Saturday, November 5, 2011

Death at Occupy Vancouver, today.

It is a very significant and reportable phenomenon that so many homeless, mentally ill, and addicted people are making the occupy movement their home.

Why are they there?
1. They find support, food, and shelter, there, which is in short supply elsewhere.
2. They find acceptance, because acceptance of EVERYONE is a cornerstone of the movement.
3. Many of them feel like the 'system' has failed them. And it has! Who more than they needs this movement to heal our very broken system. They are unrepresented, but at occupy they have a voice.

Is it a problem for the movement?
Well, the presence of drugs and the risk of overdose-related injury and death, and/or drug-induced behaviour issues does deter many others from joining. I've been uncomfortable there a few times, myself, but never threatened, as I participate and have camped there with my children. And really why should we be so alarmed to have this reminder of our failed system brought out onto Georgia? If you look closely it was there already. Just a few blocks down the street we can blissfully turn a blind eye on the most destitute community in Canada, walk past them with our shopping bags, give them a few coins, and go home. Yes, it's uncomfortable that they're occupying the VAG, too, but THEY are part of US. And it behoves us to find not only place for them in our hearts and in our aspirations, but also in our communities; solutions that include them as part of the whole that we are working towards.

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