The Occupy movement is growing and has arrived in Nova Scotia.
In solidarity with protestors across North America, hundreds of people from all walks of life converged on the Grand Parade in Halifax today.
The crowd grew from three tents, a handful of protestors and a smattering of cops to almost a dozen “dwellings”, crates of donated food, a medical tent (with a sign reading “First Aid: Health & Wellness – Have a hug, meditate, relax!”) and around 300 people.
A schedule of events was handed out that listed what one person called “democratic action spaces” – events where people can engage in democratic dialogue with one another. Some of these were speeches, some of these were workshops and some were teach-ins. They had two days worth of these “spaces” already planned.
The people that helped cultivate the idea of a peaceful occupation of one of Halifax’s public squares never thought of themselves as “pointmen” or “media relations people” and preferred to be out of the spotlight when possible. We secured interviews with some of these people but once the speeches began we realized something. What the people in the pulpit were saying was far more important.
Billy Lewis is a leader of the Indigenous Solidarity Movement. He opened the day’s speeches on the steps of the Cenotaph in front of St. Paul’s Church with a moving statement that was laced with a Mi’kmaq mindset. As he finished each few words the crowd repeated him. “I see the Mi’kmaq microphone is working well,” he said.
Here’s what the protestors in Halifax had to say:
Special thanks to those who gave us interviews:
- Andrew Fraser from Pictou Landing, N.S.
- Jerry Mackinlay who works for the Provincial Government and is the President of the Halifax-Atlantic NDP Constituency Association
And to those who said they would do an interview but who we never had the chance to really talk to:
- Ian Matheson
- Vive la Revolution (AKA Jennifer Anderson)
- The Dogfather (AKA Ibrahim Ali Muhammad AKA Jerry Reddick) who is also running for city council. You can see him in front of the Dalhousie Student Union Building daily.
If you’d like to get in touch with the Occupy NS movement you can try:
- email: OccupyNS@gmail.com
- twitter: @OccupyNS
- website: OccupyNS.org
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