Occupied Ottawa (formerly Occupy Ottawa) activists return to Confederation Park on Monday to celebrate the movement’s one year anniversary with art, performance, music, speeches and educational workshops. Occupied Ottawa, a part of the global grassroots Occupy movement against economic disparity and social injustice, “occupied” the park from October 15, 2011, until its eviction on November 23, 2011. The celebration starts at 12pm.
“We CAN look after each other better than we do today” and “Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity.” - the late NDP Leader, Jack Layton
Emotional by nature, I am. Very. But this is the first time I’ve blogged with tears streaming down my 40-year old black-male cheeks. I’m bawling because, somewhere in this city I now call home, an extra-ordinary woman is pregnant and living on the streets. Annie Pootoogook is her name.
As I blog, I can’t hold back the tears. Until now, I thought I knew Annie. We were together at the Occupied Ottawa protest encampment at Confederation Park last fall. One of the finest of my Canadian moments, that one was. The moment I received the final invitation to abandon the comfort of my immigrant-world. The invitation to engage, without the slightest shred of fear, with the politics of my adopted country.
Below is my appeal to newly-appointed Conservative senator and former Ottawa Police chief, Vernon White, to resign. I mailed the letter to the senator on March 14, 2012. On the same day, I started an indefinite hunger strike against the Conservative government’s cruel new crime law, the deceptively christened “Safe Streets and Communities Act” (Bill C10).
Why the senator’s resignation is the second most important of my hunger strike demands…