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Posted by on Oct 8, 2011 in Economy, International, Politics | 6 comments

Occupy Wall Street Protests Spread to Canada? Here They Come

The Occupy Wall Street Protests are moving north. Under the banner “Occupy Toronto,” protesters are due to take to the streets on October 15th. It’s easy to dismiss these folks — as many have — as simply lazy kids with nothing better to do. But, as Tom Walkom writes in the Toronto Star, that would not be wise:

While the aims of the Wall Streeters remain distressingly vague, they do seem to be coalescing around a notion that American capitalism is fundamentally unfair — that it benefits only a tiny minority while leaving the rest disadvantaged.

That is a powerful message — not only for Americans, but for Europeans and for Canadians, too. And history shows that small protests can explode — particularly if the governing elites are not paying attention:

The Paris revolt of 1968, which briefly united students and parts of the industrial working class, almost brought down the French government. Yet it began with a series of relatively minor complaints about conditions in the country’s universities.

Egypt’s revolt last spring, which resulted in the toppling of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek, had its genesis in something called the April 6 Movement, a small group of regime critics who until this year had been spectacularly unsuccessful.

In short, history shows that, given the right conditions, tiny protests can suddenly blossom.

At the moment, no one can predict what impact these protests will have. One thing is sure. The tools of democracy have worked hard to protect institutions which are too big to fail, while those who are deemed too small to pay attention to are barely keeping their heads above water.

It would be foolish to dismiss these folks any longer.They may not have money — but they do have numbers. And those numbers, once mobilized, could make life for those with money very uncomfortable.

Owen Grayz grew up in Montreal, where he received a B. A. from Concordia University. After crossing the border and completing a Master’s degree at the University of North Carolina, he returned to Canada, married, raised a family and taught high school for 32 years. Now retired, he lives — with his wife and youngest son — on the northern shores of Lake Ontario. This post is cross posted from his blog.

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Copyright 2011 The Moderate Voice
  • JSpencer

    Capitalism has always worked best when tempered with a strong streak of social responsibility. When it loses that level of accountability it goes off the tracks – as we have seen. Knowledge of this danger goes all the way back to the founders and we’ve seen the ugly results of capitalism run amok before. Neither the US nor Canada was ever intended to become a law of the jungle mentality. These protests need to grow and be joined by citizens from all walks of life until

  • JSpencer

    …until they are taken seriously enough to effect change.

  • slamfu

    I couldnt agree more JSpence

  • Allen

    Mine Eyes have seen the Glory…..

  • Allen

    This time it won’t be heads of state being toppled, it’ll be CEOs dragged from their arrogant offices, and made to pay for their transgressions. Law enforcement may have to choose individually, what class they belong too.

  • SteveK

    Well said Owen and JSpencer. It’s nice to see that optimism can still show such strength in light of all the negative STUF that have been consciously and intentionally placed in the path of “Middle Canada / Middle America”…

    And, as “Money & Power, Inc.” has failed to reply AND with five in agreement on this issue… We have a quorum. What’s next on the agenda! 🙂

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