Thousands flood downtown for Occupy Vancouver
A 27-year-old young man named Scott Price, who works in administration at UBC, bore a placard saying Save the Middle Class and on the other side Jobs? Housing? Future?
“We need a strong middle class to have a functioning democracy,” he affirmed, “and we’re losing ours because of corporate greed. That’s very dangerous.”
Francisco Trujillo photo by Hadani Ditmars
Nearby, 44-year-old Chilean-Canadian actor Francisco Trujillo, said he was reminded of Santiago in 1973, when “neo-liberalism” and deregulation were thrust upon Chileans via a military coup. “Thousands of people lost their lives defending the values many of us are espousing here today,” he commented. He noted that students in Chile have been protesting for 4 months at the ongoing privatization of education there. “Greed is a global addiction and we need an international intervention,” he said.
Eleanor Hadley photo by Hadani Ditmars
Meanwhile, one of the oldest demonstrators, 91-year-old Eleanor Hadley, who marched around the Art Gallery with her walker, announced to the crowd her intention to run as a Parks Board Candidate in the upcoming municipal elections. Later she said that she was very concerned about “commercial development in our parks” and was running on a platform to “save” them. “I’m so inspired to see so many young people out here today. It really does my heart good to see how many of them are knowledgeable about what’s going on out there,” adding, “especially since I hardly ever see them at parks board meetings.”
Veteran activist and proud grandmother Betty Krawczyk, who has been jailed for standing her ground as an environmental protestor, was “delighted” by the Occupy Vancouver protest. “It’s way overdue,” she noted, “as the pincers of poverty close in on people – especially the young and the elderly – it’s great that people are recognizing the government’s role in accumulating the debt that’s plaguing us.”
Betty Krawczyk photo by Parisa Azadi
“The fact that there’s so many different people and issues coming together – and the fact that there’s no overarching ‘leader’ – is a hugely positive factor. It gives room for everyone to have a say in what’s happening to our world – to our environment and our economic system which are totally interconnected. It’s only when the movement is big enough to encompass all these issues that it will succeed. This is the start of something new ”
83-year-old Krawczyk added, “I never dreamed I’d see a popular uprising in North America in my life time. It’s happening now, and I’m so happy. I’ll go to bed tonight smiling.”