Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

OCCUPY REGINA

Posted by strattof on October 21, 2011

WE ARE THE 99% & WE WILL BE HEARD

“Why are they protesting?” “What are their demands?” The mainstream media keeps asking these questions. Its goal seems to be to discredit the Occupy movement. The message of the movement is obvious to anyone who is listening.

When protesters in Regina say “we are the 99%,” they are referring to the growing inequality in Canadian society and the concentration of the nation’s wealth in fewer and fewer hands–the wealthiest 1% of the population.

They are also referring to corporate domination of politics in Canada. Most governments, whether municipal, provincial, or federal, consider the interests of corporations more important than the welfare of ordinary Canadians.  

The greed of corporations is a related concern. It is wrecking financial systems worldwide and devastating the environment.

“Why are they protesting?” “What are their demands?” The mainstream media keeps asking these questions. Its goal seems to be to discredit the Occupy movement. The message of the movement is obvious to anyone who is listening.

When protesters in Regina say “we are the 99%,” they are referring to the growing inequality in Canadian society and the concentration of the nation’s wealth in fewer and fewer hands–the wealthiest 1% of the population.

They are also referring to corporate domination of politics in Canada. Most governments, whether municipal, provincial, or federal, consider the interests of corporations more important than the welfare of ordinary Canadians.  

The greed of corporations is a related concern. It is wrecking financial systems worldwide and devastating the environment.

INEQUALITY IN CANADA

  • The richest 1% of Canadians took 32% of all income gains earned since 1987.
  • In 2009, the worst year of the recession, the wealthiest 3.8% of Canadian households held 23.5% of all financial wealth in Canada.
  • Two decades ago, the average Canadian CEO made 25 times that of the average worker. Today the average CEO makes 250 times the average worker.
  • Though the United States currently has a larger rich-poor income gap, the gap in Canada is rising at a faster rate.
  • Since 2000, the federal government has cut corporate income taxes by 50%, the largest tax reduction in all member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  
  • In March 2010, 867,948 Canadians used the food bank. That’s a 9% increase over 2009–and the highest level of food bank use on record. 
  • Canadian student loan debt has reached $14 billion. This figure represents only debt owed for Canada student loans and excludes debt owed for provincial and private student loans.
  • 65% of Canadians want the government to deal with climate change. The government, however, continues to demonstrate a greater commitment to environmentally destructive projects, such as tar sands development, than to greenhouse gas emissions reduction.   

INEQUALITY IN SASKATCHEWAN

  • Who is benefitting from Saskatchewan’s booming economy? It is certainly not those who are unemployed and/or homeless. Nor is it seniors or recipients of social assistance or students or Aboriginal communities or minimum wage workers or middle-income earners or….
  • In Saskatchewan in 2009, the richest 20% held 43.1% of total after-tax income, while the poorest 20% held 5%.
  • During March 2010, 22,662 people in Saskatchewan used the food bank, a 20% increase over 2009. 44% of these food bank users were children.
  • Since 2008, homeless shelter use in Regina has risen by 25%. In 2010, 2,686 adults slept in homeless shelters in Regina.
  • In 2010, the CEO of PotashCorp took home $11,264,973, while a full-time minimum wage worker earned $19,240.
  • In 2010, PotashCorp earned $1.8 billion on its potash mines in Saskatchewan, but paid only $76.5 million in taxes and royalties, a mere 5% of its earnings.

OCCUPATION ISSUES

ECONOMIC INEQUALITY

GROWING GAP BETWEEN THE RICH AND THE REST OF CANADIANS

POVERTY                           HOUSING CRISIS

CORPORATE GREED

CORPORATE INFLUENCE IN CANADIAN POLITICS

CORPORATE TAX CUTS

GOVERNMENT LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY

TUITION INCREASES                        UNEMPLOYMENT

ATTACKS ON WORKERS’ RIGHTS

COST OF WAR

COLONIALISM AT HOME AND ABROAD

RACISM     SEXISM     HOMOPHOBIA    ABLEISM

ECOLOGICAL CRISIS

This list is not allinclusive.

OCCUPY REGINA

  • Like other participants in the Occupy movement, Occupy Regina protesters are committed to non-violence–even though they are outraged over the extreme inequalities in Canadian society.  
  • The Occupy movement is also deeply democratic: committed to an open, participatory, and horizontal process of organization.
  • Although it was probably not part of City Hall’s plan, Occupy Regina is a perfect way to inaugurate the new Victoria Park plaza as a space for true democracy.

The occupation of the Victoria Park plaza is ongoing. To find out more about it, visit Occupy Regina’s facebook page:  http://facebook.com/occupyregina

Better yet, join the occupation: Victoria Park plaza, 12th Avenue and Scarth Street. Donations are welcome.

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One Response to “OCCUPY REGINA”

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