Occupy the Holidays

Accumulation of Useless Crap
Occupy Christmas: International Day of Action has been a welcome initiative for many of us. The holiday season is a hectic, stressful time for working families who end up spending well beyond their means on gifts, meals and entertainment. This spending spree now extends beyond the holiday season and into the New Year, as lining up outside big box stores for big ticket items has become a popular new tradition in the past decade. The real winners in all this are the corporations, credit card companies and banks, otherwise known as the 1%.

Most of us are painfully aware of this fact and have already adopted the holiday measures the Occupy Movement has advocated:

Supporting the local economy by making purchases from local merchants. This even involves filling our gas tanks at  locally-owned gas stations. Buying gifts from local artisans and produce from farmers' markets.

Leaving our credit cards at home because banks make their money from interest and late payments.

Using strictly cash and withdrawing only the amount of money we need. Remember that ATM or debit cards charge merchants 2% to 5%.

If North Americans adopted these few measures, we might actually succeed in cutting into the profits and power of the 1%, but unfortunately the Occupy Movement does not have the means to get this message out. Media in the US is concentrated in the hands of a wealthy few who also own many of the corporations that profit from holiday spending and year-round consumerism. Concentration of media ownership is also the case here in Quebec, where Québecor is king, taking in $4 billion in revenues last year. This corporation alone prints 37 dailies, 7 free commuter papers, 200 community weeklies and its media holdings include the TVA 24-hour news network and the canoe.ca news portal. Together, Québecor media reaches 90% of French-speaking households in this province.It`s no coincidence that Occupy Montreal camped outside the front door of the corporate headquarters.

The likelihood of  Canada's media titans Québecor, Shaw, Rogers and Bell carrying the Occupy Movement's media message of buying locally and using strictly cash year-round are pretty slim. That's why the Occupy Movement should be advocating the following fourth and fifth measures:

Read, support and make donations to independent media and share the information via Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

Continue to expand your social media contacts and use targeted hashtags to help get important information out.

For instance you might want to tweet something along these lines:
Kai Nagata writes 3-part series for indy Tyee on Quebecor's hold on Quebec 
http://bit.ly/o64hTa #occupy #indymedia

If you don`t have time to comb through left-leaning media, Toronto Star writer and social media maven Antonia Zerbisias or Montrealer Neath Turcot are people worth friending on Facebook.

Here`s a list of indy media outlets. If I`ve forgot one please leave a comment below with the name or link.

Indy Media

Adbusters: Where the Occupy Movement started.

Truth Dig (My favourite!)
Common Dreams
Democracy Now!
The Nation

General news with a different frame but not independent:  Al Jazeera and the Guardian (Great Occupy Wall Street coverage to date.)

A portion of this has been cross-posted at Rover Arts

Related posts:
Occupons Montréal in Photos
Peaceful Tactic: Keep Wall Street Busy
Interview with Carmen Aguirre, Chilean Resistance Fighter


Anonymous | December 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Well, I clicked on the Adbusters link to check out the site and was surprised to discover that all the comments are full of . . . advertising! . . . for expensive brand-name overpriced fashion items. What gives?

Heather | December 30, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Just checked it out. Those were spam bots attempting to send readers to YouTube. Looks like they need to work on more security. H

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