Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Occupying homes

Before writing this post, I just want to say that I was tucked up in bed, about to fall asleep when suddenly I gasped. “I haven’t blogged.”

Sorely tempted to stay in my warm bed, especially since I have to get up early tomorrow and the clock is inching close to midnight. But it’d be a shame to drop out only 18 days from the finish line. So, here I am, wrapped in blankets in a dark and sleeping house. Blogging.

I haven’t blogged about the Occupy movement yet – although I have often considered it. What has kept me from doing so is my feeling that I have nothing to add to the many discussions and articles about it already circulating around the web. I had thought about spending a day with the Occupy Ottawa crowd, but sadly never made it down to their campground in Confederation Park.

Like many others, I have wondered about the efficacy and purpose of this movement – though at the same time applauding the efforts of the underdogs to challenge entrenched power. I can only hope that the energy being applied to these new and marginal forms of protest will also be applied to other forms of democratic expression – i.e. voting.

But while recognizing that I have little new to offer, I heard a story from the Occupy movement that really struck me – and was for me the first time I could find something to really grasp as far as the practical effects of the Occupy movement.

In Minneapolis, the Occupy Movement has moved from tents to the three-bedroom home of a woman facing foreclosure. Monqiue White turned to Occupy Minnesota for help when she was facing foreclosure on her home. For more than 5 weeks, dozens of protesters have been living inside and around her home. This action is part of “the shift from physical encampments in public parks to actions targeting economic inequality.”

I heard Ms. White and one of her supporters interviewed on CBC and was impressed with this example of people coming together to stand up to face Goliath. And I may be slow to catch on, but it’s finally starting to make sense to me.

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