Last weekend, I walked through Confederation Square, where Occupy Ottawa settled. I hadn’t gone back since the day the movement started.
While Occupy Wall Street and what the movement tries (tried?) to accomplish have all my support, I started having doubts about Occupy Ottawa on the day of the general assembly. A lot of people have criticized the movement for being leaderless and for having no direction. That, I didn’t mind much. Do all movement need to have strong leadership? I don’t think so. Surely, like-minded people can channel their energy and work together. And even then, leaders eventually are bound to emerge. I didn’t mind the fact that several issues were addressed either and the apparent lack of a clear message. After all, it’s hard to dissociate economic and human right issues for instance.
I did mind the amateurism of the movement in Ottawa. On the day of the general assembly, it was clear that some were here because it was the chance to add “rebel” to their resume. Kids playing grown-ups, seeking attention and repeating messages that they thought would resonate with the crowd. I do mind the way the so-called “truth seekers” hijacked Occupy Ottawa with their “9/11 was an inside job” theories—I’m sorry, I can’t take these guys seriously. Above all, I feel like Occupy Ottawa jumped on the bandwagon without giving a great deal of thought to issues that matter here. We are not the U.S. We are a distinct country with our own set of issues. Some are global, yes. But you can’t just try to imitate Occupy Wall Street.
Occupy Ottawa has been served an eviction notice on November 21. The end of a dream?
The cynical me can’t help thinking politicians’ tactic when dealing with the Occupy movement was very smart. For the first few weeks, when support was high, no one attempted to evict any of the sites occupied. As the nights cold colder (at least in Canada and Northern U.S.), people got progressively tired of “occupying” and I have no doubt the movement would have died out over the winter. In Canada at least, the current eviction notices given aren’t surprising anyone, and I feel there is little support left for the movement.
Another world is still possible. We just have to figure out how. Meanwhile, Occupy Ottawa was evicted Wednesday morning.