» Download file 'occupyNSaudio1.mp3' (12.6MB)
As of 11am Atlantic Standard Time, Grand Parade Square, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has been officially occupied. Hundreds of supporters, from all walks of life, gathered on a flawless fall day to shuck off the shackles of apathy, and revel in the camaraderie and solidarity which seems to stem from exhaustion with business-as-usual affairs.
After Billy Lewis kicked off the introductions, an inspired range of speakers summoned the courage to stand and address the rapt audience which gathered round. Some had prepared speeches, some were speaking for the first time, and some appeared simply caught up in the positive vibes that permeate the entire gathering. From high school students declaring that they wanted to “Live their dreams”, to an eighty-six year old woman proclaiming that this was the “Happiest day of her life”, the mood in Parade Square is vibrant, inviting, and inspiring.
The movement, at this nascent stage of the occupation, has taken all the first baby steps towards long-term staying power. There is a medical area, a meditation tent, free food (donations gladly accepted), sporadic drum circles, even a slack-line. Circles of conversation are everywhere. Spontaneous group hugs erupt, just like that. In short, occupiers appear content to imagine a comfortable and inclusive dreamscape, and then create it.
A range of events is scheduled at Parade Square for this evening, including the general assembly, and as the sun descends on Halifax, there is the promise of magic in the air. Tonight is Halifax’s art festival of the night – Nocturne. The art community shines tonight, and the masses descend upon the downtown core to be wowed and amazed. In Parade Square, where art already seems to mimic real life, anything might happen.
Even the police presence, for the moment, is friendly in their monitoring and security. Tomorrow there is a memorial event scheduled in Parade Square for fallen police and peace officers. Police, and Occupy NS spokespeople, speak the language of sharing, and as of now, the police promise no eviction of the occupiers for their event.
Updates will follow. For the moment, please enjoy the audio file of only some of the rousing speeches of this morning.