Its been two months since the occupy movement really started to have an effect around the world. This week we have been witness in cities all over North America to municipal governments attempting to stop or silence it . Their method has been to try to evict these protestors from the occupy camps they have set up. However, this growing popular movement has altered the national narrative about our economy, our democracy, and our future. People in both the United States and Canada are starting to find themselves as part of a class now being called the 99%. As each day has passed over the last few months and as more and more cities have become a part of the process, this movement has become more than a protest, more than an occupation and more than tactic. The movement is everyone who sends supplies, everyone who talks to their friends and families about the underlying issues, everyone who takes some form of action to get involved in this civic process.
The grievances of the protestors and the movement are real and widely felt. In Canada, over 1.3 million Canadians are without work, while many more forced to hold two or three jobs just to make ends meet. In the United States, over 26 million Americans find themselves without work. Many more are under-employed or have simply stopped looking. Middle class incomes have become stagnant while the everyday costs of living continue to rise and education costs skyrocket further out of reach for many. Disparity in wealth has never been so clear in our lifetime. History tell us that progressive movements have been born in each similar circumstance to restore balance and economic fairness. This one is no different except in one way, it’s a world-wide movement and it affects so many more people.
“Since 1959, wages as a percentage of GDP have fallen from 51 per cent to 44%,” notes Morgan Housel of Motley Fool, the online investing site. “That shift is huge. If wages as a percentage of GDP were at the same level today as in 1959, workers would earn over $1 trillion a year more than they currently do. A lot of that money has instead found its way into corporate profits, which have increased from 6 per cent of GDP in 1959 to almost 10 per cent today.” Nuff said!
The movement made up of youth, University students, academics, economist, labour and church leaders. It is far-reaching and it wont be silenced. Inequality is a cause… you can’t evict this idea until you have forced the issue to the front of the political agenda….stay tuned….
I heard the following song by Ilo Ferrerira recently and I think it hits home for many with whatever their situation is… it’s called “They Won’t”