Whether you support the Occupy movement or not, I would hope that we can agree on the need for more public participation in decision making. It’s a shame that municipalities are forcing the closure of Occupy camps when we lack real forums for citizen participation and engagement. Is it too much for government officials to meet with Occupiers to discuss models for expression and engagement before dismantling camps?
At a time when less than 50% of Ontarians voted in the recent election and when people are looking for ways to better engage youth in the political process, we should respect those willing to live in the cold to make a statement. I understand the need to balance the rights of Occupiers with residents and businesses near camps. This is precisely why government officials must create models for greater public participation in decision making.
I want to thank Occupiers across Ontario and around the world. Your effort is a victory. Thank you for raising awareness of important issues of equity and the environment and for providing a space for engagement, especially among youth.