By: Paula Monroy
Yesterday was the seventh day of Occupy Montreal. One week has gone by, dispersed in conversations to reform power, regain democracy, fight injustice, constrain greed, achieve sustainability. With one hundred and ninety tents, wi-fi internet, 2 generators, 6 lawyers, and the talent and skills of individuals donating time and energy to make things happen. We are artists, social workers, teachers, technicians, students, amerindians, francophones, anglophones, espanglophones, arabiglophones… we are fellow humans collaborating with each other, organizing to raise awareness and overcome apathy. We, the 99%.
October 21, 6pm – Place des peuples.
The weather is calm, quiet. Participants assemble, eagerly, at the usual place. Tonight’s facilitator is Valerie. Thirty seconds of silence go to honour and respect those who “lived here before us now and in the future”.
After a brief reminder of the guidelines that were adopted by consensus (such as not smoking, points of translation, and call signs), the committees report themselves (for details, please refer to the information board, in front of the Communications tent). Proposals follow.
The AG Facilitators Committee propose to have an open debate after each proposal, meditate changes, and evaluate the temperature of the of the assembly. This is, among other things, to speed up the decision making process, “save time, reach conclusions quickly”. With 1 amendment and 0 blocks, the proposal got accepted.
The next proposal to be accepted was by the Mediation Committee (members are social workers and healthcare specialists), which concerned the expulsion of anyone jeopardizing the security and peace of the community. There will be 0 tolerance in situations like sexual or physical assault. The removal will be diplomatic and according to the gravity of the situation, a second chance might be granted. The GA will be involved in the process, nonetheless.
At last, members of the Aboriginal Representation Committee exposed their proposal. After one amendment concerning syntax, it reads as follows:
- Recognition of indigenous peoples living in the territory of Quebec.
- Adoption by the National Assembly of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by requiring the federal government to do the same.
- The updating of history since the colonization of America in academic institutions in Canada and Quebec to transmit the facts more transparently and fairly to future generations in regard to First Nations
- A moratorium on the map North
- That the native languages be protected and valued
- Optional courses on indigenous languages.