Occupy Vancouver, Oct. 15 (includes podcast)


I went to the Vancouver Art Gallery, listened to some speechmaking, saw a number of people I hadn't seen in over a year, and walked up Hornby Street and down Howe Street twice. There were about 5,000 people there. As I headed for the Skytrain to go home, I saw yet another parade going up Granville Street, and additional protest effort unrelated to the one at the art gallery.

I have some harsh words for the organizers. I arrived at 10 AM, and the people on the steps were explaining how to do consensus-based decision making. They didn't give us any idea about just what sort of things we would be making decisions about, and when they introduced some people who would be serving as interpreters, someone in the back made an intelligent suggestion: why not have the interpreters introduce themselves in their own language? (Think about it: if someone doesn't speak English, it doesn't do much good to tell them, in English, that Jan is going to be interpreting in Mandarin.) This suggestion was ignored.

Then, there was a long discussion on whether to use an electronic microphone or use "human mikes" instead. Then, they went through the consensus-based decision-making process three more times, and on the fourth time, I headed for a coffee bar a few blocks away to drink a latte and read a newspaper. When I came back, the electronic microphone had finally been turned over the the speakers.

That time between my arrival at the art gallery and my departure for the coffee bar is an hour of my life I will never get back. The same applies to the large number of other people who were present during that period. If the organizers of Occupy Vancouver want our respect as organizers, they need to respect the fact that our time is valuable. There are a lot of other things we could have been doing on a nice October day. I would have rather been hearing about how the mass media has let down the public, climate change, or Christy Clark's involvement in the BC Rail giveaway.

Airspace President Errol Povah showed up with a placard. We recorded a podcast.

Get MP3 (2.1 MB | 4:20 min)