I am very much opposed to the City’s plans to dismantle the tent city at the Occupy Vancouver site. But the fact that they will eventually do that, and without too much fuss, I’m guessing, is an indication of just how far the Occupy folks have let slip control of the action.
They have allowed the discussion to centre on saving the tents, on overdoses and rats when we are supposed to be all about reform of the global financial system and similar mega-issues. Should we spend our energies trying to solve economic and environmental problems, or should we fight to sleep overnight in the park?
The protesters have fallen into the trap of having the discussion be about unimportant details, and details that they cannot win a debate about, too.
I believe the Occupiers should pack up the tents and leave the park. This puts a complete stop to the City’s attempts to distract the protesters. The protesters should then return to the park for speeches and debates about the real issues, and they should make those discussions last as long as they can: all day, every day. The City and the police have already agreed that the park is a suitable venue for public protest — and that’s what we should concentrate on rather than fight a battle to sleep over.
Make the debates interesting and useful, make the discussions and cabaret entertaining and attractive to ever-growing crowds. Continue with the info marches around town. Get the public back on side.
Think: is it more productive to have thousands attend public debates day after day after day, or to have a couple of dozen people camp out?
That’s my two cents.