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What's Next For (Un)Occupy Nova Scotia?

Rally draws attention to poverty, police brutality, and colonialism

by Hillary Bain Lindsay

Where will Occupy NS go next?  Photo: Lesley Thompson
Where will Occupy NS go next? Photo: Lesley Thompson

Day 29 of Occupy Nova Scotia (ONS) saw hundreds rally and take back Parade Square after Occupiers were evicted by police on Remembrance Day and fourteen were arrested.  

Mike Anthony was one of those arrested yesterday.  He said Occupiers were given no warning and no time to make a plan before police started taking people's tents, some of which belonged to homeless people.  

"This occupation is going to change shape, but it will never end," Anthony told the cheering crowd.  

The shape ONS is going to take in the coming days remains to be seen.   There was an open mic at the rally today where dozens of people stood up to have their voices heard.  

Ifo Ikeda reminded the crowd that they were standing on Mi'kmaq land.  "We need to decolonize Native North America," he said, in order to get to the root of the injustices the Occupy Movement is fighting against.   He encouraged the crowd to learn more about their colonial history, and to look up the Two Row Wampum.  "We need to acknowledge we're on Mi'kmaq Territory," he said, "I respectfully suggest changing the name to UnOccupy Nova Scotia."  

Rene Ross pointed out that Halifax has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country and has many unsolved murders.  Ross, the executive director at Stepping Stone, a non-profit organization that supports former and current sex workers, questioned why police were arresting peaceful protesters and not solving those crimes.  

Ross also criticized Peter Kelly's estimation that ONS had cost the city thousands of dollars and asked what the cost of poverty was.  "Shame on politicians that don't support winter shelters," she said.  

Representatives of Occupy Wolfville told the crowd "We need to make this movement rural," because many people don't live in cities and can't travel to participate.  "We will be here when you most need us, like today," said one Occupy Wolfville representative.  "Please inform us what we can do from rural areas to help you, and we will inform you what you can do to help us."  

Two women stood up who said that they were assaulted by police during the eviction yesterday .   One of the women pointed out the police officer that choked her and demanded his badge number, which he refused to give to the jeering crowd.  

"I hope what happened yesterday helps shed some light on what happens every day to marginalized people," said Stuart Caldwell, one of the Occupiers.  "Until [the police] stop taking orders, they are not our friends.  They serve the one per cent."

Occupy Nova Scotia participants are planning a General Assembly tonight to decide their next move and where they will (un)occupy next.

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Topics: Solidarity
445 words




Occupy Nova Scotia

These kids should occupy jobs. When I was their age I was working as a dishwasher in a restaurant 6 nights a week. I am now close to retirement and have always looked towards the future. Because of that I saved and invested without being greedy. Moved from mutual funds to GICs and didn't lose my shirt when the markets collapsed. Throughout I have always sought opportunities to fix the things that I believed were wrong both in my workplaces and elsewhere.

I also did volunteer work for a number of causes and organizations. My point? Occupy jobs ...any jobs! Stop acting like spoiled little children. Volunteer some time to someone else. Get an education and work within' systems you want to change......be careful though....once you get a taste of that 1% your protesting you will gladly feed from the trought. Little piggies! They blew your straw houses over. Big bad wolf got you eh? Well now ya'll have to go home, give the tent back to Mommy and Daddy and hope they'll pay your fines for you.

So happy to see our Wolfville

So happy to see our Wolfville representatives present. Many of us who live in rural areas wish we could be at Occupy Halifax, and I see a lot of support from these smaller communities via social media. Remember, that the number of people who support the Occupy Halifax event are much larger than the number of those who stand in Parade Square. Many of us are trying our best to help behind the scenes or from a distance. Let us know what we can do!


Having just come from this afternoon's rally at Parade Square, I think it's of utmost importance to consider how Occupy NS can maintain a democratic, inclusive, and focused foundation if people are to move forward collectively.

To pick up where this article leaves off, from my perspective, the crowd had assembled facing the police officer accused of assaulting the two women, and demanding his badge number. I thought this was an incredibly powerful showing of solidarity and community concern to hold the Halifax police's feet to the fire, demanding accountability; in the process, publicly humiliating the police--in a non-violent atmosphere--as a means to return dignity to those Occupy NS participants assaulted and demoralized on Friday.

And then the mood shifted. One of the individuals arrested yesterday, who had earlier today spoken to the crowd about defying their conditions of release (which included not being in any municipal, provincial or federal park), again addressed the crowd and police to tell them "if you're going to arrest me, do it now". The police officers did not budge or approach that person.

I wholeheartedly agree that the arrests were brutal, and the bail conditions set were absurdly draconian and outside the scope of municipal authority--not that the municipality deserves any authoritative control, for that matter. However, I think the tone taken by this individual was intended as provocation and seemed very self-involved. A chant began in support of this person, using their name. [It should be noted that at least a dozen other people were arrested yesterday.]

About ten minutes later, this individual seized the crowd's attention, to broadcast their singular situation again, and announced the intention to "walk home, and if anyone wants to escort me I encourage you to do so". This proposal didn't enter into consensus-based decision making, nor was there a 'temperature check' of the crowd's disposition. The notion seemed driven by some one's personal rage. Having such rage is perfectly understandable for people attacked and arrested by the police; but marrying rage with self-importance is a dangerous combination.

This is not about singling out that one individual. This is about something we all need to keep in mind for eachother and ourselves.

The chants again, as before, centered on that one individual and their conditions of release. ...Not, rather, on the movement, the effects of arrest and physical violence against others arrested including women, or the showing of force and solidarity held by those nameless many who'd stood together in Victoria Park and Parade Square.

Also, people had expressed the need for finding a secure location, drying out wet gear, re-focusing the group, building alliances in the community, resisting against political corruption, capitalism and repressive State apparatuses.

I don't imagine much thought was given to how such a rallying cry may divide the crowd, provoke the police to arrest others, or result in dwindling the numbers assembled at the parade square altogether. Inevitably, it led to all three outcomes.

Three more people were arrested on that "walk home". Many supporters left the square in that time, unsure as to why others were not holding ground in that reclaimed space (as this seemed to be a key objective of the rally). In the end, about 1/3rd of the original crowd met back at Parade Square and discussed whether they should participate in 'jail solidarity' with the three arrested, or continue to meet in the Square and discuss a strategy for moving forward. Some, fed up with waiting, left for the police station despite a lack of consensus on the matter. The numbers dwindled further. People were visibly agitated and uncertain.

Jail solidarity is a fundamental and necessary practice to any social movement. It needs to happen constantly. Not just when friends of ours are arrested. And not just when those incarcerated are held for what we subjectively see as "political" work. All prisoners are political prisoners. There are groups in the city that do jail solidarity and prison abolition work on a regular basis. I encourage people to get involved with them.

Now, let's take a step back here. How did things get to this point? When decisions are made on the fly, or not made at all--but are the result of a person or people working the crowd into a frenzy to make a potentially erroneous tactical decision, we need to stop, listen to each other, and weigh our options. We need to democratically decide how to proceed. We need to think before we act.

Episodes like that which happened today weaken us. They dilute our message. They divide our numbers. They reinforce a cat-and-mouse dynamic with the police (which distracts from any movement's goals). They make us seem disorganized which--who cares how that 'looks'--just makes it harder for sympathizers and supporters to get more actively involved. And, of course, episodes like these threaten a leaderless-but-leading movement, with a vanguardist--if not erratic--element shifting power away from those people most marginalized in society.

This is not a rant. It's a point of consideration raised by another nameless face who thinks Occupy NS has done, and can continue to do, important work for change.

I do agree with the protests,

I do agree with the protests, in this day and age of banks, insurance companies, power company and oil execs, etc all recording record breaking profits.  Taxes increasing while wages have been staying the same or less for the past few decades, more of the bigger corporations employing mostly part time employees as it is cheaper for them to do so, ensuring bigger executive bonuses for years to come.  Nova Scotians and most North Americans are known for "water cooler talks", complaining about issues and hoping for someone else to change the system, so it is about time that people stand up for what they believe in.  My daughter is 15 years old and has been down to occupy ns at the grand parade twice, once again I am proud for her to stand up for something that she believes in.  I also agree that it was poor timing for the evictions, I do understand that this was to try to have the Rememberance day ceremonies uniterrupted as there is always some bad seeds in every crowd, rememberance day as far as I know is as far as I know 24 hours and instead of tarnishing this day of rememberance it could have been planned alot better.

  I am however able to see both sides of the argument, there was an eviction notice given (poorly timed or not) with no attempts to meet the notice HRP was obviously dispatched to enforce the bylaw.  To my knowledge it is not up to them to pick which laws to enforce, they have a job to do whether it is fining, solving crimes, protecting peoples lives and homes, enforcing bylaws or many of the other tasks that all boils down to giving citizens a peace of mind and a safer city.  If you try to hamper their job there will be need to forcibly remove.  These same officers that you are trying to paint with this brush of horrible people may be the same ones that save your life one day so I do not find this fair.  They also are part of this 99%, they have a job to do as do alot of the protesters, so they also can pay the huge interest rates, municipal, provincial, federal taxes, insurance rates, etc.  As I was not there I can only go by the numerous videos and reports on line, the police were obviously not targeting protesters as there is a very large crowd, they are however targeting the people who are trying to deter them from doing their job.

Thank you


Really?  Homeless campers?

Really?  Homeless campers? Canada does a lot more than any other country i can think of for these people.  

That guy returning to Grand Parade (yes, it's name is GRAND PARADE, not parade square, a parade square is a thing, not a place) when the conditions of parole stated he would not be there?  that makes him not only a criminal, but a lier.  lying criminals have no place in this society, is he was one of the three arrested today, GOOD.

 If the people want to act on their opinions that halifax is native land, and the need to un-occupy north america, move back where you came from.   Whats that?  you're canadian?  then shut up.  your canadian because either your ancestor took the land you live on from the natives, or because your ancestor came here because someone else had cleared the place of natives for him.  if your going to argue white people have to right to this land, move the fuck back to europe or wherever your ancestry is from.  

im so sick of all these protestors.  if you have so much time to stand and chant and smoke pot when the rest of the world is at work, then i have a vague idea why your so poor.  yeah, rich people dont work as hard as the middle class, and my job (in the middle class) is a lot harder than shouting at cops at some fucking protest.  

you know why i work so hard to make ends meet?  to pay taxes.  why are my taxes so high?  because 50 years of socialist whining from motherfuckers like occupy nova scotia about how much the government should give handouts to people who have never earned a damned thing on their own have driven them up!  you want lower taxes?  stop sucking our social welfare programs dry.

the protestors should consider themselves lucky the police only manhandled them.  in many countries the first thing they would have seen would have been a bullet.  ive personally seen in another country a police officer bodily throw a homeless man into moving traffic.  but no, your right, being choked while resisting arrest is just horrible, we should string the loving husband and father up in his own front yard.

I live in the urban core of halifax and i honestly do not feel safe taking my children anywhere near these ONS people.  I want my PUBLIC parks back.

We can not un occupy and here is why...

Occupy is The Truth Revolution
written by A Truth Soldier

I have been attending, reporting photographing and videographing the Occupy Nova Scotia since the very begining.

You can view these three play lists at www.youtube.com/folkphotographer
OccupyNS, Occupy the World and also the great Annonimous play list.

I have heard people and the corporate media saying that the Occupy movement does not have any clearly stated goals or demands.

I have had many conversations with media people and I had to make them undertand that the Occupy movemnet is young.

But that it is very clear now that it is Occupying the whole planet.

There are now over three thousand cities and towns world wide in the Occupy movement.

I explained to the reporters and others that the Occupy movement is the begining of a world wide truth revolution.

This movement does not have any leaders because it is a leaderless resistance.

The resistance is very clear.

Everyone is resisting the world wide corruption from Corporations and governments that are also Corporations.

It is a leaderless resistance because everyone one has an equal voice.

Everyones truths are now being brought to the surface.

The seeds of truth are now being sown.

For only a truely healhty humanity will grow from the seeds of truth.

Everyone in the world is now on board this Occupy the The Truth Revolution.

Being a leaderless resistance means that there are no leaders to be intimidated, corrupted or killed.

Being an unstructured movement makes it much harder to be infiltrated and corrupted by paid agent provacateurs and saboteurs.

It is a Truth Revolution for truth can not be killed.

A Truth Revolution is the only thing that will save this planet.

It is now the time for everyone to speak the truth and expose all the organized corruption in the world.

For if humanity is not guided by truth into the future then the world is truly doomed.

The beautiful young generation of today has been labelled as the doom generation.

Well I tell you now, that the young people know that the time has come for everyone to speak every truth.

This revolution is a peaceful and love filled revolution for Love can not exist in the abscence of truth.

For we Occupiers love truth.

I ask you, How can anyone not love truth?

Only the sick and corrupt money hungry people do not love the truth.

For they would have to look at themselves in that mirror and they would not love what they see.

One day they well realize the potential beauty we Occupiers see in them, for we Occupiers love our fellow Occupiers.

We all just want all of us to Occupy this planet in peace and love.

The truth revolution will give them no choice but to have to look at themselves to see if they love only money or humanity and this planet.

We are now letting the one percent know that we Occupy this planet.

We share this planet and no artificially created money can buy this planet.

This planet is priceless and we can not afford to let it be destroyed by those who only love money and power.

We love this planet and that is the truth.

The wonderful loving Micheal Jackson said it.

If you want to change the world then look in the mirror.

The beautiful Occupy people, be they the lonely, the homeless, the dissabled, the natives, the forgotten war wounded, the silent Police officers, the silenced war vets, the rock stars, the buskers, the street kids, the nurses, the falsely imprissoned, the tortured, the medical doctors, and the rest of the ninety nine percent are now undertanding that they too are Occupiers.

So it is time to be free of the insane corruption.

It is time to listen to Alex Jones and break out of the prison planet.

For only the truth revolution will set us free.

It is the Occupiers hope that everyone will come out and join the Truth Revolution movement for we Occupy this planet.

We want all you Occupiers to save this planet.

This can not be if you do not now expose and whistle blow all the corruption in this world.

Then if you do, you well see the beautiful occupant of this planet you have become when you look in that mirror.

The ninety nine pecent see the light of truth.

The Occupiers can now see the path to the future for they are enlightened and have a very powerful light of truth exposing the darkness of the evil one percent.

Lets all shine the light of truth on those that hide in the darkness doing their evil doings.

Lets all of us Occupiers of this beautiful planet now expose their evil deeds to the light of truth.

We well never stop Occupying.......and that is the truth

The Truth Revolution is the only Future

Bowater Mill

It is my understanding that last week the workeres were forced to vote to get rid of about half of their jobs or the mill would close.  Yesterday I heard the CEO and CFO received 4 million in bonuses.  I believe this is what your mission is about.  Perhaps you should consider setting up at that site.    Good Luck!!!  



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