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Activist Communiqué: Update from Occupy Ottawa

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Hey all, I would like to present below a guest post from Christophe Elie to give everyone an update on Occupy Ottawa.

April 1, 2012 - Well it's that time again as another month closes, we reflect back on what has unfolded this month and what we look forward to as the last of the snow melts and seeps back in to the earth. This month"s discussions again trended on C-10, the Crime Bill and it's passing with no amendments from the Senate despite many hours of witness testimony.

The monetary system posts focused on the Bank of Canada and time banks, there was discussion around the concept of Harperspeak, which is the Conservative government's rebranding of common Canadian terminology, as in, from "Tar Sands" to "Oil Sands". And of course much dialogue on the thwarting of democracy in the last election.

The Political Action committee took on the Election fraud scandal through the creation of a wiki to aggregate information related to the scandal and organizing an ongoing weekly rally at Parliament Hill, held every Sunday at noon #TwelveoClockSunday.

Everyone is encouraged to come out and add their voice to the demand for an independent public inquiry into this attack on our Canadian Democracy. This past Sunday an actual robot even showed up in outrage, suggesting their reputation as well had been tarnished.

The Arts & Culture committee continue to be visible, organizing events including an Open Stage and Silent Auction at the Atomic Rooster in support of a family who lost their home to fire earlier this month.

Even quiet months at Occupy Ottawa encompass much activity. There were visits to Kumik Lodge, an Indigenous Spiritual Centre in the lobby of Aboriginal Affairs in Hull. One visit in particular was for the opportunity to experience a ceremony with Elder Joanne Dalaire.

Another "Warm your Heart against Cold Capitalism" event was organized. An incredible evening of musical entertainment at the Daily Grind on Somerset. The evening was organized in support of the Wakefield Tree Sitters who were arrested trying to save a 300 year old Tree and bring awareness to Ottawa Gatineau residents of an alternative plan for the Highway 5 extension.

Occupy Ottawa joined Protestors at a rally coined "Don't Attack Iran" to emphasize this message to Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Ottawa. Mr. Netanyahu stopped in Ottawa on his way to the United States to try and bolster support for his pro-war message.

Members of the Indigenous Solidarity Action Committee organized the event "What does Occupying already Occupied Land mean?" in partnership with Cinema Academica. The event was introduced by Tigerlily Quora, a member of Occupy Ottawa's ISA, and included discussion and the screening of videos that speak to this topic.

Occupy Ottawa also covered a Forum held on the proposed Northern Gateway Pipelines project at St. Joseph's Church - http://vimeo.com/m/38426184 . The event was hosted by the organizations Environmental Defence and West Coast Environmental Law who welcomed Chief Jackie Thomas of the Saik'uz First Nation in B.C. as their guest speaker.

A candlelight vigil was held on March 15th well in to the night, despite the wind and rain at the Human Rights monument on Elgin St. to mark the International Day against Police violence. Sadly police brutality was unapologetic in it's force on the streets of Montreal on that day.

Occupier Obert Madondo himself the victim of police brutality during the Occupy Ottawa eviction, undertook a hunger strike, of his own initiative, on March 14th in protest of Bill C-10. It is now in its 23rd day, Obert has had the support of a group called Friends of Obert that have organized 2 Fasts in solidarity with Obert and have helped spread Obert's message.

Obert delivered his "Open letter to Parliament of Canada" to his MP Paul Dewar who promised to deliver it to Prime Minister Harper personally. Obert has outlined 5 Demands in his letter - Repeal Bill C-10, The resignation of Senator Vern White , A National inquiry in to the cases of the over 600 murdered or missing Aboriginal Women and girls and that the Harper Conservatives cease their campaign of fear and the undermining of Canadian Democracy. To read Obert's blog visit this link.

Occupy Ottawa continues to conduct its two General Assemblies each week. The Re-Occupation committee continues to plan for the next camp and the Occu-Conference committee continues the plans to receive Occupiers from across the country at the beginning of June. The Direct Action Committee has confirmed a campaign on housing and planned an Anti-Oppression training workshop for April 15th. For more information on any of these events find Occupy Ottawa on Facebook or at http://www.occupy-ottawa.org

Occupy 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.

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