rabble.ca is the proud media sponsor of Indignez-Vous! Hope in Resistance. We will live-stream the event this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22. Check out the speakers and seminars here. For the live-stream in English, starting Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., click here. For the live-stream in French, click here.
What started in Tunisia following the death of an impoverished street vendor has reached every corner of the world. The revolutions in Tahrir Square and across the Arab world, the "Indignant" uprisings in Spain, France, Greece, Italy and elsewhere in Europe, and now the Occupy movement, present us with real opportunities for a different future.
Now, the reclaiming of the commons -- our shared environment, our public services, and our public spaces -- has arrived in North America with the emergence of Occupy Wall Street. Of course, this is already occupied land.
Instead of a future of corporate greed, crushing poverty and environmental destruction, people are reclaiming public spaces and refusing to leave. The people of the world are saying "No" to business as usual, No to the exploitation of the 99 per cent by the 1 per cent, and "Yes" to taking a stand for positive change to the imbalance of power, and the imbalance of justice.
We stand together.
We stand together in recognition of Indigenous rights as integral to this new movement, as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and we are organizing in solidarity. The Indigenous peoples of this land are part of the 99 per cent. As Mohawk activist Ben Powless recently noted at Occupy Ottawa, Indigenous peoples have been resisting the 1 per cent since 1492.
We stand together, with the Occupy movement, along with its general assemblies (effectively peoples' parliaments), charting a new course for politics in the world, one defined by direct democracy.
And we will stand and organize together, in the midst of this exciting political moment, on Oct. 21 and 22, at the conference Indignez-Vous! Hope in Resistance, named for French resistance fighter Stephan Hessel's bestselling book Indignez-Vous, which inspired the Indignant movement in Europe.
The conference will mark the beginning of a new partnership of Québécois, Canadian and Indigenous peoples and organizations, bringing people together from coast to coast. We will work to build a united and sustained social movement that acts as a counterweight to the Harper "majority," and its destructive and unjust policies, which favour the 1 per cent, at the expense of the 99 per cent.
Some say our movement for a better country and a better world has no clear demands. But we know the source of our ills. Decades of out of control corporate greed have had impacts that are difficult to miss. Climate inaction. Water crisis. War. Poverty. Trade deals of the 1 per cent, by the 1 per cent, for the 1 per cent. All this and more has occurred at the expense of the 99 per cent to enrich the already obscenely rich 1 per cent.
And we know that we must go beyond challenging the unjust policies of this federal government, because the problems we face are much deeper than any particular government. The problem is the system. We must challenge, and change, the system of exploitation of the 99 per cent by the 1 per cent.
The Indignez-Vous conference this weekend aims to bolster the increasing resistance to the growing gap between the very rich and the very poor by putting forward a vision for a different -- and better -- future. A future that puts people and the planet before profits. Indeed, the counterweight to the Harper majority, and the failed neoliberal model it is trying to expand, is people power, resistance, and hope.
As part of challenging and changing the system, the Indignez-Vous conference will include a conversation between politicians and civil society, about the roles of electoral and extra-parliamentary political action.
What happens next for this movement is far from certain. In an interview at Occupy Wall Street, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges noted that when he was interviewing activists in Germany one day in 1989, they told him maybe in a year they would win the goals. An hour later, the Berlin Wall fell. In other words, movements like this can be even more powerful than even those involved realize.
The slogan that originated with the World Social Forum, that Another World Is Possible, seems closer to realization than ever. We will be right there with this exciting new movement, ensuring that another world is imminent.
The tide of change that is sweeping the world is saying enough is enough. From Latin America, to the Middle East and North Africa, to Europe, people's movements are organizing with hope, love and optimism.
Now, it's our turn.
Council of Canadians chairperson, Maude Barlow, and executive director of Alternatives, Michel Lambert, will be among the keynote speakers at Indignez-Vous! Hope in Resistance on Oct. 21 and 22 at the Marriott Château Champlain in Montreal. Further details, as well as secure online registration, are available here.
rabble.ca is the media sponsor of Indignez-Vous! Hope in Resistance. We will live-stream the event this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22.
To see the live-stream in English, starting Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., click here.
To see the live-stream in French, click here.