Monday evening at St. James Park in Toronto | #OccupyTO #OccupyWallStreet #OccupyBaySt

No analysis or or argument this time, just observation.

Too soon to say how long this will last or whether it’s got real staying power. 

Not as if I’m there day and night, but with every visit I’m struck by the relaxed and nurturing atmosphere. People are working together, caring for one another, and there’s no sense of hierarchy or externally imposed authority — just community.

I recognize that others may have cited Jack’s words already — maybe even three or four times by now — but what the hey. I can’t think of anything better suited to what’s going on:

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

Love, hope, and optimism. Will this change the world? I don’t know. But maybe it’s a start.

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Video: Queen West Art Crawl – celebrating the idea of public space

Times like this, with their depressing talk of “taxpayers” and “efficiencies” and service cuts, call for a recommitment to the notions of citizenship and the public sphere.

Earlier this month, a public park was the setting for a public art show, animated by live music, food, and thousands of people strolling, getting some sun, having conversations, and taking it all in. 

These are the things that make a city livable. This is what makes a community. This is where the public sphere comes from. Citizenship and leadership should be measured by commitment to this, not by empty slogans about gravy trains or finding efficiencies.

Special thanks to Joel Schwartz and Bret Higgins for letting me use their music.

(Yeah, I know, I should have gotten this done sooner, but, well … learning curve … )

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