Wow, occupying Edmonton, Alberta in winter seems like a shockingly bad idea, but hey, that's their right, I guess. The Occupy movement lacks focus, clues, many things (except Occupy Toilets, which is very focused on just one thing), but not Occupy Edmonton. They have come up with a starter list of 8 things they want.
8 things we need to see in order for us to leave willingly:
1. We want to see our government officials actually come and participate in general assemblies and the occupation. We want to see them interact with our movement rather than try to ignore, disregard or actively try to undermine it. (Hint: It's their right not to.)
2. If the City of Edmonton can give over $100 million in subsidies to a billionaire conglomerate, we should also be able to invest in City services, not cut them. We would like to see the $10.5 million in City service cuts eliminated and the property-tax hike apply not only to Edmontonians, but to the Katz group as well. (Hint: You weren't elected to anything. Run for office, vote people out, but you don;'t get to dictate public policy.)
3. We want to see an end to the corporate influence over our democratic process. In Alberta this means ending the cozy relationship the government has with the oil industry. We want independent monitoring, a fair royalty regime, and an end to the open-door policy that the government has with oil representatives. We want a government, not a public relations firm. (As unverifiable as Saddam Hussein's WMDs)
4. We want to see wages, pensions, employment insurance, social assistance, workers compensation, AISH and disability benefits at minimum indexed to the average increases in salary and bonuses for the top ten CEOs in this country. We also want to see the gap between the richest 100 Canadian CEO salaries ($6.6 million in 2009) and the minimum wage decrease. (Good luck with that - and finding the money to do it with. Hint: Learn math. And run for office if you want to dictate public policy.)
5. We want to see fully funded public health care and pharmacare programs.(More free money...)
6. We want to see free post-secondary education. Education is a right and anyone that has the desire to better themselves by going to college or University should be able to do so regardless of income and without being saddled with a huge student debt. (Even more free money!!! Where do you guys think that will come from?)
7. We want to see all Free Trade agreements adhere to the country with the most stringent environmental and labour laws, not the worst. (For example,NAFTA’s Chapter 11, giving corporations in one country the right to sue a foreign government over ‘potential loss of profits’, regardless of the environmental consequences, should be abolished.) (More dictating foreign and trade policies. Get elected, then you get to handle these things.)
8. Canada signed the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples; now we want our government to implement it by giving our First Peoples all the rights contained within it, including the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent on all energy developments on Indigenous Territory. (Once again, get elected and all this becomes easy.)
This is not a comprehensive list of what we want, or what we need, but it is a
start. (Not a comprehensive list? Wow.)
Wow, to paraphrase - "We, who have not been elected so much as school crossing attendant, want to dictate public policy because we're sitting in a park outside in the cold, and damn the democratic process."
Now, there are many ways the democratic process is screwed up, but you don't get to circumvent it just because you camp out and give up showering for a few weeks.
So good luck with that. You'll be out in your tents until hell freezes over. Oh wait, in Edmonton it probably already has...
Here's a suggestion: Run for public office - school board, local council, dog catcher, whatever.
But then maybe you're afraid you'll find out just how much of the 99% you really represent.