It's very hard to comment on or summarize the current Occupy Toronto movement when it's only four days old. It's like trying to write a biography for a baby.
It's our insta-culture -- and insta-MSM communication that demands an insta-answer to everything -- that leads the MSM to chase its tail around Toronto looking for its 15-second Occupy Toronto clip.
The best example of the MSM need for a demonstration to follow around with their expensive helicopters is when they will forgo any real fact-checking for the sake of a lead-rush on any impending downtown march.
We saw this phenomenon when media helicopters flew over Toronto searching for the impending Monday TSX demonstration that never was. How did such a story break, you ask? Well, it was a combination of a late-night tweet and the fact that on Sundays, it seems that all the major media just copy what the other major media has already written, whether accurate or not, so one mis-quote suddenly a demonstration makes (just as one tweet does not a demonstration make).
(Speaking of Twitter, I have not seen this many trolls on #OccupyToronto since #cdnpoli on the NDP opposition victory. I especially want to point out tweets like how "Toronto occupiers should be sent to #showerinthegaschamber." Ya, give some people enough rope and.... You can follow me @krystalline_k as I report on events).
Can Occupy Toronto be summarized in a 15-second clip? The answer is a tough "no." While the larger Occupy movement can be distilled down to a movement against capitalism, fighting capitalism is like fighting an octopus. With all the tentacles from the body of capitalism (economic, social, colonial, global) attacking the 99 per cent, it would be foolish to assume that this octopus in combat is going to head-butt you.
No, it's going to fight you from all angles, all its tentacles in action, hence the variety of messages and themes. If anything, the Occupy movement has not communicated this necessary fact of fighting against capitalism to the broader community. Otherwise, I agree that it must be frustrating that the movement cannot come up with an under 140-word manifesto.
This is also why the movement is so beautiful -- if you can see the beauty of anything natural and organic as a portrait of harmony and not unity. I think it would be pretty idiotic to yell at a wild meadow for not growing all the same flowers in exactly the same way, but this is where the Occupy movement really is at right now -- it's in a period of growth.
The same trajectory can be charted with the Occupy Wall Street movement and other Occupy movements around the world. Rome wasn't dismantled in a day, you know. Occupy Wall Street also had the same media reaction and critics and distracters, but now is finally settling into the American consciousness for what it really is.
The Occupy movement is really just that, a move-ment, it represents motion and possibilities. Movement represents change. That's what beats at the heart, and keep occupiers warm at night, it's the hope and possibility of change.
I encourage everyone in Toronto to see it in action for themselves, check in at not the daily marches but also check out the HQ at King Street and Jarvis Street. Come down and see the 100 tents, the public library, and sit in on a General Assembly.
For yes, democracy is unruly and meetings run long, but as one occupier noted, the conversations had at the General Assemblies are not insta-blurbs about the weather or what's for dinner, but the real hashing out of different ideas. And yes, that takes time and the decision making process is always under refinement but please remember that it's only day four. Rome wasn't built in a day, you know. In a world where we get to actively shape and participate in so little in our lives, come down to the park and join in. I would like to note here that the park is on Indigenous land - land that has already been occupied for 400 years.
I think one of the best things about the park is that it creates the kind of space that Toronto really needed as a gathering point for activists and organizing events. The occupiers -- with the blessing on the St. James Anglican Church -- plan to stay in the park over the winter. They are willing to give this movement a chance to grow, won't you?
On Monday night, I watched the occupiers sleep in their tents, watched the park breathe in and out gently, waiting for the morning and another day. Beautiful.
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