Baker Street may be a long way from Wall Street, but an Occupy Nelson demonstration is being organized in solidarity with what is currently going on in New York City’s financial district.
The occupation of Wall Street by as many as 30,000 people began on September 17. The demonstration began to protest the “corruption of the global economic system, corporate greed and widening gap between rich and poor.”
Cities across the US like Boston and Chicago held their own occupation movements over the weekend, and on Saturday Nelson will join in what has been declared Global Revolution Day.
“I watched the movie The Inside Job a few days before Occupy Wall Street action started,” said Jessica Demers, one of the Occupy Nelson organizers.
“Through watching that and through doing my own reading and research and firsthand experience, I’ve seen some of the economic injustice that’s happened and how it affects people.
“I was inspired by what’s happening in New York and was really feeling like I wanted to participate in something locally. I saw that an Occupy Nelson group had started up and I went to a meeting.”
Despite the fact the issues in the US may seem different than what’s going on in Canada, Demers feels that people in Nelson can relate.
“I think what’s happening in the US is affecting people in Nelson,” she said.
“We’re often told the way capitalism works there is a trickle down effect, but I think it’s actually the opposite: there’s a cutback effect. I think what’s happening now is directly connected to what happened in 2008. We’re seeing the impacts of the way the global economy runs itself. It affects people in so many ways. I think people here will feel connected to the issues.”
Global Revolution Day, like Occupy Wall Street is intended to unite the “99 per cent” — a term used to refer to the percentage of the world’s population who don’t have access to the planet’s wealth.
“Right now over 1,200 cities are signed up to participate in Global Revolution Day,” said Demers. “There will be opportunities for anyone to speak on the 15th and share their opinions as well as speakers that have been invited.”
The Occupy Nelson demonstration will be at City Hall at 1 p.m. with a march at 2 p.m., returning to City Hall for speakers, live music and more.
“I’m hoping the outcome of Occupy Nelson will be public education and for people to come together and share their views. What will ultimately come out of it we can’t say at this point. It’s up to the individuals that participate,” said Demers.
The start of Occupy Wall Street has been linked to a press release from the Vancouver-based magazine Adbusters.
On July 13, Adbusters said “On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.”
Since the movement began nearly a month ago, various unions and celebrities have joined in the movement.
For more information on Occupy Wall Street visit occupywallstreet.org and to become involved in Occupy Nelson email firstname.lastname@example.org.