Scarborough has no footing in Occupy Toronto

Revolution seems to work like a teenager on vacation. The first step is acquiring beatnik clothing and massive quantities of ripped jeans. The next step? Go camping and yell softly.

Occupy Toronto is a protest taking place downtown. I feel the need to spell out exactly what it is because many Scarborough residents have little to no idea about it. Our community here should have someone down there leading the way.

Scarborough needs funds. It needs better housing, better transit, better schools and better representatives. Our image as Toronto’s oft-ignored hinterland has gone on long enough. You want that night bus that you took to school to start up again? Well join the riot!

The Occupy Toronto protests are weak so far. The emphasis on “everyone gets a voice” has not led to a unified, functional, or well-represented group that is actually making strides into city hall to fix all that corporatism has broken. Instead, it has diluted the strength of the movement. The carnivalesque atmosphere allows spectators to make fun of the protest, instead of joining it.

I’m all for a Canadian spring. It’s been far too cold in Toronto, especially in Scarborough. The initial hope was that Occupy Toronto would bring to light all the issues that not only downtown Toronto faces, but also its vital outlying suburbs. We need the government to focus on getting reliable transit, not banning shark fin soup.

Apparently that’s not the case. We have a University of Toronto campus in our neighbourhood teeming with young potential revolutionaries, but how many of them are downtown organizing and adding to the protest? Not very many at all – barely enough to make Scarborough’s voice heard.

As much as we want to shut our eyes and beaver away in the hopes that someone will one day take notice, we can’t afford to wait. Join the fight downtown already. What your children have been itching to participate in has already begun: a mass movement with a genuine message. Now it’s your choice to turn it into something beneficial for your community.

One comment:

  1. First I want to say how great this publication is . And a very an interesting column Maryam, if I may ?
    We had a financial meltdown in the global markets because of corruption.
    Countries then turned around a bailed out the very people that made enormous money participating in it while the people that paid for it lost their jobs , homes with some living in their cars with children.
    Those that were bailed out walked away with bonuses and even more money than they had before.
    We in Canada by the way also bailed out our banks as well in case you weren’t aware.
    http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alex/2010/05/canadian-good-banks-myth
    Now I know many have said we didn’t have to …but we did.
    We live in a climate of PR spin. It is everywhere we turn.
    The newspapers , television , radio , internet.
    We get 5 minutes of news of todays issues that are decidied for us , we listen to “experts” on these shows giving us their opinions as if they were irrefutable facts. But we don’t know is what their agenda or relationship is regarding the issue being discussed. Are they paid lobbyist for an industry , are they investors in an industry , or are they neutral and are explaining the issues as they know them to be.
    So every issue discussed may very well Public Relations Spin for all we know. This is the society we have become. We can no longer be sure we are being told the truth as you and I understand the truth .
    You see PR spin is not exactly a lie , but redirection , or a very small part of the truth .
    So the Occupy movement could have value and is desperately needed because in my opinion governments no longer work for the people that elected them . I feel they work for corporate interest , or special interest groups . And we are the funding source for them.
    And I think it is time everyone came together and said enough is enough.
    Less and less of the taxes we are forced to pay are going to the social services and safety nets that these taxes are supposed to provide.
    More and more of the taxes we pay are being used to support vampire economies that would never survive without your hard earned money propping these industries up. And most of these people are well above the average sunshine list wage scale..
    And some of those taxpayer propped up industries are going to the Occupy Movements and joining forces with them.
    So the very people that are part of the reason the Occupy Movement began are right in there …
    Never accept the things government tells you without researching all sides.

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