When I tell my activists friends about the Occupy Vancouver action on October 15th their initial response is: "who's organizing it?" My response is, "Who cares?"
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard about Occupy Wall Street. In case you haven't here it is in a nut shell. Adbusters (yeah I know) put the call out this summer to set up a tent village in Wall Street on September 17th with not much of an explanation. The hacker group Anonymous started pushing the meme, but it did not get much traction. Reports vary on the number of people who showed up, but the NYPD blocked the would be occupiers, so they opted to occupy a near by park.
In the style of the Spanish occupations of this summer, the campers started holding general assemblies in what seemed like a leaderless encampment. This went on for about a week, but the mainstream media pretty much ignored the action. Then the cops pepper sprayed four women during a march, the mainstream media went apeshit and the rest as they said is herstory.
Since the media frenzy took hold, high profile lefties like Cornell West have attached themselves to the action. The New York subway drivers union and the Wobblies have endorsed it. But most importantly dozens of similar occupations have been called around the world, including one right here in Vancouver.
So why all the skepticism by the left in this city? I think it's because like the Canuck riots, the left can't claim it, they didn't start it, and they don't know who's putting it on. When questioned on twitter, the person who holds the OccupyVancouver account said "I'm just a guy that couldn't afford to go to NYC. I made a twitter page. But we ALL made this movement."
Like the New York occupation, the Vancouver one was based on a meme, an idea, and picked up by the person who had the gumption and not by the self appointed managers of "the movement." As an anarchist, I find this exciting and inspiring. So far the Facebook page has over 800 confirmed guests. This is more than the anti-Cheney protests of last week gathered, and I am willing to bet, when it's all said and done that this thing is going to be huge.
So to all my fellow anarchists, lefties and anti-authoritarians, I urge to take part in this action and share your ideas with the people you meet. A lot of the energy behind this is coming from young people who are honestly outraged by what's happening to the world. This is an great opportunity to connect with these folks and increase our capacity.
Finally, to the Occupy Vancouver organizers, I strongly suggest that you acknowledge in your public communications that Vancouver is already occupied territory and it belongs to the Coast Salish.
In the spirit of total resistance
Occupy Vancouver will take place on October 15th at the Vancouver Art Gallery
For more information visit OccupyVancouver.com