I understand it’s considered bad form for rank and file progressives to criticize the Canadian Occupy protests in any way, even while being supportive of the American ones. But if anyone is in a position to do so, it would be the malcontent responsible for setting off the entire movement with that first #occupywallstreet hashtag. That’s right… as impressed as Adbusters’ Kalle Lasn is with the American protests, it seems he’s somewhat less so with their Canadian counterparts:
Protesters hail it as a life-changing experience while pundits acknowledge it as a driving force in the national conversation, but the man who helped launch the Canadian incarnation of the “Occupy” movement says his adopted home country didn’t execute his vision the way he hoped.
Kalle Lasn, co-founder of the Vancouver-based magazine that touched off the international campaign, said the protest against fiscal imbalance and corporate influence suffered from media misrepresentation and a comparative lack of energy during its first month on Canadian soil. […]
While the site attracted its share of energized, politically engaged youth who the Estonian-born Lasn describes as “the new left,” he also noted a stronger presence from fringe elements that has given left wing movements a bad name in the past, he said.
“I just had a feeling that there was a little bit too much of the loony left there,” Lasn said. “I had a feeling that we needed more of the young, new-left spunk that I felt was happening in Zuccotti Park. I didn’t see all that much of it here in Vancouver.”
What an Angry Old Person… what a… Teabagger!
The loony left?? Who could that possibly be? (For starters, maybe the dingbats who came up with Occupy Vancouver’s infamous list of demands, a few decent ideas wrapped in a crazyquilt of dumb ones — because we must be inclusive of every voice, no matter how deranged.)
Besides the Loony Left, Lasn also blames the media, and rightly so, for focusing on the negative aspects of the protests. As always, sensationalism sells, so the homeless, addicted and otherwise dysfunctional members of the encampments received media attention vastly disproportionate to their numbers. (I hope.)
Finally, Lasn points out one lasting positive impact of the protests: young people who were previously apathetic about politics suddenly became furiously engaged. While some may drift back into political ennui, others will certainly remain engaged, maybe for life, and even if that was all the occupy protests accomplished it would be a profound success.