Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy Vancouver Photos

For those interested, here are some recent photos from the grounds of Occupy Vancouver:

Come down to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Look at those tents! I've met many people on the streets downtown who say they're "ugly", "slovenly", and "pointless". Then there are those who tell me the Occupants are "a bunch of bums", and "should get jobs and stop living off everybody else's tax money". You know what I say to those people? I tell them that I am an occupant. And I encourage them to go meet some of the rest of us, and to see what beautiful things are happening beyond those tents. It just requires a bit of open-mindedness, a willingness to meet others and to hear their ideas, and a willingness to enjoy. So here you go: A partial tour of Occupy Vancouver.
Curious what's happening? Stop in at the info tent! If they can't answer your questions they can at least direct you to the person who can.

Near the info tent is the art tent. Donate materials or just use the paints already there. Make some art! Make some signs if you'll be participating in a march!

Near the art and info tent is this wonderful climbing tree, and the intriguing announcement about the "Occupy Choir". We wish we'd been there at the right time to see the Occupy Choir!

Check out what's happening on the mainstage. Throughout the day various speakers and musicians take the stage, and between those main acts is music and open mic.
Last time we were there, Rhiannon stood around singing Imagine to herself. So I suggested she go sing it at the microphone. "No!" She said. "I don't know what order all the words go in!" So off we went to her Pappa's office, where she looked up the lyrics on his computer, printed them, and brought them back to the Occupy site. She bravely walked up to the people on the stage and asked if she could sing, then, just as she began to walk onstage, turned back and asked: "Is this song called Imagine?"
"Yes", I said.
And off she went.

If you can stay past 7PM, you can participate in the General Assembly. And if you do, you may find these hand symbols helpful! On the stairs next to the stage is this instruction-manual for participation in the GA.
Should you injure yourself, forget to keep warm and suffer from hypothermia (apparently this has been an issue for some), or suffer from any other ills that humans do, you can make your way to the medical tent, where professional medics volunteer their time in shifts to help those in need. There is somebody available 24/7. And should you just need supplies, the infrastructure people can help with that.

Or maybe you just want to relax for a bit. Come into the People's Lovely Library, read some books, newspapers, or printed articles; have a game of chess, or have a chat with some of the other interesting Occupants. This latter is actually all I've ever managed to do, there. There's always much too much meeting people to be done to actually retreat into typed words...

Rhiannon, though, found the children's section on her first visit, and returned there many times, even making use of the check-out system to check out and return a book she liked.
As I said, there are many people to talk to. It's really a very welcoming scene, down at Occupy, with many engaged people, willing to speak and listen; share ideas; inspire and BE the new reality.

Peace Keepers (Occupy Vancouver's Security Committee) are here to ... (how could you guess) keep the peace! Thankfully there isn't often a lot for them to do, but when friction does arise, especially with Vancouver's not-so-peaceful tactics against the occupation, the Peace Keepers are there to help diffuse. They've also held workshops on peaceful de-escalation tactics, etc.

And should you want serious, inner peace... go meditate. This is for everyone, of every belief-system. Enjoy.

Or maybe you need just some renewal; some good conversation with some elders. Go ahead. Ask them about that fire, too. (See it, below.)


  1. BIG love to you and your family! Thanks so much for sharing your deep humanity.

  2. Hi there, my name is Lisa and I produce the UBC Geography department's newsletter. I am writing to ask if I could use your photos of the People's Library? If so, please provide the name of the photographer to credit. Thank yoU!


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