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Solidarity: When the cops rip your tent apart, how you gonna come?

Things are heating up when it comes to the Occupy Movement. With OccupyMelbourne and OccupyOakland turning to police violence to evict peaceful demonstrators, it’ll be interesting to see how long Vancouver is going to last before it reverts to the same tactics. There are clear politicians who are longing to see that happen, and honestly the OccupyVancouver people who came in and disrupted the All Candidates Meeting failed to point out that the Board of Trade is part of the 1% as is Goldcorp, who sponsored the SFU School for the Contempory Arts that is in Woodwards.

It sounds more and more like OccupyVancouver is going away from the Pro-Cop Reformist attitudes of the original organizers and more towards those who are on the ground, namely that it’s Anti-Capitalist and Anti-Colonial, and does not acknowledge the authority of the City of Vancouver, OR the VPD. I like the fact that it’s still peaceful, and that members of Occupy are breaking away from the official narrative of a few and are making this election far more interesting by storming the stage</a>. Scripted Debate with no questions from the audience is hardly debate at all, and when you have developer and commercial interests represented by both the mainstream candidates, there needs to be some rocking the boat.

(Note: I do not endorse Mr. Zimmerman. I will not be voting for him and I wish he would not use OccupyVancouver to launch is political campaign, but I do not think disrupting a rich-person’s debate is violent!)</em>

Now, some people, like Mr. Tim Morley, who may or may not be associated with OccupyVancouver, say that these people have “hijacked” the protest</a>. Let’s think about this for a second.

First of all, the plan was to invite the general public onto the Vancouver Art Gallery lawn on October 15th to camp. There was a basis of unity that was agreed upon, and people agreed to be peaceful. From what I’ve seen, I don’t see any sort of hijacking. I see the people who the organizers invited to camp on the lawn doing what they’ve set out to do. The hype over making sure that the legal team has contact information for all of the campers</a>, and preparing for the VPD will come in and drag everyone off the Art Gallery grounds is hardly violent. In fact, it’s a purely defensive measure. Storming a stage and disrupting a pre-staged debate organized by the 1% is also not violent. Doing a run on the banks is not violent. These are all non-violent tactics that were deployed by the people at OccupyVancouver.

One thing I do like about OccupyVancouver is the fact that it hasn’t condemned any of the activities of the members of the community. It hasn’t cast anyone out, and it still welcomes people onto the Art Gallery lawn to participate. I wondered before what would happen when Non-Violent Direct Action was actually employed at OccupyVancouver, and how the self-appointed leaders would react. I think this is the moment when the shit gets real, when it’s time to show solidarity for those who would dare to conduct non-violent civil disobedience, and when you find out what side people are really on.

Finally, I agree with my friend and comrade, the Stimulator</a>. Occupy Vancouver should ban weapons on the grounds, because this would keep the VPD out!