This is a mea culpa. Today, the Vancouver Police Dept. released a warning about the possibility the local #Occupiers were potentially going to occupy several banks on November 5, for what is called “Bank Transfer Day”. In the press release the VPD refers to it as the Occupy Vancouver “Bank Transfer Day” march. Globe scribe Frances Bula picked it up on her blog, and commented:
[OccupyVancouver is] running a very large risk that their tactics will alienate many of the 99 per cent who they claim to represent. Can’t help but think this is exactly the kind of thing that will turn public opinion against them.
Taking it at face value I posted the following:
Targeting the banking sector is a step up from blocking the intersection of Georgia and Burrard, but again I wonder if this will have a deep resonance for Vancouverites – Vancouver not being much of a banking or financial centre. I also don’t know if simply having an information picket in front of a bank wouldn’t be more effective than actually occupying a bank.
Not many Canadians realize our banks were bailed out to the tune of $186 billion. That is the sort of information a picket could be very effective at conveying to the public.
#OccupyVancouver needs to tailor it’s message towards those issues Vancouverites identify as being important to them – homelessness, affordability, stagnant wages.
The underlying issues are very real. Sadly, in this observer’s opinion, #OccupyVancouver – as opposed to #Occupy[OtherCities] is really struggling to connect with a broader audience (who are very much affected by the above).
There’s a problem though. “Bank Transfer Day” is listed in the Events Page of the #OccupyVancouver website, but it’s explicitly stated it isn’t associated with #OccupyVancouver. “Bank Transfer Day” isn’t about occupying banks. It’s about transferring your account from a bank to a credit union.
While the Bank Transfer Day movement acknowledges the enthusiasm from Occupy Wall Street, the Bank Transfer Day movement was neither inspired by, derived from nor organized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Bank Transfer Day movement does not endorse any activities conducted by Occupy Wall Street.
This is the second time I’ve been snookered, the first being when #OccupyVancouver was blamed for disrupting a civic debate – when it was in fact the action of a fringe mayoralty candidate.
I won’t be snookered a third time.