As clock ticks on Victoria camp, Occupy movement’s inspiration says it’s time to declare victory and move on

"We have fertilized the future with our revolutionary spirit ... and a thousand flowers will surely bloom in the Spring.”

  • Nov. 17, 2011 4:00 p.m.

While Occupy Victoria and the City of Victoria wait until 9:15 a.m. tomorrow morning to find out whether the B.C. Supreme Court will grant the city an injunction to clear Centennial Square of protest tents, the Canadian magazine that gave birth to the international Occupy movement thinks it is time to pack it in — until Spring.

“Now that winter is approaching, I can see this first wild, messy, crazy occupation phase kind of slowly winding down and the second phase will begin,” wrote Kalle Lasn, co-founder of Vancouver-based Adbusters magazine, which originated the idea of Occupy Wall Street and spinoffs like Occupy Victoria. A letter by Lasn on the magazine’s website suggests it may be time to take the winter off.

Protesters can “declare victory” and scale back until the weather gets warmer, Lasn says on the website.

“We have fertilized the future with our revolutionary spirit … and a thousand flowers will surely bloom in the Spring.”

Nevertheless, Lasn says “some people will continue to sleep in the snow and inspire all of us but, in the meantime, many of us will go home and we will resurface next spring.”

Lasn, who won’t be available for comment until Monday, told CBC Radio’s Carol Off earlier this week that “I think there are what I call these loony left elements to this movement. The political left has been bedeviled by this kind of a loony side of us. There is a danger that some of these occupations will turn into rat-infested places where people deal drugs and get drunk and so on.”

“Every movement has its fringe element but, by and large, this movement is driven by a savvy bunch of young people who know what they are doing and who have their eyes on the ball and have the power of the social media going for them. And, above all, they have this feeling in the pit of their stomachs that they have to stand up and fight for a different kind of future – otherwise they’re not going to have a future.”

Meanwhile, all but a handful to protest tents have folded with only a few stragglers waiting until morning to find out if they will be arrested.

Occupy Vicrtoria lawyer Rajinder Sahota isn’t optimistic his defence was enough to prevent an injunction from being granted, but told reporters several city employees including police and fire officials have secretly revealed they support the movement and the way it is run, but won’t say so publicly for fear of risking their jobs.

– By Rudy Haugeneder

editor@vicnews.com