It’s now Friday, April 4, 2014.
Greetings, world, the reboot of the Occupy Movement, the Worldwide #WaveOfAction [follow it live in Twitter here], has begun in a variety of places around the world! And it will last for 3 months while it evolves its next phase.
But as it turns out, Vancouver will be fashionably late.
Here’s what’s up:
Crickets, as far as I can tell.
Now, granted, I haven’t beaten down doors checking out ALL the usual suspects involved in mobilizing Occupy Vancouver 2.5 years ago. Though I do know that a few of them are living in other cities/countries now.
But that’s irrelevant, the future is waiting for those of us who happen to be here to show up and make it.
My mother has heard of this #WaveOfAction but says if you do it, you'll go blind.
— Occupy Well St (@OccupyWellSt) April 4, 2014
So we need to meet for a General Assembly. And we need to plan. And we need to decide if we need to actually occupy some space permanently or temporarily.
And we need to decide if we need a tent city. And we need to decide a few more things:
- Should we meet at the Teamsters 213 picket line at the Richmond IKEA because they’ve been locked out for almost a year as IKEA tries to break their union? Should this be a permanent solidarity occupation? And then when we help the Teamsters make IKEA blink do we help them unionize all the other IKEAs in Canada?
- Should we meet/plan/sleep at the Vancouver Art Gallery?
- Should we fill up bank lobbies, encouraging people to fire their banks and switch their financial existence to credit unions because Bank Transfer Day can be every/any day?
- Should we do a better job this time of developing real alliances with other progressive groups or just tolerate letterhead coalitions of support that has no boots on the ground?
- Should we do a better job with our messaging? Occupy is about equality and justice: economic, political, social, environmental. And how that manifests can be wildly different in different communities, cities, states, provinces, regions, countries and the whole world. And that’s OK.
- And should we just, you know, meet up soon for a General Assembly?
— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) April 4, 2014
I can say, however, that I’m not phased by the lack of Occupy Vancouver’s existence today. The website appears to be dormant. But it can be rebooted too.
Vancouver can be too laid back for its own good. And we have trouble mobilizing community sometimes. But this is OK.
It doesn’t have to happen overnight. The 1% and their governing wing have centuries of experience organizing and stabilizing their solidarity. It’s what they do. In some ways we’re just getting started.
In fact, there are Six Things Tahrir Protesters Taught the World About Starting a Movement. They go like this:
1. Change Doesn’t Happen Overnight
2. Revolution Is About Showing Up
3. Start By Changing the Narrative
We definitely need to own and portray our message.
4. It’s Not About Democracy vs. Islam
This is an Egypt [and various other places] thing. But we shouldn’t ourselves fall into binary traps of this or that.
5. Human Rights Violations Affect Us All
We’re all in this together. There is no equality and justice for all as long as some are victimized and suffering from inequality.
6. If You Want The Story, Go To The People
We can’t let the corporate media define us. Their goal, as the 1%, is to define us as cranks, even though we seek justice and equality.
And if you want to read the original narratives around those 6 points, click on that link just up there.
In the meantime, someone shine the bat signal into the sky [or maybe a Guy Fawkes mask]; it’s time for an Occupy Vancouver General Assembly!
- I have created an “event” to call for a General Assembly at the Wave of Action website. Share your logistical ideas [and otherwise] for a General Assembly in the comments below. Let’s not be anything more than fashionably late!
- Stephen Hui at the Straight appears to be the first in local media to write about the Wave of Action, and there is some interesting and controversial interaction already in the Twitter:
— Stephen Hui (@StephenHui) April 4, 2014