The Occupy movement will be coming to Hope on Saturday.
Occupy the Fraser Valley, the local offshoot of the original Occupy Wall Street protest, has been active for about a month. So far, it has held public protests in Chilliwack and twice in Abbotsford.
Speaking from in front of Abbotsford’s Clearbrook Library during a protest last Saturday, Ann Cadsky said the protests have been relatively uneventful, with the occasional person shouting “Get a job!” at the group.
“We all have jobs too. We all have families,” she said of Occupy Fraser Valley – adding that’s why the group’s protests are limited to Saturday afternoons.
“I want a future for my children,” she said. “I don’t see how, with the way things are going, the earth will even have enough resources.”
Cadsky said she visited the high profile Occupy Vancouver camp at the art gallery “a few times,” before its members were ordered by the courts to leave. She thinks it was a success, in that it got people in the region talking about Occupy.
“As far as making people aware of the issues of inequality and resources, yes they were a success,” she said. “You can take down the encampment, but you can’t stop the idea.
“It’s about reaching people, and getting people to start thinking about the issues – questioning more, and thinking more.”
She agreed that “the issues” that Occupy stands for have not been clearly identified in the media, but she said when you talk to members of the Occupy movement, they are clear. Occupy is working for democratic reform, economic reform and environmental protection.
“If you spend time talking to people who are involved, they know what they’re talking about,” said Cadsky. “Occupy Wall Street is bang on.”
Last Saturday they were protesting Bill C-10, the omnibus crime bill known as the Safe Streets and Communities Act. Signs read “C-10 is cruel and unusual,” “For sale – Canada,” and “Say no to C-10 crime bill.”
One of their principal reasons for opposing the bill is that they say it is allows for more punitive sentencing for pot growers than it does for people who commit sexual offences against children. They also aligned their stance along with the Canadian Bar Association, which published “10 Reasons to Oppose Bill C-10” in November.
In Hope, they will focus their protest on privatization. The group will be in town from noon to 3 p.m., at a public location to be determined.
The group organizes its activities through a Facebook page “Occupy Fraser Valley.”