My nearly 30 years of experience as a social activist in Saskatchewan immediately attracted me to the NPI 10 years ago: I had despaired for years over the deep and irrational divide between NDP party politics and the active social movements which characterized Saskatchewan political culture. The two should have been working together -- at least informally -- yet they existed as two solitudes. The NDP establishment detested social movements (and distrusted the labour movement) as naive and uncontrollable troublemakers because when the NDP was in power they persisted in criticizing the NDP government and making things uncomfortable for the ministers. Roy Romanow once told me he thought social movements were "totally useless."
The ‘Occupy’ movement feels like it happened ages ago, but its resonance remains, at least for this young racialized activist, who is willing to admit that it was the most radical experience of participatory democracy that he has ever engaged with.
This however says more about the past, present and ongoing nature of my experiences in a society built on exclusion, genocide and racial exploitation than it does with the democratic nature of the spontaneous and collective movement known as Occupy Toronto.