The October 20 edition of the West Kootenay Advertiser shows a small child holding the sign, “Love over Fear, People over Profit” in the Occupy Nelson movement. It was edifying to see Nelson taking part in an international protest that spoke of the welfare of society over corporate greed, and the destructive power of the rich over the poor.
Was I the only one to see the irony of the article, “Shambhala establishes legacy with Selkirk College,” immediately below the “People over Profit” photo? Shambhala, which attracts the basest of society, has bought its way with a $75,000 contribution, to the very heart of the young people it hopes to influence, our local music college. I base my “basest of society” judgement on the long list of drugs seized from the festival and printed in the newspaper two years ago. I assumed the drugs, rendered in their chemical form, were all concoctions for getting high. Shockingly, I learned from a friend in the medical field that some of the drugs on that list were date rape drugs. She also believed one of the listed drugs has caused many admissions to the emergency ward in North Vancouver by screaming, raving, fighting, frighteningly insanely out of their minds, young people who have permanent brain damage from one experimental usage.
Isn’t it ironic that many musicians, who are especially blessed by God, use and associate their talent with and for the propagation of drug usage? The age old question of which came first — the chicken or the egg, or in this case, the talent or the drugs — comes to mind. It begs the question… since our jails are predominantly occupied by drug addicts, where are all the fantastic musical compositions that should be associated with them?
As a result of four deaths in a very short time-frame, some of the Occupation camps were associated with drug usage and homelessness. Our community of Nelson still has occupant tent dwellers, despite freezing temperatures. Shambhala has apparently infused our economy with $20 million. I think Selkirk College owes these people a free education and a free stay at residence with their Shambhala dollars. I think this community, infused with 20 million Shambhala dollars, should be able to afford to put these victims of our economic gain, not into crowded church shelters, but into very nice hotel rooms with room service.
Sadly, we should be working to prevent this victimization, not just bandaging up the damage. What’s it going to be Nelson, people or profits?