Posted: Friday, 18 November 2011
As cities in Canada move to evict and dismantle Occupy camps, the issues the protests raised won’t go away.
“It is a shame that media and politicians have made this into a debate about tents, rather than a debate about the issues the occupiers are raising,” says CLC President Ken Georgetti. “Federal, provincial and municipal leaders should partner with the protesters and unions in pressing for solutions to growing income inequality in our society," he adds. "That kind of commitment would be seen as a positive signal."
The Occupy movement’s reasons for existing have not disappeared. The rich are still getting richer at the expense of everyone else, the middle class is still shrinking, wages are still stagnating, unemployment among young people remains unacceptably high, and families are still struggling to make ends meet while becoming mired deeper and deeper in debt. “The Occupy movement shone a big spotlight on the greed and growing inequality that was hard for politicians, bankers, and the media to ignore,” Georgetti says.
“The 99 per cent can no longer afford government policies that ship jobs offshore and deregulate our economy. The 99 per cent can no longer afford to give tax breaks to corporations who already sit on piles of cash and don’t create one job with the money given them by taxpayers. The 99 per cent can’t afford the budget cuts being forced on them by governments - budget cuts that kill jobs, reduce vital public services, damage our future and risk putting our economy back into recession. And the 99 per cent can no longer afford a global financial system that rewards fraud and unrestricted gambling and risk, but makes taxpayers responsible for cleaning up the mess,” Georgetti adds.
The Canadian Labour Congress supports the aims of the Occupy Movement and their right to peaceful protest.