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Occupy Wall Street Movement Spreads to Ottawa

Hundreds demonstrate locally in global day of action

by Andy Crosby

Occupy/Occupons Ottawa banner at Elgin/Laurier
Occupy/Occupons Ottawa banner at Elgin/Laurier
A man addresses the assembly in French and English
A man addresses the assembly in French and English
Medical tent - one of many at Confederation Park
Medical tent - one of many at Confederation Park

A large crowd gathered at Confederation Park in Ottawa on Saturday in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread to dozens of cities around the world. The “Occupy” Ottawa movement held a general assembly to coincide with a global day of action on Oct. 15.

“We are here because we are the 99% and we are sick of the 1%,” announced facilitator Brigette DePape.

“As we begin Occupy Ottawa, we want to acknowledge that Ottawa is already occupied,” facilitator Ben Powless followed. “We are on occupied Algonquin land and we want to honour that, and thank the Algonquin people for being here.”

The group used a consensus-based model to make decisions, and almost 500 people participated in a tight vote – 254 to 233 – choosing Confederation Park over Major’s Hill Park as the site for an indefinite occupation. While there was disagreement over the occupation site, largely due to proximity of public washrooms, the group came to consensus.

“As the movement grows, we can occupy every park,” Powless assured the crowd.

Shortly afterwards there was an announcement that the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) would be providing tents, supplies, and portable toilets for an indefinite occupation.

During a brief intermission the crowd was treated by a guest appearance from Joey “Shithead” Keithley of D.O.A., one of Canada’s pioneer punk rock bands. On acoustic guitar he played D.O.A. classics The Enemy, General Strike, and Fucked Up Harper (adapted from original Fucked Up Ronnie from the Reagan era).

When the assembly reconvened, a proposal was then put forward by the Direct Action Committee to hold a march. The assembly then held a discussion and heard proposals for amendments.

Speaking in favour of marching in the street as opposed to the sidewalk, one woman addressed the crowd, “As a shareholder that we all are, in this crown corporation called Canada, we own the street,” she said. “So they cannot arrest us for protesting peacefully in the street.”

Unable to reach consensus surrounding the details of the march and at what point of the day it would be held, the assembly agreed to instead hold a demonstration and march on Sunday at noon.

At one point the Legal Committee announced that police had made an arrest after accusing somebody of using drugs or other substances in the park area. The committee reminded the assembly that the park was under surveillance and people should make choices accordingly.

As the people’s assembly adjourned, those gathering chanted “We are unstoppable, another world is possible.”

Participants then began setting up camp and meeting with their subcommittees to determine next steps.

As of 7:00 pm, well over a dozen tents and tarps had been set up. The site also includes an information kiosk, medic station, and donations booth. People are encouraged to make donations and join the occupation.

Outside of Canada and the United States where dozens of demonstrations were held on Saturday, protests occurred throughout the world in Japan, Korea, Australia, South Africa, and many other places.

Protests also continued throughout Europe. In Italy, tens of thousands deemed “the indignant” demonstrated against austerity measures. Police clashed with protestors after financial targets were attacked in Rome.

The march in Ottawa will begin Sunday at noon in Confederation Park and return afterwards for a general assembly.


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Topics: Solidarity
548 words

Comments

million+out of work & homes by policy & now their MAD?, Na Nuts!

 

Ha! can anyone tell me how old Senator Grassley, or for that matter Senator Reed is? Heck I remember them in the sixties when we were walking out of school rooms over the Vietnam war protests and they looked the same then as, Now and thats scary Halloween stuff, when the zombies in congress that put together sex laws by paying people to stand outside Target stores for signatures are still manipulating laws that caused millions to lose jobs, homes, and families. Course no one reads these anyway its just masturbatory bs for the 1%'s running things into the ground today.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAffYcLPMAQ&feature=channel_video_title

remember

In peace and with pride, 99%. We are one. One people, one race, one world.

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