I was going to begin by saying something like “alright, these guys have made their point and now it is time to move on.”. I then realized that the “occupy” Edmonton and Calgary squatters haven’t even figured out what their point is much less made one. The bottom line is that they are a bunch of bored, spoiled malcontents trying to seek a sense of purpose through complaining rather than working whether in an employed sense or in the political/activist sense that our great free nation provides. Taxpayers are paying and people who have legitimately booked parks for functions are at risk of being displaced by these squatters. Park maintenance is falling behind and we may see delays in the outdoor skating rink that we pay for as taxpayers.
Appeasement with this small group of squatting complainers is a waste of time. The city graciously set aside and allowed free camping at St. Patrick’s Island for this. The motley group of the entitled turned up their noses at this and began to squat in our Olympic Plaza instead. Now should people want to spend an afternoon with their kids on the grass in our downtown park, they will have to weave between tents and protest signs. The “occupiers” have demanded condoms by the way so I would suggest not getting too close to those tents.
I find it outright offensive when I see these directionless layabouts comparing themselves to to the revolutionaries participating in the recent “Arab Spring”, Martin Luther King and even Gandhi. These guys live in one of the most prosperous cities in the most prosperous province in one of the most prosperous countries on earth. Canada is not perfect but we have some of the most open and democratic rights as individuals on the planet in living here. For these “occupiers” to liken themselves to those living in third world dictatorships where civil rights are simply a dream is insulting to say the least. I even saw one person vacuously claiming that medieval peasants have better standards of living than Canadians do.
On twitter and facebook I have seen people try to claim that if we evict these squatters from our parks that we will violate their charter rights. Sorry folks but that is complete, total, unadulterated bullshit. These guys have full free speech. They have been exercising it on the latest apps as they tweet about their trials and tribulations with their Iphones. We have free expression. The protest and march was allowed and demonstrations will continue to be allowed. That covers free assembly too. In most of the other countries in the world this group would have been locked up in the planning stages of their protest and definitely assaulted when the march began. We rightly have and protect all of those rights to assemble and speak here in Canada.
The self-styled occupying stooges however feel that they have a charter right to camp in a city park. Sorry guys, simple by-law enforcement is not a violation of your rights. I used the analogy before in that if I kicked out people squatting in my backyard I have not violated their rights to assembly, speech or expression. They have all of those rights. They just can’t camp in my yard. It is not that complicated.
It is clear that this handful of people truly do have nothing better to do. To appease and wait them out will be to allow them to turn our beautiful city park into a shantytown that city citizens and visitors will avoid. These guys are playing the game that kids would do where they put their finger as close to your nose as possible and repeatedly chant “Im not touching you” until the victim of the annoyance finally slaps the hand away. The child then will claim they have been wronged of course. It is time to give these kiddies a lesson in life and kick them out of our park. They can go to a campground, back to their mom’s basement or even get a job and a home. Playtime in the taxpayers park is over.
This cause and this group has become an outright laughingstock and even folks on the left are distancing themselves from the remnants squatting in parks. Corbella at the Herald went and visited the park and interviewed the squatters in person. They indeed proved themselves to be as vapid and directionless as they appeared on the outside. In a followup Corbella found that they are not learning anything as time passes.
City bylaws exist for a reason. I don’t agree with all of them and I often feel that we have too many of them. That being said, when you are going to have over a million people living in an area, a degree of regulation is required. I can’t simply ignore parking rules if I feel the federal government did something I disagreed with and my free assembly rights will not be violated if my vehicle gets towed away. I can’t dispose of motor oil in my garbage and I cant open a commercial production facility in a residential area. I can’t camp in city parks as well.
As I said in the beginning, it is time to kick these kiddies out of our park. If we want to simplify it lets just say it is a matter of bylaw enforcement.
Perhaps (though I hold out limited hope), the eviction of these complainers may help inject a dose of reality into their worlds. We have a myriad of democratic and free means to pursue changes to our governance and system. People can form/join political parties and activist groups. Rallies can be held and marches can be organized. Letters can be written and doors can be knocked (all that work terrifies some though). Sitting around in a park complaining is not an effective (or legal) way to get anything done. Perhaps the bylaw boot to the collected bottoms of this bunch of squatters will encourage them to move on to something productive.
Our city council has been unsurprisingly reticent on this issue. With members such as Farrell and Pincott in there this sort of turning a blind eye to our laws is to be expected I guess. Some on council have some common sense though. I strongly encourage everybody to email members of city council and demand that they enforce our park bylaws as vigourously as they do with our parking bylaws.
If we are going to have regulation and laws, they must be evenly enforced.
Edit:: I want to add this fellow’s video. He hits the nail on the head quite well in describing a day in the life of an “occupier”