You Call This Mischief?
By dan kellar at Nov 20, 2009
You call this mischief?
November 20th 2009
When the march, which was a part of the province-wide day of action for a Poverty Free Ontario reached the financial district - highlighted by the bank towers at the intersection of Bay and King streets, a banner reading “Capitalism is Broken” and displaying OCAP’s symbol was dropped from First Canadian Place. This tower is the largest symbol of the impotence of this broken economic system in
As the banner dropped, the lobbies of surrounding bank towers were peacefully occupied. The demonstration, demanding affordable and accessible housing, decent income for all, status for all, and justice for First Nations, then continued on its route. In addition to being arrested and charged, three from the banner team were threatened by a building security agent with being sued for “all of your tuitions’ for the rest of your lives!”
This quote is not the only thing that does not make sense when dealing with the inner workings of this appropriately named bank tower.
Financial institutions around the world were given trillions of dollars, to prop with paper cups, a globalized system of unrelenting economic “development” – a crutch unavoidably unsustainable. This system was built on ideologies of imperialism, colonialism, and a justice system based on the rights of private property and is now destroying the foundational resilience of our ecosystems.
Concurrently, there is a built-in requirement for corporations to hastily and recklessly profit as much as possible so neoliberalized markets can produce more prosperity for “everyone.” The problem is, only a small portion of everyone is enjoying that prosperity – bankers and their governmental lobbyists, industrialists, and corporate executives are the primary benefactors.
The pay disparity between workers and executives grows with every economic quarter and this difference already exceeded 300% in 2007 when I last searched for such statistics. The situation for those on the lower end of the wage spectrum has not improved since then.
Even as the collective purses of the global public were looted to save a system too big to fail from failing, the Globe and Mail reports that BMO will post 4th quarter revenues of $709 million in 2009, RBC’s revenues will top $2 billion. The bonuses paid out to the financial executives in response to these numbers will be in addition to multi-million dollar “compensations packages” which include near total immunity for the crimes their decisions and actions lead to.
BMO was not specifically targeted for their financing of projects in the ecologically irresponsible and socially toxifying tar sands developments. But they were targeted for their role in the system that allows development which destroys the lives and cultures of whole groups of ‘others’ by eliminating their capacity to self-sustain.
This elimination occurs through obliterating the land where culture exists as a part, and by poisoning the waters which have been sustaining life since time immemorial. The Cree and Dene communities in the occupied territories of northern
The banks were also targeted because of the disrespect shown to the working poor, the sweatshop labourers, the debt engulfed students, and all others who demonstrated across
The three who safely and peacefully dropped the OCAP banner were arrested and charged with “mischief”; those perpetrating the largest money heist in history, and perpetuating the crimes of colonialism and biocide, are not only still allowed to walk free, but are also allowed to enjoy lives of unparalleled privilege and the unjust luxury of being able to act with impunity.