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Thursday, November 10, 2011

RENEW branding for London, Ontario Occupy protest

Occupy Together needs a 4th brand; Why our global revolution is about renewal

Of the three global brands our movement has so far generated, two are somewhat problematic due to limitations of scope and meaning, while the third, though encompassing our ethos, is beautiful but perhaps a tad long:

Occupy Together
Take The Square
United for #globalchange

Our movement has been primarily named after a tactic, as Occupy Together and Take The Square both have their roots in the 25JAN mass protest in Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square. The United for #globalchange brand began with the 15OCT globalization of the Occupy Wall Street protest.

The reality is that "occupying" is just one arrow in our quiver of civil disobedience and non-violence tactics, along with marching, boycotting, voting, general strikes, direct action etc. Our goal is to renew the social contract, to reinvigorate democracy, improve human rights and social justice, increasing freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Do you remember when Occupy was still a bad word, as in “Iraq occupied Kuwait”, or “Israel occupies the West Bank”? This is a very serious matter that deeply affects public perception of our worldwide movement.

By focusing on successful occupations as the core, we must battle local municipalities, and it is not this level of politics that deeply concerns us. Please don't misinterpret this as saying we should not use urban occupations as a tactic, as my point is that it should be a core strategy but not the whole focus. Occupy Wall Street has a ring to it and it is achievable, however Occupy Canada is far less precise.

With London, Ontario having been the first Canadian Occupy Together protest shut down by local authorities, that Western Ontario city may be an ideal locale for launch of the RENEW brand. In addition to Occupy Together, Take The Square and United for #globalchange, RENEW London, RENEW Canada etc will broaden the scope of the dialogue.

To the GA of London in Canada: If your protest has been shut down and you wish to relaunch as a permanent occupation, consider doing it either as Occupy London Ontario once again, or as RENEW London urban occupation, which will take people by surprise and broaden the coalition.

Now, if an Occupy protest is closed down and wants to relaunch as a daily demo without overnight facilities, consider launching as RENEW London Now and make an extra effort to invite labour and environmental groups and all citizens to participate and contribute ideas for renewal of our society.

Here are 3 reasons why it would be incredibly inspiring if London, Ontario were to relaunch as RENEW London Now:

1.Will immediately differentiate the local protest from the one in London, UK.
2.Adding a 4th brand now, rather than waiting to Jan 1st or March 21st as originally proposed, will broaden the movement and increase mass participation in decision making, one of our primary goals.
3.As the first protest to be taken down by authorities in Canada, it is crucial to have a successful rebound, presented in a manner that captures public support and invites all citizens to share ideas for renewing our social contract.

As RENEW London Now, an urban movement for social justice, we can invite everyone down to contribute ideas for social renewal of Canada, North America and the World.

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