Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Toronto: Copycat protest or the start of a true people’s revolution

Put aside political leanings and patience for eclectic protesters clogging city streets and blowing into vuvuzelas— if just for a moment.

There is something happening. And Saturday morning, it’s coming here.

Earlier this year, public squares in Egypt and Tunisia erupted. In Tel Aviv, they built and slept in tent cities. In India, one man’s hunger strike inspired hundreds of thousands of anti-corruption protesters to claim the streets. Demonstrations in Greece have paralyzed the country.

Then, this July, Vancouver advocacy magazine Adbusters called on 20,000 “redeemers, rebels and radicals” to take over lower Manhattan and occupy Wall Street. Hacktivist collective “Anonymous” answered the call by video. A group by the name General Assembly began holding meetings, rallying around an anti-corporate, anti-greed, anti-big bank cause.

• At 10 a.m. Saturday Toronto occupiers follow others from cities around the world and rally against corporate greed and other issues. For full coverage, including a live blog of the day’s events stay with thestar.com and send us your photos of the action at webmaster@thestar.ca

They’ve been camped out in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park for nearly a month now — mish-mashed, loosely organized, and at times contradictory. Most are young students saddled with loans and free time. But they’ve been joined by an older group, under- or unemployed and struggling. All are frustrated by what they believe is a system that’s broken, benefitting the rich as inequities widen. While the banks have been bailed out, the average joe has had scant relief from the recession.

“We are the 99 per cent,” they say. more