Sunday, October 23, 2011

What’s going on in the park? Occupy Toronto (day 7)

What’s going on in the park?
Occupy Toronto (day 7)

    Day seven of the occupy Toronto movement has me wondering exactly what I want to say about this movement. I could tell you about day to day life in the park, or the marches that have taken place, or what the many people I have talked to have said about why they are part of this world wide show of frustration and displeasure. As for myself I’m seeing red flags and I’m not talking about the communists.
   We are living at what could be a turning point in history and I can’t help but speculate on who’s driving the car? I have spent a few days this week just hanging in the park, observing and talking to many people, all kinds of people, young, old, activists I have known for some time, people I have only met on face book, and lots and lots of people who for them this is their first protest or action.
   The main stream corporate media report that the message is fragmented and the demands of the people are many, they continue to broadcast interviews with protesters who cannot articulate the problems and do not speak for the majority. I find the opposite to be true. Of the many I have spoken with, although they will say it in many different ways, all seem to be on the same page as to what this movement is about. The message I get from them all is corporate greed, the private banking system that has taken control of the creation of our money and the fact that our political system serves these corporations and bankers and not the people who elect them. Every other issue is a symptom of these problems.
    Although this is what the people in the movement are talking about, the people who are in control of the general people’s assembly seem to do nothing but direct the people with their rules of speech and etiquette and hold glorified pep rallies. The Occupy Toronto organization is made up of many volunteers who sit on many committee’s such as medical, food, media and logistics. There is one group however who control the real power of the movement and moderate the general assembly, this small group is the facilitating team. These facilitators are the same people who have taken control of this movement long before the group first came together in the park last Saturday. This group of very elusive people seem to consist of very educated university students and graduates, well trained in psychology and group control dynamics. Armed with reasonable explanations for their methods straight out of a document known as the Quick guide on group dynamics in people’s assemblies which they claim comes from the Occupy movement in Spain. The problem with this is that there has been much speculation that these other Occupy groups are as controlled as the ones in Canada appear to be. I have been hearing the same concerns of outside control from activists known to me across Canada and the United States, I will in this article only be addressing the Toronto group which I have personally been observing.
    One of the most interesting tactics employed by the facilitators in group meetings is something they call “The peoples Microphone” rather than using a sound amplification system or bull horn, they will call out “Mic check” which is an instruction to the crowd to repeat what they say in a loud, almost hypnotic chant supposedly so all can hear the words spoken, they say this method is used so that everyone can feel they are part of the process and to create unity of the group. The truth is this method is also well known to psychologists as Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). (NLP) is an approach to psychotherapy and organizational change based on "a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behavior and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them" to change their patterns of mental and emotional behavior. 
   NPL does not seem to be the only psychological tactic in these facilitators tool box. Should anyone raise concerns about content or methods they are quickly encouraged to join one of the volunteer committee’s and see for themselves that nothing sinister is going on. That person is then directed to a job on one of the various committee’s that provide services to the camp or even made a marshal to police the camp activates, but access to the inner core of the facilitating team seems not to be an option that can be attained. In fact it took me much effort and days of being led around the park looking before I was able to nail down one of these “non leaders” for a off camera interview that was cut short because the facilitator was so busy (busy hiding from questions like mine is my guess)
    Her name is Sarah Rotz, (Master of Environmental Studies Candidate, York University, Honour's Bachelor Degree in Environmental Management and Business Management, University of Toronto)  Talking to Sarah was like talking to customer service at the phone company, none of the excitement or passion that I got from others in the park. My first question was her background and experience in activism?  She told me about her work on the Toronto People's Assembly on Climate Justice, another highly suspect group, it appears the Toronto chapter of this international group are the very same people who turned up as facilitators in the Occupy Toronto movement. When I started asking questions about the anonymous donations and allegations of control by CSIS that a young man named Thomas Zaogg had made moments earlier in the park, something interesting happened. A man appeared at her side and started answering the questions for her. When I asked if he was a facilitator as well ? He told me no, nor was he on any of the other committees, just another protester in the park. Well for just another protester in the park this man who identified himself only as Aden seemed to know all the text book answers. The pair dismissed my questions as paranoia and even suggested the drugged up young man named Thomas (who had been thrown under the bus at the pre-Occupy meeting) was himself a CSIS agent. The pair then told me they were busy and quickly disappeared into the crowd in the park. Any other attempts to track down and question facilitators this week have proved futile.
   In the first week of the Occupy Toronto Movement, they have entrenched themselves in St. James park, had a number of protest marches, discussion groups, arranged for food and communications in the park, but have yet to issue a group statement of any kind. Since day one I am also hearing talk of “things that don’t seem right about this whole thing”, but the people camping in the park don’t seem concerned about this at all? I am also hearing the same concerns from other Canadian cities as well. For example when the march came back from city hall this Saturday a general assembly was called and even though someone was going though the crowd taking names for a list of people who wished to speak, the facilitator announced the speakers list was full and they would not be hearing from anyone who was not on the list. What list? I could see the list had not yet been compiled? Although anybody is supposed to be allowed to speak at these controlled meetings that’s not what is happening.
    Now don’t get me wrong here, I believe in the goals and spirit of this movement. Even though I strongly believe that this movement is currently being controlled by what may be government agents in an attempt to control the direction of this popular uprising. The people may yet achieve real change in how we function as a society.  In the end I also believe these attempts at control will fail. It will take more than a bunch of university control freaks with a bag full of psychological tricks to stop what has started in the world. I believe we are at a turning point in history and the people who have been steering the car may well end up as road kill.
Lawrence McCurry
October 23, 2011



    If the fact that a baby boomer is Quoting George Soro's as though Soro's has the 99% best interest at heart is LOST on everybody attending the Occupy Rallies than I truly am at a loss to understand how any movement is going to move forward with out being co-opted and infiltrated. When a banker is saying that capitalism doesn't work he is not Talking about Wall Mart or Imperial Oil or GM he is talking about Small Business which in effect employees up to 60% of any working population. Corporatism or FASCISM is the problem. Corporations whose GDP is greater than 100 Nations whose Power and Influence transcends National Borders and whose Executives sit on the Boards of Banks, Media corps, weapon Manufactures all at the same time that is the problem. Not to mention the ease in which Private sector moves in to Gov. sector to gain influence for former Corporations (Monsanto -USFDA comes to mind). If only the majority of these people would do some research put down the big words and understand the true fundamentals of the problem that we are experiencing will we be able to have real progress Towards any type of Change That we may or may not be able to believe in. Sure we can all go and close our Bank Accounts and go to a Credit Union but if we don't understand that the Equity that everyone thinks is in their house is in fact Inflation brought on by a Loss of Purchasing power and too much money being printed than a few hundred people closing their account wont accomplish much other than getting themselves arrested apparently what good is going to come out of that other than a criminal record and all that comes with one. If Pewople cannot stand up and openly talk about 9/11 as a False Flag Government Murder Operation to be used a Catastrophic event to motivate the people to War and Expansion of an Empire whose Tentacles of death and destruction cover every aspect of our Globe how can we look in the mirror and say with real Honesty that we want/expect/demand Change when essence we are actually asking for the Status quo with less rights and freedoms.

  2. Well I am just sitting on the side-lines looking out my internet window so I may not have much relevant information to contribute to the conversation. But it seems from what I have read and heard there is a radical difference between OWS and Occupy Canada. Maybe the OWS organizers initially tried to set up a system whereby they could steer and control the protests but it isnt working. New York is just way to savvy, shrewd and steeped in a history of political activism to fall for that. Debra Sweet is a leading example in demonstrating civil disobedience...the action is issue oriented, direct, to the point and has the possibility to change a racist/fascist policy. She gives me hope, actually.
    Trust your instincts on this one Lawrence. I think there may be a hidden agenda to paint Canadian activists as being mentally ill...or to discredit the movement in general as a brain washing cult. Paranoid? maybe. But I have just spent the last few days looking into the state of First Nations reserves here in Canada.....a government capable of treating there people like this is capable of anything, in my humble opinion.

    Why not just set up another protest camp, not in opposition to but in solidarity with... and lead by example? Provide a protest forum for all the other people who feel as weird and wary as you do. Just a thought.
    Thanks for the update, Lawrence.

  3. Well written, I enjoyed the read. Spent the day there with my family on Saturday and got to see much of this myself first hand...your last paragraph is brilliant. Namaste
    The New Age Hippy-CLM

  4. lawrence, I'm very happy to see you standing back and thinking this over with a critical viewpoint. good stuff, also i think you might find "revolution business" on youtube quite interesting if you haven't already. if you accept my req on fb i'll post it to you

  5. I knew it! check this out...

    Canadian Special Forces agent Dylan Spoelstra, 24, of Toronto, left his wallet behind exposing his identity, after he was arrested after scaling a sculpture at Occupy Wall Street. Photo: Spoelstra is escorted by police after a 3-hour stand-off. (Kevin Hagen for New York Daily News)

    why was he presenting himself as mentally unwell?

  6. You see they know they will be made redundant by the movement that is part of good groupwork. They wish to hold up a blank slate to the nation and say fill this in. They are facilitating. Though I am not happy to hear that climate change people are in leadership roles, it is hard to meet an activist who was not involved in that globalist scam. They were in it for the money, that was the only money pot going on. I have been involved in promoting the movement strongly, though I am nobody really, nobody at all just a member of the 99%. I am educated, (BA, MSW), underemployed, broke, a debt slave, and a free thinking social justice libertarian.

  7. Fascism is really not an appropriate swear-word. Mussolini actually took care of Italy's poor. Plutocracy, oligarchy, are applicable.

  8. Lawrence, this is Sally... I know you are probably bummed today about the 'orange crush' victory I just saw it on the lamestream news that a lawyer won.. they are in business together all these wolves.. I'm so sick of the politicians and the green hoaxers .. mostly .. I am sick of the scam of regionalization/Agenda 21.. I'm focussing on that.. I've had two facebook accounts suspended in the past two months.. but I will continue in the Resistance... by just talking to people I come across throughout this province.. because grassroots is the ONLY SOLUTION to these cult-group-think operations... keep up the good fight my brother.. peace xx