September 26, 2020

BY HEATHER KENNERY

“We are the 99 per cent!”

This phrase was shouted in financial districts around the world one year ago. The Occupy movement started gaining leverage in New York, as thousands of regular Joes and Jills stood on Wall Street, trying to bring awareness and change to the financial injustice of big corporations getting tax benefits, and this little piggy getting none.

They spoke of how governments were openly allowing the rich to get richer, while at the same time the poor got poorer.

Now the question is, one year after the Occupy movement started, what change did it really bring?

In all honesty nothing really has changed.

It did start a conversation – conversation that we think was needed.

After the global recession ended in 2009 many corporations were shaken, some even crumbled.  Some companies were able to pick up where they left off, but others were helped by governments which paid off their debts.  This all happened while thousands of people were forced into bankruptcy, losing their homes.

After learning what a CEO really makes, including their yearly bonuses, people got informed, and angry.

The Occupy movement wants that wealth shared equally. According to an Aug. 22 Globe and Mail article, “Statistics Canada numbers show Canadian non-financial corporations with a cash hoard of $526 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 43 per cent since the recession ended in 2009.” Why is all this money just sitting around rather than being put back into the pockets of the people who need it most?

The Occupy movement today is still making people talk, especially about financial fairness. As people say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Change may take a long time, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying. Keeping this conversation at the forefront will make a difference. Let’s just hope it’s sooner rather than later.