Something's happening. It's far bigger than you ever imagined, yet it is only in its infancy.
If you believe the simplistic mainstream media view, you might think it's all about a handful of oppressed middle easterners, and the origins can be traced back to a definitive event, the self-immolation of a young man who couldn't take it anymore. That view could fertilize all the crops in the world for an entire lifetime.
Protests, whether they be violent or non violent, take organizational skills, and they take time. Protests, such as those we're seeing blossoming all over the world, do not happen spontaneously. Someone had to decide they had enough. They had to get together with other like-minded individuals & groups. They had to advance their ideas and find enough people willing to actually follow through and participate, they have to plan times and places to gather, and if they can do all that, they have to hope enough people show up to gather some momentum. After all, the mideast protests wouldn't be news if it was only two dozen people with hand lettered signs.
If all of those things fall into place, and people see and believe there will be large numbers turning out, they begin to take on a life of their own, and they do. Most often, they are met with brute force from police, undercover agents and/or military force. I guess not many people remember Oka. They should be able to remember the G20 protests in Toronto, the largest mass arrest of Canadians ever. Period. Almost double the number arrested during the October Crisis, when then Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau used the war measures act to rout the FLQ (I'll also add most of those arrested were totally innocent, same as the G20). Not as extreme as some of the middle eastern dictators trying to hang on to their power and perks while their people suffer. Don't think they wouldn't go that far here, or in America, or the UK, France, any of the so-called civilized countries. Don't think that for a minute.
I've never seen anything quite like what's happening today. This is coming from someone who has lived through the peace protests of the Vietnam war, the uneasy tension of the cold war, the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the USSR as a major power. No minor events. I even watched the assassination of JFK and subsequent murder of Lee Harvey Oswald so we'd never know the truth. I still submit I never thought the world would become the mess it is today. Almost universally we are dictated to by the rich and the powerful. That's what the new revolution is about. As it was with the French Revolution, the poor and oppressed peoples have had enough, to the point where their lives are miserable enough they are willing to give them up hoping that things will change.
You'd be best advised to pay attention. While the media would like to give you the impression this is only happening in a select few mideast nations who are rising up against their military backed dictators, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, the people are tired of being dictated to by the rich and the richer, but there's a lot more to it. It's about youth who see a worse future or no future at all. Its about societies who forget their own people as they worship the twin Gods of greed and power. It's about more people who just can't make it, knowing that the greed of corporations, the rich, and the political elite continues to grow as more and more restrictions are placed on the commoner, as all but a small percentage of the population can truly enjoy what we work for.
You see, it spreading. Yes, not only in the middle east, burgeoning revolutionary movements are growing in Greece, the victims are the poor and pensioners, while the rich have not bothered to pay taxes for years. It's happening in Spain, where it is absolutely vital the economy not fail, because while no country is too big to fail, Spain is too big to rescue, if Ireland fails, there will be problems, difficult but manageable, if Greece and Ireland both default, and Spain follows, place your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye unless you happen to be one of those few filthy rich elites.
People everywhere are watching their way of life erode. While governments continually provide less services, prices are rising, wages are not, people are fed up that so few have so much and so many are left wanting. Last year the top fifty businesses in Canada had after tax profits over a hundred billion dollars. Maybe my math is wrong, but I see that as about 3 million dollars for every man, woman, and child in this country. Senior citizens are going to food banks, people are going without needed medications, they're losing their homes, their families, they're beginning to lose hope. With good reason. We are under attack by the governments funded by the corporations and the richest of the rich. They're raping the land, they're raping us financially, and people are tired of these Marie Antoinettes. People want governments that find a way to foster good business and ensure none of their citizens are left behind. Both are possible, but greed has us accepting every slash and burn overspender taking away everything and laying the blame on the victims.
I don't just think it will happen in more countries, I believe it will be inevitable. People in the US are horribly divided, their economy is a mess, they are failing and can't even see it over then din of the two sides screaming at each other. Don't think Canada is any better. While the conservatives were able to gain a majority government with less than a majority of the vote, their smug arrogance and indifference to the pain of others will be their undoing. Ignoring the fact their actions are creating a bleak future for the youth of the country will do them in. People across the globe are awakening to the reality they are being screwed, and while politicians remain blind to the plight of the poor, to youth, and to the disenfranchised, the rest of us watch our standard of living drop year after year while the well to do, corporate elite, and politicos feast on the majority of our money, which we got by slaving for companies making massive profits and paying a pittance.
People do not want to live like this anymore. They want a bigger piece of the pie. They want a fair share of what could easily be provided and the rich would still be very rich.
Notice to those who live on a pedestal. I think you're watching the beginning of the end of doing things your way. I really do. I've been wrong before, but this feels totally different. You don't have to take my advice. Take your chances and carry on.
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Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy
Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture