in the U.S. is awakening our people to the full extent of our manipulation by the corporate power structure. We are told to 'get a job.' But they have outsourced the work overseas. We are told the rich can't pay more taxes because they are the 'job creators.'But who and where have they hired with their trillions of surplus? We have been taught to fear socialism, but the rich use public money for everything they do from drug research to oil speculation. This hypocrisy would be laughable if it didn't have such very real and tragic consequences in people's lives. Four thousand peaceful people have been arrested at Occupy functions. Not one banking criminal has even been charged. I visited Zucotti Park on its last Occupy Monday, November 14,2011. It was a peaceful,organized, thoughtful assemblage. Rows of colorful tents, a food court, a library, a medical center, an acupuncture tent, a center for student loan advice. it was cheerful and calm.The drum circle played for an hour that afternoon, recalling a time when Native Americans told their stories of pain and triumph. And that very night the billy clubs and shields descended. To protect whom? From what? We need to keep asking and asking.

  28. Yes! The first past the post system only works with a two party system. I want to have some sort of coalition to balance out the Harper gov't! Dominique, Comox, BC

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