There is no single reason why you should stand in solidarity with the 99%. Every participant, from a camper to a marcher to a donor of food and clothing, had their own reasons for joining the movement.
I don’t want the Americanization of Canada. There, I said it.
If you’re reading this, if you’re reading ANYTHING, chances are you have something in common with this movement. You might not be a brown ex-Soviet Canadian comedian, but you probably know someone who’s been unemployed ever since the crash of 2008, you’re probably part of the middle class whose income has stagnated over the last 30 years while the elite showered themselves in dineros, you probably feel the pinch as food, gas, water and oil prices increase even by a few dollars, you’ve probably been treated like a criminal by an increasingly militarized police.
I’ve been in Canada for 6 years now. It’s a great country, one of a few that lives up to a lot of the positive hype surrounding it. I made my way here after snaking through some real dodgy parts of the world – born and raised in Moscow during the final days of a crumbling socialist empire and the beginning of a severely flawed capitalist Russia, I spent my formative years dodging traffic in SE Asia. Neither there nor the USSR are the sort of places where you hear words like “film festival” as often as you hear terms like “death toll”.
Here the wealthy run the country through political pawns, and corruption is rampant due to a government rendered impotent by it’s masters, working against the majority for an elite minority.
What I’ve noticed lately are precursors to the same oppressive governance that we escaped – encroachment of civil liberties, a ruling political and business class that considers itself above the law, rising tuition fees, cuts to education redirecting spending on ‘national defense’, and ongoing efforts to increase civilian surveillance via online spying. They’ve been trying to fingerprint toddlers for fuck’s sake.
A dictatorship doesn’t spring overnight, it takes hold gradually, a few rights here, some invasion of privacy there, and a couple of corporate exemptions later you find yourself being fingerbanged by Wal-Mart security, because they can.
Thus I support this movement to stem the flow of this tide. Today’s inequality is not how things should be. Yes there are hard working successful individuals and corporations, but when 1% of the population controls 40% of GLOBAL wealth, you have to ask yourself whether a CEO truly is 300 times smarter than his or her average employee. Who am I kidding, the CEO’s probably a man.
Society will never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying, even on the behalf of those who disagree with us.