This evening, I had the privilege of accompanying Bishop Greg Kerr-Wilson when he visited the site of #OccupyReginaSk. There are about 50 people actually living onsite in Regina's Victoria Park. One of the saddest commentries on the state of things is that sleeping on an air matress in a tent on a brisk October evening is actually a step up for the 10 - 15 homeless people that are part of the occupation.
We had planned the Bishop's arrival to coincide with the 8:00 pm assembly, where business is usually conducted and where occupiers and visitors are able to speak to the whole group. However, with the organic logic of anarchic process, it had been decided the assembly would be pushed back so tents could be moved while the greatest number of people were there. And yes, the Bishop and I helped move tents. (The tents were being moved in order to have better shelter from the wind and so the grass in one part of the park would have a chance to recover.)
While the corporate media have tended to depict the #Occupy protests as little more than inchoate rage against the financial system, the Bishop and I spoke to several people who clearly understood not only that the system isn't working, but could also articulate why the system isn't working. One of the most interesting bits of analysis came from an ex-Saskatchewan Party MLA. (For my non-Canadian readers, that would be like an ex-Republican State Assemblymen in the US.) He spoke about how the movement of capital and the accumulation of profit is no longer related to any productive activity.
Bishop Greg spoke only briefly - in part to indicate that his agenda this evening was primarily to listen to the people occupying the park. Several people spoke to us afterwards about the need for religious leaders to speak about the moral dimension of the economic crisis. I expect we'll hear more from our Bishop in due course.
We live in a strange time when the Governor of the Bank of Canada, a former US Treasury Secretary, some of the richest men on the planet and even the Conference Board of Canada can acknowlede that the system is broken and that income inequality is breaking the system even further, yet the political system is seemingly unaware of the problem.