the vagaries of life – a friend of mine would say this when he or I encountered a barrier or obstacle that seemed unexpected, difficult to overcome. the kind so imposing you don’t know if the attempt is worth it.

now, we would probably say s$#t happens. and it certainly does, but that doesn’t really capture it. something unpredictable, inexplicable. actually that is about the same as s#@t happens.

this week, the vagaries hit the fan for the occupy movement here in ottawa.

here the occupy headquarters, tent city, the most visible element of occupy, was evicted.

the police arrived with the notice to vacate by confederation park by 11:59pm. (question from the back – why 11:59?) a crowd was there, not huge. the police pitchforked the tents, and most kind of drifted away. 

i wonder what they, the tent dwellers of occupy, were thinking then. all is lost? what gives the police the right to do that? was it worth the energy to maintain that space?

maybe they were considering these questions. or many others that I could list.  

what they were all asking themselves, i’m certain, that early morning is what next? how do we keep this gentle giant, which has leapt up into the vacuum of apathy and defeatism, moving? what will it become?

discussing these hard questions has begun, brains are rattling around options for the future. from what kind of organizational framework they need (if any at all) to specific actions, such as community gardening.

the hard-core protesters in the crowd are still confrontational, still seeing some value face-to-face, front line provoking. I see their point to a point.

cages, particularly mayoral, still need to shaken until they crumble. I wonder when or if the provincial or federal governments will think it’s time to step...

that woud be a risky elevation. but the could start to see occupt as a sqausi squisht terrorist group.

a draconian decision, if it comes to that which would only reinforce occup.

that’s the beauty and struggle of occupy, how do you satisfy everyone all the time. occupy wants to represent a huge array of groups, some already pretty good at this protesting thing, some in dark with just the gut-feeling things aren’t right.

it’s admirable and romantic and unrealistic.

some call for a leaderless group, decisions made by a vote of the entire membership, although there can’t be a membership because right now occupy is a loose amalgamation and agreements to cooperate of a variety of different groups. so how do you join that? of course, I invented that description but from the outside and the inside, it feels oddly chaotic and spinning in many directions at the same time.

all that energy aimed toward a smart, attainable goal is fantastic. but when you slice that energy in 25 ways, the dispersal of energy could spell failure. I’m not ready to toss occupy in the trash bin nor do I want to see it pulled apart.

the real strength of occupy is an ability so, far to avoid infighting by rising above that level and by championing ideals and values that are supported across these various groups.

sustaining that support, keeping those interest groups and the diverse people together, is the challenge facing the non-leaders of occupy. no matter how it is resolved, some people will be angry, feel duped and used. some may leave, 

that would be an unfortunate decision - the large-scale societal overhaul that occupy is after will reinvigorate the meaning of equality and justice. if occupy accomplishes half of what it intends, single issue interest groups will find more freedom and positive change then they could achieve in 50 years of lobbying. 


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