This is a guest post from Christophe Elie.
May 1, 2012 - An eventful month at "Occupy Ottawa" saw the General Assembly approve a change of name to "Occupied Ottawa." This discussion began the day the movement began and has been an ongoing discussion in particular in Oakland, Seattle and Toronto.
In Toronto, a Decolonization Statement was issued by the Occupy Toronto Cloud Gardens General Assembly.
The impetus for the change to "Occupied Ottawa" is rooted in the recognition that the word Occupy does have negative connotations, in this country, in particular due to our history. On the other hand there was also an acknowledgement that the name should not dissociate itself from the greater movement. The decision to change the name to "Occupied Ottawa" was passed by the General Assembly on Wednesday April 11.
Discussions continued around outreach and how Occupied Ottawa might best support and work with aligned organizations. There was also considerable scrutiny inward as well, as the movement members considered their place, their role, their ideology as it relates to the movement.
The "Occupied Ottawa" website occupy-ottawa.org that was out of commission for weeks was finally restored and is now the website. Meet the Occupation also landed in Carleton Place for the inaugural Occupy Carleton Place General Assembly. A workshop around Community Organizing took place with Joan Kuyek as well as an Anti-Oppression awareness workshop was organized. For each of these, follow up workshops are being organized.
Weekly protests demanding a Public Inquiry of the Robocall Election fraud scandal continued and continue at noon on Sundays at Parliament Hill.
Obert Modando's hunger strike continues, and as of May 1, Obert is on the 48th day of his hunger strike. His key demands are the repeal of the "Safe Streets and Communities act" and the resignation of former Ottawa Police chief and now Senator Vern White. To see Obert's appeal, view his video or read this blog.
Occupied Ottawa participated in a very dynamic rally on a misty day in April, "The People's Exhibit on Barrick Gold at the Museum of Nature". The rally, included speeches from a representative of Mining Watch, Musical protest from the Raging Grannies and despite poor weather conditions, many activists gathered in front of the Museum of Nature.
The Museum made a decision to accept a donation from Barrick Gold in return the museum named an events room Barrick's Salon. At issue is the contradiction between an institution that celebrates nature and one that pollutes it. For more information on the impacts of mining on the environment visit.
Occupied Ottawa planned a Re-Occupation for Saturday May 12 at 3 p.m. -- Free Parking! Occupied Ottawa Returns! It began with speeches and then a march from the Human Rights Monument on Elgin Street. Plans for the "Take back Democracy" OccuConference, scheduled June 1-3 also continue.
General Assemblies continue at Confederation Park on Wednesday's at 7 p.m.
and Sunday's at 2 p.m. Occupied Ottawa remains committed to increasing awareness on the issues of Social Justice, issues that affect our health and the Environment and supporting Ottawa organizations fighting for those who are busy trying to survive.
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.