Yesterday, despite cold, rain and high-powered winds which literally destroyed our canopy tent, Occupy Hamilton held its first rally in Gore Park today in solidarity with actions in nearly a thousand cities around the globe. A few dozen made it out, holding signs and banners and taking turns at the microphone talking about poverty, policy and injustice. A modest beginning, to be sure, but with so many off in Toronto, and with all of this organized in less than a week, we felt it best to keep things simple. Next weekend the real fun begins, when the first General Assembly is held in Gore Park.

<a href="http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1070622"Occupy Toronto saw a few thousand people turn out for their march and rally, and protesters have now settled into their own encampment in St. James park. Rallies were also held in Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal as well as smaller communities like Guelph. OccupyTogether.org now lists nearly two thousand communities where groups are forming – among them towns like Ajax, Mississauga and Kitchener. News is still very scarce, so I’m no doubt missing many, but it’s certainly a promising beginning.

Worldwide, there were demonstrations just about everywhere. Tokyo, Sydney, London, Johannesburg, Madrid – the list just keeps going on. Some went better than others – Julian Assange spoke at the London gathering, where there were some scuffles with police but no large-scale arrests. Rome, on the other hand, saw serious rioting amidst the tens or perhaps hundred thousand who marched there. New York saw arrests as occupiers took to Times Square and at a CitiBank protest. Berlin’s occupation recently came under siege from police, though I’ve had no real word yet on how that turned out.

Disclaimer: These words reflect the views of Undustrial and not Occupy Hamilton. Our General Assembly has not yet met on the matter of public statements and policy, and we’ve decided to hold off on group statements until we do, so that nobody “sets the tone” for everybody else by being the first one to a reporter or computer. If you want to hear more, you’re going to have to stay tuned, or perhaps even come join us next Saturday.

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