Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recent Press: Remove the Occupy Protesters

Last night, CBC Radio One ran a story highlighting the desire of some (or arguably, most) people to have the Occupy protesters removed from their encampments indefinitely. The story was part of the The Current hosted by Anna Maria Tremonti. Guests on the show included:
  • Ric McIver- an entrepreneur and former alderman in Calgary who believes the protesters have worn out their welcome,
  • Ralph Young- the President and CEO of Melcor Developments Ltd. - a real estate development company that owns the land where the Occupy Edmonton group has set up camp, and
  • Dean Douglas Stoute- the Dean of St. James Anglican Cathedral in Toronto. Occupy Toronto has set up in a park that's jointly owned by the church and the city.
In Edmonton, the protesters are camping out on private land, and the owner is asking them to leave the premises at night (from 11:00pm to 6:00am), just as they would be required to do if this were municipally owned land. There has been little or no compliance with this request.

What I found most interesting was a quote by a young Occupy protester in Edmonton- the young man claims that his grandfather fought in the Canadian military for his right to protest, and that he does not believe that he should have to leave the premises at night.

I saluted Ric McIver who suggested that this young man's grandfather also fought for the Rule of Law here in Canada, and that his grandfather would likely not be pleased by his grandson's blatant disobedience. In Canada, I believe we have a responsibility to respect both public and private property. The issue isn't protesting...I'll be the first person to stand up for this young man's right to protest...but my support will end where this protesting is affecting the livelihood of others.

Another quote by a young female organizer of the Edmonton Occupy movement suggested that it would be too much of an inconvenience to dismantle and re-assessmble all of their tents, equipment, etc. I was once again impressed by the response, this time by Ralph Young, that this young lady does not wish to be inconvienced in her protests, but has not given consideration to the feelings of others and her potential inconvience in their lives.

I think that these two quotes embody more than just the feelings of two individuals. I believe that this speaks to the underlying societal pathologies of entitlement (quote #1) and selfishness (quote #2) displayed by many young people, and perhaps the Occupy movement at large.

On a side note, the protesters are likely not going to leave on their own. But this is Canada, and next week marks the beginning of the glorious month of November, where temperatures can drop significantly below 0 overnight.

Give it time in Canada...the occupy movement will likely be 'frozen' in its' tracks...

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