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Archive for November 10th, 2011

It has been a few weeks since the first ‘Occupy’ protest began. A movement that is said to have been initiated by Canadian Adbusters magazine editor, Kalle Lasn (JTS Commentary, a thought proking response to one of the writings of Lasn), and is now global. In countries such as Kuala Lumpur, United States, Canada, China, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil and South Africa (they are calling it Operation Ubuntu … personally, I think my blog post was more representative to the meaning of that word Ubuntu … just sayin’), among many others.

The participants are said to be passionate about social and economic inequality … something I would have to applaud them on.

They have been known to hold placards and shout, “we are the 99%!” I understand that what they mean is that 1% of America’s wealthiest are benefiting from the tax cuts and benefits that elude 99% of the working people in the country … hard for me to argue with that either.

Then there is the ‘Robin Hood tax’, or taxing the wealthy (banks, financial institutions) and giving it to the poor of our world and fighting climate change. I always have adored the teaching of that hooded forest fellow!

I also love that we have the freedom to public protest. If this were not the case, we would be living in a communist country. I love that we have the freedom to argue our viewpoints. If this were not the case we would have no freedom of speech. And I support and join people who work to make life better for those less fortunate.

But (you knew this was coming …), I am not sure that tent cities are the best means to attain such noble goals.

Unions have joined the protests (the wealthy unions should also be challenged to share their wealth). Some cities are looking into legal means of ending the occupations. And, in Vancouver, the original message has been lost in a drug overdose resulting in death, and at least a perception that the goal has become more about keeping the tent city than the original focus. Whatever good intentions were (and are) desired seem to be only lip service activism, and little action.

I have a better idea. One that is not just complaining about the world’s problems and it’s political leaders, but one which we, the true world’s 1% (lets look at our world more globally than simply North America. The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed one-third is starving) do all that we can, as individuals to be a part of the solution. WE are the world’s wealthy! If we, as individuals, do not make changes in how we spend our money, then we should pull up our tent pegs, duct tape our mouths, and stop insinuating that the problems of the world are the work of someone else, when they are the result of our unwillingness to alter how we live.

To me, the following short, simple, and peaceful proposition accomplishes far more for our world’s 99% 100%.

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