When the sun goes down, Occupy Montreal gets to work
Published Tuesday, October 25, 2011 11:40PM EDT
MONTREAL - People see them in daylight, "occupying" Square Victoria and trying to make their voices heard.
But what do the protesters of Occupy Montreal do once the sun goes down?
In short, they set their agenda – literally.
Every night the protesters hold a general assembly at the centre of the square, where people can voice their concerns and make decisions about the most effective way to get the movement's message out.
"This is participatory democracy," protester Vivian Kaloxilos said Tuesday night.
The occupation hit its 10th day Tuesday, and certain ideas are starting to come out of these meetings to make sure that time camping out in Old Montreal was not for nothing.
For instance, Maia Leia Fournier, 17, came to Tuesday night's meeting with a proposition to create a master list of the Montreal movement's goals.
"We want it to circulate on the Internet and everywhere," said Fournier, a student. "We want everyone to see what we stand for, and from that list then we can proceed to an action plan."
Fournier's proposition passed Tuesday night, and she'll be the head of her newly-formed committee.
It was a typical advancement of the "occupiers" nightly meetings, which are structured with a time for propositions, a question period, and then amendments.
Throughout the meeting, participants will also do some funny hand gestures, which is the system through which they have found a way to communicate during the meetings.
When you agree, you put your fingers up like this," Dan Parker explained. "When you're not so sure you do this, when you disagree but you can still live with it, then you do like that."
To which Kaloxilos added, "And if someone gets off topic, you do this."
At Tuesday night's meeting organizers dealt with everything from calls for Premier Jean Charest's resignation to calls for chemical free toilet cleaners.
Though it is organized, some admit it can feel a bit scattered at times.
"People have been frustrated because we don't come to many conclusions or sometimes we decide on things that we're not actually going to do," Parker admitted.
But for people like Alexis Desilets, the end goal is crystal clear.
"We're trying to change the whole paradigm of our psyche," Desilets said, "and that is something that will take time."