This is What Freedom Looks Like

November 6, 2011 at 8:15 am (Life, My City) (, , , , , , , , )

Growing up, at the edge of the turbulent 60s & feminist 70s, I was always being told that I should be grateful, that “they” fought for my freedom and therefore I should not protest. I should not long for something more and I should not disrespect “their” ideals with my manner or my appearance. The underlying message being how dare I disrespect “their” memory and valour by protesting the status quo.

I feel the effects of the Growing Gap between the classes here in Canada. I have always been poor with a middle class sensibility. I have a Masters degree and earn quite below what the charts say I should. I have slowly been working my way up. However, though last year’s income ranked me in the top 41% (according to this Maclean’s generator); this year I’ve been unemployed for half the year.

I don’t totally get the 99% rationale. I get that the Occupy movement is displeased that 1% of the world’s (?) population controls the majority of the world’s (?) wealth. For Canadian statistics on Income Distribution, go here.

Saskatoon joined the Occupy movement the middle of October, after Thanksgiving. I guess after looking at everything we had to be thankful for, it became clear how much we don’t have.

The economy isn’t working. It needs fixing.

After the march, the occupiers settled down in Friendship Park which also houses a life-size bronze sculpture of Gabriel Dumont astride his horse. Gabriel Dumont was one of the leaders of Northwest Resistance of 1885. It seems fitting that the occupiers bedded down here.

Reporters, news-people and bloggers have been bemoaning the occupation. They are asking questions like “who has time to camp out all day; the obvious answer being the unemployed” and “wouldn’t the movement be better served promoting active change (like volunteering)”.

Should protest only be active? What is accomplished by the occupy movement sit-ins?

The occupiers have made me think. They made me think about how much further there is that I could fall. They made me think about what I am willing to do to not lose what I’ve gained but they also made me realize how strong I am.

Still. Winter is coming, both literally and figuratively. Snow is due this weekend. The occupiers started to pack up camp last Wednesday, November 2nd. Soon they will be gone and the only people I will see sleeping out are the homeless we all pretend don’t exist in the here and now.

This coming week is Veteran’s Week. What comes to my mind is that this is what they fought for, so that we could protest and hopefully, figure out how to make everyone’s future better.

This is what freedom looks like.

1 Comment

  1. Commemorate – Don’t Celebrate | Solitary Spinster said,

    […] This is What Freedom Looks Like, to me, […]

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